You have been taken by the Mists

Author Topic: Planescape  (Read 254 times)

MAB77

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Planescape
« on: October 05, 2021, 12:07:02 AM »

Planescape is an AD&D 2nd Edition setting where adventures occurs all across the various planes of existance. Its scope emcompasses the whole D&D multiverse and binds together all other settings. It evolved from the AD&D 1st and 2nd editions Manual of the Planes into a full-fledged campaign setting by popular demand. While Planescape as a product line itself was discontinued prior to 3rd edition D&D, the planes continue to be an integral part of the D&D multiverse and were covered again in a 3rd edition Manual of the Planes, which retained many of the elements of the setting.

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« Last Edit: October 05, 2021, 01:12:17 PM by MAB77 »
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MAB77

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Re: Planescape
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2021, 12:08:04 AM »
Introduction

In this setting, adventurers are often called to thread in the realms of Powers, both nefarious or benevolent, to deal with fiends and celestials, cross the boundaries of various planes and to witness impossible sights. Planar denizens hold to three fundamental truths: The Center of the Multiverse, The Unity of Rings, and The Rule of Threes, of which they are convinced pretty well describe the structure of all the universes.

Above all things, the focus of the setting is philosophy and the power of beliefs, beliefs so strong that they may shape reality.

Sigil, aka the "City of Doors" or "the Cage", serves as the main backdrop of the campaign. It is in itself an impossible metropolis, built within the inner side of a giant torus hovering atop an infinitely long spire in the Outlands, with planar portals to everywhere in the multiverse, and contested by factions. These factions took part in the kriegstanz, an ideological cold war for the heart of Sigil, each believing they hold the truth about the multiverse. Only the presence of the all-powerful and enigmatic Lady of Pain, the true ruler of the city, kept them from engaging in all-out war for centuries. When they crossed that line, the Lady ordered them out of the city.
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MAB

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MAB77

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Re: Planescape
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2021, 12:08:30 AM »
From the Planes to the Mists

The Mists of Ravenloft only capture people on Prime Material worlds, they never extend their tendrils into the other planes of existance. The reason for this is unknown, though a prevalent theory is that it may be the other side of the Unspoken Pact. As the Gods do not interfere with the Demiplane of Dread, so would the Dark Powers refrain from intruding upon their realms. There are therefore two main ways a planar character may end up in the Mists. Either one stumbled into a planar portal leading to the demiplane of dread, or one was on a prime material world when the Mists rolled-in. The ethereal plane is known to have misty pools acting as gateways to Ravenloft.
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MAB

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Re: Planescape
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2021, 12:12:49 AM »
Denizens of the Planes

A multiverse of infinitely large planes means an infinite variety of people and races to meet. There are three types of people living in the planes: primes, planars and petitioners.
  • Primes: People born on a prime material world who have since ventured beyond their narrow realm.
  • Planars: People born and bred on the planes. Planars include all sorts of folks: humans, half-elves, githzerai, and the like, in addition to some more exotic types.
  • Petitioners: The majority of bodies on the planes are petitioners, which are departed spirits of primes and planars whose bodies reformed on the plane that matches their previous alignment or devotion.


Planar Player Character Races

Technically any races from any settings could be encountered within the planes. Though prime material world natives are rare, and planetouched races are a common sight, tieflings especially. Planescape player characters should majoritarily select a planar race. Note too that divine spellcasters can select a patron deity from any existing religions in the D&D multiverse.

Supported planar player character races on this server include planar dwarf, elf, gnome, half-elf, halfling, half-orc and human, which all follow the standard ruleset for those races, as well as the planetouched aasimar, axani, cansin, fire gnome, frost dwarf, tanarukk and tiefling.

Consult the Subrace Roleplaying Resources and Lore for further details about them.
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MAB

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MAB77

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Re: Planescape
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2021, 12:14:44 AM »
The Fundamental Rules

The Center of the Multiverse

This is the idea that there isn't any place in the whole multiverse that's more important than any other. In an infinetely big multiverse there may be no particular center to the planar multiverse. It is argued that it may all depends on where you stand. Folks in Sigil see the City of Doors as the center of the multiverse, folks on the Prime Material Plane say their own worlds are the center of the universe, and the efreet brag that the City of Brass is the center of all. The thing is, maybe they're all right and maybe they're all wrong. Maybe they're all right because - the multiverse being infinite by most standards - no matter where you stand, that's the center of all things. Some places - like Sigil - are more useful than others, though. Just because it's not the center of the universe, don't think it isn't important.


The Unity of Rings

Just as rings have no beginning or end, most things on the planes are circular, coming back around to where they started. This is true geographically as well as philosophically. Sigil is a ring, the Outlands are many rings, the Outer Planes form a ring, the Elemental Planes form a ring. On the Outer Planes, the Great Road is the band of the ring, and all the planes are its gemstones. Following the Great Road, Mechanus leads to Acheron, Acheron leads to Baator, Baator leads to Gehenna, and so on. By following the road, the order never changes and one always comes back to the original point.


The Rule of Threes

Things tend to happen in threes. The principles which govern the planes are themselves subject to this rule. The number 3 is important to planars, some think it has power. Things out here tend to happen in threes: Prime Material, Inner, and Outer Planes; Good, Evil, and Neutrality; Law, Chaos, and Neutrality; Prime, planar, and petitioner; etc. See two things and ask. “Where's the third?”
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Re: Planescape
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2021, 12:16:39 AM »
The Planescape Cosmology

The Planescape setting uses the Great Wheel cosmology. It is largely the same cosmology as in the D&D 3rd edition's Manual of the Planes, with some minor variations. It is divided into the Prime Material, Inner, Outer and Transitive planes.


Prime Material Plane

The Prime Material Plane, contains most Earth-like planets, referred to as crystal spheres, such as the worlds of Toril, Krynn, Athas, Mystara, etc. Consult their respective setting resources for more details.


The Transitive Planes

Transitive Planes are planes of existence that connect other planes together, or could be used as a means of travel between points on a single plane.

The Astral Plane

Linking the Prime Material to the Outer Planes, the Astral could be reached from almost any point in a Prime Material plane or first layer of any Outer plane by spell, psionic ability, or device. It was described as a barren place of other-dimensional nothingness extending in all directions. What little solid substance that floated in the bright, gray void was typically chunks of matter broken off from their original plane. The Astral had no gravity but objects did retain their mass so you could throw small items or push off from large objects to move in the weightless environment. Time does not flow in the Astral.

The Ethereal Plane
The Ethereal plane exists adjacent to the Prime Material Plane and connects it to the Inner planes. The Ethereal touched the Prime at all points that were located within crystal spheres through what is called the Border Ethereal. The non-Border region is called the Deep Ethereal. While in the Border Ethereal, a traveler can still see into the adjacent plane but only dimly and not very far, whereas those on the bordering plane cannot see the traveler without magical detection. In the Deep Ethereal it is possible to encounter colored pools that act like gateways to other demiplanes, prime material worlds or inner planes. Verbal communication is not possible between the Border Ethereal and the bordered plane. The Ethereal is unique among the many planes in that an individual can exist in two planes simultaneously: the Border Ethereal and the adjacent plane. The Deep Ethereal also contains numerous demiplanes, including that of Ravenloft. A particularity about the Demiplane of Dread is that one can enter the Border Ethereal from it, but cannot venture further to escape through the Deep Ethereal.

The Plane of Shadow
In earlier editions, including AD&D 2nd edition and Planescape, the Plane of Shadow was considered only a demiplane. Demiplanes formed out of the proto-matter that ebbed and flowed about the Ethereal Plane, creating a finite plane with its own Border Ethereal whenever a critical mass was achieved. The largest of these was called the Demiplane of Shadow, and was made up of both positive and negative energy in equal measure. For those traveling through the Ethereal Plane, the "curtain of vaporous color" for the Demiplane of Shadow was the color silver. Travelers could use this plane as a transitive plane to traverse many Prime Material miles/kilometers very quickly. Very little was known about the Demiplane of Shadow other than it was a dim and dismal place. It became its own full-fledge plane of existance in 3rd edition, and the Shadowfell in later editions.

In the 3rd edition, the Plane of Shadow is a darkly lighted dimension that is both coterminous to and coexistent with the Material Plane. It overlaps the Material Plane much as the Ethereal Plane does, so a planar traveler can use the Plane of Shadow to cover great distances quickly. The Plane of Shadow is also coterminous to other planes. The Plane of Shadow is a world of black and white; color itself has been bleached from the environment. It is otherwise appears similar (but not exactly identical) to the Material Plane.
Spoiler: show


The Inner Planes

The inner planes are the building blocks of the multiverse. Most of them are inhospitable to life as we know it.

