To Chance with Hell (Planescape)
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The Mind’s Eye: The Multiverse is Yours
The Mind‘s Eye came into existence shortly after the Faction War, a combined grouping of both the Believers of the Source and the Sign of One. Those who gather under the name of the Seekers follow a mixture of their parent factions‘ tenets, choosing to travel the planes in search of challenges, which they believe is the path to a new level of existence. Somewhat self-centered, and every last one filled with an over-inflated sense of self-esteem, the Seekers view the multiverse as their personal playground. This arrogant attitude has unfortunately resulted in a lack of popularity with the average planar, though despite first appearances they are far from the callously detached egomaniacs that some berks would have you believe them to be.
Philosophy: Explore existence; face life‘s challenges; discover yourself and the multiverse.
Nickname: Seekers, Visionaries.
Home Location: The Outlands.
Prominent Members: Sarazh, Itheros
Symbol: A finely crafted sword, with a corona of flames rising from its hilt. Coiled around the blade is a sinuous Chinese-style dragon, its scales a radiant gold, and eyes glowing intently. This combination of the two parent factions‘ symbols represents their union as a new and budding influence across the planes.
Related skills: Nature, Perception. A player may start the game with skill focus with either skill if they choose not to pick a skill related to being a Primer, or Planar.
Faction bonuses with the Mind’s Eye will confer abilities such as:
- bonuses for the Mind’s Eye member to hit targets
- reroll abilities
- bonuses that temporarily raise defenses
The Philosophy of the Mind’s Eye
If you were to ask any average planar about the powers, they would most likely claim that they are almighty beings, possibly beyond the ken of any mortal, capable of changing the very fabric of existence on a whim. Members of the Mind‘s Eye view things a little differently. As the Seekers see things, the powers are just one rung up the ladder from any other person, those who have come to understand the nature of the multiverse well enough to rise to the next stage of a natural cycle. The fact is the Mind‘s Eye sees existence as a huge succession of circles, or rings. Every time one of us dies, we are reborn in a new body, and with every life we learn a little bit more about the path to cosmic truth. It may take countless lifetimes for a soul to move on, but given the time and disposition, anyone can pass that final boundary into the next level of existence. The Seekers believe the only way to travel up this ladder is to embrace and attempt as many of the countless challenges and opportunities that life presents you with as possible.
The challenges that one is presented with during each life are countless, coming in almost any form; some are blatantly obvious while others will pass you by without you ever knowing it. To fail a challenge in the conventional sense is not the issue, for even in failure experience, and therefore knowledge, is gained. By the Seeker line of thought there was no failure to begin with; the only true failure is in not proving your worth. While one who truly follows the path of the Seeker will be rewarded with a higher state of existence, those who stray away from it may be shown their error by moving backwards and living their next life as a lemure or any other virtually mindless being.
There is no set path to enlightenment for every faction member; such a path is a very personal one. One of the main challenges for a budding Seeker is to find their own route to the next stage. While one may find their path in the simplicity and primal nature of battle and warfare, another may find it in the intricacies of sculpture or any other art form. For this reason, Seekers believe that others should be helped and encouraged to find and follow their own paths, in the hopes that all can eventually fulfill their potential and arise as new powers.
Because the members of the Mind‘s Eye see existence as one huge challenge, many have come to consider the planes to exist purely for themselves. Everything that they encounter is there as part of their own personal series of tests, therefore only existing to mold them into their final state of enlightenment, bit by bit. This has led to a reputation of self-centeredness for the faction‘s members, and although this isn‘t strictly true, there is still an obvious level of detachment surrounding most Seekers. This attitude is almost certainly descended from their predecessor, the Sign of One, a faction who by the time of the Faction War had come to view themselves as virtually deities due to their ability to manipulate reality by will alone.
The important issue to remember is that according to the Seekers, all beings have this potential deeply ingrained in their very souls. Even the lowliest maggot has a chance of transcending, no matter how many stages away from such a goal it may appear. Because of this, all beings should be given a certain level of respect, as for all you know they may be on the very threshold of enlightenment. Every being goes through its various lives in a massive cosmic test to prove his value, rising and falling in relation to each life‘s demonstration of worth.
