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The House of Sorrows

Written by Ademal

We all feel pain.   It is the truest marker of life. We only gain our souls and control of the meta with maturity—with pain.   The farther we stray from suffering the less empathetic we become. We become soulless, hateful, selfish, and vapid, and everything which we have strived to achieve comes crumbling down. Do not run from sorrow, embrace it.   Know sorrow, and know clarity.
— Brood Blood-Kyn, A Testament of Sorrows

Overview

The House of Sorrows was bourne on the wings of death of Brood Blood-Kin, though, like every Banner, can trace its lineage through ancient roots. It rose antithetical to the major faces of the Era, the faces who now stand at the heads of the other Banners. It referred to them as "faces of cruel optimism" and "wicked, manipulative hopemongering".   In its view, the world is trapped in a vicious cycle perpetuated by the Wheel, a cycle we cannot ascend from until we break the shackles which bind us and live in harmony. They also believe that the road to mutual understanding is one of hardship and sorrow, and that we must embrace and perpetuate the understanding of pain if we ever mean to overcome it.   The House of Sorrows has been suppressed by the other Banners so many times that, to most, it is a non-Banner, a cult of hate. Those who are well traveled often come to another conclusion: the House of Sorrows is everywhere, lurking ever in the shadows of society. They bring with them a melancholy, an institutional undermining of society. Some are overt and violent, some quiet and subversive, and others help those in pain to overcome it by embracing it rather than languishing in it.  

Core Philosophy

At its heart, the House of Sorrows embraces the chaos and pain of the universe as a strength.  
    The Song of Sorrows
    All Sorrows revere the Song of Sorrows. Each may interpret it differently, or may focus more on some rules more than others, but in the end they all draw from the same tenants. These are The Verses of Sorrow.  
    • Suffering makes me wise. Life is full of pain and we are children until we experience it, Know sorrow.
    • Endings are inevitable. Nothing is eternal except loss, even the Sovereign can die.
    • Pleasure is a dangerous addiction. Moderate it, otherwise it will blind you.
    • I rule myself, even to bitter end. Many will try to convince you otherwise, but in the end your life is yours.
    • Never forget the filth. We all come from the dirt, never think you are better than it.
    • True pain is not temporary. Do not feign pain. If you hurt, hurt deeply.
    • Pain is a gift. To endure sorrow is to be fit. Share your wisdom.
    • Everything is nothing, including my obstacles. No barrier can last forever.
      Superstitious folk believe 8 to be an unlucky number.
    For more information about numerology in Ethnis, see Numerology.
     
    Their Martyr
    Sorrows revere Brood Blood-Kyn, who died trying to usurp one of the Monolith (Rank) Emporers of the The ValuSelu Pact. She was part of a group of other Monoliths assassinating various country leaders and high Gods. Many of their attempts were successful until at last Brood was killed in combat by Anthem. It is said that in her death a final dark note rang out, Dirge.
Conversation among sorrows are full of references to Brood, Dirge, and the Song of Sorrows.

History

Founding

Expansion

Lacuna

Government

Politics

Planetary Governance

    Sorrowful Families
    The House of Sorrows has no direct of command, though there is a loose network. Sorrows tend to recruit other Sorrows into their Family, and will even refer to each other according to a family structure—Fathers and Mothers for those who recruited them, Brothers and Sisters for Sorrows of the same Family, and Cousins for Sorrows from another Family.   Fathers and Mothers tend to keep in contact with their "Parent" and with other Sorrowful Families, so there is a common, unspoken belief among Sorrows and non-Sorrows alike that at the depths of this network is a heart, a figure which can pull strings which nobody can see. This figure is Dirge.  
    Sects
    Families will frequently develop into sects. A sect is a Family which has evolved from mere interaction to having an active goal and living by their own interpretation of The Sorrows (listed below). Most Banners consider sects to be dangerous, and they are outlawed in many quarters.   Due to the massive variance in the beliefs between sects, not all Families have positive relations. Some Families, for example, try to keep a good image in the public eye while others are malignant and antagonistic, and each will find each other weak and potentially worth undermining or eliminating.
Families and Sects have their own internal rulings and customs.

Law

The House of Sorrows is too fractured and dissonant to have a system of law, liberties, and enforcement in place. Each Family or Sect tends to live by the rules of the land they live in, and in the rare event that a Sect owns enough land to rule over their rule tends to be draconian, but tinted by whatever Banner the Sorrows within grew up around most.  

Military

As with Law, the Sorrows aren't organized in a meaningful way which would result in a military. Everything is up to the individual Sect. In conflict, many Sects resort to Dark Unity weaponry, such as Metabombs, Metavirus strains of Soul Sickness and Dark Unity—infected Bioweapons.

Culture

Identity

Religion

Sorrows are typically opposed to religion, though there does exist the rare sect which has consolidated their Sorrow with a belief in higher powers.  

