troperville

tools

toys


main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Literature: Faction Paradox
We aren't nice people.

Inevitably, there are those who have a morbid fascination with such evils. Just as the human race has spawned “Satan-worshippers”, at least one group exists which has dedicated itself to the study of Paradox, turning its back on traditional Time Lord values and instead embracing a form of dark shamanic spiritualism. Indeed, this group is not unlike one of the voodoo cults of Mutter’s Spiral, with its own pantheon of spirits and demons, and its own occult rituals. The group is known as Faction Paradox, and it’s hard to describe the dread this name conjures up in the minds of the Time Lord archons...

Good evening. Thank you for visiting this, our humble page. Allow me to explain who we are. Faction Paradox is a separate splinter from the continuum you may know as the Doctor Who Expanded Universe. We were created by Lawrence Miles, who depicted the little gallivantings of the Faction across this rather odd Universe of ours, which, we've been told, holds uncountable parallels to the mainstream Whoniverse. As of now, our splinter universe has twelve audio dramas, six by BBV and six by Magic Bullet, two issues of a short-lived comic series published by Image, and seven novels, six published by Mad Norwegian Press and one by Random Static. Obverse Books has acquired the license to print an anthology of new Faction stories, which saw the light in April 2011. Our Faction has its roots in the Whoniverse, where we were born as particularly perverse, if you'll pardon the expression, "enemies" of the Eighth Doctor, but eventually we grew in number and power until we acquired our own universe to play with by our rules.

Our Faction delights in creating temporal paradoxes, all the while seeking to tighten our hold over the universe and drown it into anarchic chaos by pitting the main players in the current Time War against each other while remaining... shall we describe our position as ambiguously neutral? As befits our rather contrived agenda, we are not above taking advantage and using every underhanded trick in our arsenal to worsen the war until we end up being the sole remaining power.

This War is fought between those pompous asses, the Great Houses and the nameless Enemy, who, mind you, the Houses are too afraid to even name. The Great Houses, for the uninformed, are essentially an aristocratic race who spent their time sleeping in their laurels until a certain stray former renegade returned home, bringing news of a great danger. The Enemy, on the other hand isn't a specific army, or even a person... it's something far, war worse. And the battlefield is all of history. And the battle prizes are the two most valuable territories: cause and effect.

As you can imagine, the Faction stands to gain much.

The Faction was once one of the Homeworld's ruling Houses, until our illustrious leader Grandfather Paradox became disenchanted with their diseased pretensions to immortality and separated from them, and turned his House into a timetravelling, time-active, ritualistic cult based in part in the beliefs of voodoo, time travel with the marked interest in paradoxes and death fetishism that is now our trademark, both rejecting the immortality the Houses sought and ridiculing the Laws of Time they had laid down.

Ever wondered what would it be like if God played dice with the universe? We provide the answer.


