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Fraternity of Weavers

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The Fraternity of Weavers is an ancient secret society of assassins whose weapons are Fate itself. The mission of the Fraternity is to preserve the balance of the world by eliminating those who are predicted by the "Loom of Fate" to disturb this balance and cause harm. The code of the Fraternity is "kill one, save a thousand."

OriginEdit

Almost all mythologies and beliefs of the world contain images and symbols of weaving. The Primordial Great Weaver is the creator of the universe, weaving on his Loom of Life the fates of all that exists. All the goddessess of Fortune and Time are spinners and weavers. The Weaver is also the Cosmic Spider, who weaves the thread of life from his own substance, attaching to himself via umbilical cord all the world's people and intertwining them into the web of the world's designs. Thus the thread of the Great Weaver is the umbibilical cord that connects man with his Creator and his own fate, intertwining him into the design and fabric of Creation.

The warp represents a vertical view of Creation, connecting all levels of existence, the qualitative essence of things, the unchanging and the permanent, the male, the active and the straightforward, the light of the sun. The weft is horizontal; it is nature itself in time and space, the quantitative side, the accidental and the temporary, the ever-changing and the impermanent, the human condition, the material, the female and passive, the reflected light of the moon.

The Fraternity of Weavers is related to the ancient Weavers - the Cathars. They have kept alive the secret knowledge of reading the fabric in the Loom of Fate. Like some of their predecessors, they regard matter as evil and sinful. The Fraternity accepts the belief that, when committing sin, taking it upon himself, a man cleanses the world of sin, and that in relation to matter - crimes are allowed. They consider themselves "chosen." The Weavers of 11th century thought of themselves as successors of Christ, and as a result of that, endowed themselves with the rights to judge and to rule. The Fraternity also assumes these rights.

Fighting TechniquesEdit

The members of the Fraternity of Weavers, are keepers of traditions and esoterica that would otherwise have been lost to history. Some of this wisdom comes from the Cathars (also known as Tixerands or Weavers), their spiritual ancestors. The Way of the Weavers incorporates the teachings of many other cultures and eras, from the martial arts and spiritual tenets of the ancient East to the technology of 21st century warfare. By distilling the great traditions of the world, their tools and techniques surpass any prior system of knowledge.

The ability to curve an arrow around an obstacle or bend a bullet's path does not arise from magic. It comes from an inherent ability which is then honed by constant practice. When a Weaver shoots, they must flick their wrist at the instance of the shot, and then follow through with their arm toward the direction they are aiming the bullet. By turning their arm, they "lead" the bullet to the target. This is because what you do in the present moment depends on what you do in the moment following it. For instance, when tennis players are trained, they are not only taught how to hit the ball, but also how they should follow-through with their arm after the hit. That, in particular, determines the technique of the hit. The moment of the hit in tennis, as in a fight, is an instant, and you control it from the future. In effect, the success of the shot flows from the future into the present. The same thing in bowling - the person who has already sent the ball into the lane still continues to follow it with his body, as if there remains a connection between him and the ball even after the throw. Likewise, the Fraternity trains its fighters to follow through after releasing an arrow or pulling a trigger. With this, a fighter has an array of advantages over an opponent, including the use of ricochets and deflections.

Weaver can stop an enemy's bullets by deflecting them with theirs. They can shoot a bullet, then shoot a second time from a second gun to make the bullet catch up to the first and change its direction, causing it to go behind corners or other hard to reach places.

Although Weavers can use these techniques with virtually any weapon, the curving effects can be enhanced by custom-made ammunition and by combining bullets and guns of different calibers.

SymbolsEdit

The symbol of the Fraternity of Weavers is the Bee. To reflect that inner change, a newly inducted member of the Fraternity must allow their body to be tattooed. For the Fraternity, each tattoo has specific meaning and historical significance. These tattoos constitute a complex system of symbols with origins dating back centuries. Some commemorate important events or orders. To those who are able to decipher their meaning, a Weaver's tattoos reveal detailed and secret information. When a new Weaver is initiated, they receive a special gun with the design of the tattoo on their hand. They must use that weapon to carry out the ritual assassinations that are ordered by the Loom of Fate.

All Fraternity bullets are engraved with ancient designs. The engraving on each bullet is not only symbolic of the Fraternity's heritage, it has a practical purpose as well. The lines etched in the bullet casings augment the ammunition's ballistic properties, affecting trajectory and speed. The engravings also serve as identification, so the craftsman who dispatched the message can be recognized.

Abilities and TrainingEdit

Looking like very regular people outwardly, Weavers in reality possess great physical abilities, often hereditary. They are not superpeople, but they can expand the possibilities of their bodies at will. They do not study for years some special combat techniques or acrobatics - their main asset is the ability to mobilize the reserves of the organism at a crucial moment.

In a necessary instant, Weavers can turn on a special mechanism, entering Battle (or Assassin) Mode - augmenting human physical abilities. To enter Battle Mode, they learn to awaken and mobilize the resources of the body at critical moments. Battle Mode is not a supernatural phenomenon. When they enter this mode, their heart rates increase to upwards of 400 beats per minute, sending an overload of adrenaline through their bloodstream. Being in Battle Mode, they possess an enhanced receptivity - allowing them to see and react a hundred times faster than regular people. Sight, hearing, and other senses are also amplified dramatically. They are able to pinpoint the sound of a gun-lock or a trigger amongst the noises of a city at great distances. They can see far, have very advanced peripheral vision, and are very receptive to movement.

In contrast to the Fraternity's weapons training, Battle Mode is not teachable. These abilities are hereditary. Although they can be honed, they cannot be acquired by an average person. To enter Battle Mode, Weavers do not so much train to perform special stunts and techniques, but learn to awaken and to use the abilities of the organism. This includes surviving extreme obstacles and brutal ordeals, putting them on the edge of life and death, or forcing them to withstand pain, exhaustion.

These physiological changes also block typical pain responses, an effect that has both positive and negative consequences. Even in Battle Mode, based on the situation, Weavers could receive bodily or psychological harm of varying degrees, even as far death. In Battle Mode, a fighter can continue far past the threshold at which a normal body would shut down through loss of consciousness. This means that a fighter in Battle Mode is far more susceptible to permanent injury or even death.

Weaving in HistoryEdit

The thread of life, spun by the Almighty or Great Weaver, combines the two principles of creation. These two principles are counterbalances that keep the universe in harmony. They are known by many names and expressed in many ways: yin and yang, light and dark, male and female.

The Great Weaver spins the thread of life with a celestial distaff and spindle. Gestating the raw fiber until it is spun, the distaff manifests the female principle, while the rod-like spindle express the male.

As in nature, both distaff and spindle, female and male, also contain their own complements. A spinning distaff is built upon a physical staff, as the word "distaff" is built upon the masculine root "staff." Even today "distaff" in thoroughbred racing refers to the maternal lineage. Likewise, the spindle expresses the feminine by its rotation, collecting a sphere of thread on its vertical axis.

To appreciate how deeply masculine and feminine archetypes permeate history and culture, consider our system of mathematics, all of which is built on a binary foundation of 1s and 0s. In addition to expressing their mathematical utility, the two symbols themselves suggest the male and female principles of the phallus and the womb.

The dependencies between the masculine and the feminine are integral to the philosophy of the Weavers. They call themselves the Fraternity of the Weavers, but they are more properly a brethren or blood alliance. Throughout history legendary Weavers were male and female, as they are today.

Since pen first touched papyrus, nearly every culture's folklore has included tales, myths, and figures related to weaving. One of the most ancient of these figures is the Egyptian goddess Neith, whose hieroglyph resembles a loom. More than 5,000 years ago, Egyptians considered Neith to be the deity who wove the world into being on her loom. The Egyptian roots for weaving and being are both nnt, from which Neith derives.

In Greek mythology, even Zeus feared the three Moirae (or Fates), who controlled the life and death of every mortal and immortal. The three Moirae were Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos. Clotho spun the thread of life from her distaff onto her spindle; Lachesis measured the thread of life; and Atropos chose the manner of a person's death by cutting the thread of life.

The connection to the Fates of Greek mythology continues to this day via the French word moire, which is a type of textile, and the moire effect, an optical effect when two grids are woven together. Moire and other patterns are important to the Fraternity as messages can often be hidden and divined within the weave.

The CatharsEdit

Much of what the world knows about the Cathars is incomplete, or worse, at odds with their real faith. Untruths have spread through the centuries. The erosive effect of history on human memory accounts for some of this. Other untruths are more properly called disinformation intended to obscure the real nature and mission of the Cathars. As spiritual descendents of the Cathars, the Fraternity of Weavers has sworn to uphold their beliefs, keep their secrets, and defend their name when necessary.

The Cathars believe there is a spark of divine light within every human being. However, this light is inescapably corrupted by the physical world. The physical and spiritual are thus woven together into the garment of human existence and the fabric of the world. At one level, the garment is frayed and filthy with the pollution of the material world. This is why, like the Cathars before them, members in the Fraternity wear the most unassuming clothes in public. To the masses, many might appear to be average, ordinary, or even pathetic. Yet within the fabric of this world there is the possibility for transcendence through awareness, preparation, and absence of fear.

From the beginning of Catharism, the church made attempts to suppress it. History records that the persecution resulted from heresy, a break from papal doctrines. This is true, but it is also incomplete. To the low minds of the church, what the Cathars practiced was heresy. However, it was much more than that. The knowledge and faith of the Cathars was a sea eating at the rotten foundation of the church. Within a decade, the beliefs of a few hundred were shared by a few hundred thousand. Within a century, what began in a small village was spilling down the Alps toward Rome. What followed then was 35 years of persecution and war. The ebb and flow of this conflict is of little importance. The Cathars were a peaceful order facing a diabolical enemy, and the outcome of the physical battle was never in doubt. The Cathars' enemy was one that, by their own accounting, could put 20,000 to death in a single day, regardless of rank, age, or sex.

The last known defenders of the faith walked out of the Cathar fortress of Montsgur on March 16, 1244 and delivered themselves to their enemy. Wearing their ceremonial garments and jewelry for the first and only time in front of their foes, these 200 men and women descended the slope of Montsgur. While singing and rejoicing, they then walked calmly onto funeral pyres at the stroke of noon. After the fires subsided, enemy soldiers sifted the ashes for gold, silver, and jewels, while others stormed the fortress to loot it. Yet the ashes yielded nothing, and the fortress was empty. Instead of defeat and extermination, that hour at Montsgur saw the Cathar's greatest victory, and the Fraternity of Weavers celebrates its anniversary to this day.

Cathar is widely claimed to derive from the Greek word katharoi meaning "the pure." More accurately, this term is used for the inner circle of Cathars, also known as the Elect. Although the Weavers of the 11th century referred to each other as bonnes hommes and bonnes femmes (good men and good women), they also endowed themselves with the rights to judge and rule, and they believed they were responsible for the ultimate salvation of all human beings. The modern Fraternity of Weavers assumes these rights as well.

The Loom of FateEdit

A massive loom was one of the Cathars greatest treasures at Montsegur. The loom filled most of a cathedral hall, yet like their other riches, it too vanished on March 16, 1244 when the Cathars left the fortress. This loom was one of five similar looms, spread throughout the continents and guarded by other Fraternities.

The legend of these looms includes their seemingly mystical capabilities. The loom of Montsegur was referred to as the Metier a tisser de Destin or Loom of Fate. Certain Cathars could read encoded messages in the patterns of a fabric woven by the Loom. The loom revealed their hidden enemies and secret allies, and it foretold the rise and fall of the Cathars themselves. Thus, the Cathars surrendered willingly to their enemies because they knew it was their destiny.

Mathematics is built on two numerals--0 and 1. The symbols themselves suggest the complementary principles so often found in the world, such as good and evil. These numbers are mathematical stand-ins for the most eternal archetypes. Weaving also manifests the binary principles of 0 and 1 through the warp and the weft. In a perfectly woven fabric, the weft and warp create an alternating pattern resembling a checkerboard or perfect matrix of 0s and 1s. It is possible to view the Loom of Fate as the world's first computer, encoding language in the binary patterns it produced in a weave.

When a loom produces defects, such as a knot or missed stitch, the perfect matrix of 0s and 1s is disrupted. The decoding technique involves converting the weave into a long string of 0s and 1s, removing the "correct" regions of the sequence, and stringing the imperfections together. Rather than the symmetrical "...01010101..." of a perfect weave, the resultant string would resemble something like "...11010111...".

Since the Loom of Fate operated on a binary principle like a computer, the Cathars developed a translation key sufficient to represent letters, numbers, symbols, and other characters. Today, the Fraternity of Weavers continues this legacy by deciphering names produces by the Loom of Fate. They are the names of people who Fate itself has decreed must be killed as a necessity to maintain balance in the world. This upholds the Fraternity of Weavers' overarching tenant of maintaining stability in an unstable world.

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