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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..."
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Faction Paradox is a splinter of the Doctor Who Expanded Universe continuities, and was originated by author Lawrence Miles. First seen as particularly dreaded enemies of the Eighth Doctor, the Faction eventually grew in number and power until they acquired their own continuities to play with.

The Faction was once one of the Homeworld's ruling Houses, until illustrious leader Grandfather Paradox became disenchanted with their diseased pretensions to immortality and separated from them, turning his House into a time-travelling, time-active, ritualistic death cult. The Faction is based in the beliefs of voodoo, picking up new members from all possible species and seeding necro-fetishism and atavistic horror across time and space — rejecting both the immortality that the Houses sought and ridiculing the Laws of Time that they had laid down.

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The Faction delights in creating temporal paradoxes, all the while seeking to tighten their hold over the universe and drown it into anarchic chaos, by pitting the main players in the Second War In Heaven against each other while remaining ambiguously neutral. On one side of this Time War are those pompous asses, the Great Houses of the Faction's twin sun Homeworld. The Great Houses are essentially an aristocratic race who spent their time sleeping in their laurels until a certain bearded renegade returned home, bringing news of a great danger. Opposing them are the enemy, a force so intricate and vast, it is pointless to even name. It's not a specific army, or even a person... it's something far, war worse. The battlefield is all of history. And the battle prizes are the two most valuable territories: cause and effect.

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


Where we and our friends have been, and where our lore has been established, in case you're curious...

Literature:

Virgin Publishing

BBC: The Eighth Doctor Adventures as a whole, particularly the following books in the series:

Mad Norwegian Publishing

  • Dead Romance (Updated Re-release with additional stories)
  • The Book of the War
  • This Town Will Never Let Us Go
  • Of the City of the Saved...
  • Warlords of Utopia
  • Warring States
  • Erasing Sherlock

Random Static

  • Newtons Sleep (The publisher has, very kindly, put the ebook up for free)

Obverse Books: Faction Paradox

  • A Romance In Twelve Parts
  • Burning with Optimism's Flames
  • Wallowing In Pessimism's Mire note 
  • Against Nature
  • The Brakespeare Voyage
  • Liberating Earth
  • Head Of State
  • Weapons Grade Snake Oil
  • Spinning Jenny
  • The Book of the Enemy
  • The Book of the Peace
  • Hyponormalisation: A Faction Hollywood Production

Obverse Books: Iris Wildthyme

  • The Panda Book of Horror

Obverse Books: The City of the Saved

  • Tales of the City
  • More Tales of the City
  • Tales of the Great Detectives
  • Furthest Tales of the City
  • Tales of the Civil War
  • Stranger Tales of the City
  • Vanishing Tales of the City

Audio:

Big Finish Productions

  • The Adventure of the Diogenes Damsel

BBV Productions

  • The Faction Paradox Protocols:
    • The Eleven-Day Empire
    • The Shadow Play
    • Sabbath Dei
    • In the Year of the Cat
    • Movers
    • A Labyrinth of Histories
  • Dionus's War:
    • Eternal Escape
    • Call Me Ishmael
    • The Healer's Sin
  • Other:
    • Mr Saldaamir
    • Sabbath and the King

Magic Bullet Productions (The True History Of Faction Paradox)

  • Coming To Dust
  • The Ship of a Billion Years
  • Body Politic
  • Words from Nine Divinities
  • Ozymandias
  • The Judgment of Sutekh

Comics:

Image Comics

  • Political Animals
  • Bêtes Noires & Dark Horses

Additionally, short stories, prologues, epilogues and dissertations have been published in charity anthologies and across the web. Happy hunting...


