Life of Moonson VIPs
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The Red Emperor possesses many titles: Son of Light, Lord of Glorantha, Bridge to Heaven. He is the Son of the Red Goddess, and his subjects are pleased to call him "Moonson." If they wish to define his current Mask, as opposed to those which ruled previously, he is named "Argenteus."
The Red Emperor has died many times for the Empire, and has always been reincarnated. Though he has worn many different bodies, yet he has always been the same man. Since the tragic assassination of the Mask of Ignifer 26 years ago, the Red Emperor has worn the Mask of Argenteus.
Moonson Argenteus bears the burdens of rule lightly. His rule has been peaceful and benevolent, earning him the love of his subjects. However, his genius finds its fullest expression in the artistic sphere: practical problems and the day-to-day running of the Empire are delegated to his close circle of advisors, the Imperial Presidium.
This is the name given to the Imperial Warlord, supreme commander of all of the Lunar Empire's military forces. The rank was once the exclusive preserve of the Red Emperor himself.
The first Bellex Maximus was General Parg Ilisi, who was promoted to the position in the Second Wane. However, his brutal and obsessive actions against the Twice Blessed caused him to be removed from his post when the Emperor learned of his abuses of power. The position was only reinstituted in the time of the mask Reclusus, when it was held by the Steel Proxy, whose face was always hidden behind a steel mask.
With the ascension of the mask Ignifer the Steel Proxy retired for a time, only returning after Ignifer was wounded during the siege of Boldhome thirty years ago. The Steel Proxy has continued to hold the position of Bellex Maximus up to the present day, and sits on the Presidium of the Lunar Empire.
Grand Master Orsorkhon
The cult of Danfive Xaron runs the prisons, labour-camps and gulags of the Empire. Its feared forces of punishment, the Black Army (known as the "Unspoken Word"), seek out heresy and subversion wherever they may dwell. The inflexibility and self-discipline of the Xaroni is legendary, and many of those who are at first unwillingly confined in the cult's Penitentiaries grow to love it so much that they never leave, instead serving the cult as informers, agents or priests after their initial sentence has expired.
Orsorkhon the Cenobite is the High Priest of Danfive Xaron's cult. He sits on the Imperial Presidium and is answerable to Moonson alone. He seldom emerges from his official residence in the Xaronea, the cult's grim and cheerless headquarters in Glamour, preferring to spend his time meditating upon the cult's higher mysteries. His visage is seldom seen, but it is rumoured to bear terrible scars from self-inflicted torments...
The Red Dancer of Power
This demi-deity heads the Cult of Etyries and originates the economic and missionary policies of the Empire. As the head of the Imperial economy, she forms and directs the Seven Year Plan. By this, the cycles of prosperity and recession are carefully balanced, and commodities are stockpiled and transported around the Empire.
The Dancer is also the Chief Missionary, supervising the Provincial Church and other schemes for winning more converts to the Lunar Way. She is always ready to guide her colleagues in the Presidium with theoretical interpretations of Lunar doctrine. The heralds of the Temple of Truth are pleased to consult with the Red Dancer before issuing their daily bulletins. If any one being can be considered the corner-stone of the Lunar Way, it is the Red Dancer of Power.
Every year she manifests as a different inexperienced young girl, to bear a child by a different father. In spite of her changing appearance, the Red Dancer has always been the same person since she descended to the surface world 115 years ago.
Ivex Devouring Dog
Most citizens of the Lunar Empire regard this man as an omnipotent demon. However, his perceived omni-potence is really the result of the activities of his Tax Officials, who with their various taxes are said to be "in every house, every pig, and every mug of ale."
Ivex supervises the Imperial Revenue Service, which collects, counts and oversees the taxes due to the Red Emperor. Most taxes are collected directly from the Sultans and Provincial Governors, who themselves farm out the collection of taxes to Tax Farmers (who take a cut of the taxes they collect). The feared Tax Assessors are inspectors who check on the information used for tax assessments and who investigate abuses of the system. They are empowered to unleash the feared Tax Demons against those who withhold payment.
Ivex himself is rarely seen outside of the Imperial Treasury, and those who have actually seen him have often mistaken him for one of the many scribes who toil ceaselessly in the Treasury, counting tallies and checking returns.
Jar-Eel the Razoress
There is not a citizen or subject of the Empire who does not revere this Superhero and Saint as the perfect embodiment of the Lunar Way. She is equally admired for her military prowess, her skill as a poet and musician, and her beauty.
Although Jar-Eel appears as a young woman, she has in fact served the Empire for over forty years. A scion of the ruling family of Oronin, she saw her first action as part of the Legion of Infants. Her exploits in the Southern Wars are legendary. Who can forget how she took the rebel base of Boldhome, or dismembered the Pharaoh of Kethaela? Even Dranz Goloi the Nomad King fell to her deadly stroke.
But she has also shown herself a force for peace, quieting the Servile Revolt and converting its leader, Aelwrin, to the Lunar Way. Worshipped as a goddess by the Moonsword Cult, she remains friendly, happy and approachable. She is truly worthy to bear the title, "Fourth Inspiration of Moonson."
Four major kingdoms make up the Lunar Provinces: Tarsh, Holay, Vanch and Aggar. Each provides valuable resources to the Empire, in terms of taxes, trade and manpower. Additionally, they serve as a buffer against the primitive barbarian cultures to the south. Each province has its own political structure, but one which is always loyal to the Empire.
Appius Luxius has held his post of Provincial Overseer for 46 years, always strengthening his administration and making the position his own. Though the recent defeats in Dragon Pass have caused him some embarrassment, the blame has fallen mainly at the feet of incompetent subordinates. His primary task is to co-ordinate his three departments: the Provincial Church, the Provincial Army, and Provincial Procurement and Disbursement (which is to say, tax collection).
Appius is known to be impeccably and irreproachably honest, and reports directly to the Red Emperor (he is rumoured to be one of his sons). He rules from the city of Mirin's Cross.
The Red Emperor's Great Sister is also known as Moondaughter and Deneskerva. In her current incarnation, she is over 135 years old, but she has in one form or another guided and advised her brother since the Zero Wane. She protects the poor and oppressed against the factional interests of the powerful. Every city block in the Empire maintains at least one shrine to her, reassuring the citizens that Great Sister watches over them.
She has taken upon herself the direction of moral guidance in the Empire and scrutinises the workings of the granaries and the distribution of surpluses to the poor. Her love for the destitute and downtrodden is undeniable, though her advisors sometimes lead her into injudicious interference in the dynamic workings of the economy. No-one considers stopping her, as Great Sister is also a Presidium member and commands her own army. Many consider her "Just say No (to Gin)" campaign to be more than a little misguided.
Geilbonus the Sycophant
The Senate is a council of elder statesmen, meeting in Glamour to advise the Red Emperor based on their collective wisdom and experience. Critics point out that the Emperor is not obliged to listen to or act upon the advice of these usually doddering old men, and that the Senate almost always supports Moonson's policies, merely acting as a rubber-stamp for Imperial Edicts. They would be ill-advised to do so, however, within earshot of Senator Geilbonus.
The Chief Speaker of the Senate (and High Priest of the Emperor's Cult) is an outspoken defender of ancient Senatorial rights and privileges, unceasing in his championship of this at times obscure and even archaic body. He embodies the oldest traditions of the Empire, and is revered across the land as the Wise Old Man of Glamour. Under his incumbency, the doors of the Curia have been flung wide to admit Senators from all walks of life, united only by their wealth (and, therefore, incorruptibility), their moral fitness to serve the Empire, and their wearing of the Crimson Toga.
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