"Beautiful is! Chaos too dim multiverse. Is to notice most the of."
--Factol Karan of the Chaosmen
Also known as:
Home Field: Limbo
Sigil HQ: Hive (Hive Ward)
What's so hard here to understand? The Multiverse is chaos! That's it. Can you prove to me that there is any pattern or plan to it? The only order I see in the whole big picture is the order that the addle-coves like the Guvners and the Harmonium have tried to impose upon it. Minute they're gone, their whole plan falls apart and everything reverts back to chaos.
Why fight an uphill battle? Why go against the natural chaos of The Multiverse? Embrace the insanity, and you'll feel a whole lot more comfortable with it. Chaos isn't a scary thing if you don't try to control it. In fact, it's beautiful and truly free. Randomness is amazingly wonderful to behold, with all its intricacies and secrets. Only in the chaos will you understand true freedom and only with true freedom can you understand the Truth.
The plane of Limbo is the playground for the Xaosmen. It rages with unspoiled chaos; no one has locked it into any imposed order. Here they live in its chaotic waves and shape it into temporary dream-worlds of their pure fancy. But to get the rest of The Multiverse to be freed from the shackles of order, the Xaosmen venture to Sigil, where they make their headquarters in the Hive, shifting amongst the most turbulent slums.
There are some who help free The Multiverse from order in their own ways, and therefore sometimes become allies of the Xaositects. The Doomguard and the Revolutionary League work to break down the massive physical and ideological structures which have locked up The Multiverse. In addition, the Bleak Cabal makes no efforts to impose any scheme or plan upon The Multiverse, which is at least better than most others. It is not very surprising though that factions like the Harmonium and the Guvners, who are trying to build order or discover order, are loudly and sometimes violently opposed to the Chaosmen.
The shifting ranks of the Xaositects are open to anyone, but only those of chaotic alignments can handle giving themselves to pure chaos.
How does one recognize a Chaosman? The most obvious method is to look for the faction symbol on the basher’s clothing. A more patient cutter might observe the character: Eventually, a Xaositect’ll do something disorderly. ’Course, just because someone acts chaotic or disobeys a law doesn’t mean he’s a Xaositect. A body might also figure it out by talking to a Xaositect; lots of ’em scramble their syntax once in a while, and others do it all the time. Finally, a Xaositect might come right out and admit he belongs to the faction. Few others, even barmies, would go around falsely claiming membership. See, the Harmonium doesn’t like the Chaosmen. Siding with chaos violates their rules – so the act could really place a berk in a blind. The Xaositects don’t like pretenders, either, and more than one sod has wound up in care of the Dustmen for impersonating a member.
Every basher’s got a story about the weird things Xaositects do or say. Then there’s the time a couple of years ago when all the Xaositects acted “normal” for about a week That really shook some bashers, ’cause no one could figure what the Chaosmen were Up to. Turns out they weren’t up to anything, things just happened that way. See, the Xaositects figure that if they acted chaotic all the time, they’d become predictable. Namers, smashing things just for havoc’s sake, miss the point. Being chaotic ain’t an excuse to kill wantonly. The object ain’t to cause chaos, but to observe it and be a part of it. A lot of cutters talk about the Chaosmen like they know ‘em. Ain’t true. Nobody really knows the Xaositects – not even other Xaositects. Members of this faction do share a few common traits, though.
Hardly needs saying, but a Xaositect needs to be chaotic. Actions always reveal a faction member’s moral tendency, eventually. Evil Chaosmen still act cruel and selfish, just more randomly than most. Good ones leave haphazard beauty and chance kindnesses in their wakes. A truly chaotic cutter might commit an evil act one day and a good one the next, then seem pretty neutral for a couple of weeks. Most in the faction act chaotic neutral: even those that start out good or evil find themselves slipping away from those ethics, which only distract them from the sublime joy of chaos.
As a body might expect, the Xaositects attract a variety of different professions. Alignment keeps out some, l i e druids and paladins, but the ranks of chaos include at least a few of almost anything else. Quite a lot of warriors join, since – as any mage’ll say – brawling doesn’t take much concentration. (By the same token, few Xaositect warriors have the single-mindedness needed to learn a weapon specialization.) Simple fighters seem the most common, though a few solitary Ranger types belong as well. Expect to see a high proportion of rogues, too, since they’re usually the selfish types that like a faction that lets a body do whatever he wants. A lot of prime thieves can accept the Xaositects, ‘cause it doesn’t demand much from ’em.
Chaosman priests, though uncommon, always devote themselves to a chaotic power. Chant says some of the major Xaositect priests are proxies of those powers. Thankfully, the Xaositects don’t have too many wizards, either, because studying magic takes a lot of concentration, which most Chaosmen can’t manage. However, since magic can add so much chaos to the cosmos, more than a few Xaositects become wild mages. The faction includes a few illusionists, transmuters, and invokers as well, but not many other specialists. A body’s well-advised to stay away from any of these spellcasters. A Xaositect with a sword is one thing, hut one who can toss fireballs is another matter.
Not only do the Xaositects not have a human majority, the group hasn’t got a majority of anything – just a lot of humans and githzerai, and Bariaur, tieflings, and half-elves. The faction also welcomes members from a few dozen other races, from minotaurs to slaadi. A group with no rules to speak of doesn’t leave anyone out.
