The Sanctifiers

Armoury99's picture

The sanctifiers believe that your experiences define your morality – evil things taught or done can blinker your outlook and weaken your chance of redemption. Past sins and failures also weigh heavy on a body, further hindering your ascension to goodness. Therefore the best way to redeem a soul is to wipe away their history with a dip in the River Styx… then apply care, kindness, and retraining to show them the light.

Philosophy: Wipe away your evil past to embrace a future of goodness.

Nicknames: Dippers, Redeemers.

Headquarters: River Styx/Ecstacy

Major Races: Any, but with many tieflings, half-fiends, and monster races.

Favoured Classes: Bards, Clerics, Fighters, Rogues

Factol: Praise For All (Pl/harmonium/LG female aasimar cleric Cool

Prominent Members: Zaladin (Pr/NG male drow bard 10), Kestrel (Pr/CN male human cleric 3/rogue 5)

Alignment: Any Good

Symbol: A teardrop of water falling into a cupped hand


The Sanctifiers believe in goodness, and that everyone should reach a state of blessed unity with the power of good. Every soul that ascends to the Upper Planes is another soldier in the army of light, and a slight swing in the balance of the multiverse in favour of goodness. They believe in redeeming those who have lost the light, and have found a novel way to do it.

Bodies that accept their aid receive a dip in the memory-sapping waters of the River Styx, emerging (so the Sanctifier’s say) with souls as fresh and unstained as a newborn babe’s. They don’t abandon the unknowing berk however, but help him re-learn a language and craft – and a morality based on goodness. Some more unscrupulous groups forcibly return the evildoer to the Styx if they fail this 'retraining', but others often just sadly let their charges go. Many of those who emerge from the Styx actually join the Sanctifiers however, having no other ties and knowing no other life but that.

The Sanctifiers don’t concern themselves much with a berk’s belief in Law or Chaos, but individual members often try a slant a convert’s outlook in their own direction.

Brief History

In the years following the Faction War, many a cutter drifted away from their former faction and back into the wandering life of an adventurer. A band of bashers with connections to the Guardians sect found themselves joined by some former Harmonium and Mercykillers, who were hard-eyed berks but dedicated to the good fight nonetheless. After the usual jostle between conflicting beliefs, the team settled down and became darn good at hunting down criminals and evil-doers.

Then one day they pursued a particularly villainous drow cleric called Zaladin Di’espana to the banks of the Styx, and in the ensuing fight both he and some of the adventurers lost their memories to the river, though all but one were rescued. Their companions helped them survive and escape the Lower Planes – including the now amnesiac drow. By the end of his retraining, Zaladin was more than a friend – he had completely reversed his former ways and was a dedicated crusader for goodness. They all agreed that this was a good thing, and that it was worth doing again.

From these beginnings, the Sanctifiers have spread. They still operate as an adventuring party – several parties these days – instead of a sect, but their numbers and organization are slowly growing. They’re still far smaller than even the smallest of sects however and are only now starting to get their house in order.


The Sanctifiers are a tiny sect yet to establish a major headquarters on the Outer Planes. Its adherents, mainly disillusioned bodies from other sects and Factions, wander the banks of the Styx in small bands reminiscent of adventuring parties. The main thrust of Sanctifier action takes place on dangerous pilgrimages to the river Styx, but they also have bases in several gate towns, where members preach a doctrine of redemption through washing away the sins of the past.

The Sanctifiers remain a diffused group, although individual bands meet fairly regularly as they travel the Styx. They have a mobile outpost in the form of a riverboat called The Second Chance, which sails the Styx, but this is only a rented accommodation and they do not control her course, although they’d like to. They also use the Styx-side villages of Gadscum, Heap, and Mount Alluvion as bases.

Their present headquarters away from the Styx is little more than a pillar in the gate town of Ecstasy, from which their representatives, often Zaladin himself,  spout the Sanctifier philosophy. Many groups return to the gate town for rest and recuperation, and to pick up new converts in search of redemption. A few of these berks are really just seeking a way to hide from their enemies – but the outcome is the same when they emerge from the Styx.

As a prominent member of the original adventurers that pursued Zaladin Di’espana, former Hardhead Praise-For-All is recognized as leader of the sect. She acts more as a roving emissary and ambassador than Factol however, and Zaladin is slowly rising to prominence over her in both general perception and Sanctifier meetings. There are also several new converts who think that the sect’s primary base of operations should be the Styx itself, and favour the leadership of Kestrel, a man who knows the darker side of the Great Ring. A quiet power struggle is about to begin, with the Lawful and Chaotic issues so long ignored by the group likely to be its central issue.

