Announcements: Initiative: Promoting Forum Roleplay » Universe of the Month! » Finding Universes to Join (and making yours more visible!) » Guide To Universes On RPG » Starter Locations & Prompts for Newbies » RPG Chat — the official app » USERNAME CHANGES » Suggestions & Requests: THE MASTER THREAD »

Latest Discussions: Platonic numbers » No complaints (a little bit of rappin) » Any multi-player roleplay videogamers here? » Needing a woman's perspective on a concept » Gluts and Gaps » Universal Basic Income » Impending Pursuit Q&A » Eudaimonia » Loot! » Natural Kinds » I have a funny idea » Life in the 21st century. » Song of the Runes » Plato’s Beard » Clues » Nihilism » Strange Tales From Hadean » Art Gulag [ Come get this Commish! ] » Visibility of Private Universes & Profile Customisation » Presuppositionalism »

Players Wanted: Roleplay Return for 1 x 1 » Players wanted for a science fiction adventure. » Players needed for Fantasy Romance reboot » One(1) male & Two(2) Female Roles OPEN <3 » Talmora: Kingdom of magic » Looking For A New Partner » Hellboy characters » 18+ Writing Partner [Fantasy, Romance, Etc.] » 18+, Multi-Para to Novella Writers please! » Looking for roleplayers » Fun tale full of angels, demons, and humans » Looking for roleplayers » A Fairytale World in Need of Heroes & Villains! » Are You a Crime Addict? » Wuxia RP » Looking for roleplayers » New Realistic Roleplay - Small World Life ٩( ´・ш・)و » Mentors Wanted » MV Recruiting Drive: sci-fi players wanted! » Veilbrand: The Revolution »

A Tale in the Time of Tumult

The Powers That Be

a part of “A Tale in the Time of Tumult”, a fictional universe by Wake.

In you is the soul of a hero, gifted with a divine spark granted by the gods. In you is the power to change the world and right ancient wrongs. In you is the inherited destiny and legacy of a legend. Go forth young champion and conquer.

Characters Settings Story
This conversation is an Out Of Character (OOC) part of the roleplay, “A Tale in the Time of Tumult”.
Discussions pertaining to roleplay on RPG.

The Powers That Be

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Wake on Sun Mar 21, 2021 3:03 am



The people of Creation, whether they know it or not, live within, and are subject too, a complex and ever shifting ecosystem of political, financial, and even militaristic forces. And not all of them originate from or are contained to the borders of Creation itself.

In this thread I shall detail a brief over view of the factions and organizations, both great and small, that hold sway over the world and compete for influence and control of the people within and it's resources.
Image

Tip jar: the author of this post has received 0.00 INK in return for their work.

User avatar
Wake
Member for 10 years
Promethean Conversation Starter Author Inspiration Conversationalist Novelist Completionist World Builder Salesman Arc Warden Storyteller Lifegiver

Re: The Powers That Be

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Wake on Sun Mar 21, 2021 11:36 pm



Special Note: I promise the rest of the post after this one won't nearly be this big. It's just that the realm has the most moving parts to it ^.^;; ALSO! Not all Terrestial Exalted are from The Realm. There are thousands of "outcaste" Dragon blooded who are born scattered in the thresholds and wander the various places of creation. Some form smaller societies of their own. They have a *special* relationship with the dragon blooded of the dynasty. In that the Dynast tend to view them as country bumpkins.



The Realm, sometimes called the Scarlet Empire, is the empire of the Dragon-Blooded and the most powerful government in Creation during the Age of Sorrows. The empire that, until quite recently, controlled the whole of the civilized world. The Realm never officially "ruled" more than the Blessed Isle directly, but it exacted tribute from countless local governments, which paid it homage. Those governments were independent in theory, but they were actually little more than puppet states.

Since the Scarlet Empress has disappeared, the Realm has been paralyzed by indecision. There is a weak Regent on the Scarlet Throne, and the eleven Great Houses of the Scarlet Dynasty plot endlessly, each attempting to gain enough power to place its own candidate on the Throne.




Ruler


Spoiler: show


The Scarlet Empress is the founder and sole ruler of the Realm. During the Great Contagion, it was she who braved the Imperial Manse and used its control of the Realm's ancient magical defenses to save Creation from the invading Fair Folk. She then crowned herself Empress of the Realm — using her control of the Realm defenses to crush all opposition, as well as an alliance with Chejop Kejak and the Bronze faction Sidereal Exalted — and proceeded to rule the world for the next 763 years. Her unexplained disappearance five years ago has upset the status quo of Creation, and the return of the Solars and the arrival of the Abyssals has only complicated the situation.


