The Expositors of the Unspoken are traditional, dedicated and obsessive, these cultists are connected by an insatiable drive to discover secrets hidden in a lost language: the name of their god. Members of the Expositors quickly become obsessed with this mystic lexicon, coming to forsake relationships, goals and even their own well being.
Deity — Nomen Nescio
Not so much a being as a haunted language, Nomen Nescio is an Elder God that lives on the tongues of the terrible cultists that speak its language, or its corpus. It is an incomplete being, a fragmented series of sounds, letters, and associated meanings which can warp reality. Torn apart by its birth, Nomen Nescio seeks reunion with itself and with its name. It has influenced countless seekers of mystery through millennia to piece together the language, with the Expositors of the Unspoken being the most recent example. They toil in service to the language that is their god, and in the end they believe they will succeed in reuniting the Elder God with its glorious and terrible form.
Cult History & Description
The Expositors date back to 1698, when an affluent English lexicographer named David Henry Thorn first noticed bizarre commonalities between some of the ancient languages in his library. He invited six like-minded colleagues to analyze these anomalies in secret and identified the first fragments of what we now know to be Nomen Nescio, assembling them for the first time in one place.
The seven men dove hard into the study. By speaking fragments of Nomen Nescio’s language, the seven men could shape and define reality. That knowledge brought power, but came at great cost. It was one thing to speak it, but controlling its monstrous consequences was another entirely. Five of the original men died within a year of that first meeting, each death grimmer than the last. Bartholomew Christman expired a dried husk of a man—no matter how much water he drank, his body wasted away, his teeth and hair falling into his hands. Michael Nesbitt bled profusely from every orifice for several hours before his insides liquefied entirely. Dr. Alan Joveshoe locked himself in his study and crushed his own throat with his bare hands, perhaps by compulsion, perhaps desperation. William Boxer, the eldest, burst into flames at the Scala Theatre, taking half the audience and the entire cast with him. Jason Matthews, the youngest, was pulled apart, limb from limb, by unseen hands while his children watched; his widow and their children disappeared shortly after. Many believed they had gone into hiding, fearing persecution.
However Thorn, understanding the maxim “three can keep a secret if two are dead,” had the Matthews family destroyed. Fearing questions in light of the deaths, the remaining members fled to the colonies across the globe, where the British wielded cruel power. There, the Expositors of the Unspoken could study and experiment with impunity. True Knowledge was sweeter than opium, more empowering than the coca plant. The surviving members took more precautions and directed the dire consequences of their work onto the unsuspecting.
Within the Expositors of the Unspoken, the study of the society’s rules and regulations became its own major discipline. How many and how few could meet in person, the secret codes in letters, cryptic gestures when passing in the street. Once safeguards against detection by the weak-minded and religious, these societal customs have become a cultural identity for them.
Make no mistake: Nomen Nescio’s great Name wants to be found. Many minds are brighter than one, so they carefully recruit. They’ve learned to spot those who should hear about them and join their research. The official motto of the Expositors is “You Have Our Word.” The unofficial—and real–motto, though, is “Publish or Perish.” Each member is a scholar, and each scholar must submit their research within regular intervals, or they will find the protections of Nomen Nescio vanish, and it becomes acceptable for their colleagues to murder them and steal their research.
Expositor membership has waxed and waned through the years. Today only three research schools remain: The College of the Eye, the College of the Hand, and the College of the Cosmos. The Eye is comprised of the Expositors who go out into the world and seek new traces of Nomen Nescio. The Hand are the Expositors who analyze their disparate lexicon and tease out its deeper meanings and truths. The Cosmos are those who use the Word for applied research, discovering new ways to bend reality to their will.
Nomen Nescio Mythos
According to the Expositors, ‘in the Beginning was the Word.’
Something indefinite and terrible spoke the universe into creation; and all existence, and the machinery of galaxies, all matter and possibility and light went from isn’t to is. Wriggling among the wine-dark cosmic afterbirth of this universe were vast primordial entities, including Nomen Nescio. The Expositors of the Unspoken claim their God possessed ears to hear the language with which all creation was spoken into existence, and as a result a great transfiguration came upon it, and Nomen Nescio became made of words. It became a language.
Nomen Nescio, regrettably, could not withstand the incalculable potence of this gift, and so, still half-swaddled in its birthing-caul of nebulae, was torn to pieces and scattered like Osiris of myth. It disintegrated into the very concept of language, sprinkled among the tongues and scripts of mankind. Even Nomen Nescio’s glorious Name was torn from it, and lay dormant for countless eons, seemingly never to be reassembled.
This is where the Expositors of the Unspoken claim to come in. They are devoted supplicants, prostrating themselves wildly before a dead God, because its restless corpse remains present in the form of a language. Cults and occultists worshipping Nomen Nescio have labored for millennia, painstakingly researching and reassembling their God, long before the Expositors came to be. Nomen Nescio—or NN as they refer to it at times—may be dead, but its words, its phrases, its grammar: these all still pulse with unholy power. By speaking or writing them, one can shape reality itself. Material wealth? Earthly fame? An enemy of yours, blood-slick and broken, crawling on the ground trying to scream for their mother? These are only a few of the blessings Nomen Nescio confers upon those who worship it, write it and speak it.
The Expositors seek out fragments of Nomen Nescio in languages, trying to find its remaining pieces; they work to understand just which effects can be produced from the use of its words and phrases; and they analyze their existing corpus of knowledge to try to solve the great, final riddle: their God’s Name. The Expositors call it Nomen Nescio, but this is a placeholder—it’s just Latin for “I don’t know the name.” Its true Name is the most important component. Once It is reunited with the Name, the Work will be complete and the Elder God will live once more.
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