The Athar/Defiers/The Lost
Rattling about The Lost hmm? Waste of time wondering about them, you can hear all you need at the street corner morning, eve, and night. To be sure these berks will talk your mind flayed that the great and feared powers are liars! Those who claim to be the “gods” of the planes are mortals just like us. Yeah, they’re unbelievably powerful, but they’re not gods. After all, they can die, they’ve got to keep their followers happy, and they often feud among themselves like children. Thor, Zeus, and the others – they’re impostors.
Sure, there might be a true god, or maybe even more than one, but such power is beyond all understanding. Such beings cannot be seen, spoken to, or understood by mortals. Most importantly, why would such a being have any need to hear you rattle your bonebox in prayer or slap down some jink towards the whim of someone who claims to know the dark?
When you strip the faith out from under things, you might accidentally find yourself feeling like a giant among Dwarves. You look at the Nine Hells without all the hocus pocus, and it’s still some dangerous world, but with a strong and dark enough soul, well you could bend it to your will for a change. Gander at Limbo, still the same chant, it’s just a might easier to do.
‘Course, the Defiers ain’t stupid. “Let the powers call themselves gods,” they say. “It ain’t worth the laugh, because there’s no point upsetting the powers.” With all that might, an angry power’d be a dangerous enemy. All the Athar want is to part the veil, discover the secret behind everything, and look on the face of the unknowable.
On Sigil no one trusts the Athar enough to give them anything important. They just sit about in the Shattered Temple of the Lower Ward like it isn’t creepy as All Hells combined. It is rumored that the former Athar had a headquarters orbiting the corpse of the dead god Aoskar as a permanent testament to their faith, however the way to the dead god of portals has been lost for ages.
Many-a berk just think the Lost have been dropped one too many times. Out of superstition, ignorance, or simply a desire to not associate with fools; there are not many that call the Lost “friend.” ‘Cept the Godsmen of course, they’ll talk to anybody. A body’d be surprised how similar their philosophies are, but that depends on your viewpoint. The Lost consider the Godsmen to be like damaged goods, they see that the deities aren’t anything special, but then they got the stupid idea that they could be one of them if they tried hard enough. Trying to be something that doesn’t exist, a bit strange don’t you think?
What in the Nine Hells would you want to join up with the Lost? Oh well, it’s your funeral. They’ll take anyone who isn’t a priest to a deity, they’ll take someone who has faith in a cause though.
Benefits of Membership
The devotion to unbelief seems to give them a bit of power against certain spells and spell like abilities. Don’t bother trying to augury, bestow curse, curse, divine, enthrall, exaction, holy word, or geas one of The Lost, it won’t do any good. A circle of four can banish a petitioner, servant, proxy, or maybe even an Avatar. Petitioners who fail a saving throw vs. spell are unable to leave their power’s realm for a year. Servant creatures who fail the saving throw find themselves constrained for a month, and banished proxies stay confined for a week. Should anyone ever try it out on an Avatar there’s no telling what might happen. For every Defier in the circle beyond the minimum of four, the target suffers a -1 penalty to the
saving throw. Unlike the spell, Athar banishment works only on representatives
of a power and requires no material components.
You didn’t think you could just defy the gods without punishment did you? Well they turn their back on you too, you will never get any aid from deity through spells (especially healing). Should any priest try to help a known Athar, he’s forever thrown into the same boat as the Lost. Don’t expect that any self respecting Athar would let a power’s lacky just work his holy symbol on him either.