Examples

  • Action Survivor: From the audios, Cousins Justine and Eliza after the destruction of the Eleven-Day Empire.
  • Ancient Aliens: Discussed at multiple points, there are several comparisons between the Great Houses and the various pantheons of gods in human religions, as well as the "anakim", or "watchers", a type of biblical angel. These similarities, among other salient facts, inevitably draw (in-universe) speculation regarding the nature of influence the Houses have had on humanity through history.
  • Anti-Hero: The Faction being the sort of organization it is, if you happen across a Faction protagonist that's at all likeable according to current Earth standards, odds are good that you're somewhere in this trope.
  • Another Dimension: The Yssgaroths' home Universe. The Homeworld's been sending military expeditions. We're taking bets on how long they last.
    • It's also postulated that the Yssgaroth are in fact the result of the two universes interacting, or maybe even just a mental reaction to the interaction of matter and hostile anti-matter. As no-one's ever been near one and come back in one piece, no-one really knows.
  • Apathetic Citizens: The Broken Remote. They were a branch of our Remote colonists until they were brainwashed by the Homeworld into accepting a steady diet of reality TV, docudramas and the like. As a result, any potential worth in them was complete and utterly spoiled.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: The Celestis. It didn't turn out well.
  • Asian Speekee Engrish: The narrator of the intros for "Sabbath Dei" and "In the Year of the Cat."
  • Author Tract: This Town Will Never Let Us Go.
  • Ax-Crazy: The delightful Cousin Shuncucker. And when a Living Shadow that functions as a Hyperspace Arsenal gets welded to an unstable whackjob, she has a lot of Axes to be Crazy with...
  • Back from the Dead: This is what Anubis tried to do to Osiris. It... didn't work, creating Horus thorugh fusion of Osiris' timeline with Faction Paradox member Cousin Eliza.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: At various times, Lord Byron, Percy Shelley, King George III, and Johann Sebastian Bach have gotten caught up in a Gambit Pileup involving the Time Lords Homeworld and our own schemes. Sherlock Holmes... well, for starters, was a real but otherwise perfectly normal human, but Jimmy Moriarty was a scientist from the 21st century using stolen Faction technology given to him by the Celestis. Vlad Tepes (aka the man known as Dracula) fought Mal'akh and almost got snared into a deal with the Celestis. We don't talk about Rasputin. Oh, and Queen Charlotte is secretly a timeship — Shhh...
  • Big Bad: For the audios: House Lolita, who single-handedly consumes the Eleven-Day Empire, hunts Cousins Justine and Eliza throughout time and space, and, by the end, is considered to be an even greater threat to the universe than Sutekh. Yes, that Sutekh.
  • Blood Knight: Cousin Justine, who keeps getting distracted from rebuilding the Faction, by whatever fight comes her way.
  • Captain Ersatz: Almost every single one of the major players in the War. The Great Houses are most definitely not the race you call the Time Lords, the Imperator is not Morbius, the Evil Renegade / Grandfather Halfling is definitely not the man you call the Doctor, the War King is certainly not the madman you know as The Master, the prison planet is not Shada and the Great Houses' timeships are certainly not TARDISes.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: The "Evil Renegade" chose that name for himself.
  • Cassandra Truth: The man who would be the War King reported the existence of the Enemy to the ruling council of the Homeworld. Unwilling to accept his warnings, the Council journeyed to the point in time and space where the Renegade had told them the capital of the Enemy was in the Presidential timeship, intending to found a Homeworld colony there to silence the rumors. Following a rather tense moment, only the head of the President materialized back, with a note jammed into the mounth - "We are not amused."
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: Morlock in the opening scene.
  • City of Adventure: Both the Eleven-Day Empire and the City of the Saved.
  • Clarke's Third Law: The main issue between the Homeworld and the Faction is that they cannot agree on exactly what in the name of the Grandfather Faction Paradox uses: tech or magic. We believe that the barriers protecting the Faction's home dimension are loa, voodoo spirits, while the Homeworld thinks they are merely manifestations of the laws of the Universe at work. Quite honestly, many doubt there's a truth to it all. Including us.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: The Weaksauce Weakness of the Celestis. They are Dangerously Genre Savvy with this knowledge, appearing as gods or demons when proposing their special deals, so the incumbent will be less likely to doubt them.
  • Cloning Blues:
    • As mentioned below, Little Brother Edward is a clone of Johnny Depp, originally designed to be a boytoy for a rich old lady. Between that, the various Depp characters that keep clashing in his head, and the general Mind Screwiness of Faction training, his state of mind is, shall we say, a little fragmented?
    • The various iterations of Compassion that end up in the City of the Saved. And that's not even including the one who BECAME the City.