NameTypeNote
AirElemental PlanePopulated by djinnies and air attuned creatures
EarthElemental PlanePopulated by daos and earth attuned creatures
FireElemental PlanePopulated by efreets and fire attuned creatures
WaterElemental PlanePopulated by marids and water attuned creatures
NegativeEnergy PlaneThe source of all negative energy
PositiveEnergy PlaneThe source of all positive energy
IcePara-Elemental PlaneAt the confluence of the Air & Water planes
MagmaPara-Elemental PlaneAt the confluence of the Earth & Fire planes
OozePara-Elemental PlaneAt the confluence of the Earth & Water planes
SmokePara-Elemental PlaneAt the confluence of the Air & Fire planes
AshQuasi-Elemental PlaneAt the confluence of the Negative Energy & Fire planes
DustQuasi-Elemental PlaneAt the confluence of the Negative Energy & Earth planes
LightningQuasi-Elemental PlaneAt the confluence of the Positive Energy & Air planes
MineralQuasi-Elemental PlaneAt the confluence of the Positive Energy & Earth planes
RadiantQuasi-Elemental PlaneAt the confluence of the Positive Energy & Fire planes
SaltQuasi-Elemental PlaneAt the confluence of the Negative Energy & Water planes
SteamQuasi-Elemental PlaneAt the confluence of the Positive Energy & Water planes
Vacuum  Quasi-Elemental Plane  At the confluence of the Negative Energy & Air planes
Spoiler: show


The Outer Planes

Philosophically aligned planes where petitioners spend their afterlives.

NameAlternative Name(s)AlignmentDescription
ElysiumBlessed FieldsNGThe plane of peace and unadulterated goodness.
The BeastlandsHappy Hunting GroundsNG/CGThe plane of idealized nature.
ArboreaArvandor, Olympus, Olympian GladesCGFey realm of passion, abundance and nature's caprice.
YsgardAsgard, Gladsheim, Heroic DomainsCN/CGThe eternal battleground where true heroes prove their valor.
LimboPlane of Ever-Changing ChaosCNAn alien, anarchistic and unpredictable plane.
PandemoniumPlane of Windswept DepthsCE/CNAn infinite network of pitch-black catacombs, with winds that drive men mad.
The AbyssPlane of Infinite LayersCEEvil lands of shocking perversity and unpredictable horror.
CarceriTarterus, TartarusNE/CELiars, cheats and traitors are imprisoned here by their own deceptions.
The Gray WasteHadesNEWhere all emotion and compassion is drained away, until only hopelessness, selfishness and apathy remain.
GehennaPlane of Bleak EternityNE/LEVolcanic realm of evil schemes and merciless cliffs.
BaatorHell; The Nine HellsLEA realm of oppression, torment, and diabolical plots.
AcheronThe Infernal BattlefieldLN/LEA plane of constant, pointless war, where identity is forever lost.
MechanusNirvanaLNThis clockwork plane is the ultimate in order; scholars and constructs live here.
ArcadiaThe Land of Perfect Order, Plane of Peaceable KingdomsLN/LGA peaceful world of wildlands and kingdoms where all live in harmony.
Mount CelestiaThe Seven HeavensLGCountless paladins and saints have ascended here.
BytopiaTwin ParadisesNG/LGGnomes and other industrious folk dwell here.
The OutlandsPlane of Concordant OppositionTNThe plane between all other Outer Planes.
Spoiler: show

« Last Edit: October 05, 2021, 12:46:38 AM by MAB77 »
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MAB

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Re: Planescape
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2021, 12:18:07 AM »
Sigil & the Lady of Pain

Sigil

Sigil's a city overwhelmed, barnacled, and encrusted with buildings. With a 5-mile diameter and 20-mile circumference (as officially measured by the Harmonium; in actuality, the Lady can enlarge or shrink the city as she wills, at any time). Despite the city's size, somehow it still always seems crowded. Tiny spaces that might become servants' rooms or pantries in another city are shops and homes in Sigil, where every square inch must house some of the infinite multitudes. Even the buildings crowd each other overhead, and some streets are cut off from the sky entirely, its dim light pinched out by the towering walls. Although Sigil is ancient and every available surface is already occupied, new streets, boulevards, and courtyards are constantly created by the dabus masons, and new buildings set on top of old ones create crypts and catacombs aplenty. The landscape of Sigil is constently changing, it is impossible to know every streets and to keep up with every changes.

The City of Doors is divided into 6 wards.Sigil's six wards are the Lower Ward where things are made; the Market Ward where they're sold; the Clerk's Ward where ownership is noted; the Guildhall Ward where the craftsmen gather and train apprentices; the Hive where the poor, the bubbers, and the barmies are kept out of everyone else's sight; and The Lady's Ward, the richest and most powerful of them all, where the city's rulers and criminals dwell. The quick Cager's summary of them is “smog, shoddy goods, accountants, apprentices, barmies, and politics.”

  • The Hive forms the slums of the city. Largely forgotten and rarely maintained by the dabus, it is the home of the poor and the destitute, as well as many criminals looking to escape the law. The Xaositects and the Dustmen factions maintain their headquarters there.
  • The Clerk's Ward is an affluent ward, and the center of bureaucracy. The Society of Sensation faction make their headquarters in the ward's Civic Festhall.
  • The Lower Ward is the industrial ward and the source of much of the city's pollution. Smog, steam and sulphurous gasses emanate not only from the foundries but also the portals to the Lower Planes. The Ward is home to the Godsmen faction, headquartered in their Great Foundry.
  • The Market and Guildhall Wards are the wards of the middle-class merchants and craftsmen, and the center of trade not only in the city, but in the multiverse as well.
  • The Lady's Ward, although not actually home to the Lady of Pain, is the richest section of the city, home to the elites of society and the highest ranking government officials.

The City is called the Cage for a good reason, though it is riddled with portals to virtually anywhere in the multiverse, one must still possess the gatekey and the knowlege to activate a given portal. Entering or leaving the city by any other means is impossible. It is quite possible for someone to get ushered into the city without a mean of escape.


The Lady of Pain

The Lady of Pain is the protector of the city of Sigil. She is also known as Her Serenity, for the permanently vacant expression on her face, The Bladed Queen, or simply The Lady. She is only a lady insofar as she is characterized as female in her countenance.

A very powerful being, many of the hive dwellers consider the Lady of Pain to be a deity. The Lady is sometimes seen as a floating, robed woman with a mantle of blades around her expressionless face. No one knows how she came to be or what her true purpose is. Her obvious objective is maintaining the balance within Sigil, by throwing defilers and denizens who anger her into one of her magical mazes. Often, she will only interfere when the very balance and stability of Sigil is threatened.

The Lady is an entity of inscrutable motives, and often those who cross her path, even if accidentally, are flayed to death or teleported to one of her Mazes (an almost inescapable pocket universe). Rumor has it that even greater deities have fallen before the Lady. The Shattered Temple in Sigil was a major temple of Aoskar, the god of portals, who attempted to bring the city under his control. After one of the dabus abandoned its duty to worship Aoskar, she killed him with a thought, shattering the grand temple and throwing his priests into the Mazes of her making. The ruined temple eventually became the headquarters of the Athar. The vast majority of Sigil's denizens dread her apparitions, and avoid mentioning her name aloud for fear of drawing her attention.

The Lady has the power to control each and every portal in Sigil, opening and barring them at will. The dabus, her servants, maintain the city, forever fixing and patching its streets. For all her power, she apparently refuses to be worshiped as a goddess, and anyone brave (or careless) enough to worship her has met a grisly demise in the shadow of her blades.

The closest the Lady of Pain ever came to being overthrown was by Vecna, as one of the final steps in his plan to reshape the multiverse and make himself supreme.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2021, 02:03:27 PM by MAB77 »
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Re: Planescape
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2021, 12:24:17 AM »
Factions of Sigil

Race and class don't make a whole person on the planes. A body's got to have a philosophy, a vision of the multiverse and what it all means. Sure, a fellow can get along without it, but how's he ever going to make sense of the whole thing and find his own “center of the multiverse?” How's he going to know his friends from his enemies in places where what he stands for can mean everything? A body's got to have a place to stand in order to see the majesty of the whole thing. On the streets of Sigil and beyond, philosophies are more than just ideas. They're groups - factions with leaders, goals, powers, and attitudes. Every faction has his own way of seeing the multiverse and has its own powers to match. Some of them get along, others don't, and some could care less about the rest of the multiverse. The Lady of Pain forced the factions to disband or leave the city at the resolution of the Faction War.


