The Dispossessed

Also known as: The Chippers, the Exiles

The Tyranny of the Majority

The oppression of the weak by the strong has been constant since the beginning of time, and it doesn’t show any signs of going away. However, one such vanquished person refused to accept his fate, and fought to prove that he was one of the strong, and that he deserved a better fate than banishment. His name was Marinthaxus.

Symbol of the Dispossessed

Marinthaxus was exiled to the plane of Pandemonium from his home on the Outlands by an evil wizard, who feared the might of Marinthaxus as a warrior and a leader. The wizard assumed that once imprisoned on Pandemonium, Marinthaxus would quickly succumb to the madness that affects so many of the inhabitants of that plane, and thus no longer be a problem to him. However, Marinthaxus had more willpower than the wizard bargained on, and resolved to escape from his imprisonment. Marinthaxus spent all his waking hours searching for a way to break out from the howling plane. So centred was he on his search that not even the maddening winds of Pandemonium could affect him, or swerve him from his purpose.

Marinthaxus searched for almost ten years before he discovered a way to break the enchantment that kept him bound to Pandemonium. He searched for another ten years to bring together all the components he needed to allow him to escape,.

Having liberated himself, Marinthaxus first sought out the wizard who had first banished him to Pandemonium, determined to take his revenge upon him. The search took many years, as the wizard had become aware of Marinthaxus’ escape and sought to hide himself away from retribution. At last Marinthaxus found the berk, who had taken refuge in the Abyss. There a mighty battle was fought between the two, and after a full day, Marinthaxus stood victorious and vindicated.

Now that he had satisfied his purpose in escaping from the Howling Plane, Marinthaxus returned there, that he might teach others who had been imprisoned, like he had once been, the way to escape. After spending many years years on the plane, helping others, Marinthaxus left once more, back to the Outlands, where he settled. He had proved that he had deserved better than his original fate. He had proved that he was not one of the weak, but one of the strong.

Marinthaxus left others behind him, whom he had shown a way to escape. In his honour, those others joined together, that they too might prove themselves to be strong. And they took a name, to describe who they were, and what motivated them. They called themselves the Dispossessed.

“The Chronicle of Marinthaxus”, text of the Dispossessed

Sect History: “The Chronicle of Marinthaxus”, reproduced above, is partially true. Marinthaxus really was a paladin imprisoned in Pandemonium around 88 years ago, although who banished him there is unknown. There’s no reason to assume that the Chronicle is inaccurate in describing Marinthaxus’ enemy as a wizard. However, it is at this stage that a certain amount of exaggeration starts to creep into the sect’s account of the life of their founder. Chant goes that Marinthaxus was seen again in the Outlands only nine years after his banishment, rather than the twenty years that the Chronicle describes. Also, there’s no doubt that Marinthaxus had been much changed by his imprisonment, doubtless as a result of years of enduring to the howling winds of Pandemonium. According to one former companion, who fortunately for posterity recorded his life in a series of diaries, Marinthaxus had become deeply paranoid, believing that everyone wanted to return him to his prison.

Marinthaxus did indeed track down the wizard who banished him, and probably killed him, and did return to Pandemonium afterwards to help others escape. This was, however, less due to a desire to help others than it was to a desire to gather around him others who had been through the same experience that he had, presumably because he felt he could trust them not to return him to the Howling Plane permanently. He was also responsible for the formation of the Dispossessed, and initially ran it as both ruler and tyrant. However, after a number of years he retired to the Outlands. The sect went their own way without him, but they still acknowledge the debt they owe to Marinthaxus. The Dispossessed have grown in number since then, and are now stronger and more secretive than ever. The leadership of the sect has changed several times, as determined by a duel between the current leader and the challenger. 

