Doomguard


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Doomguard
Symbol of Doomguard
Factol Pentar (Pl/♀ human/ranger 20/Doomguard/CN)
Headquarters The Armory (The Lady's Ward)
Plane Ash, Dust, Salt, and Vacuum
Allies Bleak Cabal, Dustmen, Mercykillers, Tanar'ri
Enemies Harmonium, Vecna


Few Clueless know what to expect from a faction so devoted to entropy: some expect them to be as violent as the Anarchists, others as loony as the Xaositects, and others as depressing as the Dustmen. And many of these thoughts are promoted just as strongly by Cagers. But none truly capture the Doomguard, a faction as divided within as they wish things to be without, and as core a part of Sigil as the Guvners or the Fated. Most every cutter in Sigil knows a Sinker well — they near about hold a monopoly on fine bladecraft in the city, after all — and most could stick the word "entropy" alongside their colors, but compared to many factions, there are few indeed that could paint a deeper picture than that.

Beliefs

Ultimately, the beliefs of the Doomguard come down to one fact: everything ends. No matter how great a creation you can construct, it's sure not to last eternally. Even the planes themselves will eventually crumble over the weight of time; look at the shifts of the Inner Planes, after all, or the state of Pelion. It cannot be stopped, only delayed, and there's no arguing with that fact. So why argue with it; instead, one should embrace it, and acknowledge that all things are passing.

Of course, things aren't quite that simple. Since their dawning days, the Sinkers have been divided in three on this issue, with different sects holding sway over the doings of the faction at different periods. The accelerationists believe that the entropy of the multiverse isn't proceeding fast enough, that the actions of those within it, of life itself, have acted to impede its progress unhealthily and it must be helped along in order to counterbalance the impact of the living. The decelerationists believe that in fact, the presence of life have caused entropy to rush to levels far too extreme, that the havoc life plays on the natural world has disrupted the flow of things, and entropy must be carefully metered back to an appropriate rate. And finally the steady statists believe that life is by definition part of the natural world, and so its efforts cannot have hurt the "proper" rate of entropy; actions that explicitly try to either slow or speed entropy are simply flawed, and equally harmful to the proper way of things. At present, the accelerationists hold the greatest sway in the faction, with Factol Pentar having been one of their greatest proponents since her time as a Doomlord.

History

The Doomguard have their origins in centuries past in Sigil, some time before the Great Upheaval. They date back to the days when guilds rather than factions held power in Sigil, originally comprised of some of the more philosophically-minded members of the Weaponsmiths' Guild, by day they made their living creating and selling arms to the people of Sigil, and by night they observed the results this weapons wreaked. The ultimate fate of all things was to be torn by entropy, to sink into dust, so why fight it? Why not encourage it, even? And so they named themselves the Sinkers, never especially blatant about their beliefs but nor keeping them hidden.

When the guilds fell from prominence, the Sinkers kept at their work, not yet holding enough power or prestige to make the transition into a faction. Instead, they merely continued in this form for the decades to come, watching with amusement as Sigil became embroiled in more and more turmoil from the clashes of belief spilling from the kriegstanz, until finally came the Upheaval itself. Ironically, though the Sinkers had little influence before the Upheaval, the chaos and destruction that followed in its wake solidified the group and brought many to their cause. Countless people abandoned their original factions to join the Sinkers, and they were fast to claim their spot as one of the 15, taking their position as those that would not merely watch entropy, but ensure it was protected from all that would attempt to subvert it: the Doomguard.

For the first few years of their existence, they were fairly spread out, with little in the way of structure or heirarchy; similar in many ways to the modern day Revolutionary League, though neither illegal nor outright destructive, focused more on preventing the avoidance of than causing havoc themselves. It was only a matter of years, however, before they took on a second, somewhat unexpected role after the withdrawal of the Fraternity of Order from the position of city guard; on the suggestion of the Mercykillers, oft-allies of the Doomguard despite their chaotic leanings, the Doomguard as the most well-armed faction in the city filled the position. Many looked askance at the idea of a faction that promoted decay guarding the streets of Sigil, but at the time, many in the Doomguard believed that the natural progression of entropy should be respected, and to them, murder, theft, vandalism, and similar was merely spitting in the face of the multiverse as much so as a repairman or a physician.

Despite the shifting influence every few decades between the three sects of the Doomguard, they remained in the role of city guard for centuries, until the coming of the Harmonium as one of the 15 during the Second Upheaval. Once established as an official Sigilian faction, and taking extreme offense at the idea of a faction of entropy keeping order, they immediately pushed to be given the role of city guard in lieu of the Doomguard, having the equal of resources and superior training. Not having any desire to be ousted from their duties, the Doomguard struck back against the Harmonium, and only months after dust settled, war again came to the streets of Sigil. With no base of operations, the Doomguard were quite poor off until their factol had the bright idea to take the Armory; a massive structure, it had never been conquered, and following the Second Upheaval, it had been left bare and barely tended. Moving in, they settled quickly, with enough supplies to last out months of siege. Despite the Harmonium's best efforts, the war brought immense disruption to the city to the great amusement of the Doomguard, and within two years the Hall of Speakers finally brokered a truce between the two: the Harmonium would be given the position of city guard and the Doomguard would be sworn to a pact to never again instigate war in Sigil, in exchange for the Doomguard being given the city Armory and the official duty of arming all officials of the Sigilian government. With both sides quite pleased with the results, the city was able to settle into relative peace once more.