Praise For All (Pl/harmonium/LG female aasimar cleric Cool

“Out here the wicked can see the destination to which their souls are destined. Who would not want to change when confronted by the fires of Baator or the legions of the Abyss? Come with us, join us, and we will remove the weight of evil that presses down and prevents your ascension to goodness. In return… we ask for nothing but your help in spreading the word.”

Praise is a native of Mount Celestia, a cleric dedicated to the Seven Virtues – the philosophical principles of the Mount. Her benevolent powers, humble manner, and quietly passionate words make her a skilled diplomat for the cause, and her gentle persuasions have alleviated the fears of many in the Upper Planes about the Sanctifier’s work. In her view the Sanctifiers are about giving a second chance to whoever needs it, not just a way to remove evil berks from the Great Ring.

Praise is a kind-faced aasimar in her late fifties, a committed aesthetic and pacifist that’s about as far as you can get from the traditional view of a Hardhead. She still wears the red colors of her former Faction and has many friends within it – but some have turned their back on her once they learned of her new role. The Harmonium's leaders on Ortho, what few of them are aware of her actions on the planes - have very little to say on the matter, though her clearance for certain internal matters has been revoked. Praise lives in Sigil near the Gatehouse, but frequently travels across both Cage and Planes. She is officially recognized as the sect’s Factol, but has few duties because of its small size and piecemeal membership. Originally she didn’t mind the increasing shift in leadership from her to Zaladin, but that’s changing.

Praise For All pulled Zaladin from the Styx with her own hands, and the two enjoyed a strong teacher/student relationship during his re-education. Later they were colleagues and firm friends, but she still saw herself as a mentor to him until recently when he successfully opposed her at the last meeting of the Sanctifiers. Although still firm allies, their friendship has cooled, and their recent debates have felt more like arguments. Their respective supporters are rapidly polarizing the sect. In the face of this division, Praise has decided to re-assert her authority.

Zaladin (Pr/NG male drow bard 10)

“Redemption regardless of race or deed. Escape from even the most insidious creed. Good flowers in you, we just water the seed. We wash away the taint that has fed you, water you with the river the woe, help you out and help you safely go. But we'll also help you always from that day on - because we're more than friends, we are joined as one.”

This converted drow is the Sanctifier’s most ardent speaker, taking far more turns than are required on the sect’s pillar in Ecstasy. He’s a persuasive speaker and can talk the horns off a bariaur about the benefits of freeing yourself from the past, with his own life as an example. He has a perpetually calm and charming manner, but canny cutters may also notice the gleam of fanaticism in his eyes.

As the most publicly visible member of the group, his influence on the sect is growing with every new member. Zaladin and his supporters want to focus more on dealing with evil beings than just anybody in need of a fresh start, something directly against Praise's teachings. Although he still agrees with her that persuasion should be their primary means of recruitment, he favours a far more active approach: using manipulation, surveillance, and magical charms to put weight behind their requests.

Kestrel (Pr/CN male human cleric 3/rogue 5)

“When the time comes I’ll take the Styx, but until then you all need me too much. You think a paladin could handle it down here? The sect needs someone who can talk the talk and walk the walk with the Fiends. I do what needs doing, and if a few evil berks don’t want to take a dip when we grab them, so what? The results are the same.”

This priest of the goddess Geshtai (Oerthian Power of rivers, wells, and streams) runs the most successful Sanctifier team on the Styx, based on the riverboat Second Chance. He’s a persuasive man and practical – even underhand – in his dealings with the Lower Planars, and a good supporter of the sect despite having never taken a dip in the Styx himself. He claims to be waiting for a competent replacement to arrive before wiping his own memory (and powers) away, but some folk think he has other motives for refusing the water's embrace.

Kestrel leads the Sanctifiers who live and work on the Second Chance, and even those who dislike him acknowledge his skills and high rate of success. He is the unofficial leader of the Sanctifier’s rougher and more ruthless crowd; adventurers who know the reality of life in the Lower Planes and aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty for a good cause.

Physically, Kestrel is an unassuming young man who looks disheveled and haunted when not hard at work, but lit by the fires of zeal - almost desperation - when fighting for the Sanctifier cause. Ironically, Kestrel is exactly the sort of berk the Sanctifiers originally set out to help: He came to the Planes all innocent and wide-eyed but saw his faith and world-view shattered. He’s tormented by too many horrid sights, too many compromises, and too many times when he’s had to walk away from the right thing to do. Drugs and alcohol and work for the sect numb the pain a little, but a fresh start is exactly what he needs.

