The Revolutionary League
The Revolutionary League Faction Symbol
'Course, were they anarchists or Anarchists? That's a good question that's got no good answer. A body'd be hard-pressed to find a difference between an independent anarchist and one who's part of the League. One problem with Anarchists (and most anarchists) is they don't write down things like this. They don't leave evidence or witnesses, and they never admit to anything - 'cept maybe that they refuse to accept authority.
The Anarchists get blamed for a lot of supposed sabotage: whenever something goes wrong with another faction's plan, when some high-up gets assassinated, or if some building gets knocked down. And every once in a while, some Anarchist scrawls a message somewhere to take credit for this or that promotion of freedom. The Harmonium has pinned a few events in Sigil - and elsewhere in the planes - pretty firmly on them.
About 300 years ago, an Anarchist lit off a spell that killed the factol of the Mercykillers. The spellcaster managed to blame it on the Fated, starting a war that came to involve almost a dozen factions and put an end to three factions altogether. 'Course, the Anarchists still feel mighty proud of that one.
And then there's the time, about 50 years ago, when the Anarchists managed to place an operative, a blood named Omar, in the Harmonium. He managed to fake it all the way up to factol - and then he tried to disband the faction and shut down its headquarters in Sigil! Hardhead factors accused the cutter of acting against the rules of the organization, arrested him, and took him to the Guvners for trial. In the much publicised case, the cutter announced that he'd always belonged to the Revolutionary League! The Mercykillers made short work of him after the trial of course. The Hardheads issued a few statements saying they'd let Omar think he was in charge, so he'd give himself away. And who'd argue with the Harmonium?
Anyway, Omar reamins a hero to the Revolutionary League, a martyr for the cause. And the Harmonium has felt unhappy with the Anarchists ever since, even more than they were before the spy exposed himself. The Hardheads've even gone so far as to declare the Anarchists a public nuisane. According to the chant of the day, they keep working on a plan to eliminate them - once they find 'em anyway.
The Anarchists always prove tough to find, too, because of their faction's structure. Plus, they can usually smooth their way into other factions without being detected. The social chameleons live everywhere, doing what they do best: fomenting unrest, playing faction against faction, undermining authority, and toppling governments. And when they're done, they'll have the freedom they need to find the Big Dark.
Beringe, a Faction High-upThough he'd never admit it, Beringe is as much of a high-up as the Anarchists have. Because he's a smooth talker and a good planner, he leads several cells of members. He covers his face most times, seldom revealing much more than his bulbous nose and wild eyes. When he carries an Anarchist symbol, it's usually emblazoned on his shield like a crest. However, he carries the symbol only when he wants recognition as an Anarchist - when he wants the group to receive credit for some act of his.
Beringe leads missions with some regularity, always exhibiting few qualms about the taks required by his Anarchist vocation. He has set traps, killed highly placed officials, led fellow Anarchists to start riots, and conducted missions to topple governments on prime worlds. Though concerned mainly with the state of the planes, Beringe remains firmly convinced that the planes constitute only part of the solution; eventually, the Anarchists must cleanse the prime factions as well.
Beringe prides himself on his status as one of the Revolutionary League's finest recruiters. He roams Sigil between missions, looking for the lost, the lonely, and the weary. Whenever he finds a sod like this, he befriends him - maybe buying a meal, maybe just talking. He subtly introduces the concept of factions as bad; if the berk seems receptive, he tells him what the League does to alter the situation. If it all works out, he eventually introduces the recruit to a few Anarchists who begin teaching him the ways of revolution.
'Course, Beringe never admits he's an Anarchist, even to other Anarchists. He often poses as a Hardhead, a Taker, or an Athar. He likely shows his real face in some situations, but wears disguises in most. In fact Beringe has several separate cover identities, complete with histories. This Anarchist can pass for a member of a Hardhead patrol as easily as he could appear as just some basher a body passes on the street. He shows up at unlikely times, always with some creative plan to defy authority. And truth is, he's never even been arrested! At least, not under his real name.
Safe HousesThe Revolutionary League doesn't have a regular headquarters, or even an irregular headquarters. (Some recruiting drives take place in Transformants' Square in The Lady's Ward spikewardfrom the Prison, but usually they just provide a cover to throw the Hardheads off the trail of a real operation.) The League does maintain safe houses, though: places Anarchists can go for quiet talks with like-minded folk.
New Anarchists learn the location of one or two of these refuges once their contacts trust 'em enough to share a bit of the League's own dark. No one knows exactly how many safe houses the faction maintains, but a body might assume every one or two Anarchist cells have their own. And, as no two houses are run by the same people, none resemble each other in the least.