The Athar (Defiers, The Lost)

According to these folks, the great and feared powers are liars! Those who claim to be the “gods” of the planes are just mortals like us. Yeah, they’re unbelievably powerful, but they’re not gods. After all, they can die, they’ve got to keep their followers happy, and they often feud among themselves like children. Thor, Zeus, and the others – they’re all impostors.
Sure, there might be a true god, or maybe even more than one, but such power is beyond all understanding. Such beings cannot be seen, spoken to, or understood by mortals. What’s the proof? Look at the spells and granted powers of priests. Where do these abilities really come from? Why, it must be from the unknowable, from the true god that is behind everything, and the powers are nothing but channels for its will. Foolish mortals believe the powers are the source of all majesty, and why would the powers do anything to correct that mistake?

Ysgard, Mechanus, Baator, and the like are all lies, too. These planes aren’t the abodes of supreme beings, just lands shaped by the wills of the powers. Anyone could do it with enough expertise. All the sweat and worry of petitioners ain’t just for oneness with their plane – it’s for a greater reward, if there’s any at all. Proxies are merely magical or bio-magical transformations, the result of natural planar magic.

‘Course, the Athar ain’t stupid. “Let the powers call themselves gods,” they say. “It ain’t worth the laugh, because there’s no point upsetting the powers.” With all that might, an angry power’d be a dangerous enemy. All the Athar want is to part the veil, discover the secret behind everything, and look on the face of the unknowable.


Believers of the Source (Godsmen)

To these characters, all things are godly. All thing can ascend to greater glory – if not in this life, then in the next. Patience, that’s all it takes. See, here’s the chant: Everything—primes, planars, petitioners, proxies, the whole lot—is being tested. Survive, succeed, and ascend—that’s the goal of all beings. Fail and get reincarnated to try again. It’s pretty simple and straightforward.

‘Course, it ain’t that easy either. First off, nobody really knows what the tests are. Is a body supposed to be good, evil, or what? Godsmen are trying to figure that out. Second, a fellow just might go in reverse—mess up and come back as a prime or something worse in the next life. It could even be that those who do really badly return as fiends. Finally, there’s one last step nobody even understands. Getting to be a power ain’t the end of the cycle. There’s something beyond that, something that powers, themselves, eventually ascend to. Cross that threshold to the ultimate form and get released from the multiverse forever.

Now, there’s a fixed number of beings out there, and sooner or later we’re going to run out, when everybody’s ascended. A lot of the world on the so called “infinite” Prime Material Plane are already pretty thinly populated. When a prime ascends to the next level, then there’s one less prime in all the multiverse—unless, of course, a planar somewhere fails and falls back a rank. But sooner or later, everybody’s going to attain the ultimate goal, the final ascension, and when that happens the multiverse ends—closes up shop, fades right out of existence.

So, you see, the Godsmen calculate that’s the whole purpose of the multiverse. The Prime Material, the Inner, and the Outer Planes—they exist to test and purge. It’s just a matter of figuring what’s being tested and how. When that happens, the Godsmen can hasten the end of the universe and get on with some new existence.


Bleak Cabal (Bleakers, the Cabal, Madmen)

“There’ no meaning to it all” say the members of this faction, “so just give it up, poor sod. Whoever said reality had to make sense?” To these folks, the multiverse ain’t even a cruel joke because that would give it all meaning. Look at all those fools in their factions, running around, trying to discover the meaning of something that’s senseless. They’ll waste their lives at it. And they call the Bleak Cabal mad – hah!

Here’s the Bleaker credo: “The multiverse doesn’t make sense, and it ain’t supposed to.” That’s all there is to it pure and simple. It ain’t “The multiverse is without meaning,” because that answer’s a meaning in itself.

Look, the primes, petitioners, proxies, even the powers don’t have The Answer. Nobody is here for some higher purpose. Things just are, and whatever meaning there is in the multiverse is what each being imagines into the void. The sad part to the Cabal is that so many others refuse to see this. Looking for the “truth,” these people don’t see it. Once a sod understands that it all means nothing, everything else starts to make sense. That’s why some folks go insane—from hunting for the snipe that ain’t there. ‘Course, some folks just can’t handle the truth. They’re the ones that howl and rage, gibber in the corners, and plead with the powers, as if that would help them. Well, too bad for them. Bleakers know the hard truth, and if other folks can’t deal with that, it’s no concern of theirs.

For someone to join the Cabal, they (or it) has, got to do three things: quit looking for meanings, accept what happens, and look inward. There’s no meaning on the outside, so the question is, “Is there any meaning inside?”


Doomguard (Sinkers)

Ever hear of entropy, berk? Take a look around: Everything’s going down the tube, falling apart, stopping. People die, rocks erode, stars fade, planes melt away. That’s entropy, the fate of the multiverse. A lot of folks think that’s a terrible thing, but not the Doomguard. They’re pretty sure nothing lasts forever, not even the planes. It’s the way things are supposed to be, they guess, the goal of everything. Sooner or later, the last bits of the multiverse’ll decay, and then there’ll be nothing left—think of it as existence’s ultimate release from toil and pain.

Now, the sods who try to fix things—stop this decay and put everything back together—they’ve got it all wrong. They’re fighting the natural goal of the multiverse, trying to do something unnatural. That ain’t right.

So, look, the Doomguard’s here to see that the multiverse gets it way. Things are supposed to crumble, and it’s the Doomguard’s job to keep the meddlers from messing it up too much. What right do mortals have to deny the natural existence of things? And somebody’s got to watch the proxies and the powers, to make sure they don’t meddle with the process. Can’t have the powers restoring things or ending them too fast, you know.

Don’t get this faction wrong. It’s not like somebody builds a house and they tear it down. That building’s part of the whole decay: The stonecutter chips the rock, the logger cuts the tree, and later the termites chew the beams until the whole case comes down on its own. There’s a long view to this. The sod who can’t see the grand scheme’ll go barmy trying to tear down everything that gets built. So, everything’s got a part in this. The primes slowly eat away their worlds, and planars do the same. Look at petitioners—entropy reaches perfection when they fade away. It’ll all happen in time.


Dustmen (The Dead)

These guys say Life’s a joke, a great trick. Nobody’s alive; in fact, there’s, no such thing as Life. Sure, the petitioners are dead compared to the rest of us, but everybody else is dead, too—they just don’t know it yet. So, what’s the chant? Simple: “All these worlds and all these universes are just shadow of another existence.” This multiverse—the Prime Material, the Inner, and the Outer Planes—is where beings wind up after they die.

Look, if things were truly alive, would there be such pain and misery in the multiverse? ‘Course not! Life is supposed to be about celebration and positive feelings. Existence here is muted, dull, full of pain, and twisted with sorrow. What kind of celebration is that? This existence is a mockery of true life.

Fact is, everyone is dead—primes, planars, proxies, petitioners, all of them—it’s just that some are more dead than others. Primes are just started on the path, planars are a little further along, and petitioners, well, they’re almost to the end. Then there’s the walking dead. They’ve attained purity in this world—purged themselves of all passion, and sense. The goal’s not to merge with the planes like the petitioners think: it’s to purify the self, to become one of the true dead.

This is important: in order to appreciate Death in proper Dustman fashion, a sod has got to explore their so-called “life” to its fullest and understand their present state of existence with all its trials before moving up the ladder of Truth. The berk who gets restless and rushes things dies a fool, and he’ll probably be forced to go through the whole thing all over again—that’s a real waste of time! Here’s the chant: Respect Death, and don’t ever treat it like a servant.


Fated (Takers, the Heartless)

This faction says the multiverse belongs to those who can hold it. Each sod makes their own fate, and there’s no one else to blame for it. Those who whine about their luck are just weaklings; if they were meant to succeed, they could have. Here’s the way the multiverse works, according to the Takers: Everybody’ got the potential to be great, but that don’t mean it’s going to happen. It takes work and sweat for things to come true, not just a lot of hoping., Those that work hard get what they deserve. Nothing’s free – not in this life or any other.

Proof? Look at the poor petitioners. Can they just sit back and wait for their rewards? No, the powers put them through the mill with all kinds of trials. A lot of them fail and die permanent little deaths, but those that have the strength and the will reach the reward. There’s no point feeling sorry for the berks who didn’t make good—it was their own fault for being weak. Some softhearted folks call this a cruel philosophy, saying that there’s no compassion in it. Well, that’s just an excuse for weakness. Sure, there’s compassion, but a body’s still got to earn it. The best way to keep from being hurt is to be strong enough to fight back.

