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The Sign of One faction, whose members were known as the Signers,[3] was one of the fifteen sanctioned factions that the Lady of Pain permitted in the city of Sigil after the Great Upheaval and before the Faction War.[4] They were known for their emphasis on the individual and the power of imagination, believing that the self was the source of all things.[3] At least one priestess of the Faerûnian god of scholars Deneir was known to be a member of this faction.[1][2]

Where's the center of the multiverse? Me—I'm the center of the multiverse.
— Factol Darius[3]

Beliefs[]

The core philosophical group of the Signers was that the multiverse was purely in the imagination of a unique mind. Of course, all Signers believed themselves to be that unique mind and that all other so-called individuals were nothing but imagined entities. It was of course impossible to prove that anyone else truly existed outside of one's own personal experience.[3][5][note 1]

It's quite simple, addle-cove. The world exists because the mind imagines it. Without the self, the multiverse ceases to be.
— A Signer[3]

The Sign of One thus strongly emphasized individualism and uniqueness, as they each believed that they were the only real entity in existence. Taken to its extreme, some Signers believed that one could will events and objects into existence by force of immagination alone.[3][5]

Signers were not perceived as the most empathetic of companions, as they were so self-centered in their mindsets. At worst, Signers had very puffed-up egos.[3] However, while they might not consider your thoughts your own, they were almost always willing to listen to any viewpoint expressed; after all, it must have originated in their own psyche![6]

It was difficult to deceive most Signers with illusions, since they considered everything an illusion of the mind anyhow.[3][6] Wizards who joined the Signers were most likely to have a vast collection of diverse and imaginative spells at their disposal.[6]

Base of Operations[]

The headquarters of the Sign of One in Sigil was the Hall of Speakers,[3][7][8] located in the Clerk's Ward,[8][9] but they had the strongest influence in the Beastlands, on Krigala[3][10] where they had established an outpost named Signpost with a second headquarters there called Dreamhearth.[1][2]

Within the Hall of Speakers, the faction maintained rooms for holding private sessions and plotting their strategies[9]

Activities[]

I made you say that.
— A Signer[5]

In Sigil, the Signers acted as the head of the legislative branch of the government. At first, this might seem strange, but it stemmed from the fact that their world view emphasized individuality—they were willing to hear the perspective of each and every representative from the other factions included in the Council of Speakers.[7] While standing at the podium in the Hall of Speakers, giving one's opinion on matters, who would not feel like the center of the multiverse? The faction allowed their members to cycle through speaking arrangements, rather than always having the factol be their speaker—except for the most important of decisions.[9]

Signers who were rangers or druids believed that they should actively envision a better world for animals, who were not capable of imagining such lives for themselves.[6]

Before the Faction War, the Signers were attempting to prove their ultimate power over reality by willing the rebirth of a dead power. There was a debate over whether the dead god of portals, Aoskar, or the dead god Enki should be resurrected.[11]

Organization[]

It was odd that a group of persons who did not truly believe that anyone else in their own faction existed managed to remain cohesive, but they somehow managed to work together as a group.[5]

We are the elect. We admit into our ranks only those cutters who can sculpt reality.
— Factol Gaelan[11]

Officially, the Signers were willing to welcome anyone into their ranks, although most persons of more orderly leanings found it difficult to espouse the Signers' extreme views.[3][6] Their numbers came from all manner of races and worlds.[6] "Outsiders", those from the Prime Material plane, were often willing to join the Signers' numbers, as not a small number of people would happily consider themselves the center of the multiverse![3]

In practice, however, they were more exclusive about their membership, limiting membership to individuals who could at least provide evidence that they could alter the multiverse by their will and thus perhaps be the true "one" at the center. Candiates had to visit the Hall of Speakers and register predictions about the future. If the predictions came true, the person would be welcomed into the faction, having proven the possibility that his or her imagination had caused the effect.[5][6]

As a rule, the Signers did not try hard to recruit new members; membership was not a high priority for them. Far more important was increasing the respect and awe that others had for their power of imagining all existence into being.[6][11]