History

Spoiler: show
The Realm claims continuity with the Old Realm and does not look kindly upon those who imply a difference. As a result, it claims to be a direct descendant of the Shogunate, however in the Second Age, the Realm consists primarily of the Blessed Isle and arguably its Tributary Kingdoms, with the rest of [[Creation] in the Threshold claiming independence, and nations such as Lookshy claiming that the Realm is a pretender to the Shogunate throne.

The Realm was established in RY 1 by the Scarlet Empress when she conquered the Imperial Manse and used its First Age Weapons — the Realm Defense Grid — to drive back the Fair Folk. Setting up camp in the Manse, she established a relationship between the Immaculate Order that legitimized her government among the common people.

The next hundred years were primarily focused on consolidating the power of the government in the Empress’ hands. This was accomplished by establishing the various branches of the government – The Legions, The Thousand Scales, the Deliberative and the All-Seeing Eye, introducing the Jade currency standard, and the suppression of various threats to her power, notably the Seven Tigers and an eventual stalemate with General Nefvarin of Lookshy. With the Immaculate Order establishing control over the Gods of the Blessed Isle, the political and social foundations of the Realm were well established RY 100. By this time, the Imperial City, originally a tent-city surrounding the Imperial Manse, was a well-established community.

Following the establishment of the Realm’s government, the Empress devoted her time to ensuring that she could not be removed from it. By RY 223, the majority of Threshold was tributary to the Realm, but internal threats remained. An assassination attempt in RY 114 led the Empress to implement the Thousand Mazy Paths strategy, by which she made the government dependent on her continued presence. Meanwhile, an attempted coup by House Manosque led the Empress to destroy her own descendants and established a poisonous interfamily relationship that the Scarlet Dynasty has done its best to continue.

Throughout the following centuries, the Realm steadily expands, dealing with occasional uprisings (such as the Unbroken Rushes Rebellion) and internal threats (such as the coup by House Iselsi), however the Empress maintains a steady hand, ensuring the safety of her kingdom. Until her disappearance in Calibration of RY 763.

The Scarlet Empire continues to move forward through sheer inertia for several years. Regent Tepet Fokuf is appointed as a seat-warmer by the Deliberative, but as several disasters strike in short order, including the destruction House Tepet’s legions by The Bull Of The North, the Dynasts begin to gut the Realm in preparation for civil war. The Legions are dissolved and reassembled under the various Great Houses, taxes and tribute are increasingly getting “lost” en route to the capital, and everyone is waiting for someone to state that the Empress is gone for the fun to really begin.


Society

Spoiler: show
The Realm is a hierarchical society, one in which the Immaculate Philosophy preaches a reincarnative belief system that places the Dragon Blooded at the top of the social order. According to the Immaculate Philosophy, enlightenment is directly a function of one’s Essence, and by living virtuously, a person will be reincarnated as an Exalt. As a result, the Realm has a highly static social structure with the Dragon Blooded at the top of the pyramid, although there are ways for mortals to influence the power structure subtly.

The Realm is divided into three major social classes: Dragon-Blooded, Patricians and Peasants. Patricians are upper class mortals, while peasants are the farmers and townsmen. Legal protection, sumptuary laws and income are all affected by class. The gap is widest between Dragon-Blooded and Patrician, as Dragon-Blooded have near total immunity to almost all prosecution as long as they aren’t affecting other Dragon Blooded or otherwise harming the realm.

Underneath these three classes are Slaves, although the Realm only allows Dragon Blooded to own slaves, and the government restricts the slave trade to House Cynis. If a Patrician wants to use a slave, they generally have to hire a Dragon Blooded as a a minder.

The uncertain nature of Exaltation adds two unofficial classes to the realm. Dynasts (members of the great houses) who don’t Exalt, and peasants who Exalt. The former are treated as failures by their house (except for Nellens) and often used in strategic marriages; although technically patricians, they are usually haunted by their failure to Exalt and the life of luxury they were forcibly ejected from. Outcaste enter Dynastic society either through the legions or the Immaculate Order, and are generally of a slightly different character from their more sybaritic Dynastic equivalents. Patricians who Exalt are generally adopted by a Great House and are largely indistinguishable from other Dragon Blooded.

