The Sword and the Star
Faiths of the Draconis Sector
Many faiths exist in the Draconis Sector; all of them are ultimately derived from Terran faiths from ages past, but some have been rendered unrecognizable when compared to their historical form, as time has passed.
0: Little to no presence.
1: Minor presence.
2: Significant minority.
3: Dominating faith.
|Lib. Pag. Heresy||0||0||1||2||0||1||0||0|
This religion is centered on Astral Alacrity. Nominally, a High Priestess and High Priest are the heads of the faith, but individual sects are free to practice how they wish. The faith originated from a number of Pagan immigrants to the Astral Alacrity system, which became the dominant faith in the system after the devastating effects of the Scream. During the long silence, the paganistic faiths merged with the ideology of personal liberty and freedom, and became inseparable. The Liberated Pagan faith has played a large role in the origin and focus of the contemporary Astral Alacrity government.
Blame also possesses a significant minority of adherents, due to the long association between AA corporations and the Blame system. Several other systems have minor presences of the faith due to AA immigrants.
Variations on worship:
You get the sort of variety you’d expect amongt practitioners of a faith that values liberty as one of its spiritual tenets. Like it says on the wiki, nominally, the High Priestess is the head of the faith, paralleled more or less by the High Priest. It celebrates life cycles and renewal, and places emphasis on features like harvest, balance, and childbirth. The faith is egalitarian, but the high priestesses of the various sects lead many of the various ceremonies. The circle is an important symbol in the religion. Overall though, there’s a huge variety in how various regional groups worship, and amongst the erudite, the particulars of theology and ideology (mostly relating to various liberal schools of thought) are as hotly debated as in any old religion.
Liberated Paganism and the government:
Unlike Abrahamic religions, which has a tendency to create hierarchical power structures often at odds with government and democracy due to the notion of the “Lord” and a supreme power, Liberated Paganism has not had such a tumultuous relationship with civic systems. As a consequence, nations with Abrahamic religious populations often develop a strong dichotomy between church and state, but this dichotomy is not so present in Astral Alacrity. Elected official often perform religious and spiritual duties, as well as civic duties.
A prominent and venerable faith from Terra, Catholicism is one of the most prevalent faiths in the Draconis Sector. It constitutes the majority on Constantine, Gamma Draconis, and Blame. A prophet on Constantine, during the long silence, penned a new holy book; when the various systems went interstellar, this new interpretation of the faith was widely adopted by the various Catholic groups across the Draconis Sector. This new book is called the Latter Bible, and the prophet was a child who lived through the Scream and grew to be an important holy figure in the contemporary church—the Draconis branch, that is. Constantine enjoys the position of being the de facto center of the faith, due to possessing the original Latter Bible.
The faith has no central authority, as the central authority stems from the Pope, with which contact was lost after the Scream. Instead, regional archbishops and cardinals administrate the faith and wait for the day the faith will be reunited with its origin.
The primary faith of Alpha Draconis and Beta Draconis. Despite the prevalence of Judaism across multiple first-world systems, it does not possess a centralized command structure, and is primarily administrated locally by rabbis or council thereof. There exists a long tradition of convoluted literary debate between rabbinic authorities.
Judaism is no longer the persecuted faith it once was on Terra, but the tradition of that persecution weighs heavily on contemporary practitioners. Throughout most Judaic areas, adherents are socially obligated to sacrifice or surrender a great deal to the faith or their community, whether it be money, resources, or, for the impoverished, just their time. In recent years this obligation has lessened somewhat , but is still an important part of the Judaic faith in the Draconis Sector. Not all Jews abide by this obligation, however, and the rabbis of one side argue bitterly with the rabbis of the other.
Buddhism is a minor faith found across a number of systems, most notably Gamma Draconis. Various practitioners kept the faith alive during the long silence, but it never rose to prominence like many others. Local lamas maintain the faith.