Most folks think there’s nothing to the Fated but taking, but the Takers’ll tell a berk it’s more than that. There’s lots of things a being has to earn, and they can’t get all of them by force. A body’s got to have some respect, too, and that’s something that can’t be got with force. There’s happiness, too. A basher’s got to go out and make happiness, and no amount of hitting people is going to get that. It takes kindness without weakness, compassion without cowardice.

“The next time somebody snivels about their lot in life,” say the Takers, “just remember the powers gave’em the wherewithal to get on with their life. It’s not anybody else’ fault if they ain’t going to use it.”

The suffered a great loss of face because it was their factol, Duke Darkwood, who started the Faction War in the first place. They've moved their base of operations to Ysgard, but have otherwise changed little in their methods.


Fraternity of Order (Guvners)

These folks are sure that everything’s got laws. Mankind’s got laws. Sigil’s got laws. Even the Lower Planes got their laws. Now, once a body’s got the laws down, they does pretty well, right? they knows how to use them to their advantage, and how to break them without gelling caught. If everything’s got laws, then there are laws for the whole birdcage—the planes and all that. And if everything’s got laws, then those laws can be learned. See where this is going? Learn the laws of the planes and learn how to break ‘em, how to use ‘em to best advantage. Get to be a real blood, a pro, and a basher’d have real power.

Think of the things a body could do with the laws of the multiverse under their thumb. they could manipulate the very heart of things! It’d make magic seem like a lousy put-up, make a fellow who knew the dark of things a real high-up man. they could find the loophole or the multiverse, the little spots not covered by any rules, where they could do what they wanted. He’d be tougher than the powers themselves!

‘Course, it ain’t that easy. The multiverse keeps its laws dark., where a body’s not likely to find them. More than a few cutters have got themselves put in the deadbook trying to learn it all. Then there’ the powers—it ain’t likely they want any sod getting the secrets of more power than them.

So, let all the other berks run around, looking for the meaning of the multiverse. It doesn’t matter what it all means, because that won’t tell a body how it all works. Knowing the operation of things—that’s what’s important. Who cares what it means when a blood can make it do what they wants?

So, how’s a fellow to find out? Knowledge—knowledge is power. It take’s study, it takes searching. Sometime a body’s got to go out into the planes and look for the answers. Sometimes it takes science, study, and research. There are millions of laws to make this thing go, and the more a body knows, the more they can do

Following the Faction War, they relocated to the plane of Mechanus, where they already had several strongholds. The Guvners continue to delve into the laws of the planes and plot their eventual return to Sigil, which they still believe to be the fulcrum around which all worlds turn.


Free League (Indeps)
This ain’t no faction and nobody tells them what! to do. The idea that any berk knows the truth and everybody else’s wrong—well, that’s a chance a body shouldn’t take. Who’s right—the Guvners? The Mercykillers? The Chaosmen? Since when does a smart gambler play all their jink on a single throw?

The short and long of is simple: there’s nobody who’s got a sure key to the truth. So, it pays to keep the options open. Maybe the multiverse is like the Lost say, but it could be the way the Godsmen tell it. Side with one view and find out it’s wrong and, well, a fellow comes up a loser. There’s no wisdom in that!

Still, a body’s got to belong to something if they wants to stay alive. The Free League’s kind of an informal group or like-thinkers. They share news, pass around jobs, and watch each other’s backs. Hey, in a place like the planes, a body can’t be too careful.

There ain’t nobody tells an Indep what to do. They hire on with whom they please, insult whom they dare, and drink with the rest. Every creature’s free to find their own path, their own meaning to the multiverse, and what works for one probably isn’t the answer for another. Pure fact is, there’s a lot of truths out there.

Some figure Indeps to be cowards, afraid to play a stake on the truth, but Indeps see themselves as free thinkers, refusing to be shackled to some blind ideology. Truth is, there are some that don’t want to make the choice, for fear of offending one power or another. Then again, there’s plenty of folks seeking to make their own truth—maybe even start themselves a new faction.

The fall of the Factions actually means an end to the oppression they were facing from the Harmonium and other factions. Life continues as it did before the war, it is even better as far as they see it.


Harmonium (The Hardheads)

The secret of the multiverse? That’s simple, and every cutter in the Harmonium knows what it is: “The Harmonium is always right.” Look, the goal of every enlightened being in the multiverse is to live in perfect harmony with all others. Look around: Peace or war—those are the only true states of the multiverse. If a being and its neighbors got the same views, then there’s peace between them. When they don’t agree, that’s what causes war: one body figures it can use fists to convince the other. Now, there’s some powers who say otherwise, but the Harmonium believes that peace is a better end than war. For one, all of a body’s work won’t get destroyed during times of peace. Families don’t get killed, king can actually spend time ruling the people, scholars can study, and petitioners can raise their crops. Everybody, even the fiends on the Lower Planes, can prosper.

On the other hand. the Harmonium says there’s only one way to have peace: their way. War or peace—squabble among each other or join the Harmonium—those are the only choices. The Harmonium believe that the ultimate goal of the multiverse is universal harmony, and it’s ready to spread that belief to all those other sods out on the planes. If it takes thumping heads to spread the truth, well, the Harmonium’s ready to thump heads. Sure, there may not be peace right away, but every time the Harmonium gets rid of an enemy, the multiverse is that much closer to the universal harmony it was meant to have.

And what happen once the Harmonium succeeds? (And it will succeed, that’s certain—just ask them.) That part’s simple. When everyone agrees with the Harmonium, a new golden age will begin. That’s why the Harmonium works so hard to get folk to conform—it’s all for their own good.


Mercykillers (Red Death)

As far as this faction’s concerned, justice is everything, and there ain’t no sod who can give it the laugh. Those cutters that try’ll have the Mercykillers on their tail, so the smart thing is just don’t try. It’s the whole reason laws exist—to see that justice is carried out. Justice purges the evil in folks and makes them better, fit to belong in the multiverse. Once everybody’s been cleansed, then the multiverse reaches perfection, and perfection’s the goal of the multiverse.

Justice is absolute and perfect, but it’s got to be correctly applied. A body’s got to know the knights of the post, the criminal, from the innocent, so they don’t make a mistake. Mercy’s an excuse created by the weak and criminal. They think they can rob or kill and then escape their crime by pleading for mercy. The Mercykillers are not so weak. Every crime must be punished according to the law. There are no such things as “extenuating circumstances.”
That being the case, some smart cutters figure they’ll hang the Mercykillers by their own yardarm and accuse them of some of their own crimes. Well, the Red Death’ll just smile and say it answers to a higher law. Charged with protecting justice, they can do things others can’t—all in the name of justice. How else could they survive their own ideals?

‘Course now, other folks don’t agree with Red Death logic. To them, the Mercykillers ain’t above the law or even right in what they do. The Mercykillers don’t like such folk’s altitudes, but they can’t hang a being for its opinions—at least not in most places. Sec, the Mercykillers say they don’t make the laws, they only enforce them. All in all, they’re no better than the rest, but no worse than a few.


Revolutionary League (Anarchists)

“These universes, these powers, they’re all corrupt!” screams this faction. “They’re guiding people in the wrong directions, keeping them slaves and prisoners to the powerful. The old beliefs are lies.” These sods claim that Guvners, Chaosmen, Mercykillers, Athar—every last one of them—no longer care about the truth. Their factols all have property, bodyguards, jink, and influence. They’re not looking for the truth; they just want to hang onto what they’ve got.

Well, the Anarchists say it’s time for that to change. It’s time to break free of the chains and seek the real truth. And that’s only going to happen when a body’s free of the bonds of the other factions. A being’s got to be able to make their own choices, but would any faction just let a body go? Think the Harmonium would say, “Sure, we admit we’re wrong. Go and find your own way.” Not a chance! The only way a being’s ever going to get its freedom is to tear down the old factions. Throw ‘em down, shatter ‘em, break their power—that’s what’s got to be done! When the old factions are crushed, a sod has a chance to learn the real truth.

‘Course, a body’s got to be careful. The plutocrats don’t want to give up a single grain of their power cache, so they’ll try to break the spirit of the revolution—if they can catch it. A blood’s got to be careful and keep themselves dark from the factols or they’ll end up lost in an alley some night, so the best thing to do is to pit the factions against each other. A cutter doesn’t need to hit them head-on unless they want to end up in the dead-book.

Once the factions all come down, then folks can find the real truth. What’s that truth? No one knows and there’s no way of saying. There ain’t no point in thinking about it even, not until what’s standing now is brought down. Break it all and rebuild with the pieces that’re left—that’s the only plan.