It should be noted that while Dragon Blooded may be able to get away (literally) with murder legally, internal social pressures try to keep the abuse from becoming too extreme. That stated, the Patricians and Dragon Blooded have an uneasy relationship; while Dragon Blooded are easily superior of mortals in combat and magic, un-Exalted Dynasts become Patricians, and Exalted Patricians are usually adopted by the Dynasts. Patrician families have a fair degree of power in The Thousand Scales and will use that to their advantage.


The Great Houses


Spoiler: show


The Scarlet Dynasty is composed of 11 great houses, all of which claim some distant familial relations with the empress either through blood or through marriage. Each of the houses are named after either one of the empresses children or one of her previous lovers. With her absence these houses are now effectively in control of her empire and it's tributaries, and are slowly starting to carve it up between them as they play a dangerous game of politics for control of the throne. No one wants to be held at blame for being the one to throw the first stone, but neither do any of them want to be caught unprepared, and so the contest remains subdued and civil. For the moment at least.

(The element most prevalent with that house is in parentheses.)

House Cathak (Fire)—A pious and disciplined House of generals, strategists and martial philosophers. Famed as the most militaristic of the Great Houses, House Cathak has been blessed by the Dragons with the second-best Exaltation rate of the Houses, second only to Mnemon. Of course, the one thing about House Cathak is that it also has the highest mortality rate of the Houses. Publicly, this is because of their fearlessness. Privately, it’s because many in the House are short on judgment.

House Cynis (Wood)—Decadent hedonists and traders in slaves, drugs and other contraband. There’s no denying that House Cynis has made its mark in the Scarlet Empire. Known for its especially wild parties, (some of which whose accounts are probably blown out of proportion) House Cynis has great lines with the Guild and are also traders in many kinds of contraband, from drugs to slaves.

House Iselsi (Water)—A disgraced and shattered House fighting for its very survival, formerly masters of the Realm’s spy network. At first glance, it’s tempting to say that House Iselsi used to be a House. In reality, it’s still alive…but barely. It was all because in RY 303, Iselsi Terrestrials tried to assassinate the Scarlet Empress. As punishment, the Empress began removing its privileges bit by bit, in addition to execution of the assassins. In reality, she just placed the spies, who are among the best of spies, in the Threshold, where they’re needed most. She had originally promised to restore them to former glory for their loyalty, but with her disappearance Iselsi’s fate is in the air.

House Ledaal (Air)—Historians, scholars and visionaries learning from the past and preparing for the Realm’s turbulent future. House Ledaal gives birth to some of the brightest and most curious people in the Empire. Many members of House Ledaal are aided by Sidereal Exalted, a tradition in the House since its founding, because Ledaal, the Empress’s fourth child, was a prodigy and the Empress hired a Sidereal tutor for her. Ledaal sorcerers are probably the only ones to recognize the threat of the Deathlords.

House Mnemon (Earth)—An ambitious and cunning House of strategists and plotters headed by the Empress’s most powerful daughter, the sorceress Mnemon. House Mnemon turns out some of the best Dragon-Bloods in the Realm. Led by Mnemon, the eldest child of the Scarlet Empress that is still involved in politics, these people come out to be the best of Dragon-Blooded society. However, there’s a lot of people who bear a grudge against this House and its sorceress leader.

House Nellens (None)—Primarily a patrician House with very few Dragon-Blooded, resented by most other Dynastic Houses as untalented, undeserving bastards. House Nellens is a strange house, because it employs the use of mortals in addition to Dragon-Bloods. This ambiguity, however, makes it highly unpopular amongst its fellow Houses. Some of them are willing to become advocates for mortal’s rights, but doing so is considered heresy to the Immaculate Order.

House Peleps (Water)—Master politicians and overseers of the Imperial Navy. Most people don’t like House Peleps, because they are usually cheats, liars, manipulators, and generally rule-breakers. While the Empress approved of these tactics, the other Houses didn’t. However, with House Iselsi smashed on the rocks, no one else is more capable of running the Imperial Navy.

House Ragara (Earth)—Bankers and schemers, the wealthiest of the Great Houses. Most members of House Ragara are content to work behind the scenes of the Realm rather than take a direct hand in it. Considering that they control many of the Realm’s finances and most of the Isle’s banks, this isn’t a hard job. They also keep a record of all debts and will call them in at any time.

House Sesus (Fire)—A powerful military House, seething with political ambition. Sesus is probably the most fierce of the houses, as well as the most barbaric. A staunch supporter of House Mnemon, it is a strong house, but very incompetent. If it doesn’t get a hold on its forces soon, Sesus will just be a house of mercenaries…cannon fodder for Mnemon’s forces.

House Tepet (Air)—Formerly a great martial House, now a fallen power scrambling to recover its dignity and standing. In earlier years, House Tepet was a lion’s share in the legions, along with House Sesus and House Cathak. But in three months, the Tepet legions and their respective Terrestrials were reduced by 66%. However, the Exalts of the House are trying to restore the house to its former glory, and have taken up an aggressive adoption campaign to keep their hopes up.

House V’neef (Wood)—Merchants and traders. The youngest and smallest of the Dynastic Houses, but rapidly growing in wealth and influence . Some elder Dynasts have some trouble taking “House” V’neef seriously, but the Empress had no trouble with that; in fact, some say she favored V’neef over Mnemon. Although a young house and the smallest of the eleven, they are easily gaining wealth and power with their wineries.

Tip jar: the author of this post has received 0.00 INK in return for their work.

User avatar
Wake
Member for 10 years
Promethean Conversation Starter Author Inspiration Conversationalist Novelist Completionist World Builder Salesman Arc Warden Storyteller Lifegiver

Re: The Powers That Be

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Wake on Tue Mar 23, 2021 12:31 am





The Immaculate Order is the state religion of the Realm, a more formal and organized outgrowth of the Immaculate Faith that originated during the Shogunate era. The Immaculate Order grew hand in hand with the Realm, providing theological legitimacy to the Scarlet Empress's rule. Secretly, this organization has had backing from the shadows since it's inception by the Sidereal exalted of the Bronze faction though none within order know this truth.

The Immaculate Philosophy is a fatalist, caste-based theology. The central tenet of the faith is that everything in Creation has an assigned role ranked by its ability to control essence. Humans are superior to animals, and Dragon Blooded are superior to humans. An individual who lives a virtuous life is consequently reincarnated as a progressively more powerful essence wielder until they emulate the lives of the Immaculate Dragons, the five heroic Exalted who deposed the Anathema (the Realm's term for celestial exalted, primarily the Solars). Immaculate followers therefore do not worship Gods or their Ancestors, and the faith itself is has no real idols.

The Immaculate Order is a monastic faith, the basic visible arm of the religion are Immaculate Monks. Monks, who can be either mortal or Dragon Blooded, study, train and meditate in communal monasteries. Immaculate monks also provide spiritual and social support for the community, they run religious services, and aid the poor and ill. Immaculate monks are required for a variety of rituals - from speaking a child's name to officiating marriages.

The head of the order is the Mouth of Peace. The Order is an arm of the state, receiving a religious stipend from the Treasury every year. In addition, the order receives tithes and donations from the faithful which serve as the bulk of its operational funding. While an arm of the state, the order operates semi-independently, often serving as the conscience of the Dragon Blooded. Immaculate monks will side with the peasantry over abuses by their lords, and the Order has a well-deserved reputation for passive resistance. However, since the monks are also the finest practitioners of Terrestrial martial arts in the Realm, they are more than capable of defending themselves when necessary. Additionally, the Immaculate Philosophy ensures that the Underworld around the Realm is weak - because essence is not given up to the dead on the Blessed Isle,

Finally, the Order provides a rationale for the Wyld Hunt, which from the Sidereal Perspective is its most essential function. Territories which adhere to the Immaculate Philosophy will aid the Wyld Hunt as a matter of course.

The Wyld Hunt


Considered the militant arm of the Immaculate order, though technically a separate entity, The Wyld Hunt is both an organization and a general term used in Realm for the parties of experienced Dragon-Blooded who are tasked with hunting down and destroying supernatural forces that are considered a threat to civilization. Such targets would include Demons, rogue gods or elementals and their mortal cults, the fair folk, restless ghost and, most prominently, the Anathema. Such parties usually, usually numbering around a dozen terrestrial exalted, both contain and are lead by at least one member of the Immaculate Order trained in the Order's powerful martial arts styles, which help level the playing field against the inherently more powerful Celestial Exalted. They are typically further bolstered by an attachment of a few hundred mortal soldiers. Partly religious, partly secular, it answers to two forces: the Mouth of Peace and the All-Seeing-Eye (the Realm's secret police force).

