The Profane

The Profane

“Roger stooped, picked up a stone, aimed and threw it at Henry — threw it to miss. The stone, that token of preposterous time, bounced five yards to Henry’s right and fell in the water. Roger gathered a handful of stones and began to throw them. Yet there was a space round Henry, perhaps six yards in diameter, into which he dare not throw. Here, invisible yet strong, was the taboo of the old life. Round the squatting child was the protection of parents and school and policemen and the law. Roger was conditioned by a civilization that knew nothing of him and was in ruins.”
William Golding, Lord of the Flies

Patron: Beelzebub, the Prince of Gluttony

At creation, Ba‘al Zəbûb, the Lord of the Flies, was formed by Attar with one role: to oversee pestilence in the world, both bringing and curing disease in man as was due. Yet Hadad in his garden of Eden, forbid disease entirely. Later, upon thrusting the first humans out of Eden and stealing dominion over good, Hadad took dominion over the cure of disease as well, forbidding his people from seeking Zebub’s aid. And so did Beelzebub take on their new calling: to punish Hadad for his hubris. To feast on the sorrow and fear of humanity as flies on filth, to revenge that which was taken. So must their followers fill the world with filth for their sovereign to feast upon.

Motivations: If evil is our cup, then drink it up. The Profane embrace that they follow evil, and relish in it. The Rightful God will overcome the usurper when the dark triumphs over humanity. If the Usurper will force evil onto his foes, then let him cry bitter tears while we eat the dish he’s prepared for us. Ideally, it should be humanity themselves that feeds this foul dish to him, as they prove just how much savagery lies beneath the surface, just in need of a slight nudge to bloom.

The Profane (at least in theory) don’t breed this malevolence just for the joy of it — the evil they bring to the world is a direct consequence of Hadad’s pride; of his jealousy towards his brother; of the betrayal of his kin corrupting all of creation. Hadad’s selfish example is the core reason Humanity is so easily riled into monstrosity. When the world is filled to the brim with horror, Hadad will see what his hubris has wrought, and the rightful God will return to his throne.

Goals: Encourage humanity to perform evil acts purely for the sake of malevolence. To hurt others only to make their own blood run hot in the street. By not only thwarting the best efforts of the Blessed, but making the world demonstrably worse, The Profane hope to demoralize their opponents, and eventually cause the same hopeless attitude in their Patrons. As humanity grows more frightened of the world they live in, their concern for helping each other dwindles; fear is all that remains, and fear paralyzes the good to do nothing. Only by breaking the spirit of good people, including The Blessed themselves, can The Banished hope to with this war.

Some Profane pursue these goals through societal change of their own, though the goal of their change is clearly different than the rest of the factions. The Profane seek out corrupt, amoral, selfish leaders, and push them into power; corruption breeds corruption, and when humanity sees the sheer immorality of their leaders, and the lack of consequences for their actions, it’s a lesson they take to heart.

Other Profane choose to get their hands a bit more dirty in the process. It’s said that there are, at any time, over 2,000 serial killers at large in the United States. The Profane actively encourage the worst elements in society to rise up, taking out their anger on their fellow man. Sometimes they even join in on the fun themselves.

Beliefs Invoked: The world is a rotting cesspool of filth which can never be fixed or redeemed. The weak and the kind should tremble, hiding themselves away from the world. The strong should do whatever they wish, to whoever they wish, whenever they wish.

Criticisms: The Betrayed think The Profane’s crusade for evil does little to actually win the war for Heaven — they see the true fight as a strategic one, while they see The Profane trying to win a moral victory, in a universe with little care for morals. The Chastened see much of their Patron’s former unchained appetite for destruction in The Profane, though not all of them see this as a bad thing. Within certain plans, both The Betrayed and The Chastened find good uses for the havoc The Profane can wield.

Both The Friends of God and The Judges of Light loathe The Profane to the core. While The Friends of God help those in danger and need, The Profane work to put more in danger and need. While The Judges of Light remove evil people from the world, The Profane encourage the worst aspects of humanity, from cruel leaders to rampant serial killers. In addition, The Profane are more likely than any other faction to make the war personal, targeting the those close to their enemies. The Profane accept that all of these frustrations are absolutely correct, and exactly what they’re seeking.

Be sure to read the “Responsible Antagonism” Narrative Note at the end of the main Banished section. Conflict is good, the Banished as antagonists is great, but make sure the targets of your in-character antagonism enjoy it out of character.