"Everything decays. We're just here to help it along."
--Factol Pentar of the Doomguard
Also known as:
Sinkers, Downers, Entropy Rats
Home Field: Each negative quasiplane
Sigil HQ: Armory (The Lower Ward)
The Multiverse is falling apart, it's the way of things. Just look around at this city, it's a prime example of how everything is going down the tubes. But the same goes for everyplace and everything: people die, rocks erode, empires crumble, planes melt away, and even gods disappear. The Multiverse is on its way out, and we're just easing its way along.
Some sods try to fix things up, but they've got everything all upside down and backwards. Fixing things is going against the natural order because it will just decay again anyway. The Doomguard is here to make sure people don't screw with this natural order too much, to make sure The Multiverse continues down its path to decay and final rest. Entropy is a tough pill to swallow, berk, but we all must take it sometime.
Now, most Doomguard members don't go around just destroying everything they see. Even construction is a form of entropy, and most realize this. For a castle to be built, a mountain worth of rock must be chipped away, so The Multiverse is still falling to entropy. This long view is shared by many Doomguard members, but that's not to say all of them follow the line. Some do indeed revel in destruction, believing it their holy duty to speed up the process and to end the suffering of The Multiverse.
The Doomguard controls four great citadels on each of the negative quasiplanes: Ash, Vacuum, Salt, and Dust. The Doomguard sees the Negative Energy plane as the eventual fate of all the multiverse, so they maintain the citadels on the border to further study it. In Sigil, their headquarters is the Armory, which they took by force many, many years ago. They've been allowed to control it since, and many find it bitterly ironic that the faction wishing to bring down The Multiverse now controls the distribution of most weapons throughout it.
The Bleak Cabal and the Dustmen find the entropic views of the Doomguard to be acceptable, though the Bleak Cabal does find it silly to believe The Multiverse has any plan, including the plan to die. The Godsmen also believe that The Multiverse's time is finite, but they think the end comes with complete ascension, not complete destruction. While those three factions occasionally ally with the Doomguard, the Fraternity of Order and the Harmonium view the Doomguard as a reviled threat to existence and go out of their way to stop their mad designs.
The Doomguard accepts anyone who is willing to swallow their theories about the entropy of The Multiverse. However, priests who have the Healing, Law, or Protection domains are rarely accepted and rarely attempt to join.
The Doomguard's open to bashers of all alignments. But a Sinker’s worldview tends to put him in one of the three competing cliques that have popped up in the faction. Those of chaotic alignments usually fall in with the Sinkers who want to accelerate the pace of decay; those of neutral alignments generally agree that The Multiverse should crumble at its own pace, with no help or hindrance; and lawful cutters try to hold entropy to a slow crawl. What’s more, these three distinctions are further coloured by whether a Sinker leans toward good or evil. Good Sinkers prefer inaction as a method of pushing their agenda – rather than tearing down a new kip, they’d merely stop others from shoring up a decrepit one. But evil Sinkers play a more active role, figuring that it’s better to start a fire than sit around and wait for one.
Priests with access to the spheres of creation or healing are banned from the Doomguard; their spells are a slap in the face to the forces of entropy. However, all other classes – including Priests who can’t use those constructive spheres – may join the faction. Fact is, a Sinker’s class often determines how fiercely he fights for entropy. Many fighters take a direct approach, using their strength and weapon skills to weaken bridges, upend merchants’ carts, and so on. Wizards and priests tend to step back and more readily grasp the big picture, promoting decay in a subtle, long-range fashion. And Rogues like to use their abilities to stir up chaos, rather than build their fortunes – a thief might plant stolen goods in the mayor’s pocket, for example, or a sweet-tongued Bard might incite oppressed masses to riot.
Any and all races are accepted as long as all other prerequisites are met.
