An iconography is a popular conception that Saeculars hold about the mathic world. The self-imposed separation of the avout makes it difficult for Saeculars to understand the discipline lives within the concents, so they often resort to caricatures drawn from literature and entertainment.
That separation also makes it difficult for the avout to understand the culture of the Saecular world, which can prove dangerous during Apert when they venture outside the concent walls. Iconographies can also spark civil unrest and lead to a Sack. This makes it necessary for avout to study various iconographies and the role they have played in shaping historical events.
Iconography is a subject of semiotics, here represented by Syntactic Faculties and Semantic Faculties. Those incapable of abstraction, incapable of separating icon-symbol from meaning are restricted to their iconic or iconographic reality.
Iconographies clearly connected to earth stereotypes[edit | edit source]
- Doxian Iconography: Derived from the characters of a starship captain and his second-in-command in a moving picture serial. In this icongraphy, the second-in-command's intellect proves useful to the crew but also hobbles him emotionally, which is what makes him subordinate to his more passionate captain. The Earth equivalent of the Doxian Iconography is the "Spock Stereotype".
- Muncostran Iconography: An "eccentric, lovable, disheveled theorician, absent-minded, means well" Saunt Muncoster, a theor of the late Praxic Age who worked on relativity. The Earth equivalent of the Muncostran Iconography is the "Einstein Stereotype".
- Temnestrian Iconography: A two-part iconography. In the first part, avout are portrayed as clownish, almost child-like, in the pursuit of useless knowledge. In the second part, this apparently innocent degeneracy leads to the corruption of unsuspecting Saeculars. This is the oldest iconography, named after The Cloud-weaver, a satirical play by the Ethran playwright Temnestra. The Earth equivalent would be a "Socrates Stereotype". The Cloud-weaver resembles The Clouds by Aristophanes (which is a negative portrayal of Socrates). Note that Socrates was put to death for "corrupting the Athenian youth" after some of his early students became part of a tyrranical dicatatorship and later fell from power, but early in his life he was mostly considered a harmless pest.
- Yorran Iconography: Derived from Yorr, who is "identified as a theorician, but if you see how he actually spends his time, he’s really more of a praxic. He has turned green from working with chemicals, and he has a tentacle sprouting from the back of his skull. Always wears a white laboratory smock. Criminally insane. Always has a scheme to take over the world." On Earth this fits a classic comic book villain. Possibly a "Lex Luthor Sterotype" would be closest, where the weird head feature of Luthor is baldness rather than a tentacle?
Iconographies whose connections involve more interpretation[edit | edit source]
- Rhetorian Iconography: Probably connected to the Rhetors, who grew out of Procian lines of thinking. On Arbre, this may connect to poorly defined fears of Polycosmic Manipulation, but the name also suggests distrust of people who are especially skilled at speaking, which might connect to a "Slick Talker Stereotype" on Earth. More likely connected to the Platonic view of Sophists. Socrates, during his trial, was accused by a group of people with this attitude towards him, claiming he had corrupted the youth and taugh them to "make the weaker argument the stronger."
- Baudan Iconography: Portrays avout as frauds living in luxury at the expense of the common man.
- Klevan Iconography: Portrays avout as wise men who can solve all of the Saecular problems.
- Moshianic Iconography: A hybrid of the Klevan and Penthabrian Iconographies. It portrays avout as people who will exit the concents and usher in a new age of enlightenment. This iconography tends to peak around Centennial and Millennial Aperts. The name comes from the Earth culture word "moshiach", meaning "anointed one", which is the origin of the term "Messiah".
- Pendarthan Iconography: Portrays fraas as emasculated, high-strung, meddling know-it-alls who just don't understand the world, and are contrasted with the more masculine Saeculars, whom they always lose out to.
- Penthabrian Iconography: Portrays avout as guardians of mystical secrets handed down from Cnoüs himself, and portrays theorics as a smokescreen to disguise the truth from everyone else.
- Dravicular Iconography: Portrays avout as kidnappers of children.
- Brumasian Iconography: Portrays the average avout as being pure-hearted in their search for truth and wish to inform the world, and that they have discovered something of immense import (such as the existence of God) that they want to share with the world, but that there is a grand conspiracy in the Mathic world that prevents the truth from being spread.