Encyclopaedia Arcana #16: Council Factions (Part Three)

This entry finishes up our guide to the political factions of the Light Council by looking at the Weissians and the Unity Bloc.

Weissians

The Weissian movement takes its name from the writings of the nineteenth-century mage Kolman Weiss.  Weiss incorporated elements from the existing Transcendence and Klaussian movements to form a new political faction which has been slowly growing ever since.

Weissians believe that magic represents the next major step in human potential, and they want to see the human race embrace it.  They want a world where mages have a place in normal society, practising their magic openly, with magic taught in schools side by side with maths and science.  In the long term they’d like to see magic spread more widely:  their ultimate goal is a world where every human is a mage.

The Weissians’ plan is obviously incompatible with keeping magic a secret, which places the Weissians squarely at odds with everyone who supports the Concord.  For their plan to be approved they’d need to get enough of a majority to get the Concord amended, which at the moment seems pretty unlikely:  the Centrists, the Directors, and especially the Isolationists hate the Weissians’ proposals and have gone out of their way to block them.  Even if the Weissians could overcome this opposition they would have to deal with two other problems:  first, the normals that the Weissians want to uplift think magic is a joke, and second, no-one has any idea how this ‘uplifting’ thing is supposed to work anyway (though the Weissians are doing their best to figure it out).

The Weissians don’t have many friends.  Some of the Guardian faction are sympathetic to them, and that’s about it.  Oddly enough the Weissians’ most frequent allies are the Crusaders, partly because they’re the only two factions opposed to the Concord (although for different reasons) and partly because they’re both pariahs disliked by everyone else.

Note:  ‘Weiss’ is pronounced ‘vice’, as in ‘vice squad’.

Unity Bloc

The Unity Bloc is the newest and currently the smallest of the Council factions, though it’s probably more accurate to say that their faction isn’t new but cyclical:  the idea has been around ever since the Dark Wars and it’s waxed and waned over the centuries.  The Unity Bloc want Light and Dark mages to unite.  They see Light and Dark philosophy as two sides of the same coin rather than violent opposites, and they’re frustrated by the endless infighting.   They want mages everywhere to co-operate and work together as a single brotherhood, as legend has it they once did long ago, and they hope that by doing so magic will enter a new golden age.

Needless to say, the Unity Bloc has a lot of opposition.  The Crusaders hate them and the Guardians don’t like them much either – both of them consider the Unity Bloc fools at best and fifth columnists at worst.  On top of that, most of the Dark mages that the Unity Bloc wants to help aren’t particularly grateful for the offer and in fact are seriously insulted by the implication that they need ‘helping’ in the first place.  But some Dark groups see potential in the Unity Bloc, and as a result the Unity Bloc has by far the best relations with Dark mages out of any Council faction (not to mention a small but significant number of Dark members).

As the newest faction, the Unity Bloc hasn’t had time to develop many alliances.  At present they’re making overtures to the Directors and the Isolationists, arguing that a unified Light and Dark council would serve their own interests, and in the long term the Unity Bloc are hoping to bring the Centrists round to their way of thinking.  Centrists are supposed to want peace, after all.

A member of the Unity Bloc is called a Unitarian (as well as several less complimentary names).

None of the Above

Dark mages and relations with normals aren’t the only issues in Light politics:  there are plenty of others, such as magical creatures, culture, and religion.  However, these tend to be more spread out over the factions:  none of the groups has a monopoly on religious members, for example.

Even when it comes to the main ‘axes’, the faction a Light mage belongs to doesn’t tell you everything about them.  A mage might join the Guardian faction because he sees normal humans as equals, worthy of respect;  such a mage would probably be very sympathetic to the Weissians but would dislike the Directors for their habit of manipulating mundane society.  Another Guardian might see normals as below them, to be protected and guided;  that Guardian would think the Weissians were idiots and that the Directors had the right idea.  A third Guardian might defend normals not out of any particular empathy but out of a belief that reducing the number of magical predations in the world protects mages in the long run by reducing belief in the supernatural;  his closest allies would be the Isolationists.  All three would want to stop monsters from harming normals, but for different reasons.

Finally there are a fair number of Light mages who don’t permanently ally themselves with any of the factions.  These mages tend to get lumped in with one faction or another, but it’s more accurate to call them independent agents.

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