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Faction Philosophy

"Life has no meaning. Look around, it's a joke. It's a joke that's just so plain funny that nobody's laughing. People live, breathe, love, despair, and die for no reason. The vastness of the planes is everywhere, and nothing that anyone does makes any impact on anyone. People might try to be charitable to their fellow man, but everyone's going to die, and all you'd be doing is patching them up emotionally and physically until they passed on too. Action means nothing, because it's just a hollow reflection of feelings and feelings mean nothing because they're no good without action. There is no connection between any two events: things happen because they must, and there's no changing what's happened before. I exist for no purpose, and that's not going to change anytime soon. Some would call me a member of the Bleak Cabal. I say I'm just a sod that's finally realized the utter joke that is the multiverse."

"There is no meaning outside of me. The true meaning lies only within. I bury myself in my knowledge, in my books, and I discover everything that there is to know about the meaningless multiverse so that I can apply it to myself. Magic... yes, magic. Magic is my savior, I draw on it from within and lose myself with it."

"The multiverse has no meaning. After about two years of charity work at the Gatehouse, I'm just beginning to realize this. There's no reason that people go hungry in the Hive and die. No reason whatsoever besides the fact that people are greedy and evil. Without me, these people have nothing. Nothing at all. If I'm not here at the Soup Kitchen every morning at five after antipeak, then who will be there for them? Who will look after them from the rogues of the Hive? Who will save them? I can't save them forever, but I can ease their suffering in this existence. To me, the symbol of the Bleak Cabal is a symbol of mercy. We're all that they have."

Faction Overview

The Bleak Cabal are those that look on the multiverse and laugh, because it's all meaningless. Those that attempt to assign a meaning to the multiverse (like everyone but themselves) are just wasting their time trying to assign values to the meaningless. Looking for a purpose to the multiverse? You won't find it, no matter how hard you look. So say the members of the Bleak Cabal (Bleakers, for short), at least. No real meaning to the whole barmy thing. Almost without exception, ever Bleaker in existence is tortured and insane. They're so sure that they're right that it's difficult for them to fit anything into perspective. The multiverse is a big place. It's not really easy to accept that all the horror that takes place across its vast expanse is for no reason... but when they do realize it, they go completely insane. Some manage to remain coherent through this all, but most of them eventually succumb to it and end up gibbering wrecks in the Gatehouse, their headquarters of Sigil and the asylum of the Hive Ward. That is the life of the Bleaker: a constant struggle against debilitating insanity. This may seem noble, but it's not. The Bleakers aren't antiheroes, fighting the good fight against insanity... that implies that there is a reason to their battle.

Why should they stay sane? Because there's no real meaning to the multiverse, one would think that a Bleaker would be more tempted just to give up and let the multiverse go on its own merry nonsensical way. However, many Bleakers don't want to give up. They see the people suffering out in the Hive, suffering that is for no real reason whatsoever. They see this, and they want to help. They want to ease the sufferings of the Hivers, seeing them as the teeming masses looking for something in their life to uplift them. The Bleaker's aren't here to uplift them or even help them find something uplifting, they're just there to make sure that they can survive to the next day. Some say working the Soup Kitchens helps them. Others say that it's more likely to drive them insane faster: looking out upon the wretched masses makes Sigil look even worse than it already does.

The factol of the Bleak Cabal is Factol Lhar, a completely insane half-orc completely dedicated to the prospect of retreating into the depths of insanity... and returning. It's called the "Grim Retreat", something that ever Factol in the Bleak Cabal has undergone. Not once has a factol returned from the Grim Retreat, and they usually end up insane madmen gibbering away in the Mad Bleaker Wing of Sigil. A few still remain alive in there... and some plan escape, having developed powerful mental abilities in their imprisonment.

Not all Bleakers work at the Soup kitchens, though. Some are intense scholars, seeking in magic and knowledge what other people and the rest of the multiverse cannot give. Others are artists and poets, attempting to express themselves through their work. These are the "Bleakniks", those that write such desultory philippics as:

"Sea of gray, sea of black 
Waves crashing onto the multiverse
Washing away all."

The Bleak Cabal actually does attend the Hall of Speakers, declaring themselves the voice of the unprivileged of the Hive. The ones that are seen in the Hall of Speakers are the ones that obviously care enough about the common person to voice their concerns. They're the ones that actually care.

Faction Life

The Bleakers are a mixed lot. The most common of them are those that sit around, completely insane, in their cells. Being a Bleaker tends to drive someone barmy. However, there are those that still show some signs of caring about the outside world: these as the members of the Bleak Cabal that are most likely to interact with those outside the faction.

Foremost in the maintenance of the Gatehouse as an institution to help the poor and those driven insane by the infinities of the Planes. These are the Caretakers of the grounds of the Gatehouse. They clean its floors, feed its wards, and make sure that the grounds are presentable - in a relative sense. Let's just say that the Gatehouse isn't completely spic and span: partially because the Caretakers don't have the energy and partially because it's just not possible to keep any section of the Hive clean. It's like the place accumulates filth. The Caretakers of the Gatehouse are usually extremely depressed individuals: their minds are scarred by the sights their eyes have seen and the sounds their ears have heard.

Other members of the Cabal choose to help the poor and starving in the Hive: if they don't do it, then who will? They work the Soup Kitchens, distributing what could best be termed as dirty water to the masses. Without the Bleak Cabal, though, who would do it? The masses see the soup as a relief from their struggles and hardships of every day, and the Soup Workers are glad to help.

Of course, some Bleakers see that their goal is to enlighten the multiverse as to the true meaninglessness of it through poetry, art, and music. These are the Bleakniks. The majority of this fare is quite frankly awful, full of bland angst and post-modern imagery which manages to annoy the majority of anyone who comes along. Going around dressed all in black, they give out their observations about existence to anyone within earshot. This is rarely welcomed.

"All that surrounds me is black.
 Death decay and doom
 multiverse
 meaningless
 action
pointless."

- Written on a scrap of paper found in a Bleaknik Tavern

Allies

Both the Xaositects and the Bleakers acknowledge that the multiverse makes no sense. However, while the Xaositects exalt in the nonsense, the Bleakers simply try to stay alive through it all.

Enemies

The Bleak Cabal hates the Sign of One because they are focused on creativity and continue to claim that the meaning of the multiverse is the Sign of One. It also stems back to an incident many many years ago where the Sign of One announced that it had set up teams to imagine the Bleaker's factol to death. The next morning, he never woke up.

The beliefs of the Godsmen are diametrically opposed to those of the Bleak Cabal. Whereas the Godsmen believe in self-improvement, the Bleakers see the self as something that is crippling, something that means nothing.