24. Fourth Week of Savorus

Copyright 1999 by Scott Kelley and Jon Winter

Artwork copyright 1999 by Vicki Hood, Zak Arntson and Scott Kelley
Submissions by
Scott Kelley, Jon Winter, Alex Roberts, Paul Wolfe, David Byrne, Dana Winston, Trevor Cassidy, Tom Bubul, T,
Gary Dawkins, Nathan Letsinger, Galzion, Pirvan, Richard Gant, Aaron Infante-Levy, Jim Bologna, Jason Ng, James O'Rance and Jason M. Black

Newsbriefs

MOVER FIVE DURKAYLE SLIPS THE BLINDS
by Maija Intwood

SIGIL (Lady's Ward) -- The Cage's foremost Baatezu-lover fled the Cage three days ago, abandoning his faction, his case and his reputation. According to SIGIS sources, the high-up Hardhead, Mover Five Warmeck Durkayle, slipped the blinds with a veritable battalion of Baatezu. The story goes that a group of bashers busted into his tower a week earlier and scragged some highly incriminating documents, which they quickly turned over to Guvner authorities. A wealthy merchant (who wished to remain anonymous) said he was in the area near Durkayle's kip the night of the bob. According to the merchant, he was nearly run over by a "cross-trading sod, making a break for it."

"This female..being, "said the merchant, "was fleeing for her life with a load of jink at her belt and a sack of something on her back. Could have been books or ledgers or some such. I'm surprised she didn't stop to bob me too, except that she was running like all the fiends of the Abyss were on her tail! Nasty lass almost knocked me over. There was some other basher with her flying above like a ghost. Scared the wits out of me. Why, I nearly dropped the porcelain vase I was bringing as a gift to my mis...uh, my wife!"

Whether or not the cross-trader this merchant ran into was one of the culprits that broke into Durkayle's tower has yet to be confirmed. Authorities are on the look-out for the female (human? aasimar?) matching the merchant's description. What is clear, however, is that the documents the group recovered were damaging enough that Durkayle didn't wait for a reaction from his faction before heading out of town. The Harmonium had no comment on the events, but chant has it that the recent faction meetings have been less than harmonious.

Knight of the Post
Artist's Rendition of the Fleeing Cross-Trader

 

What could be so damaging that a high-up second only to the Factol would flee the Cage on less than a week's notice? Durkayle has long been suspected of forming a secret alliance with the Baatezu. His infamous "Tower of the Claw" in the Lady's Ward has teemed with fiends for the past five cycles. In fact, Durkayle first made himself known in the Cage when he showed up for a hearing at the City Courts flanked by Barbazu (see SIGIS 3: "Durkayle Grilled Over Vigilantes" for more on the event). Durkayle has also made a number of public remarks supportive of the lawful fiends, praising their sense of order.

Although the connection between Durkayle and the fiends is no secret, his stature within Sigil and within the Harmonium seemed immutable. No one in the faction appeared to question his decisions, and he quickly moved up the ranks. In fact, chant had it that the Mover was in charge of a huge Hardhead operation on Arcadia designed to "forcefully encourage" the spread of harmony around the Multiverse. The details of this operation are extremely sketchy (some berks talk of "Law Camps" hidden away on the plane), but there is little doubt that Durkayle held major responsibility within the faction.

Now, because of the actions of a few anonymous knights of the post, Durkayle's "Little Baator" has gone straight to hell. Who were these addle-coves that would risk entry into a fiend fortress to gain a little dark on the factor, and why? That they were clever enough to bypass a cadre of Baatezu suggests that they were highly trained mercs who were paid handsomely for the task. Most sages suspect these bashers were veterans of the Blood War who had fought on the Baatezu side. But who paid them for this amazing feat, and for what reason? So far, the answers have eluded us and most of the Cage.

Now Durkayle's tower stands abandoned in the Lady's Ward, like the forearm of a dead Power, with Tanar'ri crawling all over themselves to get a look inside. Contacts in the Outlands say that the former Hardhead was spotted in Ribcage after an early morning appointment in the house of Baron Paracs. Where he is now is anybody's guess, though most suspect he's well on his way to Baator. As we gather more facts on these events, we assure you dear readers, you'll be the first to know the dark.

[Author: Scott Kelley]


LECTURES ON ENTROPY!

All of next week, Sir Twist and his colleagues among the Sinkers will be giving lectures on the nature of Entropy, and its relationship to the Multiverse. Topics range from Entropy as a scientific concept, to more philosophical concepts such as the decay of ideas and faith.

Featuring a secret Guest Speaker, and a free raffle for weapons from the Main Forge, this is an event that no greybeard or curious person should miss for only five stingers per day.

[Author: David Byrne]

DUSTWOMAN REVEALS DARK OF GATEHOUSE DISASTER
by Daemon Chaas

Iriene

SIGIL (Hive Ward) -- Last issue, SIGIS reported on the tragedy that occurred in the Gatehouse, where three floors collapsed in the barmy wing, killing more than 33 sods at final count. As we reported in the story, several of the dead were former Factols of the Bleakers, and one was apparently a former Cipher Factol. Many around the Cage wondered whether the "accident" was a result of some saboteur with a grudge against the Bleak Cabal. Some Ciphers spread the chant that the Bleakers had caused the collapse themselves because the Cipher Factol was on the verge of lanning the "Cadence of the Multiverse". According to these bashers, this would have given too much meaning to life for the Bleakers, so they dead-booked the Cipher Factol. (Of course, these same Cipher leatherheads previously denied that any of their Factols ever went barmy and needed to be in the Gatehouse - see last issue.)

Many also suspected Anarchist involvement, and, indeed, shortly after the disaster fliers were spied all around the Hive Ward saying that the Cadre was back and ready to dead-book more Factols if their leader, the tinker gnome "Zibby the Fan" wasn't released from the Prison. Of course, this could have just been opportunistic Anarchists capitalising on the incidence after the fact.

One thing you might recall from our last issue was the curiously missing illustration of a "Dustwoman about her work". Some Harmonium officers came into the SIGIS case and demanded that we turn over all our art-culler's fine work because of some Fated tax-loophole that had been "closed". Needless to say, we were very miffed. (We still haven't gotten the story on the Cube back.) Not to be denied, the editors sent me off to find this, now mysterious, Dustwoman to get her portrait once again, and find out what she knew about the deaths at the Gatehouse.

