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The Universal Society

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(The Universalists, The All-Believers)"It has been said by many scholars and sages that every once in a while, a group of self-absorbed bloods will come together and push out onto the "Scene" within the Cage and espouse some crazy or crackpot philosophy that no one else has any interest in. These groups usually don't last long, say these sages, because their beliefs are based upon faulty or shaky foundations. It is the understanding of these scholars that each faction and sect is only as strong as its philosophy. No matter how many people are in the faction, or how expansive the organisation is (and they are organisations... the sages ask you to trust them on this), if they don't have a belief that will endure the test of both time and faith, then they are destined to fail from the moment they put quill to parchment or utter the first words of their belief in the town square to a local group of Cagers. The factions that exist today, in the now-settling chaos of post-Faction War Sigil, are those that have survived the second-greatest challenge to their philosophies. Their first challenge was coming together and staying together in the first place. What their next challenge will be, well... no one really knows for sure. Of course, those who understand such things point to the fact that no single faction or sect has yet truly reached the point where they have endured "everything", simply because no faction or sect has yet reached the point of accessing the truth of the planes." -- Malleus Allbart, formerly of the Converts, now part of the Universal Society Sect Philosophy: It might strike some as strange then, that there exists a faction, or a sect, or a group, or a brotherhood - whatever title you believe applies to them - that has been around since the earliest days of the earliest factions. What is strange about this society is that they have built their own philosophy on what the others have said. Factions that have come and gone, sects that have risen and fallen, factions and sects that still exist, all have in their own unique way influenced the core philosophy of this Society. Those scholars and sages who know of this group do not speak of them, because its existence is a constant reminder to them of the error of their theories about faction/sect survivability. For if each faction and sect is only as strong as the philosophy they believe in, what does this say about a faction or sect that believes in all of the philosophies and beliefs put together?So to put it simply, this is a society of canny bloods who hold the premise that each and every faction philosophy and sect belief has some measure of truth about the dark of reality. They believe it is their job to ferret out each point of truth which every philosophy and belief contains, and form an all-encompassing theory of existence which builds upon these central ideas. There are some within the society who think that the mortal faiths of deities should also be studied for whatever knowledge they may have, while others believe that the gods are simply following their own naive paths to universal truth and are better left alone. The sect does not derive from a single faction or faith, they in fact see themselves as a sect of all the factions and sects that have existed, do exist, and will exist. They are the students of the factions and sects in the multiverse. They study what the factions and sects believe in. The "theory of existence" that this society is slowly putting together is a philosophical framework that, if completed, would provide the group with a unified description of all reality. Each and every Universalist is expected to compose his/her own theory, based upon their own personal interpretations of faction and sect philosophies. It is the society's understanding that the more people they have working on finding the bits and pieces of universal truth, the sooner they find each and every piece that can be used to put the framework together. Most members in the society accept that nearly every individual conducting a study of philosophies will likely never find any fragment of the "universal truth". Finding even a single piece is a grand occasion indeed, full of discussion, debate, celebration, and then more intensive study. It is a rare occurrence, and only a few will ever hold the coveted position of "Finder" within the society. Once all these pieces have been found (because who can truly say how many of them there are; every day some new belief seems to worm it's way into the Cage), if they can all be found, it is then the duty of the Fathers of All Belief to sit and meditate upon the pieces that have been found and wait until the connections with other existing fragments are discovered. It is not known who the Fathers of All Belief are, or even what they look like or how they came to occupy such a position. No one within the society has any wish to speculate as to how these Fathers can know what it is they are supposed to be looking for. They simply know that they are to trust the patterns the Fathers find, and that these patterns are part of the necessary formation of the framework of universal truth. There are a few, however, who hold secret beliefs that even after the patterns of connection have been found, they should be studied and discussed in order to determine the next stage of the puzzle and how it fits together. They think that the Fathers should only be the next step, rather than the penultimate step, in learning about the pieces of the puzzle. Primary Place of Influence: Given its unique ability to touch nearly all the planes of existence (and therefore nearly every faction's or sect's home), the Universal Society makes its home in the Cage. Allies and Enemies: In truth, because very few acknowledge or even know of the society's existence, their list of friends and enemies is rather short. Of those who do know of the Universal Society, they are either immediately attracted by the allure of knowing what the society knows, or are so ingrained within their own faction philosophy that they see the efforts of the Universalists as impossible and foolish. There have never been any who have just accepted the group simply for what they are: another group of "philosophers with clubs". Eligibility: If you are a member of a faction or sect, then you're already half way to being inducted into the Universal Society. The society accepts any and all who are willing to believe in the truth of all truths. If a potential member can understand that each and every philosophy contains some measure of ultimate truth, then they must acknowledge their own personal quest to find what that ultimate truth is. They must dedicate their lives to study, and to discovery. They must have an open mind, and be willing to cast aside seductive falsehoods and get to the core of truth that lies in the heart of each belief, no matter how contradictory, or how bizarre that truth may be. For now, it is nothing more than one piece of the ultimate puzzle; the puzzle of existence.

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