Upon joining the Signers, a new recruit was called a "namer" and served as a runner or clerk in the Hall of Speakers. With greater experience, a Signer could seek promotion in the same manner as joining, by making a prediction that comes true. A member of the next rank was called a "factotum" and was permitted to go on missions or to speak on behalf of the faction. Other factotums guarded the tomb of their founder or served in "think tank" groups. The next rank up was "factor". Factors served as assistants to the factol, guarded outposts, supervised factotums, or led "think tanks".[6]

At the time of the Faction War, the leader of the Signers was a human woman named Darius.[12]

Relationships[]

We imagined the gods into existence—so sorry you don't like them.
— Factol Darius[12]

The Signers were considered allies with the Society of Sensation, or Sensates, as both groups had similar philosophies regarding phenomenalism and focused on the self. Both groups often cooperated together.[3][13]

While not direct enemies, the Harmonium faction found the Signers exceptionally annoying,[3] since the so-called Hardheads believed that the multiverse came from a community of individuals working in harmony,[14] not from the whims of one, single individual. The Bleak Cabal were vehemently opposed to the Signers,[3] since the Cabal was composed primarily of nihilists.[15] The Signers had many conflicts with the Mercykillers as well.[16]

History[]

The Sign of One was founded centuries before the Faction War, making it one of the oldest factions found in Sigil at that time. It began, oddly enough, with an amateur spider collector named Rilith. Rilith was one day bit by the venomous orange-speckled recluse and immediately began to see the expected blue mottling of skin on her arm, a sign that the poison was about to kill her. However, she closed her eyes and calmly willed her arm to heal. Miraculously, she survived.[11]

Rilith began to test her power of positive and negative thought more methodically. She willed herself to discover a new species, the twin-tailed blue pincer spider. She willed herself to be noticed by respected arachnologists. She rose in the opinions of spider-collectors everywhere until she founded an amateur arachnology society herself. As she shared what she believed to be evidence of how positive thinking had changed her life, her views began to spread, until the spider-collecting society's focus shifted to that of an organization spreading the power of positive and negative thought on personal happiness.[11]

This early incarnation of the Sign of One did not yet have the philosophical basis of phenomenalism or its ego-centric bias, yet its views were already revolutionary enough to warrant the anger of the Transcendent Order, who tried to put an end to Rilith's society. Instead, it made Rilith's society more famous on Sigil, and its numbers grew.[11]

As early Signers continued to spread their ideas, their next foe was the Bleak Cabal. Tensions only intensified when Signers claimed that they would have members imagine the death of Cabal factol Nobey for every hour on the clock. Nobey was found dead the very next day, and no cause of death was ever found.[11]

After this public demonstration of their power, the Signers continued to make public proclamations of the future. (This time, however, they were known to have "cheated" by hiring healers, assassins, or such to ensure that their predictions continued to come true.) With these public demonstrations came a growing pride and arrogance among the Signers' members, who began to see themselves as chosen ones, with the power to shape the multiverse. This shift in its philosophy happened during the time of Factol Gaelan.[11]

Because of this shift, public opinion of the Signers was not high. Moreover, especially nearing the time of the Fraction War, the faction began to splinter into smaller sects with different core principles.[17]

Just before the start of the Faction War, the rumors had begun to spread that the Signers were attempting to revive a dead god.[18] This rumor was not taken well by the Athar,[18] who denied the existence of true gods,[19] or the Harmonium or Mercykillers, who did not want the so-called god of portals to return.[18] As noted above, the Bleak Cabal already despised and held a grudge against the Signers, so nearly a third of the other factions were opposed to the Signers' actions.[18]

Notably, by this time, the Sign of One and the Believers of the Source,[18] who believed in the rising divinity of all persons,[20] had come to recognize several shared philosophical beliefs, so the Signers had found a new ally in this other faction.[18]

In the immediate days before the War, Rowan Darkwood orchestrated a plan to set the factions against each other, in hopes that it would allow him opportunity to oppose the Lady of Pain and take control of the city from her. His complex machinations resulted in antagonism between the Doomguard and the Harmonium and the splintering of the Mercykillers into three sub-factions.[21] The Doomguard joined forces with the anarchists of the Revolutionary League and with the Sodkillers, one of the new offshoots of the Mercykillers.[22]

