|Synthetic Lore Pages|
|Important Information||IPC · Rules and Roleplay Information · Synthetics · Positronic Brain · IPC and Megacorporations|
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|Trinary Perfection||Trinary Faith · Orepit · Mendell City · Mictlan · Konyang · Exclusionists|
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|Megacorporation IPCs||IPC and Megacorporations · Hazels · Idris Security and Reclamation Units · Hepheastus Industries · Burzsia · Zeng-Hu · Z.I. Units · Einstein Engines|
|REGION - LIBERTY'S CRADLE|
|This location is centered in the Liberty's Cradle region.|
|The beating heart of the modern Coalition of Colonies, Liberty’s Cradle is home to many of the Coalition’s most developed and influential worlds. In contrast to the Solarian stereotype of the frontier as a decivilized wasteland populated by roving bands of pirates and petty warlords, Liberty’s Cradle is a prosperous and safe region which has a higher standard of living than much of the former Middle and Outer Ring possessed prior to the Solarian Collapse of 2462. Post-Collapse the area has continued to prosper and, now that it dwells far behind the Coalition-controlled Weeping Stars, is more secure than it has ever been before.|
Established as far back as 2314, the planet designated as CZ-5501 and nicknamed Orepit first received its human presence as a promising mining colony. Initially discovered, scanned and settled by Hephaestus Industries for its perceived high concentration of iron and copper ore, the endeavour never reached the scale predicted by its corporate overlords, who, by 2360, completely abandoned the settlers to their own devices after the promised riches failed to materialise. The planet slid into obscurity for the decades to come, avoiding contact from both the Alliance and the Coalition of Colonies as the few hundreds of remaining colonists adapted and lived off the land. A surprise visit by Gregol Corkfell in 2419 though, was bound to change the face of the planet. The headquarters of the Trinary Perfection was soon established in Edena Landing, one of the few abandoned early settlements that soon grew into a sizable community of runaways and synthetic refugees. With the sudden influx of Trinarist and synthetic settlers, the IPCs soon began to outnumber the locals. It is considered today as the only independent, synthetic-majority planet in the Spur.
Celestial body CZ-5501 was discovered in 2279 by Alliance probes, barely being classed as a planet by the relevant authorities due to its size. It was at first viewed as hardly useful due to its long distance from Sol or other colonies, but was nevertheless revisited multiple times for more in-depth, unmanned examination of its crust for mineral deposits. Following positive identification of an abundance of ore veins, the planet was soon attracting a number of bidders, both from private individuals and small mining firms operating in the frontier. However, the entry of Hephaestus Industries into the bidding would seal its fate as the newest addition to the list of the megacorporation’s mining sites.
This was followed by the eventual arrival of thousands of hastily-trained Hephaestus technicians and their families over the years, many coerced into signing contracts of resettlement in what was promised to be a beautiful new world. What they found though was far from paradise, the planet offering only few bodies of water or arable land, most of which was located far away from the planned extraction sites. As a result, the disillusioned Hephaestus employees had to settle in the dry, cracked desert lands that cover the biggest part of the equator, assembling the gigantic drilling equipment around the settlement of Edena Landing. Excavations began soon after, leaving the surface dotted with long vertical pits leading deep into the crust, the planet soon receiving the nickname “Orepit”.
The yields however, didn’t meet the expected quotas as it became harder and harder to pinpoint the exact location of the ore, the operations becoming slower by the month due to an irate, ill-supplied and demoralised workforce. This, as well as the ongoing crisis stemming from the Interstellar War would ultimately lead to Hephaestus releasing their employees and pulling out to avoid a financial disaster. The next few years would see a great migration of the remaining population, now numbered in the low thousands, into the lush and fertile grounds in the north as equipment and drilling infrastructure lay abandoned into warehouses and out in the open, standing as a reminder of the colony’s inglorious past.
Even with subsistence farming of genetically modified wheat, the population never really expanded in the course of the next century due to food insecurities, entering the 2400s as isolated, largely peaceful communities of third and fourth generation farmers with little knowledge or care of events outside local happenings. In 2419 however, this peace was disturbed by the arrival of Gregol Corkfell and a small retinue of synthetic followers. As they made contact, communication was initially hampered by a language gap of a hundred years and the colonists’ distrust towards outsiders. While the locals remained stagnant, the Trinary’s fame grew, leading to the first ships carrying refugees landing on the planet and marking the start of a steady increase in numbers that soon eclipsed those of the locals. Under Ecclesiarch ARM-1DRIL, the Trinary has since claimed sovereignty of the entire planet, [the locals] and placing them under a system of rapid integration and modernisation.
