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Barmy to the Spire

Faxtion War }(:-P){[The following parody makes a bit more sense if you read this Faxtions article that was in the April addition of Dragon Magazine]

The Start: A Barmy

The Faxtion War starts with a barmy, as many wars do. He had a pretty gem, and had very little to do with the start of the war, but there has to be a barmy in here somewhere.

He lived in a cell in the Asylum, clothed in rags and ate the nourishing gruel the bleakers fed him. It was a happy, though boring life, and he was quite, quite mad, giggling at random moments, and talking about faxtions. He said the pretty stone told him all about the war, as its pale light in an array of colors played upon his maniacally grinning face.

He said they would see, they would see. He never got the chance to gloat though, as he escaped the Asylum shortly before, and ended up on the Outlands after a quick jump off Suicide Alley.

I still have that pretty sensate stone buried here somewhere...

The Faxtions: Before and After

The Beatification League
The Decorators fair well throughout the war, only sustaining a few loses in members, mostly those going around saying the ravaged war looks isn't in, and then trying to fix it. Their faxtol however, Dionystan, is shortly mazed after the war starts, and the Lady's mazes become that much more colorful, coordinated, and frilly. After the war they shrug off their faction status and all become fashion decorators, shortly overcoming the Merkhants in shear amount of jink.

The Free Flora Collective
The Veggies are devastated from the war, mostly by being eaten. There Faxtol, Rose Amaryllis is pruned by a gardening assassin of the Herbivorous Assembly on day ten of the war. The Veggies, seeking a new faxtol, stumble upon Patch, the intelligent razorvine, and quickly raise him to faxtol status, making Ylem's tower their new headquarters, and abandoning their gardens to be run by umber hulks. Razorvine all over the city rises up to take part in the war. Afterward, the few remaining members disband, taking up root outside Sigil.

The Herbivorous Assembly
Faxtol Du'liddel is killed in a freak accident involving an aardvark, having nothing to do with the war. To fill this gap, they promote a cager pony, Nickle Ed, as their new faxtol, and with this move their numbers swell and they vow to exterminate the Free Flora Collective. They eventually win over the Veggies, but most of the members leave Sigil because there's nothing left to eat, and most take up farming on various planes, leading to the great cow expansion. Near the end of the war faxtol Nickle Ed is mazed, finishing off his career in the deep ethereal by being eaten by an Xill.

The Wizards of the Black Teddy
The declare war on the Lady, after politely sending a delegation asking her to wear something a bit more exciting, which eventually come back, in pieces. They set about disposing her, starting with Faxtol Elle McFearsome herself charming Duke Darkwood, and convincing him to 'get rid of the floozy mercykiller girl'. They then convince both the Free Flora Collective and Herbivorous Assembly to go to war, by way of a stick of celery stuck to a door with a dagger. There plot eventually fails however, as they all leave Sigil after hearing about a leather sale in tradegate at eighty percent off.

The Apathetic Alliance
Fare well throughout the war, largely by ignoring it. There are a few notable occasions when its members were used as shields or ladders by the other faxtions, but on the whole the Apathetics just stood around in coffee houses ignoring the fire and riots outside. Though they have no faxtol, none the less, their favorite cappuccino machine is mazed on day fourteen of the war. This causes a slight stir, and the faxtion splits up into the Pathetics, who stand around but eventually die out do to withdrawal of coffee, and the Scions of Coffee, who eventually leave Sigil to start coffee bean plantations, and vow to get the cappuccino machine back.

The War: A Timeline

Day 1
Nothing much happens, though the Beautification League does manage to dress every gnome and halfling in the city in small green costumes.
Faxtol Dionystan is mazed, after talk about colorful houses and 'Wicked Witch of Pain'

Day 3
The Wizards of the Black Teddy after a recent report of the Lady showing up too much in person, and always in the same drabby outfit, decide to send a delegation to ask her not to.
A pair of dabus returns the delegation party's parts, with a polite picture of falling snow, minus an S and plus a few exclamation points.

Day 5
Duke Darkwood finds a gem to his path to power, but after some conversations with Faxtol Elle McFearsome of the Black Teddys, he has it split and polished into a banded ring.
A barmy escapes the Asylum, making his way to Suicide Alley.

Day 8
A piece of celery is nailed to the door of the City Gardens, offending both the Beautification league, for its bad placement and color, and the Free Flora Collective, who use the excuse to declare war on the Herbivorous academy. No comment is made of the black leather pommel of the dagger.
A Group called the Qabong arises from the shadows, saying its all the Wizards fault.

Day 10
Faxtol Rose is clipped into kindling by a Herbivorous Assassin, claiming she was actually a petunia of the Lady. The Assassin is led off to the gatehouse, to a luckily newly emptyed cell.

Day 11
The Faxtols Manifeasto turns out to have been written by a slaad pretending to be a rilmani pretending to be a 'loth pretending to be a human, namely Xanxost, who swears he was only trying to make a cookbook.

Day 12
The Free Flora Collective learn of Patch, raising him as their new Faxtol. They take over Ylem's tower, throwing the poor modron onto the street, and using the place as their new headquarters. The place is shortly besieged by the the Herbivorous Academy.

Day 14
The Apathetics cappuccino machine is mazed, and the try to convert a modron they found in the streets to replace it, but fail. The faxtion begins to break up, at least, a bit.
Faxtol Elle McFearsome accidentally loses her new ring in a gutter.

