The Arcane Theocracy appears to be a rising star, the new power to take control of the C Sphere and reign in it’s more vile excesses. But that estimation would be a mistake.
The Arcane Theocracy is actually millennia old and has risen and fallen many times. It was first conceived by arcane magic users that sought to increase their power by violating the magical world. Discovering that such villainy could produce incredible power but required strict devotion they crafted a near religious dedication to the practice of undoing those that would thwart them and encouraging villainous behavior. Thus the Arcane Theocracy was born.
Such a organization could never stay in the light for long and the Theocracy became quite adept at hiding itself from view only to reemerge after thought long dead. As their villainous organization grew the Theocracy expanded to adapt to broader concepts in villainy. They adopted the Tarot Deck of the mage ancestors as their organizational tool and organized the four Houses. To finalize the longevity of their dastardly cabal they formed alliances and infernal vows to bind together the Council of 21 so they would rule the Theocracy from the shadows or the light as the need was present.
The modern Arcane Theocracy rose to prominence after the Multiverse War. Infighting and internal conflict was destroying the Dark order even as their fleets and armies won brilliant victories. The evil of the Order overlords could not be contained and in their power lust they turn on each other just as victory over the Alliance was in their grasp. As battles were lost and leaders were assassinated the Theocracy saw it’s moment and returned again from it’s hiding place in the C Sphere to restore order and instill the Tenets of Villainy. There were violent clashes with Order forces and turncoats changed sides multiple time but in the end the Theocracy with it’s zealous dedication and unified idealism won out against the raw naked ambition of the Old Order.
Within days of finishing off the Order power base the Theocracy stunned Alliance leaders and sued for peace. It took ten months to negotiate a costly Armistice which included the foundations of The Game and official recognition of the Theocracy over the C Sphere while allowing some Realities in the A and B spheres to align themselves as well. In fact, for a power that was surrendering many Alliance diplomats argued the Theocracy seems to be getting the better deal.
Now the Theocracy is well settled in and it’s long term plans seem evident. With the chaos of the war over the Council plans to let more subtle means bring about the down fall of it’s adversaries. The Theocracy also supports The Game and adheres to it’s policies (with a few exceptions) as it knows the exploits of heroes and villains churn the imagination and produce a great quantity of Aether. The Arcane Theocracy hope to control the flow of Aether some day and will expend any resource to obtain it’s monopoly. The Theocracy loves to point out that it has member dimensions in all three Spheres and sell itself as the more enlightened Multiverse government.
Known Theocracy Realities
And countless more are charted everyday. The Theocracy does not like to advertise it's reach.
The Arcane Theocracy is organized by the cards and symbols of the Tarot Deck. The Theocracy is ruled by the Council of 21 each seat on the Council represents a tarot card in the Major Arcana. The Villains that sit on The Council of 21 all all Level 10 Villains and wield incredible power and influence or both.
The Minor Arcana Cards and their various suits or Houses are the infrastructure positions for the Theocracy. As such suit and Rank will tell you the importance and duties of a villain within the House. Most Villains who are citizens of the Theocracy do not have a House assignment even though they have a Villainous Rank. Most villains enlist with the Theocracy due to the benefits of citizenship and extra dimensional access to The Game. A House assignment means the Villain actually serves and functionary role in the Theocracy organization with the extra resources and responsibilities that accompany it.
The Council of 21
The Council of 22 rules with an iron fist. It oversees all four houses and must approve any villain advanced past level 7. Membership is by unknown means and there are several roads to a seat on the Council.
