The House of Sorrows
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.
OverviewThe 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 PhilosophyAt its heart, the House of Sorrows embraces the chaos and pain of the universe as a strength.
- 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.
The Song of SorrowsAll 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.
For more information about numerology in Ethnis, see Numerology.
Their MartyrSorrows 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.
Sorrowful FamiliesThe 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.
SectsFamilies 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.
LawThe 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.
MilitaryAs 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.
ReligionSorrows 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 UnitySorrows 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.
DirgeMany 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.She has never been seen, so perhaps she does not exist at all.
Statistics and Info
- Sorrows, to outsiders
- Family, to eachother
- Manufactured Items
Being in the House
At Their BestYou 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 WorstYour 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.
ValuesTo 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.
TribesCommon House backgrounds
Heavy HeartEverywhere 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 EpicaricacyYou 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 DelightsWhen 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 RelationsSorted from most favored to least
The last hole you will fill is your grave, and the world will be none the wiser to your hollow existence.