Sectol Gher of the Dispossessed

Sectol: The current leader (or sectol) is Gher the Axe (planar human fighter [he/him] / Sectol of the Disposessed / CN). Gher assumed control of the sect seven years ago, killing then sectol Luran in a bitter fight. The death of one of the participants in a leadership duel is unusual, but not unheard of. Gher is the first sectol from the increasing number of former prisoners from Carceri. It is a sign of the increasing importance amongst the Dispossessed of the Carcerian Exiles, and there is considerable antagonism between those who have escaped from Carceri and those from Pandemonium. This has threatened to spill over into actual bloodshed on a number of occasions; that it hasn’t done so yet is solely because Gher has threatened to “crack the head” of anyone who starts such a fight. Most of the sect’s members have seen Gher fight and they have no wish to try their luck with him. Gher has so far faced only one challenge during his reign.

In combat, Gher is fast, brutal and callous. He takes the attitude that anyone who is stupid enough to get into a fight with him is stupid enough to deserve whatever they get, which is usually a great deal of pain. Who banished him to Carceri is unknown, but he is said to carry their left hand in a pouch he keeps on his belt. He escaped from the Red Prison fifteen years ago; it is widely assumed that the time between his escape and his leadership challenge was spent in hunting down his banisher and gaining revenge. It is considered a terrible social blunder to ask an Exile about why they were banished, even within the sect, so no one really knows what Ghers’ background is. He is believed to come from the Outlands somewhere, and is believed to be about 35 years old, but there is no real evidence that either supposition is true.

When not fighting, Gher is slightly more approachable, but not much. It has been commented that Gher would have made an excellent Rager. Certainly he is aggressive at all times, and never far from going over the edge. Gher is passionate about a few things, these are; being banished again, the right of the sect to prove itself and his wife, Cyprexa (whom he met in Carceri). Comments about any of these are likely to throw him into a rage. He firmly believes, however, that each sect member must prove themselves, and is instilling that belief in the members of the sect. What this means is that it is becoming less common that one Exile will come to the assistance of another.

Sect Headquarters: The Exiles have no specific headquarters. Gher lives in a small village just outside Curst. Many of the other Carcerian Exiles also live here. Most of the other sect members live in or around Bedlam. The rest are scattered around the planes, but are mostly in Sigil. However, there is no location that is specific to the sect. Traditionally, where the sect leader lives is where the sect is based, but on the rare occasions that they meet as a group, it may be in another building in the same town or village, or may be in a different place entirely. Gher has so far called one sect meeting each year that he has been sector, and has alternated them between Curst and Bedlam. This year’s meeting is due to be held in Bedlam.

Role-playing the Dispossessed: Above all else, the Exiles feel that they have been ‘robbed’. Whoever banished them, to wherever they were banished (and the sect have been known to admit members who were simply banished from a city or country, rather than to a plane), and why they were banished; none of this is really important to an Exile. What is important is that they were banished, like the weak, without first having the chance to prove that they were the strong. All members of the sect believe that if it wasn’t for their banishment, they would now be great men and women.

They therefore feel that they have to prove this to the rest of the multiverse. They achieve this by a variety of methods. Some set out to achieve tasks held by others to be impossible. Some seek to acquire wealth, power and influence. Others simply seek out those who believe themselves to be powerful, and attempt to bring them down a peg or two. However they attempt to show their worth, however, all Chippers believe that they have been treated unfairly by life, and that they need to give life a good kick in the teeth in return.

Membership of the Dispossessed: There is only one requirement to becoming a member of the Dispossessed; you must first have been banished. In the vast majority of cases, this means banished to a specific plane, which is almost always either Carceri or Pandemonium, as these are the two planes where people are most commonly banished to. However, occasionally people are banished to other places (other Lower Planes), and such people meet the requirements for sect membership. In fact, as mentioned earlier, you meet the membership requirements if you have been banished from a country or city. However, this is the sort of punishment most commonly handed out on Prime Material worlds, and the sect has little time for primes. However, there have been members from prime worlds. Where you come from, who you are, the nature of and reason for the banishment; this is irrelevant. Membership is offered to anyone who has been banished, and is adjudged to be strong enough to live up to the sect’s expectations. Those who are offered membership, and refuse it, however, are viewed as cowards and weaklings who doubtless deserved their punishment, and treated with nothing but contempt and scorn by the sect’s members.

