The Vistari are a Wraethtu tribe that covers all those that seek knowledge (both material and magical), wish to use that magic for practical purposes (crafters, alchemists), and to understand the body and the mind (martial artists).
The Vistari was formed little less than a decade ago as a means of protecting, collecting and saving the knowledge that was being lost in this time of degeneration and general collapse. In addition the Blackrobes teaches a philosophy of discipline over action and emphasizes meditation, body control, perception, mental self-control, and many more mystical elements of the ancient arts. Even though it teaches much more than simple knowledge, it is still a Wraeththu tribe dedicated to the complete collection and protection of the works developed throughout history.
Reason for the Name:
Founders like to read Tolkein; took the Istari (wizards) and added a V to change it (why, because he could).
Ash, the mysterious occultist who led Heru’s group.
Spheres of Influence:
Lore, crafts, magic, martial arts
A recently renovated old, 4-story brick library.
Phoenix with a golden staff in its talons.
Blackrobes. A hooded black-robe is given to all members of the tribe upon initiation to achieve unity.
The collection and expansion of knowledge; the rebuilding of civilization; the achievement of a golden age.
Ash – magic
Zee – martial arts
Heru har Vistari
Zander – crafts
Within the Blackrobes, the intent is also to improve on skills and to develop and learn new mental and physical techniques. Members are encouraged to share their skills and abilities, suggest new ideas, and experiment. Brothers communicate with each other through face-to-face meetings, sharing the information and gossip they have uncovered or overheard.
The Blackrobes has the mission of protecting knowledge in all its forms. Vistari may guard places of knowledge and individuals such as professors and master scholars. They may undertake the mission to maintain a location’s technological base in turbulent times. They may travel around collecting, protecting and watching all that goes on. Sometimes, the Blackrobes operates and sends out exploration parties under a variable number of pseudonyms with the main purpose of making sure nothing considered important by the Vistari are lost. But most common of all is how the Blackrobes just watches and records.
The Vistari see their mission as primary mental, to engage in collecting all pieces of knowledge – even those pieces seen as useless and politically and/or religiously dangerous. In small numbers or even individually, Vistari may be seen gathering bits and pieces of information that most people would find without purpose. In addition, it is the Vistari’s hope that with the collecting of all worldly knowledge one can create a complete picture of the universe and thus go through the Awakening.
As part of the philosophy of the Blackrobes, Vistari are required to watch, learn, listen, collect and provide protection for the countless works of knowledge designed and created by man. The Blackrobes will quickly respond to any news of new data finds and attacks or disasters on information centers. The Blackrobes has no requirement for its members to assist in the gathering of arts and artifacts of the world but often do so.
All Vistari are martially inclined scholars (of various types) who have committed themselves, their lives, and their livelihood to the objectives of the Blackrobes. They have bound themselves to a sacred oath and may not break their oath without dire consequences.
The Vistari’s influence currently extends throughout the city of its birth.
Currently the Blackrobes have to incept new members among the human population, for Wraeththu haven’t yet found the means of procreation amongst themselves. It is of course hard to find outsiders guaranteed to be loyal to the mission of the Blackrobes, but the Blackrobes has had a lot of practice. The Vistari, since the very beginning of its existence, has emphasized quality over quantity. Theirs is a deeply elitist philosophy, and in any case, it is usually easier to find highly capable trustworthy individuals than a team of equally trustworthy “grunts.” Thus, their first concern tends to be to identify talent, or at least potential. The potential recruit will be observed and assessed for a while by a team of experts in psychology and undercover operations. If their report is favorable, a Brother will contact the recruit and he will be brought to Vistari’s central place of inception.
Members must prove themselves in order to be accepted into the Blackrobes. The Vistari judging the person will identify what it is the potential member must do. This could involve anything that has some relevance to what the Blackrobes does and stands for. Whatever is chosen, the action should require some cunning on the candidate’s part. The person being tested need not necessary know why he is being asked to do the deed. He may think it is just a challenge or a bet from a new colleague. The deed is designed to determine whether the candidate is skilled, cunning, and dedicated enough to join the Blackrobes.
Size and Scope:
There isn’t really a firm answer on how many Vistari are currently in the city.
Tiers and Ranks
Rank within the Vistari is based entirely on merit and how well a Vistari is able to learn the secrets of the Tribe. As a Blackrobe’s rank rises within the Vistari, the more he becomes trusted, and the more secret information he is allowed access to. A Vistari's grade reflects how much secret power and knowledge he has accrued within the Blackrobes.
The organization of the Blackrobes is a vast sea of Collegia (unofficial groups), all constantly shrinking, growing, dividing, combined, melting away only to be reborn in some new guise and begin the process once more.
The Vistari is led by a single figure, called the Magister. The Magister is the leader for life of all Vistari. If he ever dies or steps down, a successor is elected from among all the Masters of the Blackrobes. The election is held at a mass meeting of the Tribe, and all Vistari are allowed a single silent vote. Voting is done by placing colored stones corresponding to the candidates into a slit in a sealed box. The current Magister is also the first, a Wraeththu by the name of Ash.