What's a Sect?
of the Vine
Faithless, Hollow, Syphons, the Eaters
Copyright 1998 by
you Left when you stop Believing?
Incantifers eat magic. The Prolongers eat life. And as
any planar knows, if you see two things, you look for the
third. Well, the Faithless eat belief. Originally
they were a sub-sect of the Athar; the faction's greatest
weapon against the Gods. According to the chant, an Eater
could just talk to someone and drain them of their
beliefs, stealing the faith right out of their minds.
as the years passed by, the differences between the
Brothers of Belief and the Athar grew at a steady rate.
See, in the beginning the Eaters were just the elite of
the Defiers, nothing more. But then as they became more
powerful the Eaters demanded more rights and privileges,
until they were in all but name a seperate
then one blood, a certain Valrin Mithir, joined the
Hollow. He was a dispassionate berk, totally without
emotion. Valrin then suggested to the Brotherhood that
they could drain more than just priests. This aroused the
interest of the Eaters. The years of devouring the
beliefs of others had altered them irrevocably; most of
them were little more than hollow shells, trying to fill
up the emptiness inside with stolen faith. A new source
of sustenance was like a dream come true for the Eaters
-- they hadn't even thought of stealing faith from
the other factions! Valrin became their leader, and they
started feeding off of the faith from every faction or
sect they could find.
anger of the other factions was thus brought down on the
Athar, whom they blamed for letting the Hollow out of
control. With more than fifty factions out to get them,
the Defiers were in quite a pickle. The Factol, Karmer
Thinis, issued a command to all Brothers of Belief to
cease their attack on the other factions or be
excommunicated from the faction. Valrin laughed. It was
the only display of emotion the man was ever recorded to
have made, and the effect was tremendous. Every last
member of the Faithless was denounced by the Athar as a
traitor, and thus averted the anger of Sigil's factions.
Brotherhood of Belief turned right around and declared
themselves their own sect, and elected Valrin Mithir as
their factol. Valrin's first command as factol was the
draining of the Athar. That came as a shock to most. The
Athar had always preached against such strong convictions
of faith, but yet they were as attached to their cause as
any priest to a god. The Eaters took full advantage of
this, and infiltrated the Defiers to begin their drain.
effect took hold on all of Sigil. Namers, factioneers,
even factors fell victim to the Faithless. The Hollow
would suck the belief, emotion, and sometimes even
thought right out of a body. Those that were drained by
them would generally turn to one of three options. The
most common of these was to commit suicide. The total
loss of one's faith was too much for most, and even
strong souls could not withstand the relentless draining
of the Hollow. Right behind those that wrote themselves
in the dead book were those thad joined the Bleakers.
Members of the Cabal seemed to have an odd resistance to
the draining power wielded by Eaters, making them the
only faction immune to the Brotherhood. The final option
available to the faith-drained was joining the Faithless,
and becoming one of the Hollow themselves. They had no
faith left in them, so they decided to steal someone
the end something had to be done, before the Brotherhood
destroyed every faction in Sigil save for the Bleakers.
And something was done. The Incantifers, looking for some
kind of weakness within the Eaters, discovered that they
were vulnerable to turning, as if they were undead. A
great force of Clerics and priests of all kinds was
arrayed in Sigil, and they searched the City of Doors
high and low, in every ward and building. The Faithless
were scattered. They fled all across the Outer Planes,
trying to find refuge from the clerics and factioneers
that persued them.
this very day they remain a hidden force, always
remaining in the shadows, seeking to avoid the wrath of
the Multiverse that would crush them if they so much as
showed their faces once again. Don't be fooled, though.
The Eaters are still more dangerous than most bloods
could imagine, and they've only grown hungrier over the
Plane of Influence
Eaters cannot be said to have an affinity with any Outer
Plane. They are devourers of belief, the very building
block of the Outer Planes. If the Hollow had their way,
they'd drain the planes for sustenance too.
one is allied with the Faithless, and they have won the
enmity of every single faction, religion, and sect save
for the Bleakers. This universal enmity makes it a wonder
that the Eaters even exist.
member of the priest character class may join the group.
Nor can anyone of non-evil alignment join the Eaters;
feeding off of others for one's own, selfish ends is
pretty sodding evil. All Brothers of Belief must have
charisma scores of 10 or better.
have the ability to drain the belief out of others. This
ability is what allows them to live, without fear of
aging and without need of eating or drinking. Draining
someone can be difficult, and to even take place it
requires a friendly reaction roll at the initial meeting
between the Eater and the victim. Afterwards, the Eater
will need some period of time with which to drain the
victim. This period of time is a base 1d6 turns, minus
twice the Eater's level in rounds. Thus a 12th-level
Faithless who rolled 4 would require 16 minutes. This
period of time must be spent in conversation with the
victim, but the conversation needs only to be loosely
related to victims faith. For example, if the victim was
a Xaositect the conversation might be about Slaad. After
this period of conversation, the victim is allowed a
saving throw vs. death magic, with a negative modifier
equal to the Eater's charisma reaction adjustment (18
charisma gives -7, 16 is -5, etc.). A successfully
drained victim (one who failed their save) is altered in
alignment so that they are one step closer to true
neutral. Law and chaos change first, evil and good
second. A paladin would go from lawful good to neutral
good, for example. These changes in alignment can have
severe effects on some characters whose class is
dependant upon alignment, as in the case of the
who was already true neutral (due to multiple drains, or
was already there naturally) suffers the most; these poor
folk become totally drained out by the Brother of Belief,
and must roll percentile dice to determine their fate.
0-45% indicates that the poor sod becomes suicidal.
46-90% indicates that the victim becomes a Bleaker in
outlook, and the final 10% indicates that the victim
himself is transformed into an Eater. DMs may ignore this
rule if the victim of a complete drain was a PC, as the
character may wish to role-play the dramatic effects of
total loss of belief.
as they are powerful, the Brothers of Belief are also
somewhat limited. They are all vulnerable to turning, as
if they were undead. They cannot be commanded by evil
priests, however, only turned. An Eater is turned as an
undead creature of hit dice equal to his or her level.
This means that low-level Faithless can be destroyed or
turned automatically by high-level priests. Brothers of
Belief can also be revealed for what they are by a
true seeing spell: the years of draining belief
have transmuted them into something completely inhuman,
and the true seeing spell reveals as much. To someone
wielding that spell, an Eater's appearance will change:
the skin seems to become like porcelain, and just as
fragile. The eyes and mouth become empty and black, like
endless voids that hunger for power. As a final
restriction, all Brothers of Belief are in extreme danger
from anyone who holds a strong viewpoint; the discovery
of an Eater will soon follow with the appearance of
Faction and Church agents of all kinds, eager to kill the
Brother before he causes much destruction.