|Faction:||Order of Reason|
Jove must have his thunderbolts. A Prince must have his retainers. A king has his assassins, and the Order of Reason is no different. To implement their new design, the High Artisans need blades to do the cutting and the brooms to sweep away the mess. The Ksirafai ("Razors") are those tools, honed in secrecy and dedicate to the greater good.
Officially, this group does not exist. The Ksirafai have no Guildhall and do not appear on the rolls or documents of the Order. A "Convention" in the loosest sense, these Magi police the shadows, using infiltration, rumor, seduction and assassination to advance the agenda of Reason. While the Daedalean conceal themselves from mortals, this "Army of Secret Angels" hides within their ranks, master of charm, coercion, perception and obfuscation.
It's all too easy to see the Razors as Inquisitors within the Order; but their true purpose is implementation, not orthodoxy. A Ksirafai exists to smooth the Order's path, not to judge a person's loyalty. Her duties include recruiting allies, passing messages, monitoring betrayals, assembling archives (and occasionally purging them), assisting other Daedaleans or their patrons, and subtly disposing of threats to the Order. To assist her, the agent receives special Devices and training in techniques forbidden to most High Artisans.
Although some High Artisans have heard tales of mysterious infiltrators, a Ksirafai never claims allegiance to her sect; as far as the Order of Reason is concerned, the the "Razor Inquisition" is a legend, no more substantial than a shadow on the wall.
No noble end is achieved without dubious means. The Order's cause is just, but its enemies (within and without) are many. God's plans occasionally demand sacrifice, and the Ksirafai are the agents of necessity. When their task is done, they will depart; but for now, harsh times demand harsh measures. Bloodshed is to be avoided if possible, but all too often, it's inevitable. Better to cut diseased flesh away before the entire body is corrupted.
Following the conventional "wisdom" of the time (which supposes that women are craftier and more manipulative than men) a fair number of Ksirafai are female. Well dressed and disguised, eloquent, versed in languages, and learned in the arts and sciences, these spies infiltrate universities, churches and Covenants. Once in place, they watch, makes notes and spread Daedalean ideas. If necessary, they murder their targets with silent skill, then disappear before the bodies can be found.
A Ksirafai regards herself as a servant of the darker angels (Michael, Uriel, Azrael, etc.), and puts her faith in the Order's cause. Although Daedalean in outlook, her Arts seem more arcane than Ars Praeclarus. Ksirafai spells depend on influence and misdirection; rooted in the practices of the Ixos (an elite band of Greek sorcerer-spies who caused the true fall of Troy), these secrets involve spirit-speech, potions, poisons and tricks of the light. Delicate Devices - small crossbows, pin-guns, tiny grapples, etc. - help a spy achieve her ends, while perfumes, enchanted oils and forged documents assist in more delicate matters. When violence is necessary, a Ksirafai invokes deadly angels through the seven Hermetic pentacles of Saturn, or employs Devices with great destructive power. When the tasks are done, prayer and purification cleanse the Razor of her sins - sins performed in the service of God.
Early History Edit
The Ksirafai come from an ancient order of mages known as the Ixoi, although this is a secret known to few outside the Convention. As a result of their work, the Awakened were aided by Psychopomps who guided Daemons to their mages so perfectly that there was no disparity, no inner voice.
Dark Ages Edit
Although the number of Psychopomps was starting to dwindle by this point (and thus, the perfect union between Daemon and mage), the Ixoi were forced to rely on their own morality and force of will to achieve their goals.
Soon after the Convention of the White Tower, the Inner Circle discovered that oaths were less binding than anger or gold. After the Solificati defected, several Magistrates founded a group that would answer only to the Inner Circle. From within the ranks of servants and companions, these agents would spy on their fellow Conventions and rival groups alike. Records would be kept of alliances struck; when necessary, the shadowy blades would strike, cutting away traitors or obstructions to the cause. Master Intriguers were recruited from Byzantium. An elaborate language of signals was composed, and likely recruits were initiated. Soon the Razors were polished and employed.
Age of Reason Edit
By the late 17th century, the Ksirafai began to doubt the purity of their mission given the Pogrom instituted the Order of Reason. They quietly faded into the shadows, eliminating all traces of their existence, and then, in 1716, gathered at their Construct in Turkey under the guidance of their Fulmen, and "defeated" it. The Fulmen, using the name Dincer Albayrak, presented the "victory" over the Order of Reason to the Order of Hermes, and asked to be recognized as House Janissary.
Most Razors answer to a single mentor and three contacts. A Ksirafai Magistrate handles a "lodge" of six lesser Resplendents and sends his reports and observations further up the chain. A council composed of the original Byzantines makes important decisions, but most activities are left to the Magistrate's discretion. Naturally, Razors keep an eye on each other, and report back to the council; thus, corruption and incompetence are rare - a Magistrate knows the cost of both.
A promising initiate is noted by his future mentor, often long before he's aware of the group's existence. The mentor tests him from afar; if he passes, the mentor offers him a place in an elite fellowship. One year of indoctrination follows, during which the initiate (called an Ignorant) is schooled in the lore of the Army of Secret Angels. During a grueling initiation, the youngster is taken through a cave, beaten and provided with an oath. Hopefully, the Ignorant Awakens to a vision of the Archangel Michael, welcoming him into God's agents. If the vision does not come, the oath is withheld and the Ignorant is welcomed into a lesser fellowship - the Etfalti - of un-Enlightened allies.
Two cloaked, masked figures, known only as Fulmen ("Thunderbolt") and Suavium ("Kiss"), answer to the Inner Circle of the Order of Reason.
Unlike the other Conventions, the Ksirafai are not divided into guilds. Each member is given duties appropriate to his or her skills and location. Some are active in mortal politics, others observe Daedaleans, and still others execute darker plans.
Version Differences Edit