Follow TV Tropes


Playing With / Impartial Purpose-Driven Faction

Go To

Basic Trope: A group that ignores taking sides in favor of pursuing their own non-political agenda.

  • Straight: The Order of the Time Guardians is an exclusive organization of Time Masters that has existed since the dawn of recorded history to prevent Time Crashes by subtle timeline manipulations. Although powerful rulers of all eras have tried to coerce or trick them into handing them future technologies, the Guardians never fell for this.
  • Advertisement:
  • Exaggerated: New Time Guardians are completely Erased From Existence, never directly interacting with other human beings again.
  • Downplayed: While the Order at large has a time-tested policy of neutrality, individual members are not prohibited from lending their knowledge of the future in service of powerful rulers of a given era.
    • The Guardians of the Gates intervene politically but only if it becomes immediately relevant. They will pardon Blood Knights and even Evil Sorcerers if they might prove useful. If every faction is in a civil war but still contributes adequate forces, supplies, and manpower against demons they will stay out of it. However if it starts to become a problem they will play kingmaker to end things quickly and don't care if it is a feudal system, an empire or a republic so long as they do what is needed.
  • Justified: Protecting the time stream takes complete precedence over political power plays, and being an acknowledged neutral party in all things simplifies the Guardians' job immensely.
  • Advertisement:
  • Inverted: The Tempus Cabal is an Ancient Conspiracy of time travelers whose sole goal is power for power's sake and Taking Over The World in every era.
  • Subverted:
    • Alice the neophyte Time Guardian discovers that her benevolent leaders actually are the Tempus Cabal!
    • The Time Guardians refuse to take sides in a conflict, preferring to pursue their own non-political agenda... until one side offers a large bribe, and decent chunk of the Time Guardians decide that becoming filthy rich is a worthy non-political agenda to have.
  • Double Subverted:
    • ...because they will have killed and replaced the real Cabal in order to use their resources to undo the Super Time Crash in a very distant future.
    • These greedy renegades are promptly evicted from the Order, which resolves to give future recruits better ethical training.
  • Parodied: A trivial role like little league refs receives all of the gravitas of a time travel organization.
  • Advertisement:
  • Zig Zagged: The Time Guardians are non partisan offically but it operates like embassies being a front for espionage and pushing interests. However everything is low key and civil. Sometimes the balance keeps things impartial other times they slip up.
  • Averted: The Time Guardians have a long history of openly lending support to empires and rebellions whenever they believed it was in line with their mission.
  • Enforced: ???
  • Lampshaded: ???
  • Invoked: The Time Guardians are explicitly founded to remain neutral in their protection of the timestream, and take in orphaned children specifically to avoid any conflicting loyalties.
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied: "Just because we have a greater purpose to accomplish doesn't mean we'll ignore lesser evils."
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: ???
  • Deconstructed:
    • While neutrality sounds good on paper, a lot of members don't handle it quite so well when faced with it in the field. Many Time Guardians are deeply disturbed by having to ignore atrocities they have the ability to prevent, and the Order eventually faces a schism between traditionalists and members who want to be more proactive.
    • Neutrality doesn't make you a lot of friends. When the Order of Time Guardians comes under attack, no one is very willing to aid them. After all, they stood by and watched when everyone else was in trouble; why do they deserve help now?
  • Reconstructed: The Order's leaders reunify the splintering factions by pointing out why the neutrality policy was originally implemented: in all the in-fighting over whether or not to kill Hitler, the Order's primary purpose of protecting time is being ignored.

Back to Impartial Purpose-Driven Faction

Example of: