The Seers of the Throne
What would you do to attain power over the mortal world? Would you be willing to barter away your own freedom in order to gain control over the lives of others? Would you be able to make sacrifices if they guaranteed your place at the seat of Heaven’s throne?
Can you even put a price on mastery of the world?
The Seers of the Throne believe in the Lie that keeps the Fallen World sleeping. Where the Pentacle looks skyward to the ideal of a glorious global utopia, the Seers find contentment in what is. The world is divided against itself, too weak to threaten mages, and the Abyss is held at bay. An awakened soul can be master of such a world, and the sleepers toiling beneath them need never even know they’re slaves.
A good thing.
Where the Pentacle is scattered and lax on its members, the Seers of the Throne organize themselves tightly across the entire planet. All mages in their employ are pieces in the great Iron Pyramid, from the lowest initiate that makes up one of the thousand thousand flagstones, to the highest archmage Ministers who cap its top. And though they are sometimes divided against themselves in particulars, they all agree in purpose: The Lie will consume all the Fallen World, and all Awakened will join the Seers… or be killed.
It is now known to you that there are many Ministries among the Seers – paths of beliefs and ideals centered around one of the many Exarchs who watch like gods from on high in the Supernal Realms. Of these many, four are considered primary, their Exarchs the Archgenitors who are masters of both this world and the next.
The Hegemonic Ministry
Servants of the Unity
The State is the Soul.
Love the flag, the anthem and the tribe. Hate foreigners and dissenters. Enslave legitimate moral outrage to ruthless politics. Flags, tribes, and issues don’t matter. They’re channels of power, threads the Hegemonic Ministry tugs and weaves to suborn nations. It doesn’t stop there, either. The Ministry loves rebellions, too, where they turn revolutions into reigns of terror.
Governments have never been so complex and all-encompassing as they are now. There are no unclaimed territories and no frontier where a community can rule according to its own customs. They don’t need to do it as often as other people, but even hermits deal with cops, bureaucrats and tax collectors.
The philosophy of the Hegemons is simple: Utopia is attainable, as the Pentacle claims. However, Sleepers must never be allowed to attain it, can never know it’s truly possible, and above all, can never be allowed to find out it used to exist.
There is a Paradox in the beliefs of the Exarch Unity: in order to maintain the oneness of Creation, human beings must be split apart into warring tribes and castes. If they ever set aside their differences and Awaken, they could crack the cosmic firmament, and draw the Abyss in to destroy the Fallen World.
Known Members: Giselle Pierpont (former)
The Ministry of Panopticon
Servants of the Eye
Vision is power
It is the most ancient great Ministry, and credits its longevity to an eternal truth, passed down by the Eye: Vision is power. It’s more than the ability to see threats and opportunities arrayed before you. When someone knows she’s being watched, she changes. A mix of paranoia and exhibitionism subtly regulates her actions. Sleepers only understand that now, but the Ministry
of Panopticon has used Vision’s techniques since its inception, before recorded history but after the Fall.
The Ministry of Panopticon is at the zenith of its power. Sleepers obediently monitor each other — it’s even popular entertainment. Big Brother’s changed from a warning into a televised joke. It’s a virtuous cycle for the Ministry. The more Sleepers rely on information networks the more information they want. The resulting traffic passes through the watchers’ gaze.
The Ministry’s primary flaw is that it has trouble keeping up with the technological aspects of it, so it compensates with classic methods: informants, blackmail, connections with spies and criminals and, of course, magic.
The belief of the Ministry is that Sleepers should never sleep alone. They fear nonconformity
and unpredictability, so if they believe they’re being monitored they’ll forego any behavior
that might make them stand out.
This keeps them asleep.
The Ministry believes that every time people intentionally monitor each other (as opposed to casually seeing one another), they sympathetically strengthen the Eye. They transmit information into the Pantognosis: the web of mystic information that orders the Fallen World. The Eye is the god of espionage, and all spies and rumormongers unknowingly worship him.
The Watchers do this consciously, so they are privy to the Eye’s gifts.
Known members: Vates, Mercury, Plutus
The Ministry of Paternoster
Priests of the Father
Faith is an Unbreakable Chain
It takes faith to manufacture faith, and devotion to deceive the devoted. Look at any religious scandal and you won’t see cynics at the top. The truly corrupt believe they’re so holy that the rules they preach to the masses don’t apply. Paternoster’s faithful — the hierodules — effectively enforce the Quiescence because their faith is strong enough to conquer moral contradictions.
The Father’s elect believe that He mandates one religion for the Awakened, and many, many others for Sleepers. Let each kind keep to its religion and the world will abide in harmony. Sleeper religions are lies, true, but they’re holy lies, designed by the Exarchs to keep their children safe and passive.
The Roman Creed of the Paternoster:
We believe in the Father, ruler of the Supernal Heavens and the Ashen Earth, and the Exarchs, many yet indivisible, who are emanations of God
Who Awakened incarnate, Ascended into Heaven, cast out demons and false gods and offered Atlantis in the first perfect sacrifice, for the purity of Heaven
Who for us and our salvation, offered the second perfect sacrifice of mortal flesh to become the face and voice of God
Who protect Heaven from falsehood, and defend Creation from damnation
And who have demanded of us, the Awakened, a third perfect sacrifice, that we might Ascend.
Known Members: Remmy Odoya
The Praetorian Ministry
Soldiers of the General
We’re Every Enemy, and Every Commander
War is a garden that grows red, nurtured by blood, moistened by a rain of sweat. The Praetorian ministry tends that garden and keeps it from running wild, but it also keeps it healthy, well fed by the world’s violence.
Praetorians are soldiers, yes, but they’re so much more: demagogues, executives, politicians and everything else that powers the machinery of violence. They don’t carry a banner of honor, though they’ll pretend to when it suits their aims. They aren’t modern knights, samurai or the other honorable warriors that Adamantine Arrows idealize. Violence is not a crucible for character, but an instrument of the Exarchs. It siphons human creativity and destroys good will. It eats productivity and shits devastation. Divided against itself, humanity can never overthrow the Lie.
The Ministry keeps those divisions vigorous and hate-filled, without letting them produce a global catastrophe.
The Praetorians believe that fear is the enemy of enlightenment. The Awakened may show superficial fear, but they possess a transcendent bravery that denies the Lie and crosses the Abyss. It’s the Ministry’s duty to cultivate utter fearlessness, but sow fear in the masses. As long as every Sleeper has at least a subconscious belief that someone could take away everything she holds dear, the unease will be sufficient to stifle Awakening, most of the time.
This isn’t an ideal solution, because there are always a few stubborn, desperate souls that are actually propelled into Awakening by fear, but the Ministry believes this is part of the Supernal design. Even Seers of the Throne should have enemies to test their resolve. Otherwise, they’ll go soft. The Ministry despises softness. To the ideal Praetorian, mortal danger, social censure and moral condemnation are nothing.
The Polity of New York
The American Northeast, along with much of Canada, is governed by the Columbia Tetrarchy – one of many such Tetrarchies that divide up territory globally.
Current information as to the structure and leadership of the Tetrarchy is not known, and specific information as to local leadership is equally unknown.