Sign of One (Signers)

Every person, every individual, is unique. This is the greatest glory of the universe—that each creature living (and dead) is different from all others. It’s obvious. then, that the multiverse centers around the self, or so this faction would have everyone believe. “It’s quite simple, addle-cove,” one of these sods would say. ‘The world exists because the mind imagines it. Without the self, the multiverse ceases to be.” Therefore, each Signer is the most important person in the multiverse. Without at least one Signer to imagine it all, the rest of the faction would cease to exist.

Better be nice to the Signers then, berk, because they just might decide to imagine a body right out of existence. Don’t think it can be done? Maybe not, but then a basher’s a fool to take the risk. Lot of folk disappear without a trace, and more than a few are enemies of the Signers. Make a body think, don’t it?

So, some smart cutter’ll say, what happens if two Signers don’t agree? What if they both think different things? Then what happens? After all, the multiverse is the same for everybody. The answer’s easy for a Signer. Since he’s the center of the universe, then obviously everything else is from their imagination—simple. Nobody else really exists except as they think of them, so of course the multiverse is the same. How else could it be?
A lot of folks don’t accept this idea. After all, they point to their own feelings and emotions, their own self, as proof the Signers are wrong. And the Signers simply claim to have imagined it all. What others feel and think isn’t real; only what the Signers feel is.

So, exactly who is imagining the multiverse? That part even the Signers don’t know for sure. One of them is, but they can’t agree on which one. The safest bet is just to fall in with their faction because any Signer could they the source of everything. Remember that, berk.


Society of Sensation (The Sensates)

According to these folks, the multiverse is known by the senses—the only proofs of existence. Without experience, without sensation, a thing isn’t. If a sod can’t taste the soup, then it ain’t soup. The only way to know anything for sure is to use the senses.
Look, it ain’t that hard to understand. Which is real, a description of a rose or the rose itself? Only a barmy’d choose the description, which ain’t real. It’s got no smell, no thorns, no color. Picking a rose, that’s real, and the way a body knows is by experiencing it. The senses are the only way to know the universe.

So, some berk’ll ask, “What’s this got to do with, the meaning of the multiverse?” Well, the chant is no one’s going to know the big dark until they’ve experienced everything—all the flavors, colors, scents, and textures of all the worlds. Only when a body’s experienced the whole universe does the great dark of it all finally get revealed. It may seem like an impossible task, but there just might be a way to bob the problem—cheat the multiverse, as it were. It just might be that the multiverse doesn’t exist beyond what a body can sense. The answer to what’s over the next hill just might be “nothing.”

Given that, the multiverse has limits, and a body can try to experience it all. A being’s got to savor the intensity, explore the complexity. Don’t just guzzle the wine—find all the flavors within it. Before a sod’s all done, he’ll learn the differences between Arborean and Ysgardian wine, know them by vintage, and even by the hand of the vintner. Only then do the secrets of the multiverse start to make themselves clear.


The Transcendent Order (Ciphers)

These guys say that for a body to become one with the multiverse, he’s got to stop thinking and act. Action without thought is the purest form of thought. When a cutter can know what to do without even thinking about it, then he’s become one with the multiverse.

It goes like this. Every berk’s part of the multiverse, and nothing’s apart from it. So, it figures that every being knows the right action to take at just the right moment. Problem is, some folks start thinking and mess it all up. Thinking adds hesitation and doubt. It overrules instinct and separate a sod from the multiverse. By the time a poor sod’s thought about something, the right action for the right moment is gone.

So, all a berk’s got to do is just quit thinking, right? ‘Course it ain’t that easy. Any addle-cove can blunder in and act without giving it a thought, but that’s not the goal. A body’s got to work hard at learning themselves— learning their own mind and instincts until the right action comes automatically. It’s done by training both the body and mind. Just like the way thieves practice their cross trade, a Cipher’s got to train their mind (the source of action) and body (the actor) to be one thing. There’s no difference between the two, no separation between thought and motion. Body and mind act as one—the hand moves before the thought reaches it.

So, what’s all this get a fellow, then? Once mind and body arc in harmony, the spirit becomes in tune with the multiverse. A blood understands the purpose of the multiverse and know just where and how they should be.


Xaositects (Chaosmen)

As these sods see it, the multiverse wasn’t born from Chaos—the multiverse is Chaos. There’s no order, no pattern to anything. That’ the meaning of the multiverse, the great secret everyone else is just too dull-witted and cowardly to admit! Look around. Is there any pattern to this existence? Any order that gives it all meaning? None, not a one. The only order is one that the addle-coved Guvners and Harmonium try to impose on it. Their order isn’t natural to the multiverse. Why, the minute they leave, the multiverse reverts to its natural state of disorganization and chaos.

So why fight it, since Chaos is how things are meant to be? It has a beauty and wonder all its own. By gazing upon Chaos, learning to appreciate the randomness of it and understanding its sublime intricacies, the Xaositects (pronounced: kay-Oh-si-tekts) learn the secrets of the multiverse. They want to play within the unshapeable Chaos, and to be a part of its uncontrollable energies.


Aftermath of the Faction War
  • The Believers of the Source, the Mercykillers, and the Sign of One were wiped out in the fighting, while the Bleak Cabal, the Dustmen, the Free League, the Society of Sensation, the Transcendent Order, and the Xaositects disbanded (although many former members continue to hold the same beliefs as they did under faction rule). The six remaining factions chose to leave Sigil behind. All former faction leaders gave up their claims to control over the city, handing it over to elected civil servants.
  • The Mercykillers were forced to split into two much smaller groups, the Sons of Mercy and the Sodkillers—two smaller factions which long ago joined to form the Mercykillers. The Sons of Mercy are concerned with redeeming and rehabilitating criminals, whereas the Sodkillers believe in simply exterminating them. Both remained in Sigil.
  • The survivors of the Believers of the Source and the Sign of One merged into a completely new faction known as the Mind's Eye.
  • The Athar fled the city to the base of the Spire, the region of the Outlands where all magic (including that of the gods) fails, to escape the wrath of the deities whom they defied. Their membership has declined due to the isolation of their new base.
  • The Doomguard was decimated in the Faction War. Most of its survivors fled to the four Inner Planar citadels maintained by the faction on the borders of the Negative Energy Plane. The Doomguard now rarely leave their citadels, making forays outside only when some great act of creation (such as the formation of a new demiplane) demands a retributive act of destruction.
  • The Fraternity of Order relocated to the plane of Mechanus, where they already had several strongholds. The Guvners continue to delve into the laws of the planes and plot their eventual return to Sigil, which they still believe to be the fulcrum around which all worlds turn.
  • The planar chapter of the Harmonium relocated to the plane of Arcadia. They have become less of a police force and more of a diplomatic body. The Harmonium now believes that the best way to spread order is to peacefully unite the Upper Planes under the banner of law rather than forced conversion to their ideals.
  • The Fated suffered a great loss of face because it was their factol, Duke Darkwood, who started the Faction War in the first place. They've moved their base of operations to Ysgard, but have otherwise changed little in their methods.
  • The Revolutionary League retreated to the plane of Carceri, where most of its cells fell into disarray. Most of the remaining Anarchists seek to return to Sigil in force to become its new rulers. Other members of the League are appalled at the thought of ruling anything and have formed a splinter group, the Second Wave; these "Wavers" take the dissolution of the factions as proof that any political structure can fall and have spread to numerous planar metropolises to stir up rebellion.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2021, 12:33:38 AM by MAB77 »
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MAB

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MAB77

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Re: Planescape
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2021, 12:29:57 AM »
Sects of the Multiverse

Sects are the equivalent of Factions, though they have no presence in Sigil. These groups have their headquarters on other planes and did not take part in the kriegstanz.


The Anarch's Guild (Anarchs)

Unlike many sects, the Anarch’s Guild has a specific local focus of purpose. rather than one that can be adopted across the planes. But in this case, the term “local” still covers a lot of ground, because the sect is pretty widespread within Limbo. Outside that plane, however, the sect has no real purpose to speak of, so the chance of encountering one of’ its members elsewhere is just about nil.

See, the Anarch’s Guild exists specifically to train anarchs in the chaos-shaping ability. And since chaos shaping works only within the mutable conditions of Limbo, there’s not much point to the guild elsewhere. That’s especially true considering how valued anarchs are in those areas of Limbo inhabited by anyone but slaadi and petitioners. Other races dwelling here need an anarch or two if they want to assure that their habitations continue to exist. So, they treat anarchs as something special. As a result. not too many anarchs have any reason or desire to wander away from home. It’s a cushy job.