And find her we did. Her name is Iriene, and she had quite a tale to tell. "I'm glad to see that SIGIS is becoming interested in matters of the deceased", she told us when we tracked her down in her Lower Ward kip near the Foundry. "Unfortunately, you seem more interested in the killers, than the killed. Pity. Well, I can see you won't go away until I give you the dark on this matter, so here it is: all those Bleaker ex-Factols that were supposedly killed in the collapse were already quite dead.

As you might understand, the art-culler and I were a bit addle-coved by this revelation. When I asked here how she knew that, she told us that all of their necks were neatly broken in the same precise way, while the other victims had been clearly dead-booked by the collapsing architecture. "The 'accident' as the Harmonium are labelling it, was certainly a ruse designed to hide evidence of the murders, "said Iriene. "Either that, or the killers were trying to draw attention to the murders - without the collapse of the building, who would really care about the deaths of a few barmies? Certainly not the Bleakers."

When I asked why she hadn't told this to the Harmonium authorities, Iriene told us that they never asked. "The Harmonium don't talk to the Dead. Apparently, they don't like our type of 'harmony'. Some day they will understand that the harmony of death is the only real harmony in the Multiverse."

However, thanks to Iriene, this investigation has a great deal "life" in it now. And SIGIS will be there to worm out the truth, while the Hardheads continue their typical, hapless blundering.

[Author: Scott Kelley]
Sword Sale

SINKER SWORD SALE

The Armoury is having a killer of a Weapons Sale three days hence. Production at the armoury has been going over-time lately. The high-up factioneers in the Doomguard have taken the top 10% of these weapons leaving the other 90% of high quality Sinker armament for sale to the public.

Remember cutter, even the lowest quality Sinker sword cuts the competition to pieces! So come on over to the tents set up all this week in front of Sinker Central, and pick out that excellently balanced bastard sword you've always wanted. You won't be disappointed!

[Author: Scott Kelley]

FORTRESS OF JUSTICE FALLS TO BAATEZU BRIGADE
by, Ugut M. Blood, War culler

BAATOR (Avernus) -- Coming just a little over a month after invading Abyssal forces seized the Fortress of Justice, baatezu armies commanded by the pit fiend Bel overran tanar'ri positions and retook the stronghold. It is unclear at this time whether General Ysthis quala'baz of the tanar'ri force was killed or captured in the raid.

Until late yesterday (Sigil time), Bel's advisors had been in talks with the arcanoloth Bheckmile Threk, self-proclaimed tanar'ri negotiator in the standoff. At that time an unnamed spokesfiend for Bel's party had this to say:

"Threk and Bel have agreed preliminary on a proposal that would see the end to this situation. Currently, our experts are exploring options within that tentative agreement."

Thus, the counter-attack on the Fortress came as a surprise to outsiders here on Avernus and to the tanar'ri holed up inside. Bel's Own Rakewhips (elite cornugon unit) led the attack from the air firing lightning bolts into key defensive points, launching screening walls of magical fire, and directing lesser airborne fiend units into the tanar'ic hordes manning the walls. At one point, Abyssal fiends poured from the main gate into a full division of Bel's crack barbazu troops. Obviously an act of desperation, but wholly unexpected according to one baatezu source:

"They practically killed themselves, the shrakin' tanar'ri. Impaled themselves on the barb's pikes and such."

Hordes of wailing lemures led by abishai units cleaned up the stragglers and secured the area. Chant in the ranks is that some of the tanar'ri, including Abyssal general Ysthis quala'baz, might have escaped despite the fact that there are no known portals or other planar exits from the Fortress.

More from Avernus as the chant develops.

[Author: Paul Wolfe]
Maralith

Maralith named Blackscale seen dead-booking
Baatezu merc at Fortress of Justice

WOLFMAN DECLARES EMPIRE OF THE BEAST

OUTLANDS (near Faunel) -- Surrounded by a group of predator animal petitioners, stone-faced druids, and dissident Wylders, a shamanistic figure known locally as "the Wolfman", proclaimed the arrival of a new force on the Outer Planes: The Empire of the Beast. In a speech delivered to the assembled group, but clearly intended for a wider audience, the Wolfman declared that it was time to turn the table on the humanoid oppressors that have been destroying nature all over the planes and on the prime.

Wolfman

"We have smelled it, we have heard it, we have tasted it, and we have seen it", said the Wolfman. "The burning of the forests, their pollution of the waters, and even the attempts to bring Powers of Destruction and Chaos into the very core of the Beastlands itself. Humanoids with no respect for nature are laying waste to the very essence of the planes. Even high-up Celestials are encouraging the defilement of nature, showing how even the very best of the humanoids have no respect for the wilds."

(Ed. note: the Wolfman must be referring to the story of Spiral Hal'oight who, supposedly, has worked with Celestials and dwarves to dig ore out of the Beastlands - see SIGIS 22.)

The Wolfman went on to talk about the "diseased" group known as the Vile Hunt, who's only apparent objective is to kill animal petitioners, and two other groups, the Malarites and the Reprites (Ed. note: a couple of new sects that have set up camp on the Beastlands) who tried, with the "magic of evil Powers", to alter the very essence of the Beastlands itself.

"Enough is enough!", declared the Wolfman. "From now on, the humanoids will learn to fear and respect the power of nature and the so-called 'beasts' that call it home. Those that respect and revere nature, like myself and these Wylders and druids, will be respected in turn. But those that defile will know the true meaning of the word prey". At this, the speech was greeted with a cacophony of screeches, howls, growls and roars from the petitioners, and a chorus of yelling from the Wylders and druids. "From this day on, the Empire of the Beast will begin its reign in every forest, jungle, river, desert and ocean in the Multiverse! We shall disperse to every corner of the Multiverse spreading the knowledge that defilers taste every bit as good as the antelope, the prairie dog and the tuna!"