At the same time, the factols of many of the factions began to disappear mysteriously, in truth banished to the Mazes by the Lady of Pain as punishment for the chaos that was about to ensue. This led to even more accusations between the factions.[21] (When she disappeared, the Signers convinced themselves that Darius had simply imagined herself into a new reality.)[18]

Only a few of the factols remained, and two of them were soon murdered. First came the assassination of Factol Sarin of the Harmonium by the Anarchists, then, the assassination of Factol Hashkar of the Fraternity of Order by a Xaositect.[21][22] In response, the Harmonium and Guvners joined forces and led an attack against the Doomguard's armory. The Sensates joined with them, and the first and largest battle of the war occurred.[22]

At first, the Signers tried not to take sides in the conflict, but when their long-time allies, the Sensates, began to take on casualties, they came to their aid[18] and joined the so-called "Oppressors of Sigil", a name given the allies by their enemies, who were in turn called "the Enemies of Peace".[21] The Believers also joined with their allies, the Signers and the Sensates, two days later.[21]

The second major battle of the war occured eight days after the fall of the armory, when "the Enemies of Peace" tried to take the Sensates' Civic Festhall. However, before the battle, baatezu and tanar'ri forces gated into the city and began to fight, which was all part of a scheme by a yagnoloth named Incarus to take advantage of the brewing chaos in the city at that time.[21]

The next day, the Lady of Pain intervened again, deactivating every single portal in the City of Doors, effectively isolating Sigil from the rest of the multiverse. Over the next few days, the factions continued fighting and the common folk began to riot. It was only by the efforts of a band of adventurers—and the permission of the Lady of Pain—that a powerful magical spell brought a calming peace over the city.[21]

This city tolerates your faction no longer. Abandon it or die.
— Translation of a dabus' rebus message from the Lady of Pain to all factions[12]

Shortly after the fighting in Sigil ceased, specifically two days after a truce was officially declared, the Lady of Pain appeared before the Signers with one of her dabus and had the creature declare that the Signers must disband. She sent the same message to each of the fifteen factions.[23]

In response, the Signers approached the Believers of the Source and suggested a merger. Since both groups shared a common belief in the power and importance of the self, it seemed a good match. Thus, both the Signers and Godsmen officially disbanded and departed Sigil, forming a new faction, the Mind's Eye.[note 2] All Signers and Godsmen were allowed to join the new group,[17][24] which was led by newly elected Ombidias, a voadkyn.[24] The Seekers, as the members of this fused faction were called, moved to the Outlands and focused on seeking out how to improve themselves by traveling and exploring the multiverse in a quest for enlightenment.[24]

Notable Members[]

  • Rilith, the faction's founder.
  • Gaelan, factol during a major philosophical change in the organization.
  • Darius, factol before the Faction War.
  • Sarazh, priestess of Deneir and the unofficial mayor of Signpost.

Appendix[]

Notes[]

  1. In the real world, the philosophy of the Signers would likely be classified as a form of idealism.
  2. The "Planescape: The Exiled Factions" article of Dragon #315 incorrectly states that "the Faction War wiped out… the Sign of One," but this is in error, conflicting with the details given in the primary Faction War sourcebook. Additionally, Planar Handbook provides v.3.5 details of the Mind's Eye faction formed from the merger of the Signers and the Godsmen.