They do have a philosophy though. See, they see chaos as the prime force in the multiverse, but unlike the Chaosmen, the anarchs believe that this chaos exists to be shaped. They point to the other Outer plans where the powers have shaped the primordial stuff of the multiverse into whatever they want. They believe that shaping chaos gives a basher the power to change the multiverse if you have strength enough.


The Brotherhood of Glory

Ask any blood in Sigil, and they’ll tell you that the Ragers are a band of addle-coved bashers who’re a menace to anything in their path. Then they’ll tell you what they really think, in words that can’t be repeated here. What’s there to say about a gang of glory-seekers who believe life’s one battle after another? Stand up to a Rager, and a cutter’s got a duel to the death to deal with. Let him blow on by, and a cutter’s got to live with a fountain of scorn and ridicule. Ragers might just be some of the most annoying berks in the multiverse, and they’re proud of it.

Ragers come in all shapes and sizes, but as a mark of their beliefs they tattoo themselves with records of all of their personal victories. They range from hulking axe men to slim, graceful fencers—any school or method of personal, hand-to-hand combat is possible among a gang of Ragers. In addition to their tattoos and obvious armament, Ragers also wear red cloaks, capes, or shirts to distinguish themselves.

Ragers believe that the point of the universe is to find out where a body stands in the cosmic pecking order, and that the way to do that is to treat life a one big tournament ladder: Challenge the next blood and see who wins.


The Converts (Chameleons, Turncoats)

It’s a common saying among Chameleons that the more a body learns, the more questions they have. Learning is, more than anything else, a process or finding out how little a body really knows. Just as soon as a body thinks he’s learned the dark of things, along comes a new bit of information to prove them wrong. Eventually a soul has to admit that like multiverse is too big for a mortal to ever really understand. Even the powers seem in the dark as often as not, so only a berk ever swears that anything’s 100% sure.

But that doesn’t stop people from trying to understand. See, believing exactly nothing leaves a berk with exactly nothing to do. A body can’t chart a course of action if they think every direction is equally senseless. So, people go about their lives, piecing together things they learn, ‘till they’ve got some sort or workable structure or beliefs to guide their actions.
Problem is, all to many berks try to make those structures permanent. They start ignoring bits of knowledge that contradict their views and start harping on the points they’re most sure of. Pretty soon, they’re preaching their credos to everyone who comes along, as if convincing enough other souls makes their theories the truth. But deep down inside, when they won’t even admit it to themselves, they’re full or fear that they might be wrong. Meanwhile the multiverse just goes on about its business, not giving a fig for what they do or don’t believe.

On the other hand, there’s something really liberating in a soul admitting they don’t know for sure how things work. Cutters like this still have to come up with some theory to live by, but they know it’s artificial, so they keep in mind that it’s only temporary. The more they learn, the more they revise their theory, and when ultimately, they see something that works better, they chuck the old theory out with few regrets. They know that while they’ll likely never find ultimate Truth, that doesn’t stop them from working on improvement.


The Dispossessed (Exiles, Chippers)

In order to understand the fellowship that calls itself the Dispossessed, a basher first has to understand its unofficial parent group, the Banished.
Pandemonium and Carceri are the two most common planes for beings to find themselves exiled to when they offend some significant ruler, wizard, or power. Pandemonium in particular has so many of these exiles who have taken up permanent residence that planar travelers have come to refer to them specifically as the Banished. But the Banished aren’t really organized into any official sort of group, any more than peasants are, or hermits. It’s just a convenient term for referring to beings of a particular origin, most of whom have a similar grudge against the rest of creation. By and large, Pandemonium’s Banished clump together in insular little communities that view all outsiders with at least some measure of hostility.

However, there are some members of the Banished who take their chip-on-the-shoulder attitude out across the planes, seeking to prove that their worth against whatever the multiverse can throw their way. Many of them belong to a sort of loose fellowship, with secret handshakes, passwords, and other recognition signals. They call their order the Dispossessed, an obvious reference to the Banished, which they consider a derogatory term. (Interestingly enough, members of the Dispossessed still usually refer to those exiles who cluster together as the Banished.)

From the point or view of the Dispossessed, life has Cast them aside, treating them as if they weren’t worthy to play with the big rollers. Their major motivation is to show the rest of creation that it was wrong in treating them with contempt, that they arc each a force to be reckoned with. So, they wander about the planes, ruffling feathers and picking fights to prove their mettle. Eventually, most make a point of looking up the individuals who originally exiled them and getting revenge.


The Eschaton (Naysayers)

This cult is unified by the simple belief that the end is near. The fact that they’ve existed for over a millennium and still think this may seem self-defeating, but there are always new members inspired by doomsday prophecies and the timeless march of change to replace those that figure out it’s all a bunch of bunk. Still, they’ve always remained small, and it can be argued that the idea has outlived any sort of organization – most believe that the group has gone through a number of incarnations that all have just taken up the same name (though the few familiar enough with them often call them the Naysayers).


The Guardians (The Caretakers, The Protectors)

Strive for the good of all. Protect those of virtuous hearts from the ravages of evil. Force nothing upon any party and defend the defenseless when other’s views are forced upon them. Do not meddle—intervene only where there is evil to be vanquished.

In the Guardians’ centuries of history. many a good aligned berk has quietly signed on with the sect, and many have died fighting battles against evil. Originally inspired by the guardinals’ ideals, the sect’s organization mirrors guardinal society. The leaders arc known as Princes, after the leonal rulers of the guardinals. Mages and sages model themselves after the wise ursinals, rogues identify with the winged avorals, and other bashers choose from among the equinals, lupinals, and cerdivals for their ideal. Individuals identify with one of the guardinal races, the one each Guardian most admires and respects. Each wears a token to signify her choice and branch of the sect.

The sect’s current leader, Prince Allan has held the post for over 50 years and has many years left in him. With his small band of advisers and mages, he wanders the layers of Elysium, keeping tabs on the far-flung members of the sect.

The sect’s symbol is a disk to represent the pure light of goodness, upon which a sword and olive branch are crossed. One represents the might and power of good, the other the benevolence and mercy of the same.


The Incanterium (Incantifiers, Magicians, Wanters)

Once known as the Magicians or the Wanters, the Incantifers once held power in Sigil. They were deposed mysteriously, with their Tower Sorcerous vanishing. Most people believe the Lady responsible, while others point to a number of factions that might have pulled it off. They have continued on, but their numbers have dwindled to a handful of survivors and their apprentices. See, they believe that magic is the only true force in the universe, and that wizardry and sorcery are the only arts worth pursuing. Indeed, through mystical means lost to all but them, they become magical beings that feed on spells, magical items, enchantments, and more.

Though individually very powerful, their numbers have only continued to decline to perhaps no more than a few dozen. More often members compete rather than cooperate, and it seems that perhaps in the next millennium, they – and their vast amount of secrets – will be lost forever.


The Hunters of the Vile

Known almost universally outside of the sect as the “Vile Hunt,” a not-so-subtle poke at their name, the Hunters of the Vile seem to think that animals that can talk are a grand perversion. They claim that the Beastlands were once a place of human savagery, and that the present state of affairs is an aberration. They often make forays into the Beastlands to rid it of animal petitioners, while others have gone after awakened animals just out of spite. They often clash with the Verdant Guild, and other groups that call the Beastlands or Faunel home.


The Mathematicians

Discover the lost treasures of Mechanus through a rigid application of logic. When the keys to Mechanus are unlocked, so too are the keys to the multiverse.

The Mathematicians are a splinter group of the Guvners, a group that’s drawn even more strongly than the Fraternity or Order to the gears of Mechanus. They believe that anything a body can imagine in Mechanus exists in some form, perhaps on a far-off cog of the plane, and they’re looking for the way to find it. They work from logic, symbolism, and a math that makes the calculus of astronomers seem childishly simple. Mathematicians aren’t foolish enough to believe that everything someone imagines can be found in that exact fond but are sure that there are treasures undreamed of hidden away in the far cogs of Mechanus.

They’re not wild dreamers, nor are they greedy berks blinded by the light of gold. They’re serious thinkers convinced that they can discover the secrets of the planes through some hard thinking and calculation.

Their symbol is an abacus mounted within a gear wheel. This symbolizes both the strenuous thinking the Mathematicians must perform and the place best fitted for them to do it.