Wolf

How exactly the Wolfman plans to spread this news and create his "Empire" is unclear, but shortly after the speech, the Wolfman and his crew found shelter in a ruined Faunel building, and were apparently discussing their plans for conquest. I was blocked from entering by a very serious looking wolf who never took her eyes off me. As a follower of Silvanus, I have been around nature's creatures many times, but never have I encountered such fierce territoriality as I did with that wolf that day. If the attitude of that wolf is any indicator of the future, I say farmers, ranchers and fishermen beware!

[Author: Scott Kelley]

GITHZERAI GIVES HARDHEADS THE LAUGH, AGAIN!
by Steuban Tuekston

SIGIL (Guildhall Ward) -- That wily, well-lanned cutter, Moff Neaxalder, planewalker and spellslinger, has once again done it -- he's given the laugh to the Harmonium, evading attempts by Hardhead bashers to scrag him outside the Great Gymnasium in Sigil's Guildhall Ward. Responding to reports that the githzerai Zerth had joined up with the Transcendent Order, a force was sent to apprehend the Cipher on an outstanding warrant for his arrest concerning charges of possession of a Book of Xaos [the author is unsure where in the Sigil Law Code one would find this a crime], resisting arrest, and putting members of the Harmonium in the dead book.

Those who've picked up the chant on the streets know this may not be the first time the githzerai has evaded being scragged by Sigil's extremist police force, if reports out of the Hive Ward are to be believed. A few months back, a warrant was issued for a Xaositect residing in the Marble District by the name of Neaxalder Alexander Bittzelbacht (amongst other random appellations) for possession of a Book of Xaos. Harmonium Measure Stulcrumb served the warrant and the Hardheads, who thought an easy scrag-and-bag was due them, moved in for the arrest. Little did they know how well lanned in the ways of the Multiverse the Xaosman was. Rumours have it that he may not have been a githzerai at all but a Blue Slaad who purportedly ate a Hardhead or two before disappearing, apparently, into thin air.

This time, if it was not the first time, Hardhead Stulcrumb tried, and failed, to scrag Neaxalder just outside the gates of the Cipher headquarters. Neaxalder was travelling with a few fellow bashers including the bariaur priestess, Ari of Brigantia, and the infamous Noliana the Taker. Just outside the Great Gymnasium's gates the trio was approached by a wand wielding Hardhead fanatic who made an official identification of the wanted pair and their friend. A squad of invisible Hardhead bashers armed with clubs and planar mancatchers then flanked the cutters. The trap was set, the prey caught.

It was then that Measure Stulcrumb finally made his appearance and began gloating over his victory, a victory to be short lived as the ever-ascending (and tricky) githzerai kept his mind on one thing and one thing only: escape. And, as he may have done before to this very Harmonium high-up a few months back, Neaxalder changed his form to that of an amorphous black pudding, made for the cracks and crannies of Sigil's buildings and down into the undercity and sewers of the Cage.In a matter of minutes, he'd gone from Wyrm food to free bird. Measure Stulcrumb was heard to say, "he's done it again." (Was there a bit of admiration in the Hardhead High-Up's voice?) Stulcrumb has vowed to capture Neaxalder and it is "only a matter of time before the stag-minded githzerai is put in the deadbook, ur, is scragged, tried and brought to justice."

The well-lanned reader may remember Moff Neaxalder, or Neax as he prefers to be called these days, as one of the cutters who helped save citizens of the Cage last year during the Believers of the Source's Ascension-aiding project, the Harbinger House Affair. He and his fellow bashers aided in stopping the murderous Sougad Lawshreader in his efforts to depopulate the Cage of Triarchy members (and maybe Neax should have let him for his own good) and other overly organised cutters, as well as, convincing Trolan the True, young godling and ascending soul, to stop his adherents from calling on the love of the Lady of Pain, a love that resulted in the deaths of many in Bloodgem Park (but far fewer thanks to the efforts of Neax and his basher-buddies). Others may have heard the chant on his stint with the Bleak Cabal after having been convinced that all was lost while in the Mortuary as the Cyric-influenced Sect of the Illuminated strove for control of the Eternal Boundary. In addition to the Ciphers, Xaositects, and Bleakers the name Neaxalder has been associated with the Indeps, Signers and the Godsmen. Is there any wonder the Harmonium want him?

[Steuban Tuekston is an independent culler of the Godsmen.]

[Author: Dana Winston]

Advertisement

THE LADY'S SHARPER EYE

The Multiverse is a very big place. No chant-seller can hope to bring you all the news you need all the time. Even the bloods at SIGIS can't hope to lann everything!

That's why ol' Ashy (Ashenbach, Tiefer Planewalker) invites you to check out The Lady's Sharper Eye. The next batch of The Eye, fresh from the scrivener's quill, is as full of darks as a 'loth is of screed, and then some. There's some chant that would make a Bleaker cry and some that could make even a Guvner laugh.

No one can know too much, my friend, especially on the planes. So, when you need that extra bit of chant that SIGIS just doesn't have, check the Eye. It may have just the dark you need to keep you off the leafless tree!

[Author: Scott Kelley]

Letters

THANKS AND CORRECTION

Dear Sir,

I wish firstly to thank you and your colleagues for your generous donation to my cause. As some of your readers may know, I am the chairman of the Society of Angelusmisit the Fourteenth, and two weeks ago I was surprised to see the name of our illustrious eponym in your publication. However, it seems that this was the result of an error. A mild irony, I feel, given the precision for which Angelusmist the Fourteenth was famed. More surprising was the 'correction' of the Pontiff's numeral from fourteen to four last week! For the record, the present Pontiff Angelusmisit is the thirty-fourth of that ilk.

Thank you for your awareness in this matter, and my deep gratitude again for your contribution

Signed, -o- Carolus Automata
(Dom Carolus Flevet, Suffragan Bishop of Automata)

The editor writes: We wish to thank Dom Carolus for bringing our typographical omissions to our attention. The repeated dropping of 'X's from classical numerals has been traced to a slight mechanical fault in our movable type, which has been corrected. In our defence, I must point out that it was in deference to Archonite convention that classical numerals had been employed for this purpose in the first place. Indeed, we have rechecked our Fraternity Style Guide and discovered that we had been led into a slight error of style by certain Archonite correspondents. From now on, we shall be referring to the present head of the Archonite church as His Holiness Angelusmisit XXXIIII.