Examples

  • Action Survivor: From the audios, Cousins Justine and Eliza after the destruction of the Eleven-Day Empire. Most other survivors introducer in later stories, like Shuncucker and Cousin Intrepid, also qualify.
  • Ambiguous Gender:
    • Many posthumans in the City of the Saved belong to intersex categories, either by choice or by evolution; it is often impossible to tell their gender just by looking at them.
    • In the Faction Paradox Protocols audios, the French spy Charles-Geneviève-Louis-Auguste-André-Timothée d'Éon de Beaumont is treated as male by her peers for simplicity's sake. There is some debate over how her life actually unfolded and where she would have fallen on the modern gender spectrum, but as history would prove, she preferred life as a woman — which Cousin Justine is quick to take offense to. The perhaps ahistorical suggestion in the Protocols is that D'Eon is genderfluid.
  • Ambiguous Situation:
    • Volume 1 of the Faction Paradox audios leave ambiguous the origins of Cousin Shuncucker and how she and Justine can simultaneously hold the Grandfather's shadow.
    • What are the Enemy, anyway? Different writers have different opinions and the official editorial policies is "We're not telling". In the early days this came in the form of never showing the Enemy directly, but after that proved limiting, The Book of the Enemy introduced the alternative possibilities of throwing a bunch of different possible identities of the Enemy at the reader in different stories, with no clue as to how they might fit with each other as part of a larger picture. Is there a "true" Enemy using fronts and decoys? Is the Enemy an alliance of all these beings? Is the Enemy's identity constantly being rewritten while their role in the War remains constant? Who knows!
    • Auteur's writing clearly awards him some Reality Warper abilities, but how seriously should his boasts of omnipotence be taken? Is he really the "Author of the Spiral Politic", or just an ordinary Homeworlder who's discovered a creative (but fallible) way to apply Loophole Abuse to the Observer Effect?
  • Ancient Astronauts: 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. 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 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 crushed.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: The Celestis erased themselves from history in such a precise way that they ended up becoming concepts and memes as opposed to physical beings. Now they're a bunch of petty gods, watching the universe from above.
  • Asian Speekee Engrish: Snake in "Sabbath Dei" and "In the Year of the Cat", an automaton created as an exaggerated version of ancient East-Asian warriors. The accent and mannerisms serve to flatter King George III and pull the wool over his eyes, so to speak.
  • Author Tract: This Town Will Never Let Us Go is all about the way its author sees the world, with such topics as The War on Terror, the nature of magick, pop music, New Media, and the ever-present theme of "the evil of banality". Read at your own peril.
  • Ax-Crazy: The delightful Cousin Kresta Ve Coglana Shuncucker. (In the words of Lawrence Miles, "In effect she's like a psychotic, heavily-armed version of Bernard Black".) 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...
    • Also, Cousin Antipathy.
  • Backdoor Pilot: Both Alien Bodies and The Adventuress Of Henrietta Street were, in some ways, this for the Faction. Of the City of the Saved... was also this for the City of the Saved series of short story collections.
  • Back from the Dead: This is what Anubis tried to do to Osiris. It didn't quite work, instead re-creating Horus through fusion of Osiris' timeline with Faction Paradox member Cousin Eliza.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: At various times, Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe 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.
  • Beware the Silly Ones:
    • The titular Faction, as a group, sometimes come across as the cosmic equivalent of edgelords trying too hard to be cool and radical. While this may be true in the sense that other cosmic factions are way beyond them, they are however still extremely dangerous to Muggles. And when backed into a corner, they'll be happy to prove that said other factions, Great House and Enemy, are just as easily fooled as any other.
    • Godfather Auteur is introduced as a delusional Cloud Cuckoo Lander Mad Artist who babbles pun-laden Gratuitous French, and sits around in his prison cell writing nonsensical Real-Person Fic about the War in Heaven itself, insisting that what he writes is just as real as the physical world. Here is the wrinkle: he is ''right'' about that, even if he might not be quite as all-powerful as he makes it out. And a lot of his "eccentric madman" façade may be Obfuscating Insanity, to boot, judging by his demeanor after he dies.
  • Big Bad: 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. She is suggested in some sources (such as at least one story in the Book of the Enemy) to be a Greater-Scope Villain manipulating both the Houses and the Enemy for her own end, although the short story Toy Story implies she may actually be a Well-Intentioned Extremist who is sincerely worried about the real Enemy and is acting out a strategy devised by the Mother of Timeships.
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: It's suspected that Cousin Suppression was once one of the Homeworld's "tame authors": writers who were used as propaganda machines by the Great Houses. The Cousin has a habit of carrying around copies of The Homeworld Chronicles and yelling "lies!" and "hacks!" at the pages.
