The Factions: HIGH FACTION RAHAL
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HIGH FACTION RAHAL
Emblem: The Scrywolf (or “Execution Wolf”)
Motto: Many lenses, one mind
Colors: Gray and bronze
Center of Government: Wolf Hall
The Rahal began as the heptarchate’s magistracy, with broad powers both to investigate crime and to sentence wrongdoers, according to laws decreed by the Liozh councils. They specialize in “ordinary” transgressions rather than heresy, which is the domain of the Vidona. When the Liozh announced their intention to overturn the existing government in favor of a democratic system, the Rahal were one of the factions who revolted. After the Liozh were destroyed for their temerity, the Rahal claimed leadership of the new hexarchate and began to oversee the welfare of common citizens.
Applicants are selected for devotion to the law, excellent memories, and tolerance for a highly communal lifestyle. As cadets, young Rahal learn oratory to interpret the hexarchate’s legal code. Rahal councils, modeled after the old Liozh councils, operate on a consensus basis, and the ability to construct a strong argument and defend it is necessary to survive. The Rahal are also responsible for maintaining the high calendar, not least because the lengths of days on inhabited planets or moons often require localized corrections to accommodate humans’ diurnal cycles. While a Nirai invented the high calendar, it is the Rahal who do the work of keeping it updated. As a result, the Rahal also snap up a large percentage of the hexarchate’s mathematicians.
The Rahal faction’s greatest innovation is the technique for scrying someone’s dreams for signifier responses. This isn’t quite as good as mind-reading—although there have always been rumors—but it allows Rahal inquisitors to scrape clues out of someone’s subconscious. Up to six inquisitors can join together to strengthen the effect; a full hex is normally reserved for matters of dire urgency. Scrying is not infallible, as some individuals have the ability to mask their signifiers.
The Rahal also maintain swarms of lensmoths, a specialized type of voidmoth that has the effect of correcting the local calendar from any heretical deviations. While useful against minor heresies, major rot knocks them out of alignment quickly. The Rahal insist on keeping them as a symbol of their mission.
Rahal allies include the Vidona, who suppress heresy, and the Kel, due to a shared belief in community and conservatism. Their relations are also good with the Nirai since both are invested in the mathematics of the hexarchate’s state religion. How well they get along with the Shuos depends on current Shuos leadership; the Rahal acknowledge the importance of the foxes’ role, but are troubled by their ruthlessness.
Magistrate Rahal Ienora recognized early on that requiring everyone to adhere to the high calendar would result in a lot of cranky people on planets and moons with day-cycles that inconveniently failed to conform to an artificial system. She pushed for a compromise that would allow people to live according to local day-cycles and observe specially calculated remembrances that tune their homes to high calendar norms. It’s clunky, but the hexarchate’s citizens are so used to the workaround that most of them don’t think twice about it.