The Xaositects have an assortment of strange abilities related to their understanding and acceptance of chaos and randomness. First, Chaosmen are encouraged to learn and use a form of language they call scramblespeak, which is actually just Common except words and sometimes even letters are scrambled randomly. Because of this skill, all Xaositects can take the Innuendo skill as a class skill, regardless of their actual class. Scramblespeak can then be used though the Innuendo skill, but only if the Xaositect is talking to another Xaositect. If the check succeeds, the other Xaositect understands what the speaker is conveying, even though it will sound like complete gibberish to everyone else. In addition, a Chaosman can reroll any single roll, once per day. However, by choosing to do so, they are fixed into whatever the second roll is; they can not take the better of the two.
Because of their chaotic natures, they can not found businesses, build strongholds, raise armies or undertake any action that requires a plan. If they are somehow forced into acting by a strict plan, they actually suffer a -2 to all checks until they do something spontaneous and break out of the plan. In addition, because Chaos seems to follow a Xaositect, if they ever roll a Critical Failure (pg 92 in the DMG), they instead suffer a catastrophic failure. Seriously unusual things will happen in a big way, such as a catastrophically failed Climb check causing an avalanche or a catastrophically failed Perform check bringing down the house...literally. In fact, a roll of "1" is the only roll which a Chaosman can not ever reroll (using their above granted ability).
Sigil - Planar Legends: Members of the Xaositects can cast Confusion 1/day.
Joining even this chaotic faction requires following a procedure of sorts. Naturally, this procedure varies. But the one detail that always stays the same is that bashers wanting to join first have to be sponsored by a member. Usually, the faction member recommending new recruits is a Xaositect high-up, the equivalent to a factor, or the factol. Sure, sometimes a mere namer accepts someone into the faction and no one blinks; other times, a factor gives the go-ahead, and nobody else accepts the new sod, as though in unvoiced accord. There’s not much rhyme nor reason to this method, but folks say Chaosmen can sense the chaos (or lack of it) in a new member. A basher who fits in with them just fits, and everybody in the faction knows it instinctively. (The chant whispers that nobody even had to let Koran in: one day he just showed up in Sigil calling himself a Xaositect, and six weeks later – was the factol.)
Sometimes a basher has to take a test to join, and sometimes a Xaositect sponsor just says “okay.” Some new members had to go through a waiting period or an interview with a few Chaosmen; others had to pay dues or sign statements of intent. One sponsor makes prospective members dress up funny and do barmy stunts. ‘Course, a basher who wants to join doesn’t necessarily have to do what he’s told – sometimes the Xaositect sponsor d l y wants a refusal. Once an “official” member, a cutter usually starts wearing the faction symbol, so everyone knows his affiliation. The symbol tells other Chaosmen, ‘1l want to know when someone has a bright idea, so I can get in on the act." ’Come, any faction member can always approach a handful of comrades in chaos and give ’em an idea for something new and interesting to try – but if he doesn’t wear the symbol himself, another Xaositect might not know to include him in the fun.
Do Chaosmen have ranks? Well, as usual, the answer is "sometimes." Xaositects form a spontaneous, spastic sofi of organization, its members always working at a half dozen different tasks at once, and ready to drop them all when a new brainstorm hits. New Chaosmen, or namers, just lie to cause chaos and act barmy. Everybody’s seen ‘em: They make their affiliation an excuse for bizarre actions, seem willing to why literally anything, and can’t stick with one thing for more than five minutes. They’ll work for themselves or anybody with an interesting idea, regardless of its consequences. Thing is, namers try to be chaos, rather than be a part of chaos.
Though they wear their faction symbols like badges, namers don’t get much respect. Once in a while, a namer’ll catch a due and advance to the equivalent of a factotum, sometimes called a boss. To become a boss, a basher must win the acceptance of other bosses (as determined by the DM). It’s an unstated acceptance, ~ when a group of bosses latches onto a namer’s notion (like racing around The Lady’s Ward tickling folks with an Erinyes feather) and run with it. See, any berk can unite a group of namers behind a goal, but only a basher of boss material can motivate higher-ups.
A cutter from another faction can recognize bosses by their air of leadership, as well as by their small groups of followers. Some will stick with a boss for quite a while. happily caught in the eddies of someone else’s chaos, but others come and go. As they grow more and more attuned to the chaos around them, some bosses eventually move up in the ranks. (Again, the DM decides whether to promote a character, an advance not necessarily related to level.) These folks become big bosses: more or less the equivalent of factors in other factions. Big bosses really marshal the chaos around them. They act a lot like regular bosses, bringing groups of Xaositects together for specific purposes. But a perceptive cutter might tell that big bosses work with more skill in chaos than mere bosses, and that they can gather bigger groups of followers. Fact is, big bosses get regular bosses to go out and gather groups together for particular tasks. The best compliment a basher can pay a big boss is calling him a “mobile center of disorder.” Maybe a half-dozen big bosses live in Sigil and elsewhere, like the town of Xaos on the edge of The Outlands. Some have held factor rank for months or years; others last only an hour or a week. Some prominent ones fill in when Karan gets bored as factol.