Thoth

Former member of the Heliopolitan Pantheon, Thoth is traditionally known as the scribe, or the custodian of all knowledge. He has now become a Consul, a prestigious position at Teotihuacan, in which he is Cartaphilus’ inside man. Where Cartaphilus works from the outside as the voice in the wilderness, Thoth is already working from within, inside the system. While Cartaphilus is more dramatic – he works from outside-in, while Thoth works from the inside out, behind the scenes – they both share the same sense for reform.

Witty, clever, constantly punctuating his remarks with a theatrical flourish, Thoth can make even the most routine events seem exciting. His attentive and elegant ways is necessary for traveling in such esteemed social circles, among the heads of pantheons and other ambassadors at Teotihuacan. He knows far too much about every god of repute, and has the knack of saying the right thing.

Regarding manipulation, Thoth is peerless; nobody is as sophisticated socially, as suave or polished. Thoth’s chief attribute is persuasion – the ability to create an enterprise and recruit others to the project, inspire them with confidence – enables him to maneuver others according to his designs.

Engaging, Thoth appears to have empathy skills, but that is due to his perceptive ability to read others’ faces and observe body language. He is extremely hypersensitive to the tiniest nonverbal cues that indicate an attitude.

He sells audiences with nerves of steel, always keeps a lookout for signs of assent o dissent. Easily wins over people, Thoth is always exhilarated by working close to edge. His hard nosed approach made him a capable troubleshooter or negotiator. Thoth is peerless as an entrepreneur but has little patience for traditions or moral niceties, concerned with the bottom line.

Charming and confident, Thoth is often carrying out a hilarious repartee with others, a bottomless bag of quips, anecdotes and jokes. Despite living in the moment, dangerously, he doesn’t allow anyone to get really close to him.

Thoth, as the former Egyptian god of writing, is a master with words. He picks words for their ability to suggest, insinuate, hypnotize, elevate or infect. His words are a powerful and sensual distraction, almost a narcotic. He does not use language to just communicate or supply information, but to persuade, cajole, flatter, stir emotions, etc. He knows that it is the form, never the content, that matters. Audiences do not pay attention to what he says or write, but how the words make them feel.

His concerns are long-term, and when he speaks during crises it is often to defuse tensions and buy himself some time in the short-term. He keeps his cool in times of crises, rarely concerned with ceremony or justifying his actions.

Thoth does not lie; he beguiles with seductive oratory and intoxicate them with words. He does not speak to express his feelings, or pronounce the truth, but produce an effect.

Most gods are conceited enough to talk about themselves and use words to express their feelings, ideas and opinions. Of course the most interesting person is one’s own self, but this is also limits one’s potential. In order to persuade or inspire effectively, it is not the words or the tone of voice, but a radical shift of perspective.

A master at managing the desire to speak his mind, Thoth always asks himself before he speaks: what will have the most pleasant effect? In other words, Thoth flatters the audience’s ego, assuage their insecurities and sympathize with their travails, and presents vague hopes for the future. When he starts with something pleasant, that lowers the listener’s defenses, and turn them amenable and open to suggestion. He always keeps his language vague and ambiguous, which allows the imagination of the listener to fill in the gaps.

The city of gods, Teotihuacan, despite its glamor, has become hopelessly dysfunctional due to a monolithic bureaucracy, bogged down by its outdated organization, inadequate channels and incompetent members. The majority of the members of this bureaucracy are afflicted with monstrous egos, always imposing their way. “Business as usual,” they establish power bases, carry on petty feuds, and maintain wasteful projects. There is little to no communication between agencies, bloated with an excess of redundant positions.

Early on in his career, Thoth kept tabs on potential reformers so he could replace the apathetic incumbents with handpicked and trained gods. They were generally ambitious progressives with ideas of reform; they took initiative and spoke their minds. He has been positioning his proteges in the system, and consequently they spread his ideals and methods. Slowly, but surely, the useless incumbents are being eliminated, and the entire system is being streamlined. Because he is willing to put anything on the table he always has a tactical edge over his opponents, who themselves might be limited by certain obligations to sacred assets or conventional procedures.

Thoth, as the politician’s politician, often keeps a scapegoat conveniently available. None of the gods are perfect – they make mistakes like any mortal – but Thoth is shrewd at keeping his mistakes well hidden and if there is blame to go around, it almost always falls elsewhere. The good name and reputation of a public figure in esteemed positions depends more on what they hide, rather than what they reveal. A great deal of risk is involved if something unpleasant and unpopular is necessary. Thoth employs a cat’s paw to take care of it while keeping his nose clean.

Some of Thoth’s best offers are those that seem to indicate the other person has a choice, giving them the illusion of being in control. But they are actually Thoth’s puppet, for the choices are already in his favor, no matter what they choose, forcing their hand indirectly. Whenever the gods think they have a choice they walk into his trap quicker.

Ambiguous terms like “freedom” and “choice” imply possibilities far beyond the reality they actually refer to. The available choices contain restrictions: they are merely a matter of choice between A and B, and that is it. If the illusion of choice is maintained, the leftover choices (C, D, etc) are never even considered. This is because an excess of freedom, while promising, actually causes anxiety. An infinite amount of options results in paralysis. Hence, the limited amount of choices is comfortable. Clever and perceptive gods like Thoth take full advantage of this to deceive others. Whosoever has the obligation to choose between alternatives never suspect that they are being manipulated. Most gods are too arrogant to even realize that they are being allocated a small amount of freedom in exchange for a more powerful imposition of someone else’s will.

Thoth has little patience to follow through and complete his ideas of reform, though, and this can obscure his talent by losing sight of his contributions… because he rarely bothers to deal with loose ends he has methodical assistants to mop up.

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Awet

...a philosophisticator who utters heresies, thinks theothanatologically and draws like Kirby on steroids.

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