What's a Sect?
of the Vine
Comrades, the Brotherhood
Copyright 1998 by Jon
Winter and Greg Jensen
NB: The Communals
were first mentioned in Sigil and Beyond
of the Planescape Campaign Setting box, p.
was another gem from me mother, rest her souls. It's an
apt one too (for once), 'cos for a time it seemed like
the Communals'd shared their last. It's a long story
cutter, and one that'll become clear when you hear about
their history. Suffice to say their undoing was the
whatever. Either the Lady's getting merciful in her old
age and didn't put 'em all in the Dead Book after all, or
there's a new sect rising from the ashes like one of them
barmy Elysium phoenix. 'Course, it could be that she'll
Lose 'em again soon as they set foot in the Cage. That's
any sod's guess...we'll have to wait and see, bloods,
Sect Philosophy and Recent History
berk. We ain't asking for much. The way we see it, who
has the right to claim anything? Just 'cos you were
born with a thing, why should it be yours? Did you
work for it? No! Say you've got plenty of food for
yourself, with some to spare. Why should you horde it,
while the next basher's hungry? Where's the fairness
in that? And if you own something, but aren't using it
right now, will it hurt you to lend it to a body who
needs it more than you?"
cutters hold that everything belongs to everyone.
Nobody's got the right to deny another basher the use
of something. There's only so many resources, and
sooner or later, they're going to run out. Where will
that leave everyone?
their chant is that bloods should share what they've
got. Now, that doesn't mean you can necessarily take
whatever you like from your neighbour. That'd be rude.
No, there's no harm in asking you know, just being
polite like. What do manners cost a blood? If the
basher you ask has finished with it, then sure, he'll
let you use it. And when you're called upon, you'll be
willing to relinquish the thing too. Its only
is, not everyone's as polite as these cutters. Some
think its funny to give 'em the laugh - and not to
return borrowed stuff. Well, they're the leatherheads
in the end. See, the Communals are a brotherly bunch;
they're not called the Comrades for nothing. They tend
to stick together, and addle-coves who steal off them
get lost. For good.
most of them do, at least. See, some years back the
Communals caused a bit of a stir in the Cage. Caught
up in a philosophical debate about the ownership of
power, one of their high-ups presented the Lady of
Pain with a demand: she had to share her power with
everyone in the city. Not just the Communals mind, but
the whole merry birdcage.
Lady didn't like it. By next light, the City
Provisioners was deserted. All the bloods of the
sodding faction had simply disappeared! Those with the
dark said the mazes had got 'em. The remaining
Communals in the city went very quiet after that, and
the faction fell apart. Some say it reformed on the
Astral Plane, and maybe it did. But it certainly
wasn't around the Cage any more.
- Sister Imesand
of the Communals
you can't keep a good idea down, that's what they say.
Sure enough, in time the sect resurfaced, a little wiser
and meeker, but fundamentally the same. In their wisdom
they're careful what they claim. Maybe they don't force
other factions to share things quite like they used to,
and perhaps they're not so pushy when the Lady's around,
but otherwise, they've not changed much.
join the Communals, a berk must sign away all his
belongings. There's no 'mine' or 'yours', only 'ours'.
Some go further, saying they're all part of one whole
glorious life. They call themselves the Tribe of
One and are almost religious in their fanaticism -
but they're in a minority.
Plane of Influence
It's a plane where a basher has to work for a living, but
shares the yield with others who work too. There's no
place for spongers or thieves there, and that suits the
Communals just fine. They have a kip, the Palace for All,
in a burg called Perfection Through Work.
Sigil, they're planning on setting up their headquarters
in the City Provisioners once again. It was a warehouse
complex in the Lady's Ward which bought and sold goods in
huge quantities for a cartel of small businesses and
merchants. Maybe some time soon they'll pluck up the
courage to return to Sigil and face the music.
philosophy of the Communals is diametrically opposed to
the Fated. The Communals share things to get ahead; pool
their resources, do favours (expecting favours in return,
of course). The Fated are solo, selfish even. They can't
stand each other. The Signers, with their egocentric
attitudes are also disliked.
Athar sympathise with the Communals. They too are often
shunned by the rest of the system, and they're frequently
found cooperating. They also find merit in the Comrade's
belief that no being deserves as much power as the Powers
themselves. And perhaps they're even secretly proud of
the fact that they stood up to the Lady of Pain! The
Guvners and the Harmonium are also often allies with the
Communals; after all, they're a sociable enough bunch (if
a little misguided).
Communals are open to all; after all, why discriminate
when everyone is equal underneath? Folks of chaotic
alignments sometimes have difficulties with their
selfless philosophy, though they ain't specifically
the Communals can always count on help from their
Comrades. Services from the headquarters are always
cheaper than for members of other factions or sects, and
often favours are asked instead of jink.
