Justice is everything. When properly applied, punishment leads to perfection.
Factol: Alisohn Nilesia
Home Field: Acheron
Best Alignment: Lawful
Although Mercykiller is keeping order in Sigil, they are NOT DMs little helpers, your task is NOT to punish players. It is your characters task however to keep order in Sigil. Some might ask, "What do we do then!?" answer is roleplay, just like the others.
Also note that before 130Ha, the Mercykillers were allied with the Fated due to the relationship between Duke Rowan Darkwood and Alisohn Nilesia. This relationship - and the alliance - have been broken off.
WITHIN THE RANKSEdit
As is the case with Arwyl Swan’s Son, the Mercykiller faction allows player characters to interpret the abstract concept of justice according to their personal ideals. Of course, this can lead to arguments between two Mercykillers, not to mention between a Mercykiller and another character - say, a thief who steals to feed the poor. But, as a lawful faction, the Red Death also offers strict regimentation to those who seek it. After all, sometimes the easiest way to live is just to do as you’re told and follow the rules – even blindly.
ROLEPLAYING THE MERCYKILLERSEdit
The pursuit of justice ain’t easy. First and foremost, a player must realize that Mercykillers don’t arrest or try a berk, no matter what he’s accused of. It falls to the Harmonium to arrest lawbreakers, and to the Fraternity of Order to conduct trials for the accused. Only when a sod’s been found guilty of a crime under the law may a Mercykiller carry out punishment. In an adventuring party, that means a Mercykiller PC can’t automatically punish a fighter for slaying an innocent peasant, or kill a thief for picking a noble’s pocket. The Mercykiller’s got to stay his hand until the “criminal” has been duly arrested, tried, and found guilty. ‘Course, if the party has both a Hardhead and a Guvner, the Mercykiller might be able to convince them to hold a quick court. Failing that, the PC can only keep track of crimes that go unpunished, hoping to see justice done at the earliest possible opportunity.
The most profound conflict for a Mercykiller usually arises over the specific interpretation of justice. After all, what might seem wrong to one member of the Red Death may not seem so to another, especially when the two have different alignments. Lawful Good Mercykillers – like Arwyl Swan’s Son – often are less troubled by an escaped criminal than they are by a poor sod who’s been wrongfully imprisoned or faces a staggeringly inappropriate punishment. Many Mercykillers, inspired by the high-up paladin’s commitment, have likewise chosen to seek out and correct examples of gross injustice.
But infighting only hinders the cause of justice, and the faction strives for internal harmony. They seek to rely on the letter of the law, not its spirit, as their mediator. Any sod who doesn’t follow the law is a criminal and must be punished – that’s the official faction line. But when two Mercykillers butt heads – well, something’s got to give. If they can’t come to a mutual compromise quickly, one that satisfies both sides’ sense of justice, the DM is free to impose the following faction penalties:
-Wizards and priests cast spells at half their actual level: they can’t cast spells that aren’t available above their penalized level.
-Fighters receive only one attack per round and lose any specialization bonuses
-Rogues perform all thief functions at half their usual percentages.
These penalties represent the internal conflict of the character, distracting him from the task at hand. The DM shouldn’t impose these restrictions for more than a day unless a Mercykiller ardently refuses to put justice before all, including his alignment. Some Mercykillers choose to live with these restrictions, trying to maintain a precarious balance between their own viewpoint and the ideals of the faction. Of course, being a Mercykiller requires more than a simple love of justice - no matter what his class, a Mercykiller must undertake a lengthy period of training and study if be wants to progress beyond the rank of namer. Those who do learn the law to an exacting degree – the factotums of the faction - are called Justices by the Red Death. They carry out the day-to-day functions of running the Prison and maintaining the faction’s outposts on Acheron. The most devoted Mercykillers go on to become factors. And an elite few may even become Justiciars (a special kind of factor) and he assigned to track escaped criminals.
While the Red Death requires only that its members be lawful, only those who’re lawful neutral may truly understand the final goal of justice above all else. Lawful evil and lawful good characters, if they properly play their alignments, allow the distracting factors of good and evil to cloud their judgment and search for justice. Of course some players may feel that their faction goals override their alignment ideals. But truly exciting role-playing can take place when a character tries to meld these two potentially conflicting attributes. A Mercykiller’s got to find a compromise that satisfies his inner turmoil. Otherwise, he might face the faction penalties described above – or end up in the Gatehouse with the other barmies who couldn’t handle the strain of the multiverse.
Though the book A Player’s Guide to the Planes in the Planescape Campaign Setting restricts rogues from the ranks of the Red Death, a generous DM might allow a thief to join the faction after all – provided berk’s willing to take an oath foreswearing all thieving activities that break the law. Thus, a Mercykiller rogue could hide in shadows, but not pick pockets. (A thief who constantly tries to suppress his cross-trading tendecies should make for good role-playing. – Ed.) Other classes might try to punish the guilty in the name of their power, rather than in the name of justice. But they’d be missing the point; justice ain’t beholders to any power. Most Mercykiller priests learn quickly to place justice above all else. Any cleric who wants to punish lawbreakers in his power’s name had better keep his actions dark from the faction high-ups – unless, of course his god’s a power of justice.
Cutters looking to join the Mercykillers face some pretty stiff restrictions. All members must he lawfully aligned, whether good, evil, or neutral. An applicant with any criminal taint in his past is usually tossed out into the street, with a warning never to return. For those who measure up, though, joining the Red Death is a simple matter. The faction holds enlistment days once per fortnight, and an applicant need only present himself at the Prison. The day’s candidates gather in a room for a lengthy discussion of the Eight Tenets of Justice. At the end of the day, any berk who still wants to join must swear to each of the tenets. Doing so means he’s henceforth considered a Mercykiller.