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Dale Donovan (December 1995). “Liber Benevolentiae”. In Michele Carter ed. Planes of Conflict (TSR, Inc.), pp. 19–20. ISBN 0-7869-0309-0.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Tim Beach, Dori Jean Hein, J.M. Salsbury (June 1995). The Factol's Manifesto. Edited by Ray Vallese, Sue Weinlein. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 126–127. ISBN 0786901411.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 David "Zeb" Cook (1994). Planescape Campaign Setting, A Player's Guide to the Planes. Edited by David Wise. (TSR, Inc), p. 27. ISBN 978-1560768340.
  4. Monte Cook (1996). The Planewalker's Handbook. Edited by Michele Carter. (TSR), p. 54. ISBN 978-0786904600.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Monte Cook (1996). The Planewalker's Handbook. Edited by Michele Carter. (TSR), p. 64. ISBN 978-0786904600.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 Tim Beach, Dori Jean Hein, J.M. Salsbury (June 1995). The Factol's Manifesto. Edited by Ray Vallese, Sue Weinlein. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 127–128. ISBN 0786901411.
  7. 7.0 7.1 David "Zeb" Cook (1994). Planescape Campaign Setting, Sigil and Beyond. Edited by David Wise. (TSR, Inc), p. 66. ISBN 978-1560768340.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Tim Beach, Dori Jean Hein, J.M. Salsbury (June 1995). The Factol's Manifesto. Edited by Ray Vallese, Sue Weinlein. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 124–126. ISBN 0786901411.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 David "Zeb" Cook (1994). Planescape Campaign Setting, Sigil and Beyond. Edited by David Wise. (TSR, Inc), p. 86. ISBN 978-1560768340.
  10. David "Zeb" Cook (1994). Planescape Campaign Setting, A DM Guide to the Planes. Edited by David Wise. (TSR, Inc), p. 53. ISBN 978-1560768340.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 11.7 Tim Beach, Dori Jean Hein, J.M. Salsbury (June 1995). The Factol's Manifesto. Edited by Ray Vallese, Sue Weinlein. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 122–123. ISBN 0786901411.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 {{Cite book
  13. David "Zeb" Cook (1994). Planescape Campaign Setting, A Player's Guide to the Planes. Edited by David Wise. (TSR, Inc), p. 28. ISBN 978-1560768340.
  14. David "Zeb" Cook (1994). Planescape Campaign Setting, A Player's Guide to the Planes. Edited by David Wise. (TSR, Inc), p. 24. ISBN 978-1560768340.
  15. David "Zeb" Cook (1994). Planescape Campaign Setting, A Player's Guide to the Planes. Edited by David Wise. (TSR, Inc), p. 18. ISBN 978-1560768340.
  16. David "Zeb" Cook (1994). Planescape Campaign Setting, A Player's Guide to the Planes. Edited by David Wise. (TSR, Inc), p. 25. ISBN 978-1560768340.
  17. 17.0 17.1 Monte Cook, Ray Vallese (November 1998). Faction War. Edited by Michele Carter. (TSR, Inc.), p. 120. ISBN 0786912030.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 18.5 18.6 18.7 Monte Cook, Ray Vallese (November 1998). Faction War. Edited by Michele Carter. (TSR, Inc.), p. 41. ISBN 0786912030.
  19. David "Zeb" Cook (1994). Planescape Campaign Setting, A Player's Guide to the Planes. Edited by David Wise. (TSR, Inc), p. 16. ISBN 978-1560768340.
  20. David "Zeb" Cook (1994). Planescape Campaign Setting, A Player's Guide to the Planes. Edited by David Wise. (TSR, Inc), p. 17. ISBN 978-1560768340.
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 21.4 21.5 21.6 Monte Cook, Ray Vallese (November 1998). Faction War. Edited by Michele Carter. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 130–131. ISBN 0786912030.
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 Monte Cook, Ray Vallese (November 1998). Faction War. Edited by Michele Carter. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 55–56. ISBN 0786912030.
  23. Monte Cook, Ray Vallese (November 1998). Faction War. Edited by Michele Carter. (TSR, Inc.), p. 114. ISBN 0786912030.
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 Monte Cook, Ray Vallese (November 1998). Faction War. Edited by Michele Carter. (TSR, Inc.), p. 114. ISBN 0786912030.

Connections[]

Factions of Sigil
Status after the Faction War
Exiled
AtharDoomguardFatedFraternity of OrderHarmoniumRevolutionary LeagueMind's Eye
Disbanded
Bleak CabalDustmenFree LeagueSociety of SensationTranscendent OrderXaositects
Extinct
Believers of the SourceMercykillersSign of One