Acedia, House of Suggestion
Acedia as an organisation has many differing principals to the other Great Houses of Magic. Although it is recognised as a Great House, this concept is secondary to the more prominent face of the Acedian movement: the Crusade against moral deviancy, known simply as “the Crusade”.
House Acedia is closely tied to the religion of the Sleeping Gods, a once-obscure worship that has grown in the last two hundred years to become one of the most well-known types of theistic veneration in Mellorian. Its Wizards are also ranking members of the religion, and are expected to lead congregations and try to win converts where possible. It is in this role, the role of travelling preachers, that Acedian Wizards are generally acknowledged by society.
While some Great Houses make a business of their unique powers, House Acedia survives on the meagre funding provided by the overwhelmingly poor citizenry that make up the bulk of their followers. Acedian Wizards are aesthetics, however, so the lack of funding appears to bother them little, many favouring simple robes and eschewing adornments outside of religious paraphernalia. This lack of financial power has served Acedia well, for it puts opponents at ease, their fears abated by the House’s lack of money to compete with them.
Such opinions are rather foolish, and play directly to the wishes of the Masters of Acedia. For every hardship they endure, they win more respect and loyalty from the people of Mellorian. This a currency that has power to rival a vast quantity of gold Sovereigns in the counting house. Mellorian society is riddled with inequality and hardship for those without the means to live well and so there is a vast underclass of dissatisfaction that House Acedia can utilise to further its aims.
But what are the aims of this devout and pious Great House? Simply put, and dramatically at odds with their public image – House Acedia wants nothing less than the total destruction of Mellorian society. They are a collection of individuals that wish to cleanse Mellorian of the teeming hordes of people that live in hope of a better life. Acedians believe with a maniacal zeal that there is no better life to be had. In their opinion, the current society of man has had its chance to shine, and has failed miserably. In their cold logic, the only way to counteract this is to wipe the slate and to allow the universe to start again.
The Masters of House Acedia are aware that their organisation is not the first of its kind; there has always been an ‘Acedia’ throughout the ages of the world. The power of Entropy has ensured that there are always a few in any generation that believe themselves to be the arbiters of society, and that they will always judge it harshly.
There is a saying that is used secretly within the House to demonstrate their complete conviction that the work of Acedia is eternal: Acedia is, Acedia was, Acedia ever will be. They know that the desire to create a flawless human utopia is a work long in the making, and their effort is just as likely to cause a new degenerate society to be thrown up in reply – but this does not distract them from their objectives. They believe that their own small contributions will eventually unlock the full power of the human spirit, and raise mankind to dominance over the Elder races.
Due to the nature of their objective, it is necessary for House Acedia to work in secret. The current Masters have decided the best way to do this is in plain sight, hidden under the kindly guise of moral teachers and guardians. They exclusively wield the power of the World Tree that gives them the ability to maintain this dichotomous existence; the power of the root called Kanekos, also known as the root of Suggestion.
House Acedia monitors Wizards that can use Kanekos very closely, using their network of informers cultivated through their religious work. Those that will not join them wholly in their ambition are never heard from again and those who share at least some of their aims are mentally conditioned to make them completely aligned with the goals of the House. This serves to hide the true power of the root from their rivals and to ensure that their own power cannot be easily turned against them.
Kanekos gives the Wizards of Acedia the power to influence others, for both good and ill. It is an extremely subtle power, and it is quite possible to come under its influence and have no idea that your thoughts and actions are being controlled. This makes it a weapon of unparalleled efficacy to the House; all they need do is give the people a reason to come to them, and they can then use their magic to get them to act as they wish.
This, at least in part, explains the rise of their chosen religion, and of their Great House. The people are snared by the kinship they feel for the declared Acedian aims to improve society but are retained by means of powerful sorcery. With an army of people that will serve without question at their command, House Acedia truly has the power to bring about the end of Mellorian society. The ‘day of reaping’ as they call it, is close at hand.