Fiends. Killers. Depraved lunatics. Monsters. Perverts. And worse.
“Everybody in the North knows it!”
ritical thinker-types must admit little is known of the Hex – so little, in fact, conspiracy theorists allege The Council of Landezon
dreamed these phantoms up as a convenient fiction to control the population and assure its own continued usefulness in the face of obsolescence. The Council’s behind-the-scenes approach to meting out justice to Hex sorcerors has only fed this rumour. Nobles’ calls for their executions to be handled publicly to make a more poignant example it politely but routinely brushes aside. And souls accused confess only rarely: many who do turn out to be delusional, or frauds.
The greatest enemy the North has ever faced thus has almost no presence there.
Yet, dissenting opinions are the product of a fringe minority: All GOOD
folk of the world agree there resides down south a bloodthirsty, baby-eating, sexually twisted, demon-worshipping cult that will stop at nothing until the North falls prey to its fell aims.
They are not far wrong.
The picture from the Council’s side, though incomplete, is nuanced by empirical detail:
The Council's View
n the public eye, there is no difference between an Exiled mage
and a member of the Hex. The magic both use is very similar, and jointly forbidden because it doesn’t work: healing, a prime example, grants short-term benefits but is deleterious over longer spans. The Council, however, classifies the Hex as a cult, in the mindless devotion adherents hold for Khajuro
, the last of the four great earthly Masters
to emerge. While the potential goodness of its individual members is a matter for clergy to argue over, the Hex’s ideology is inherently oppressive to life and in that sense, broadly evil. Exiled mages by contrast borrow from Khajuro’s work, but minus fanaticism, and some even try to use it to better humankind.
As any child knows, the Hex’s foremost ambition is to claim the North, by any means necessary. Its agents are prevented from infiltrating by the Council’s detection grid
, formed by Strongholds
stationed in key points across the hemisphere. Those magical techniques used to keep them at bay are kept tightly under wraps and shared only with those assigned to such duties.
In a way, it is no wonder they wish to leave: Aside from the paucity of magic energy there, Hex mages are despised in their native south as elsewhere, and so must hide. It is known that “Nests”
, clandestine groupings of Hex practitioners, are key to their mode of organization, though other information regarding hierarchal order is in short supply. A Nest can be any kind of space, but those uncovered are largely subterranean. A “Nest of all Nests” is theorized to exist, a sort of nerve center to regulate the rest, though leads are sparing: some think Qildab
, others the Uvan Empire
. Mapping Nests ranks among the Council’s highest priorities.
Those who’ve unearthed a Nest or otherwise gone toe-to-toe with a Hex wizard know all too well the savage efficacy of their spells, the Domains of Life, Death, and Time serving as their arcane playthings. None know this better than the Order of the Razor
– knights whose own Exiled healing Gifts permit them to travel much further south into Hex territory (the Autumn Yield
and beyond) than mages dare. Tales brought back by Razors who survive their missions are bone-chilling…and often the stuff of dramatic works, where leaked particulars reach the ears of artists. The Black Mercies
also confirm these experiences on this side of the border, in their neverending hunt for Exiled contraband.
Council mages are trained to be vigilant against this very real foe, though the day-to-day business of a wizard remains very much the study of their art. For the most part, the specialist organizations above are the ones that engage the Hex directly. But no matter how far away in actual fact, the Hex is never far from mind: Their schemes form a lynchpin of the cultural narrative in most places in the world, and people’s behaviours are directly shaped by the constant threat lurking about their imaginations.