Monday, July 22, 2013

The Imperial Sibyls

Art by Juan Ochoa

The star-prophetesses known as the Sibyls have been active throughout the galaxy since ancient times. The Sibyls have played an important role in many civilizations as prophets and advisers to sovereigns. The leaders of each of the successive states leading to the Empire - the Star League, the Instrumentality, the Vorpal Core, the Lesser and Greater Arrays, The Commonality, and the various Comet Nations - have benefited from the prophesies of the Sibyls. At least when they have listened, interpreted, and acted-on the Sibyls' prophesies wisely.

A Sibyl's powers of prophesy come at a great cost. All Sibyls have been extensively modified. This starts with the Mind Hatch at the crown of their shaved heads. The Mind Hatch opens onto a brain that integrates both alien tissue and machine parts with the Sibyl's native brain structure.

The Sibyl's modified brain includes an Oracle Core which is nearly indestructible. The Oracle Core processes and records the Sibyl's supersensory data, and serves as a back-up recording of their raw experience and prophesies which can be retrieved from the Sibyl's body upon their death. There is of course a black market in Oracle Cores; the possession of such items outside the ranks of the Sibyline orders in considered a capital offense by most governments.

A Sibyl's head is surrounded by a Psi-Orrery, a nimbus of advanced psi-sensors and quantum potentiometers. These devices help the Sibyls to plug into galactic-level psychic currents and tap the Probabilities. This is the material basis for the Sibyl's prophetic powers. The designs of the Avatar of Paradox, the AI pilots who can navigate the whorls and eddies of hyperspace with ease, appear to emulate these Sibylline abilities, albeit within the more narrow context of solving complex navigational problems in hyperspace.

Sibyls prefer to live in communities of their kind. The largest number of Sibyls within imperial space is on the Red Moon, which orbits the chtonic machine world of the Eagle King on Altair IV. Some 500 Sibyls reside there. The world is invisible in normal space, as it orbits Altair IV from the 10th or highest enumeration of hyperspace.

The distant coreward homeworld of the Ketherines is the first and longest extant community of the Sibylline Order. It is also one of the four Galactic Cardinal Points. The Ketherine world is called Red Shell; it is a bulwark against the expansion of the galactic Anti-Consciousness, the entity lurking in the depths of the Galactic Core. Some Nexialists conjecture that the root of Sibylline prophetic power is their ability to channel raw sensory data from Probabilities collapsing into the Anti-Consciousness.

The Sibylines' only response to this speculation was Prophesy:

Beyond Measure,
Above the Crown of
Time and Space Itself
Unceasing, Faithful
A Font of Insight
A Well Reversed
Upon Itself



Imperial Sibyl

  • High Concept: Star-prophetess from the Red Moon
  • Trouble: Mind Hatch hides a treasure
  • Aspect: Adviser to the Imperial Sovereign
  • Aspect: Crowned by a Psi-Orrery
  • Aspect: Alien flesh and machines
  • Careful: +3
  • Clever: +2
  • Flashy: +2
  • Forceful: +0
  • Quick: +1
  • Sneaky: +1
  • The Gift of Prophesy: +2 to Flashy Approach to pronounce a prophesy based on one of the Probabilities: what may or might happen, what has happened, what will happen, etc.
  • Oracle Core: A Sibyl has perfect recall of her supersensory perceptions and oracular prophesies.
  • Psychic Currents: +2 to Careful Approach to tap into the galactic-level psychic currents (the thoughts of godlike entities, Jupiter Brains, etc.).


  1. I like it. A bit of Dune, a bit of Jodorowsky, but totally its own thing.

    1. Thanks, Trey! I have been noodling on the Sibyls for a while, but Juan's art helped me ideate a few new ideas: the Mind Hatch, the Oracle Core, and the Psi-Orrery.