"The Right Way is the Harmonium Way."
--Factol Sarin of the Harmonium
Also known as:
The Hardheads, the H.
Home Field: Arcadia
Sigil HQ: City Barracks (The Lady’s Ward)Indeps, Revolutionary League, Xaositects
Face it, berks, The Multiverse is a mess. It's a dangerous, unruly place where people end up hurt or written into the dead-book senselessly. Take a look at all the bodies washing down the Ditch someday and tell me it doesn't make you sad to see that its the state of things. But don't despair, because there are those who plan to make a difference. There are those who believe that The Multiverse would be much better off if we all lived peacefully. We'd be more productive, more pleasant, and we wouldn't have to worry about living through each day because everything would be safe. We're committed to bringing peace and harmony to The Multiverse, even if it requires punishing those who would mean you harm. We are the Harmonium.
Some people say we are totalitarian and narrow-minded. Excuse me, but I don't see anyone else successfully making an effort to bring peace to the planes. It's a tough job, and we're tough people, because only tough people can pull this off. This work's not pleasant, trust me, because there are people out there who like to take advantage of others and aren't very keen on us making them behave. But when we do succeed and we introduce Universal Harmony to The Multiverse, a new golden age of prosperity will begin for all. But until then, we must work tirelessly towards that goal, and every threat eliminated brings us one step closer to harmony.
The Harmonium holds many a fortress and citadel on the plane of Arcadia, which already radiates with harmony and order. The Harmonium units stationed here are loved and respected, and it is considered a pleasant escape to be stationed here. In Sigil, the front lines of the war for harmony, the Harmonium controls the City Barracks, where they train and equip their Sigilian patrols.
The Hardheads are integral part of the wheels of justice in Sigil, working with the Guvners and the Mercykillers to maintain the laws of the city. The Hardheads make the arrests, the Guvners conduct the trial, and the Mercykillers carry out the sentence. However, with their narrow and strict interpretation of harmony, they've also made many enemies, including the Free League, the Xaositects, and the Revolutionary League.
The Harmonium opens its doors to all who truly believe in the group’s terms for universal peace. Members of any race and any profession can join, as long as they follow a lawful ethical code.
True belief in the Harmonium way implies a lawful-alignment, but evil members find themselves as welcome as good ones. The understanding of law and order is more important than consideration of good and evil. Fact is, few in the Harmonium seem actually evil; many are good, and lots fall somewhere in the middle of the good-evil spectrum. See, evil doesn’t prove truly conducive to harmony and peace. But even a Baatezu understands order and the advantages of stability.
The “world” is a tough one, and it requires tough people who’ll fight for what’s right. Thus, the Harmonium appeals very much to warriors of all sorts, especially paladins. Rangers don’t make good Hardheads, as so often they enjoy being on their own. Priests prove much more common – at least, those who appreciate the tenets o’ peace and stability. Priests of war gods are harder to find within Harmonium ranks, not because they disagree with the faction so much as having too many of them in the membership would be bad for the Harmonium’s image. A lot of the faction’s priests revere a power called St. Cuthbert from a prime world called Oerth. Seems the followers of Cuthbert have a lot of the same ideas as the Harmonium; any of ’em that visit Sigil find themselves quickly attracted to the faction.
Wizards appear infrequently among the ranks of the Hardheads, though some of the more militant and lawful ones join. Rogues become faction members only rarely, partly because of their very nature – rogues don’t work well with others, after all – and partly because they are known lawbreakers. It surprises many cutters to see that the Harmonium allows rogues into the ranks, but some thieves actually work to prevent others of their class from committing criminal acts. Even the lawful harmonium sometimes has a need for good spies – as long as they don’t break the law, of course.
Once a cutter has joined the Harmonium, though, things like race and profession don’t matter much. A Hardhead is a Hardhead, and they all stick together, cooperating like one big family. Oh, they have their share of squabbles, to be sure, but all Harmonium members know that turning stag means they lose all the benefits of the group. Not only that, they find their formerly beloved faction hunting them; anyone who’s belonged to the Harmonium knows he doesn’t want to become their prey. Not many Hardheads turn stag.
