The Prophet Sirin

A Populat veteran, Sirin of Het, came to prominence
as a result of a deep Reaches expedition. Salvaging in an
area far beyond the safe return distance, half the group was
carried off by flesh-eating elementals, including its leaders.
Hopelessly lost, the remaining crew would have wandered
until their eventual deaths had it not been for Sirin, whose
tracking skills and instincts allowed him to guide the team
back to Yugash with an abundance of desperately-needed
supplies.
This would have merely made Sirin a hero; what made
him a wonder was his claim that his autolabe went haywire
out in the Reaches, and briefly locked onto the Godhead;
and that his expedition only made it back safely because he
followed the path to the Godhead until the route became
impassable, at which point Kadmek appeared and opened
a road back to Yugash. Sirin’s tale boosted the morale of a
people who had believed their god had abandoned them.
Even more important than the tale of a direct intervention
from a Divine Minister, however, was Sirin’s insistence that
he had found a way to the Pole of Crystal.
Certain that he could locate the Mind of the Maker,
Sirin rallied to get the Tripartite to fund another expedition
into the Reaches, promising that he would find the Godhead
and lead Yugash out of despair. The Theomachracy, recognizing
that the people would react poorly if they punished
Sirin, took him aside and tried to convince him to revise
his story, while the adjudicators suggested that if he stirred
up the people any further, he would be locked away where
they could not hear him.
Rather than backing down, Sirin embroidered divine
gear symbols on his jacket and began to preach about the
promise and hope for Yugash. Sirin proposed that the people
of Yugash hadn’t been proactive enough. They had just been
accepting survival by the gifts of Autochthon, but he surmised
that invention was the greater part of faith, doctrine, and
tools, and that it was the people’s duty to think around the
problems that tools, doctrine, and the gamble of faith-driven
expeditions into the Reaches could not solve. If there was
nothing to salvage where they were, they needed to move.
They needed go where they could survive. Autochthon, he
insisted, did not bring them to this place simply to die. The
Machine God didn’t choose people simply to throw them
away, so their demise could never be a part of his designs.
“For all our toil and prayer, we are not getting our due.
Something is wrong,” said Sirin. “So we must find the Godhead,
so that we might awaken Autochthon and ask him.”
It was not long before the regulators showed up to arrest
him, but when they did, his eyes and soulgem began to
glow, his face was all-over patterns of glowing circuits, and
he spoke in the code-language of the custodians. Sirin’s
transformation was seen by thousands of people, who had
come to listen to him talk. The regulators who had been
sent to claim him now refused to arrest him. An Alchemical
stepped in, and Sirin peacefully surrendered. But on the
back of Sirin’s revelation and subsequent display of holy tell,
his incarceration stirred a furor across Yugash. The people
began to debate Sirin’s words, and the sentiment grew ever
stronger: even if the idea of a trip to the Godhead seemed
impossible, Sirin’s words had inspired a new (and wildly
heretical) confidence in the Yugashi people. They would
serve their god by serving themselves. Only by the survival
of Yugash, could Autochthon also be saved.

Faced with the threat of riots across the nation, the
Tripartite calmed the people by recognizing the miracle
Sirin had displayed, and taking the unprecedented measure
of proposing his honorary canonization into the Theomachracy—
with the Populat on the verge of open revolt,
it was deemed less damaging to Yugash to acknowledge
the self-evident holiness of the prophet and admit that
the Luminors had mistakenly assigned him to the wrong
caste, than to have their society turned upside-down by a
Populat adventurer. Though the bending of caste boundaries
outraged traditionalist Theomachrats, this announcement
helped to restore order among the workers. When the
Tripartite announced that they were granting Sirin permission
to lead a bigger, better equipped expedition into the
Reaches, morale in Yugash skyrocketed. Production levels
rose as the Populat burned bright with new hope. Even
members of all branches of the Tripartite, and a number
of Champions found themselves enraptured by the vision
of Yugash glimpsed in the words of Sirin.
Just before the great expedition, Sirin was to be fitted
with a new soulgem in league with his new station. It was,
in theory, a simple procedure, and Sirin himself was young
and strong. So when he died in the operation, Yugash
was devastated anew. A great pall of grief settled over the
people—they felt as saddened as if they had lost a Champion
in battle with the Void. The bitter sadness turned to outrage
when the plutarchs, relieved, cancelled the expedition to the
Reaches. Riots exploded across the nation as the Populat was
suddenly convinced that Sirin had been murdered. Much
of Yugash’s remaining military and many of its regulators
joined the upheaval. Even a number of Yugash’s Champions
clashed beamklaves in the midst of the chaos. The shocking
turn of events eventually led to a great putsch by a young
and ambitious statesman named Kerok, a follower of Sirin’s
ideology, who killed or imprisoned those members of the
Tripartite who had persecuted the prophet, pinning his
murder on their heads.
From a pulpit in the chamber of the National Tripartite
Assembly hall, Kerok demanded truth and justice across Yugash,
while directing a gigantic inquisition that would turn
the nation upside down overnight. After the smoke cleared,
Kerok, his dogma heavily inspired by Sirin’s speeches, was
voted in as the new grand autocrat of Yugash. But rather
than lead the people to the Godhead, Kerok made it his
business to prepare them for an even greater sojourn—a
return to Creation.

—Compass of Celestial Directions VI: Autochthonia, pp. 32-33

The Prophet Sirin

War and Pieces DoctorLibrarian