|Name:||Seers of the Throne|
|Symbolism:||The Words of Tyrants|
|Creed:||Magic is Payment|
The Seers of the Throne are a magical conspiracy. According to the orders, the Seers see themselves as servants of the Exarchs, the mages who conquered the Supernal Realms and now dictate the laws and shape of reality. While they are mages themselves, the Seers have decided to side with the Exarchs against the mages fighting for freedom from the Exarchs' edicts. The Seers believe that they must take action against the remaining mages, who might otherwise become powerful enough to ascend to the Supernal Realms and attempt to topple the Exarchs from their thrones. Broadly speaking, the Seers seek to suppress or gain control over magic, especially any that might grow to endanger their chosen lords.
In effect, the Seers believe that none have any real chance of standing against the Exarchs, and that the only rational decision is to bow down earlier and serve faithfully so that they may be rewarded once the Exarchs' victory is complete. It is unclear, however, if there actually is such a reward besides the benefits provided by the support and power provided by membership in the Seers. The Exarchs don't communicate with their self-styled servants except by visions that might just as well be the product of power-mad minds.
According to the Seers, the Exarchs ended the chaos that ruled the Tapestry in the time of Atlantis. Stones stopped moving. Trees stopped demanding the blood-price for their fruit. The Exarchs made a new age of mortal flesh; an age of the ax and the miner’s chisel; of pain and toil, unanswered prayers and eternal death. Out of chaos and potential, the new world created limits and certainty. In it, some will be slaves and some will be kings, but only initiates of the Throne see the secret shape of its power: the way to Ascend from iron chains to adamantine crowns.
The Tyrannical Mystery depends on cooperation from the Seers, as they awaken to the standard Watchtowers erected by the Oracles (although some Seers claim that the Exarch have guided their Awakening). As such, Seers are not slaves, at least not to their way of thinking. They are the caretakers of a world that the Exarchs have already won control over. By carrying out the will of the Exarchs in the Fallen World, the Seers believe they have a much better chance of being able to breach the Abyss and eventually ascend into the Supernal World themselves to sit beside their Masters, ruling over the Fallen World. Without the blessing of the Exarchs, it’s virtually impossible for a mage to achieve Ascension. Because the Exarchs have control in the Supernal Realms, the Seers believe they will be greatly rewarded for helping maintain that control and preventing the Pentacle mages from ever disrupting the status quo. By implementing the Exarchs’ will, the Seers gain power and riches in the Fallen World. Over time, the rewards they gain for faithful and effective service will only increase, particularly in terms of power over the rest of the Awakened.
Although the Seers use the Atlantean system of magic and date back to the Ocean Spire itself as disciples of those who choose to erect the Ladder to Heaven, they do not want any part of its tradition. Atlantis served its purpose when the Celestial Ladder allowed the Exarchs to stabilize the Cosmos. As such, they see the Atlantean Diamond as dangerous deviants, who fight a lost war. The most faithful Seers believe the Pentacle’s fall is preordained, and even that the Exarchs allow its continued defiance to test the resolve of Seers. The enemy can’t win but it represents a moral challenge that Seers must fight, regardless. The majority is less zealous; it believes order mages are serious threats. Banishers and Apostates are dangerous rogues, but the Pentacle represents an organized opposition to everything the Exarchs have forged, from the Fallen World’s delicate balance of natural law and creeping mystery, to the Exarchs’ Thrones in the higher worlds.
The Seers use Sleeper society to distract them from the Supernal by enhancing division, making the rich richer and the poor poorer, all the while hampering with attempts to change this. By locking humanity into an internal strife, they do not look up beyond their own petty needs and desires and Awaken to the greater truth. To this end, the Seers use every institution in modern society. Economics, science, religion, academics and politics are all willing distractions if they are manipulated enough to remove Supernal sympathy that might arouse within them. Another way to keep the world under the Exarch’s thumb is destroying magical knowledge or securing it for the Throne. In this, the Seers fight a merciless battle against the Pentacle. Other supernatural incidents, like Verges, are also suppressed if possible.
Individual Seers have moral boundaries they aren’t willing to cross. Some pylons absolutely refuse to target specific ethnic groups; others will never crush the weakest members of their society into starvation. To most Seers, it means ordinary people can’t be allowed to look beyond the Lie. Even if Sleepers don’t Awaken, there’s still a lot of supernatural power loose in the world. If Sleepers knew enough to seek out Artifacts, secret places, and hidden entities, they could wreck the delicate balance of the Fallen World. It’s a far better thing to distract people with poverty, war and spiritually barren beliefs. The world isn’t a paradise, but to the Seers of the Throne, it’s the best place the unenlightened can hope for.