This faith will never die. It is found in significant minorities in Alpha-D, Beta-D, and Blame. Primarily, it is a religion of the impoverished and rural, and the faith is maintained by local preachers and reverends spewing nonsense about hellfire and damnation from soapboxes and pulpits.
Liberated Paganism of the Book
Some eighty years ago, a Jewish rabbi on Astral Alacrity was swayed by the Liberated Paganism faith, and claiming divine providence, penned a holy book—the first one claiming that it contained the word of the Gods for the religion. The converted rabbi rapidly acquired a significant following. The ‘orthodox’ of the faith regard the new sect with a mixture of distaste and unease, while the new sect regards its parent with undisguised contempt, believing that they are misguided and do not adhere to the true faith. The only place they have become a significant minority is on Astral Alacrity, although a large communities of them migrated to Gate and Gamma Draconis, spreading the faith. As part of their religion, Pagans of the Book are always armed.
The Book and regional variations on worship:
The Book laid out certain ceremonies that should be practiced, others that should, and clearly delineated the roles of the priestess, priest, and other leaders. Primarily, it reduced the emphasis on the ideology of liberty while increasing the emphasis of organized religion. The Book was written by a rabbi, and despite his instant conversation to the Pagan faith, contains remnants of Judaic culture, such as a ceremony similar to bar mitzah. This is the way it is on Astral Alacrity. The other two places groups adhering to this faith have migrated (Gamma Draconis and Gate) have seen the faith transformed by their surroundings. On Gamma-D, the faith has become somewhat similar to the dominant Catholic faith, using ornate cathedrals and a rich clergy. On Gate, the faith has become less of a religion and more of an enlightened, liberal philosophy, and they take the teachings of the book far less seriously than either AA or Gamma-D.
Origin of the religious requirement to always be armed:
early on, when the movement was just starting, first Paganism of the Book sect faced ridicule by its parent faith, doubled by the fact that the living prophet was literally a rabbi. He moved the sect—regarded as an esoteric cult at the time—to a less populated area, where the intent was to set up a utopian society (a sort of idea often tried and failed in various incarnations over the millenia of human existence). However, it went as poorly as all the other attempts. The rabbi living prophet travelled to the top of a nearby mesa to try and receive guidance from the Great Horned One. He ended up being gone for 53 days. During that time, the remaining food stocks of the rest of the cult ran out, and they raided a nearby town for supplies. The prophet came back down during the government retaliation, and was severely wounded by a rubber truncheon.
The end result was that everyone in the cult was arrested and deported to various courts around the world, so that they couldn’t collaborate or do spooky cult stuff together anymore. Most of them were acquitted, but their enforced diaspora spread the faith to other parts of the world. Like early Christianity, or Mormonism, it was curiously difficult to stamp out and thus it gained footing. The prophet spent the rest of his life in prison, but remained in communication with his growing flock. The word of God was to carry a weapon to defend the faith.
When the Latter Bible from Constantine spread to other systems, it was largely accepted by Catholics. However, a small subcommunity composed primarily of ethnic Portuguese violently rejected it. These Portuguese-speaking peoples from Beta-D and Blame have formed a separate Catholic church, to which only Portuguese are accepted. They strictly mandate that all clergy are male and have even elected a special Portuguese pope. Despite their avid devotion, they consist of only small ethnic Portuguese communities on two systems.
Portuguese Catholicism’s effect on its host systems:
Portuguese Catholicism is an odd duck. Attracting only minor followers on Beta-D and Blame, its mostly known for its Portuguese racial supremicism. Rather heretically, however, they have eschewed the Latter Bible of Constantine and the popular Catholic view that a distant, theoretical Terran pope is still the ultimate earthly authority of the church. Instead, they have taken it upon themselves to elect a Portuguese pope, and each one the bishops appoint is more radical than the last. Fortunately for their host systems, the population of radical Portuguese Catholics is low enough that it doesn’t threaten the stability of the political system.