The Doomguard are militant in their training and their control of the Armory only increases their stress upon the importance of weapons in the continuance of entropy. Doomguard factioneers who come from classes without proficiency in martial weapons automatically receive the feat Martial Weapon Proficiency as long as it is used to learn a sword proficiency of some sort. Those who come from classes who are already proficient in martial weapons get the Weapon Focus feat for free, but also must use it on a sword of some sort. In addition, once per week a Doomguard factioneer may declare that they wish to make an entropic strike against an opponent. The strike must hit as per normal rules, and if it does not the entropic strike is wasted for that week. If it does hit, the weapon's damage is doubled (before ability modifiers but after inherent weapon modifiers), but the factioneer also takes half of that damage to himself for focusing the powers of entropy through his body.
While the benefits of rigorous entropic zeal are many, so are the penalties. Healing magic is an anathema to the Doomguard, and they subconsciously fight off magical attempts at healing. If any being applies healing magic to a Doomguard factioneer, the doomguard must roll a saving throw against it. Only if the roll fails does the magic actually work, otherwise no healing takes place. Also, no Sinker may ever use life-extending magic or pursue immortality through undeath. To do so means instant expulsion from the faction and perhaps worse.
Sigil - Planar Legends: Members of the Doomguard can cast Divine Favor 1/day.
The Doomguard’s open to most everyone, but it wants to make sure that an applicant’s not some berk who’ll run around destroying things just for the fun of it. A body looking to sign up must pass three tests to prove his understanding of and devotion to entropy. First, the basher must smash one of his weapons to pieces on an outer wall of the Armory, showing both decay and his willingness to surrender his past life. Second, he must take a sack containing no fewer than 1000 gold pieces into the Hive Ward and scatter the coins in a public place – if a riot breaks out, all the better.
But it’s the third test that usually gives a basher pause: He must prevent the dabus from trimming back the razorvine on any single overgrown building in the Cage for a full day. With communication difficult and combat most likely fatal (especially if the Lady of Pain takes offense at a berk messing with her agents), the applicant must find more creative method of protecting razorvine. Any cutter who passes all three tests is given a Doomguard-forged sword and henceforth considered a Sinker.
Naturally enough, the Doomguard’s hierarchy is a loose one, despite its militaristic outlook. At the top are the factol and the Doomlords (the equivalent of factors), and below that is everyone else. But the faction’s not going to appeal to everyone, especially not cutters who live to collect and hoard treasure, land, or trinkets. None of that matters to a Doomguard: all that’s important is focusing on the end.
The Doomguard doesn’t bother marking namers and factotums: the only distinctions it makes are among faction members who push hard for entropy, those who let nature take its course, and those who slow it all down. ’Course, as the first hunch of Sinkers is usually the most vocal (and violent), the latter two groups often find themselves viewed as agents – tools, really – to be manipulated by ‘right thinking” faction members. This can often lead to blows when Sinkers of different leanings try to work together. But infighting’s natural, they’d say -just another manifestation of decay.
The Doomguard‘s one of the factions most open to a body’s personal interpretation of its tenets. Regardless of how a Sinker leans, he always responds to a direct threat to entropy. But the method of that response varies from one body to another, depending on alignment and faction leaning. Say a Hardhead moves to break up a brawl, or an Indep tries to quiet a stampeding herd. A Doomguard who believes in speeding up the decay of The Multiverse would physically restrain the berk trying to restore order. Another Sinker might take a longer view: Perhaps letting the Harmonium basher make his arrest is the entropic thing to do, as it may engender more hatred for the Hardheads and eventually spark a mass uprising.
A Sinker’s got to live with his own choices, and that extends to personal habits, as well. Some Sinkers use only the newest of gear, delighting in the erosion of virgin materials. Others use equipment that’s passed through many hands, insistent that secondhand articles be shepherded to their demise. And some sport clothing and weapons so old as to be barely functional. ’Course, a Doomguard warrior who fights with a broken sword won’t be much loved by his adventuring group – except perhaps, by a Rogue who follows the sinker along, picking up gold coins that drop through the hole in his worn pocket.