Signed, Editor

[Author: Alex Roberts]

Advertisement
JAIMI BIMKZ
P
ROFESSIONAL TAILORING *

Sigil's streets can be rough on a cutter's clothing, as both visitors and born Cagers alike know. When a real blood needs his outfit serviced or has the jink to drop on a quality new one, he need only come to 619 Copperman Way, and ask for Jaimi.

[* Paid for in part by profits from the new, revised Brix's Guide to the Cage.]

[Author: Tom Bubul]

NEW CULLER WRITES

SIGIS introduces its newest, and strangest, Blood War culler to date. Meet Koshtrim'yamal:

My name is Koshtrim'yamal, Baron Cambion, 26th son of the Abyssal Lord Graz'zt. I have been given permission, surprise to us all, to report on the Blood War battles as I find them by my father. Amazingly enough, I have also been given permission from Furcas, the member of the Dark Eight in charge of Mortal Relations, to report from the Baatezu side as well. I suppose that with my reports to S.I.G.I.S. the Baatezu think they'll be able to recruit more to their cause.

I have trained for many long hard years for survival in the Lower Planes. I have seen and been in many Blood War battles, and taken numerous trips to other planes. I've even been to a few prime worlds. My reports will outline, in truth, who and how these battles are won or lost. I am still in the process of getting together a team, and I hope to bring my first report in the next issue of S.I.G.I.S.

[Author: Trevor Cassidy]
REQUEST FOR CHANT

The following is a transcript from the Mimir of Dark Avail. Dark Avail has been documenting his quest to uncover the dark of some strange deaths in Sigil and the Outlands. This particular entry came via a magical courier. Unfortunately, the tail end of the message was garbled, and we worry that the screams at the end are those of Dark Avail. If anyone has information on the fate of Avail and his mimir, please contact the SIGIS office.

MESSAGE:

"Dark Avail walked down the streets of Xaos, the gate-town to Limbo. Addle-coves ran everywhere, but my master ignored them. In the gate-town of Xaos, listening to the ramblings of the locals can drive a basher barmy. I observe a heavily cloaked githzerai leaning on an old brick wall. The thing about the githzerai is that most don't travel alone; there are others about. I lose sight of the berk in a crowd of bloods dressed as frogs trying to eat a cloud of flies.

"My master makes his way to the centre of town, going for the gate. He pulls out a strangely shaped object that moves like mercury, flowing this way and that. The gate has changed much since last I saw it, a tangle of sunflowers that have thorns instead of seeds. There are at least six wrapped into this arch, and twice as many bodies around it. Some have passed too close, while others got lost going through the gate. Heedlessly, my master continues as I float above his shoulder. The flowers shower thorns on him, but a protective field causes them bounce off, and he walks through the gate, entering Limbo...."

[Message ends with sods screaming bloody murder.]

[Author: T]

 Advertisement

BON VOYAGE CELEBRATION AT RULE OF FOURS

The elemental planewalker Fireforge, owner of the Rule of Fours *, announces a glorious sendoff party for his hand-picked treasure hunters as they journey into the planes of AIR, EARTH, FIRE and WATER! Each party consists of four hardened adventurers, thoroughly tested by Fireforge in a series of gruelling obstacle courses. The various parties are led by an elemental specialist guide, and include a mage, priest and warrior, all veterans of numerous battles across the Multiverse. The four parties have been equipped with magical items allowing them to deal with the harsh physical and mental conditions of each plane.

These are the best of the best, cutter. No Clueless here!

To celebrate this remarkable event, Fireforge is holding a send-off extravaganza at the Rule of Fours. Each of the rooms in the RoF kip will feature a different musical artist and banquet appropriate to the nature of the plane.

Hot, fast violin music in the FIRE room with spicy recipes by the famous Curry Bombast. Cool, smooth harp sounds, and extravagant seafood in the WATER room. Hard, pounding drums, and fungus-fare in the EARTH room. Ethereal flute playing and delicate Celestial delights in the AIR room.

This is a Sensate's dream come true, and the cover price is only 50 jinx. So come buy your tickets this week (being sold in the Great Bazaar at Jolin's Event Outlet), and enjoy the very best the Cage has to offer at the most spectacular kip in the Multiverse!

[* The Rule of Fours is named after the Law of the Elemental and Para-elemental planes. According to the Mathematicians, the "rule of threes", active in the Outer Planes, is replaced by the "rule of fours" in the Elemental Planes -- e.g., air, earth, fire, water.]

[Author: Scott Kelley]

Streetchant

PLANAR BANDITS TAKING SCALPS
by Louis Forget (pronounced Louie ForeJhay)

HELLO BLOODS,

This is your well-lanned culler giving you the chant of the street, and trying not to get too piked-off about it.

Scan this me high constitutional bashers, this chant was done quick-like, and off the top of me head. No pun intended; but it's one thing to read about this in the comfort of your favourite lounge chair, and it's another to leap outta your kip to find a cutter screaming like a french-whoopsie in the middle of the night. I mean the cutter was runnin' around in a very irritating manner not unlike that of a chicken with its head cut off.

The local Hardheads were on the scene soon after. The end result was that the poor blighter had been peeled in more than one respect.

Seems that a gang of planars, led by some addle-cove calling himself "The Razor King", is using the cage as a base of operations, bobbin' and peelin' as he goes. The gang's favourite tool being, of course, the razor.

Apparently, they appear to like bobbin' and peelin' a wee bit more than a cutter's purse. A multitude of scalps have been taken within the past week, much to the Harmonium's dismay, not to mention the Dustmen who have ended up at the end of several false alarms. The hairless, scalpless, and the bleeding are not all that willing, nor eager, to be helped by the latter faction (he he, can you blame them?).

Now as a voice of reason, I would like to let this Razor King know that we are not just going to stand around and get the business. I would like to make an appeal to our fair citizens, to keep a watch out for these leatherheads, and lann the local Hardheads in your area about anything you may be able to help them with concerning this matter. The late night screaming really has to stop. How's a blood supposed to get a good nights rest with all that racket?

