The Athar

(“Defiers”, “The Lost”), who deny not only the gods’ right to pass judgment over mortals, but their very divinity. They claim that the gods (whom they call “powers”) are powerful but have limits and do not deserve worship. Instead, Athar priests channel divine power from what they call the “Great Unknown”, or what they believe to be the true divine force behind everything. Their headquarters in Sigil is the Shattered Temple, the former temple of the dead god Aoskar.

The faction began centuries before the Great Upheaval, soon after two cutters – Dunn and Ciro – encountered one another in Sigil amid the ruins of the Shattered Temple. The shrine existed in its broken state even back then, but Dunn and Ciro looked at its decay from very different viewpoints. Both had lost everything at the hands of their gods. Dunn had been bilked of everything he possessed and abandoned by his wife by a priest of Kord. Dunn eyed the Shattered Temple, seeking a way to make Kord as dead as Aoskar, the power once worshiped there.
Ciro had more of a philosophical bent. He, too, had lost his possessions to a god – Laeris – and the gods religious hierarchy. But he’d found he liked his unencumbered life. Roaming the multiverse as an itinerant sage suited him more than slaving in a counting house to maintain a
modest town house with its oak furnishings. But Ciro wondered why a power should need to bribe his priests with gold, should require the belief of worshipers to feed his immortality,
if he were really a god. Surely divine beings, if they existed, followed different rules than the mortals of the planes. They’d be stronger, yes, like the powers are. Yet deities ought to possess fewer weaknesses, too – they shouldn’t need faith as men needed food, and they should ably support their priests through divine means, rather than stripping poor mortals’ hard-earned coin.

Athar historical texts say that Ciro, adrift in mental meandering, would have overlooked Dunn completely had he not mistaken the philosopher for a last surviving believer in Aoskar and attacked him! The outcome is well-known: the duel of swords, followed by the duel of
words, followed by a mutual pledge to meet among the ruins again in half a year bringing tales of their deeds against the powers, along with a few like-minded recruits.

Their numbers grew slowly, and obscurity marked the early years of the Athar – a fortunate fact for a group with such controversial ideas as destroying worship of the powers.

Eventually, the Harmonium, which uses religion to generate conformity and harmony, learned of the full weight of Athar philosophy. The Hardheads diverted their patrols to make a full-scale attack on the Shattered Temple, the faction’s de facto headquarters. The Lady of Pain soon put a stop to such blatant proceedings – all it took was sending the factor behind this movement to the Mazes. However, the Harmonium continued the war with discrete guerilla raids for a long time. When physical efforts failed, they moved the dispute into the Hall of Speakers, pulling the Mercykillers and Fated into the fray on their side.

The members of the Athar fought back, both on the streets and in the Hall, but reserved the bulk of their efforts to attack the minds of Sigil’s populace. One of the most notable initiatives – during a peak of political clout and material resources – was a tour the Defiers gave of their
headquarters. The tour culminated in a pass through a portal into a portion of the Astral Plane where floated the dying bodies of six different powers! The crowds loved the spectacle, but few abandoned belief in their favorite god.

After all, the living deities of Hestavar, Arvandor, and Celestia had greater power than those pitiable specimens, and so, the visitors reasoned, they could never die. The tours had to end due to lack of results.
So, the Lost turned to schemes of proselytizing on the streets that eventually developed into a very sophisticated operation that gradually developed a complicated network of information gatherers. All of this was lost in the Faction war. Stored in the crypts beneath the Shattered Temple it has been claimed by a mysterious information broker and secret gatherer named Lothar.

The faction cast adrift in the Astral sea were targeted by the Deities so the fled to the demiplane of the spire, a mysterious plane that seems to cancel out divine magic. Due to the remoteness of the location the last of the old Athar were lost. However the old Athar propaganda pamphlets have been circulating and small gatherings of the religion known as the “The Great Unknown” have been gathering in back rooms across Sigil.

Athar Theme

Athar Starting Feature (1st level): You gain the force of will power.
Order Adept Level 5 Feature (5th level): You gain a +2 power bonus to Religion checks. You gain a +1 power bonus to damage rolls against creatures with the immortal keyword.
Order Adept Level 10 Feature (10th level): You gain a +2 power bonus to Will. Your power bonus to Religion checks from this theme increases to +4.

Force of Will
Your mind is your own, you will not be manipulated.
Encounter Immediate Interrupt
Trigger: You are hit by an attack that targets will
Effect: After resolving the attack you choose one of the following effects
*you spend a healing surge
*you make an opportunity attack +2 versus will, if you hit you deal 5 damage per tier.
*you make a saving throw versus a dazed or dominated effect at the beginning of your next turn.

The Athar

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