    • The Remote get to have their own special reverse version of the ol' Cloning Blues. Because their method of reproduction invariably results in a slightly more stereotypical version of themselves walking around afterwards, any Remote member that meets his future iterations invariably ends up wondering if he's really that damn unpleasant.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Fucking Antipathy.
  • Cool Gate: Our brand of these can be used to fold time and space in ways you would never guess...
  • Cool Mask: The Faction uses bone masks. From animals that never existed. Add the full gorgets and headdresses. Beat that. We dare you.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Michael Brookhaven, head of Faction Hollywood.
  • Cosmic Retcon: The Biodata Virus is this trope weaponized and turned into The Virus.
  • Crapsack World: Best described as the Whoniverse with the Doctor dead note  and all hint of humanism and hope annihilated.
  • Creative Sterility: The Remote, in a certain sense (see Flanderization) and the combined culture of Earth in This Town Will Never Let Us Go. Sort of.
  • Cult: One fearsome and powerful enough to make Gallifrey itself kneel in fear.
  • Cult Colony: The Remote. You can't deny the idea of a follower cult based on TV programs might be Crazy Enough to Work!
  • Dark Action Girl: Any female Faction operative. Notable individuals include Cousins Octavia, Shuncucker, Justine, and Eliza. Also, Lolita (if she can be considered a 'she').
  • Deadpan Snarker: Plenty to go around, the worst offenders being Lady Lolita and Godfathers Avatar and Morlock. The War King occasionally delves into this, to the point that it's extremely hard to imagine him without an eyebrow raised.
    • Lawrence Miles' narrative voice tends to end up like this, too.
  • Deal with the Devil: Standard operating procedure for the Celestis. Don't fall for it. Just... don't.
  • Depending on the Writer: We of the Faction have been characterized as monsters, Affably Evil, or even downright Anti Heroic protagonists, depending on which book you're reading. The Ancestor Cell, for instance, was our infamous appearance, changing us hugely from what Master Miles intended us to be in the first place, making us mutilate Gallifrey's history For the Evulz rather than gaining control of the Universe. On the other hand, it seems like a fun idea altogether.
    • The Great Houses too, of all people. The (logically extremely rare) pariahs of their society who secretly want to nurture the lesser races and rebel against the cold logical approach tend to show up with alarming regularity in the non-Miles books.
  • Downer Ending: This Town Will Never Let Us Go ends with the total cultural stasis of humanity until the Earth's destruction.
  • Discard and Draw: When Cousin Shuncucker gets bored of her current shadow weapon, she drops it and grows a new one.
  • Eldritch Abomination:
    • The Enemy (possibly; even we aren't sure). Most certain for the Unkindnesses. Depends upon what you think the Enemy is, of course.
    • The loa spirits that protect the Eleven-Day Empire. Much like a certain gentleman, Azathoth, for the curious, they have been implied to be physical embodiments of the laws of the Universe.
    • And of course, our less fortunate neighbors: the Yssgaroth.
    • Given various characters' reactions to her true face, Lolita, who might just also be the Enemy, given that she is described as 'a new kind of history'.
  • Eldritch Location:
    • The Eleven-Day Empire. Depending on your views, the City of the Saved.
    • Antipathy invaded the City of the Saved, assimilating parts of it into him; these infected sectors changed from peaceful sections of City populated by happy invulnerable / immortals, to nightmare industrial wastelands full of terrified, highly killable people.
    • The Yssgaroth Universe. Timeline's begun devouring itself there...
  • Evil Counterpart: The Faction and the Homeworld, or, as some may know them, the Time Lords.
  • Fiery Redhead: Justine
  • First-Person Smartass: Narrator Christine snarks her way through Dead Romance.
  • Flanderization: The Remote are, by design, sterile. This requires special equipment named Remembrance Tanks, in which a certain amount of biomass (a recently deceased person) is inserted, and the people who were closest in life to them linked to a device which scans them for memories and impressions of that person, cloning the remains and downloading the accrued data into them as their new personality. This, of course, means no Remote colonist will be exactly the same after dying, often losing huge chunks of their more private selves.
  • Foregone Conclusion: The fate of Sutekh.
  • Freudian Excuse: The one known as Antipathy has... issues... with that Compassion woman.
  • Future Me Scares Me: Grandfather Paradox is everyone's evil future self, if you'll pardon the uncouthness.
    • Possibly. Like the Enemy, the what of the Grandfather is never as important to the series as the how and the why.
  • Gambit Pileup: You'd better believe it, sweetheart. A multitude of sufficiently advanced scheming cutthroat organizations, plus timey wimey tech and zero scruples about using it? This trope, if you're lucky.
  • Genius Loci: The City of the Saved, a galaxy-wide citadel containing every single human to ever exist and billions of fictional characters to boot, actually is the incarnation of Compassion that became a TARDIS during the Eighth Doctor Adventures.
  • A God Am I:
    • The Great Houses in general, but it's the Celestis that really buy into their own hype.
    • The Osirians. It helps that countless civilisations worship them as gods.