Over the last century, the Doomguard's efforts (outside their city duties) have been focused heavily towards research into the nature of entropy, truly exploring it for the first time, and attempting to once and for all settle the debates between their three sects. Beginning with the construction of Citadels Alluvius, Cavitius, Exhalus, and Sealt (with Cavitius replaced by the Crumbling Citadel following its theft by Vecna), this era has been marked by a number of developments, including the creation of the entrope and the construction of the Ships of Chaos. In this more recent era, the accelerationists look to have an increasing hold on the faction, especially as of late under the stewardship of Factol Pentar; many indeed wonder, then, what this may presage not only for the faction, but for the multiverse.

Membership

Membership in the Doomguard is technically open to just about any that might wish apply; so long as you're not a healer, divine or otherwise, they'll let you in just fine. However, they do have a battery of three membership tests that must be passed before a prospective namer is given their faction colors. First, the prospect must smash one of his personal weapons against the wall of the Armory in full view of a Doomguard high-up, demonstrating their commitment to entropy over even themselves. Second, they must take a sack filled with coin and scatter it about a public area in the Hive, showing their commitment to soliciting entropy amongst others. And third, they must find a way to prevent the dabus from going about some given task for a full day, showing their true devotion to the cause.

Organization

Those welcomed into the faction are immediately given full rights as members; the Doomguard doesn't bother with faction ranks below the level of Doomlord, believing that all that choose to serve the cause should be treated equally. Further, rare amongst the factions is the Doomguard's willingness to allow its members to find their own way of hewing to the ethos of the faction, as seen in the tripartite division of its members; some even encourage the infighting that this sort of disagreement can bring about as a way of advancing entropy even within the Doomguard itself. Whether they want to work at the Armory crafting weapons to better promote violence, stay at one of the faction's Citadels on the negative quasielemental planes researching the nature of entropy, or travel the multiverse adding to chaos where they can, a Sinker is given nearly full rein over their path in the faction so long as they remain devoted to the cause.

The most fervent in their devotion, though, once they've proven themselves over time, are offered the opportunity to take on the title of Doomlord — the faction's closest equivalent of factor. Only those petitoned by one of the four elemental Doomlords or chosen by the factol herself are given this opportunity, and if they wish to take it on, they must then journey to the citadel of the one calling on them (or the one the factol charges them to travel to; most often Citadel Sealt these days) the long way about, not via portal but instead via solo travel across the citadel's plane. If they can survive that journey, they then must undergo a vicious ritual that binds them to a newly crafted entropy blade associated with their personal focus. If they survive this final step, they are officially given the title of Doomlord, and the factional prestige along with it.

Though officially equal in rank within the faction, the four heads of the quasielemental citadels (colloquially known as the "Greater Doomlords") are the highest in station below the factol herself. When one of them passes or retires, nominations are solicited from all Doomlords associated with that citadel, and open elections are held amongst their number of the nominees; as most Greater Doomlords petition only those that share their sect, this means that most citadels tend to keep the same philosophical outlook over the years, though unexpected changes as a person's outlook on entropy shifts have resulted in surprise realignments. Similarly, if the factol herself retires or passes into the deadbook, an open election is held amongst all Doomlords of the four Greater Doomlords, followed by a second election to fill the gap the new factol leaves; usually, this gap is filled by an individual unofficially selected by the new factol, but the occasional dark horse does slip through. Doomlord Pereid is an excellent recent example, ushered in on her tremendous reputation alone contrary to Pentar's endorsement of Doomlord Cromlich.

Prominent Members

  • Factol Pentar (Pl/♀ human/ranger 20/Doomguard/CN), Hashkar 122-Present
  • Doomlord Ely Cromlich (Pl/♂ cambion/fighter 18/Doomguard/CE), foreman of the Armory
  • Doomlord Devland (Pl/♂ half-elf/fighter 14/Doomguard/LN), Doomlord of Ash
  • Doomlord Nagaul (Pl/♀ dwarf/cleric 10/Doomguard/NG), Doomlord of Vacuum
  • Doomlord Pereid (Pr/♀ human/rogue 19/Doomguard/LN), Doomlord of Dust
  • Doomlord Roth (Pl/♂ tiefling/fighter 14/Doomguard/CN), Doomlord of Salt

Former Members

  • Factol Tallam (Pl/♂ human/rogue 15/Doomguard/CN), Hashkar 106-122

See Also

References

  • Factol's Manifesto, pp.38-47,102
  • Planescape Monstrous Compendium III, pp.38-39
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