Sons of Mercy
The Sons of Mercy are a revival of an ancient faction, reborn from the ashes of the Faction War.
Reestablished by their current leader, Arwyl Swan‘s Son, they have focused on upholding justice and good across the planes. Though they‘re a bit disorganized, their hearts are pure – for better or for worse. They are intent on bringing their brand of justice to the planes whether the planes want it or not. But rather than force others into the fold as their predecessors did, most are content in the belief that their righteous deeds will set an example for the planes as a whole.
Philosophy: Justice exists to uphold the greater good.
Majority Races: Aasimar, humans, zenythri.
Majority Classes: Clerics, paladins, rangers.
Factol: Arwyl Swan‘s Son (LG male human Pal17 Sons of Mercy)
Prominent Members: Dadkrilik (NG male zenythri Clr14 (Illmater) Sons of Mercy), Thasala (LG female aasimar Pal14 Sons of Mercy)
Alignment: Any good.
Symbol: A hand reaching up to grasp a sword by the blade; indigo blood runs down over a purple
backdrop. Black edges curl around and infringe in a jagged fashion, symbolizing the ever-present threat of evil.
The Sons of Mercy‘s philosophy revolves around ―good‖, the nebulous quality that characterizes the Upper Planes. Overall, their beliefs are still in the process of forming as the faction‘s membership and responsibilities grow, but they have a few principles that form the basis for their ethos.First off, the Sons of Mercy believe that all creatures have an innate spark of goodness. They point to fiends that have ―risen and joined the Upper Planes as proof that no creature is truly without the potential for good. Of course, in something like a yugoloth, you probably won‘t see that spark more often than once every several thousand years, but it is there – at least to hear them tell it. Still, most of the time a spark that tiny isn‘t worth pursuing, and they realize this. Even though most folks consider them idealistic fools, the Martyrs are smart enough to know not everyone, especially fiends, are likely to convert, much less show a virtuous side.
Secondly, just as you can‘t truly make a body believe something, you can‘t force someone to become good. This is where the Sons of Mercy‘s philosophy differs from those of other, similar factions; they believe the best method to spread good is to demonstrate its beneficial qualities. Sure, sometimes you can stoke that spark of goodness by forcing evil creatures to perform good acts, but if you overdo it you‘re only creating tyranny, not spreading good. On the other hand, the absolute wrong way to defeat evil is to go around smiting evil souls. After all, doesn‘t an evil soul go to the Lower Planes, with the potential to become a fiend and possibly become an even greater danger? While sometimes evil must be brought under a blade, it should only be done in the defense of good places and folk, as just punishment rather than something more proactive.
Finally, justice is only true if it serves good. Locking folks up in prisons or executing them may be necessary, but justice is better served if there is a good act to balance an evil act, especially if the evildoer reforms and performs a virtuous deed. This is the ultimate purpose of the Sons of Mercy, and its principles have ancient ties to the original faction. The original Sons of Mercy believed that law was originally created to foster good, but was perverted for evil purposes by mortals. Justice was split from law, and so they believe that justice must be preserved by ensuring that the innocent are freed, either by exploitations of the law or by outright sheltering. Ever since the passage of Arwyl through the Upper Planes and his ―enlightenment‖, he has pushed to bring back the older teachings, embracing them as deeply as the Sons of old did. This makes the Sons of Mercy alternately the allies and enemies of law enforcement, passing their own judgment that often will have little to do with local law.
Adapted from the Planescape Campaign Setting on Planewalker.com Pathfinder converison by Loki