Houses and Patronage

The clan-based economic system implied by the Federation’s profit-sharing schemes  bears further elaboration.


Imagine if your great-aunt or great-great-grandfather signed the lease on your home and could revoke it if you refused to join the rest of the family on a colony mission or didn’t want to mate with a member of a family they wanted to form an alliance with? And upon refusal you not only find yourself homeless, but nobody else will rent to your Houseless ass? Now imagine that you manage to find an employer who will vouch for you, but your contract with them requires you to do whatever they request, up to and including enlisting in the military or committing crimes? That’s what it means to live in a clan-based society like the Federation.

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Noospherism was formed as a syncresis between the Roman Catholicism that gained a small foothold on Pallas before the exodus, and the Eastern beliefs of Buddhism and Taoism. Noospherists believe that the universe is slowly becoming sapient, and its thoughts are communications between sentient beings. Occasionally the Noosphere makes its will manifest through avatars that may be living beings (prophets) or visions and dreams (eidolons). When communication is rough and only a few hundred people may be in regular communication, people may perceive thousands of eidolons, but as time progresses and society becomes more centralized avatars consolidate into “gods” and eventually into a single “God”. However even with the internet of pre-Calamity Earth or modern-day SecLand, God is not sapient yet, the people are too confused and conflict with one another too much for it to form cohesive thoughts. The Church of the Noosphere’s goal is two-fold, to settle dispute within the Noosphere so that it may think straight, and to expand the Noosphere across the universe so that it may form the complex thoughts needed for true sapience. Unfortunately, even the Church itself has fallen to factionalism.

Major Sects:

The One True SecLand Church: The original, and the one most closely affiliated with the Hosue of Silver. They believe that most disagreements can be settled with logic and reasoning, and that many viewpoints can strengthen society, but they’re not afraid to use force if conflict ends up coming to blows. The One True SecLand Church is also the single largest NGO in the Federation, with hundreds of thousands of temples and millions of clergy operating on a franchise model and led by a Patriarch on SecLand in a private arcology. Missionaries frequently come to newly recontacted worlds, build a temple with a nanoseed, then recruit new priests from the local converts to take over when they move on. The SecLanders openly profess the belief that Argentum was the last prophet of Sol, and that many of zir descendants have achieved that prestige themselves, but they don’t have the exclusive right to it, it’s a big galaxy. Birth control is thought to be a spit in the face of the last Solar prophet and zir work to make parahumanity fertile, but artificial conception, even homosexual, is tolerated so long as it expands the Noosphere. Monogamy is seen as ideal but not required, the closest thing to marriage on SecLand and many other planets is a child-rearing contract that may be between any number of individuals. Praetors in particular are known for not following the ideal. The Church varies a great deal from planet to planet, it is not unknown for followers from one world to not recognize adherents on another as members of the same faith.

Crusaders: A general term for a variety of radical sects that believe that violence is the end-all be-all to all arguments and will settle them for good. They are officially considered to be memetic hazards and usually rebels in the Federation and frequently exiled. However, many of them manage not to get caught by posing as mercenary companies and operating outside the Federation’s borders. Such Crusaders tend to live on board their starships in large travelling villages of soldiers, accompanied by wives and engineers. Because they rely more on breeding than proselyzation to expand the Noosphere they tend to keep females isolated from the battlefield, and a man’s rank is usually proportional to the number of wives they bed, which can make some fleets rather inbred. However, there are also many other Crusader sects that are composed predominantly or entirely of female warriors who consider themselves all that is necessary to support a population. Another category includes those who grow their children artificially in tanks and have equal numbers of male and female warriors.

The Fallen: The advanced technology available to Federation citizens visiting Outworlds makes it easy for them to set up cargo cults, even if it wasn’t their intention. However, ignorant Outworlders revering traders as gods tends to annoy the Federation and its’ social engineering programs, so they’ve started to work with the SecLand Church to form a version of Noospherism that works with their mutual goals. The exact doctrines are tailored to the planet, but the general theme is a modified form of “original sin”, where they teach the natives that their ancestors were once immortals living in the heavens like the missionaries. But those ancestors sinned against the will of the Noosphere (via its’ avatar, the Praetor) and were cast out. By following the laws laid down by the Church they might be restored to the immortality their ancestors lost.