Thursday, January 4, 2018

Mystical Tyrant Schisms Part 3: The Cult of Revalis White

Revalis White, a human whose original name has been lost to history, served as a Knight of Communion shortly before the fall of that illustrious order. He believed in the teachings of True Communion, but found their pacifism intolerable when confronted with the evils he found throughout the Galaxy, especially the evils committed by Lucius Alexis and the atrocities committed daily in the far reaches of the Galaxy. His elders cautioned him to practice patience and to understand what Communion had in store for him, but he and his closest companion lost patience with the Order and left. He and his companion found something on the edges of the Galaxy, and returned, calling himself Revalis White and he had clearly learned teachings of the Cult of the Mystic Tyrant. He returned as the Prodigal Knight, and helped trigger the war against the Alexian Emperor, and then betrayed the Order, though he was unable to ensure their total destruction.

Revalis White, or “Thamet Revalis” had become a transcendant master during his journeys and happily taught his new path to those who would follow him. Unlike the other Cults of the Mystic Tyrant, he held none in his thrall as a slave. In his view, all could be and should be masters. He also did not reject morality; while he rejected the strict dogma of True Communion, he still wished practice virtue as he saw fit, righting injustices when he saw them, rather than when someone allowed him to. He believed strongly in personal responsibility, even if that takes one down dark paths. He argued that the mistake of True Communion was the same as the mistake of the Mystic Tyrant in only embracing one aspect of Communion. Instead, he tried to show his followers all facets of Communion, that the whole of that experience must be embraced and understood before one could truly become a Master of all Communion.

The Laws of Revalis White

Revalis White demands no strict obedience to harsh masters or convoluted, ancient laws. Instead, he argues that each member of the Cult should be their own masters and find their own moral code, their own moral compass, and impose the vision of that code both upon themselves and the world around them.

The result is that members of the Cult of Revalis White may take a Code of Honor (Worth at least -10 points) as a limitation for a Transcendent Principles (The Cult of Revalis White teaches no learned prayers: all who follow the path of Revalis should simply learn the ways of Communion). Those who take a Communion Oath perk generally take the Destiny (Suffer the karma of my own immorality); Mitigator, stay true to my own strict moral code -65%) disadvantage as their “divine wrath” disadvantage. This tends to manifest as the consequences the character most fears will arise from faltering in maintaining his code: family members might become endangered, or the empire he seeks to topple might strengthen its grip, etc.

The Revalis Disciplines as Mystic Tyrant Lens; +1 point

Revalis White taught the same basic principles as Satra Temos, but more thoroughly embraced the idea of creating your own morality. He seeks to teach all who follow his path how to become their own masters and, in fact, his cult borrows a great deal of their symbolism and teaching techniques of True Communion. The cult uses the Illumination Technique to more quickly teach students to become Transcendent masters in their own right. While they do not teach specific learned prayers as the other cults do (They prefer to teach Transcendent Principles), they do teach practitioners how to access all forms of Communion and how to deal with the difficulties of alternate forms of Sanctity. To many in the Cult of the Mystic Tyrant, the ability to adapt to any form of Communion is a powerful draw, even if they disagree with the rest of the Revalis’s disciplines.

Revalis argues that the cruel, selfish morality of the Cult of the Mystic Tyrant is unnecessary. What matters is personal morality. Thus, his optional disadvantages diverge from the rest of the Cult, in that he promotes both sides of the moral spectrum, and drives his followers to construct their own personal codes of honor.

Additional Required Skills: Teaching

Techniques: Illumination (Teaching), Moral Insight (Philosophy)

Perks: Communion Oath, Sanctity Compensation (True or Broken Communion), Style Adaption (True Communion), Technique Mastery (Comparative Philosophy, Moral Insight, Philosophical Argument), Twilight Communion (Dark/True Communion, Dark/Broken Communion)

Optional Disadvantages: Charitable, Code of Honor (Any), Sense of Duty (Any), Truthfulness

New Traits


Communion Oath: Provided the character has an appropriate disadvantage that is mitigated by following an oath, the character may purchase Learned Prayers directly, at full price, with an additional limitation based on an appropriate vow.

Twilight Communion: The character may freely trade out his Communion Trait for an alternate form of Communion after one hour of meditation and a successful meditation roll. While using the alternate form of Communion, he suffers both the limitation for his native form of Communion and the new form of Communion. For example, if a character who has Dark Communion uses Broken Communion, each use of Broken Communion causes Corruption (as per Broken Communion) and may be defeated by equivalent Communion Miracles (as per Dark Communion). The character’s learned prayers do not translate into new prayers in the new form of Communion. The effect ends after a 24 hour period. The character must specialize in what two forms of Communion he may switch between.




Default: Teaching-6;

Prerequisite: Illuminated (or Transcendent Master) and Teaching; May not exceed Teaching.

See GURPS Powers: the Weird page 7. If the Cult of the Mystic Tyrant does not have access to Illuminated, this technique may teach Transcendent Master instead.

Moral Insight


Default: Philosophy;

Prerequisite: Philosophy; May not exceed Philosophy.

Whenever you find yourself in a moral quandry, if you attempt to live to the ideals of your philosophy, you may roll Moral Insight to gain an idea of what you should do, according to your philosophy.