The Wyld Hunt was successful for many centuries, hunting down every one of the rare Solar Exalts whose sparks were reborn in Creation, but since the disappearance of the Scarlet Empress the Realm's noble Houses have been too busy squabbling to spare as much manpower and resources for the Hunt. But with the increased numbers of Solar Exalts returning following the destruction of the Jade Prison, the Immaculate Order has made sure the Hunt is not altogether forgotten, and fear of the Anathema ensures the Houses will always support it when asked.
Last edited by Wake on Wed Mar 24, 2021 4:00 am, edited 3 times in total.

Tip jar: the author of this post has received 0.00 INK in return for their work.

User avatar
Wake
Member for 10 years
Promethean Conversation Starter Author Inspiration Conversationalist Novelist Completionist World Builder Salesman Arc Warden Storyteller Lifegiver

Re: The Powers That Be

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Wake on Wed Mar 24, 2021 3:41 am

The Guild




The Guild is at once an enterprise, an organization and an institution. As a business enterprise, the Guild is a collaborative effort between the most wealthy and influential merchants and artisans in Creation, dedicated to the increase of that wealth and influence. As a trade organization, it is the originator and overseer of standards such as weights, measures, value, supply and demand. As a social institution, the Guild links distant lands, employs hundreds of thousands and creates a sense of community in a large and hostile world.

The three main branches of the Guild are merchants, craftsmen and laborers. Anyone who joins must enter through one of those branches and must have a Guild sponsor. Good though the other main businesses are, though, the three effective pillars of the Guild in practice are slaves, drugs and mercenaries. Since the Great Contagion, the slave trade has been an integral factor in rebuilding and maintaining societies across Creation. The Guild buys from warlords and armies, civilized nations and barbarians, shadowlands and Fair Folk, then it moves the living bodies to where they are wanted. One faction that does not trade slaves with the Guild, however, is the Imperial Army, as the Scarlet Empress made it clear that House Cynis was to maintain the monopoly on slave-trading inside the Scarlet Empire. The Guild’s willingness to trade slaves to the Fair Folk in order to feed their hunger for souls, even after the Fair Folk have launched numerous assaults on Creation, has done nothing for its reputation.

The Guild’s trade in drugs, both hard and soft, is nearly as notorious as its slave trade. The Guild maintains vast plantations where it produces the raw materials for its own drugs, but the vast majority of its supplies come from affiliated kingdoms that are, in essence, wholly owned by the Guild. The Guild’s most profitable trade is in opium; the base material, the poppy flower, can grow in nearly any environment with a modicum of care. The Guild also does brisk business in marijuana, cocaine, qat, and more esoteric drugs. The Guild drug trade is also responsible for the transport of large amounts of medicines and pharmaceuticals. Now while all of this may sound horrible, a point must be made in the Guilds favor. It is an organization made by mortals for mortals. It has stood up to the might of The Realm, an empire lead by demigods, and fought it to a stalemate. It has conducted diplomacy with gods and demons and forced them to barging on their terms. And it has braved the Mad domains of the Fair Folk and come back all the richer. It's Merchant Princes command Caravans that are likened to mobile cities. No other place in the world can a mortal stand with such wealth, power and prestige and it's members are fiercely proud of that fact.

History

Spoiler: show
The concept of the Guild was born in Realm Year 88, when a merchant named Brem Marst came into contact with a group of merchant-philosophers in the Lap called the Counters. He put the Counters’ philosophical teachings to practical use, and within 10 years, he had solidified the basic structure. The Guild itself was founded in Realm Year 99, supported by the recent formation of the League of Many Rivers, but also by merchant houses from Sijan, Nexus and Chaya. Eighteen years later, the Guild established its permanent headquarters in Nexus and formalized the first Directorate, the head of the pyramidal structure that it had become. It worked its trade-route tendrils throughout the Threshold and solidified its structure, just as the Realm itself was stabilizing on and around the Blessed Isle and beginning to spread.

Over the next three centuries, the Guild grew steadily, and local merchant houses and leagues became absorbed into it while nations and city-states became dependent on Guild-delivered goods and news. The constant battles between the Realm and the River League impressed on the Guild the need for military might of its own, and in response, it formed the first affiliated mercenary companies. It established functionally permanent contracts with large standing mercenary companies and became a military power in its own right. The Scarlet Empress permitted strictly limited trade with the Blessed Isle but restricted the areas in which Guild craftsmen and merchants could operate. She disallowed trade in jade, weapons, armor and rice, and animosity over these restrictions blossomed into a trade war in Realm Year 416. This destructive conflict ended two years later after doing more damage to the surrounding Threshold states and tributaries than to the Guild or the Realm.