  • Godwin's Law of Time Travel: Warlords of Utopia is about every single Earth where Hitler won versus every Earth where the Romans won. And it's awesome.
  • Gorgeous Period Dress: Aside from the Cool Mask, standard Faction wear usually involves something magnificent in black velvet.
  • Grandfather Paradox: The leader of our Faction was once a perfectly normal Homeworld agent who once decided to kill his grandfather. The results were not pretty, leading him to become a living paradox and the Anthropomorphic Personification of all the potential evil and despair in the Universe.
  • Hidden Villain: Cousin Antipathy in Of The City Of The Saved...
  • Hollywood Voodoo: Quite literally, in the case of Michael Brookhaven and his Faction Hollywood cabal.
  • Humanoid Abomination:
  • I Call It Vera: The Remote are prone to becoming very... attached to their weapons. Sometimes literally.
  • Identical-Looking Asians: Played with. An Asian-accented automaton says King George III thinks they all look alike.
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: If you can't destroy timelines in style, perhaps you ought not to do it at all.
  • Invocation: How at least Cousin Justine controls her Sombra Que Corta.
    Bloodline to bloodline, in constant transition.
    Our pattern, our flesh, and our one restoration.
    Conception, completion, the will of the city.
    Grandfather watch me, Spirits maintain me.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Compare the Faction Paradox of the earlier Eighth Doctor and stand-alone novels to the Gallifrey's history-rapists in The Ancestor Cell. They barely seem like the same organisation. Our creator, Lawrence Miles, openly chewed out The Ancestor Cell for derailing his plans on the War in Heaven. Instead of accepting another author destroy his image of Faction Paradox, he wound up creating his own standalone universe. And thus we were born...
  • Large Ham:
    • We have freaking Sutekh, the lord and master of this trope. With the original actor from "Pyramids of Mars", no less. Accept no imitations!
    • Not to mention the delightful Godfather Morlock and Shuncucker from the audio play.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: The Homeworld and the Enemy's war is rather boring. We prefer to sit in the backbenches and carefully scavenge what we want.
  • Living Shadow: The Cousins of the Faction turn their shadows, or "sombras que cortan" into living beings by grafting weapons on them, making them capable of slicing through rooms of Mooks while the Cousin himself remains calmly sitting. The single two exceptions to this are Ax-Crazy Cousin Shuncucker, who gained the ability to drop her shadow's weapon and grow a new one, and Cousin Justine, who acquired Grandfather Paradox's shadow, which is an infinite Hammerspace containing an endless arsenal. Give that kinda weaponry to a couple of Reality Warpers. Watch hilarity ensue.
    • On the other hand, we do not show it, and often appear to possess no shadow at all, as seen when a certain Doctor once was infected by the Faction's biodata virus, causing his shadow to fade.
  • Living Timeship: Compassion, Antipathy, and Lolita.
  • A Load of Bull: Justine meets a Minotaur on the prison planet. However, he points out that only the mythical beast from Crete is the Minotaur. All similar creatures are just men with bull's heads.
  • Mad Scientist:
    • Godfather Morlock. His inventions include the Tracking Knife (used to read the future from a corpse's entrails) and the Biodata Virus.
    • Anubis. Also an example of why you don't want a bored Mad Scientist.
  • Magic from Technology: Even we don't know whether our tech is true magic, or whether it's just very advanced. Word of advice? Don't think about it. Really. Don't.
  • Magitek: The Homeworld loathes the Faction for the creation of technology that ignores physical laws and works alongside voodoo principles. Screw 'em.
  • Mind Screw:
    • Doctor Who was bad enough. Now imagine a group of time travelers who worship paradoxes.
    • This Town Will Never Let Us Go is one colossal Mind Screw in novel form.
    • The Judgment of Sutekh is a battle in time. Different characters experience the events in completely different orders, so that it is nigh impossible to work out their correct sequence until the very end.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast:
    • Anyone who dubs themselves "Antipathy" as a Take That to their mother (Compassion) is clearly not a good person. Add to that the fact that he's an Ax-Crazy, Omnicidal Maniac timeship... yeah.
    • Seriously, do you really believe any of you mortals are capable of comprehending, much less taking a serious part in something called a War in Heaven?
    • Attaining the rank of Godfather - or Godmother - in the Faction requires you to earn three Ph.Ds - bastardry, scathing remarks, and reality bending.
    • Sutekh the Destroyer and Leveler of Worlds.
    • Lawrence Miles.
    • Anything to do with the Yssgaroth, the Homeworld or the Enemy.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Many of our members qualify. Incidentally, if you aren't one... may I ask what are you doing here?
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Warlords of Utopia starts with the blurb "Rome Never Fell. Hitler Won. Now They Are At War." Said war involves 21st century Roman Legions going toe-to-toe, and, eventually, bitchslapping Nazi soldiers.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed:
    • Little Brother Edward from Of The City of the Saved is a clone of Johnny Depp whose personality keeps wobbling between different characters the original has played. Also a Woobie.