The Pillars of PowerEdit
The Pillars of Power are the steps on the road back to the Supernal while in service to the Throne. Each Seer cultivates at least one of these Pillars and a combination of all is needed for advancement within the Iron Pyramid.
- True Power requires Faith
- True Power requires Obedience
- True Power requires Service
- True Power requires Vigilance
- True Power requires Discipline
- True Power requires Understanding
- True Power requires Courage
Will of the ExarchsEdit
The Exarchs' agenda is communicated to the Seers, who enforce it in the Fallen World. Each is more of a directive than a direct order, and Seer pylons argue over the best way to fulfill the Will of the Throne. The Exarchs communicate their wishes via dreams and omens that are deciphered by the ruling Ministers and Tetrarchs and then regulated to pylons that seem to fit the task- often with small irregulations that aid them.
- Conquer the Watchtowers
- Control Magic
- Destroy the Pentacle
- Divide Humanity
- Protect Humanity
- Enslave the Old Gods
- Regulate the Abyss
Seer structure is terribly confusing and irregular. In fact, some say that the only one who know the definite hierarchy of the Iron Pyramid are the Exarchs themselves. Each Seer establishes offices as needed, appointing deputies to do work that she is unable or unwilling to do herself. The Seers who ascend to those offices, however, rarely remain content with the table scraps thrown their way for long. As a result, Seers constantly strive to fend off challenges to their power from below (with varying degrees of success). One tactic that has become favored within the order is the false office, which seemingly promotes a promising Seer to a higher station, but is really a farce to keep him distracted from conspiring against his superior, which is often continued even after the original rival has either perished or has been reassigned by a superior. Each ministry acts as a self sustaining hierarchy separate from the others, and often are in conflict with each other in hopes of attaining supremacy within the Fallen World for their given master. This is usually the explanation for why the Seers have failed to destroy the Pentacle outright, as the infighting and mistrust among members limits their capabilities severely.
There’s a lot of hierarchical “empty space” between pylons (the equivalent to Cabals) and tetrarchies (who roughly correspond to the Consilium). The Seers of the Throne believe the Exarchs have designed a set chain of command that extends from the lowliest mage to the Ministers themselves. It’s a matter of faith because the Seers believe that the Exarchs must give their servants a clear way to Ascend to the Supernal Realms. The secret, true design of the Seers of the Throne figures in its occult philosophy. The Iron Pyramid is a reflection of the cosmos. Sleepers toil at the base; the Seers rise through offices that parallel some facet of Fallen reality: a secret substructure that reveals the laws the Exarchs have coded into the universe’s structure. A few Seers believe that the Iron Pyramid will perfect itself through internal conflict. Rival hierarchies will clash, leaving only the purest expressions of the Exarchs’ will to survive.
Beside the official power structure and division into local pylons, Methodologies exist. Methodologies are common ways of working the Exarch’s will in the Fallen World, and often work cross-ministry and pylon. Each pylon, Methodology and Ministry uses their own set of titles and ranks, with numerous variations depending on cultural background and focus. The only absolute authorities are, after all, the Exarchs and the Throne. Ministers and Tetrarchs, who have mastered magic to Imperial degree are given respect, but most of the time, these mages act in cover identities, disguising themselves in the labyrinthine Pyramid of power. Only those mages who have proven themselves resourceful and clever enough to see through the falsehoods before them and who have brutally outwitted every of their rivals, are worthy of reaching the Supernal palaces and stand beside the Throne. Below is a list of the most common used titles. Note that every Ministry has their own appellations and higher ranked Seers often style themselves with new titles.
- Secretary/ Vizier/Cardinal/Consul/Decan
- Librarian/Cryptomancer/ Conspirator
- Sacrum/Censor/Rex Sacrorum
- Quirinus/ Proclaimer/Emissary/Ambassador
- Dominus/Fu Tsang Lung
- Hoplite/ Samurai/Nemesis/Alastor
There are at least ten major Ministries, one for each Arcana and the associated Exarch, but the main power rests in the four Archigenitors. These are the most powerful Ministries with the most influence on mortal society, although the Hegemonic Ministry is threatened by the growing power of Mammon, Ministry of the Chancellor, Exarch of Matter. The Seers of the Throne believe that the Archigenitors have always been the greatest Exarchs, even when one great Ministry falls and another takes its place. The sect rewrites its history to smooth things along. Scholars say new accounts are “more accurate.” The Seers of the Throne rarely destroys evidence of its past, but when old histories fall out of favor they’re consigned to obscure archives.
- Panopticon, servants of the Eye, Exarch of Space
- Hegemonic Ministry, servants of Unity, Exarch of Mind
- Paternoster, servants of the Father, Exarch of Prime
- Praetorians, servants of the General, Exarch of Forces
- , p.62-55