But the best benefit of pooling
resources is that all members can borrow things the
faction itself owns. True, there may be a waiting list
for some heavily-demanded items or funds, but if a body's
patient he'll get what he wants in the end. This could be
the use of a magic item, some cash if the blood is really
on hard times, or just something as simple as
every blood knows you don't get something for nothing.
Communals are required to give all of their possessions
to the sect, where they're redirected to the most needy.
Whenever a body picks up something useful, be it an item,
the dark on something useful or whatever, they're
supposed to take it to the Comrades. If nobody needs the
item immediately, they're likely to get it back, but if
there's someone waiting, then they're expected to lend it
to them. Its only fair, after all.
Str:15, Int: 16,
Dex: 18, Wis: 19, Con: 13,
HP: 59, AC: -2, THAC0: 12
Equipment: Imesand carries
few magical items on a regular basis, but instead
requisitions any she feels she may need as circumstances
dictate. One item she is rarely without is an Amulet of
Superiority +3 (see Hellbound boxed set for more
Spells/Level: 10 / 9 / 8 / 8
/ 4 / 3 / 1
Special: Imesand has
standard Aasimar, monk, and faction abilities. She has
major access to the spheres of All, Divination, Guardian,
Numbers, and Thought, as well as minor access to Combat,
Healing, Necromantic, and Time. She is a Grand Master in
unarmed martial arts. She can make a saving throw to
avoid detection, scrying, or mind-reading effects, and
has the granted power of free action, as the ring. In
addition, she is immune to Cause fear, Charm
person, Command, Friends, and
obviously canine features of the unofficial Communal
leader, Sister Imesand, has been the subject of much
speculation. She is believed to be the daughter of a
human and a Moon Dog (using its change self ability),
although others believe her to be half-lupinal. Others
claim she is not an aasimar at all, but half-arcanoloth.
Imesand herself has said nothing to verify or deny any of
these rumours. When asked about her family, she smiles
and says "The Communals sect is my family. All who share
are my brothers and sisters."
is known about Imesand is that she spent her youth in a
monastery in Bytopia. When the Communals went
head-to-head with the Lady of Pain, some of them fled to
Bytopia. Imesand's monastery gave them sanctuary. Imesand
became enamoured of the Comrades generosity and
community spirit, and joined the faction. A natural
leader, she gained great respect and clout within the
former faction, and helped them gain a foothold in
Perfection Through Work. She persuaded the former rulers
of what is now the Palace of All to give away all they
owned to their new "family" in the Communals.
has been a never ending source of inspiration for the
battered sect, and many now believe a re-entry into Sigil
under Imesand's leadership is within their sight. Imesand
insists that all Comrades share everything, including
leadership, and is therefore not officially the factol of
the Communals. However, by her fellow Comrades, she is
regarded as a saint.
Imesand could be said to have a flaw, it is her
naiveté. Disciplined self-sacrifice and
unconditional generosity come easy to her, and she sees
no reason why it cannot be so for all creatures. She
simply does not understand the concepts of greed and
self-interest, nor how good individuals can (and do)
often possess these characteristics. A few assassination
attempts (all unsuccessful) on Imesand's life seem to
indicate that not all Comrades agree with her leadership,
either. One notable suspect is Prince Naltos.
Male Human Prime
Str:15, Int: 16,
Dex: 12, Wis: 12, Con: 17,
HP: 80, AC: 0, THAC0: 12
+2, shield, broadsword +3, ring of
protection +2, wand of magic missles,
gauntlets of ogre power
is specialised in the use of the broadsword, and in the
weapon and shield fighting style.
Naltos was born into a noble family on a prime world
called Aebrynis. On that world, a blooded nobleman
married a commoner, and she bore him a son. Later, the
Prince was killed in battle against one of the many
fiendish monsters of Aebrynis. The control of the land
went to his widow, who then remarried. Her new husband,
Naltos father, was not blooded, and so control of
the land was to go to Naltos older half-brother.
Naltos got no land of his own, and grew up hating his
older brother. He resented the power the bloodline had
given his brother, and felt that he himself was more
deserving. He looked for ways to unseat his brother, as
well as the rest of the nobility. His obsession
eventually took him to the planes. He joined the
Communals, hoping to use them in his battle against the
continues to see himself as the rightful ruler, and
openly contends for leadership of the sect. The majority
of the sect, however, follows Imesand's unofficial
leadership, and rejects the idea of a single leader.
Naltos has gained a few followers in his effort, however.
He is believed to be behind the assassination attempts on
Imesand, but so far no proof of this has been found. The
conflict between the two has begun to divide the sect, as
their motivations are obviously different. While Imesand
seeks to bring prosperity to the poor, Naltos seeks to
bring poverty to the aristocracy and power to