  • Blood Knight: Cousin Justine, who keeps getting distracted from rebuilding the Faction by whatever fight comes her way.
  • Blood Magic: Biodata magic, which can be drawn from blood or, in beings lacking it, any other body part. Typically, the persons performing the rituals add some of their own blood to the ceremony as well.
  • Body Horror: The Great Houses modified their regeneration protocols for the War so their soldiers would become increasingly protected with each death. After a couple of regenerations, they lose all humanoid shape and basically become walking blocks of weapons and armor with TARDIS characteristics.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: Attaining the rank of Godfather - or Godmother - in the Faction requires you to earn three Ph.Ds - bastardry, scathing remarks, and reality bending.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: Sutekh and his sister Nephthys have a very ancient Egyptian view on love.
  • Captain Ersatz: Godfather Auteur borrows his A God Am I Mad Artist tendencies, and his Gratuitous French, from the Sixth Doctor DWM comics' Astrolabus. Auteur drops heavy hints that in fact he is Astrolabus, Back from the Dead, although in-universe opinions are split on whether he's telling the truth, or appropriating the history of a cooler, earlier Renegade to build up his own reputation.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: The "Evil Renegade" chose that name for himself. According to Chris Cwej, anyway. And to be fair, this is after the Great Houses got their hands on him, and he doesn't quite remember it all. In fact, many of the Cwejen have started a cult around their Pale God of the number 7...
  • Cassandra Truth: The man who would become 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, having apparently travelled the entire timespan of the known universe from beginning to end, with a note jammed into the mouth - "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: One of the main issues between the Homeworld and the Faction is that they cannot agree on exactly what the Faction Paradox uses: tech or magic. Faction Paradox believes that the barriers protecting the Faction's home dimension are loa, voodoo spirits, while the Homeworld thinks they're manifestations of the laws of the Universe at work. Meanwhile, many doubt there's a truth to it in the first place.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: The Weaksauce Weakness of the Celestis. They are pretty clever 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 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.
  • Conspiracy Kitchen Sink: Xenomorphs killed President Kennedy, forcing the Faction to intervene and save his life (Only to kill him later on their own terms in 1967).
  • 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. Said "animals" may or may not be the corrupted corpses of their own Homeworld brethren from a timeline in which the Yssgaroth warped them into hybrid monsters. Add the full gorgets and headdresses, and it's a pretty cool look.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Michael Brookhaven, head of Faction Hollywood, is an executive who basically personifies all the corruption in Hollywood.
  • Cosmic Retcon: The Biodata Virus is this trope weaponized and turned into The Virus.
  • Crapsack World: Best described as the Whoniverse with no Doctor around (or at least unable to magically fix everything). In which the people who most want to join the War powers are the ones least able to, those who do play a part in the War find themselves irrevocably altered into living weapons, time travel is best done by opening up a sacrifice in a room of screaming skulls — and the human afterlife is filled to bursting with racists, bureaucrats and slaves.
  • 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.
  • Crossover: Obverse books had been doing Iris Wildthyme short story collections for a while, so she popped up at a few points in A Romance In Twelve Parts.
    • The Adventure Of The Diogenes Damsel is a Big Finish Audio starring Bernice Summerfield, part of her line of audios, which features the Cwejen, time-duplicates of Cwej who were introduced and given that name in The Book of the War. There are references throughout the audio to "The War" and one of the Time Lord characters wonders whether Bernice is associated with "The Faction". And this was the Bernice audio released immediately after one written by Lawrence Miles.
  • 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: Most female Faction operatives qualify. Notable individuals include Cousins Octavia, Shuncucker, Justine, and Eliza. Also, from the Homeworld, Lolita, who despite preferring to use pawns or politics, is noted to be a formidable physical fighter in person, having personally inflicted wounds to Geb of the Osirian Court which even an Osirian could not heal.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Downplayed because there are no selfless heroes in the War (or at least, if there are any, they don't tend to have a good life expectancy). However, of the anarchic, blood-ritual-using Faction Paradox who have Skeletons in the Coat Closet and use Shadow Weapons on one side, and the Great Houses, the self-proclaimed Reasonable Authority Features of the cosmos who are also known as the Sun Builders… the Faction may not actually be the less principled side, nor the less inimical to human life.
  • 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.
  • Depending on the Writer:
