The Nightmare of Sigil
Walking without allies in Sigil is a death sentence. Many people, fearful of being without allies, have found that allying themselves with companies is the safest way to live. Some have gone a step further, joining established groups within the city not just to survive, but to better their lives (often through any means necessary)
In Sigil, there are numerous bands of individuals that come together in gangs: groups with a common set of ideals and a tight loyalty to others of their circle. Most gangs are known to be involved with less than legal activities, and can be dangerous if confronted (especially by other gangs). As a general rule, leaving them alone is the best way to avoid unwanted interaction.
- The Bonediggers – Gangs that frequent the Lost Shores for pure bones, and sells them at high prices.
- Redblight – Can be contacted for various jobs, at a cost, known primarily for their knockoff incenses though.
- West Company – Centered in the Western neighborhoods, they're primarily a turf gang
- Empire of Shadow – Runs a small hitman business against those of noble blood
<s>Gin Runners – Known to hoard alcohol, both legally bought and stolen, and sell back at hiked prices.</s>
- Sickles of Venom – Focused in making narcotics and selling poisons on the black market
<s>Five Adders – Runs a speakeasy that changes location frequently to avoid being caught, invite only</s>
Unlike gangs, there are two factions of very large and organized groups known as the Mob. Both factions are fierce rivals with one another, which has historically created tension even among those not involved in their activities. Many people fall in with the mob for safety and security, but in doing so they place a very large target on their back by the other side.
- The Syndicate (Syndicate of Perellan) - Of the two, the Syndicate is known as the more passive and possibly the 'lesser of two evils'. Run by Viscount Perellan, known as the man who could offer mercy while simultaneously crushing it, he runs his family with order and a focus on public appearance. Perellan takes no disrespect from anyone, and deals with it swiftly. Those within the Syndicate are treated with great care and one could even say pampered, but to take it for granted is among the greatest disrespects to the Viscount. The Syndicate deals in primarily protection for its members, though it has a hand in just about every business in the city.
- The Clan (Clan of Haerag) – Aggressive, intimidating, and holding an iron grip on its businesses are signature traits of the clan run by Haerag the Wrathful. Despite their appearance, the Clan still avoids causing trouble where trouble is not due. The issue arises in that the Clan deals in several illegal but popular services: black markets, speakeasies, contraband substances. They maintain these hidden markets with such a disciplined hand that the slightest slip up will be ended.
Not all groups within Sigil are aligned for mischief and criminal activities. There are those that seek to do good, and some that just seek a passive disposition towards the city.
- Black Rose Paladins – Effectively the police force within Sigil, a group of individuals tasked with keeping peace and order within the city, and responding to the aid of others. At least one post is stationed in each major neighborhood, allowing quick response.
- Slayers (Disbanded) – A long lived, but recently disbanded, group of trained fighters who's purpose was to fight off the nightly flood of demons. After the tragic events of the night of nightmares, the group was never reestablished.
- Peregrine Sanctuary – A group established to make a Peregrine's transition into the city easier, offering services such as counseling and education.
- The Doctors – While usually found as literal doctors working within the health wards, the institution itself is built on the foundation of learning. All manner of disease and affliction is likely to be handled by the Doctors as they collect and assess what they can to further civilization.
- The Hoods of Mercy – Originally a support group that aided the Slayers, the Hoods of Mercy now act in their stead. While decent at demon slaying and going out of their way to do so, they are nowhere near comparable to what the Slayers once were.
If there's one thing Sigil can pride itself on, it's knowledge. With boundless knowledge on the entirety of the world, and the majority of the city being fairly well learned, several schools have been established in various focuses to help further one's skills and knowledge.
- The University – Possibly the most renowned of the colleges, the University is purely an institution built to house and share knowledge. All focus in this school is on learning as much about everything as can be. On campus are the famous Heritage Archives, a monumentous library containing the city's collection of books.
- Arcane College – Magic of any kind is prohibited from being taught, while the city makes its leaps through mundane and alchemic advances. However, for those naturally gifted with the arcane arts, they find solace training among themselves within the Arcanist College. For non users, the location serves an educational purpose about the history and uses of magic.
- Alchemist's College – The most prestigious of the specialized colleges due to the city's focus on technology and alchemy, the college is open to anyone interested. However, its known for its extremely difficult apprenticeships, to attend is one thing, to succeed is another entirely. The main college is located in Kingsview, but has multiple campuses across the city.
- Bard's College – While it's something of a joke that the Bard's College is less a college and more a tavern, it's still respected for its consistent output of talented musicians. Originally built to preserve the magic of song, it now teaches even the unskilled or untouched of magic, spreading art and creativity to any who would hear it. It recently has adopted a number of instructors of visual arts, including dancing and painting.
- The Workshop – An institution built a long, long time ago but were rebuilt when the Slayers ran the city. They have always been the location of the most wondrous advancements within the city, such as the lifts, the plumbing, the autochains (cars). Some urban tales even accredit the Abyssal Clocktowers creation to the Workshop of old.
Enigmatic Groups and Cults
Not all groups within Sigil are understood. Some are so elusive no one has gotten the chance to see their reason. Others are so peculiar that they don't make sense. Groups such as these are often labeled as cults regardless of if they are or not, and are generally seen as taboo, being shunned from the population.
As Sigil charges ahead in numerous technological advancements, the presence of the Technists is becoming more and more obvious. Once a group established to push technology to the limits, now a group that does just that…in more questionable ways. Putting welfare aside, Technists are easily recognizable by the abuse their bodies have taken in response to new technological experiments. Their usual go-to experiment is that of prosthetic limbs and enhancements, and while their results are usually unique and powerful, they are frequently lethal.
The elusive and maniacal group known as the Lyceum is best described as a cult, but claims itself a new religion here within the city of no gods. Little is known about them as they're even better at hiding their location than many gangs, however what is known is that they never let go of the belief that the gods can reach them in sigil. However, either through desperation or hysteria, their ways are fueled by mania and they're historically difficult to reason with. While elusive, so much so you could go your whole life without meeting a member, it is highly advised one avoids them at all costs should paths cross. Insane, poorly understood, but known to be provocative and even aggressive in their ways.
The Hidden Library
While at first the Hidden Library doesn't immediately seem a cult, it doesn't take long to see their true colors. The group has evolved over time, so much that it's not really certain where they originated anymore, but these days are the most invested individuals in finding the hidden library Scrivenbough within the Abyssal Realm of Pleroma. Multiple times, their group has suffered major blows from not returning from a crossing in time, yet there seems to be no evidence of dissuading them from the goal.
The Bone Tinkerers
Heard, but not seen, Bone Tinkerers may be curious mysteries in the city but they are accredited with many of the developments of bone charms in recent years. Of all the alchemists who can create bone charms, those who have the extra money, a little bit of daring, and a lot of luck are able to track down the Bone Tinkerers for some of the best quality charms there are. They are best avoided, however, as they will seek charm quality bones from any source. Any.