Tip jar: the author of this post has received 0.00 INK in return for their work.

User avatar
Wake
Member for 10 years
Promethean Conversation Starter Author Inspiration Conversationalist Novelist Completionist World Builder Salesman Arc Warden Storyteller Lifegiver

Re: The Powers That Be

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Wake on Wed Apr 14, 2021 12:25 am

The cult of the Illuminated




For generations, the Immaculate order has preached to the masses of the evils of the anathema. Painting celestial exalted, most predominately the solars, as soul devouring demons and monsters that wish to prey upon and subjugate honest folk for their own amusement and schemes. In a world that has spent seven and a half centuries under the rule of the dragon blooded terrestrial exalts, this propaganda is accepted as truth by the vast majority of the civilized world and thus those that adhere to the immaculate philosophy fear and shun the celestial exalted when they reveal themselves, allowing the bronze faction Sidereal's to deny their foes a support base from which to hide and defend themselves.

But not everyone subscribes to the Immaculate philosophy, inspire of the order's best efforts. Heretical cults exist, that venerate beings who do not cow tow to the order's demands on the proper conduct between mortals and immortals. Spirit courts, rogue gods, ancestor cults, and the occasional lunar preceding over a tribe of barbarians. But few are as far contrarian to the Order's ideology as the cult of the illuminated.

Rather than fear the solars, or compete with them for followers, the cult of the Illuminated embraces them as their brothers and sisters. For they believe they are their prophesized 'Shining Ones' who will restore creation to what it was.

Faith and Hope


Spoiler: show
For the Exalted, Creation is a place of limitless possibilities. That’s not the case for the peasants and slaves that make up the bulk of mortals.

For the underclasses of Creation, life is a tight set of limits and a persistent lack of possibilities. A peasant is born with nothing, and he will likely die with nothing in the same village, or even the same hut, here he was born. A farmer or servant or laborer goes through life knowing that this is all she gets, day in and day out, and that she passes this empty legacy on to her children and dooms them to the same existence. And the only alternative to drudgery and toil is hunger, death and horror. There are wonders and terrors in the world, gods and monsters and beings with the blood of the Dragons in their veins, and when their shadows pass over Creation, the common folk usually lie dead in their wake. The Immaculate Order offers faith and the promise of elevation to Dragon-Blooded divinity many incarnations in the future— but in this life, it preaches acceptance of this small and pitiful lot, the appropriateness of the peasant’s struggle and limits and small, pointless existence. And while heretical cults abound, all they offer are different parameters of worship, different beings to beg for aid and succor. Nothing changes, nothing moves, and life is still a dirt path to death and the Underworld or rebirth into another incarnation just like the last.

But the Cult of the Illuminated is different. It hold the promise of change, massive change in this lifetime, in the next decade, tomorrow. The Cycle of Day is coming, the Cult says, when the Shining Ones will overthrow the tyranny of the Realm, of the Dragon-Blooded, of Heaven itself, and make everything different. Make a world where everyone has choices, everyone has options; make a world where those farmers and laborers and whores who fought for the Shining Ones will stand at their sides and be rewarded in both this world and a vastly different Heaven.

These are the beliefs of the mortal cultists who make up the Outer Circle of the Cult. They can see that their world is teetering on the brink of massive and fundamental change to a world where the old rules will not apply and where their loyalty and service may bring them the rewards they had never dares imagine before. For a people who are born tasting dirt and ashes and know they will never taste anything else, the Cult of the Illuminated is more than just another heresy, another way to placate the gods or wring some small joy from belief. It is hope, and that alien emotion is something world working for, killing for, dying for. Worth anything.

The Outer Circle of mortal cultists have no god-killing weapons, no earthshaking magics, no elementals and spirits to serve them. They fight and spy and labor for beings they may see only once or not at all, and promises they know only through rumor. They bring nothing to the war of the gods and Exalts except devotion, courage, determination, and hope.

And with those things, they will change the world.


Doctrine


Spoiler: show
The inner circle and foundation of the Cult, is the gold faction. A collection of Sidereal's, gods and other spirits that wish to see the Solars returned to the helm of creation, under their guidance of course, where they might steer it towards a second golden age. The Cult of the Illuminated, created quietly without the bronze faction's knowing, was a direct answer to the Immaculate order and the wyld hunt. It's goal is not to contend with the order in open battle, not with the full might of the realm behind it, but to Sheppard those way ward exalts to safe havens where they might hidden from the Wyld Hunt's inquisitors and made to understand their powers and destinies. They most prominently focus on the recruitment of solar exalted, but the cult is opportunistic and the inner circle has no reason to turn away converted Dragon Blooded outcast or the occasional lunar.

