The Fraternity of Order

The Fraternity of Order Faction Symbol
The Guvners have a long history, but not one full of passion, colour, or heroic deeds. Their history fills volumes, but reading it could bore a rock to sleep. 'Course, don't think the Fraternity of Order has no events of interest in its history. Faction members simply analyse past events, dissect 'em, and discuss 'em until even discovering an entirely new plane'd seem mundane. They boil the greatest deeds down so much, they make a basher think the feat follows logically from previous events, even barmy could've done it.
The Guvners' records go back at least a thousand years, maybe more. For starters, the Fraternity of Order became an organised group 982 years ago. At that time, the members established the rules for chartering a faction in Sigil; eventually the other factions had to follow suit. The Guvners, therefore, consider themselves the first faction, since they were the first chartered under the current rules. Other factions disagree.
Anyway, the Guvners easily survived the Great Upheaval. They record everything that happens to them, have regular meetings, and naturally take minutes at every one. Fact is, minutes from a meeting held 900 years ago yesterday are still moldering in a vault somewhere on Mechanus.
The Guvners also keep a lot of other reference material; by conducting research in any field, they believe they can uncover previously unknown (or unrealized) laws. They've been right more than a few times, they say; some Guvner studying weather, monster biology, and, say, mining processes might come up with a realization that uncovers a pertinent discovery.
The Guvners record all such findings in one of their vast legal tomes. 'Course, they consider these their most important records, so they sort and classify and organise and duplicate them. These volumes of Rules, Laws and Axioms become their history of the discovery of law and illustrate the overall history of the faction.
Though a body'd he hard-pressed to tell from their records, the Guvners have done a lot of great things - for themselves, for the Cage, and for all who revere law and order. While they make a lot of rules to govern themselves, they do not make laws to govern others. After all, the other factions would rebel if they didn't get their say, and the Lady of Pain wouldn't like that. It's ironic that one of the Fraternity of Order's highest Rules forbids them from creating laws for Sigil on their own.
Still, the Guvners keep track of all the laws that are made (or discovered), in Sigil and on other planes. They also keep track of all sorts of legal precedents and interpretations of the laws. This duty makes them great legal advisers, advocates, attorneys, and judges. Though they can't make city laws, they do keep the mechanism of law well oiled and moving. See, the Guvners are the ones pushing the other factions to codify procedures and adhere to existing rules. This behavior renders the faction very valuable to Sigil and the Lady. Many times, a Guvner's memory and interpretation of the law have kept the peace or aided others in great feats.
As any blood knows, though, simply knowing a law or announcing it won't make other cutters obey. For example, the Anarchists and Xaositects are notorious for ignoring laws. These groups consider the Guvners repressive, as do the Bleakers and the Doomguard. The Sinkers find themselves in the difficult position of disliking the Guvners while getting on well with the Mercykillers - who work closely with the Guvners.
At one time, the Fraternity of Order saw to law enforcement themselves, but they didn't seem forceful enough for the job. Now, they work with the Harmonium and the Mercykillers to form the wheel of justice in Sigil. The Guvners know the laws and tell them to other cutters, like the Harmonium. The Hardheads, in turn, look for lawbreakers and arrest them (as well as other sods whom they think broke the law). The Fraternity of Order holds trials for alleged criminals, with a Guvner as judge. (Often they also serve as prosecutor and defender, in addition to providing the legal staff of both sides, the court recorders, and so forth.) Anyone convicted of breaking a law the Guvners hand over to the Mercykillers for punishment.
This system proves self-governing, because the members of each faction in the wheel must obey the laws or find themselves arrested and subject to trial just like anyone else. 'Course, most Guvners find loopholes to avoid conviction...
The Fraternity of Order's position in the judiciary process makes faction members pretty powerful. Though they'll never consciously commit a crime, any berk can see that a group with a convenient law or precedent to suit every occasion can get 'most anything it wants. If the Guvners' phiosophy of control through knowing the law really reflects the dark of things, they'll one day run Sigil - the entire multiverse, given time. And faction members never try to hide that goal, either. That's one of the things that makes folks so peery of 'em.
Some Guvners'll even tell a body they've already run things - a few times! They say that whenever a couple of faction members recognize one of the Great Axioms, they make changes that alter the multiverse on such a fundamental level, it becomes something else. 'Course, nobody realizes there's been a change, because they've been altered as well. Poor berks see the new state of the multiverse as absolutely normal. Naturally, the fundamental nature of the alteration prevents anyone from actually proving it ever happened.