The World Card of the Major Arcana has no seat on the Council so that it may have an odd number of seats and The World Card represents the Theocracy as a whole, villains united for conquest and success
Seats on the Council of 21 (and their place in the Major Arcana)
0 The Fool, The Mad Professor T
1 The Magician, Dark Professor Paradigm
2 The High Priestess, VACANT
4 The Emperor, VACANT
5 The Hierophant, VACANT
6 The Lovers
7 The Chariot
10 Wheel of Fortune
11 Strength, The Ape Warmaster Bararbus
12 The Hanged Man, Vampire Lord Epitaph
13 Death, Barron Wick
15 The Devil, Lord Master of C-69
16 The Tower, Mistress of the Tower
17 The Star, The Diva
18 The Moon,
19 The Sun, VACANT
21 The World, Symbolic representation of the Citizens Villainous of the Arcane Theocracy.
The Houses and House Royalty
The Arcane Theocracy is a vast collective of dimensions and timelines spread across one third of the Multiverse. It maintains massive infrastructure and resources to aid it's villainous citizens in their goals while furthering it's own goals of a superior Multiverse through proper domination of the Aether Flow. To accomplish the logistics and organization of those resources the Theocracy has it's four Houses, each responsible for a facet of Theocracy infrastructure and society. Each House is ruled by four House Royalty. A King, Queen, Page, and Knight. House royalty are no longer gender specific so House Kings and Queens are no longer masculine or feminine roles and merely retain their classic titles to reflect their roles in the Theocracy. House royalty can be of any gender identity. Like wise the tradition of linking Kings and Queen romantically ended centuries ago and the Villains who retain these titles are rarely romantically linked anymore.
House King- Is the top administrator of his House. A feared and Respected Villain of Level 9 or 10 themselves, House Kings are usually being groomed for a seat on the Council or has a darker agenda served by overseeing one fourth of a Multiverse super power. The King decides the direction and running of the house but should be aware the Council of 21 will not tolerate failure or disruption.
House Queen- Is developer and builder of the House. The Queen builds makes the House stronger by overseeing the cultivation of the villains in its ranks and strengthen it's lairs and resources. The future of the House is in the hands of the Queen and she may have a particular vision of what that future should be but should also remember the Council of 21 will not tolerate failure or disruption.
House Page- Is the communicator and herald of the House. The House Page is the official responsible for coordinating with the other Houses and maintaining channels of communication with them. Which in a vast inter dimensional evil empire of selfishly occupied villains is harder to do than it sounds. House Pages are some of the most well connected and well informed villains in the Multiverse.
House Knight- The martial arm of the House. in charge of the protection and offensive capabilities of the House. The defense of the House Royalty and assets is the primary responsibility of the Knight but they also have the ability to discipline or enforce the will of their royalty on challengers and rule breakers.
The most reformed and progressive of the Houses is the House of Coins. The finance, corruption, and crime arm of the Theocracy, the Coins employ more henchmen and minions than other houses. Once a small House within the Theocracy the Coins have seen their influence grow with the ending of the Multiverse War and the financial booms. As more worlds develop there is more and more opportunity for crime, the new venue for villainy. The Coins see themselves as ascendant right now.
The most secretive house of the Theocracy and for good reason, the House of Cups is “utilitarian’ arm of the Theocracy which would make them sound somewhat benign. The House of Cups does an excellent job of maintaining supply, infrastructure, and logistics for the Theocracy but there are far more sinister resources within the House of Cups. They are the Theocracy's intelligence gathering and espionage service and their soulless assassins known as “Cupbearers” as feared throughout the Multiverse.
The elder House by all accounts in the House of Rods. It was the ancient rod wielding arcane mages that formed the original Theocracy in the ancient ages. It was the House of Rods that reintroduced the Enshrined Tenets of Villainy to the Multiverse and reformed the Theocracy after the Multiverse War. They are the most powerful House in the Theocracy but now that the empire is built the Rods have little to do but enforce the faith and suspiciously eye the other Houses.
The military arm of the Theocracy the Swords are the old Dark Fleets and Armies of the Multiverse War with new sinister and devious additions. The Admirals and Generals have lost the independence they had under the old Order but now they have structure, logistics, and resources that they never imagined before. Though the war is over there are always slave revolts and civic rebellions to quell so the Swords are kept busy. Make no mistake though, they long to return to the Multiverse War anew.