Monday, May 24, 2010

"Stormborn," House Methis, pt. 2, 286 words

House Methis makes nothing, trades nothing, and sells nothing except power. The Emperor holds that the prosperity of the Empire this last millennium is based upon unprecedented continuity in governance, with no wars of succession and policy upheavals every century or so. Taal rules the Empire like he ruled his army, with a clear and direct chain of command that leaves no official in doubt as to exactly where he stands in relation to the Emperor – and that all are ultimately subordinate to the Emperor. All the most powerful officials in the Empire are either scions of House Methis, or have a Methis heir as first spouse. As well, every appointee to a position on the Imperial payroll must be approved personally by Taal or one of his many second spouses.

The Sign of Methis is the Naga, a snake with the torso, arms, and head of a man. Nagas were originally associated with a wide range of occult matters, including the practice of magic and numerology. The early serpent cults of pre-empire Ordal revered the Naga as the final reincarnation of an enlightened mortal, and so they were also associated with special knowledge of the spiritual and divine. The first Methis lords adopted a Naga motif for their favored arts and architecture. When the Art of Longevity emerged amongst the Methis, the association with enlightened mortality became conflated with the practical immortality of the greatest Methis, and so the Naga became a symbol of immortality through spiritual awakening, an image the House promoted. The Sign of the Sorcerer, which had once been called the Savant, assumed the Naga’s aspects relating to magic and occult lore, particularly when House Crowan developed the Art of Foresight.

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