Factol Hashkar

For a factol, Hashkar doesn't appear too impressive. He's short and dumpy, with a big red nose and a long white mustache. His eyes constantly look bloodshot from reading, and he always carries one or more books or scrolls. When not reading, he's usually lecturing. Faction members get used to seeing him shuffling down the halls of the City Court (his faction's headquarters in Sigil) mumbling to himself, barely aware of his surroundings.
A basher finds it extremely difficult to carry on a conversation with the boring old Guvner. Any berk fool enough to ask him a question had better brace himself for the Answer. Hashkar lectures at the drop of a hat - or the drop of 'most anything - launching into a discourse to answer the basher's question, including:

[1] The history of the answer;
[2] A comparison of that answer with what the answer would've been under previous versions of the Rules; and
[3] An analysis of the answer, the question, the reasons for asking the question, and why the answer is vitally important.

Should the questioner try to leave before Hashkar has finished answering, the factol will follow along, oblivious to any hint that the unlucky berk has anything better to do than to listen. This pattern applies to all sorts of questions, too, from "What's the meaning of existence?" to "which way's the door?" See, there's no such thing as a simple answer to someone who understands everything.
Hasbkar, factol of the Guvners for 127 years, had an impressive rise through the ranks of the Fraternity. Though the blood learned all he knows from books, personal lessons, or the tales of others, he understands much that normally only adventurers can learn. Fortunately for Hashkar, in the Fraternity of Order, knowledge is power. The dwarfs vast ability to learn impressed his one-time superiors so much that Hashkar practically flew into the factol postion. He governs with a firm band, delegating authority through his factors.
The factol seems nice enough and inoffensive, so long as a body doesn't by to talk to him. He'll go out of his way to give a cutter more details than he can stand. Though a few other Guvners have factol ambitions, none would usurp the post - it's agaimt the Rules, see?

The City Courts

The City Courts
Most cutters in the Cage hope they never have reason to go to the City Court. See, a body seldom has a reason to visit 'cept if he's got to pay a municipal fine or if the Harmonium's nabbed him for a crime too severe for even a high-jink penalty. 'Course, for the Guvners, it's a different story. The Fraternity of Order uses the City Court as its headquarters, and faction members think there's no better place in Sigil.
The imposing Court building stands in the heart of The Lady's Ward. (The Guvners consider this location a sure sign that the Lady's pleased with them.) This foreboding structure rises only two stories above its huge granite foundation, but its tower climbs three stories higher. Within, the Guvners manage Sigil's judiciary system and maintain the faction's bureaucracy.
The Harmonium keeps the neighborhood around the City Court orderly. Taverns serve bashers just killing time before their court appearances, and nearby scribes await court-related duties. Although the Guvners will provide each accused sod with an advocate from the faction, freelance advocates from other groups hawk their skills outside the building. All day long, people flow steadily into the City Court as fast as others exit.
Once up the Great Stairs and past the proud marble pillars flanking the outside of the entry, a basher crosses a Promenade packed shoulder-to-shoulder with accused criminals, Harmonium agents, and Clueless. Pushing through the throng, a cutter can make it to a reception area to pay fines for minor infractions. 'Course, he has to shout to make himself heard above the din of the masses clamoring in the Promenade, which encircles the building on this, its main floor.
And that's the lucky basher. More serious offenses go to trial, most of which take place in Ward Court, held in one of the lesser court rooms on every floor of the building and tower. Lesser court defendants who fail to arrive promptly pick up a fine for tardiness. But, sods destined to appear in the Grand Court never arrive late - the Harmonium bailiffs escorting them from the City Jail see to that.
The Grand Court - with its shiny wood, gilt fixtures, and mosaics celebrating justice - houses more spectacular cases and all appeals.
Sure, appeals are possible, though the Guvners deny most of 'em - they know all the laws, so once a judge from the Fraternity of Order makes a ruling, it's the right one, see? Counsel can appeal a case up the chain from the initial Ward Court hearing to High Court (held in the Grand Court chamber), then to the Bureau Chief of the Ad Hoc Bureau of Courts, and finally, to Factol Hashkar. The factol hasn't had to deal with an appeal for a decade now because the Bureau Chief, Jamis, stops any that reach her.
Attached to each courtroom is a private chamber: a meeting and study room for the judges and counsels of the cases on trial nearby. Bureau Chiefs (factors), serve as judges, and Administrators (factotums) provide legal representation. The factol likes to sit in chambers adjacent to the Grand Court, reading. Bureau Chief Jamis spends much of her time in this area, too, researching or consulting.
In addition to his hours consulting with Bureau Chief Jamis in chambers, Factol Hashkar spends quite a hit of time in his private quarters on the main floor. This orderly set of rooms, connected to the Grand Court's chambers by a short hallway, also leads down stairs into the faction's library. Hashkar does conduct faction business in his quarters, though he prefers to spend his time researching one of the hundreds of volumes he keeps there.
Down a short staircase from the factors quarters (and from several other first floor locations) begins the library of the Guvners, called the Vault of Knowledge. It consists of the first three sublevels beneath the Court, all 20 to 30 feet from floor to ceiling and packed with books and scrolls, neatly arranged and catalogued for easy access. Only a Guvner may enter; others can't be trusted to touch the valuable books of law, spells, and other myriad knowledge found here.
Faction high-ups have their offices on the second floor of the main building as well as the top floor of the tower. Also on the second level are dormitories for Aides (namers), quarters for Administrators (factotums), and twin chambers containing all the city's court records. 'Course, any leatherhead can see that the records rooms couldn't even hold Sigil's judicial annals from the last year, let alone materials dating back centuries. Only officials of at least factor level can access hidden portals in these rooms that open into pocket demiplanes where the Fraternity of Order stores the bulk of court records.