The Mind‘s Eye was originally formed from the Believers of the Source and the Sign of One, two of the fifteen factions to take up place in Sigil after the Great Upheaval. The Believers of the Source, or Godsmen, as they were commonly known, were formed by Perrine, an athlete and philosopher who considered the possibility that an individual‘s success and achievement in one pursuit may be in fact affected by past actions, which may at first glance appear unrelated. He eventually chose to found a group based around this theory, hoping to discover if following a certain sequence of actions could in turn produce only good results.
Around the same time as these embryonic Godsmen were beginning to form, an older society known as the Sign of One had started to flourish. Originally based around the revelations of a woman named Rilith, the faction encouraged members to spend their time teaching the benefits of positive thought, and how it could influence the surroundings of an individual, if concentrated on a single purpose. Despite this seemingly harmless ideal, the focus of the Signers, as they were known, was changing. They gradually began to expand the uses of their reputed mind powers, starting to make dramatic proclamations of events that they intended to cause, then drawing as much attention to the occurrence when it finally happened. Eventually the principle of positive thought was completely forgotten, abandoned as members became self-proclaimed gods, believing themselves capable of making anything they desired come to pass.
When the time of the Great Upheaval occurred, myriad ideological groups were winnowed to the fifteen factions that were to dominate Sigil for the many centuries that followed. It was at this time that the Godsmen were finally given a better-defined philosophy. Their factol at the time, Augy of Faunel, came to the understanding that she was actually her one-thousandth incarnation, and discovered that she could recall each and every one of her past memories. Following her new addition to the faction‘s beliefs, and several other revelations during the following centuries, the Godsmen moved their purpose to helping every living being ascend the ladder of existence in the hopes that eventually a life itself would rise to a new level of existence.
Both factions continued their own courses, becoming close allies, but at the same time retaining their own beliefs, until the Faction War occurred. Just as conflicts between the factions began to reach a boiling point, factols Vergrove and Darius disappeared. With their leaders gone, both factions individually concluded that they had ascended to another level of existence, but like most of the other factions tried to keep their disappearances in the dark, not realizing that this occurrence was not unique to their faction. When full-out warfare finally started between factions, both groups were in a state of confusion. Without the factols to guide them, all the factions began to fall apart, each accusing another of the turmoil that wracked Sigil. A few days after the destruction of the Armory at the hands of a combined force of Hardheads, Martyrs, and Sensates, both the Sign of One and the Believers of the Source chose to join this alliance in the opposition of the Anarchist threat, realizing that the stability of the City of Doors was now at stake.
Eventually, when the Lady of Pain intervened and chose to cast the factions out of Sigil once and for all, the Godsmen realized that this was possibly the catalyst they had all been waiting for. How could they experience all that the planes had to offer if they simply stayed confined to one city? Taking the much-needed push, they chose to abandon Sigil, intending to leave for the limitless potential of the planes. Just prior to their leaving Sigil for good, the Godsmen were approached by the Sign of One. In recent times the strain of keeping a faction based entirely on the ideal that every member was the center of the multiverse was starting to have an effect. So many splinter groups had formed from the Signers that they were gradually beginning to fall apart, each chasing their own personal objectives, forgetting the true meanings behind the faction. As a result, the remaining high-ups chose to make an offer to merge with the Godsmen, hoping to form a new faction by joining their like beliefs. The faction that arose from this union was the Mind‘s Eye, also known as the Seekers. Merging the philosophies of the two factions, they elected Ombidias, former factor of the Godsmen and a voadkyn from the little-known prime world Glemayne, to be their new factol. The Seekers chose to move out into the planes to find what destiny awaited them, ready to find the inspiration and motivation that their predecessors had lacked.
