|Nicknames:||Mind Robbers, No-Blinkers|
Any moderately knowledgeable Stygian knows the basic details of the Mnemoi. They were once the judges and police of Stygian society, using their ability to see, replay and alter memories to extract confessions from Psyche and Shadow. They were corrupted, used their abilities to blackmail and sell information, and are now banished from Stygian society and hunted down wherever they are found. The few remaining Mnemoi sell memories as drugs, living in hiding.
This is a pack of lies.
The Mnemoi are the most loyal of all the guilds, their loyalty makes the Skeletal Lord look like a traitor. They have voluntarily endured torture, hunting, soulforging, humiliation and uncounted pain in order to preserve the most precious secret in the Underworld.
The Mnemoi as a guild began when the Wraith Minos developed the ability to store memories in objects. As he developed the Mnemosynis Arcanos, he and his collaborator Phaedra created ways to extract, copy store and alter memories. One of Charon's oldest friends, Minos formed the Guild as a judgement and civic assistance organization. Since wraiths fundamentally cannot trust their own personalities, given the risk of Catharsis, the Mnemoi were critical for everything from Castigation to criminal investigation.
Sometime before the Third Great Maelstrom, the Lady of Fate and Charon worked out Fate's decrees and realized that at some time in the future, Charon would leave the Underworld and return as an Enfant in its time of greatest crisis. Realizing that while his soul might be the same, his mind would be totally lost, Charon developed a desperate insurance plan against that day, a plan aided by the Mnemoi.
With Minos' aid, Charon began to record his memories, with the Mnemoi collectively creating a Memory Palace that recorded the entirety of Charon's existence in the Underworld. All his experience, his powers, his secrets were locked in this structure. The most valuable item in the Underworld and the most dangerous item if Yu Huang, the Smiling Lord or Gorool were to get a hold of it. To that end, the Mnemoi developed a ruse.
They became Stygia's greatest pariahs. Several Mnemoi judges volunteered to become scapegoats and, with Charon's aid, the Mnemoi became the most hated villains in Stygian history. Since wraiths fundamentally cannot trust their own personalities, much of the Mnemoi's reputation was built on their own incorruptibility. With the watchmen suspect, they were forcibly ejected from Stygian society even before the Breaking of the Guilds.
The Mnemoi remained hidden criminals with some protection from Charon, but their persecution was a price willingly paid to hide their secret. The Mnemoi never faltered in their loyalty; after the Great War, Minos and Charon rewrote the memories of Stygian society to eliminate most knowledge of the coup in preparation for the Maelstrom to come.
The Mnemoi were vindicated before the Sixth Great Maelstrom when they were called on to finally recall Charon's memories. It turned out that the persecution had been too successful, however; while the bulk of Charon's history was maintained personally by Minos, too much had been lost through the centuries of persecution. Charon was able to lead Stygia through the initial crisis, but he voluntarily Transcended afterwards. The fate of the Mnemoi after the Maelstrom is unknown.
The Mnemoi don't really have an organization. As a rule, they remain scattered in order to prevent too much damage happening to Charon's memories. Mnemoi are generally distinguished more by their survival strategies than anything else.
Memory Pushers Edit
Some number of Mnemoi live on the fringes of Stygian society as criminals. These memory pushers buy and sell pleasant (or unpleasant) memories for a fee, they also serve as an ear into Stygia for the rest of the organization.
Many older Mnemoi simply hide and wait in obscure locations, the better to wait Charon's return.
The Wandering Ones Edit
Other Mnemoi travel throughout Stygia, often posing as Monitors given the similar guildmarks. Wandering Mnemoi stay nowhere for long.
The Ancients Edit
The apex of Mnemoi organization are the two founders: Phaedra and Minos. They carry the bulk of Charon's memories and make what decisions need to be made.
Phaedra is the Mnemos most Mnemoi know best, she oversees Mnemosynis training and also handles most daily affairs. She wanders actively throughout Stygia seeking recruits and watching Mnemoi.
Minos is the hermit leader of the Mnemoi. He maintains a small location by the River of Death where he manufactures memory equipment and waits.
Guild Culture Edit
Notes on initiation and other practices here.
Other Notes Edit
The Mnemoi (and the art of Mnemosynis) is named for Mnemosyne, the Greek goddess of memory and mother of the Nine Muses. There is also a river in Hades that bears the name of Mnemosyne; it served as a counterpart to Lethe, the river of forgetfulness. Those who drank from Mnemosyne would remember their past lives, while those who drank from Lethe would forget them.
Minos is named for Minos, King of Crete, master of Daedalus, and owner of the labyrinth that housed the Minotaur. After his death, he became a judge in Hades. He also appears in Dante's Divine Comedy, judging and assigning the circle of hell each soul shall be sent to.