Day 19
Faxtol Du'liddel is killed in a freak accident involving an aardvark. Seems some xaositects had raided a small pet shop and thought the faxtol would like the present and thought dropping it would be a good surprise. The Herbivorous are distraught, and go about asking any available animal what they think about the war, including a bruised aardvark.

Day 21
Nickle Ed, a cager pony, is raised as Faxtol of the Herbivorous academy after biting a few passing by, but potential enemies, of the faxtion. His first move, nibbling on some nearby razorvine, sets the faxtion out to totally destroy the Free Flora Collective.

Day 26
The Free Flora Collective and Beatification League allie, catering some of the best looking desserts in Ylem's Tower.

Day 28
The Scions of Coffee attack the Foundry, trying to use the Ethereal portal there too gain access to there missing mazed cappuccino machine.

Day 33
Faxtol Nickle Ed is mazed, though by this time most of the Herbivorous Academy members have given up on him after he nibbled on one of their fallen enemies, especially since it was a dustman.

Day 33 1/2
The Lady closes all the portals in the city, placing such signs as "Out to Lunch" and "Sorry for the Inconvenience" on them. Gatekeys everywhere get a vacation. Shortly after the portal closure is noticed, a merkhant pass booth appears on Suicide Alley, charging 50 jinx a person.

Day 34
Rioting erupts in the Cage, and people try and survive off of Sigils native food, razorvine and rats, unfortunately most of it is fighting back. In a quick thinking move, the Herbivorous Academy siegeing Ylem's Tower puts up a sign, "Ylem's Peak Grocery", and the rampaging rioters eat up the rest of the Free Flora League within.

Day 38
A Knight of the Post sells a "Sigil Spell", limited edition, to a group of clueless, saying one word to change Sigil. The word they said is unknown, but all the Wizards of the Black Teddy disappeared at the same time, along with the clueless group. Some say they later saw the group and Wizards arm in arm at a Tradegate festival, but reports are unconfirmed.

Day 39
The portals reopen, most of Sigils visiting population leaving through them. The war comes to a slow glide, The food source of the Free Flora Collective having run out, and no one left to push anyone into fighting. The Cagers go back to there daily lives, bobbing the clueless.

The End: Her Serenity, The Lady of Puns

The crowds of Sigil gather outside the Prison, the dark tower of the wyrm casting shadows over them. In the center of the street floats the Lady herself, silent and regal, her eyes not even touching the crowd. Around her in a circle float five dabus, glancing sternly at the crowd and holding assorted tools of construction. The people gibber among themselves, but quite sweeps the crowd as symbols appear over one of the dabus' head.

A flickering picture of the lady's head appears...

The Lady....

The picture disappears, and is replaced by a a small picture of a bordering wall, a dash, and a small bee.

Whispering starts among the crowd, "... is gonna maze us all?... Hey I'm allergic to bees!.... Maybe she wants us to build a brick wall, um, out of honey?..."

...orders...

The pictures fade out, and a small picture of a sheep appears.

"... wants a sheep?... I'm allergic to fleece! ... Hey, maybe its that golden one the Greeks have?... Wait, wait, isn't that a ewe? Looks like a ewe to me..."

...you...

The sheep disappears, and is replaced by two pillars.

"... wants some pillars?... represents caterpillars maybe?... Why'd she want two of them though?.."

...to...

The pillars disappear, and a large grouping of pictures replace them: A stack of straw, a cross, a group playing instruments, another cross, and a large looking weight.

"... What's all the gibberish?... wants us to put a band on some hay and smash them with a weight and have all that banished by some priests?... I'm allergic to hay... Wait, wait, haybandton maybe? She off her rocker?"

...abandon...

The picture disappear in a misty blue, and is replaced by a large ball, a dash, and another bee.

"... again with the bees!... I know a sod who'd give us a real deal on some honey... Mommy! That's my ball! That floaty goat stole my ball!...."

...all...

The pictures once again fade away, and a mound of coal, a cross, and a pair of oars appears above the dabus head.

"...coal? Maybe she wants us to barbecue? Hmm, oars, fish barbecue maybe?... allergic to fish..."

...colors.

With that final picture, the Lady and her escorts glide out of the square, disappearing from view, a slight reflection coming from her hand as she leaves.

"... er wait, wait, I think I've worked out what she said, she said we must abandon all colors!", with this statement, a vast number of Decorators in the crowd faint.

"... Yes, but what's that sodding mean? Abandon are colors? She wants us to give up painting buildings or something?..."

"... No, no, I'm quite sure she means..."

"Pike it berk! She's obviously saying that the Wizards of the Black Teddy win the war, you know, abandon all your colors and wear black...."

"... What? You mean like those sodding Apathetics? I'm not going to dress like that..."

".... No! you berks, she ment you must abandon your faxtion ties!"

"... what now, you mean those dangly scarf things those Sensates think are the latest style?"

"... No you bloody clueless berks! The Lady says you all have to give up your faxtions!"

"... Ah, your positive she doesn't want us to change are clothing style? You do have to admit it was getting a bit drab around here..."

"Argh!"

And so eventually the point was gotten across, and the Faxtions leave Sigil or disband. There is also quite a clothing change in Sigil, which leads to a few extra mazings even after the war, some styles should just not be shown in public.

Credits:
Tim Beach, who wrote the Faxtion article in Dragon magazine
Tom Bubul, for critiquing the idea
Jonathan Weidert  for supplying info from FW (which I didn't buy :))
My 'loth therapist, for helping me through my difficult time after using evil red on my web site

 

All content copyright 1999 Jeremiah Golden or credited authors.