Part 104: Fake Update: Anarch Edition 2!Fake Update: Anarch Edition 2!
So in our last update, TNO went on a merry romp of destruction with the goal of bringing the smelly old Godsmen to their knees. In the name of the proletariat! Viva la revolucion!!!
But first let's prod Bedai-Linh's mind a little.
"Tell me about the Revolutionary League."
She squints at you, as if gauging you, and says: "We believe that power corrupts by its very nature. We exist to overthrow power where it may arise. The factions of Sigil are therefore a prime target - they monopolize the City of Doors, a city that should be open to all who pass through here. Instead, they crush all who would speak freely and silence those who would move of their own accord. The power structure of Sigil must be destroyed!"
"What's the structure of the Revolutionary League?"
"We're divided into cells, each cell of an indeterminate number. Folks in one cell don't know the people in another cell, and that way we can't betray anyone. Sure, we might work at cross-purposes at times, but we demoralize the soul-crushing factions well enough that it's worth it."
"How did you fall in with these people, anyway?"
"My father, a Free Leaguer, was killed in a disagreement with one of the Doomguard. The killer was never brought to justice. My mother sought justice, but was arrested for her troubles by the Hardheads. A corrupt judge saw to it that she was found guilty of violating the peace and creating anarchy, and so she was executed by the Mercykillers. Of course I was going to seek out the Anarchists - they have the only answers I seek any longer."
"Why not work within the system to change it?"
"With this system? You'd be corrupted before you could ever effect any change. This system isn't interested in working with anything that will lessen its power. It's the nature of people that they want to hold onto their power and consolidate it, no matter who they hurt in the process. Speak a word against the factions now, and they'll see you dead before you can take another breath. Far better to be rid of it all and build anew."
"A lot of innocent people will get hurt that way."
She scoffs. "If you were concerned about innocents, you would never have helped me in the first place. What about all those workers YOU killed when you destroyed the weapon in the Foundry? In every war, innocents suffer - but at least when you're with us, they'll have a chance to recover. Under the factions, they'll all just get ground away."
"How does one join the Revolutionary League?"
She looks doubtful. "Join us? Hmmm. You've done enough to implicate yourself if you ever decided to turn stag on us, so you've done us more good than harm in any case." She stops to think a little longer. "All right. Go talk to Scofflaw Penn, at the printing shop. Tell him I said 'The city must burn.' He'll know what you mean." She gives you a hard look. "But I'm warning you: If *anything* happens to me, that phrase won't be worth two coppers."
"Tell me about the Godsmen."
"The Godsmen? Ha. Most of the other factions at least pretend to have an answer. The Godsmen are worse than them, even - they get in the way of anyone trying to figure out what the big secret it, but they don't even have any idea what it is. Dogs in mangers, all. Worse, they pollute the Lower Ward, filling it with this deathly fog that kills off the elderly and weak. They call themselves helpful, but the truth is they're just another set of death-mongers."
"Why do you say that?"
"Because these contracts the Godsmen sign with their customers are evil. The Godsmen allow themselves the luxury of pretending that their actions won't have consequences. Well, they do, and I'm going to show them how - by ensuring that the person responsible for getting the contract in the first place doesn't live to do it again."
"Why do you cause all that destruction?"
"Because the old order has to come down. By destroying a part of a faction's headquarters, I help people lose faith in the Godsmen. By destroying that horrid weapon, I help the clients mistrust the Godsmen. By killing a factor, I show the others that the high-ups are targets and no-one should strive for eminence in a corrupt system, not when they might be the next victims. Each of these actions serves a symbolic point as well. None of them is destruction for the sake of destruction. That'd make us no better than the Doomguard."
"The Doomguard. A bunch of people who think that because everything falls apart, it's their job to make sure the center cannot hold. We're nominally allied with the Doomguard, but the truth is that they'll fall too. Eventually, they'll all fall."
Now to talk to the Factor Sandoz: one of the higher-ups among the Godsmen. As you may recall, Sandoz is the father of Sarossa (that freaky mystic chick that, due to her progress in former incarnations as Godsmen, is gifted to both read and rewrite the souls of men), and Saros (the bitter disappointment of a child, who dabbled among both the Sensates and the Anarchs). Sandoz had been horribly traumatized from his stint across the planes, being exposed to cthuloid terrors beyond the ken of most mortals, and was nearly driven to suicide until we talked him out of it.
Let's go stab the big, burly emo.
"Hey thanks a lot for convincing me not to dance the hempen jig after all! MAN I forgot how much I loved using my lungs. So awesome!"
"Savor that last breath of yours, old man. That one's the sweetest of 'em all, and I know from experience."
"What do you m- hrughhghlllarghhhlll..."
*Stories-Bones-Tell* "See? Didn't I tell you?"
"Have you written the name Sandoz into the dead book yet?"
"Yes. He's dead."
"I require just one more task from you, and we'll leave these Godsmen to their turmoil. I need you to smuggle me out of this place - the guards are going to be looking for someone to blame, and I'd rather they not choose you - once I disappear, they'll know it was me, and you'll be off the hook. What do you say?"
