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Tomis Oathmaker (Prime / male human / paladin 9 / Mover Three of the Harmonium / LG)
Tomis is a paladin, a human of faith, dignity and diligence. Some call him a great man, one of the greatest. Others call him a racist bigot.
To inspire such diverse comments isn't rare for a high-up in the political minefield of Cage, but to garner such divided loyalties from one's own faction is a little more unusual. Especially when you consider the fact that Tomis Oathmaker's a Hardhead.
Tomis's history leaves bitter memories in the minds of many. He was born and raised on Chavella, a Prime with a world-spanning Empire. The world had a delicate balance of power, where humans ruled in a grand council alongside elves and orcs. The politics weren't split along the lines of race as you might expect, but with ever-shifting coalitions. Unions and factions'd been outlawed, as everyone was supposed to choose their own way in life. On paper, it could've been paradise, but in practice it was hell.
Senators would ally with one another as the mood suited them, and attempt to twist every situation to their own advantage. It was impossible to trust anyone, unless you'd blackmailed them personally. Even then there was always the threat that someone'd blackmailed them more effectively than you.
No matter what attempts were made to bring the situation under control, the Senators steadfastly refused to join any kind of political party. Every man worked for himself; it was more profitable that way. There was too little trust left for anyone to work with another body for longer than it took to find a better deal elsewhere.
"So? What's your point?"
- Commander's Response
It couldn't last forever, of course. The Empire had no identity, and there were no figureheads for bashers to follow. It didn't take much for it all to erupt into civil war. But even then, it wasn't a normal civil war. There were no sides for sods to choose; it was every berk for himself.
Millions must've died at the hands of their fellows. There was no means of stopping the conflict, since there was no-one willing to stand up and try; it was simply too dangerous. Those who did were assassinated or just got lost. The climate was jealous and the rivers ran with the blood of men killed by bashers they had no quarrel with.
Tomis had to leave. He was one of the few who managed. See, portals and planar travel weren't widely know on Chavella; it was one of those backward little worlds with no place in the grand scheme of things. Nobody cared about it. Nobody except Tomis, that was.
The blood prayed to the one Power of the Empire; the others'd been made illegal long ago, before the citizens had the freedom of choices. For a long time Tomis went unheard, then one evening he had a dream. His Power showed him a way out of the madness, another place to go. She showed him a portal.
And so Tomis ended up in Sigil.
The skills which so endangered his life on Chavella made the paladin a most valuable commodity. He was a great orator, an inspired leader, and he had a vision. It was one that was heard by many in the City Barracks, and it was one that many of them found they could believe in. Tomis rapidly became a Mover of the Harmonium.
Tomis' bitter experience has given him a lot to say. He believes passionately in the order of society; in a world where some of the choices have been made for a cutter, but others are left open to interpretation. He thinks that too much or too little choice is a bad thing. Above all, he believes in the power of stereotypes.
See, the politics on Chavella could've been very different if berks could've relied on something. Sure, there's belief in an ideal, but beliefs can change. Old allies can become enemies, and those you trust turn against you. Minds can be changed easily.
The Conformatists believe a body should act in his own nature. Elves should behave like they were made to, as elves. Orcs are orcs, and no amount of make-up'll alter that simple truth. Never trust a baatezu, 'cos they'll betray you if they can possibly find a way; that's the way the saying goes. And it's the truth too.
If a creature sticks to those of its own kind, then all's well and good. Elves mate with elves, bariaur with bariaur, and slaad with slaad. If you slip up, the balance gets upset, and someone suffers. See how tieflings and half-elves get treated like outcasts by their own blood? That's because they should've never been born in the first place.
The Conformatists don't see themselves as racists. They don't hate dwarves, aasimar or halflings any more than the next blood, they just want a cutter to behave like he should. If you know tieflings are untrustworthy then you don't trust 'em. Simple as that. It's the tieflings who don't act right; they're the ones who cause the trouble.
So, stick with your stereotype, they say. After all, that's why they're there, right? They must be true, otherwise they'd never have been noticed in the first place. Fate is fate, berk, and no amount of manoeuvring's going to change that.
All this just leaves one final problem. How's a human supposed to act? There's no one stereotype for them, of all the races, so what's a berk to do? Some Conformatists (the human ones) take this as a licence to act how they like, and until a stereotype comes along, then that's the group's line. Others seek this stereotype; it's a matter of perspective. Whatever ends they seek, the Hardheads of the Conformatists are some of the most stubborn berks a cutter'll ever meet.
Still, for all their protestations that they do like the other races really, the fact remains that almost all the Conformatists are human. What's more, the group's frowned on by many other bloods in the Harmonium, let alone the other factions. It seems other races don't like being pigeon-holed like that. Their loss, say the Conformatists.
Copyright 1997 by Jon Winter