They do share a few common qualities, however. Each safe house has a cover: One might look like a shoemaker's shop, another like a theater, another like a warehouse or tavern. The "cover" is usually legitimate, attracting customers like any other public establishment. Most of these folks have no idea faction business takes place there. So, it not only proves difficult to find a safe house, it sometimes seems tough to make contact with a faction member once one arrives.
Each house also has a password. Some change theirs at regular intervals, others always use the same one. Still others use secret signs, require display of the Anarchist symbol, or use a regular password plus one that changes every few days. Learning the password can prove easier than a body might think: One safe house has its password scrawled on the wall like graffiti: it blends into the decor so a body has to look to see it.
So, a basher first has to find the safe house, then make contact with someone inside (often a door guard) and use the password. The newcomer then finds himself directed to a secret mom (sometimes one of several), where Anarchists can meet without fear of discovery.
Interplanar Importers The most upscale Anarchist safe house lies in The Lady's Ward, not far from the City Court. Not only do the Anarchists enjoy operating out of the Guvners' backyard, they also maintain Interplanar Importers as a safe house for at least a half dozen other factions! A handful of Anarchists work on a rotating basis, spying on the other factions from hidden rooms, secret panels, and two-way mirrors.
Interplanar Importers is a merchant house run by a woman named Quin. The owner, in her early 40s, seems pleasant and professional and has a good business sense. Not surprisingly, Quin knows ahout the secret rooms and passages in her establisbment. but she lets them stay. Fact is, the Sensate helps maintain them - having customers from so many factions offers her a wide range of experience.
In addition to selling materials from throughout the planes, Interplanar Importers also holds a good-sized restaurant offering a wide variety of exotic food and drink. The chef, Katya, loves to experiment with new recipes and expresses her artistic side by redecorating the dining area. Restaurant manager and host Mikal finds some amount of inner peace by handling the daily lunch rushes through sheer instinct. Together, they've created the perfect dining experience.
The Anarchist operation in the safe house was started four years ago by Quin's daughter, Strader. Strader, sometimes known as “the djinni” because she seems to create a whirlwind wherever she goes, used to helong to the Sensates. Eventually, though, she became dissatisfied with their philosophies. After speaking once with a member of the Revolutionary League, she joined without a second thought. Under her cover as a Sensate, however, she has infiltated their ranks quite deeply. The young woman lost no time in setting up two Anarchist cells in her mother's business, to let her comrades spy on the factions that met there. At the time, Strader handled all her mother's hiring and placed more than a dozen Anarchists into positions there. The cells remain discreet, gathering information but protecting their cover by avoiding destructive activities.
The Harim A friendly little establishment called the Harim, not far from the Great Gymnasium, caters mostly to Sensates, Ciphers, Signers, and other self-absorbed sorts. Furnished mostly in soft cushions, the Harim has a theme of decadence with overtones reminiscent of desert evenings. It boasts five metallic domes overhead and a large, open courtyard enchanted to resemble a lush, ivy-covered refuge. Staff members, in silky garments that look comfortable and sensuous, provide patrons with food, drink, and entertainment. Managers encourage the staff to converse with customers at length.
The top manager is the Harim's owner, Cassandra, a pretty young woman with lightcolored hair. For a while, business seemed pretty erratic, as Cassandra's reflex decisions would change the Harim's menu, decor, and policies in a wink. However, the fact that her choices of late - like allowing the Anarchists a foothold - have increased business indicates that Cassandra's on her way to the unity of thought and deed her faction demands.
Two cells of the Revolutionary League work out of the Harim. One run by Nanice devotes itself to gathering information. Traice heads a cell involved in missions of destruction. Both groups carefully avoid activity too close to their base; Harmonium troops have raided the Harim more than once, hut it always gets by with just a warning, thanks to Cassandra's well-placed connections. (They include n friendly Guvner who defends her when necessary.)
House of The Griffon - one of many Anarchist bases in the Hive Ward, the House of the Griffin caters to the low. The place takes its name from its tough, smart proprietor, the Griffin. This thirtyish woman gets her nickname from her piercing gaze and sharp tongue. She sees bar-fights in her place as the progression of entropy and approves of the Anarchists, under Valer, helping that process along.
The Square Bar - Everything in one Anarchist safe house looks perfectly square: the floor, the tables, the crosssection of every beam - even the walls are painted in square designs. Members of the Harmonium, Guvners, and Mercykillers frequent this small Lady's Ward tavern - 'course, so do the Anarchists, always hungry for information on the activities of Sigil's "wheel of justice."
