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The Chanter and the Razorvine
It has to be said, first and foremost, that nearly everyone likes a juicy bit of gossip. Yourself, for example (you'd not be reading this if you didn't!) Fact is though, basher, that some cutters spend their whole lives poking their noses into other people's business, and then telling the rest of the world what they've learned. The Anarchists are particularly good at this, but none are as experienced in the art of tale-telling as the Chanter. 'Course, being an Anarchist, nobody really knows who (or what) the Chanter is - just the name. And cutter, you'd better believe that most of the rumours that rattle around the Cage were either started or embellished by the Chanter.
By now, most Cagers have probably heard the juicy rumour about Factol Hashkar (if you haven't try reading that highly sought-after subversive tome The Factol's Manifesto). That one's been attributed to the Chanter and his/her/their/its gang of gossipers, the "Razorvine". Nobody knows if it's really true or not - except for Hashkar, probably - but that's half the beauty of the Chanter's tales. Enough of them do turn out to be true in the end - and they're often the most bizarre ones of all - that most bashers agree you'd be a fool not to take 'em all seriously.
"We have no idea what your problem is, but we're responsible for it."
- Anonymous note,
written by an Anarchist who'd noticed
the Harmonium were a bit discomfited lately,
as though trying to hide something embarrassing...
Consider, for example, the recent chant linking the Guvners and the Xaositects. According to the Chanter's screed, the Xaositect faction was actually started by the Guvners hundreds of years ago, in an attempt to show bashers how ridiculous anti-conformity was. Thing is, rather than ridicule Chaos like the Guvners had intended, it turned out the Xaosmen gained so much popular support amongst Cagers that the Guvners realised they'd made a huge mistake and pulled their agents out from the spoof society. If they hoped it's collapse under its own weight they were dead wrong, as the Xaositect faction went from strength to strength, supported by Eladrin, Slaadi and Tanar'ri alike.
True or false? Could be either really. Still, one thing is almost certain: If a cutter tells you he heard something on the razorvine, likely as not he actually did - and the Chanter had something to do with it.
Copyright 1997, 1998 text by Jon Winter