The world is dark and muddled by false knowledge, and most of the Basin doesn’t even realize how weighted down by the chains of ideology they truly are; the Illuminators recognize this darkness and seek to cast the flames of Enlightenment into its furthest corners, burning away everything that might impede the raw Freedom of thought. They are the Hidden Temple, both its members and its guardians, and the only thing that is more precious to them than the pursuit of a new mystery is protecting said knowledge from those who aren’t yet ready to understand what needs to be known.
Their obfuscated methods are, paradoxically, the Illuminators’ most well-known trait: while some choose to work behind closed doors or in the spaces between important people, others weave secrets into song, or dive ever-deeper into the Pyres in search of hidden knowledge, or simply flood their thoughts with enough oaths and riddles that they can better protect their less martially-minded allies, and no two Illuminators work quite the same way. All the better to protect the truth from those who would harm it.
No one way exists to pursue the Mysterious Truth. Members of this faction can be found seeking Enlightenment through asceticism or excess, through transcending the limits of mortal flesh or reveling in said mortality, and be it fire or steel or ecstatic dance there is always a way to push the boundaries of understanding. Both a heated debate and the heat of combat are sacred, so long as its practitioner finds themselves unfettered by false thought through it, it is permitted.
An Illuminator is expected to protect the city from more subtle threats to Freedom than rampaging Soulless or enemy organizations: the spiritual well-being of Gaudiguch is a major focus of theirs. This does not mean that they must form ties with a Divine, but that any citizen be permitted the right to pursue a state of mystical wholeness. What good is a koan if the ear that hears it is muffled by self-doubt and sorrow? They tend the constant revelry that fills the city like a gardener does a trellis, as a heart that is open and free from woe is far healthier ground for new thought taking root.
Where the light of the Pyres falls, so follow the Illuminators, and they strain furiously against whatever might limit their quest for knowledge. What is a thing like death but a new limit to be overcome? Paradigms exist to be shifted. Let the world try and contain itself in a smothering shell: they will crack it, then read the future in the shards even as reality shudders and gasps in the brilliance of understanding.
Enlightenment of the self brings Enlightenment to the world. The ultimate nature of Enlightenment is uncertain -- figuring out such a thing is a mystery even this mysterious faction can’t easily untangle -- but this is seen as a gift, rather than a limitation: because there is no way to define it, it frees the individual to act upon pure intuition and following the nature of their Will. Is the body a vessel for greatness? Is the mind the true Hidden Temple? Who is actually hosting the never-ending party that is Gaudiguch? No one can say, but the Illuminators do smile wryly and refuse to give direct answers.