    • Tiffany Korta from This Town Will Never Let Us Go is an amalgam of Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and assorted other pop tarts.
  • No Periods, Period: Eliza says she's been biologically modified to stop these.
  • Not as You Know Them: Chris Cwej. Former companion of the Doctor. In our little corner of the Cosmos, the Great Houses used him to serve as the template for their shocktroopers at various points in his life. This had very interesting effects on his personality and morality.
  • Older than They Look: Godfather Morlock looks sixty-ish. He's actually much older.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Sutekh, who, after spending millenia guarding the Osirian Court, has become so paranoid that he will never feel safe until he destroys everything in existence. A feat of which he is more than capable.
  • One-Winged Angel: The more the Great Houses regenerate, the less humanoid and more "War-ready" their bodies become. The hardened veterans are basically massive blocks of weapons, armor, and defense mechanisms, like Khiste in Dead Romance.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: The Mal'akh.
  • Paradox Person: Every Faction member.
  • Playing with Syringes: Godfather Morlock is extremely adept at this.
  • Properly Paranoid: There's a reason the Great Houses won't name their Enemy... see, the Enemy isn't a person, or a group, or a race. It's a whole new hostile history that threatens to destroy their version of History and replace it from the foundations. To name the Enemy would be diminishing the scope of its powers and reach. Something only a complete and utter moron would do.
  • Powers as Programs
  • Psycho Prototype: Imagine the power a sentient timeship has. Add some horrific issues and a lot of very detailed and uncomfortable backstory, name it Antipathy and realize what kind of situation it is.
  • Rasputin The Mad Monk/Rasputinian Death: The result of an unfortunate Gambit Pileup involving the Faction, the Celestis, the Great Houses, a dash of timey-wimeyness and about a half-dozen genetic copies. Did we say unfortunate? Sorry, we meant hilarious.
  • Recursive Reality: The Universe-in-a-bottle from Dead Romance. Said novel is the source of the top quote. Mind screwing at its finest.
    We are all in the bottle and one day the bottle will break. Then all worlds will be one world. The inside will meet the outside...
  • Red Sky, Take Warning: The Eleven-Day Empire is a shadow copy of London under a blood-red sky, as if something was endlessly burning just past the horizon. Enjoy your stay...
  • Redshirt Army: The Cwejen. We were trying to remold the Remote into our version of this, but, umm, something went amiss in the road. Hopefully, we can still make it work...
  • Ret Gone: Continuity Needles do this to whoever they are stuck into, allowing Time to fill in the cracks. However, it's not recommended to use them on important historical figures. We're still cleaning up from when one managed to hit a certain Isaac Newton.
  • Sapient Ship: Timeships, lovely ships capable of time travel. Except when they are sapient. Or they happen to rebel. Or if they happen to be psychotic.
  • Scrapbook Story: Dead Romance.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Related to Unperson below.
  • Skeletons in the Coat Closet: Aside from the masks, we often wear full bone battle armour. From Yssgaroth-tainted Homeworld agents' skeletons.
  • Sufficiently Advanced Alien:
    • Abso-freaking-lutely EVERYONE. If you aren't capable of violating the basic structure of reality with a few muttered words of power and a raised eyebrow, then the War in Heaven might just be a teensy bit out of your league. I'm looking at you, Sontarans.
    • We laugh at people who try to have a go at them with "mere" matter-based technology. The Book of the War lumps everything like this — from the mightiest starships to the most exotically vicious nanoprobe infection — under the heading of "Burlesque Devices". After all, why bother replicating a fortification when you can just tweak the substrata of the universe to ensure that a base was always there to begin with? Or why fight an enemy when you can just dick with his biodata so that he has always lost this fight? Aren't Time-Active wars fun?
  • Temporal Paradox: Our goal is to burn the entire structure of time. Wanna join in?
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: We want it to shatter, and the causality chain to snap.
  • Twin Threesome Fantasy: Again, Warlords of Utopia. The twins, or rather, the two different versions of the same woman are the ones to suggest it.
  • Universe Compendium: The Book of the War.
  • Unperson: A classic sport for initiates of the Faction. We like to amp it further by killing our own ancestors before they're born, making our very existences more of a paradox than it is already.
  • Up the Real Rabbit Hole: It is the final goal of Christine Summerfield at the end of Dead Romance.
  • That Man Is Dead: Entering the Faction means kissing all of your past goodbye. You simply will have never existed to start with. In fact, the special membership ceremony in which you see your totem animal, an entity representing your life up to that point, and to join the Faction, you kill it and feed it to snakes, ritualistically casting all of your life away and embracing the name and title the Faction grants you.
  • The Virus:
    • The Faction's Biodata Virus. Shall we say monstrous doesn't even begin to describe it?

