The Sidereal Exalted were Chosen to wisely advise and enhance the efforts of their fellows and their world. The Starmetal Caste, similarly, endeavors to optimize the efficiency of their assemblies and of Autochthonian society as a whole. Where the Orichalcum Caste leads by example and holds its brilliance forth for all to see and wonder over, however, the Plot Weavers prefer subtlety. The hand that is not seen, they say, accomplishes the most. The caste engages in social engineering, draws up six-year infrastructural plans and exhaustively collates economic, military and social data of all sorts. Starmetals prepare their nations for wars no one else realizes are coming, plan ahead for shortfalls no other statistical models have seen far enough ahead to predict and make sure that crucial information reaches the ears that need to hear it.
The Starmetal Castes are regarded as the greatest spymasters of Autochthonia. While they cannot match the personal disguise and stealth prowess of the Moonsilver Castes, the Daggers of Autochthon operate information networks without peer. Indeed, thanks to subliminal-programming Charms and unseen civic-behavior protocols, many of their agents never realize they are agents at all. Despite this reputation, public opinion toward the Plot Weavers is overwhelmingly positive. The Whispers carefully spin their own legends to make it so. “Aren’t you glad the sneakiest, cleverest, most underhanded Exalted in Autochthonia are on your side, working for you?” they ask.
Still, information is a double-edged sword. From time to time, a young Whisper is not as clever as he believes himself to be. Spin doctoring runs out of the control, omitted facts come to light, and the local Tripartite Assembly disagrees with the Plot Weaver’s definition of “need to know.” When the plans of the Starmetal Caste backfire, they tend to do so in a spectacular fashion.
A Plot Weaver’s body may be catalyzed only by a soul that has proven itself, in incarnation after incarnation, to possess deep insight and a willingness to take charge of events… even without authorization. The soldier who disobeys orders and carries the day, the lector who sees straight to the needs of his congregation, the plutarch who pushes for policies his contemporaries have not yet realized the need for, the successful Far Reaches cartographer—lives such as these combine to form the personalities of the Daggers of Autochthon. They have long memories of having known better than those around them and a strong tendency to act on those convictions without waiting for authorization or understanding. Yet, on the whole, they are not liars. Whispers will want to control where, when and how much of the truth is disseminated, but they are primarily concerned with maximizing productivity and effectiveness in their endeavors. Half-truths can be forgiven when a plan comes together, but out-and-out deceit impedes future efforts no matter the result.
Whispers usually favor support roles in an assembly, setting the stage for their comrades to be more effective in their particular areas of specialty. A Plot Weaver likely provides fire support in combat, plays “bad regulator” to an Orichalcum or Jade Caste’s “good regulator” in social situations, and generally works to smooth the assembly’s way whenever possible.
Starmetal Caste elders either become vast mechanical spiders sitting at the center of far-flung webs of information, creating proposals and manipulating events according to universe models and precognitive subroutines or else deploy themselves as mobile operating platforms for critical missions. Such Whispers act as a city-on-the-go for Far Reaches salvage efforts, providing nutrients, Essence, equipment, intelligence and enormous remote drone-scouted three-dimensional area maps updated in real time. Starmetal Caste cities tend to be small but busy nexuses of trade and information, optimizing their citizens’ productivity in a thousand subtle but efficacious ways.
By reflexively spending five motes, a Plot Weaver can align his soul and Essence with the Design of the Great Maker. His player adds (Essence ÷ 2) to all attack, damage and Join Battle rolls for the scene. During this time, a prismatic halo of colors trails slightly ahead of the Alchemical as a sort of reverse afterimage, highlighting the auspicious movements he will take. Those who behold the halo perceive the dim hand of inevitability, but it avails them nothing. Only in painful retrospect do targets understand what they saw. It activates automatically at no cost whenever the Alchemical’s anima reaches the 11+ level of display.
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