Upon leaving Sigil, the Seekers wandered aimlessly amidst the magnitude of the planes for a time, lost as to where to go or how to continue their plans. Gradually, after much traveling, they found that the Outlands was the plane most likely to suit their needs, a land of unlimited variety from which they could extend their search into the more turbulent planes surrounding it. Thus it has become the center of many Seeker journeys, a suitable doorway to everything the Great Ring has to offer.
The Mind‘s Eye is generally a very individualistic, scattered faction. As a result, it lacks much of the structure and influence of the more organized factions, the members being more interested in the achievement of the individual‘s own personal goals than in the overall might of the faction. As a whole, the Mind‘s Eye is still in the process of forming its plans and intentions, being currently most interested in working out its place on the planes. The majority of the faction for the time being is located around Tir na Og, the realm of the Celtic pantheon. This place seems to be quite an inviting location to use as a base of operations, and though there is still some dispute, it appears for now to be a temporary power center for the faction, at least until a proper decision can be reached. Although the Seekers are based in the Outlands, the majority of them do not stay in one place for any extended period. Expanding their horizons, many have taken to traveling the planes as much as possible, hoping that it will provide them with some new insight into their own teachings.
One of the main objectives of the faction currently is to try to form allegiances with several of the other exiled factions wandering the planes, creating bonds from their similar situation if nothing else. These negotiations are going well with the Fraternity of Order, but also with the Athar, albeit to a lesser extent.
Despite these issues, possibly the greatest problem that Factol Ombidias is being forced to deal with is sorting out his own faction‘s members, and keeping the more problematic ones under control. Some of the Seekers still seem to cling too closely to their old factions‘ tenets, unwilling to modify their beliefs in accordance with the dramatic changes that have occurred over the past few years. This issue has not become too major yet, but Ombidias has every intention of “nipping it in the bud” before it begins to grow out of hand. Occasionally there are small flare-ups between those who interpret the faction beliefs differently, but on the whole, the situation is being kept under control.
An issue that is currently being discussed is the proposal of the construction of a new faction hall. Although not even the style or scale of such a building has been addressed, several suggested locations have been offered. The currently most popular ones are in the city of Thebestys, which is said to have a library containing the answer to almost any question, and an undefined location in the Hinterlands, though the latter is only supported by the more eccentric members of the faction. Some have even suggested the notion of a hall capable of shifting from plane to plane, an idea which would not only demonstrate the outgoing style of the Seekers, but also make a clear statement of power to the rest of the factions.
Due to the relative youth of this faction, the Mind‘s Eye has had very little time to develop allegiances, or set up its place among the rest of the factions. Despite this, the Fraternity of Order feels a certain sense of kinship with the Seekers, and is probably the closest group that the Mind‘s Eye has as to ally to date. Seeing many similarities between the two factions‘ central beliefs, the Mind‘s Eye realize that the Fraternity of Order‘s constant search to understand the laws that bind the planes together, and their own acceptance of the tests that the multiverse presents, are not so different.
The Athar are also in the process of trying to develop a level of friendship with the Seekers. This is primarily due to the fact that both call the Outlands home, and because of the vulnerable situation that the Athar are currently in, now that the Lady of Pain does not protect them from the powers. Several groups of ambassadors and diplomats have presented themselves to the Seekers in hopes of allegiance, but there is still a reasonable level of mistrust, mainly due to the bitter rivalry between the Athar and the Sign of One prior to their disbanding.
Likewise, the Seekers do not have any real foes currently. They simply have not been around long enough to be able to tread on anyone‘s toes seriously enough to spark proper conflict. This is bolstered by the fact that the Believers of the Source were generally well received throughout the planes, and although since their disbanding this benefit has lessened to a degree, the legacy of their influence among most political groups is still partially present today.
Unfortunately, the somewhat self-absorbed attitude of the Seekers is gradually growing into a widespread stereotype across the planes. Although on a political level they are currently unopposed, faction members have a growing bad reputation among the normal populace of the planes as being troublemakers. This is gradually developing into an issue for the faction, as the numbers of those wishing to join the Seekers are generally low.