Sigil NWN2 PW Wiki

One of the fifteen Factions who rule the city of Sigil.

Faction Branches[]

Below are the listed branches of the Athar, including NPC and PC branches. One is run by the Factol, the rest are run by Factors. Each one has a 'take' on the main philosophy of the Faction, sometimes more like the Factols current interpretation, sometimes very different. Even joint philosophies exist in some of the Faction branches across Sigil, forged both from practical alliances and similar beliefs.

Church of the Great Unknown - Factol Terrance (NPC)

Temple Oversight - Factor Hobard (NPC)

Fifteen Chanters - Factor Kesto Brighteyes (NPC)

Prime Exchange Committee - Factor Caylean (NPC)

Institute for Applied Innovation - Factor Alison (PC)

Faction Philosophy[]

All Athar are united in their belief that the gods are frauds. Not that the gods don't exist, or they don't have power - rather, that the idea of the gods as creatures deserving of worship is just wrong. The Powers don't give mortals anything, according to the Athar; rather, mortals fuel the gods.

As a result, Athar tend to be very "humanist" - they believe in the power of mortals to help themselves, apart from divine intervention (or at least, the intervention of the "Powers" often touted as divinity).

Of course, many of the Lost have also suffered personally at the hands of the Powers, and approach the topic of the Powers with a great deal of bitterness.

But whatever their attitude, Defiers follow the Rule of Three by having three main goals:

1) to prove publicly the falsity of the so-called gods

2) to lessen or destroy their influence

3) to part the veil of the unknowable to glimpse the truth of divinity

Faction Politics[]

The Athar are not very popular among the factions of Sigil, and have always been a bit of a lone wolf as factions go. More than one faction feels threatened by the Athar's rejection of the Powers and Temples - in particular the Harmonium, who promote religion as part of good and harmonious culture. They've also run afoul of the Fated in the past, because the Heartless tend to figure that the gods are holding onto their power rather well, so are probably worthy of it.

The Mercykillers likewise tend to be uncomfortable with the Athar. After all, the Athar don't have the healthiest respect for the law. In recent times, they sheltered the notorious criminal, the Grey Vizier, from prompt justice. The Triad was not impressed. Nor was the Sign of One, whose factor had been the target of the Grey Vizier's ire after he woke the lost god Somnos from his sleeping death.

The Society of Sensation doesn't have a philosophical problem with the Athar, but the fact that Factol Erin Montgomery is a cleric doesn't make for the most stable relationship.

One might think that the Athar might be able to form an alliance with the Doomguard to destroy the gods, but Factol Terrance holds reservations about Factol Pentar; she's a bit too fond of destruction, and he's concerned that her plans will only drive more cutters towards the Powers.

The one reliable ally the Lost have is the Believers of the Source (despite historical tensions), because of the friendship between Factol Terrance and Factol Ambar Vergrove.

Joining the Athar[]

The Defiers don't have any special rituals for new initiates. Simply stating that you want to join is enough. That said, Namers are expected to contribute to the faction - either through working as scribes in the temple, distributing the many pamphlets produced by the Lost, or by providing food and lodging to the faction's factotums (also called Athaons). The Athar provide some compensation for the work and any favors, but it rarely covers the costs. The faction isn't rich, after all, and they need everyone to pitch in to get the word out.

Once a Namer has proved themselves, they may be promoted to Athaon (Factotum). A Namer becomes an Athaon in a night ceremony in the Shattered Temple. The basher must bring three articles (weapons, books, or symbols) imbued with the magic of a fraudulent god and destroy them all at the proper time during the rite.

OOC Mechanical Notes:[]

To join the Athar, pick up a Faction Badge from the Faction Mimir in the OOC room, or from Factotum Hobard at the Shattered Temple.

PC advancement in factions is somewhat standardized in Sigil: City of Doors. The basic criteria is that a PC must demonstrate belief in the faction's ideals, and distinguish themselves as a leader (see Advancing in Factions for more details).

Roleplaying the Athar[]

PCs advance in the Athar much the same as other factions: by demonstrating belief in the faction's ideals, and distinguishing themselves as leaders (see Advancing in Factions). That said, there are some activities Athar are likely to be involved in:

- Composing or copying pamphlets and testimonies while working in the Shattered Temple

- Giving tours of the Shattered Temple

- Proselytizing, or otherwise spreading the word of the Powers' many crimes

- Providing support or encouragement to Clueless who may be doubting everything they were told back in their home Prime about the Powers and the Afterlife

- Investigating temples for possible corruption

- Doing battle with the servants of the gods (outsiders)

(Please note that the above are only examples, provided for inspiration. Do not let them limit your Athar RP!)

Faction Abilities[]

RP Abilities only: Requires consent of a DM/EM or all players involved/affected by its use if no DM/EM is present. (per Server Rules)

All Athar are immune to the following divine spells: abjure, augury, bestow curse, divination, enthrall, exaction, holy ward, and quest. Priests of specific deities may not aid known faction members with spells or other uses of divine power, particularly healing. Only extreme situations might lead a priest to violate this ban. However, Defiers would normally refuse this type of aid anyway.