The Lie of The Wheel

 
The Wheel is a lie told by the Sovereigns to make us believe that ultimate power comes from above rather than within. It is the most villainous lie to ever be uttered.
  The House of Sorrows believes firmly that there is no Wheel, God, or any other higher power. They believe that the highest power comes from the self, and each Sovereign, having reached the pinnacle of power, loos down upon the rest of the universe, realize all they have to lose, and tells the same lie told by every other Sovereign before them: that this power isn't something just anyone can attain, that a Sovereign must be chosen by The Wheel, and that all below them should have faith in them rather than aspiring to be them.  

Dark Unity

Sorrows revere Dark Unity as the ultimate embodiment of pain and sorrow. Dark Unity, selschaeus, appears in those afflicted with Soul Sickness, indicating that it is generated by extreme suffering. It is the aspiration of many to be able to generate Dark Unity, or at least to master control of it.   Brood Blood-Kyn, the spiritual mother of the Sorrows, is one of the few Psiolic to be able to generate and control Dark Unity at will.  

Dirge

Many myths surround Dirge. To some she is someone who took the name from legend and leads the House from the shadows. Some claim she is a fractured shard of Anthem affected by the sorrow of Brood. Some claim she is the remnants of Brood's soul  
Dirge is radiant. Evil does not intrude on good, good springs from darkness. What comes before suffering looks like goodness is only grey—neutrality. What comes after suffering is true good. Dirge is what remains of the final suffering of Brood, and is as such is the most pure being in existence.
— A rambling Sorrow strung out on Sardonic
  She has never been seen, so perhaps she does not exist at all.

Statistics and Info

Demonym
  • Sorrows, to outsiders
  • Family, to eachother
Manufactured Items

RPG Content

Being in the House

 

At Their Best

You are selfless and empathetic to the extreme. When the weight of the world comes crashing down it's you who can endure the madness of it all and keep moving forward.  

At Their Worst

Your heart is as cold as it is empty. You carry no guilt for the deeds you do, as you see sorrow and suffering as the way of the world. In your eyes you're not evil, you're just natural.  

Values

To choose a value from the House of Sorrows, refer to The Sorrows under Culture in the article body. The highlighted part of each Sorrow is a value you may take.  

Tribes

Common House backgrounds
 

Heavy Heart

Everywhere you go, you carry the Song of Sorrows in you. You don't use it to justify cruel deeds, but rather to cope with the weight of the world. The world is full of pain, too much to turn your back on. You've learned it's better to embrace this pain, to understand it, to master it so that it doesn't rule you. Common.  

Child of Epicaricacy

You have found enlightenment at the end of the rod rather than by forever chasing the proverbial carrot. You recognize the the cruel reality of life that happiness can only be enjoyed once you have understood true loss. When offered the chance at happiness you only point to your scars and say that you have already found it. Uncommon. More...  

Violent Delights

When people think of the ills of the House of Sorrows, they think of you. You leave suffering in your wake. You've taken the tenants of the House to heart, and have taken it upon yourself to speed up the process... or perhaps you just enjoy the excuse to be wicked. Rare.  

Banner Bonuses

[RPG Content will go here]
  • Improved SDR?
  • Live in another Banner? (Split-Tribes Bonus)
  • Sanity loss as a negative Charm mod.

Faction Relations

Sorted from most favored to least
 
The Federation of Free Planets
You are blinded by your optimism, but we applaud you for escaping the rule of the Syndicate. Try to not end up just like your progenitor—a machine of distraction and consumption. Perhaps in time you will become wise, but until then you will be the underdog.
 
The Jupiter Syndicate
At times you are no better than Hedon. You have walled yourself in, insulated yourself in complex systems and games. Yet... from this does come a freedom, an appreciation for hard work and an acceptance that struggle is necessary for success; for that we respect you.
 
The ValuSelu Pact
There isn't a harder working people than the Pact. It's a shame that your work is done at the words of others than for yourselves, but the fact that you infight so much means that you don't take it laying down. We hope someday you realize that you can behead the beast and lead yourselves.
 
The Church of the Somnolent
We would think a people once subject to the rule of others wouldn't so happily pen themselves into yet another cage, yet here you are. Don't you realize how free you would be without the Somnolent making you toil and die for his crusade?
 
The Verin Haimarchy
The ultimate hubris. They serve their sovereign without question and dare to act as the imperious wisdom of the world. Under all their wisdom you can hear the same line: serve us.
 
The Apple of Hedonism
You come from an empty party of beasts dressed in party clothes, gilded barbarians. Do you even realize you're chattel to Hedon, cattle to Desire? You spend your whole life doing nothing but filling holes, filling space.

The last hole you will fill is your grave, and the world will be none the wiser to your hollow existence.

