"This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire."
— Revelation 20:15
The organization currently known as the Sledge League is, in short, a loose association of very angry people, who very much do not like the Hollow Men
. So much so, in fact, that they often physically attack them, attempting to shatter their porcelain heads against the pavement with their boots and fists or with hammers and stones, earning them their name.
The Sledge League has, in different names from the current one, existed throughout human history, following anywhere the Hollow Men have gone. From ancient times to the present day, there have always been people angry enough to try and destroy the porcelain-skinned masters of Abstraction
. Though in current times the League is far more of a league than it has been at many points in history. It currently exists with actual leadership and organization, but in many previous societies where the Hollow Men have plied their trade, they were no more than a disjointed group of disgruntled citizens who were only loosely defined by their common goal to beat the Hollow Men into dust.
The League Today
At the head of the organization today is a woman known as Mother Danielle Davis, a rather terrifying old holy woman who, despite her bent back and wrinkled, arthritis-ridden hands, can still wield a sledgehammer with twice the proficiency of any strapping young lad. (A fact which she has had to make known before.) Despite being the current backbone of the organization (ironic, considering the state of her own backbone) she is not the one responsible for the Sledge League’s recent resurgence.
That honor goes to an engineer named Ned Ludd, who was just about sick of the Hollow Men using their Abstractive abilities to accomplish things just as impressive, if not more so, than his machines. He believed that Abstraction was stifling technological innovation, and demonstrated his displeasure in 1779 by taking up a sledgehammer, approaching a Hollow Man, and bashing in its head. The Hollow Man survived, of course, and the subsequent burst of abstractions that exploded from its body quite killed Mr. Ludd. His act of martyrdom, however, inspired many, and an organized group was formed in 1812 in opposition to the existence of Hollow Men, headed by a man named Enoch Taylor, a blacksmith that forged many oversized sledgehammers in the years to come. He died in 1837, and Mother Davis took over for him.
Motives and Methods
The motives of the Sledge League behind their hatred of Hollow Men vary widely from member to member, but largely they fall into one of two categories. One group is mainly opposed to Abstraction itself, believing that the “shortcuts” it offers lead to technological stagnation, and also puts skilled laborers out of work. After all, why make a perfectly balanced weapon when you can just stick some balance to it? At the expense, of course, of some poor person who now falls over whenever they stand up. The second (and more radical) group, which has been gaining steady traction with the introduction of Mother Davis, believes that Hollow Men themselves are the problem. They condemn them for religious reasons, believing that they are devils walking on earth. After all, according to Mother Davis’ interpretation of the Bible, if someone has no name, that name certainly can’t be written into the book of life, which would mean that all Hollow Men are condemned to Hell. Which typically makes a person bad in the eyes of most Christians.
At the moment, however, as it has been for most of history, the Sledge League has had a hard time actually making any sort of impact. Hollow Men are famously difficult to kill, as “General Ludd” so fatally learned. Even destroying their possessions can be equally as dangerous, since freed abstractions often inflict themselves upon those closest to them, causing intense, often fatal Emotion Sickness. This still doesn’t stop many hammer-wielding zealots, who often give their lives in uncoordinated attacks against Hollow Men and their property, which are usually no more than minor inconveniences for the porcelain Abstractors, and quite large inconveniences for the attackers. Despite it all, however, most of the Sledge League is not discouraged from its mission, and its members are always searching for a way to actually, properly kill a Hollow Man. It’s been done before, that’s for sure, but the exact method is at the moment lost to time.