The Masks of Revalis White

The Order of the Storm (The Order of Janus, Satemo Shedreh)

Revalis was never again able to infiltrate the Knights of Communion, so he turned his attention to the Akashic Order. The Order of the Storm has infiltrated the knightly orders of the Alliance, especially the Akashic Knights and the Freeguard Knights, and typically presents itself as a secret order-within-an-order formed by the most elite of the knights.

The Order of the Storm borrows from Akashic imagery of the Coming Storm, but argues that the Akashic Order doesn’t really understand the Coming Storm. They argue that it is not a great, monstrous evil, but an end of the need for the Akashic Order. It is, instead, the return of the messianic Revalis White, and that the “Storm” of the Coming Storm is the power of Dark Communion, which it teaches the knights to harness in the name of protecting the Alliance and humanity and slowly guiding them to the truth of embracing, rather than fighting, the Coming Storm.

The Order of the Storm has its own internal structure, similar to any order, and most knights never progress beyond initiates, though the top leadership is almost always given to Priests and High Priests of the conspiracy; the Cult of Revalis recruits the best of the knights as their apprentices. The Order of the Storm is extremely successful with the knights of House Daijin and Grimshaw, and the order has created a secondary order and additional mythology around Janus Daijin as the origininator of the Order and that his true secret was knowledge of Dark Communion. This version is called the Order of Janus or the Jainian Knights.

The Indigo Academy of Gifted Children (Kamaiko Ithina Lugi)

The Indigo Academy infiltrates the learning institutions of the Empire and Alliance alike, and seeks out psionically gifted children to induct into its conspiracy, which presents itself as a sort of “advanced placement” class, either a school within a school, or a separate academy for the teaching of psionic gifts. In the Alliance, it flatters the parents with praise of a child’s “true” ptoential, while also explaining that they can help deal with any unruliness the child might display (“just a manifestation of their untapped potential”). For imperial parents, they do the same, but then leverage the Empire’s dangerous intolerance of uncontrolled psions, and offers the parents protection (and might imply that they’ll reveal the child’s gifts to the authorities if they do not cooperate).

Ultimately, the Indigo Academy seeks to separate the children from their parents and indoctrinate them in the ways of the Cult of the Mystic Tyrant to create the perfect slaves and apprentices for the Cult. Failed students remain initiates and the Cult keeps tabs on them, but promising children climb the ranks until they become slaves to a Cult master, usually in their teens. Cult indoctrination tends to foment fanaticism in the slaves it produces, but if the child proves himself, the Cult of Revalis makes good on its promise to help the child fulfill their potential and raises them to the rank of Master. Many of the greatest masters of the Cult of Revalis White had their start as indigo children.

Symbolism of Revalis White

The Mask: Revalis White betrayed the order he served to save it, and he learned what he needed from his enemies. The Cult of Revalis encourages their cultists to understand that their identity is their own. By wearing a mask, they make their identity private and personal and can choose how they present themselves to the external world. Most such masks have military overtones, such as the masked helmets of a Maradonian knight.

The Color Grey or mixed imagery: The Cult of Revalis prefer to avoid the extremes of other schisms. They believe that truth can be best uncovered between two extremes, and draw power from the merging of two contrasting extremes. They often wear symbols that merge the imagery of two different factions, or wear symbols similar to the yin-yang symbol. They may also choose to wear grey, or bear colors representing two different sides (such as bearing two force swords, one red and one blue).

Twilight or The Gate: The Cult of Revalis likes to embody their embrace of “all sides” with the imagery of a man with a foot in two different worlds (Gates), or existing in two moments at once (Twilight), drawing power from both. They often create their most powerful miracles during the setting or rising of the local sun, and often haunt the gates of temples or on the borders of places with differing sanctity levels.

The Cult of Revalis White in the Galaxy

The ultimate fate of Revalis White is the murkiest of the fates of the various schisms of the Mystic Tyrant. As a traitor to both the ideals of Satra Temos and Knights of Communion, the most likely case is that he perished and his beliefs with him. He and the works of his followers remain a legand that attract both members of the Knights of Communion and the Cult of the Mystic Tyrant as he offered unique powers and strategies not available to purists of either sect. His ability to walk all paths makes him a tempting man to follow!

But what if Revalis White survived the fall of the old orders? His cult, if it worked with the other Schisms, offer the Cult of the Mystic Tyrant unique access to human thinking as well as the ideology of the Knights of Communion. They excel at infiltrating other philosophies and organizations. They likely see the Cult of Anthara as too dogmatic and more than a little racist, and the Cult of Satra Temos as unnecessarily cruel. They would see the vision of other schisms as too limited in their scope and view and preach a philosophy that real power is wherever you find it, and that real power can be found in compassion, patience and moral character as easily as in callousness and cold logic.

A Revalis Triumphant is not impossible to imagine. If Satra Temos replaced Anthara when the Ranathim Empire fell, then when the Knights of Communion broke the shadow empire of Satra Temos, Revalis becomes his natural successor. In such a case, the tenor of the Cult of the Mystic Tyrant changes significantly, as Revalis is unlikely to carry out a brutal war against the remnants of the Knights of Communion, and would embrace a much more rmoral and gentler Cult. If the GM wishes to have a heroic vision for the Cult of the Mystic Tyrant, this is by far the easiest approach!

1 comment:

  1. There used to be a comment here from rightly Luke smacking me for taking the morally conscious Cult of Revalis White and giving them a spooky cult-school. I still like the idea of the Indigo Academy (Psi-Wars needs indigo children!) but if I revise the Cult, I might either shift the Indigo Academy, or update its description a bit.


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