Shouting cutter

Your humble servant,
Louis Forget

[Author: Gary Dawkins]

THE CHANT MILL
by Ear to the Gear

ERIN "DARKFLAME" MONTGOMERY - The new hair accoutrement of the Sensate Factol, a silvery hair net, caused quite a stir last week as it leapt off her head during a private dinner party at the Rule of Fours. Montgomery apparently fainted "dead away" as her factioneers rushed to her aid, which caused some cutters to speculate that she'd been poisoned as part of an Anarchist plot. Other bashers said a moralistic Archonite (Upper Planes Sect - Ed.) magicked it to life to embarrass the factol and break up their little "agreement". Montgomery was rushed to Sensate HQ where she remains. A number of Sensates have taken this as an opportunity to experience open public grief, much to the chagrin and annoyance of merchants in the Great Bazaar. The hair net has not been seen since.

HARMONIUM - Some post-knight at the Black Sail tavern spread the chant that Factol Sarin has been written in the dead-book, possibly at the hands of another high-up, Mover Five Durkayle. Durkayle recently fled the Cage with his Baatezu buds to some undisclosed case in the Outlands and is rumoured to be hanging from the leafless-tree himself. (Ed. note: see articles this issue.) But others said that this is pure screed, and Sarin was seen just yesterday visiting a hardhead kip in the Market Ward. Is it Mover Five Tonat Shar in disguise?


Black Sail Chant Monger

PENTAR - Heard from that bad-ass-lass lately? No? Well you are not alone! The razorvine bled me tale that the Sinker high-up is mobilising a bunch of crack troops on Acheron to dead-book the last of the Modrons as they pass through. That might explain why Sir Twist, the Faction Reaction public relations man for the Cabal of Destruction, left his last response in the hands of an underling. (See SIGIS 23) He's back in Sigil now giving a little lecture about Entropy, and the Sinkers are having a sword sale (see the two adverts this issue) but this may be a cover-up for the fact that the Doomguard high-ups are on vacation...A Sensate I met, claiming to be "in the chant", said that Pentar merely went barmy and thinks she is a modron. Does this mean Pentar plans to off herself at the very end?

WYLDERS - Trouble in Paradise. Word from Signpost (the Signers' HQ on the Beastlands) is that the vultures are circling, and the voles are vacating town because of a major feud within the faction. Seems that a new charismatic Wylder has been preaching that mages entering the Beastlands should be dead-booked on sight as a preventative measure. Seems that a bunch of them have been letting off big destructive spells and "destroying the habitat". Of course, mages within the Wylders have taken major exception to this new idea, and the lines of battle have been drawn. Should be interesting to see what the local Powers have to say about all this! And what does this have to do with the Wolfman? (see article this issue). My bet's that he's got the hard-liner Wylders on his side...


Prime Cross-Trader

PRIME CRIME - Missing a purse? Or how about a head? A vicious bunch of Clueless might just have your lost item. Apparently, some sod (an Anarchist?) purposefully opened a portal to some crystal sphere (Toril might be the name) and a bunch of murderous crosstraders have gotten a taste of freedom in the Cage. They've been bobbing, beating and killing berks all over the Lower Ward, and so far they've given the law the laugh. Most planars are placing bets on how long they'll last before they run into some powerful celestial, or an ornery Slaad. But a fiend I chatted with said the leader of the group is craftier than most Primes, and has already made some powerful allies in the Cage. So if you hear a funny accent coming from a human basher with a "Z" insignia, start running like the winds of Pandemonium!

[Author: Scott Kelley]

LOUIS FORGET'S SIGILDARK
by Louis Forget

YOUR WELL-LANNED blood has something you may want to scan. While banging around the cage in my own special way (incognito), I just happened upon a new business that opened its doors to SIGIL for the very first time. You're gonna like this:

MORBIUS GREVEN'S RARE AND WONDERFUL

"Rare and wonderful what?" I asked myself. (Maybe the sign wasn't up yet) Upon entry to the monolithic temple-like structure, (looks like it took a lot of jink to build this kip) one is greeted by two iron statues (couple of minders?), which stand on either side of a well near fifty-foot circular entry chamber. With the scent of expensive incense in the air, a closer inspection of the ceiling revealed a mural of the outer-planes. It depicted an apparent struggle between the upper and lower planes, and/or how they relate to each other in some preconceived circumstances (don't ask me).

In any case, and as the case may be, the tiefling keeper of the establishment (a bone white wraith of man with crimson slits for eyes) appeared out of nowhere, and introduced himself as Rhaydius Dycaster.

It was made known to me by the aforementioned keeper, that if one could not find happiness with what was on hand, if the price was right, anything could be obtained. ("Anything" being the key word.) A ledger book is provided as necessary to jot down any items that a cutter might be needing (a wish list of sorts). Usually a 2-3 week turn-around-time, but sometimes with items being as rare as they are, the request is kept current until those who do the finding obtain the item in question.

Not a bad gimmick, eh? If they don't have it, they can get it (for an agreeable price). Don't get me wrong now, that place has a lot of stock. Just about anything you can think of can be obtained in any visit (If you don't mind high-up prices). Anyway, be sure to give 'em a go. Tell 'em Louis sent ya!

Stay peery and keep your eyes peeled bloods. Lan ya laters!

Signed, Louis 'Sigildark' Forget

[Author: Gary Dawkins]

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Faction Reaction
[Special Editor: Tom Bubul]

QUESTION OF THE WEEK

"What is your response to the editorial written by Daemon Chaas in SIGIS 23 entitled: FACTIONS: HITTING THE BLINDS?"

ARCHONITES
by Gruoch nic Arta, Archbishop's Chaplain

I don't really feel that Daemon Chaas' comments apply to us in the Archonites. We've always had a firm commitment to our beliefs, and we don't interfere in faction politics if we can help it. Recently, of course, we've been forging better links with the Sensates, but that's in keeping with our belief in fellowship and cooperation. On the other hand, the Archbishop thinks (and I agree with her) that a lot of Mr. Chaas' comments are entirely valid. The factions, especially those who are most closely committed to their civic roles, are losing sight of their philosophical criteria.

