Post:Progeny of Tezirah - 01/23/2015 - 09:17

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Progeny of Tezirah · on 01/23/2015 09:17 AM CST 817
Shadow and Symbolism:

We all know the Progeny of Tezirah. Masters of shadow magic, shrewd, unfortunate sense of clothing. But if all you think about when you see a Shadowmancer is the shadows, you have been blinded by the symbols from the truth. Which, all told, suit the Progeny just fine.

The Progeny operate, in many senses of the phrase, in the shadows. Their mastery of shadow magic is undisputed, but it serves as a metaphor as well. The Progeny continue to exist today, and survived the pogroms of the Imperial era, by placing themselves as the power behind petty thrones. In this they are masters; when the Celestians tried their hands at it it merely resulted in the disastrous Timbleton Incident.

Partly this works by discretion and carefully picking their battles. When the Celestians tried they ham-fisted manipulations, they started at nothing less than the Imperial throne. To this day, you are likely to see Celestians at court soaking in the illusion of power. The Progeny know where real power is: they work with merchants, adventurers, minor nobles and even the palace cook. Unfettered from the illusion of power, they know that the real route to the king is through the taste tester.

But why? Why the emphasis on power in a post-Accord world where their survival has been assured? To understand that, you need to understand a bit more about the powers at play.

Matriarchy in a Masculine World:

At the center of the Progeny is the Crowthers. Matriarchal, each Crowther has only ever produced Human girls, and each girl grows up to be a woman with phenomenal talent for Lunar magic. Unlike the rest of the guild, there is no pretense of meritocracy: the Crowthers rule the Progeny like a merchant prince or crime boss (if there's any difference between the two).

It's hard being a woman in the Dragon's Realms. Ignore the adventuring class for a moment and you find "traditional" gender roles enforced in most remaining sectors of society. It is particularly bad at the height of power, where masculine figures and male-dominated inheritance lines rule almost everything short of the Arid Steppe. Now let's add the adventuring class, where a woman can find some equality based on merit but is almost always at the mercy of the innuendo and flirtation of men who are unused and unwilling to relinquish their social power.

The Crowthers want none of that. They do not want to be puppets, or sex objects, or the lesser-equals. Perhaps surprising for people who are used to the Progeny as dark and sinister, the true objective of the Crowthers is equality. And if that involves the occasional act of extortion or magical curse, so be it. Thus stands Tezirah not as a symbol of deviance but as the antinomial woman of power. Unlike Tezirah, the Progeny do not intend to be hanged.

Thus, power tends to be inverted in the Progeny. Men are welcomed, but rarely attain positions of true power within Tezirite society (which is, to say, proximity to the Crowther family).

Pushback:

Of course it's never that simple.

While the Crowthers retain control of the Progeny, there is a growing split centered around Mortom. The most powerful male figure in the Progeny, he has taken the political and power-grabbing nature of the Progeny to heart and deftly maneuvered himself into a position of power opposite of the Crowthers.

Those who follow Mortom's camp propose that they offer true meritocracy (this is a complete lie, but a necessary one). Some even whisper Mortom will one day make a move for the Grandmaster position, as the best candidate in a century to topple Braun domination of the guild. In Progeny politics Mortom remains the underdog, but one that perhaps has not exhausted his potential yet.

There is an unfortunate gender divide between the camps. Mortom's followers tend to be "traditional," insofar as they exclude women from their inner circle but welcome them as symbols and lesser equals. Both camps feel threatened by the other's politics, but it is unlikely that this will reach a point of direct confrontation. There is too much at stake, with the possibility of another break-away from the Progeny being unpalatable to everyone involved.

-Armifer

This message was originally posted in The Moon Mages \ The Moon Mage Sects, by DR-ARMIFER on the play.net forums.