Intercessor Profession in The Matrioshka Multiverse | World Anvil


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An Intercessor is a Substrate based religious figure often associated with the Committee on Instance Design Standards. Equal parts chaplain to the blanks themselves and advisor to affairs relating to the spiritual goings on within instances, an Intercessor provides valuable spiritual council to elders and choirs. Intercessors are also involved with the operation of The Waiting Room and the assessment of whether a given instance blank has achieved the proper level of development to be allowed to escape the cycle of death and rebirth to join The Substrate as a full citizen.



An Intercessor is (usually) not explicitly created for his or her role, though a rare few construct blanks have ascended to the role. Religious faith has developed organically within every instance thus far created - perhaps simply as the result of natural human proclivities in this regard - and was often found within humanoids and even skyphoforms before they adopted their forms as blanks. Thus, Intercessors typically are drawn from those with strong pre-existing philosophical or theological bents. Prospective Intercessors undergo education that covers not only theological and philosophical concepts, but also psychology and the proper care that must be observed when dealing with the residents of instances that might not otherwise be exposed to the true nature of the universe in which they reside (i.e. 'simulationist' instances designed to model actual human history).

Career Progression

The hierarchy of Intercessors is less formal than those found in the constituent religious traditions from which they are drawn. Younger and less-experienced Intercessors often seek council from those more seasoned in that role.   Progression within the ranks of Intercessors typically comes in form of progression within the larger Substrate-based organization to which they find themselves attached. For example, an Intercessor who works with a Waiting Room attendant consoling the blanks of freshly dead instance residents is per se lower in rank than the resident confessor in Club Chorus who advises Onesby, Patricia, and Koi on issues that transcend individual instances. In instances like Farfourth, where choirs are known of and sometimes percieved of as deities or nature spirits, Intercessors may be percieved as saints; this perception is apropos, as Intercessors often serve to prevent the choirs to which they are attached from abusing their 'deific' power over the lesser, 'mortal' instance blanks under their charge.



While simulationist and experimentalists eagerly plumb instances for useful scientific data that can then be used to further the search for the True Instance beyond the end of time, Intercessors benefit from the anthropological, historical, and philosophical developments that come about as a welcome side-affect of these observations in their own pursuit of divinity, a set of universal ethics, or objective moral truths. The best Intercessors have quick access to bits of lore that, while not immediately of any utility then they were first discovered, might lend the other blanks a new perspective on current events in the hope that they might make the 'right' decision with regards to any given dilemma.


The Substrate does not have a 'state religion' as such. Instead, it recognizes the position of Intercessor through publically accredited educational programs and access to public anthropological, historical, theological, philosophical, and psychological databases. Otherwise, the mark of acceptance as an Intercessor comes as a result of social and organizational connections beyond state recognition. Almost all Intercessors remain active members - often clergy - of whatever faith group they belonged to before seeking accreditation, and this has a strong influence on what their daily work looks like.

Dangers & Hazards

Though they draw from similar historical sources, Intercessors come from diverse religious and historical backgrounds and, thus, often find themselves at odds with one another. As matters of spirituality are often heavily laden with emotional subtext, being tightly bound to personal and group identity, they are no less likely to cause blanks to argue - or even come to blows - where opinions are strongly divided. There have even been cases where differences of faith have led to violent conflict, including the use of The Word as a weapon, despite the process of Substrate citizen qualification explicitly selecting for the ability to see beyond the differences of the moment in the pursuit of higher goals.   A good Intercessor mediates between conflicting parties and, while espousing the benefits of faith and careful ethical consideration, declines to pursue what might politely be called 'conversion by alternative means'. The opposite kind of Intercessor doesn't exist on account of unemployment; The Substrate has no patience for advisors that can't properly advise in their field of expertise.

Cover image: by Ferdinand Stöhr


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