Houses & Cults
Many mages seek the prestige and reliability of an education from one of the six official houses, which each represent an aspect of magic.
The houses' fellowship splits itself into two sects, each representing a different nuance of the house. Each differs in its tactics, aesthetic, rituals, and belief.
For those who can't find what they're looking for, or for those who do not wish to be associated with the Council, cults are an option. These operate in the same fashion as the houses, but are run independently by powerful mages.
Hybrid mages are not unheard of, but mages are not able to enroll in multiple houses simultaneously.
The House of Viviria
The House of Viviria is the house that represents the life aspect of magic. Their symbols include nature, immortality, and symbiosis. Viviria mages combat their opponents with the forces of nature.
Viviria’s citygod is The Mothertoad, an immense aggregation of corrupted mephitoads.
The house is choked with life, inside and out. It's hard to tell where the hive-like architecture ends and the plantlife begins; branches penetrate walls, roots sprawl along the floor, tamed only by persistent foot traffic. An incessant chorus of chirping and croaking can be heard, day or night. Bioluminescent pustules, insects, plants, and fungi provide the entirety of the building's light. Storm spells are maintained by the house's tempests, making it muggy and wet even indoors in many areas.
The house's official familiar is none other than the Mothertoad’s own spawn - mephitoads.
The Verdant Ones
A typical Verdant One may be a bright but dreamy sort. Often appearing passive or reserved, there is an undeniable mystical quality to them. One may sense in these mages a great hidden power, reserved only for when it's most needed.
Botanists, shamans and mystics, elementalists and beast-tamers make up their fellowship, just to name a few.
The Hungry Ones
This sect harnesses the brutality of nature, choosing to conquer and spread. Many Hungry Ones are essentially necromancers, selecting hosts both dead and alive to further their influence.
While a typical Hungry One may at times appear aggressive or controlling, they are also capable leaders. Some claim to give purpose and security to those who have surrendered to the hardships of Nodd.
The House of Umbrasia
The house of Umbrasia is the house that represents the death aspect of magic. Their symbols include destruction, decay, darkness, ritual, mourning, revenge, sleep, solitude, meditation, and silence.
Umbrasia’s citygod is Illa Phasmere, a ghostly, skeletal abomination.
Umbrasia's house is reminiscent of a tomb, dusty and cold. Wispy tapestries hang from the ceiling, and tall statues keep watch over the long, solemn hallways. The interior is dark and mostly lit only by pale blue candlelight.
The house’s official familiar is the squall, a creature whose scream causes their prey's fear of death to vanish.
The Languid Ones
This sect focuses on blood-healing.
A typical Languid One is a self-sufficient sort. They tend to be fastidious and well-kept, reliable and emotionally sturdy. Whether out of charity or habit, they often find themselves quietly righting the wrongs of others less capable.
The Restless Ones
This sect focuses on avenging past deaths - of themselves and others.
A typical Restless One tends to be fiercely independent, and some go their own way shortly after being granted mageship. They tend to fear little beyond the loss of their freedom.
The House of Vorn
The House of Vorn represents the flesh aspect of magic. Their symbols include pain, pleasure, sex, and the body. Their general tactic is to undo their opponent's belief through seduction and torment alike.
Vorn's Citygod is Mercian Vetch, a succubus-like entity whose face is always behind a mask.
The house is castle-like, its towering spires spiked and nightmarish. Sletchers roam inside and out, seeking attention from the mages of the house, and seducing those just passing through. Crimsons and purples color the interior, and decor consists of satin, leather, chains, and dangerous-looking plants.
Vorn mages indulge in ritualistic sadomasochism, and most are heavily scarred.
Vorn's official familiar is the sletcher, a sensitive, pain-loving quadruped.
The Indulgent Ones
This sect focuses on seduction, sensation, lust and intimacy. They are often enjoying the fruits of The Vibrant Ones' labor.
A typical Indulgent One may be very in touch with their emotions, and may sense the world more deeply than those around them. While their seductive nature and love of sensation can appear shallow to some, they are often loving, romantic, and eager to connect.
The Vibrant Ones
This sect focuses on beauty, strength, and putting on a show - frequently, a show for The Indulgent Ones to enjoy. Often these shows are intense experiences, and oftentimes violent in nature.
A typical Vibrant One is a scintillating personality. With a penchant for drama and a love for attention, they are often lively and charismatic individuals who know just how to dazzle the world around them.
The House of Psilysium
The house of Psilysium is the house that represents the mind aspect of magic. Their symbols include consciousness, dreams, substance-use, mazes, and puzzles. Their general tactic is to undo their opponent through manipulation of the mind.
Filo Rooke is Psilysium’s citygod.
Much of the house is labyrinthine, and a confusing hell to navigate; many of its halls and rooms seem to serve no purpose whatsoever, and some include cryptic puzzles - likely to befuddle guests and lower ranks. The house's official familiar, the queril, either helps or hinders one's progress through the house with its illusory antics.
Teal and purple hues color the dimly-lit interior, which is decorated with optical illusions in the form of paintings and patterns, as well as many hanging birdcages and perches for the roaming queril.
The Vexed Ones
This sect focuses on exploration and manipulation of the consciousness. With a love of perplexing the self and others, their fellowship includes puzzle-makers, illusionists, and psychic puppetmasters.
A typical Vexed One is a collector of experiences. They love the exotic and the bizarre, and seek novelty at any cost. With their bottomless cache of unlikely anecdotes, a Vexed One can't help but to be entertaining company.
The Lucid Ones
This sect focuses on knowledge and understanding. These are professors, apothecarists, and philosophers, whose interest in Psilysium is of a more academic or constructive nature.
