Diviner Unionism is a dark, mystical form of Unionism, and is one of the smallest and most secretive branches of the faith. In 186 AC, the Diviner sect of Unionism arose in the lands of Girobalda following the Second Schism, and has since remained a small, localized sect of the church due to the relative isolation of the culture. This has not prevented the denomination from developing its own doctrine: focusing on the belief that any Ailor is capable, in their own small way, of communicating with the Imperial Spirit and receiving messages of guidance in life. This idea is often accompanied by the practice of sacrificing large quantities of perceived ‘lesser’ races, and consuming even larger amounts of Opium and other hallucinogenic compounds. To this day, the small communities of Diviners that live among the forests of Girobalda remain active in their beliefs, eeking out an existence while avoiding persecution at the hands of the White Order.
Name and History
What started as a rural backlash to the easy treatment of non-Ailors and heretics would eventually turn into one of the darker stains on the Unionist tapestry. It began with a group of Girobaldan priests who questioned the authority of the present Emperor, Allamaria the First. They held to the belief that the Spirit had never truly passed into any Emperor after Theomar, and instead joined with a different soul somewhere in the Empire. The priests and their congregations quickly made it apparent that they were not content with the way things were being run by their current Emperor, and vied to find the True Messiah. They initially began to take to more drastic means of praising the Spirit, partially in protest, but also in perceived repentance. The origin of the term “Diviner Unionist” comes from their practice of “Divining,” or consuming vast amounts of opium in order to enter a dream-like hallucinogenic state where one could “communicate” directly with the Spirit. This belief was backed by several priests, who were mostly under the influence of opium at the time, and who claimed that the Spirit had instructed them of the true meaning of the Great Way: the complete domination of lesser races and heretics through force. This belief slowly began to manifest itself in more drastic forms, leading to the eventual sacrificing of lesser races to praise the Spirit. Due to the signing of the Clastic Laws, the Diviners were permitted to continue practicing their beliefs free of the Sancella’s influence. As the murder of individuals was frowned upon however, the congregations that practiced Diviner Unionism eventually began to slink away from society, eventually going underground to avoid outside harassment. In the present day, lesser races are always warned not to stray too far from settlements in Girobalda, and that they should always go in pairs, lest the Diviners appear to capture unlucky sacrifices to their deathbeds.
The Diviner Unionists are held together by a relatively weak group, titled the “Council of the Watchful”. This council is made up of the heads of the different Diviner Familia, each lead by a Grigori. At the head of this council is the Grigorotori, who is in charge of making decisions that affect the greater church as a whole. His decisions are often made after spending extended periods of time in dreamlike dazes where he attempts to “commune” with the Imperial Spirit. While all rumors point to him living in a great underground temple called La Caverna Bendita, no official record indicates its location. Once the Grigorotori awakes from his trance, his judgements are then given to the Council of the Watchful at meetings that occur once a month, where he instructs the various practices that should be engaged: from the sacrificing of specific races, to the forms of prayers to be held for the coming month. He is also in charge of dictating what actions the Diviners should take outside of their services, as the sect is also still firmly rooted in the Ten Predictions. The Grigorotori is always the eldest among the Grigori; the priests are adopted into the priesthood at a young age and spend their entire life in the Order, though only begin to preach once they have reached forty years of age. It is considered blasphemous to Diviners for a young priest to fulfill the duties of a Grigori. The position is always filled by males of Girobaldan decent, though the few Diviner Familia that exist outside the homelands often settle with a Daendroque, Lusuits, or Ithanian if available. The Grigori are then responsible for ensuring that their Familia are kept strong in the faith, and are in charge of the major sacrifices made in the Spirit’s name. Often times, Grigori spend their weekdays in a meditative trance akin to the Grigorotori, attempting to commune with the Imperial Spirit.
Worship and Traditions
To any non-Ailor, Diviner Unionism appears to be a crazy, homicidal collection of zealots striving to kill all lesser races. However, it is still a sect of Unionism, and is still based in the Creeds and the lessons the original faith swears by, though much more hardline in terms of xenophobia and their own heretical beliefs. The first major belief that separates Diviner Unionism from other denominations, and considered highly heretical by all but the Vultars, is the idea that the Emperor is not capable of communicating with the Imperial Spirit. The Diviner faith denies the Inheritance of the Spirit, and refute the idea that any Emperor past Theomar the Holy was actually host to the Spirit. With the death of Emperor Theomar, the Spirit chose a new, unknown host who could be anyone in the Empire, making it every Diviner Unionist’s goal in life to find and identify the new Messiah. To Diviners, the only way to identify this new Host is through offering up countless sacrifices to the Spirit to receive a sign as to who the host may be. In order to fulfill this ideal, the Diviners continue to abduct any individual they can, offering up their blood deep in the woods in hopes the Spirit reveals itself to them. Despite decades of searching, however, the Diviners have never found the new Messiah—a trait that would dissuade most others. Despite this, the Diviners still remain steadfast in their belief, and continue to perform sacrifices until the day the Spirit reveals itself.