Within the Ranks

Factol Hashkar
Most Guvners strike a cutter as bookish types, those willing to study and adhere to hundreds of rules and laws. To prove they've learned the laws, faction members must pass tests, which earns them the admiration of their peers and the opportunity to rise through the ranks.
Two basic types of bashers join the Guvners: those looking for knowledge and those looking for power. To most of 'em, the two quests amount to exactly the same thing - remember, knowledge is power, berk.
Some faction members enjoy delusions of power beyond reason, but they fail to get far. See, such megalomaniacs have lost their sense of order in their fanatic ambition. While many Guvners seek knowledge with fervor, the ones that rise through the ranks are those governed by a sense of order. They don't hunger for the power of knowledge, but accept that it will come.
A cutter's got to be lawful to join the Guvners - and pass the right tests, of course. Good characters respect the laws as they are, while evil ones thrill in twisting them legally whenever they can.
Most members of the Fraternity of Order are wizards, since that profession encourages research; all specialties appear in the faction's roll, though Guvner wild mages seem less wild than most and concern themselves with learning the laws and patterns of chaos (such as they are). A lot of the remaining Guvners are priests, usually of a power representing law and order, justice, or a related topic. Warriors seem somewhat common, and the rare Guvner rogue might be a bard or a thief who lawfully tries to thwart other thieves.
Though a character's race makes little difference to the Guvners, many humans and dwarves join. Half-elves and tieflings seem uncommon (they don't take well to strict rules), bariaur rare, and githerai almost unknown - they like rules even less.