    • The Faction has 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 one particularly infamous instance, changing the Faction significantly from what Miles originally intended, making them an overly edgy group of maniacs who chose to mutilate Gallifrey's history For the Evulz rather than for gaining control of the Universe.
    • The Great Houses, as well. 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.
  • Domestic Abuse: In The True History of the Faction Paradox, Sutekh abuses his sister and wife, Nephthys, by using his mental powers on her, physically intimidating her and forcing her to remain loyal to him; which she does but mostly out of fear instead of respect. It's also quite clear that she's reluctant to be on his side but feels she doesn't have any other choice.
  • 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.
  • Dramatization: Brookhaven's film Mujun: The Ghost Kingdom has the plot and characters of the Faction Paradox Protocols audios, transplanted into shogun-era Japan. The book in which the film is described was released after the Protocols started, and several years before said audios were completed, naturally.
  • The Dreaded: Anything to do with the Yssgaroth, the Homeworld or the Enemy.
  • Eldritch Abomination:
    • The Enemy may qualify depending upon what you think the Enemy is — and of course, there is a case to be made for the Homeworlders themselves.
    • The loa spirits that protect the Eleven-Day Empire are low-ranking sorts. Much like Azathoth, they have been implied to be physical embodiments of the laws of the Universe. The Unkindnesses may or may not be a specific kind of loa.
    • And of course, the Yssgaroth.
    • Given various characters' reactions to their true face, Lolita, who might just also be the Enemy, given that she is described as 'a new kind of history'.
    • While her physical form (if she even has one in a way we could understand) is never described, the Mother of Timeships, who is suggested to have created herself, and only then retconned the Great Houses into existence because it suited her to give herself a causal origin, certainly qualifies.
  • 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 Shadow Spire is located outside history and can get into the heads of people who stay there too long. Sleep there and you'll get nightmares of the worst times in your life. Live there for years, and it'll rot your soul from the inside out until you're a hollow shell of your former self and have forgotten your entire identity. The exception is the Spire's original resident, Auteur, who was already insane anyway.
    • The Yssgaroth Universe. Timeline's begun devouring itself there...
    • The interior world of Lolita is described in vivid terms by the War King (and, to top it all off, every inch of it is inhabited by Lolita's consciousness, of course.
    The War King: "I speak to you from the heart of an infinite labyrinth of relative dimensions. The labyrinth shifts with every step I take. And I cannot even look upon it, because I must shun all light. Any glimmer of light in this place might be one of her eyes…"
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The War King is only ever referred to by his title of office, even after he actually loses his power and becomes trapped inside Lolita.
  • Evil Counterpart: The Faction and the Homeworld, or, as some may know them, the Time Lords. Of course, your mileage may vary on ''which'' is the "evil" one.
  • False Utopia: The City of the Saved. Everyone with Homo genus DNA in them, upon death, wakes up copied in a city the size of a galaxy located at the end of time that's as close to Heaven as the setting gets. Everyone's immortal and immune to harm (at least until Antipathy shows up); every human, posthuman, Neanderthal, etc. culture exists and interacts peacefully, if not voluntarily. And you can live in whichever culture suits you best; if you can track them down you can meet any human/posthuman/part-human who ever lived... but no one else. Only Homo genus DNA gets you in. Even aliens and A.I.s raised in human cultures don't get in, and it's mentioned that people have been tragically disappointed when they find out that their non-human friends and lovers aren't going to be there. As for part-humans, the whole human-centric aspect of the City creates a rather jingoistic atmosphere and there's a general opinion that hybrids are lucky to have made it in at all. They're forbidden from becoming City Councillors and most districts treat them as second-class citizens (if that). And if that wasn't enough, all the human agents of the War powers were resurrected there, so even paradise isn't free of the War. There is a pressure group trying to improve things for part-humans, at least, but they haven't gotten very far.
  • Fiery Redhead: Justine. Laura Tobin is also red-haired, and prone to acts of violence and extra helpings of sarcasm and insults as the situation requires.
  • First-Person Smartass: Narrator Christine Summerfield snarks her way through Dead Romance. As Cousin Eliza, she also does some cliffhanger narration in the Faction Paradox Protocols.
  • Flanderization: In-universe example. 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; given that he's based on that other story, he has to end up stuck in that pyramid sooner or later.
  • Freudian Excuse: Antipathy has issues with that Compassion woman. Issues that he likes to express in less than healthy ways.