[Author: Alex Roberts]
DOOMGUARD
by Sir Twist, Doomguard PR

I would like to say that while the crude and unwashed masses that the public refers to as our namers are often all about decay, death, and destruction that it's hardly like that for all of us. My view (and the view that I think many of my fellow Sinkers share) is slightly more fatalistic. Entropy is an inevitable fact of the multiverse, which cannot be escaped. Therefore, why fight any kind of war over it. Rushing out and burning things isn't making entropy change in the grand scale of things, it's a mere flare in the steady glow of a sun. On the other hand, putting out a forest fire is also a waste of time because it's going to go down the sink (excuse the pun) anyway.

The Doomguard have been (perhaps fairly, perhaps not) stereotyped as unintelligent slugs with an insatiable lust for blood and vandalism. I would like to break out of this mold and show the multiverse that we merely represent a constant for them to consider.

In closing, however, I would like to say that Daemon Chaas has brought up a valid point in saying that the factions are becoming unclear in their goals, message, and communications with the public and their members.

[Author: David Byrne]
FRATERNITY OF ORDER
by Hartin Meideggar

Foremost let me say that the Fraternity of Order - and that is our Faction's name, not Guv's, Guv-bags, Lectern-huggers, and no, not even Guvners, for anything less is to invite a grave error and thereby [preamble cut for brevity - Ed.]

As I had began to say, the Fraternity is fully supportive of investigative reporting and the finding, categorising, and explication of facts. Indeed, one may even say such acts are our reason, purpose, or substance for being - but, Culler Daemon Chaas's inflammatory remarks in last week's SIGIS fall far short of this esteemed standard to which SIGIS's editors have hitherto held. It is hoped that the editors pay some attention to Culler Chaas's lack of substantial evidence when he makes his wild claims, less they fail total compliance with our Fair City's Rule of Standards of Public Notice and Print concerning the issue of the Sowing of Public Dissent.

To the point of clarification for the Edification of members of our Fair City, let me point out these facts: Over 982 years ago the Fraternity discovered the Laws, or Rules as they are known, concerning the establishment of Factionhood. To this very date the Fraternity has been in full compliance with these Rules. In fact, as constant discoverers and followers of these Rules, it is hard to conceive how we could ever act contradictory to them. In fact, all our current actions, "running the City of Doors" and "being bureaucrats" as Chaas pejoratively describes them, are mandated by Rules discovered by the Fraternity and codified and implemented by the other Factions in the Hall of Speakers! I challenge Chaas to find where exactly in the Code of Factionhood as delineated in the Hall of Records, that our Order has failed in compliance with said Code!

It is clear where Chaas's position stands in regards to Factions, but where prey-tell does he think his food, shelter, and security come from? With Knowledge gained from Factionhood comes Power. But with Power comes Responsibility. It doesn't take much imagination to realise what group in our Fair City refuses conforming to the Rules of Factionhood to avoid their own Responsibility in maintaining their place in this Fair City. In the meantime the true, law-abiding Factions must take up the slack to maintain the City for all sorts of cross-traders and freeloading ingrates such as this Daemon.

Indeed, one begins to think about certain other Factions, and their lack of Responsibility, such as the Xaositects and their lawless, immoral [further diatribe cut for brevity - Ed.]

-- Your humble servant, Hartin Meideggar, B4 Bureau Chief of Sigilian Public Information, prior B3 Judge, Bureau of Courts (retired.)

[Shortly after submission of this letter, a member of the Guvners appeared demanding that the letter was invalid and not suited for printing because Bureau Chief Meideggar is now 'under temporary, official suspension due to illness.' While the suspension was sentenced after the writing of this letter, the Guvner's insisted that the suspension was effective prior to the Bureau Chief's writing, and thus Meideggar's letter no longer represented the Order in pubic matters. Whatever the matter, we have decided to print his letter. We feel he would have intended to have it in print for the "Edification of the members of our Fair City" as he has put it so well above. - The Editors.]

[Author: Nathan Letsinger]

FREE LEAGUE
by Janos Volkrina

Well, blood, I may be the wrong one to ask about this. I don't belong to a Faction, after all. Still, based on what I see day in and day out, I'd have to agree with the editorial. The Factions have completely lost track of what they are about.

See, I ain't got any problems with a body believin' somethin', I just get pretty upset if they try an' force it down my throat. But the Factions aren't even doin' that anymore. They're tryin' to force their Factions down people's collective throats, without any concern for what they believe or why they should be believed. It's far worse than pushing belief, 'cause all they're pushin' is membership.

[Author: Richard Gant]

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HARMONIUM
by Xrithran Observer, Mover Three

Obviously this Daemon Chaas does not understand things very well. One only need visit Ortho to discover the goals of the Glorious Harmonium. There everyone is a happy and productive member of society. There is no chaos to cause the pains and misfortunes of life. The purpose of the Harmonium is to spread this Glorious Harmony throughout the multiverse, so everything can be happy and free from troubles. By submitting to unyielding law, no one will want to commit crimes or harm their fellow living beings. Only then will true peace and understanding be achieved by all the races of the multiverse.

I will say, however, that many factions do not have much purpose. The Doomguard, for instance. The have no point but to cause havoc and destroy. The Xaosmen are nothing more than a bunch of insane freaks. The Anarchists want to destroy all power in the multiverse, probably including themselves.

Actually, the Chaas person sounds suspiciously like a Anarchist. I have here a direct order from factol Sarin ordering the gathering of all materials that may lead to the whereabouts and possible Anarchist affiliations of this "Daemon Chaas". I'm sure you will comply.

[Author: Pirvan]

CHIPPERS
by Naenal

Ha. Yes. At last. The bloated factions are drowning in their own sense of self-importance. Let's hope they go under for the last time soon.

Especially the Mercykillers.

[Author: Galzion]
REVOLUTIONARY LEAGUE

The majority of all factions are never about belief, they are instead always about control, power and greed, it has always being like that.

There are a few exceptions to this which are the Bleak Cabal, Xaositects and those who will stand up and say that they don't belong to any faction.

If any wants any greater indication about why the factions aren't about beliefs, I'll show you a few examples.

The Hardheads as our first example claim to be about peace and unity if you remember correctly. It's to our knowledge that recently some free thinking individuals who stood up for their beliefs and never harmed anyone else were attacked and beaten by the Harmonium without any provocation. The point here is that they don't want to see their power being lost here, and if they need to make an example they will. And certainly peace and unity can be accomplished without oppressing those individuals.

