World Factions

Explore the fantasy world of The Shadows of the Monolith series and the six Noble Factions, with each order of scholars masterfully (and often maliciously) harnessing a distinct branch of the intricate thaumaturgical arts. Delve into their unique realms within the menhirs and uncover the profound intricacies that define their mystical influence.

The Architects Of Forces

The Architects are the most prevalent and politically relevant faction within the menhirs. Architects devote their hands and minds to discovering thaumaturgies that will shield humanity from malevolent forces, like Calamity. Three of the five acting chancellors on the continent have risen from the Architect’s ranks. Moreover, the thaumaturgical discoveries of Architects outnumber any other faction’s by more than double.

Stereotypical advice toward opposing factions

Weavers: The beasts play second fiddle to us in every regard. Careful, they’ll only land a claw if expose your back.

Sounders: Be kind to them. The filing system for thought paddocks is a tedious thing to endure alone.

Tilters: Who?

Evaders: How ironic that the members of a faction devoted to circumventing death appear so close to it.

Delvers: Don’t be caught alone with one.

Architects of Forces Symbol, from Jonathan N. Pruitt's 'The Amber Menhir'.

The Weavers of The Web

There are no greater works of engineering in land or sea than nature’s. Before the first scholars ever encased their rudimentary findings in thought paddocks, nature wrote her inventions upon the instincts of every living thing, and has tinkered with her works ever since. The Weaver’s research has therefore enjoyed more paradigm shifts than any other faction. Weavers exalt debate, conflict, and competition in their drive to commandeer life’s secrets and render Calamity’s threat extinct.

Stereotypical advice toward opposing factions

Architects: Real power rarely resides at the head of a table. Let them delude themselves.

Sounders: No faction has separated herself from nature’s bounty more, and none is more dangerous. Accept no gift from one, and hope few take notice of you.

Tilters: Any animal that sits so still is a predator. If ever you ever doubt it, stare into one’s eyes.

Evaders: Clever rivals and worthy allies. Their gifts veer so close to our own but flinch at the last.

Delvers: Never disdain parasites. There is no more tried and true methodology to success.

Sounders of Echoes

Every system, living or inert, requires order to persist in a chaotic world. The aptitude of a Sounder is a call to serve as the menhirs’ immune system. The Sounders have invented countless objects of power to enable the capture and preservation of discoveries. From the indispensable thought paddock to the misunderstood silencing garrote, Sounders keep the Menhir Conclave on course. The Sounders know that Calamity as just another ordered system, one to be characterized, dominated, and dismantled.

Stereotypical advice toward opposing factions

Architects: For all their bluster, they respect the order that we provide more than most.

Weavers: They value the aesthetic of defiance to a fault. Never forget that packs are ordered systems too. Learn their dynamics and exploit them to your advantage.

Tilters: Their presence complicates the dimensionality of every situation. Only time will reveal if they are worth the annoyance.

Evaders: Despite their preoccupation with living systems, our interactions are often trying.

Delvers: Any system which persists for long develops agents to exploit it. These are ours. It is no wonder their aptitudes were the last to surface.

Tilters of the Hourglass

No other faction is more misunderstood than the time witches. Every truth about them spawns a thousand myths. The aptitude for time manipulation is rare or absent from vast regions, and more scholars view that as a virtue than a cost to society. The Tilters argue that a thorough understanding of probability will enable us to navigate potentialities and evade Calamity’s impacts, even whilst passing through them.

Stereotypical advice toward opposing factions

Architects: Politicians with a greater susceptibility to follow than to lead.

Weavers: Envious almost-Architects with plant and animal parts.

Sounders: Their works of engineering might save the world… or destroy us all.

Evaders: Middle children will do almost anything for attention.

Delvers: If we follow their lead, they’ll be only ones left. It won’t take very long either.

Evaders of Death

The Evaders of Death work to preserve the mortal coil that encases every thaumaturge. They see Calamity as just another malady to be characterized, treated, and survived. The Evaders serve as the menhirs’ healers and interrogators. An Evader of Death serves as the primary adviser of each and every acting chancellor. Haven’t heard of them? That’s no accident. Behind every great husk is a consummate survivor who works the strings.

Stereotypical advice toward opposing factions

Architects: Rippling muscles are just a manicured form of obesity.

Weavers: Trying to tell them that transfusing mau blood into their veins is a mistake is less rewarding than trying to teach a cat opera.

Sounders: Why hasn’t anyone noticed that their solution to Calamity is all sloth until the last? It’s genius, really.

Tilters: Proof that rendering yourself catatonic is a fine way to survive most anything.

Delvers: Fear, as a brand, can only take one so far.

Delvers Of The Mind

Thaumaturgy is itself a breach of the ordinary borders of the mind. The Delvers see this truth for what it is, and work to colonize the mind’s frontiers. Delvers master their own perceptions and realities and, at times, gently levy their insights into the thoughts of others, only when needed, of course. Delvers understand that the abolition of societal conflict and the leveraging of the mind’s inner strengths are the keys to thwarting Calamity.

Stereotypical advice toward opposing factions

Architects: Try not to perseverate on the brainless… but mind their tempers.

Weavers: I suppose it’s better to have a lizard brain than none at all. Speak slowly and try to rephrase your arguments in several different ways. That increases the odds they’ll understand you.

Sounders: They need friends more than they’d ever let on. Speak to them in private but always assume they’ve a written record to verify against suggestions.

Tilters: Wonderous, isn’t it, how something so obtuse can manage to be so meddlesome.

Evaders of Death: No one asks for favors more often or pays so generously.

Faction Symbols designed by Michael Carey Art

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