The Merkhants (Misers)

Money is power. Ever notice how a curter with Jink seems to avoid all kinds of trouble that a stretched-out sod can’t get away from? If there’s a blood who wants to put the rich cutler in the dead-book. why, the rich cutter can pay a few bashers to layout the other fellow instead. If there’s a law that needs bending, the rich cutter can spread a little garnish around and suddenly that law’s got new loopholes. If there’s something the cutter with gold wants, it’s only a matter of setting the price before some sod sells it to them. In fact, if a body throws enough money at anything, it’ll usually go away.

That’s the chant of the Merkhants, a sect found in parts of the Outlands and around the Great Wheel. See, jink gets a cutter what they want. If there’s two cutters with jink as want the same thing, the cutter with the most jink ends up getting it. A cutter can’t ever have enough jink; therefore, the Merkhants believe that the whole show’s about seeing who can get the most jink and hang on to it. Even the powers got their own price; a cagey blood can figure out what it is and meet it to get the powers on their side.

Merkhants like to keep a low profile—after all, if word gets out that a cutter’s a Miser, they can expect every thief within two planes to come looking for their stash. Merkhants keep their meetings and communications to a minimum, and for the most part view each other as their own chief rivals. With that said, Misers do acknowledge each other as bloods who share a common belief, and from time to time they’ll contact a basher who seem to hold to their views and explain to them what it’ all about.


The Mind's Eye (Seekers, Visionaries)

Ever hear a body say that he's going off to look for himself? Usually, he means that he's got to puzzle out a few problems and figure out just what kind of a basher he really is - that he's going on a journey of spiritual discovery. Well, the members of the Mind's Eye take that idea a step further. They believe they're so connected to the multiverse that they can find themselves only by "finding" the infinite wonder and fulfillment of the planes.

Sitting in one place won,t help a body grow; he's got to forge out into the unknown, seeking out the kinds of challenges that'll test his character and show him what he's really made of. Ultimately, those who prove themselves worthy enough (whatever that means) may pass into a new kind of existence. 'Course, each basher must follow his own path toward personal discovery, as the cosmos holds different challenges for all. Everyone's the center of his own world. But it's more than that - the Mind's Eye likes to say that by facing the tests of the unknown, a cutter defines not only himself but the reality around him, bringing with him as much meaning as he takes away. In other other words, everyone shapes and is shaped by the multiverse, a relationship that benefits both.

Sounds harmless? It would be, if it wan't for the fact that Seekers consider the cosmos their own personal playground and feel that everything in it exists only to inform their journey of self-discovery. As a result, the Seekers feel removed from their surroundings, almost as if they're actors on a stage cluttered with scenery, props and bits of players. They tend to be arrogant, inconsiderate, and at times wholly oblivious to the concerns of others. lots of folks call 'em "the Mind's I" instead.

Don't misunderstand, though - Seekers aren,t cold-hearted or aggressive, and they won,t put a berk in the dead-book without good cause (even if his life's worth less than their own). They're just out to explore the multiverse and, in the process, find themselves. They don,t expect other sods to understand.


The Opposition (Opposer)

Strength comes from adversity. Adversity comes from struggle. Struggle comes from enemies. Enemies come from opposing natures. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Every force, every idea, every object has its opposite.

Anything that is can be defined by its opposites; therefore, opposites give meaning. Without an opposite—without forces working against an object—the object atrophies and grows weak.

Opposition brings conflict. From conflict, a body gains knowledge, power, and confidence. The weak are culled so that the strong can grow even stronger.

The Opposition is a group of bashers who believe these things to be true. Whoever a body is, whatever they believe, the Opposition are their enemies. They oppose everyone and everything. They do so not out of belligerence, but to strengthen both themselves and everyone and everything else. Want to improve something? Give it something to struggle against—that’s the Opposition’s way.

Here’s a tip for planewalkers who encounter an Opposer: Don’t try the old “turn their belief on themselves trick” and tell an Opposer that if they really opposes everything, then they opposes themselves and their own beliefs too. Every member of the sect has heard that one, and the most common response is, “Now you’re getting the idea, berk!” punctuated by a punch in the face. Their rationale is that, yes, they even oppose their own beliefs—or rather, they’d like others to oppose them, in order to make them stronger. Every belief must be challenged, constantly.


The Order of the Planes Militant (The Children of Heaven, the Brethren, the Faithful)

Defend the mighty fortress of Mount Celestia at all costs, for the seductions of chaos, doubt, avarice, and evil are always striving to undermine all that is right and pure.

Since its founding a mere thousand years ago, the Order has greatly expanded its holdings by bringing land over from Arcadia and the Outlands, restraining those whose beliefs or alignments prevent the shift over the planar boundary. Many of its members are planars, though a few primes’ve also sworn themselves to the Order. Generally, converts are few.

Led by the Prefect Increase VII, the Order regularly raids the Lower Planes and destroys chaos and evil within the natural territories of Mechanus and Acheron. The Prefect of the Order is always chosen by a weeklong contest of oratory, followed by a blind ballot. The Prefect is perpetually served by a planetar adviser.


The Planarists

The Planarists are basically anti-prime crusaders, seeing quite nearly anything from the prime material planes as a contagion, a plague upon the planes to be wiped out. After all, what right do the primes have to visit the homes of the gods? Why put up with the questions of Clueless one second longer? While others in Sigil undoubtedly agree with their assessment, at the same time their general bigotry has kept them from being little more than a sect. A number of strikes done against “prime puppets” like the Mercykillers and Harmonium have only proven to be their undoing, as the return blows from the larger factions have nearly broken them apart entirely.


The Primals

Perhaps one of the most mysterious sects, the Primals aren’t real well-known outside of the Inner Planes. Supposedly they believe that their power is dependent on keeping their philosophy secret, but most figure it’s got something to do with the basic elemental forces in one way or another. Few advertise their membership, and it’s believed they have their own codes and signs to communicate. Some point to runes carved throughout the elemental planes as some sort of Primal signposts, though nothing really exists to support that claim. Typically, it’s said that they approach folks for membership rather than vice-versa and have a battery of tests for loyalty and subtlety that supposedly make Guvner entrance exams a cakewalk. Some say that their secrecy is because they run most of the communities on the Inner Planes, that they’re the hidden rulers of the elements and that things like the genies and elemental lords are just pawns in the Primals’ game. Of course, most people write that off as barmy nonsense. After all, the sect would have to be huge for that, and secrecy is harder to keep in numbers.


The Prolongers

Most people don’t consider the Prolongers a sect at all, though some greybeards do, believing that they were a sect prior to the Great Upheaval that’s just degenerated to the point their original beliefs are long lost. Most are just bodies obsessed with staving death off for as long as they can manage, by whichever means they can manage it. Because this often means taking the life-force they need from others, they aren’t viewed in a real favorable light by most folks. They don’t really stick together either, though somebody out there has to be teaching folks the new trick of surviving at the expense of others. The more paranoid believe that their lifespan has allowed them to implement plans for the planes on a scale only otherwise held by fiends, celestials, and the like, and that their seeming disorganized manner is simply a ruse to hide their greater machinations. Certainly, some have pointed to a number of sects prior to the Great Upheaval that supposedly let a berk live forever on pure belief, but most consider the Prolongers just a bunch of greedy bastards who can’t face getting written into the dead-book properly.


The Ring-Givers  (Bargainers, Beggars)

The universe belongs to those who can give it up. A berk only gets as good as they give: Whatever a great blood gives away comes back to them. If they can give their last morsel and convince others to do likewise, all the universe will be laid at her feet. Barmy as this might sound to a tiefling on the Streets of Sigil, in Ysgard it actually seems to work.

The lust for material things binds a soul to the universe, keeping a basher in debt to it: poverty releases it from bondage to the world. The multiverse is a set of sticky traps to catch the greedy. A berk who ignores it can control herself and the universe.

Through poverty, a cutter gains their heart’s desire: peace, power, or affinity to the gods. A great leader gives everything to their followers. A great magician spends all they have to gather knowledge, and a great priest devotes their life to a power.


The Seekers

The Seekers seem to have a presence in a few of the Gate Towns of the Outlands, but no one is quite sure how many there are. These berks have an unusual philosophy. See, they believe a group of powerful bloods they call the Progenitors were the first potent beings in the multiverse before the powers came around, but that the powers, jealous, imprisoned the Progenitors somewhere. The Seekers want to free these beings. They claim that the Progenitors are imprisoned in the Ordinal plane. Most people think these sods’re addle-coved, but rumors of the Ordinal plane have been surfacing more often recently. As curiosity about this unknown transient plane grows some wonder just what this plane might in fact hold. The Seekers have one other surprising aspect to their beliefs, they say the Lady of Pain herself is one of these Progenitors, the only one left to guard Sigil from the petty squabbles of the powers and the paragons.