A second pillar of the Diviner sect initially formed in the early days of the sect’s creation. As the bodies continued to pile up, more and more Diviner Unionists began to believe that the Spirit simply demanded ever more sacrifices, leading to an ever growing hatred of those lesser races that the Creeds of Union speak of. The aggression towards non-Ailor grew to such a point that the sacrifices became imprinted into the various Sacraments found in the faith, with the blood of a non-Ailor being used in place of Holy Water, as the Diviners hoped the sacrifices would be pleasing to the Spirit. What resulted was a deep running hatred of non-Ailor races, to such a point that Diviners are among the most xenophobic individuals in the Regalian Empire. This xenophobia and fear of outsiders keeps those who are born into the various Familia loyal to the Diviners, as they distrust all outsiders, regardless of race.
Another pillar of belief for the Diviner Unionist is the idea of entering meditative dreamlike trances, in which individuals may attempt to receive guidance from the Imperial Spirit. This state is claimed to be achieved by individuals under the influence of large amounts of opium, which causes the user to fall into a deep hallucinatory trance where some claim they can ‘hear’ the Spirit. While performing sacrifices, Diviners consume excessive amounts of opium to better open themselves to the Spirit. The few individuals who have managed to flee from a Diviner Familia speak of circles in the woods that are shrouded in the smoke from the sheer amount of opium hookahs being used before a sacrifice.
Finally, there is the pillar that most outsiders overlook when discussing Diviners: their desire to further Ailor and their causes. While Diviners believe the Great Way to be achieved when all non-Ailor are bent to the will the of the Ailor, they will still participate in great public works intended to further and improve Ailor lives. Because of this, they often participate in charity events aimed at aiding poor Ailor, or (more often) things to further crush the rights of non-Ailor. To them, the Emperor is a false god, and he will only lead the faithful down the wrong path. As the Emperor does not know what is right in the Spirit’s eye, they believe it is every faithful Unionists first goal to identify the ‘Lost Messiah’ of the Spirit, and then follow their will. This was made particularly clear during the Anahera Regime, where Diviners were given equal rights to the Sancella, and permitted to massacre as many non-Ailor as they desired in their search for the Messiah. Diviners also do not recognize any Creed after the Tenth Creed, as they see them as false creeds created by false prophets. They also view Ailor as the only Humanum, and the other races considered human by Regalian Law—Qadir and Ch’ien-ji—are flawed lesser races who must be brought to heel. Their goals are simple: support Ailor in any capacity, and destroy the lesser races who attempt to drag Ailor back down into the pits of the Void.
Relationship with other Sects
Similar to the Vultar Unionists, the Diviners are unprotected by the Clastic Laws, though persecution has proven to be more difficult than the Vultars. Their part in the Anahera Regime was minute, and due to their Familia often hiding from the public, were incredibly hard to punish without harming innocents. To most Sancellists and Etosians, the Diviner Unionists have earned their place in the Void along with the lesser races they choose to sacrifice. There are, however, a few among the popular churches that believe the extermination of lesser races is a route to be considered. The Priscelle Princessity, on the other hand, absolutely despise the Diviners, who they claim make an open insult against both civilized society as well as greater Union. This hatred largely stems from the Ithanian/Girobaldan relationship, however, and will most likely never change. Finally, the Dogartans rarely, if ever, interact with the Diviners, simply because that is how the Dogartans have operated for generations.
- The small markets of Girobalda see roughly ten percent of the world’s opium trade, due to the excessive amounts consumed by the Diviners.
- According to public records in Girobalda, the Anahera Regime saw a drop of several hundred among the non-Ailor populations of the region. Law enforcing organizations are still attempting to locate several missing individuals.
- Few Diviner Familia live outside Girobalda, though there are rumors of one operating within the slums of Regalia. Many non-Ailor parents tell their children stories of their cruelty to scare them from going out after dark.