Just as Baatezu understand order, so do members of certain other races. Humans and Dwarves remain the most likely to appreciate order, and a lot of humans join the Harmonium; Dwarves join in smaller numbers, commensurate with their smaller racial population. Githzerai and Bariaur generally don’t appreciate order and seldom join the Harmonium, but some Tieflings and planar Half-Elves join; while most have too much independence for this militaristic faction. some of these loners find themselves drawn to the sense of family the Harmonium offers. As for primes, Elves and Gnomes don’t seem very fond of Hardhead ideas (especially when they find out that faction members exterminated most of their brethren on Ortho.). Most of the primes who join the Harmonium do so because of the recruitment slogans offering stability and security in a strange, new world.
The Harmonium is fearless in their devotion to harmony, and few can stray them from this path. In fact, their loyalty to this notion grants them a +2 to savings throws against any manner of effect causing them fear, even spell-like and supernatural fear effects. In addition, to aid in bringing harmony to the multiverse, Hardheads can cast charm person once per day as a spell-like effect. For purposes of this effect, the Hardhead's caster level is equal to half his class level, round up.
Harmonium members are expected to remain loyal to the Harmonium. Any variance from a superior's orders requires the factioneer to atone for his actions before returning to duty. Leaving the Harmonium is out of the question and is considered to be treason, as is betraying the faction. And treason within the Harmonium automatically ensures a sentence of death.
The Harmonium’s a big faction. Besides several thousand members in Sigil and the 10.000 in Melodia, the Harmonium includes several thousand more elsewhere in Arcadia and a few thousand in the town of Fortitude – not to mention a whole prime world full ‘em. That’s a lot of people. A Hardhead seldom finds himself far away from a fellow Hardhead.
Sigil - Planar Legends: Members of the Harmonium can cast Charm Person 1/day.
A basher can join the Harmonium in one of two ways. First, a body can go to the City Barracks and ask for some recruitment pamphlets. The interested party then receives an invitation to a few minor meetings and social activities, where recruitment officers observe him. If they agree he shows merit, they’ll ask him to join. Other cutter’ll receive an invitation out of the blue to join the Harmonium – it’s one of the few factions that actively recruits. Bloods will talk lots of the Clueless into joining, knowing that their faction’s stability and strength offers the Outsiders a pleasant view of the future. It appears to provide a home and the comfort of what amounts to one huge family.
(Reports that the Harmonium strongarms berks into the faction from off the streets using “Hardhead reform tactics” are greatly exaggerated. But when numbers drop too low to handle increased rioting in the Cage. . . well, sometimes things happen that shouldn’t. Apparently Sarin knows nothing of these unorthodox recruiting methods.)
Every four weeks, all recent recruits gather for Sarin’s indoctrination speech. The factol’s talk shows the type of man he is – tough, forthright, charismatic, and unforgiving – and tells the recruits what to expect. They then get shipped off to training camps on Buxenus, the second layer of Arcadia. At the end of the eight weeks of gruelling training, recruits either have dropped out to become common berks again or have turned into official Hardheads. Those that fail, though regarded with some caution, can freely attempt the training again later. See, the faction fully expects everyone to join eventually.
(Despite Factol Sarin’s words to recruits, the faction does give some second chances. The only ones the Hardheads don’t invite back are those who turn stag on their group. Those, the factol has arrested and tried. Guilty sods usually get sentenced to the leafless tree.)
The Harmonium has a paramilitary organization. Namers who’ve completed their training become Notaries, common soldiers. Notaries fall into five ranks, depending on their length of service, from the lowest Notary Ones to the high at-ranking Notary Fives. Some Notaries later decide to pursue officer training. Every six months, Harmonium high-ups select a few Notaries who have proved tough, smart, and dedicated (and have reached at least 3rd level). These cutters receive advanced training and, on graduation, become Measures, the Harmonium name for factotums. Like Notaries, Measures are divided into five sub-ranks, depending on the length of time served; the lowest-ranking Measure One eventually can he a Measure Five. Above the rank of Measure, the Movers, are the Harmonium’s factors.
These high-ups select new additions to their ranks from among the Measure Fives. Each Mover also holds a rank from One to Five. The factol himself decides who is worthy of promotion among the Movers, basing his decision on ability, length of membership, and outstanding service to the faction. Governing all the ranks is the factol, also known among the Harmonium as the Composer.
(That’s ‘cause he’s the one directing all the components in Harmony, writing the music, as it were.)
The factol holds office as long as his officers deem him competent. When he steps down, a Mover Five becomes the new Composer and promotes a Mover Four to take his place.