The Tacharim

A sinister “knighthood” largely operating within the Outlands, the Tacharim seems to advocate a very simple philosophy—that evil makes might. It’s commonly believed that to them, evil is flexible enough to do what’s needed to be done at all times, and greedy enough to snag every bit of potential power along the way. Some say, though, that the Tacharim was just a catspaw of good itself, formed by parties unknown on the upper planes to serve as a constant force to struggle against in lieu of the fiends. Though never considered a major group, even among sects, they are considered to be the bane of goodly-minded folk in the Outlands. It’s said that the ruler of Excelsior, in the past, dedicated more time to foiling the Tacharim than actually overseeing his burg.


The Verdant Guild (The Wylders)

The wilderness is the foundation of all life. The wild places have existed for eons and should continue for untold ages. Without the resources of the wilderness, civilization itself is doomed. Therefore, the wilderness must be preserved from the forces of civilization, evil, and destruction.

Since its founding centuries ago by the centaur ranger Angeliika Silvermane, the Guild has strived to preserve the Beastlands and all wild places in danger. The Wylders don’t propose to burn down all the burgs and head back to the caves; they merely wish to avoid the elimination of wild areas and wildlife throughout the planes. As nature is balanced, so should civilization and progress be balanced with a healthy respect for the wilderness and all things natural. Members of the Verdant Guild strive to seek this balance and never allow the callous destruction of natural beauty.

The current leader of the Wylders is the well-spoken Aaronatok, an unusual type of priest from a secluded prime world that suffered some massive ecological disaster in the past due to a unique type of magic used there. Aaronatok knows from experience what a destroyed ecosystem can mean to a world, and he has made it his mission to see that such a fate doesn’t befall any other worlds. Members of the sect include humans, elves, gnomes, half-elves, halflings, centaurs, pixies, sprites, aarakocra, treants, and other races that value the wilds’ beauty.

The sect’s symbol is a rendering of Yggdrasil (which is used by the sect as a means of travel) with a mask before it. The mask is adorned with claws, teeth, and feathers, symbolizing the beings the sect defends. All members of the sect wear some type of animal mask as a sign of their reverence for nature and as a badge of office.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2021, 01:36:16 PM by MAB77 »
Best Regards!
MAB

Dev. Relationist for the Dark Powers.
1 Castle Road, Castle Ravenloft, Village of Barovia.

MAB77

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Re: Planescape
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2021, 12:31:01 AM »
A Planar Cant Primer

Planescape has its own slang, known as the cant. Some players don’t like it, but I think it’s great. You don’t have to use it if you don’t want to, but you might want to know what I’m saying, so here’s a guide:

TermMeaning
Addle-CoveIdiot. “Did you hear what that addle-coved wizard wanted us to do?”
Bar ThatAlmost-polite way to say “shut up.” Often a warning: “Bar that, Jannos; there’s Dustmen over there.”
BarmiesInsane folks, especially those in Sigil, who’ve been “touched” by the impossible bigness of the planes. Adj, barmy.
BasherPerson viewed neutrally, usually a thug or warrior.
BerkFool, especially one who got himself into the mess when he should have known better.
BirdcageCell, or anything that compares to it. (Sigil, for instance.)
BlindsDead-ends of the Mazes, or anything impossible or hopeless. “He’ll hit the blinds if he tries giving the laugh to the factol.”
BloodAnyone who’s an expert, sage, or professional at her work. A mark of high respect.
Blood WarEternal conflict waged between the baatezu and tanar’ri; Sigil often gets caught in the middle.
BobCheating someone out of cash, honor, or trust. A good guide to Sigil will warn a cutter when someone’s bobbing him.
Bone-BoxMouth. “Stop rattling your bone-box” is telling a berk to lay off the boasting.
BubBooze, usually cheap and barely drinkable. A bubber is a drunk, especially one who’s fallen on hard times. Bubbers don’t get sympathy from most folks in Sigil.
BurgAny town smaller than Sigil, either in size or spirit.
The CageLocal name for Sigil; from the term birdcage, a pretty harsh (but common) judgment on the place.
CaseHouse or place where a cutter lives.
CluelessFolks who just don’t get it, usually primes. Call a planar “clueless” and there’ll probably be a fight.
The ChantNews, local gossip, facts, moods, what’s going on. “What’s the chant?” is a way to ask what news a basher’s heard.
ConeyPoor sod who gets bobbed by a peeler; a naive person.
Cross-TradeThieving and other shady or illegal businesses.
CutterAnybody a person wants. Suggests a certain amount of daring and resourcefulness; a lot better than calling someone a berk.
DarkSecret. “Here’s the dark of it” is a way to say “I’ve got a secret and I’ll share it with you.”
DemiplaneFinite plane; one with definite borders.
FactionPhilosophical group led by a factol. Faction agendas make for intrigue and conflict, especially in Sigil.
FactolLeader of a faction.
FactorHigh-up in a faction, intermediate authority between the factol and the factotums.
Factotum“Full-time” faction member, anyone who considers her faction the most important thing in her life. A step up from namers.
GarnishBribe. “Give the petty official a little garnish and he’ll go away.”
Give ‘Em the LaughEscape or slip through someone’s clutches. Robbing a baatezu without getting caught is giving him the laugh.
Give the RopeWhat they do to criminals who don’t give the law the laugh. Usually used by criminals only.
The Great Road or the Great WheelThe ring of Outer Planes surrounding the Outlands, and the portals linking them together.
High-UpWhat everybody in Sigil wants to be: somebody with money and influence, such as the factols. It’s bad form to call yourself a high-up; others bestow this honor upon you.
In the Dead-BookDead. Some people have others “put in the dead-book.”
JinkMoney. “Can’t buy a drink if you ain’t got the jink.”
KipAny place a cutter can put up her feet and sleep for a night, especially cheap flophouses in the Hive. Landlords of good inns get upset if a berk calls their place a kip.
Knight of the Post or Knight of the Cross-TradeThief, cheat, and a liar – not a compliment, unless you enjoy your bad reputation.
Kriegstanz“Undeclared war,” term describing relations between the factions in Sigil (that is, tense and complex).
Leafless TreeThe gallows, which is where some berks wind up when they get scragged.
LeatherheadDolt, a dull or thick-witted fellow.
LostDead. If “she got lost,” she ain’t coming home.
The MazesNasty little traps the Lady of Pain creates for would-be dictators. Also, any well-deserved punishment: “It’s the Mazes for him and I can’t say I’m sorry.”
MultiverseThe whole flamin’ thing; all the infinite planes.
MusicPrice a cutter doesn’t want to pay, but has to anyway. “Pay the music or you ain’t getting out of here.”
NamerFaction member who wears the colors, but keeps clear of its plottings.
Out-of-TouchSigilian term for somebody outside the Outer Planes. Also, Out-of-Town, somebody in the Outlands.
PeelSwindle, con, or trick. Peeling a demon is a bad idea; peeling a devil is nearly impossible.
PeerySuspicious, on one’s guard. What a basher should be if he thinks he’s going to get peeled.
Pike ItAll-purpose phrase. “Pike that talk.” “Take a short stick and pike it, bubber.” “Pike that!” and so on.
Planar PathPhenomenon that travels between planes with no apparent portals or rifts. The River Oceanus, the River Styx, Mount Olympus, and Yggdrasil are examples. Though the Infinite Staircase has doors to other planes, it is often considered a planar path.
PlaneWorld or collection of worlds, infinite in size, which operates according to its own laws, including those governing magic and morals.
ScraggedArrested or caught.
SectLike a faction, but with a more limited area of influence (usually not Sigil).
SodUnfortunate soul. Use it to show sympathy for an unlucky cutter, or sarcastically for some stupid berk.
SpivSomeone who makes a living by her wits alone.
ToutNon-faction guide to Sigil.
Turn StagBetray somebody or use treachery. Saying “he’s turned stag” is about the worst thing you can say about a cutter.
Best Regards!
MAB

Dev. Relationist for the Dark Powers.
1 Castle Road, Castle Ravenloft, Village of Barovia.

MAB77

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Re: Planescape
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2021, 12:32:07 AM »
Sources

Player's Guide to the Planes, In the Cage: A Guide to Sigil, Faction War, Planes of Chaos, Planes of Conflict, Planes of Law, Faction War, The Great Modron March, Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendices II & III, D&D 3rd Edition Manual of the Plane, Dragon Magazines #315 & #339.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2021, 01:13:28 PM by MAB77 »
Best Regards!
MAB

Dev. Relationist for the Dark Powers.
1 Castle Road, Castle Ravenloft, Village of Barovia.