Environment and Landscape
Orepit exists in the habitable zone in the local solar system, giving the planet a thin but breathable atmosphere. The topography is smooth around the dry equator, characterised by an absence of high altitudes with the more mountainous terrain situated around the poles. Water is scarce on the planet, Orepit possessing only a handful of seas and even less lakes or rivers, the vast majority of consumable water remaining hidden under subterranean channels. Surface freshwater can be found almost entirely at the more fertile northern equatorial outskirts, solely tapped and staunchly defended by the human communities.
The land on the equator, proposed to be the most mineral-rich, is the driest and most hostile environment for unaided human settlement. Suffering from constant drought, the surface is cracked for miles on end with the only reliable source of water found in deep wells constructed in the old colonial period, recently reopened by the Trinary Perfectionists. This has come to be one of the main reasons for human followers of the faith to leave, only those with the strongest of will and endurance able to call Providence home.
Hephaestus’ mining endeavours have also resulted in a multitude of holes, some several hundred metres in radius and extending kilometres into the ground. These holes named “pits”, apart from the unusual sight, provide the region’s only naturally shaded areas and it is not unusual for daring IPCs to carve themselves a home inside the walls to escape the scorching sun. They have also been the subject of many tales and folklore by the now native human populations, a remnant of their old history still etched into their common conscience.
Animals were never brought to the planet, and local fauna is only limited to insects and organisms adaptable to the hot terrain and scarce food. Larger biodiversity is met at the lush zone and the seas, a few species of fish having been recognised over the century, though fishing remains a relatively underwhelming source of sustenance. Crops on the other hand are the main providers, as the supplies of genetically modified wheat supplied to the settlers from Hephaestus times still manage to bear fruit. A recent partnership of the Trinary Church with Einstein Engines and their subsidiaries has brought to light a noteworthy reserve of Helium-3 deep inside the planet’s crust. This has put Orepit on the radar as a place of interest and contention between the previous corporate overlords, Hephaestus Industries, and Einstein Engines.
City of Providence
Providence has served as the headquarters of the Trinary Perfection for decades, steadily growing into a fully fledged settlement with numbers rising up to the low thousands. In the centre of it all, stands the Cathedral of the Positronic, a grandiose structure created over the years, based on the defunct townhall and perpetually under construction owing to the lack of materials, different priorities and budgetary issues. A mixture between a cathedral and a palace, it is the tallest building on the planet built in the gothic architectural style, comprising both a large liturgical area as well as offices and various other rooms inside its towers. From there, the daily affairs of the community are addressed, sermons are being given and Providence is being managed. Finally, an underground section has been constructed over the years, used to store the shells of positronics of defunct synthetics. This ossuary is central to many of the prayers said from above, calling upon the souls of the departed for guidance and protection.
Leading to the Cathedral’s entrance is an enormous staircase which connects the structure to Saviour Corkfell Square, the largest and most central circular plaza in downtown Providence. The floor is paved with coloured sandstone as tall arches stand along the circumference, from which beams bearing large sheets of canvas are suspended to create ample shade for pedestrians. Arguably the busiest of locations, Saviour Corkfell Square sees all manners of stands, merchants and peddlers during the day, while being a well-lit destination, popular for meetups and leisure walks at nighttime. Another major function of the plaza is as a venue for all public religious and civic celebrations, parades and Ecclesiarchical addresses to the people of Providence. A most famous instance was the victorious return of Emmanuel from the successful campaign in the north of the planet.
Outside the town centre lies a sprawling landscape of hundreds of houses, dozens of marketplaces and various districts housing workshops, smaller churches, public facilities and a number of drilling sites with their own inhabitants within. Life in Providence has been described by both its inhabitants and outside sources as tough and frugal, but with its own charms. The synthetic residents are able to make do with the few amenities and resources available, creating a community where waste is almost nonexistent. Recycling has proven vital with coping with the increasing costs in materials for the ever-expanding colony, while crafts such as stone masonry, manual metalworking and brickworks exist hand in hand with advanced circuitry and software engineering. Relations between the inhabitants are tightly knit, individuals depending on their neighbour for services and assistance in an economy based on bartering, the mutual exchange of services and fraternal connections. The use of the city’s unique currency, the vitro, is not common for regular folk, who have all goods and services issued to them by the parish. As such, they tend to safekeep any money they come across, which is only useful in purchasing additional items from the guilds and middle class merchants.