      For starters, a person's biodata is the sum of their temporal and physical self. An analyzable summary everything you are throughout any point in your history. The Faction Virus corrupts that biodata and brainwashes you. Not so that you'll be working for the Faction. That'd be too easy. It makes it so you always have been and always will. It takes your new loyalties and makes them into immutable, unchangeable fact. There is no cure because, in his new reality, the corrupted individual has always been a Faction operative, with no way to change him back without changing the patient's biodata, which the Virus doesn't make easy to say the least. Oh, and the Doctor is infected.
    • The Yssgaroth taint. Interesting things, vampires. Didja know pure Yssgaroth taint can infest anything? I mean, up to and including timeships?
  • WHAM Episode:
    • Words From Nine Divinities, which ends with the assassination of the War King (The Master) by Lolita and a full-scale invasion of the Homeworld by the Mal'akh forces of Cousin Justine.
      • Before that, in Shadow Play, Lolita devoured the Eleven Day Empire.
    • Interference, Books 1 and 2, where we really go to town on the Doctor's timeline by getting his Third self killed before his appointment on Metebelis 3.
    • Then there's our last appearance in the Eighth Doctor Adventures, The Ancestor Cell, where Gallifrey falls, giving Eight a bad case of Trauma-Induced Amnesia and causing him to walk the earth for the next several books while his TARDIS regrows itself. Unfortunately, all this resulted from Eight blowing up said TARDIS, which also undid the previous WHAM Episode and cleansed himself of our Paradox virus.
  • What Would X Do?: The tendency for 21st century humans to think this (where "X" can be any given celebrity or fictional or religious personage) is the reason the Faction first became interested in humanity, and started the Remote colonies.
  • You Cannot Kill an Idea: The Celestis thought this gave them a way out of the War in Heaven. And then somebody released the Fendahl Predator...
  • You Fight Like a Cow: A Chinese automaton that fights Eliza combines this with Affably Evil, Casual Danger Dialogue, and Major Injury Underreaction.

Eighth Doctor AdventuresFranchise/WhoniversePast Doctor Adventures
The Eye of the HeronScience Fiction LiteratureFahrenheit 451
Excited Show Title!Self-Demonstrating ArticleFang Thpeak
FablehavenLiterature of the 2000sFaeries of Dreamdark

alternative title(s): Faction Paradox
random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
71855
40