Brotherhood of Belief
Brotherhood of Belief

Brotherhood of Belief

The Brotherhood of Belief

Also known as: The Faithless, the Hollow, the Syphons, the Eaters

What have you Left when you stop Believing?

Symbol of the Brotherhood of Belief

The 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.

But 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 moved beyond being a mere coterie and were in all but name a separate faction.

And then one blood, a certain Valrin Mithir (planar human necromancer [she/her] / Sectol of the Brotherhood of Belief / NE), joined the Hollow. She 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.

The 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 then 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 she 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 other factions.

The Brotherhood of Belief turned right around and declared themselves their own sect, and elected Valrin Mithir as their sectol. 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 draining.

The 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 join the Bleakers. Finding yourself suddenly without belief made the multiverse seem pointless, and that’s exactly what the Bleakers hold. Furthermore, 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 total loss of one’s faith was too much for some, and even strong souls could not withstand the relentless draining of the Hollow. Many of the drained who did not find the Bleakers took their own lives, feeling the full blast of futility. 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 else’s.

Valrin Mithir, Sectol of the Brotherhood

In 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 pursued them.

To this very day the Brotherhood 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 centuries…

Primary Plane of Influence: The Eaters 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. The plane they are most drawn to is the Gray Waste, where the futility of existence is at its most intense. Eaters are immune to the draining effect of the plane, which makes it a relatively safe place for them to hide out.

Allies and Enemies: No factions or sects are 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 still exist.

Eligibility: No 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.

Benefits: Sect-members 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 victim’s 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 paladin.

Someone 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 is transformed into an Eater. DMs may ignore this rule if the victim of a complete drain was a PC, as the player may wish to role-play the dramatic effects of total loss of belief and can choose the fate of their character.

Restrictions: Just 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: their 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 they can cause too much destruction.

Canonwatch: This sect is a homebrew addition to Planescape lore.

Source: Will McPherson

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