Sigils and Houses: A Primer
Hello friends! In this document we’ll be going over the process for joining Great Houses and acquiring sigils from gods and discussing what to expect.
What do we look for?
In general, you should expect that any time you are logged into the game, your interactions with the game world and other players alike may be seen and responded to by an immortal. This is especially true when applying for either one of the Great Houses or a god’s sigil. You should comport yourself accordingly, with a mind that the gods are literally watching.
Beyond that, what we are most interested in are characters that are a part of the world of Avendar, with backgrounds and goals that fit within and work with rather than against the setting. We look for both consistency and signs that you have taken the time to understand the role you wish to play, and also make attempts to engage with both other player characters as well as NPCs who are, after all, part of the world as well.
Another thing to consider is that quests and personal plotlines take time and effort that we want to expend on people who are in turn taking the time and making an effort. Nothing is more discouraging than sketching out a quest for a character only to have them abandon it without a word the moment it becomes difficult. We know real life happens, so if that is the case please communicate with us. Likewise, if you are confused about something that has been asked of your character, feel free to ask for clarification. Understand as well that if you have an established pattern of abandoning your characters or their questlines that we will feel less inclined to indulge them.
Qualifying for a Great House
Houses are organizations of mortals and semi-mortals with the backing of one or more divinities. When dealing with a House, it helps to remember that the character you are interacting with is not only a representative of that House and their agenda, but that Houses have internal politics and the character that speaks to yours may well have agendas of their own. All Houses will expect you to show some basic respect for both the House itself and the ideals it embodies, but none will expect simpering, undying loyalty before you even join. Beyond that, different Houses will have different expectations of applicants and members alike, and in turn their application processes may be different or more or less difficult or time-consuming.
When writing your application, try treating it like a cover letter; at a minimum, your character should introduce themselves, outline why they are interested in membership, explain their short and long term goals, and offer some reasons the House wants to have them as a member. Be as specific as you’re able and try to sell yourself. You are asking this House to invest you with power and status; show them why they should want to do that. We also strongly advise reading the webpage and help documents for some pointers and outlines about the House, its history, its goals, and what it expects of members. Coming into an interview ignorant of what is expected of you is not insurmountable, but will not be very impressive.
Qualifying for Sigils
When we consider whether to grant a sigil, we look for characters that are a part of the world and which, in some way, live by the precepts of the god they have chosen to follow and are in turn seeking recognition from. The followers of a single god can be incredibly diverse and even (or often!) at odds with other worshipers of the same god, so this can potentially cover a wide range of potential behaviors, and it is entirely reasonable that your character may only actively pursue one or two of that god’s focuses at a time. Finally, some gods are notoriously harder to gain the attention of than others, and will require a grander or more detailed investment. Either way, it should be clear from their behavior and their goals as expressed in play that they are invested in this god’s values and agenda. To that end we highly recommend reading both the help documents and the website to gain a better understanding of the god you are interested in.
If you apply for a sigil and we never see your character actually doing anything to further that god’s agenda or abide by that god’s values, or never even speaking of that god to others, we are unlikely to consider your character a good sigil candidate. Consider it from an in-character perspective: a sigil is a sign not only that a god recognizes you as an exemplar of some aspect of that god’s portfolio, but it shows that they have entrusted you in some fashion with carrying out their will. It is an investment of power that they — regardless of alignment — expect to see a return on. Your character’s job is to show them that they are a good investment.
Finally, please take note of which gods are marked as works in progress (see “help deities”); if you are interested in one of these gods, we highly encourage you to reach out for more details before investing yourself too much just in case the angle you are interested in is not one we are keeping. There is literally nothing we love more than talking about gods to an interested party so reaching out for information is in no way an imposition.
The majority of both House and sigil processes will begin with an application, which is to say a note from your character to the House or god in question — PLEASE include Immortal in the ‘to’ line, as we will not see it if you don’t! It is possible to be recognized by a god or House absent an application in extremely rare and exceptional circumstances but it will be much harder to garner their attention in this way, so please do not count on this happening.
When we receive an application, staff will review the request as a group and the staff member responsible for or interested in that House or god will take point on proceeding. This generally first involves an observation period where we attempt to feel your character out and see how you are trying to project the role you are seeking. Following that, there will generally be a meeting of some kind with a representative of the House or god in question. In many cases this will be a multi-step process with quests and tasks involved. This process will often include pushback; please do not take this, or even failure, as discouragement. Be willing to have your character be ignorant, confused, or even fail; this does not mean there is an OOC problem, it only means there is a barrier your character must overcome, and we are interested in seeing how you do that and respond to setbacks. After all, a story where the protagonist never fails at anything isn’t very interesting.
It is extremely helpful when sending in an application if you also include an OOC note either appended to the letter (OOC in brackets is fine) or via Discord DM some notes about the times when you are available. This will help us with scheduling an appointment and blocking out enough time to actually meet with your character.
God touches may be bought at chargen and do not have strict roleplay requirements. We understand that some god touches have significant mechanical incentives and we will not penalize those who take a touch on that basis; on the contrary, we encourage people to take them and have fun with them. However, while it is not expected that you necessarily follow that god or their values — a god’s touch may ICly indicate nothing more than a passing interest, after all — consistently roleplaying in a manner that is at odds with the values of that god may result in a touch being removed. If this happens the trains spent on that touch will not be refunded. Additionally, please understand that having a god touch is in no way a fast-track to a sigil and taking one on character creation does not make you more likely to receive a sigil later, nor do you need to have a god touch to be considered for a sigil later on.
Conversely, god touches may be changed or awarded to PCs who do not yet have one through the same kind of consistent roleplay we expect of sigil-seekers, regardless of whether they explicitly apply for one. As the powers and in-character implications of a god touch are much lower stake, the expectations will not be quite as strict as they would be for a sigil, but without investing trains there will still be an expectation of a higher standard of roleplay.
That’s it for now! If you have any questions about the Houses, gods, or the application process, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us in-game by sending a note to immortal or poking us on Discord. Thank you!