The Athar receive a +2 bonus to their saving throw vs. priest spells. This bonus also applies to spell-like abilities of creatures such as devas and baatezu serving a power.

Factors learn a special obscurement technique that cloaks them from observation by powers and their minions. Priests, divine servants, and the powers themselves using spells or spell-like abilities to locate or discover information about an Athar factor can do so only after a successful saving throw vs spell.

This obscurement ability would counter the following wizards or abilities: Detect Evil, Detect Invisibility, Know Alignment, Locate Object, Clairvoyance/Clairaudience (if RPed), magic mirror, contact other plane, sending, ensnarement, legend lore, demand, foresight. It also counters the priest abilities of augury, detect lie, divination, reflecting pool, magic font, find the path, exaction.

Banishment (as a 7th level wizard): Athar can use Banishment though only rarely and with the utmost discretion. Four or more Athaons can link hands, encircling their target. By concentrated force of will they can banish petitioners, servant creatures, or proxies of a power back to the god's domain on his plane. (Up to 2 HD or levels of creature per caster level). This ability only works on representatives of a power and it requires no material component. (I.E, they must be a priest of a god). If used against a PC and the PC fails their will save, they are banished from Sigil or whatever plane they were affected by the spell for one full day.

History of the Athar[]

The faction began centuries before the Great Upheaval, soon after two cutters - Dunn and Ciro - encountered one another in Sigil amid the ruins of the Shattered Temple. The shrine existed in its broken state even back then, but Dunn and Ciro looked at its decay from very different viewpoints. See, Dunn had been bilked of everything he possessed by the jealous god Poseidon. His wealth lay in the treasury of the sea gods temple in the gate-town of Sylvania. His wife, lured from him by the chief priest, now graced the enclosed pools of that cleric’s Arborean pavilion. His daughter had been swept away to the plane of Arborea by the power’s proxy. Dunn eyed the Shattered Temple seeking a way to make Poseidon as dead as Aoskar, the power once worshiped there.

Ciro had more of a philosophical bent. He, too, had lost his possessions to a god - Loki - and the god's religious hierarchy. But he’d found he liked his unencumbered life. Roaming the multiverse as an itinerant sage suited him more than slaving in a counting house to maintain a modest town house with its oak furnishings. But Ciro wondered why a power should need to bribe his priests with gold, should require the belief of worshipers to feed his immortality, if he were really a god. Surely divine beings, if they existed, followed different rules than the mortals of the planes. They’d be stronger, yes, like the powers are. Yet deities ought to possess fewer weaknesses, too - they shouldn’t need faith as men needed food, and they should ably support their priests through divine means, rather than stripping poor mortals’ hard-earned jink.

Athar historical texts say that Ciro, adrift in mental meandering, would have overlooked Dunn completely had not that basher mistaken the philosopher for a last surviving believer in Aoskar and attacked him! The outcome is well-known: the duel of swords, followed by the duel of words, followed by a mutual pledge to meet among the ruins again in half a year bringing tales of their deeds against the powers, along with a few like-minded recruits.

Their numbers grew slowly, and obscurity marked the early years of the Athar - a fortunate fact for a group with such controversial ideas as destroying worship of the powers. Eventually, the Harmonium, which uses religion to generate conformity and harmony, realized the full weight of Athar philosophy. The Hardheads diverted their patrols to make a full-scale attack on the Shattered Temple, the faction’s de facto headquarters. The Lady of Pain soon put a stop to such blatant proceedings - all it took was sending the factor behind this movement to the Mazes. However, the Harmonium continued the war with discrete guerilla raids for a long time. When physical efforts failed, they moved the dispute into the Hall of Speakers, pulling the Mercykillers and Fated into the fray on their side.

The members of the Athar fought back, both on the streets and in the Hall, but reserved the bulk of their efforts to attack the minds of Sigil’s populace. They started giving tours of their headquarters, and taking cutters out into the Astral to show them the bodies of dead powers. They also began publishing anonymous propaganda pieces designed to “prove” the gods were frauds through reason, comic illustration, or the stories of individuals bilked by the powers. Both initiatives continue to this day.

Long after the Harmonium gave up, the Believers of the Source made new trouble for the Athar. The Godsmen began erecting small shrines for their more prestigious members. Though initially the shrines centered around the Great Foundry, construction soon moved toward the Shattered Temple.

The Godsmen’s invasion of both the Defiers’ mental territory and physical precinct did not sit well.

The Athar responded by training proselytizers of their own to wait at the false altars and accost would-be worshipers. Their first tactic? Distraction. Defiers made up stories to convince the erring berks that they had business elsewhere, perhaps giving them “news” of a friend newly returned to Sigil. If distraction failed, the Lost attempted direct persuasion, elaborating on the folly of revering normal beings as gods. Only when both distraction and persuasion produced no effect might the proselytizer resort to physical violence. The Defiers grew so skilled at turning away prospective tithers, the Godsmen declared the cost of maintaining the personal shrines prohibitive. The altars abandoned, the two factions forgot their hostility: the similarity of their philosophies brought friendlier relations.

Under Factol Terrance relations with the Godsmen have improved and the faction has steered away from its more confrontational methods of proselytizing.