"Yes. I'll do it. What do I need to do?"
"They're not stopping the smiths from leaving here. Maybe if you could find me a complete set of smithing gear and some spare rags - not just the tools, but the rest of the clothes... I have no idea where you'd find that. Don't kill any more people in here, all right? I've got enough trouble sown here as it is - we don't need this to get out to the rest of the city. In other words, don't be killing off any smiths for their clothes - I doubt they'd fit anyway."
"I needed some spare rags and forge gear."
"Y'do, eh? Well, all right. That'll come to... let's see... call it sixty copper."
"Here you go."
"Here you go, then. Smuggle that bitch out of here so we don't have to put up with her treachery no more."
Lie: "What? That's not what I need it for!"
He looks at you disgustedly. "Give me some credit, lad. You've got your stuff. Now get on out of here or I'll change my mind 'bout callin' the guards."
"How do you know that?"
"I might be old an' dotty, but that don't mean I can't see what's what. Bedai-Lihn ain't been happy for some time, and she's never liked workin' for the fiends. Now go on. I'm sure I have somethin' t'do."
Fuck, he's sharp.
"I picked up a smith disguise. Put this on."
"I'll put this on as soon as we're ready to go. So what now? You'll have to lead me out."
"Thanks for your help. Maybe I'll see you later... or some friends of mine will. We're all over the place."
So as per Bedai's instructions, we're to talk to the berk known as Scofflaw Penn. I've bumped into him before for a minor side-quest, but once you really take a look at his name his allegiances are pretty obvious. The important thing about Scofflaw is that he's a total tool. If you piss him off, any time you try to have a long conversation with him thereafter he'll just teleport you outside his shop.
You see a thin, stooped man hunched over a desk, scribbling on a piece of paper. His hair is thinning and drab, drawn back into a ponytail, and thin spectacles adorn his hooked nose. His age could be anywhere from his early twenties to his late forties. He doesn't look up as he speaks to you. "What do you want? Make it quick."
"The city must burn."
"What's that? What'd you say? That means nothing to me."
"I said the city must burn."
"I've heard of you." He looks at you, piercingly. "If Bedai-Lihn sent you to me, that means you want in with us. Am I right?"
"We are the Revolutionary League. Do you know what we stand for?"
"We stand for the overthrow of Sigil's order. We stand opposed to the other factions. We are a faction that is not a faction; we are organized in the name of disorder. We tear down so that others may rebuild, with greater freedoms and a better way of life. The old order is standing in the way; the old factions keep the people blind."
"I thought they were looking for the truth."
"No. They're looking for something that will validate them and make them feel superior. They delude themselves into thinking they've found it, and then they persecute those of us who disagree."
"How do you know they haven't found the big Truth?"
"Because a lot of them haven't found it, even their most devout members. And the ones that have found it don't generate much faith in the 'truth' they discovered: The Dustmen thinks that we should all die. Sensates think we should all indulge ourselves and the Dark will follow. The Godsmen are one of those who haven't even found the Big Dark yet. They're only 'truth' is 'keep trying, one day you'll get it right.' So they slave at the Foundry day after day until they die. Smart bunch of fellows."
"How are they standing in the way?"
"Simple: The old order has been doing their best to keep everyone from the dark of the multiverse for as long as they've existed. After all, what if we *really* found what things were about? Might topple their tiny worlds. Some are already so certain they've found it, anybody else is automatically wrong and should be wiped out. That's not what'd I call a forum where all beliefs are tolerated."
"I totally agree. Let's get on with it. I want to be part of your group."
"If you're truly that eager, then I'll assign you one mission. Finish that off, and you're in."
"How's this organization set up?"
"The nature of this kind of revolution is that even our people *must* be kept misinformed. We operate in separate cells, with minimal contact from the head of the faction. This makes it harder for the other factions to come down on us, to shut down our operations. If they strike down one cell, they'll not find another unless they're very lucky. People cannot be equal until we've succeeded in our mission or until they've proven themselves."
"You must work at cross-purposes a lot."
"Unfortunately, we do. But it's better than watching the whole organization go up in flames or under the sword."
"What's the mission?"
"In the Clerk's Ward, or in the Civic Festhall, there is a stone genasi named Qui-Sai. He is a danger to us, though he doesn't know it. Find him, and strike him down. When you've done this, return here and I'll tell you of our safehouses."
Qui-Sai is a stone genasi, and there's a small quest you can do with him that nets you a permanent AC bonus. Basically he's meditating on the Way of the Stone or somesuch. After you kill him and take his stuff, you're on your way to joining the Anarchists.
It kinda amazes me how you can slaughter someone in the Civic Festhall with impunity.
That's about it, really. Scofflaw gives you the password to get into another cell (which turns out to be the back room of the Vault of the Ninth World), and you have some access to some pretty crappy earrings, as well as an earful about how The Man is keeping the people down.
In the interests of brevity, I'll just end by letting some screenshots say the rest.