  • Future Me Scares Me: Grandfather Paradox is everyone's evil future self. 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. A multitude of unimaginably advanced and scheming organizations working against one another, plus time travel and zero scruples about using it?
  • Gender Bender:
    • Father-Mother Olympia uses dual gender titles. (He-she started life as a woman, and hopes to become one once more, but there was a bit of a cock-up involving Godfather Morlock.)
    • Cousin Cousin Cá Bảy Màu, a regular 21st century human, is sometimes he and sometimes she.
    • The Manfolk. Oh god, the Manfolk. They're this trope taken to its limit with horrifyingly sadistic precision, in order to express the universe's largest Oedipus complex. And some Manfolk get stuck halfway through the process — which, for Keth Marrane at least, is the preferable option.
  • 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.
    • The Shadow Spire is suggested to be inherently malicious and to corrupt people's souls on purpose, rather than just be a "normal" Eldritch Location with a harmful aura.
    • The Faction Paradox mantra about the Eleven-Day Empire suggests a belief on the Faction's par that the Empire has a will of its own, since it cites "the Will of the City".
  • A God Am I: Various entities and factions claim to be gods, or "the closest thing to gods in the universe". Depending on the Writer this varies from their being Sufficiently Advanced Aliens with delusions of grandeur to being, for all intents and purposes, correct. These include the Great Houses, the Celestis and the Osirians (who are, of course, the Ancient Egyptian Pantheon IN SPACE!), as well as specific individuals such as Lolita, Compassion and Auteur.
  • Godwin's Law of Time Travel: Warlords of Utopia is about every single Earth where Hitler won versus every Earth where the Romans won.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Homeworld operative Devonire spent much of his career hunting down the Grandfather's severed arm, to use as a bargaining tool against the Faction. Finally given the knowledge that the arm has no ritual significance to the Faction, and that they were in fact in possession of it all along, he nevertheless sought to obtain it out of sheer monomania. The fact that the arm was later tested for veracity and revealed to be ''his own'' left him rather unstable, and with his reputation in tatters and his arm (cut off later, by himself, in a wild fit of paradox anxiety) gone forever.
  • Gorgeous Period Dress: Aside from the Cool Mask, standard Faction wear usually involves something magnificent in black velvet.
  • Grandfather Paradox: The leader of the Faction was once a perfectly normal Homeworld agent who one day decided to kill his grandfather. The results were him becoming a living paradox and the Anthropomorphic Personification of all the potential evil and despair in the Universe.
  • Gratuitous French: One of the quirks of Godfather Auteur is peppering in French asides in his speech.
  • Hidden Villain:
    • Cousin Antipathy in Of The City of the Saved....
    • Lolita also arguably qualifies within The Book of the War, which seems to make little of her despite the major role (and blatant evilness) of the character as revealed in other media. In fact, it is sometimes suggested that whatever the Enemy really are, they are a big shiny distraction from Lolita's own masterplan.
  • 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.
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: If you can't destroy timelines in style, perhaps you ought not to do it at all.
  • Insanity Immunity: Godfather Auteur is exactly as screwed up as the Shadow Spire, so he suffered no particular ill effects from being imprisoned there for decades. Unlike his wardens.
  • 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 destroying his image of Faction Paradox, he wound up creating his own standalone universe. And thus we were born...
  • Large Ham:
    • We fight 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 themself remains calmly sitting. The single two exceptions to this are Cousins Shuncucker and Justine, who independently 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 Ship: All timeships are alive, nearly all are bred on the Homeworld. The older models do not communicate on the same level of reality as the War powers, but newer variations such as Marie, Antipathy, Lolita and the Remote hybrid Compassion walk and talk among us.
  • 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.
  • Magitek: The Homeworld loathes the Faction for the creation of technology that ignores physical laws and works alongside voodoo principles. Screw 'em.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The entirety of This Town Will Never Let Us Go.
  • Memetics in Fiction: The Celestis found a way to weaponize this and ascend to a sort of pseudo-godhood.
  • 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.
    • Why does the plot of Michael Brookhaven's last film resemble so much the fall of the Eleven-Day Empire?
  • Mythpunk: Faction Paradox breathes this trope.
  • 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.
    • The "War in Heaven".
    • Sutekh the Destroyer and Leveler of Worlds.
  • 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 icons.
  • 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 Minotaurs Are Different: 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.
  • Our Vampires Are Different/Our Genies Are Different: The Mal'akh. They're described as "bloodthirsty" and "the undead" as well as the inspiration for stories about the Djinn.