In secret enclaves and fortresses, they arm and teach these exalted. Both in combat and in logistics, etiquette and faith. Then they assign them responsibilities and task, designed both to continue to test them and further the Cult's goals.

The Outer Circle however is kept at a safe, deniable distance from the workings of the Inner Cult, it is organized less like a religion and more like a secret society. The basic unit of the Cult is a cell—a self-contained, independent body of worshipers with little connection to any other cell or to the Inner Circle. Based in a specific city or location, a cell has only intermittent communication with the Inner Circle—and mostly one-way communication at that. It only interacts with other cells in unusual circumstances, such as all-out war or a concerted attempt to ferry Shining Ones from one cell to another (rather than directly to the Inner Circle).

The most important type of cell is a temple. These (hopefully) permanent Cult establishments serve as shrines, barracks, headquarters and fortresses for the cultists of the cell. Temples come in all sizes and types, from ruins outside the city limits to shrines hidden in the slums and secret cellars under brothels. A temple cell includes not just ordinary cultists, but also a number of priests and a leader hand-picked by the Inner Circle. Temples are the most important cells in the Cult network, and the Inner Circle’s plans rest on the ability of the temple cultists to work hard and give their all for their faith.

The other type of cell is the outpost, a small, unfocused group of worshipers and cultists operating outside of a fixed temple. There are all kinds of outposts: farms worked by believer families, groups of converts meeting for discussions and prayer and plots, a single hermit priest wandering the mountains and watching the skies. Outposts are scattered and not particularly important in the Inner Circle’s schemes. If an outpost could become useful, resources and manpower are directed at it to upgrade it to a temple cell and recruit more members. Outposts mostly play the part of the network’s connective tissue, way stations where Solar's can rest and hide as they’re smuggled to a major temple or to the training camps. Outposts consist of a number of believers, possibly a priest and whatever family and supporters they can suborn to their cause.

Tip jar: the author of this post has received 0.00 INK in return for their work.

User avatar
Wake
Member for 10 years
Promethean Conversation Starter Author Inspiration Conversationalist Novelist Completionist World Builder Salesman Arc Warden Storyteller Lifegiver

Re: The Powers That Be

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Wake on Thu Apr 15, 2021 2:54 am

The Silver Pact




In the First Age, "the Silver Pact" was a euphemism for Lunar Exalted collectively. In this period, Lunars did not have an inherent caste at Exaltation, but rather changed with the moon's phase until they settled into one that fit their personality and aptitudes. After the Usurpation, Lunars were forced into hiding in the Wyld, and its unstable energies began to erode their castes. Lunars with an unfixed caste faced the choice of mutating to mindless chimerae in the Wyld or being hounded to death in Creation, until a group of sorcerers devised a way to use moonsilver tattoos to fix caste and identity in place. Today, these tattoos are a mark of membership in the Silver Pact.

In the aftermath of the Great Contagion, a gathering of the surviving Lunars established the Silver Way and the goals of the Silver Pact. As the Lunars are the "stewards of Creation," members of the Pact pledge to protect some aspect of Creation, however large or small. The Pact works to ensure newly-Exalted Lunars are protected from the Wyld Hunt and receive tattoos and training. They also hunt down any remaining chimarae, to release those Exaltations back into the cycle of reincarnation. Finally, in secret, some of the elders of the Silver Pact have been promoting a strategy they call the Thousand Streams River Project. Rather than let one group of Exalted or another rule Creation and inevitably fall to corruption, madness or indolence, the Silver Pact promotes societies where mortals can govern themselves and fulfill their own potential to its highest degree. When such individual excellence is the norm, there will no more need for the Scarlet Empire, or any other for that matter.

History


Spoiler: show
Thousands of years ago, in the first age, the lunars had been the close advisers, bodyguards, and sometimes consorts of the solar exalted. During their forging the gods of the Sun and the Moon bound together in pairs each shard of solar and lunar exaltation, so that each of their reincarnations could bring their respective strengths together for a greater purpose.

