Impartial Purpose-Driven Faction
They do their thing and don't take sides.
Needs Examples Better Name Motion To Discard

(permanent link) added: 2012-10-11 03:00:29 sponsor: Koveras (last reply: 2013-02-08 12:58:32)

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An organization whose non-political purpose takes complete precedence over power-plays and diplomacy. Where most factions are interested in increasing their power by building alliances, The Code of these people mandates to either avoid contact with others completely or accept any help unconditionally without taking any obligations. Their neutrality is often safe-guarded by their purpose being beneficial to everyone in long-term.

Said neutrality often doesn't sit well with other factions' leaders, who will try to put "nobody's" resources to their own use (especially if its members are trained in some Secret Art). The Conflict commonly arises when members of the organization are manipulated or forced into breaking their neutrality, which ultimately leads to its downfall. Such conflict may be a sign that their purpose is no longer taken seriously.

In Dark Fantasy, this organization often takes form of The Order whose superhumanly enhances members defend Puny Humans from monsters. Although "Thou Shalt Not Kill (Humans)" may be included in The Code to enforce Pro Human Transhumanism or at least stave off Transhuman Treachery, Fantastic Racism often plays a role in the interaction between regular humans and their Not Quite Human defenders, especially if the transformation makes them half-monster/Half-Human Hybrids, gives them a Superpowered Evil Side, or infects them with The Corruption. Attempts to exploit them as a sub-human shock troops and outright Super Human Trafficking may be common dangers.

Odd Job Gods and their followers occasionally fall under this, as well. As does the Time Police that is more concerned with dealing with Clock Roaches or preserving the time stream than good and bad.

Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • The eponymous warriors in Claymore have been created to fight the demonic yoma and are actually hybrids with human and yoma DNA. They are forbidden to get involved in human affairs and even wield their blades against baseline humans. Clare's Origins Arc is rooted in this prohibition, since her mother-figure Theresa killed a bandit to protect Clare and was, in turn, slain by fellow Claymores for breaking the rule, motivating Clare to become a Claymore herself.

Film
  • Technically, the Jedi Order from Star Wars becomes this without an Evil Empire to fight, such as during the prequel trilogy, when their sole purpose is upholding the Republican law. However, when the Jedi allow themselves to get entangled in the Republic politics, it becomes their undoing.

Literature
  • The sworn brothers of the Night's Watch in A Song of Ice and Fire exist solely to defend the realms of men against the Others (and wildlings beyond the Wall, but they are secondary). This means that they leave all political ambition and allegiance behind and will take help from anyone they can.
  • The eponymous witchers in The Witcher series were invented to kill the monsters that invaded the world after the Conjunction of the Spheres. Although they have no universal code of conduct, taking sides is bad for their business, so most avoid it. The entire Blood of the Elves saga spans from the fact that the witchers (Geralt in particularly) get involved in the power-play around Cirilla.
  • The History Monks of Discworld are mostly concerned with fixing/protecting time and space, as well as patching up Continuity Snarls and do not interfere with business that doesn't concern time travel. In Night Watch, Lu-Tze is even called out by another monk for helping Vimes (though he got away with it), and in the only other book where they feature prominently, they avoid contact with any factions they aren't already fighting.

Tabletop Games
  • In the sixth edition of Warhammer 40K, the Necrons exist only to kill all organic life in the universe and never interact with them in any other way. One of the more hilarious moments in 40K canon happened when a Tau world was under attack by a Tyranid fleet. A Necron armada appeared and slaughtered the Tyranids, then made planetfall. The Tau sent a delegation to their saviors, ready to embrace them into the Greater Good. The Necrons slaughtered the delegation and the rest of the planet.

Video Games
  • The Keepers in the Thief series are hell-bent on recording history without interfering with it. Enter Garrett, a failed Keeper trainee with a knack for getting involved with history-changing events.
  • The Grey Wardens in the Dragon Age series were produced to fight the Darkspawn and don't take sides otherwise, e.g. in Dragon Age II, a group of Wardens refuses to get involved even as Kirkwall is being torched by the Qunari. The reason for that can be seen in the Soldier's Peak storyline, which reveals that the Wardens were banished from Ferelden for involving themselves in dynastic struggles and left the country unprotected in the face of a Darkspawn invasion.
  • The Greybeards in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim are an Ancient Tradition of monks who believe in enlightenment through mastering the dragon magic (thu'um). Because of that, they are above any and all power plays, despite every one of them being a Person of Mass Destruction.

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