The Bleak Cabal
Nicknames: Bleakers, Madmen
Faction philosophy: “There’s no meaning to it all,” say the members of this faction, “so just give it up, poor sod. Whoever said reality had to make sense?” To these folks, the multiverse ain’t even a cruel joke, because that would give it all meaning. Look at all those fools in their factions, running around, trying to discover the meaning of something that’s senseless. They’ll waste their lives at it. And they call the Bleak Cabal mad – hah!
Here’s the Bleaker credo: “The multiverse doesn’t make sense, and it ain’t supposed to.” That’s all there is to it, pure and simple. It ain’t “The multiverse is without meaning,” because that answer’s a meaning in itself.
Look, the primes, petitioners, proxies, even the powers don’t have The Answer. Nobody is here for some higher purpose. Things just are, and whatever meaning there is in the multiverse is what each being imagines into the void. The sad part to the Cabal is that so many others refuse to see this. Looking for the “truth,” these people don’t see it. Once a sod understands that it all means nothing, everything else starts to make sense. That’s why some folks go insane – from hunting for the snipe that ain’t there. ‘Course, some folks just can’t handle the truth. They’re the ones that howl and rage, gibber in the corners, and plead with the powers, as if that would help them. Well, too bad for them. Bleakers know the hard truth, and if other folks can’t deal with that, it’s no concern of theirs.
For someone to join the Cabal, he or she (or it) has got to do three things: quit looking for meanings, accept what happens, and look inward. There’s no meaning on the outside, so the question is, “Is there any meaning inside?”
Primary Plane of Influence: Pandemonium. This plane, the Howling Land, owes its existence to no one and no thing. Its passages rage with the screaming winds of madness, an apt home for the Bleak Cabal. In Sigil, the Cabal maintains its headquarters at the Gatehouse, the asylum before the Hive.
Allies and Enemies: The Bleak Cabal isn’t a group most others view neutrally. The Doomguard, Dustmen, Revolutionary League, and Xaositects all view the Bleak Cabal sympathetically. The Fraternity of Order, the Harmonium, and the Mercykillers all have great difficulties with the Cabal’s nihilistic point of view, and so must be ranked among their enemies.
Eligibility: The Bleak Cabal is open to characters of any race, class, or alignment save lawful. By their nature, lawful characters can’t accept the Cabal’s basic premise – that life exists without meaning – for without meaning there’s no order.
How to join: At first, it seems like joining the Bleak Cabal’s as easy as stepping through a portal. A body’s just got to decide that he wants to be a member and then make his decision known to any Bleaker, whether at the Gatehouse, in a soup kitchen, or on the howling plane of Pandemonium. But then comes the initiation period, which tends to break most berks. The Bleaker’s response to the applicant won’t be much more than a grunt or a shrug of the shoulders. He won’t explain what to do, where to go, or anything of the sort — the sod’s on his own. Oh, he can tag along with the Bleaker he’s attached himself to and continue to struggle for acceptance, but the Madman’ll try to ignore the sod and may even try to talk him out of joining. Most berks change their minds in the face of such repeated disinterest or downright antagonism. But those whose hearts are truly bleak, whose will is such that they persevere, eventually get accepted into the faction as namers. Typically, this initiation period lasts from six months to one year.