Another example that I'll point to is the Society of Sensation, now you all know they are supposed to be about seeking new experiences. Now why is it they have such a strong political presence for such a long time if they were about new experiences, they have yet to experience not having a strong political presence. In fact they've just been making more and more of a political presence, trying to put a choke hold on the Cage itself. The thing is that once they got they aren't going to give it up.

As for the supposed response from our faction in the editorial, it is very apparent that we must remain hidden from those who seek to destroy us simply because we don't want to "fit in" to "work in the system" to be "another cog in the machine".

Our secrecy has kept us here for countless millennia. As for who it allegedly came from it is either three possibilities, someone trying to keep our secrets, some noisy berk, or some propaganda aimed at undermining our cause.

The next things mentioned are sects.

A lot of sects are far worse than a lot of factions. They are literally factions in the making, and they've already have a lot of the excesses of factions already as they have certain parts of a plane to themselves which is a lot already. The sects want power for themselves as well, and will do what they need.

They already are institutions for oppression, witness an incident that we learned of that was committed by a sect from Mount Celestia known as Planes Militant.

The sect is hard at work with an aggressive campaign to shift parts of other planes into their home plane. They have begun aggressive propaganda campaigns with the clear knowledge that they will shift parts of other planes and cause massive planar disruptions while they are doing it, which is against what they are supposed to stand for.

The sects like all the factions are basically power-hungry, it is their very intent to oppress and control the multiverse. None of them should be allowed to get a clear foothold on the power and influence they desire. That's why its up to us to stop them, or else you will see just how much worse they can be from the factions we despise.

To all the Revolutionaries out there, Keep the Fight Going!! Its a long way we have to go to win!

[Author: Jason Ng]
FATED
by Blaize Shadiff - 4th Level Digger for the Fated

The factions running the City of Doors? Are you daft, berk? The Lady runs the city right out. If you don't understand that screed, then we'll have to charge you the Barmy Tax. (The Barmy Tax: one platinum. If you pay it, you owe another platinum!)

As for "changing the shape of the multiverse through belief" - Chaas seems to have spent a little too much time in that crystal sphere of his. The only one's who think they can change the worlds through belief are the Signers.

Speaking of belief - I believe its time to update our accounts...

by, Roark Chaospeaker

The factions no longer have goals? Interesting. I suppose that means that the individuals compromising those factions have cast aside all hope for personal advancement, enlightenment, or furthering the faction tenets. When one considers how at least half of Sigil belongs to one of the 15 factions, I find it quite shocking that so vast a portion of the population could have abandoned its hopes and dreams. Why, if that's the case, then I suggest there is a greater epidemic at hand, stemming from a deep apathy that has struck the hearts of many dwelling in the Cage. I believe the sheer pulse of the market, political manoeuvrings of fiends, and constant influx of planewalkers puts this claim to shame. Watch what you believe, lest you be swayed by apathetic cullers.

[Author: Aaron Infante-Levy and Jim Bologna]
MERKHANTS
by Tarak de Leynon

I'm not sure that I understand your point. Yes, I read the editorial. I have begun to read your publication since you began to print comments from myself in it. Someone who owes me money purchases it for me.

However, back to the editorial. So? Am I to be concerned if the factions are loosing their focus? I fail to see why. They still require my services, and that is enough for me.

[Author: Galzion]

WYLDERS
by Dregori Tharsan

Well I must say that it's about time that people realised that the true answer to the multiverse doesn't lie in the squalid streets of the City of Doors. And it's nice to see that the author of that, in my opinion, intelligent article, could see that the real work in unravelling the mysteries that make up life is being done out on the Planes.

Still, I must disagree with his lack of discrimination about who is really doing that work. Can you not see that that the answer to life lies in life itself. The variety, the beauty of the Beastlands, the power and grace...

[Editor's note: the remaining 20 minutes of Dregori's response has been chopped, as it consisted solely of a description of, and argument for, the Wylder philosophy]

[Author: Galzion]
BELIEVERS OF THE SOURCE
by Strom the Gatemaker Goldwand, Factor

In response to Mr. Chaas' article in SIGIS 23 I would like to say this: next life, you're coming back as a pet slug to a kobold, I guarantee it! If there's any Path of Ascension, which I can see as clearly wrong, it's the one you're taking. Having successfully insulted and angered the factions of the City of Doors, including my own, I wouldn't doubt if some cutter trying to Ascend on the Path will hack you down to get in a few brownie points. (Not the faerie brownies. It's an expression I heard on the prime once.) You are obviously biased against the factions, as is evident by reading your article. For some reason you figure that bothering faction members with questions while they're working won't make them a little angry. Perhaps you've lost your common sense somewhere along the Path of Ascension, Mr. Chaas.

Another important point, which I would like to state, is over the factions' supposed 'loss of way'. Where in the Nine Hells do you get this stuff? The way I see it, the factions are still performing the function, which they were created to perform, that is, the finding of the true Path of Ascension. No one truly knows what we're supposed to do here in the multiverse, and that's why we have the factions. To find out. You may feel that the factions have lost that focus and have been caught up in politics, cross trading, and the gathering of jink. There are some poor sods out there who have lost their way due to these factors; perhaps you know some of them. This is no reason to generalise all of the factions as jink-grabbing, cross-trading politicians. I won't stand for it!

Finally, as proof of your barminess, I'll comment on your statement: "I'll tell you the real truth: the sects that are out there shaping the rest of the multiverse, these are the only real factions left." This statement simply shows your complete lack of knowledge on the matter. The only true difference between sects and factions is that the sects have fewer members. Both influence the multiverse through belief, no matter what you say or think, so get over it. Final statement: the factions are NOT losing their Path... it's straighter than ever.

[Author: Jason M. Black]
TRANSCENDENT ORDER
by Deep Blue Sigh

"I notice that Daemon Chaas did not ask a member of the Transcendent Order the reason for our being. When he chooses to, we shall answer.

In the meantime, ponder on this: If the Transcendent Order ever looses it's reason for being, you will find that each and every true Cipher has already left it.

