CageRattlers
"The hand that rattles the Cage is the hand that rules the world..."
-- Cager proverb

THE ROGUE UNIT
Copyright 1999 text and art by Belarius

( Planar / neuter modron (quadrones) / 4+4 HD / LN )

The Rogue Unit.

Insanity is relative. Ask a Bleaker at the Gatehouse, and he'll tell you. Whether or not you're insane depends on who you are and who you were. An excellent example is the Rogue Unit, a trio of rogue modrons in Sigil.

Thing is, they don't know they're rogue. They believe with all of their mechanical little hearts that they are still a part of the modron hierarchy. As such, they don't call themselves "The Rogue Unit." The term was first coined by Baeneral Pikestaff, the first to realise their condition.

SEE ALSO:
Cage Rattlers:--
Timothy Murone, Baeneral Pikestaff.
Uncaged: Faces of Sigil:--
Ylem (p.116), Zadara (p.118).
The Great Mordon March:--
Trictacalus is detailed herein (p.73).
Philosophers with Clubs:--
Doubter Xashion is an Athar Visionary detailed on the Mimir.

Most cutters believe the rogues when they state they're part of the hierarchy. After all, chant is that a rogue is a disempowered quadrone, which lacks the ability to fly. The rogues can certainly fly. Similarly, they retain their combat skills and rigid thought patterns.

The dark behind their abilities is simple: they believe themselves to one non-rogue, so they can act as non-rogue. A similar case apparently exists in Bedlam, where the rogue modron judge Trictacalus has retained the shape and abilities of a decaton since the last Modron March through sheer force of belief. This, plus the fact that they took some powerful magical items built for modrons with them when they went rogue, make them a dangerous triad of Law.

Their story began when four quadrones were sent to Sigil to locate and eliminate other rogues. A spin-off of the change at the top of the modron hierarchy, these modrons had instructions to destroy all modrons who had gone rogue, not just those who had the ability to command those of a lesser rank [i.e. those who had not yet transformed into the PC race]. The modrons went about their search with typical modronic efficiency, making themselves known as rogue-killers from the first.

The first modron they targeted was Ylem, a barmy spellcaster who tries to create spellhaunts. Being painfully obvious, they immediately grabbed the attention of Zadara, who funds Ylem. She hired some thugs to eliminate the modrons, on the theory that they wouldn't listen to intimidation (true), that they would return to Sigil if ejected (true again), and that they had no lives to speak of anyway (arguably true). Unfortunately, the thugs she hired were a little too eager. Upon capturing the modrons, they decided to torture them for a while, to see if they could experience fear, terror, whatever (chant goes they were some kind of twisted Sensates). They killed the modrons slowly, and when the first of their number died, they quietly and unknowingly went rogue from their dying brother's mental scream.

Breaking orders, a member of the group used an item normally restricted to killing rogues. The thugs were promptly dispatched. The trio escaped, and began to wander Sigil looking for a way back to Mechanus to get reinforcements.

It just so happens that, nearby, Baeneral Pikestaff was using some magical items of his own to study the minds of those around him. He happened to hit the mind of one of the new rogues. Now, normally the sheer order beyond mortal understanding that is the modron mind will drive a berk crazy. But not so with the Rogue Unit. Baeneral discovered a chaotic undercurrent of thought that made their minds bearable. He turned on his device's powers of transmission and began to fake a stream of orders from a "nearby pentadrone." The orders ran along the lines of "refer to Baeneral Pikestaff for further orders, as he is one of us in disguise."

And so the charade has continued. The Rogue Unit follows the orders it receives telepathically from Baeneral, believing his actions are really a disguise to "fool the unlawful." The three still patrol Sigil "in search of rogue modrons." They are loosing more and more of their grasp on the old order, but persevere, and haven't lost any abilities yet, including their ability to command lesser-ranking modrons.


Cage Rattlers
Consult the Mimir Again