(Planar jermlaine [he/him] / Athar / N)
“Julius? You might think he’s harmless enough, but that little pike is a real thorn in the foot of the factions! He’s well known amongst philosophers as ‘the contrary’ or ‘the bloody-minded’, because if they announce a new idea or theory, he’s guaranteed to publish a paper which utterly and convincingly refutes it. Sometimes, it’s like he’s spring-loaded to deny; a cutter can see why he’s in the Athar.
“Mind you, he isn’t averse to criticising his own faction’s ideas. The Athar visionary Doubter Xashion has announced revolutionary new tactics to antagonise the priesthoods of the Cage, only to have them contradicted within the hour by Julius. The jermlaine says that he likes a good argument, and reckons that new ideas should always be doubted before they can be fully accepted. And considering he’s only one foot tall, he seems to have a mighty loud voice in Sigil.
“However, given the usual penchant for jermlaine to try and humiliate any humanoids bigger than themselves (basically any of them), one could surmise that while Julius is certainly more intellectually sophisticated than his fellow jinxkin (as jermlaine are commonly called), he hasn’t lost the indignant streak that runs through the race. Considering that he’d make a tasty morsel for many of the philosophers he’s humiliated in his time (amongst them the tanar’ri Rule-of-Three “who’d claim two and two make three, four and five if it suited him, an everyone’d still applaud and say how sodding wise he was”, and the illithid Lithoss “if he doesn’t change the screed his dead faction screams it’ll be the Lady doing the mind flaying”), Julius has not only done well overcoming the more fearsome personalities of Sigil, but also not being slain by them afterwards!
“Of course, you’d be a leatherhead to assume he got where he is by his own merit. The jermlaine performs a useful function as a denier of new ideas, and I use him to slow the progress of new thought in Sigil by forcing visionaries to reconsider their lofty notions. It works well, and I am particularly proud of my foresight and planning in Julius’ case.”
— Jemorille the Exile
From an interview with Magnum Opus on Qaida’s mimir:
QAIDA: “Is there any truth to the rumour that Julius the Symmetrical is actually your familiar? After all, it’s not often that he’s seen without you nearby, or vice versa.”
MAGNUM OPUS: [coyly] “Perhaps. Then again, maybe we’re just good friends. I am, of course, a priestess of Shekinester. Clerics don’t normally have familiars, do they..?”
Q: “Some of ’em do, as well you know, Magnum Opus! So does this mean that the little mite is actually putting across views that you’re uncomfortable saying yourself?”
M: “Not in the slightest. I’m a historian, not a philosopher. I don’t care to poke my beak into their little squabbles, though even I must admit that what he does, he does well.”
Q: “Is it true that you protect Julius from his many powerful enemies?”
M: “That would be telling, wouldn’t it! True enough, I did once shelter him when he feared Zaraga the annis was chasing him — the rest of the poor sod’s family were gobbled up by the old crone and he’s been afraid of hags ever since — and I do remember that time when Julius called Shemeshka the Marauder an “addled illiterate old wolf-headed dretch” (when she refused to respond to a letter he’d sent to SIGIS about the puppet strings of so many cutters she’s holding) and then petitioned me for aid when the fiend sent a pack of vaath after him. Strangely that all blew over pretty quick, and Julius hasn’t spoken a word about Shemeshka since; I can’t help but wonder if she’s bought his silence, or whether he’s just plain scared of her”.
Q: “Finally, is the chant true that Julius is trying to make his name in rilmani circles?”
M: “Ask him yourself. I did once, and you know what he said? ‘They wouldn’t have me…I’m far too short.’ “
“What am I working on next? Well, I’m drafting a letter for SIGIS I’m concerned about some recent happenings in the Cage. See, I’ve noticed some of my high-up ‘acquaintances’ have recently been changing in their moral and ethical outlooks. ‘Course, it’s not something that many observers would mind much, seeing as it’s mainly evil bashers who’re suddenly coming out on the side of good.
“So what’s the problem with that, you ask? Well, aside from the mysterious suddenness of it all, it’s a bit of a dangerous precedent, ain’t it? I’m all for free choice and free thought, but when a marraenoloth suddenly starts plying Oceanus and an ettercap gets kind and gentle as an Elysian lamb, I start to worry. I refer of course to Barren, the oarsman who occasionally appears in the Cage on the tide of the cleansing waters of the Ditch, and Nux the ettercap mistress of webs in the Spider Tower. Both these bashers used to be dark of heart, if not quite as evil as some examples of their respective races. Yet suddenly, almost overnight, and within weeks of each other, they both turn to face the light. There are others also, I believe.
“As far as I know, they have never met. But could this ethical inversion be an imbalance of the mind caused by poisons? Or more worryingly, a disease? And if it turns into a contagion then this would surely harm the Balance. Maybe we will only know for sure if or when the rilmani intervene…”
— Julius the Symmetrical
“Sure I know Julius. He’s a sweet little pug-nosed berk, truth be told, and one of a frustratingly strong will. I first noticed him a few years back, and thought he’d be a great catch to present to my master back on the Abyss. Being a temptress of mortals, one gets to be a fairly good judge of character on these matters, see. The balors always like a free-spirited thinker, and if he’s famous (or infamous) in Sigil, so much the better.
“‘Course, the shrewd blood saw right through me, though he seemed more flattered than offended that I was trying to seduce his soul away. There’s no accounting for taste, but we became firm friends after that, and we still see each other regularly. I like the little pike now too much to want to harm him, even though my master’s promised me double my usual reward…it’s nice to have friends in high places, I think. And a girl’s got to have allies, even if she is a succubus, I say.
“Mind, even if I was still after the jermlaine I’d have second thoughts now he’s gotten friendly with that moingo n=n+1. For a lawful it ain’t too bad a sort, but I could do without its leatherheaded calculations and ‘insights’. The fact that Julius rides around on it like a sodding flying carpet don’t make it easier to bear, neither. Still, you can’t blame a basher for his choice of friends; I’ve got some pretty unlikely companions myself. Comes with the territory, berk…”
— Tryste, succubus
- Cage Rattlers: Barren, Lithoss, Magnum Opus, n=n+1, Nux, Tryste.
- Uncaged: Faces of Sigil: Jemorille the Exile (p.50), Qaida (p.80), Rule-of-Three (p.84), Shemeshka the Marauder (p.96).
- Dungeon Magazine 55: Zaraga is detailed in the adventure Umbra.
- Philosophers with Clubs: Doubter Xashion is an Athar Visionary detailed on the Mimir.
- Planes of Contradiction: Read Julius’ contrary essay on planar morals and ethics.
Source: Jon Winter-Holt, mimir.net, art based on original by Chris Appelhans