Fraternity of Order Membership

The Guvners have their share of namers: berks who pass the initial tests (covering laws and general knowledge) but don't strive to learn after their acceptance. They join just to belong to a faction. These namers, or Aides, are the smallest cogs in the Fraternity machine and perform the faction's mundane, day-to-day tasks. Their superiors assign them duties, but they may request assignments as well. Often, high-ups encourage Aides to go on adventures to gain first-hand knowledge, as long as they write full reports on their return.
'Course, factioneers can't always go haring off on adventures. The Fraternity of Order also requires at least a few hours of regular duty from each and every Guvner every week. Aides serve as assistants to factotums, or if they're lucky, to higher-placed Guvners. (No namer has direct regular contact with the factol himself, though.) Most namers work their hours as file clerks, research assistants, and court recorders. Some have more menial tasks, like cleaning or guarding the City Court. Aides all must follow the orders of any factotum, unless these orders conflict with a current, ongoing task.
It's a cinch that being at everyone else's beck and call encourages Aides to become factotums or, to use the Guvner's term, Administrators. To earn this promotion, an Aide must pass a series of tests, offered every 100 days. (An Aide can fill out a form requesting to take the tests early though.) Passing the tests makes a basher an Administrator of A10 rank. (A1 is highest.)
Low-ranking Administrators feel like little more than glorified Aides, as they merely assist faction high-ups. Some of these Administrators do have managerial tasks, like supervising the Shifter's Logs, accounts of how Sigil's various shifting portals are used and by whom. (Only factotums and higher can see these secret logbooks, and sometimes they send namers to stake out more important portals, to gather logbook data.)
Factotums of higher ranks, A5 to Al, might serve as assistants, too, but usually they have their own Aides to supervise as well. These high-ups spend most of their time at faction headquarters (either in Sigil or on Mechanus). Some conduct research missions, provided they first make the proper requests with the correct forms through appropriate channels. Within the court system, Administrators of all ranks serve as attorneys, both prosecutors and defenders, as well as legal advisers.
Factotums each have a superior. Sometimes a higher ranked Administrator serves as supervisor, but often it's a Bureau Chief: a factor in the Fraternity. Though some factotums might server as assistants to the factol, they do so under orders from a Bureau Chief and must respond to both the orders of the factol and of the Bureau Chief. Administrators advance by taking tests once every 100 days. An exceptional score can get a body promoted two ranks instead of one.
Advancement to Bureau Chief naturally requires a test. However, bashers get promoted only when a Bureau Chief position is vacant. Only occasionally does the factol create a new bureau that needs a chief; most A1s have to wait for a Bureau Chief to retire or die. The faction's got way too many middle managers, especially ranks A3 to Al, 'cause they have no place to advance.
The factol assigns an A1 both knowledgeable and lucky to become chief of a Bureau. The ranks of Bureau Chiefs start with B5 and work up to B1. B5s supervise lesser bureaus, many of which form parts of bigger bureaus. B1-level Bureau Chiefs run the Star Bureaus: Record-Keeping, Research, Internal Affairs, Planar Affairs, and Prime Affairs. These five bureaus have existed for hundreds of years. 'Course, a few other major bureaus, the Ad Hoc Bureaus, have B2s or B3s in charge, though technically these bureaus are temporary, some have been around a century or more; one, the Bureau of Courts, assigns faction members court duties. Some Bureau Chiefs, usually level B5s or B4s, do not have bureaus of their own. They serve as judges or functionaries of the Bureau Courts.
To become factol of the Fraternity of Order, a cutter first must serve as a B1 Bureau Chief. When the position of factol opens, the B1s vote one of their number into the position. Should a tie arise, Guvners extend the voting to Bureau Chiefs of all ranks. The vote counters eliminate the candidates with the lowest vote totals until a clear winner emerges by plurality vote.
The position of factol seems unlikely to open in the near future. See, Hashkar has held the job for 127 years and shows little sign of slowing down. However, not all factols leave the position by dying. A few have retired, stepping down to honorary B1 status. (A retiree serves as chief of a bureau with no functions and no functionaries besides himself allowing the former factol to dodder off into senility.) Some factols, including Hashkar's predecessor, disappeared without a trace, despite efforts of the faction's best investigators.
Since Guvners tend to understand patterns easily, they can use comprehend languages once per day. A Guvner of any rank, namer through factol, can use item once per day, too, with a maximum duration of 24 hours upon reaching 7th level.
'Course, Guvner high-ups enjoy additional special abilities. Administrators of at least 5th level gain a limited power to manipulate probability. Once per day, the Guvner can tinker with the laws of chance to gain an advantage. The character can give himself a +1 bonus to an attack roll, damage roll, or saving throw. He also can allow himself a -1 bonus to a roll against a proficiency score or ability score (or adjust a percentage roll by 5 percentage points). At 5th level, the Administrator can change probability for a foe, too, inflicting a -1 point or -5 percentage point penalty to an opponent's roll. This modifier improves a point (or 5 percentage points) per three levels. So, 8th level characters can adjust a roll by +/-2 points (+/-10 percentage points). Guvners of 11th level or higher can adjust a roll by +/-3 points (+/-15 percentage points).
To become an Administrator, a Guvner has to show he understands a loophole in the laws of the multiverse. In fact, the test to ascend to factotum rank requires a Guvner to demonstrate a special ability based on the understanding of such a loophole. This ability comes only after months of adventuring or research.
Loophole abilities vary widely according to a character's personality. A warrior might learn how to draw on elemental fire to temporarily turn his sword into a flame blade; a thief, by learning how shadows all meet on the Demiplane of Shadow, might learn to step into one and teleport to another shadow. DMs decide the powers' parameters by following a few guidelines.
First, the ability should he no greater than that of a spell a character of the Guvner's experience level could cast. For instance, the fire power mentioned previously resembles the 2nd-level priest spell flame blade, which a priest of 3rd level or higher can cast. So. the warrior in the example must be at least 3rd level to gain such a power. In addition, a Guvner must conduct the same amount of study and spend the same amount of money to gain a loophole ability as a spellcaster expends researching a spell of that level. After spending the needed time and money, the Gnvner has a percentage chance equal to his Intelligence plus his experience level to get the ability to work. Sound tough? Well, gaining a loophole power should he hard - DMs might require extraordinary feats (such as adventuring well) before granting a power.
Second, the ability won't work forever. The character can use it up to once per round, as many times a day as desired. But, every time the Guvner uses it, he risks a 10% cumulative chance that the loophole in the laws of the multiverse closes. For example, the firs time a thief uses the ability to teleport between shadows, it works fine, but he has a 10% chance of losing the power permanently thereafter. If the thief has not lost the ability, he can apply it a second time, then afterward has a 20% chance of losing it. The DM should make the check while the ability's in use; though a loss won't prevent the current use of apower, a roll of 01 to 05 causes the loophole to close catastrophically. A character can thus use a single loophole ability up to 10 times - after that the probability of the loophole closing is 100%. However, clever Guvners use their power to manipulate probability to to adjust the percentage roll for loophole closer, possibly gaining a few more uses. Even with the probability adjustment, however, a roll of 01 to 05 fails.
Finally, a Guvner can gain only a limited number of these powers. Typically, a character has one power per five levels. Once a power is lost, the character might gain a replacement one day, at the DM's discretion, but only with extreme dedication.