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The Womiyu

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Image:Scroll2.png "When the Speakers come for you, be happy, for they come with punishment, they come with words. But when the Silencers come, be afraid, for they have nothing more to say."
- High Listener Tyln

There are three arms in Alvadas—three forces, each of them acting on behalf of one corner of the Triad. Their purposes are varied, and individually none can maintain the peace of the city, and so the Triad is forced to act in tandem, to compromise and rule together, though their compromises are very rarely happy ones.

The three arms together are known as the Womiyu, and they have existed in some form since Alvadas’ first days. The Arms of Alvadas are the three great pillars that the city relies on to keep the peace, to keep their secrets and to keep them safe from harm.



Without the Listeners, the Triad would be deaf to the city’s heartbeat, blind to its diseases and blemishes; they keep their ears to the ground and watch the city. They are the sort of people Alvads meet every day; the girl who curtsies at the door and asks to borrow butter, the puppeteer followed by a gaggle of children in the streets and more. They move quietly through the city, transparent and invisible in their normality, gathering information. They are no one and they are everyone. Without the Listeners the Speakers would never know whose ears most needed their guidance, and the Silencers would never know what noises grew too loud.

But the Listeners do not act; their purpose is to gather news into one place where it might be used to further the cause of the city. The task of correcting falls to the Speakers—their duty to bring the misguided into the public eye and sing their mistakes in front of the people of Alvadas. They host public events for everything, shame the misguided in front of their friends and neighbors so they know to never betray the trust of Alvadas again. They patrol the streets, but they are as much singers of propaganda as enforcers of the law. The public face of Alvadas; they ensure the safety of the city; they set those who have wandered astray back on the right path.

And the Silencers are keepers of lost things, of ancient secrets and power, and the ones called forward when the Speakers cannot change the course of a life. They are mortals, but they are also Alvadas’ pet monsters, and everybody knows it.


While there are variations in the details, each of the Arms follows the same chain of command, borrowing its structure from the old wagon circles from which the Womiyu were born.

Each respective arm obeys its corner of the Triad completely, but the Azure Triangle is only mortal, and delegation of power is necessary for them to attend to all the needs of the city and their arms. The highest authority within the Womiyu apart from the Triad are the High Hands; it is the hands that decide what is worth the Triad’s time and who handle the basic everyday difficulties of maintaining order in the Arms of Alvadas.

Of these five the most important is the Highest—one among each of the High whose responsibility is to attend to their corner of the Triad at all times and be certain that their will is carried out.


There is a constant conflict between the Silencers and Speakers over the law—it is not a consistent thing, it has never been consistent. The law of the Alvadas is debated around the tables, between the High Hands of the Speakers and Silencers every day. The Speakers wish for more spectacles, more shows for the public to see and visit and laugh and sing and dance in, and so they are drawn to the pointless tasks, to the easy targets, to Alvads they believe might reform rather than take revenge, while the Silencers take whatever they can get, whenever they can get it, for they do good working in clearing the trash from Alvadas. Some even wish that all the trash could be dealt with at the same way, at the first offense.

Each of them want as many cases, as many arrests or assassinations as they can get their hands on, but while the Speakers do not wish to touch the dangerous cases the Silencers thrive in danger. If the Speakers believe, or are talked into believing, that a person is too dangerous, then the project may very well be granted to the Silencers. All Alvads are aware of this—the harmless citizens are punished, the dangerous ones are killed. The crime itself, unless it is especially severe, has little bearing on the consequence.

When a crime is given to the Speakers the actual severity of the crime has only a nebulous influence on the punishment. A Speaker finds ways to entertain the crowd first, and punish criminals second. They wish to keep the shows new and exciting every time, and their punishments are creative and humiliating, always. The choice in punishment itself is left to individual team of Speakers, and they are always in contest to outstrip the other teams.

If a man or woman is declared guilty and given into the Speaker’s care, they are forbidden from killing. But apart from that? Anything goes.


The symbol of the Womiyu united is an inverted triangle made in semblance of a mouth, with lips and teeth lining the right and left lines of the triangle. In front of the mouth is a finger raised in a gesture of hushing, and suspended on either side of the triangle are two ears, shaped like inverted triangles themselves.

The Womiyu
Listeners · Silencers · Speakers