Some Factions of Origin
Expeditionaries are prestigious servants of Origin, chosen from the most promising members of the various training houses. These houses are ancient, and each emphasise the use of different skills and abilities to overcome the challenges outside Origin and return with precious water and artefacts. At the present time, the Noble Corps of Fighters provides the greatest number of new Expeditionaries, a source of constant frustration to their rivals; the Eloquent Fraternity of Magefolk.
When confirmed as Expeditionaries, each new member of the fraternity receives a medallion showing the world of Inundatia, and the two elements that are needed to maintain life within Origin; the artefacts, left by the nightly floods, and the life-giving water. It is the dearest wish of every young man, woman and Gnolf to join the Expeditionaries, though few retain the drive and bravery required as they grow older, and even fewer display the necessary abilities for selection.
Augurtars form the official priesthood, ministering to the populace. They worship the Great Mother (the flood), who draws her veil across the sleeping land every night, and suckles her infant child, the city of Origin. Origin itself is an object of veneration, which, in its loneliness, created the races that fill it to provide comfort for the days when its mother moves far away. From the first time to now, those races have pursued their lives within the the safety of the city walls, with one exception: the wise and enigmatic Minotaurs, who first learned to read the omens of the Sun, the Moon and the Shroud. The Minotaurs were destroyed long ago by the jealous other races, who desired the secrets of the Horned Ones for themselves. All save the cowering Gnolfs joined in the assault, and today, the Augurtars are responsible for the interpretation of the omens according to what has been deciphered of the ancient Minotaur writings.
The day to day affairs of Origin are managed by the Arm, a bureaucracy composed mostly of nobles drawn from the various races (excluding Gnolfs). The Arm is plagued by nepotism and greed, and is notoriously inefficient. It is said in the bawdier bars of the Hind-Quarter that an Armsman needs the permission five other men to scratch his groin, and that is before his mother becomes involved. It is this inefficiency that allows a dedicated criminal underclass to ply its trade across all the districts, under the nose of the City Watch.
The Attendants are a different matter entirely: this small group of mysterious individuals are housed within the palace of the Patriarch, and are the only beings within the city to have direct contact with him. When they travel among the populace, the Attendants are always impenetrably veiled, and it is forbidden to attempt to glimpse beneath one, or follow an Attendant as he goes about his business. Attendants, or the Fingers, as they are known in whispers by particularly brave or foolish individuals, are responsible for maintaining and replacing the many artefacts which adorn the city.
The very lowest ‘citizens’ of Origin are the Gnolfs, a race of furry-bodied creatures with gnome-like hairless faces and the general demeanour of a whipped dog. These creatures undertake the jobs no-one else will do, but still need to be done. The Gnolfs are confined within a walled section of the city, known to its inhabitants as ‘Gnolflangar’, unless the business of the taller folk requires them to be elsewhere.
For several weeks now, the Augurtars have wandered the streets of Origin in great processions, warning all to commence no new endeavours during the inauspicious time known as the Drawing of the Curtain. This phase generally occurs several times each year, though never for so long. With the curtain lifted, the Priesthood gives its blessing to new expeditions outside the walls of Origin, which is fortunate, as the city is now desperate for new stocks of water and artefacts. It is for this reason that a Great Expedition has been called, in which all members of the Expeditionary forces, however inexperienced, will participate.