Articles under The House of Sorrows


Comments

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29 Aug, 2018 17:39

Amazing work as always. And as always, I make no claims of being an expert, but here's what jumped out at me as I read it. Use what works for you and keep up the great writing :)   So I was looking up "bourne" and it doesn't really appear much in the sense of that sentence, according to Dictionary/theasurus sites, at least (I'm always willing to be proven long and learn a new word though :D ) - so in "The House of Sorrows was bourne on" maybe born or spawned or some more immediately recognizable word?   "though, like every Banner, can trace" - There's 3 commas in rapid succession here, so maybe get rid of the one after though?   "so many times that, to most, it is a non-Banner, a cult of hate." - another three comma line. Could be good to shave one off ? "it is not a banner but a cult of hate"?   "Life is full of pain and we are children until we experience it, Know sorrow." - big case K should be lower case?   "Brood Blood-Kyn, who died trying to usurp one of the Monolith (Rank) Emporers of the The ValuSelu Pact." Emporers = Emperors?   "The Wheel is a lie told by the Sovereigns to make us believe that ultimate power comes from above rather than within. It is the most villainous lie to ever be uttered." - That is a freaking great quote.

29 Aug, 2018 17:45

Awesome! I'll integrate these changes soon. Thank you for catching all of the little errors. :)

29 Aug, 2018 20:49

This is going to be a part of the Ethnis RPG? It looks pretty.
I also like the mystery behind the Dirge figure

29 Aug, 2018 21:00

Yep! One of the aspects of character creation is choosing which of the 7 Banners you are from. Each banner affords its own bonuses, and from your Banner you choose your Tribe, which confers something unique, and one or two of the Values.   Dirge will be getting an article soon!

30 Aug, 2018 01:24

Wow, this organization is absolutely fascinating! I love everything in your article, but I especially love how you use different font colors, indentation, and bullet points as they make the text visually interesting. You mention that they embrace and perpetuate pain, have they ever committed acts that have caused pain on a massive level? Or has their suppression prevented them from being able to cause pain and instead they are relegated to just celebrating it?

9 Sep, 2018 19:42

Some of them definitely use their beliefs as reason to bring harm to others and the world, and some Families act more like terrorist sects than anything else! It's these sects which bring the rest of them a bad name, especially when they don't always outright condemn the actions. Opinions of Sorrows Families can be pretty divided towards eachother, which add to their already chaotic structure.

30 Aug, 2018 02:16

This is ludicrous! How you manage to spew out amazing articles like Nicholas Cage spews out crummy movies, I will never know. Even more perplexing is how each of these damn articles looks distinct and beautiful! What the frick is this voodoo nonsense! I seriously cannot state how striking they all are, and as a super fan of the color purple, I really dig this theme. Onto more important matters!

You're killing me smalls! - Ham Porter
I hope that works, but really, why, why oh why must you tease me with badass sounding stuff, make it big and bold and have it lead to nowhere? WHY! Oh how you tease, it is insufferable! I need to know who the frick Brood Blood-Kyn is. I need to see this numerology superstition stuff. I need to know who Dirge is (Besides a badass bounty hunter from Star Wars). Even the Dark Unity link is a tease :(... Also, what is a Psiolic? I need to know!) Selschaeus, that's a weird word that doesn't have a reference. OH! and Anthem, who da frick is that. This faction is pretty sweet though, I have always been in the Federation of Free Planets corner, but thus far, these folk resonates with me pretty well too, which concerns me in some ways. How depraved must you be to see life as suffering, its poetic in a way? Who needs hope? Hope can burn in a fire, no one needs that crap! I have seen a lot of references to the wheel, and it just occurred to me that this might be referencing the "religious" wheel, where life persists in a circular motion. Is it the Wheel akin to tarot cards? Or more just a general reference to the circle of existence? Also, the excerpt on "At their worst" is brilliant. Also, because I feel guilty and apparently like to abolish hope...
I think I've spotted an erra! - Conan O'Brien
I am gonna look really stupid if these BBCodes don't work lol. Anyway... I think most of this will make sense, I will just comment on the weird looking things... The House of Sorrows was bourne on the wings of death of Brood Blood-Kin,   The House of Sorrows has no direct of command, though there is a loose network.   Each Family or Sect tends to live by the rules of the land they live in, and in the rare event that a Sect owns enough land to rule over their rule tends to be draconian, but tinted by whatever Banner the Sorrows within grew up around most. Confusing sentence to read, might be better broken up?   each Sovereign, having reached the pinnacle of power, loos down upon the rest of the universe,   Dirge is radiant. Evil does not intrude on good, good springs from darkness. What comes before suffering looks like goodness is only grey—neutrality. Also quite difficult to understand, but this is a quote, so it may be intentional?   You have found enlightenment at the end of the rod rather than by forever chasing the proverbial carrot.   You recognize the the cruel reality of life that happiness can only be enjoyed Hopefully, ideally, my comment doesn't stand out like a sore thumb next to your ridiculous word art -- I tried to make it readable and somewhat bearable. Damn hopemongers...

30 Aug, 2018 03:55

I'm going to come back and respond more fully to everything as I can, but here's Selschaeus (Dark Unity) and here's Schaeus (Unity). :D

30 Aug, 2018 04:43

Thank you! Interesting things they are, I love how leaving it alone feedbacks into itself to make it angsty and dark. The bit about the horns being broken was disturbing and awesome. Now I also cant wait to see applications of this stuff!

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