Divisions Amongst the United

"We are not saddled with the factionalism and balkanization that takes place within other, inferior groups. We are working towards a shared goal in Desire's name. There is no place for dissent, argument or petty politics. We have achieved a golden unity, here in the darkness, and no one can deny it."


"Don't you believe it. That's bullshit. Anyone who'd say such a thing too loudly is either headed for a fall, or trying to root out someone else to take it for him. We're extremely political - viciously political. Those who can hack it, propser; Those who can't hack it are hacked up and fed to the machine that keeps it all going."


"Why would anyone say such a thing? That's a very negative frame of mind for such a new member. I think the Keepers of the Shrine wouldn't appreciate such a thing. No... oh, no, I won't tell them. We all have our minor grumbles. But I think we had best keep your curiousity very quiet. We two can keep a secret just between us... can't we?"

From Unity, Discord

There is no denying that the Solicitors harbor some very different ideas on what ought to be done, what has been done, and what will untimately come of it all - and why.

It might seem strange, considering the tight grip that the Center of the Wheel supposedly keeps over the Cabal. But then, while there is a promised end to things, the plan is not as clear. The Center only reveals the steps to get to the Day one at a time, and does not appreciate being prodded any further than that. And so, given that wraiths are nothing if not self-willed and passionate creatures, contrary interpretations were inevitable.

The instructions the Center sends to the Grand Masters, and they pass along, are very simple and direct, with their implimentation almost always left open to the Solicitor who receives them. And they are often open to several degrees of interpretation by the time they reach that Solicitor, so that a simple instruction has become more complex, and laden with intent. Then, they are filtered through the individual Solicitor's views of how best to do a thing, or what the best outcome would bring along with it. And that's not even counting that a command would usually be done in such a way as to benefit the Solicitor's personal goals.

Further adding to the confusion is the Center's cool, almost glacial temperament. If "mistakes" are made in the implementation of Hir orders, S:he rarely directly comments on them - preferring to send more instructions that may or may not fix those "mistakes." And perhaps the mistakes are not mistakes at all, but part of some clever, twisting plan in which everything that happens was meant to be, no matter how disastrous it may seem.

"Desire works in mysterious ways, Hir wonders to perform..." as the Keepers say.

Where the Factures Lay

No matter what Dark Kingdom the Cabal is operating in, the primary divisions inside it seem to revolve around the questions of secrecy versus openess, and then whether to back the current regime, or the rebels at its' gates.


The Traditionalists:

The Traditionalists are very, very convinced of the Cabal's need to preserve its secrets. The nature of who and what they are should be known by no one until the Day arrives.. In fact, there are those amongst them who feel that even after the Day comes, they should remain in secret - steering the new world from behind closed doors.

In Stygia, it is the Traditionalists who loudly maintain that the Cabal allowed itself to be banned, thus making it easier to hide their secrets from others. That is a major part of the Stygian Cabal's oral tradition, and very few will risk questioning it out loud. Some of the younger Stygian members - especially in the Shepherds - are starting to ask if the story isn't just another fabrication that's been handed down mouth to ear and taken on a life of its own. Anyone who suggests that around a Traditionalist had better have something to back her up, though, or the Keepers might be called in...


The Shepherds:

On the other side of the openess question are the Shepherds, who feel that, since they control so much of the Shadowlands, anyway, there's no harm in letting it be known. They are driving the world towards a greater goal - why should those who are being led there not know of the glory to come? It would make some things so much easier if more people were involved, and would save them a great deal of time when the Day came, as the ungrateful and treacherous could be identified - and culled - well before then.

As could be guessed, the Shepherds are small, vocal and very, very careful. What they're proposing flies in the face of aeons' worth of tradition, and brings a great deal of risk. But they're sure that the rewards outweigh those risks, and will argue it until they're blue in the face if given half a chance.


The Statists:

In terms of the question of control, the Statists are the ones who thought that the dominant regime of any Dark Kingdom should be given the utmost attention. Why build a new machine from the ruins of the old when you can retool the old machine to suit your needs? Those charging against the gates make for useful pawns, but they tend to be disorganized and fractious: it would be too much effort to fit them together into a more useful whole.

Most Statists tend to be Traditionalists as well, as they note that the machine is a wonderful mask to hide behind. The Shepherds amongst them are considered all the more radical for their notions of coming out from behind the curtain.

In Stygia, the Statists were backing the Hierarchy, and carefully cultivating Clients within it. Now that the Hierarchy is no more, a schism has occurred, with some of them wanting to rebuild the Hierarchy from its ruins, and others seeing this as the chance to transfer power to the Guilds or some of the larger, better-organized Renegade groups. This has put them working alongside - or in opposition to - their Insurrectionist bretheren, who were working with them all along and don't appreciate the Statists muscling in.


The Insurrectionists:

And, on the opposite side of the Statists' take on control, the Insurrectionists feel that the dominant regime must fall. The state invariably blocks or perverts the Solicitors' attempts to change it: at the very least, its static nature makes that change an uphill battle.

The best thing to do, then, is to back the resistance. The Cabal can take advantage of the dynamic nature of such groups, and affect a more lasting change on them. And when the time is right, they can be sent against the state. Any signs of the Cabal's hand in things can be explained away via the confusion that accompany revolutions, and any mass-scale purging that needs to be done can be blamed on the fanatic zeal that also accompanies such things.

As with the Statists, most Insurrectionists tend to be Traditionalists. Insurrectionist Shepherds have a more sympathetic reception than they'd get in the Statists, but they are seen as wanting too much too soon. First the revolution, then the purges, and then - after the Day comes - everyone can know it was the Solicitors who handed them this wonderful new world.

Of course, with the fall of the state in Stygia, the Insurrectionists have been taken by surprise. Suddenly the Guilds, who they thought were the best resistance, are poised to become the state - without a fight no less. For some this is a great moment, for others it's a bit of an anti-climax, and for the others, it's a travesty. They can feel the revolutionary endeavor bleeding away as the Guilds close ranks and march in step out of a sense of responsibility, rather than anger or justice. And responsibility is a much more difficult emotion for Desire to twist about...

Cabal Politics

Of course, the notion of the Solicitors as political creatures is a frightening thought: imagining a wraith who can change your mind for you makes most of the restless deathly afraid, but imaging a whole group of wraiths who can change one another's minds for themselves is another thing entirely. It's a wonder how anything could ever get done in such a group. The Cabal would change its mind every minute, surely...?

But actually, no - that doesn't happen.

Amongst the earliest lessons taught within Intimation is the method by which one can detect its' use upon herself, and counteract it. For the Solicitors, this is a lesson that cannot be stressed enough. Their Apprentices, and Novices, are heavily trained to resist being hoisted on their own petard. Some Novices and Masters even go out of their way to psychologically torture their Apprentices when they fail in this, just to drive home the point that a Solicitor must be a master of desire, and not its slave.

And there is no tolerance of of a Solicitor who uses Intimation on another Solicitor for anything but the most clear and obvious training, or when allowed as punishment. This is considered a gross betrayal of trust, and anyone found guilty of such a thing is made an example of. The Cabal still whispers of what Don Salazaar did to a fledgling Master who tried to force him to agree to something: some say that even now - centuries later - Don Salazaar is still doing it to him.

That's not to say that it never happens, of course. But those who do must be very, very careful.

But then, that's Intimation. There are no proscriptions against blackmail, seduction, trade, trickery or outright lies. Any tactic that might be used on a Client could be brought to bear on a rival Solicitor, and often is.

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