However this closeness meant that they were in close proximity to the Solars when the great curse began to work it's poison on their minds and souls, and remained there up until their mates decent into madness finally provoked the dragon blooded into their uprising. Though the Usurpation was targeted largely at the Solars, the lunar were still seen as an accessory to the crimes of the sun's chosen and so too were also hunted. Some fought to the last along side their bonded mates. Others, particularly those who suffered abuses at the hands of the insane god kings, abandoned those same solars and fled to the edges of creation and eventually beyond them. There the surviving lunars were forced to take refuge beyond the borders of reality, in the bordermarches where the unending maelstrom that was the Wyld lapped at creations shores. It was the one place the Dragon blooded dared not peruse them.

Forced to survive at the fringes of existence, in the very grips of insanity, the Lunar's learned harsh lessons of survival and self reliance. They conducted vicious battles with the Fair Folk over territory. When the Wyld eroded their cast and threatened to mutate some of their numbers into monsters, they developed the technique of grafting moonsilver tattoos upon themselves so that so force of nature or magic, save their own, could alter their forms.

Soon with the fall of the First Age, the Silver Pact came to undersand the truth. The mechanisms of civilization, the millions whose lives were spent for the sole purpose of letting the Celestial Exalted live in contentment and ease, led to the Exalted expecting such treatment as their due. The Solars grew fat and corrupt off the labour of the people, and their mortal servants did the same. With such corruption, it was no wonder that the Terrestrials had sought this luxury for themselves. Life in the Wyld, hard though it was, winnowed the weakened Lunars from those who could grow strong again - and fight back.

As the Shogunate progressed, and weakened, the opinions of these Lunars were hardened. Slowly, they slipped back into Creation, finding cracks between warring factions and leading groups of people away from supporting fat Shoguns towards self-sufficiency. When the Contagion struck, their people died with the rest, but the survivors were better-equipped to do battle with the Fair Folk as they arrived. Lunar champions led beastmen and Wyld mutants, warped but unbroken, against the fae, until the Wyld retreated with the Empress's actions.

In the aftermath of the Contagion, the Silver Pact made its first move, stepping into the shattered world and gathering more people to them. Over the past several hundred years, the Silver Pact has grown their armies, carefully masking them with ineffective raids and by throwing those with more courage than brains at the might of the Realm. With the Empress's disappearance and the shrinking presence of the Realm's might felt in the thresholds, some in the silver pact now feel the time is right to make their play.

The one thing they were not prepared for was the return of their long dead solar mates. Or they're corruption into the Abyssal exalted.


Organization


Spoiler: show
The organization of the Silver Pact is loose at best, but they have certain things in common. The Pact is an organization of brothers and sisters, who listen to those who have proven their wisdom but who aren't afraid to move if necessary. Not all Lunars belong to The Pact, but it does contains approximately two-fifths of the Lunars of Creation, including a number of Lunars of the First Age; such ancient powers as Ma-Ha-Suichi and Tamuz organized and lead the Pact. Pact members, however, do not rely overly on each other, and keep each tribe separate from one another to avoid one tribe gaining dominance over the others.

Elder Silver Pact Lunars tend to live alone, frequently dominating or commanding large tribes for their purposes. Younger Lunars frequently travel in packs, pooling their strengths to gain power from one another until they are strong enough to stand against Creation alone. Older Lunars, faced with problems that they find they cannot solve, will often call on former packmates for aid. While flippant requests will be ignored, the Pact can mobilize against the most serious problems. However, internal divisions will keep such organizations from ever being more than a loose alliance.

The Pact also charges itself with the collection of younger Lunars, who are given to a mentor to train them and endow them with their moon silver tattoos. In the wild lands beyond the threshold's this is easy and is merely a matter of convincing the young exalt to be taken under their wing. Closer to civilization, this becomes much harder, as the Silver pact must contend with finding the new Silver Exalt before the Wyld Hunt does.

Tip jar: the author of this post has received 0.00 INK in return for their work.

User avatar
Wake
Member for 10 years
Promethean Conversation Starter Author Inspiration Conversationalist Novelist Completionist World Builder Salesman Arc Warden Storyteller Lifegiver


Post a reply

Make a Donation

$

Become a Patron!

RPG relies exclusively on user donations to support the platform.

Donors earn the "Contributor" achievement and are permanently recognized in the credits. Consider donating today!

 

Who is online

Registered users: bet4vn, canhbaobostonmexluadao, cereslucia*, Google [Bot], igiene3, Kura Ravengade*, Majestic-12 [Bot], mensshoes_Melbourne, onlypainters, Princeben072*, rubytuesday*, venus888dotinfo, vwin030vwinn