From Chrono Stars

The Iconoclasts are an interplanetary group once regarded as champions of mankind and freedom for the Ealdremen system; their stated ideals encompass notions of freedom from the effects of unnatural creatures such as verge gods and denizens of the Ravel. Among their more extreme views is that all structured religion can be traced to these "unnatural sources" and should similarly be dismantled, a view that was not as pronounced during their most public-facing years but that has become more visible with their fall from grace. They are ruthless in their approach to exterminating what they deem to be threats to their ideology and Ealdremen itself, and they are pronounced enemies to worshipers of verge gods and those that entreat with Ravel natives.

The Iconoclasts' prominence dates back to the last years of the Millennial Calm, which — in the modern era — they are by and large blamed for bringing to an end. Increasing scrutiny had fallen on the verge gods of Ealdremen, particularly 51-8: Coil, and their perceived threat to Ealdremen, its life, and its future. Verge gods' very presence would warp environments and people around them, often with devastating and irreversible outcomes; as a result, many viewed the idea of a "harmless verge god" as an oxymoron. The Iconoclasts, which had cut their teeth on the extermination of creatures from the Ravel that made their way into real space, set their sights on killing verge gods and liberating Ealdremen from this perceived threat, and generally anti-religious sentiments and fears of verge gods among the public opinion enabled the Iconoclasts' rise to power.

The Iconoclasts are known to have killed the verge god 01-4: Lambency and attempted to also kill 51-8: Coil and 48-5: Pursuer; in the latter two cases, it is unclear how successful they were, as evidence suggests the two verge gods still exist in some capacity. Verge gods that have been missing since the Watershed are sometimes thought to have been attributed to the Iconoclasts, but public opinion of them generally being negative has resulted in them being less outspoken about their accomplishments, real or otherwise.

As of 4364 CGC, the Iconoclasts are still extant, but their future hangs in tenuous balance as various political powers pressure one another to label the Iconoclasts as a threat to national peace and imprison affiliated individuals. In particular, territories controlled by the Nazdrovie Pact are split with most territories more closely connected to Sigzlorian faiths and traditions viewing the Iconoclasts as reprehensible terrorists, but Beynid regions, which tend to look down on religions and their zealots, are often more inclined to be sympathetic to the Iconoclasts' goals. This divide is a major point of contention between otherwise-strong allies, and there is evidence that the Iconoclasts, in their political gambits against the Nazdrovie Pact-affiliated Sallow Eyes that seek to exterminate them, may be stoking the flames behind the scenes.

Leadership and hierarchy

During the Millennial Calm, the Iconoclasts were led by their founder, Creed Garvensola, and were regimented akin to a military operation with Garvensola as the undisputed leader, though she had close advisors. There was little official hierarchy beyond individuals having particular positions of authority and power according to their proximity to Garvensola's affairs.

Following the Watershed and the Iconoclasts' loss of public favor, they became increasingly militarized in small groups euphemistically called "societies". A given society is regimented by rank, and they typically coordinate with one another, though leaders of a single society have little power over another one unless their own leader chooses to enforce it as such.

Depending on their size, societies are led by one to three individuals known as Etán, a word borrowed from the Beynid language Ralarré meaning inspired leader; in a symbolic severing of their old life, an Etán will cast off their names and individual identities and are collectively known as Etán even in conversation, and members of the Iconoclasts are expected to treat them as a single person even if a single society has multiple Etán. Etán of different societies are usually not symbolically treated as one individual, and they may be euphemistically called by some other descriptor to denote them from one's own Etán, such as by the location their society resides in. Beneath the Etán are their counsel, officially known as "advisors to Etán" or simply "advisors," and it is common for an especially prominent Etán to have bodyguards that also tend to be esteemed members of their society. While an Etán has the final say on matters, it is common for Etán in smaller societies especially to govern more by consensus.

Non-leadership roles among the Iconoclasts are classified by ranks determined by merit and acts of service to the Iconoclasts. These ranks often confer privileges and unofficial prestige and positions of power to those of higher ranks, though they do not always transfer across societies due to being based, at least in part, on the decisions of an Etán whose governance does not extend past their own society. In societies where voting is done, ranks might bequeath more "voting power" to a given individual. These ranks do not have specific names and are numbered, with higher numbers indicating a superior rank, but areas with highly militarized cultures, especially in regions related to the Alamír Empire, may use military ranks in addition to numbers and refer to one another with such titles.

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