  • Our Angels Are Different/Fallen Angel/Our Demons Are Different: Based on the references to The Book Of Enoch (and the fact that "Mal'akh" is actually a Hebrew word for "angel"), the Mal'akh, again. (Based on a reference to the "s'Tanim", a Hebrew word for "accuser" or "adversary" this may also be true of the Enemy.)
  • Paradox Person: Many Faction Godparents undergo a ritual where they hunt and eliminate their ancestors, starting with their opposite sex parent, then that parent's opposite sex parent, then that parent's opposite sex parent. This is meant to reduce the Godparent in question's vulnerability to time-based attacks, but it's very risky, and doing it wrong can wipe the Godparent in question from existence entirely. Oops.
  • Parody Sue: Mesh Cos in Of The City of the Saved... is ridiculously beautiful, intelligent, accomplished, talented, musical, elfin, politically savvy, charismatic, advanced, scientific, motherly, sexy and well-published, in addition to having created an AI that encompasses all of human technology. She has casual nudist days.
  • 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: This is how rituals work, by reprogramming the universe through a "backdoor" in the "operating system" the Grandfather left behind. Makes as much sense as chanting a bunch of numbers anyway.
  • 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.
  • Racial Face Blindness: Played with. An Asian-accented automaton says King George III thinks they all look alike.
  • Rasputinian Death: Rasputin's infamously convoluted death is actually 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.
  • Recursive Reality: The Universe-in-a-bottle from Dead Romance. 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 (for example, reducing the target to an alias used by someone else). However, it's not recommended to use them on important historical figures. We're still cleaning up from when one managed to hit someone calling themselves Jeova.
  • Sapient Ship: Timeships, lovely ships capable of time travel. Except when they happen to rebel. Or if they happen to be psychotic. Or just sort of really into tentacle sex.
  • Scrapbook Story: Dead Romance, a first-person account of the end of the world by the only person to have survived, with snarky commentary.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Several Faction Paradox members. Including possibly Grandfather Paradox himself. It's in the name.
  • Shout-Out: The titles of the City of the Saved subseries refer to the titles of books in the Tales of the City series by Armistead Maupin.
  • Skeletons in the Coat Closet: Aside from the masks, we often wear full bone battle armour. From Yssgaroth-tainted Homeworld agents' skeletons.
  • Suddenly Significant Rule: "The shadow is more important than the flesh."
  • 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. We're 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 alter his biodata so that he has always lost this fight? Aren't Time-Active wars fun?
  • Summon Bigger Fish: Accelerating the evolutionary cycle of the Fendahl had some... unforeseen consequences. Like creating an evolutionary niche for the thing that eats the Fendahl.
  • Temporal Paradox: Our goal is to burn the entire structure of time. Wanna join in?
  • 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.
  • 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. It exists in-universe, with all the possible biases that implies.
  • Unperson: A classic sport for initiates of the Faction. They like to amp it further by killing their own ancestors before they're born, making their very existences more of a paradox than it is already.
  • Up the Real Rabbit Hole: At the end of Dead Romance this is the final goal of Christine Summerfield.
  • The Virus:
    • The Faction's Biodata Virus. For starters, a person's biodata is the sum of their temporal and physical self. An analyzable summary of 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.
    • Ghost clusters, which eradicate a person's presence in the timeline — not necessarily in chronological order.
    • The Broken Remote suffer from a memetic version: since their newborns are bred in tanks linked directly to their collective culture, a simple cultural shift can cripple their entire society on a creative level. The cultural sterility and statis of the Homeworld has, in this context, been successfully weaponised against them. Many would agree that the Broken Remote as they currently are would have been better off dead.
    • The Yssgaroth taint. Interesting things, vampires. Didja know pure Yssgaroth taint can infest anything? I mean, up to and including timeships? Like Lolita?
  • Weird Sun: There is something inside the Homeworld's sun. The Great Houses really should have a look.
  • 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.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: 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. Given that the Eighth Doctor Adventures novels do name things exactly as they are, and frequently touch on the exact same themes and events, the key is there for those willing to look.
    • You may also recognise Cousin Ceol / Sojourner Hooper-Agogô from her one brief television appearance.
    • The Quell in the Big Finish Doctor Who story "The Warren Legacy" are of course most decidedly not a Faction Paradox cabal. Just a very unrelated group of time travelling people who wear bone armour and skull masks, try to kill people by erasing their ancestors, and get called "paradoxical" in the process.
  • 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.

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