The Unifists

Azure's picture

The fracturing of githyanki society into competing power blocs is better described as a cultural revolution than a civil war. Blood is spilled in personal duels, not battles. Still, the events following the fall of the Lich Queen are distressing to many githyanki, as they were unified like no other race. Orc tribes fight, human nation scheme, but the loyal children of Gith were all brothers in battle.

With lines being drawn between the blocs, many githyanki hearkened back to what they saw as the greatest aspect of githyanki society under Vlaakith (conveniently overlooking certain other aspects). These gith hold the banner for unification, and do all in their power to keep the githyanki people from falling apart.

The Unifists themselves are, slightly ironically, the least organized of all the power blocs. They constantly loose members to the others, when a former Unifist decides that embracing The True, or supporting the Ascension of a new queen, is the best way to unite the githyanki. This means that those Unifists who remain so for a long time are the ones who ideologically refuse to join any existing bloc. The Unifists who remain uncommitted to another bloc’s cause tend to lack power and works with smaller groups. They try to get individual members of different power blocs to work together for a common cause. They have no real leaders, or rather there are a great many leaders but none have distinguished themselves above the others to be recognized, and their efforts remain disjointed and limited in scope.

Their overall influence is a different matter. Individually not very powerful, the Unifist cause has a great influence on githyanki society as a whole. In fact, their efforts might even be credited with being the primary reason why power bloc opposition has not broken out into full-scale violence. It not just that the Heartforce and the Ascendancy each lack the forces for an assured victory over the other, but also that their leaders can’t be certain whether, when ordered to kill other githyanki, whole divisions wouldn’t revolt.

On the face of it, one might think that githyanki unity would be a difficult ideal for other power blocs to openly oppose. This is true to a degree, but the Unifists have a fatal flaw. Typically, they don’t know when to shut up. Unifists are seen as rabble-rousers and trouble makers, especially by the Heartforce and the Ascendancy. Long-term Unifists are a real burr for the Ascendancy, because they refuse to get behind their own ‘Loyalist’ power bloc. The True would have the same attitude, but they remain convinced that the Unifists will yet hearken the word of Gith and be absorbed into their own bloc.

The Heartforce have standing orders in most of their commands prohibiting unsanctioned missions, especially concerning working with other power blocs. They have cracked down hard on Unifists operating in their cities and forts. Vocal Unifists making speeches on the street often either disappear quickly or are very publicly and severely beaten. Sometimes both, but sometimes they are never seen again. A few have learned the lesson well, and now stay out of the consciousness of the Heartforce commanders, instead feeding their Unifist rhetoric to the rank-and-file in small bits.

The Unifists try to get githyanki from opposing power blocs to work together. Obviously the best way to do so is to give them a common cause, like killing illithid. The Silver Eyes very quickly realized this, and often use the Unifists as proxies and agents. If an agent of the Silver Eyes wants a team put together who have no prior history, are not likely to associate again afterward, will conduct an ‘anti-illithid’ mission with no questions asked, and then disband, she will turn to a Unifist and feed him a bit of dark and/or misinformation. However, the Eyes, like other power blocs, see Unifists as over-zealous, difficult to control, maverick rabble-rousers in general. They rarely entrust the Unifists with anything really important, so various agents instead use them for their own pet-projects. Thus, the Silver Eyes have the Unifists running all around with this and that and the other thing, which is one of the major reasons that the Unifists cannot themselves unify into a more cohesive bloc.

In addition to killing illithid, killing githzerai is something most githyanki will put their differences aside to do. It is a little surprising then that the Reconciliation and the Unifists are not in greater opposition. True, many of the actions put in motion by Unifists involve attacks against the zerth, but the Reconciliation recognizes that the Unifist ideology coincides with their own, though Reconciliation remains far more radical. Agents of the Reconciliation often try to guide the actions of Unifists in much the same way the Silver Eyes do. The difference is that they are more subtle, and less likely to underestimate the Unifists.

There are some Unifists who themselves almost accept the Reconciliation, without actively supporting their cause. They realize that githyanki society is not ready to declare an end to the Two Skies and make peace with their long-sundered kin. These few simply avoid the Sons of Zerthimon altogether, and concentrate their efforts against the illithid. Even rarer is the Unifist who supports the Reconciliation and tries to get other power bloc members to see the wisdom in attacking illithid in concert with githzerai rrakkmas.

The Cult of Tiamat exists in a large part thanks to the fracturing of githyanki society, and is often held up by Unifists as an example of the wrongness of that fracture. Many githyanki never accepted the dragon-blooded duthka’gith, nor do they accept ‘heretics’ who ally with a Power. A great many Unifists will not work with Cultists because of their active worship. (Many also wouldn’t work with ‘zerth-lovers’, but while Cultists do not hide their affiliation, the Reconciliation does, so a Unifist wouldn’t generally know who the ‘zerth-lovers’ are.)

The Cult of Tiamat courts those Unifists willing to include their members. The actions of this minority of Unifists have done much to get the Cult seen as a legitimate path in githyanki society. It is Tiamat, after all, the only Power allied with the githyanki since ancient times. Her worshipers, while not accepted by a majority of githyanki, are accepted enough to be a legitimate power bloc. The few Unifists who have accepted the aid of Cult tend to be more effective, since they can call on duthka’gith, the dragon alliance, and even wielders of priestly magic (a rare commodity).

It remains to be seen if the Unifists will be ultimately successful, or if the power bloc system has staying power. Either way, it would be fair to credit the Unifist ideology with keeping githyanki society from breaking down into a true civil war.

Zimrazim's picture
Joined: 2007-01-14
Another great article.

Another great article.


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1) Equip a bow or crossbow.
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Dunamin's picture
Joined: 2006-06-13
Seconded. Definitely


Definitely seems like the most broadly PC-appealing bloc and likely the one Du'minh in your game eventually will fall into (if I have him commit to bloc politics at all). I especially like the interplay between the Unifists and the Silver Eyes.

Azure's picture
Joined: 2006-05-17
I think I did a good job of

I think I did a good job of making them seem very fragmented.  Some won't work with dutka'gith, some will.  Some hunt zerth, some work with the Reconciliation.

Gy-Nath is obviously a Unifist, by his actions an attitudes, but he and Du'minh would make very different ones.  Du probably wouldn't work with a known Reconcilist, while Gy deals with githzerai, in Git'riban at least.

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