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The Shapers

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"Ah, I see you, berk, and I know your type. You're not the first Sensate to pester me about the Revelation, and you likely won't be the last. Dark of the matter is, many of your people have come rabbiting about Limbo, trying to swap chant with Slaad or some other damn fool thing. But see, not many of you addle-coves ever make it back to your grey city of spines and spikes. See, berk, some of them Sensates went and got themselves eaten, or ended up inside solid stone because they can't control the Flux. But the rest.. Well, after I rattled my bone-box at 'em for a spell, they decided they liked Limbo so much they'd stay."Dark is, berk, the factions have you all twisted up like a marilith, torn this way and that about what to believe. Well, you ever consider where exactly it is you're STANDING? You, my fine cutter, are betwixt flows of pure creative energy in a multiverse formed from the minds of powers, planars and proxies. Hell, "reality" is even at the mercy of some clueless sod of a prime sitting on a mountaintop in some far-off crystal sphere, fantasizing about where his ancestor went after he got on the wrong end of a bear's maw. The planes – all of 'em - are reflections of a particular set of darks which really aren't darks. See, we all know strength of mind can change reality: a border town slipping into the Outer Planes is all the proof you need. And yet, for some reason, most cutters haven't made the next logical step."See, the Bleakers are halfway correct. There is no "truth", no “reality", no big dark that unlocks the secrets of the multiverse - except, of course, for all of 'em... and that's what the Cabal can't see. That's the real chant, berk. There's no one truth, because everybody's right. The driving logic behind the multiverse is Chaos - but it's a Chaos bound by countless laws. It's a multiverse that can be heard in the harmonic song of the Hardheads, or the Cadence of the Ciphers. At the same time, it all exists inside a single Signer's mind."Heh. Of course. That's the look I normally get. But I ain't barmy, cutter. The multiverse is but the summation of the beliefs of every living - and sometimes nonliving - being. A body that can think can also impose its will on the planes. And since all the factions are thinking, all the factions are creating their own darks, painting all the multiverse with their own colors. Of course, since they're all thinking, and they ain't all thinking the same, the multiverse sometimes seems like a tanar’ri stew. You can't figure what's it's made of, cause there ain't no two berks out there what use the same recipe.

"So what's the point? Well, berk, think about it this way. Until everybody in the multiverse agrees on something - which ain't ever gonna happen – there won't be any single dark. In the absence of agreement, what we're left with is ultimate freedom. You can have whatever you want in the planes, provided you have the strength of mind to make it happen. I happen to like forests, so I made one for myself here in limbo. But sometimes I think life is a river; sedately plodding one minute, rushing over rocks and stumps the next. And when I think that, my little forest grows itself a river to cut through it. That's why we're on Limbo, see? Here, more than anyplace else, you can make your own reality. But that ain't to say it's impossible elsewhere. Look at your own Sensate havens in Arborea. Could any place be better suited for a berk what thinks beauty and open-mindedness are the holiest concepts in the multiverse? But then, what do you suppose would happen if all the Sensates left kip, and a hive of Sinkers moved in? I'll bet Arborea would start looking a whole lot like the Grey Waste. Point is, everybody's got a idea of the multiverse that's entirely valid, and the reason it's entirely valid is cause it's their idea. If you can think it, it exists."Everybody's right, cutter. But if you *really* want to transcend, and you *really* wanna understand the multiverse, I got one piece of advice: start thinking. Only you know how to find your own dark."- Sectol MakhanisMembers:Anyone. The nature of the Shapers is such that anybody might join and feel comfortable with the sect's tenets. Most joiners are chaotics, drawn by the individualized experience promised by the sect. However, it is again important to note that nobody is turned away, and there are in fact very many lawful sectotums - individuals who believe harmony is their own goal, but aren't interested in imposing it on the universe.Of course, there's a few sectotums that try to do just that. One splinter group, the Shapers of One Path, believes that harmony is the natural goal of the universe, and that it will become a paradigm only if everybody truly believes it. So these Shapers head out and spread the word - not violently, mind, since most sectotums believe quite strongly that belief cannot be forced, but must be accepted. Most, not all. Thing is, dissenting viewpoints are accepted and even encouraged. After all, everybody's ideas have validity in the eyes of an All-Believer.Allies:Most everyone. A sect which agrees with everybody's a sect with many friends. Of course, some cutters aren't too keen on the chant that we can all create our own multiverse - Hardheads, Guvners and many lawful planars (aasimon, archons and baatezu spring to mind) included - and they tend to be suspicious or outright hostile. Because the Shapers' platform is so similar to that of the Indeps, based as it is on individual choice, these two groups tend to watch out for one another.Headquarters:

Because of the wildly individualistic nature of the Sect, Shapers can be found anywhere in the multiverse, although they are usually (not always) uneasy around highly regulated Mechanus. The official headquarters of the Sect is the Great Forum on Limbo, and most sectotums are expected to learn how to make their beliefs live on this, the most mutable plane.

Role:Shapers primarily keep to themselves, although many offer their services as more dependable guides through Limbo than your average Xaositect, or more pleasant guides than githzerai. That said, Shapers don't have to be outward-looking, because there's planars lining up to come visit the Great Forum, which in addition to being a marvelous hodgepodge of snow, sand, woodland and concrete is the largest library of myth, belief and philosophy in the multiverse. For two pieces of silver, a cutter can find anything from the altruistic musings of Rattlebeak the Wandering Guardinal to the bizarre political ideals of some prime named Plato. It's odd, because there's certainly more books inside the Forum than there is space. The library is large, to be true - eight stories of books packed from wall to wall - and yet it seems as if the selection is just for browsing. Any cutter looking for a particular text will find it on the first shelf he looks at. A quirk of Limbo, no doubt, and one which keeps the All-Believers coffers from running too empty.The coffers are interesting. Shapers in the Forum certainly don't need money for anything. They've somehow believed their way into soil so rich that fruits are practically bending trees over under their weight, and every day a couple of animals come and lie themselves down on the front steps of the kitchen, stoically awaiting being cooked. In fact, most sectotums don't even bother to collect the two-penny toll required for non-sect members to enter the Forum. Nobody quite knows why, but the Shapers have amassed a tidy little fortune over the years; a fortune which sits unused in a giant vault watched over by a pair of identical chaos beasts (a paradox if ever there was one). The Guvners, suspicious about this money's eventual use, have taken enough of an interest to pass the news along to the Harmonium.

 

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