The Hexarchate’s six factions.

The vast majority of citizens do not belong to a faction. Faction members, who hold more power and receive greater benefits, must pass entrance examinations and graduate from faction academies. The ones who don’t make it…oh well.


Hexarch ?
Emblem: the kniferose
Motto: petal-sweet, thorn-sharp
Colors: blue and silver
Faction ability: enthrallment, or the ability to hypnotize and mentally dominate a social inferior in physical proximity.

The Andan dominate culture and finance, and are usually the richest faction. They are responsible for first contact, diplomacy with foreign powers, and assimilating heretics who are deemed capable of being transitioned to following the Hexarchate’s Doctrine. The Andan value beauty as a weapon, and are more liberal in their use of body-modding than most of the other factions to make an impression on others, including foreigners with different aesthetic standards.

The Andan and the Shuos feud against each other. Depending on who you believe, the Shuos were founded by a rogue Andan or v.v. For added soap opera points, the two founders were twins with a grudge match.


Hexarch ?
Emblem: the ashhawk (also known as “suicide hawk”)
Motto: from every spark a fire
Colors: black and gold
Faction ability: formation instinct (the emotional need to maintain military hierarchy and obey orders from a higher-ranking Kel) and formation channeling (using geometrically based rituals to summon exotic effects, e.g. force shields and fire lances). In particular, suicide formations burn up the unit in question to create a sacrificial effect.

The Kel serve as the hexarchate’s military. They are conservative, conformist, hierarchical, and fatalistic. Because of the technomagic involved in formation geometry, Kel officers must show strong mathematical ability. Despite this, they have a reputation for being not-very-bright thugs. The Kel also pass around morbid Kel jokes, e.g. What’s the difference between a violin and a Kel? The Kel burns longer. (Rule of thumb: any viola joke can, in a pinch, be reskinned as a Kel joke. The author is a former violist so this is okay.)


Hexarch Nirai Kujen
Emblem: the voidmoth
Motto: every sky is full of stars
Colors: black and silver
Faction ability: a Nirai always knows what the local time is, useful for detecting calendrical rot by comparing it to high calendar time.

The Nirai are the science/technology faction, mostly focusing on applications. The faction as a whole tends to be apolitical, since they select for technical ability rather than ideology. Technologies that the Nirai have produced include the mothdrive, which permits FTL travel between star systems, and any number of Kel weapons.


Hexarch Rahal Iruja
Emblem: the scrywolf (also known as “execution wolf”)
Motto: many lenses, one mind
Colors: gray and bronze
Faction ability: signifier scrying, which allows mind-to-mind interrogation in dreamspace via the target’s internal language of symbols. Annoyingly unhelpful against people who don’t dream.

The Rahal are the Hexarchate’s leaders, legislators, and judges, responsible for maintaining the calendar and its regulations. Their habitual asceticism means that they are one of the poorer factions. They also protect citizens who have no faction affiliation. Because local day-cycles on planets or moons require painstaking calendrical corrections, they also snap up a certain percentage of the mathematicians.


Hexarch Shuos Mikodez
Emblem: the ninefox (also known as “eyefox”)
Motto: the more eyes the better
Colors: red and gold
Faction ability: none. This was reportedly a deliberate choice on the part of the first Shuos hexarch…but no one knows for sure. People frequently wonder if the Shuos are lying about this.

The Shuos are strategists responsible for intelligence operations and are known for their cunning, amorality, and love of games. They would be more feared for their assassins and spies if not for their tendency toward extreme instability and, y’know, the fact that a certain Shuos general blew up his own army while seconded to the Kel, a PR disaster the Shuos are still paying for four centuries after the fact. Unlike the other factions, which orderly means of succession for their hexarchs, Shuos tradition is for a hexarch to claim the seat by assassinating their predecessor. A good hexarch is lucky to last a decade. Mikodez has lasted four.


Hexarch Vidona Psa
Emblem: the stingray
Motto: through blood we prevail
Colors: green and bronze
Faction ability: deathtouch.

The Vidona enforce Doctrine in the Hexarchate and punish or execute heretics on remembrance days. A few are doctors who keep heretics alive for torture. The Vidona are also responsible for education up to the age of seventeen: imagine if your high school teacher could kill you with a touch! Fun times. Most of the rest of the Hexarchate reviles them. They tend to be more insular and conservative than the other factions.


The heretical Liozh are gone; we do not speak of them.

The number 7 is contraindicated in calendrical rituals.