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Catechism

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Believersofthesource

The eighth month of the year, Catechism, marks the start of the Philosophical Autumn. Most graybeards will tell you that in the natural world, autumn signifies the beginning of the end for Life; things start to decay in preparation for the death and dormancy of winter. This was the general idea beyond the Guvner's calendar - the last two triads of the year would be sponsored by those factions that are generally believed to hold a detrimental outlook. So, it caught many by surprise when the Believers of the Source volunteered to be grouped with the other "negative" factions. The faction did so as a direct result of their beliefs - they see their sponsorship of Catechism as something of a stewardship, helping to prepare the Cage for the worse times ahead.

During Catechism, life in the City of Doors seems to become more unfair, seeming to go out of its way to either beat a body down or else build him up. Successes and failures, while not any more frequent than in other months, are more spectacular - all the better to see how well a basher handles himself and learns his lessons. A being can almost be assured of facing one major life test during this month if he's in Sigil for any length of time. The chant is that if a body can pull himself through a rough spot in his life, he'll be rewarded soon after. Likewise, if a body lets his ego get to him after a success, a big fall will soon appear to deflate his self-worth. Essentially, one has to keep his head down and be prepared to weather the winds of fortune that shift and blow through the start of the Philosophical Autumn. 

The start of Catechism also marks the beginning of what some wags mockingly refer to as "the Philosophical Wind"; this month sees a sharp increase in the number of speeches and lectures given by the Cage's pontificators and others who enjoy hearing themselves speak. Naturally, the subject of most of these presentations revolves around dealing with life's challenges. The Godsmen who take to the lectern advocate self-reliance, while the numerous priests in Sigil tell passers-by to seek solace in their respective religions. The more wild addle-coves make use of Catechism to spout their yearly "end-of-the-multiverse" speeches; even a few Anarchists come out of hiding to rail against the other factions. Despite all of this ideological noise, tasks actually get accomplished during the month. Many of the other factions take advantage of Catechism's "fortune favors the bold" attitude to lay the groundwork their next big project; and more often than not, a few faction-related projects come to fruition (for good or ill) in this month. In addition to all of this activity, there are the usual collection of religious ceremonies taking place. The powers which prefer observances in this month are those whose portfolios cover such areas as Fate, Strife, and Learning. 

EventsEdit

The members of the Godsmen refer to their Factol's Day as The Smithing. And, surprising as it may seem, this is the one day that all work within the Great Foundry ceases. This is because this day is dedicated to the work done on improving one's life rather than one's goods. All Believers of the Source are expected to gather within the courtyard of the Foundry on Catechism's Factol's Day. The only exceptions made are for those Godsmen who are either vital to the maintaining of faction interests in remote locations, or else truly dead. (Since the faction revolves around overcoming challenges in one's life, no excuses for not appearing are accepted.) Once all are assembled, a three-part ceremony begins. The first part, known as The Litany of the Forge, involves each faction member standing before his fellows and describing the most recent and/or important challenges he has faced in his life (or lives) thus far. The second portion, known as The Naming of the Hammer, resembles the actions of the Fated on the Factol's Day of Tithing. During the Naming, each faction member is expected to name the next challenge in their life that they will face (and hopefully overcome). However, unlike the Fated, this task does not have to be completed within the day, or even the month. The second ritual is merely a way to ensure that the faction is continually moving towards its ultimate goal of self-improvement. Factol's Day ends with a third ritual called The Quenching - which is nothing more than a fancy name for a really big party.

Once the festivities of Factol's Day are over, work resumes in the Great Foundry. The factioneers also go to work within the rest of Sigil as well. In a manner similar to the Ciphers in The Pivot, Godsmen patrol the streets of the Cage, looking for those who are faced with a challenge (although a Godsman'd call it an opportunity). However, unlike the Transcendent Order, the tasks that the Godsmen choose to get involved with are not mundane and their aid does not take the form of a free ride. Members of the faction believe that it is the duty of every being to face the challenges in one's life and overcome them. The Believers say that it's fine to get some help, but the majority of the work should be done by one's self in order to achieve the maximum benefit. Despite what seems to be a noble goal - helping people to learn from life - many bashers have good reason to be peery during Catechism. See, the Godsmen are also on the lookout for those who, in their opinion, have had a far too easy time of life to date and seek to give some challenges to them. (Thieves who belong to the faction are often very busy this month relieving beings of their unearned gains.) And a few of the more hard- (or evil-) hearted members of the Godsmen seek out those who have seemingly blown their current chance at life and give them the opportunity to start again from scratch - by sending them to the dead-book. 

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