A typical Lucid One is a brilliant thinker. They may be seen as brooding, cynical or severe, but they carry the burden of their being at all times. Dialogues with a Lucid One - and the monologues they frequently turn into - are invaluable treasures.
The House of Omnillian
The house of Omnillian is the house that represents the control aspect of magic. Their symbols include creation, technology, innovation, knowledge, quantification, and exploration. Their general tactic is to undo their opponent's belief through innovative technology.
Omnillian’s citygod is Quin Aven.
Omnillian's house is built around efficiency and the demonstration of gloam at is most glorious. The entire building is technologically showy, and much of it is built to be easy to navigate.
Arcane constructs known as “spooks” patrol the house's campus. These small, bird-like machines idly follow and observe anyone in their proximity.
The Inspired Ones
This sect focuses on developing spells and artifacts for distribution by the Council. Roboticists, tinkers, and architects make up their numbers, to name a few.
A typical Inspired One is industrious and innovative, and often both intelligent and open-minded. Some are creative geniuses, but often don't recognize it.
The Masterful Ones
This sect focuses on quantifying Nodd. Most mages of this sect are employed in the Court of Analysis.
A typical Masterful One is an obsessive perfectionist, and can seem cold, severe, or even objectifying when focused on a problem.
The House of Morphoria
House Morphoria is the house that represents the change aspect of gloam. Their symbols include change, fate, the cosmos, randomness, games, and chance. Their citygod is Pnura, a serpentine creature that effortlessly shapeshifts.
Their general tactic is to undo their opponent’s belief by undoing their opponent’s definition of reality itself.
The house’s floorplan is ever-shifting. Much of the decor may in fact be orolisks - creatures that shift into inanimate objects to fool those that wander through the house’s halls.
The Mutable Ones
This sect focuses on manipulating fate. These mages wield the power of transformation, in a variety of bizarre, alluring, and useful forms.
A typical Mutable One is often an open-minded type, and usually highly adaptable. With a readiness to lend their time and resources, they tend to foster a sense of connection in others.
The Erratic Ones
Armed with cards and dice, this sect relies only on random chance to do their bidding.
A typical Erratic One may have an unmatched sense of humor, and a nothing-to-lose attitude towards life in Nodd. Resilient, witty, and optimistic, they can lighten the darkest of situations.
The Cult of Byle
The Cult of Byle is focused on the concepts of filth and disgust, and uses this heavily in their rituals and combat.
The Cult of Byle is led by Orpus Byle, an oggorus with an expansive harem - all of whom make up his cult. Oggori are known for their addictive venom, and Byle’s is said to be not only particularly intoxicating, but uniquely corrupting. Those who choose to taste his secretions become helplessly enthralled with anything filthy and vile.
The Cult of Gorgharia
The Cult of Gorgharia focuses on gaining power through the acts of consuming and being consumed.
The cult is broken up into those who eat and those who feed. Those who eat may receive feasts or sacrifices procured by their feeders, or the feeders themselves - a combination of all three is most common. Given the immortal nature of Nodd, the goal for some may be to die in the belly of their eater as many times as possible.
With this said, the eaters may not always be dominant, and may in some cases be captive and unwilling.
Gorgharia's cult leader is an enormous, immobilized kruggorus. (More information to come.)
The Cult of Quelsh
The Cult of Quelsh focuses on resisting Nodd's temptations to be cruel and overindulgent. This includes enduring the resulting punishments that come of this lifestyle choice. Much of the cult exists to simply provide support to those struggling with the impossible task of trying to be an ethical creature in Nodd.
The cult's headquarters are pristine and sanitized, offering baths, parasite removal and disease treatment, comfortable sleeping quarters, meditation space, and more. While often misunderstood, most members are not against sex, but don't tolerate anything that's not safe, moderate, clean, and consensual. The same goes with substance use - safely and only in moderation.
Cult members are at high risk for harassment and abuse by non-members, and many don't leave the cult's headquarters.
The cult leader is a tidy and neurotic nurk. (More information to come.)
The Cult of Amyrnum
An offshoot of Vorn formed by an ex-member, the cult of Amyrnum focuses on defining a universal definition of beauty.
Members of the cult are generally artists, models, collectors, or critics - more importantly, all members are beautiful. This means many are lehlts (favored, of course) and lehlt-hybrids, and the cult is known for the drama and shallowness of its fellowship. A lehlt turned wretched, or any member that has been disfigured in some way will be temporarily placed on a "cosmetic leave" and not be allowed back until they're able to meet the minimum aesthetic requirements again.
The cult has taken an interest in outsiders, attempting to recruit any particularly beautiful ones to employ as models and muses.
The cult leader is a stern, silver lehlt. (More information to come.)
The Cult of the Nameless
Members of this cult sacrifice their identity for the cult itself.
Each calls themselves Nameless, and all members wear some variation of the same black rubber uniform - this is not simply a physical costume, but a transformation that is applied upon entry to the cult's headquarters, and removed upon exit. Distinguishing features are minimal, and only each member's vague body shape can be seen - no colors, markings, or identifying details remain. It is said that the specialized cocktail of spells also contains an element of mind control that temporarily strips the recipient of its sense of identity.
Due to the cult's anonymous nature, it does not require strict allegiance. It is suspected that many are only active in the cult part-time, and outside of it maintain their usual identity - once within the cult's walls, however, anyone could be anyone. No questions of this nature are asked, at least while in uniform.
The cult leader is unknown, though rumors and claims are numerous. (More information to come.)