Members can be of any alignment, but as the vast majority of members have been imprisoned in either Carceri or Pandemonium, and as both planes can leave their mark on those who spend time there, there is a tendency towards chaotic and evil alignments, most commonly CN, then CE and NE. There are a few true neutral members. Most who have spent time on either plane will have shifted somewhat towards the plane’s alignment, however, so although there is no reason why the sect would exclude a person due to their alignment, there have been very few lawful or good members.

The sect also admits any class. They really don’t care who you are as long as you have been banished. However, priests tend to find solace in their faith, not bitterness, so few priests join the sect. A significant number of people become priests having joined the sect, though. See The Dark for more details.

Allies and Enemies: Well, actually “allies” is stretching it a little far. That would imply working together, or at least getting on with one another, and neither of those are things that the Exiles are good at. But whilst they don’t really have any allies, as they don’t want to be caught leaning on anyone, there are a few factions that somewhat admire the attitude that the Dispossessed bring to the multiverse. These factions are the Fated, Indeps, Anarchists and Signers. Of course, not everyone in all these factions finds anything admirable in the Exiles, but in general they are fairly well received by them. The attitude of the Dispossessed towards the factions, however, is much the same as their attitude towards everyone else.

As for enemies; well the Exiles have got up the nose of pretty much everyone. However, their desire to prove themselves often involves doing what the Harmonium describe as “causing trouble”. This being one of the biggest sins that a person can commit (in the Harmonium’s books, anyway), the Hardheads have a pretty low opinion of the Exiles as a group.

Advantages and Disadvantages: Exiles are tough people, determined that no-one will take advantage of them. Because of this, they tend to be strong mentally, earning a +1 bonus to all saving throws against mental attacks. In addition, they are hardened against what life can throw against them. To reflect this, they roll twice for hit points at each level, taking the higher value. Unfortunately, their attitude tends to make other people dislike them. The Exiles view themselves as the strong, and are determine to prove this to the rest of the multiverse, but to do so, they often annoy (at least) the rest of the multiverse. Apart from other sect members, Exiles suffer a -2 reaction adjustment penalty from the people they meet.

Current Chant: A sect that is well known for the fact that its members regard themselves as individuals rarely produces any organised activities. However, recently one interesting rumour has come to light. It has been reported that instructions have come from Gher to increase the number of members in the sect, by any means necessary, and more importantly, to increase the number of truly influential members the sect has. As a result, the sect has been actively courting the most famous being banished to Sigil, Shemeshka the Marauder. The theory goes that most chant reports that Shemeshka was forced to Sigil to avoid…. someone. Or something. Rumours about Shemeshka are notoriously hard to come by; ones backed up by a certain amount of evidence even more so. Whatever, Gher has decided that she has been ‘banished’, and therefore qualifies for sect membership. The fact that Shemeshka shows no interest in joining (she has thus far killed at least three recruiters) appears not to be relevant. Gher seems to be working on the premise that if they keep trying, eventually she’ll give in and join. Most others are praying that she doesn’t.

The Dark: Here’s the biggest secret in the sect, although in recent years it’s become more general knowledge. When Marinthaxus first lead a group out from Pandemonium, they admired him as one who had done something they regarded as impossible. Some of them idolised him. And some of them came to worship him. And as time passed, and the numbers of the sect grew, so the belief in Marinthaxus grew, and he became a power—only a minor one, but the sect continues to grow, and as all members of the Dispossessed pay at least lip service to Marinthaxus, so he grows in influence.

Canonwatch: See the Planes of Chaos Travelogue [2e] p38 for an introduction to the Dispossessed sect. The history of the sect and new power presented here is a homebrew addition to the lore.

Source: Galzion

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