The Secret Door - From the outside, the Secret Door seems nothing more than that: a door on some nondescript wall. Thing is, the door's really a portal to a demiplane, and a body needs a gate key to enter the place at all. This is the most secure safe house - only Anarchists can get in. Some faction members know that cells of Arnarchist leaders meet here, so the chant calls the Secret Door the headquarters of the central cell, if such a thing exists. A blood named Brimarc runs the place and enjoys picking up the magical door and moving it from time to time, to keep it really secret.
Within the Ranks
Beringe of The Revolutionary League
And look into this dark: When the Harmonium or another group kills an Anarchist or wipes out a cell, it actually helps the Revolutionary League. Other factions wouldn't seek the Anarchists' destruction unless they feared them, see? So, lots of berks join up, figuring the League must be doing something right.
A basher might think the Revolutionary League's natural secrecy implies a certain amount of paranoia among its members - and he'd have the dark of it. The Cage can't hold a more suspicious bunch. Even Hardheads trust at least each other, plus most Gnvners, Mercykillers, and select others. Anarchists don't trust anyone, not even other cell members.
Most Anarchists are human, since they can best infiltrate other factions. Its peery nature makes the Revolutionary League a good home for loners, so tieflings and half-elves join in large numbers. However, they seem less inclined to participate in the more subtle undertakings of the cells that require them to interact with other groups under cover. Bariaur often prove a little flamboyant for the Anarchists' tastes. Githzerai have a special affinity for the League, but dwarves and other races strongly inclined toward law seldom join.
Of the many Anarchist warriors, most work as fighters, though the League has a few rangers, too. It also embraces priests and wizards, the latter usually concentrating on enchantments, divinations, and other covert magic. 'Course, the most common profession by far in the League is that of thief and other rogues.
Though they claim to accept all comers, the Anarchists keep out lawful types, who'd feel adverse to overthrowing the order in society. A few good bashers join, believing in the nobility of bringing down factions, despite the violence that arises. Some evil types join because of that violence. However, most of the faction breaks down evenly between chaotic and neutral members. 'Course, perhaps the lack of lawful types is what keeps the League from really getting organized.
Anarchist MembershipJoining the Revolutionary League proves and adventure in itself. Since the Anarchists are everywhere, they're very easy to find. Trouble is, most sods don't know when they've found one. Berks asking for them too vocally will likely draw unwanted attention, and that means they'll never attract the Revolutionary League.
But the patient cutter, who casually tells a few folks how unhappy he feels with authority, sooner or later has an Anarchist approach him.Until the League member satisfies himself that the cutter really wants to belong, he remains the newcomer's only faction contact. When the Anarchist trusts the new basher - after an hour or a year - he takes him to a cell meeting.
Cells have at least three members, and sometimes as many as eight. When too many bashers join a cell, it splits; one person remains a part of both cells, to help communications. Sometimes, a member of a cell recruits Anarchists to lead a new cell. Each cell's leader always belongs to one other cell.
Think of the League's structure as a web. In the centre lies a cell of leaders, more or less equivalent to the factors of other factions. The leaders of this cell comes closet to a factol, but the position rotates, so no one gets to used to the power. Each blood in this cell runs one or more other cells of foctotums: those who've proven their devotion. In turn, each factotum runs one or more other cells of factotums and namers.
'Course, that's just the theory ahout the League: no Anarchist would willingly reveal details of the faction's structure. Nobody even knows whether the League has one central cell or several. The variations on the Anarchists' symbol seen around the Cage imply quite a few central cells with very little membership.
The chant goes like this: If the Anarchists really stemmed from a single central cell, they'd have a firm direction. By now, they'd suely have chosen which faction to topple first. With all the resources at their disposal, a truly organized League could've toppled a dozen factions already. If the group devotes a central cell to each other faction, these cells inevitably work at cross-purposes sometimes. Fortunately for the other factions, the League's natural secrecy keeps it from organising itself enough for a big push - so far.
The Anarchists admire stealth and other rogue skills, so the cells train their members in forgery and disguise. A League factotum (any cutter belonging to two or more cells) can learn nonweapon proficiencies from the rogue group at normal cost, regardless of class. Rogue characters gain a special +2 bonus to their scores for their rogue proficiencies.
Best not forget the special power that all Anarchists share: They can pose as a member of any other faction automatically, without being detected. While they don't receive the special abilities of the assumed faction, they gain acceptance, access to their headquarters, and can call on members of other factions for aid. (Fact is, Anarchists can get help from a member of another faction sooner than from their own.)