Although he still performs the rites and rituals, Kestrel fears that his faith in the Goddess of the Rivers has strayed so far that Geshtai might not even be granting his spells anymore. Deep in his heart, he suspects that the Styx itself may somehow be his patron now, and is terrified of what will happen if he’s sent to its embrace.


The currents goal of the organization are just to survive, keep working, and solidify its toehold on the Planes. As converts grow and found their own parties, members are worried about what the other Factions and especially the Fiends will think. Sooner or later, someone is going to notice the increase in sudden converts and good-aligned monsters and try to stop it. Preparation for this conflict is a goal that the organization needs to address, and one which is the source of much conflict within the group.


Most folks have simply never heard of the Sanctifiers. Therefore, relations with the Factions are generally very minor, only involving individuals who have had direct contact with them.

The Sanctifiers main allies at present are the members who have converted but didn’t join the sect, but who still think fondly of them; good-aligned bashers who could crop up anywhere. The sect also relies heavily on The Company of the Unknown (a band of amnesiac mercenaries who own the riverboat Second Chance), but this is strictly a business arrangement – much though Kestrel would like things otherwise.

Of all the Factions, the Mind's Eye are keeping the closest eye upon the Sanctifiers, and have the best relationship with them. The agent responsible for them is Ueue Matka, a traveler aboard the Second Chance. Ueue thinks the Eye can use the ‘ultimate challenge’ of bathing in the Styx, and hopes he can persuade the Sanctifiers to become a part of the Mind’s Eye.

Current Harmonium regulations preclude the use of the Styx in conversion and training, but several officers think that the Sanctifiers have hit upon a damn fine idea. They too have been pressurizing the Sanctifiers to sign up on mass, and although they can’t directly intervene, several adventuring Hardheads support the sect whenever they can.

The Guardians and Sons of Mercy have also heard of sect are major supporters, since a good portion of those who don’t join the Sanctifiers end up in these groups instead.


A few Sodkillers have no love of the sect, having experienced several ‘escapes’ by fugitives who converted in the Styx, but fortunately they aren’t bent on eliminating the Sanctifiers like the Mercykillers would have. There's just not enough pay in it yet.

The Sensates though detest them and are likely to move against the Sanctifiers in the short term, having heard of people who deliberately strip a body of his experiences using the Styx. While a few brave Sensates fancy the idea of “losing it all and getting it back again”, several Factotums are now considering taking action against them.

The sect's biggest fear is what the Fiends will do if their quiet crusade is noticed. Neither side of the Blood War is likely to want evil berks stolen from under them by their own sodding river and the Sanctifiers are already gearing up for trouble. Yet of all the fiends, the Yugoloth themselves seem strangely indifferent to the sect. Many times the Sanctifiers have done their work under the watchful eye of a ‘Loth or three, but they’ve never caused trouble about it. This worries some members far more than the tanar’ri and baatezu threats put together.

Current Chant

Debates are growing heated as the Sanctifiers take sides in the race for Factol and to set the future goals of the sect. Zaladin is front runner to be the new Factol, but Praise-For-All's former adventuring companions each head a Sanctifier team as well and are loud voices in her support. She also has the most allies around the Great Ring.

Zaladin has been trying to raise the profile of the Sanctifiers as much as possible of late, expanding their bases of operation and bringing new allies, especially Guardinals and Guardians, into the fold. This has brought the sect to the notice of the Upper Planes in general, who are glowering with disapproval at the use of an evil planar location for supposedly good ends. More militant groups among the Celestials are debating putting the sect down just to be on the safe side, but others find the concept of using the Fiends’ own river against them quite amusing and smacking of poetic justice. Agents have been dispatched from most of the major Celestial races to assess the sect.

Closer to the Styx, rumour has it that Kestrel may soon stage a coup aboard the Second Chance, making it an official Sanctifier ship, and declaring it their headquarters. Such a captaincy would be a good base to launch Kestrel’s own leadership bid, but if his controversial methods were made official policy, they would likely split the sect in two.


Benyamin's picture
Joined: 2007-01-03
I love this!!!

Aye, the bards are already dipping their quills in preparation for the volume of tales woven within this sect! A wonderful alteration on an old site.

Zorlax's picture
Joined: 2004-12-08
I love this!!!

a great start for a planescape campaign of any level...

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