Pardon my brevity, cutter. I have something to do."

[Author: James O'Rance]

XAOSITECTS
by Skwouert T'ille

P'raps we're decomposing, p'raps not. Us, no. Don't think so. Chaos can't decompose, really, just change shapes. We change shapes to adapt, 'cause that'd be chaos adapting to change shapes and not decompose to adapt to change shapes again. We're just surviving. The multiverse is chaos, and we still stand in that belief, but it may not appear that way, because we change, yet chaos remains. Don't think we've lost it, nope.

[Author: Tom Bubul]

[Compiled list of regular factioneers:]

Athar - Greg Jensen
Believers of the Source - Jason Black
Bleak Cabal - Inflicted
Doomguard - Sir Twist
Dustmen - Tee (May be dead...)
Fated - Jim Bologna
Fraternity of Order - Nathan Letsinger
Free League - Richard Gant
Harmonium - Pirvan
Mercykillers - B. Mooney
Revolutionary League - Jason Ng
Sign of One - Chris Visser
Society of Sensation - Ragboy
Transcendent Order - James O' Rance
Xaositects - Tom Bubul
Wylders, Merkhants and Exiles - Galzion

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DURKAYLE IN THE DEAD-BOOK?
by Maija Intwood

OUTLANDS (Ribcage) -- Maybe Durkayle didn't make it to Baator after all! Chant from Ribcage is that the former Harmonium high-up, Warmeck Durkayle, was written in the dead-book just outside of town. According to our sources, a small group of mercs (maybe the same group that broke into his tower earlier) crept their way into his heavily guarded encampment, which was located in an enormous cave at the base of a mountain near Ribcage. Finding their way through abandoned mine shafts in the backside of the mountain, they caught Durkayle's bashers completely unawares. Chant is that Durkayle's camp was full not only of Baatezu, but also with members of a strange sect known as the Tcharim. Apparently, Durkayle and his allies had planned a major invasion into a nearby Plane. Unfortunately for Durkayle, the mercs were able to slip into his camp unnoticed and hang the sod from the leafless tree. Most suspect that the mercs (if that is what they were) had inside information on the camp that allowed them to give the Tcharim and the fiends the laugh.

[Author: Scott Kelley]

MURDERS IN THE CLERKS' WARD
by Sim Underwood

OVER THE LAST two weeks, a series of vicious murders have been committed in the Clerk's Ward. While all six thus far have been particularly savage, they were not initially linked. A particularly sharp Harmonium officer, however, must have realised that the victims were all fully paid-up to be members of the Transcendent Order, for yesterday the law-keeping faction announced they were seeking a gang or individual with a particular grudge against the Ciphers.

Regular readers of SIGIS's political scandal may be surprised at this, because, at least, in my brief history as a culler, I have never come across any berk who's professed a particular dislike for the Ciphers. Who this group may be is very dark, and despite my best efforts to study official Harmonium documents, I too am sorry to say I have no leads of my own. While Harmonium patrols have doubled around the Great Gymnasium, Ciphers readers are warned to be particularly vigilant. More news as I can lift it from the hands of the authorities...

[Author: Jon Winter]

MAGES HIRED TO BUILD CATHEDRAL
by Blondie Blutheim

SIGIS can exclusively reveal that the Archonite church has hired top construction mages Relforce and Marmanion to aid in the building of the new Cathedral of Saint Sophia. According to an internal church report, the cathedral will be very nearly equal in size to the main church building at Monk's Higher, where the Cathedral of Excelsior stands. Although the final plans for the ornamentation of the cathedral are not yet available, it seems that a lot of statuary is planned, including a colossal figure of a crown archon, possibly Pronoia, behind the high altar. The cathedral is also expected to have a large tower with four individual pinnacles, and to be nearly as tall as the Civic Festhall. Rumours that it was to have been taller, and was lowered to placate the Sensates, were strenuously denied by both parties.

[Author: Alex Roberts]
MODRONS CAUSE HAVOC IN THE BEASTLANDS
by Droni Forssen

HAVING MADE an uneventful crossing from Ecstasy to Faunel, the Modron March this week entered the Beastlands, and immediately caused utter disruption to that natural plane. Although my information is not yet conclusive, it seems that the modrons have been compelled, under the terms of an ancient treaty, to march along the course of a river, thus causing massive pollution from their own biological processes. This had not been anticipated, and those creatures able to leave the river have done so, but fish and other aquatic creatures are dying in large numbers. Clarion the Guardian reports that he has a (as of yet unrevealed) 'personal' interest in the case, and has sent allies of his to investigate. The Wylders and many other concerned groups are pinning their hopes on the success of this and other expeditions.

We will bring you more news as it breaks.

[Author: Alex Roberts]

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THE ART OF LIGHT

All are cordially invited to an art exhibition opening in the Great Hall of Told's Inn, in the Clerk's Ward. Noted thaumo-artist Mishilan Montegrossi has produced a number of animate light exhibits, which can be viewed after dark for the next three weeks. Admission is a mere 1sp, with concessionary rates for lawyers.

[Author: Alex Roberts]

CIPHERS ADMIT EX-FACTOL
D
EAD-BOOKED IN GATEHOUSE DISASTER
-- by Laxuli Phae, culler --

A RELUCTANT admission from the Transcendent Order this morning confirmed the report in SIGIS last week that a former Cipher factol had indeed been squashed flat in the tragic Gatehouse collapse last week [see also report above Dustwoman Reveals Dark of Gatehouse Disaster]. According to a Cipher spokesperson, rilmani Fourth Life, the factol had been admitted to the Gatehouse some twenty five cycles ago for his own safety.

After doing some digging, this culler discovered the faction had gone on record back then as claiming the factol has mysteriously ascended, as Cipher factols are wont to do, and correspondingly, admissions of new members to the faction were sharply increased that month. Forgive the suspicious nature of my mind, but this culler questions whether any of the Cipher factols have really ascended, or whether they're just being held in secret cells across the Multiverse!

When I suggested this to Fourth Life, the rilmani became agitated and almost lost its cool, before refusing to comment on the question. Very interesting...

[Author: Jon Winter]

Cullers wanted for SIGIS
Applicants should contact the Editor

Consult the Mimir Again