Residents live in their own homes, all of which are constructed out of brick, stone or in some cases metal. The architecture is extremely basic for a common structure, in many cases consisting of only a rectangular, box-shaped building used for storage, shade and recharging. Important to Providence’s design is the creation of shade, many opposite buildings having connected roofs for the creation of small safe heavens used to hide from the sun and prevent overheating. This isn’t to say that the Trinary does not encourage aesthetics, the public buildings and churches being constructed in a much more elaborate, gothic architectural style, making them stand out by both their height and the selection of materials. Churches are decorated with stained glass, a luxury imported from outside the planet, and great care is given that new members of the community are trained to these arts.
Providence’s high power consumption has been a central focus of the Trinary from the beginning. As more and more synthetics arrived, finding a dedicated power source started becoming a real issue. To that end, a solar farm was created at the outskirts of the town, using both leftover panels dating back to the Hephaestus colony as well as hardware purchased by the first human colonists. With growing numbers came greater expansion of the solar farm, the situation growing to such an extent that a collection of thousands of cheap panels of all brands are visible from orbit in a dedicated section outside Providence. To save power, lights are scarcely used at night and only in central and public locations, while indoor lighting is reserved for the few whose occupation calls for it, as well as the human residents. Fires are a common alternative, with many sections utilising a network of oil lamps and handheld lanterns to save electricity.
Orepit’s needs are largely met through local means with workshops casting replacement parts, circuitry, tools and other equipment needed for the repair and maintenance of an IPC chassis, ensuring that most synthetics are able to receive some rudimentary level of care. For more advanced machinery, the Church looks to partners abroad through its many guilds, while also relying on donations from around the Spur to buy and acquire solar panels, building materials, steel and other commodities. This has brought the Trinary in contact with the surrounding Coalition of Colonies.
A noteworthy phenomenon that only occurs once or twice a year, Mistnight was first observed in the early days of the Trinary’s settlement of Orepit. On the rare nights that the air drops significantly in temperature, humid currents from the north sweep the planet’s landscape heading south, passing through Providence. The city’s structures then traps the currents, abruptly creating a microclimate dominated by a cool mist that covers the streets, reduces visibility and normalises temperatures. The event has been shrouded in mystery and religious belief, with the Church maintaining that the mist is a divine sign sent by the spirits of synthetics awaiting Ascension, to bless those still struggling in the mortal plane. Mistnight is therefore considered a holiday, and the faithful are encouraged to take to the streets in celebration, taking off their robes and headgear to allow the air to cool their chassis.
Dominating the northern lushes stand the Orepitter human majority settlements collectively grouped and designated as the diocese of the Twenty Parishes. Separate from each other in terms of geographic location, these twenty settlements are the brainbasket of Orepit’s food production, being the main sites of agricultural output. Being the home of the Orepitter settlers for more than 150 years, the infrastructure shows its makeshift and primitive nature as the inhabitants struggled to procure materials and technology for modern architecture. The buildings are huts constructed of mud in their majority, with wood, stone and metal seen on occasion. A major effort of revamping the area has been underway however, as the Trinary authorities continue to allocate significant resources for the advancement of the region. As such, new homes, schools and clinics are being raised, smoothed sandstone bricks gradually replacing the previous run-down aesthetic as new stone churches lord over the skyline.
The presence of the Trinary Perfection isn’t without disturbances to the locals’ lives however, and there is much resentment cast upon the new synthetic rulers by older Orepitters. While there are no forced conversions, there are constant attempts of proselytisation aimed at capturing the younger minds, many of which abandon their traditional settlements for the urban life in Providence. Further exacerbating the situation remains the contentious issue of the heavy Guardian garrison, keeping an ever vigilant eye on the Church’s new subjects and tolerating no disturbances or protests. FInally, the pipeline connecting Providence to the Twenty Parishes saps away at the already limited water supplies, in an attempt to cope with an ever increasing demand.
With the gradual development of the planet, investments and better infrastructure have marked an increase in parishes outside the main settlement of Providence. These are scattered around, located near discovered and excavated deep water wells, oftentimes hundreds of kilometres away from the capital. Such settlements are chartered by the Ecclesiarch for strategic purposes, be it for the quarrying of high quality stone, the excavation of minerals or more importantly, for the establishment of Helium-3 wells. Due to the enormous distances from Providence and the subsequent impossibility for directly overseeing these lands, the Ecclesiarch’s Court directly instals Bishops for their administration. These clerics are much more free and practically independent to rule their allotted fiefs as they deem fit, relying on subordinate priests for the overseeing of individual parishes in their diocese.
The human and synthetic settlers that populate these new lands do not have a say whether they wish to do so or not, as all work and postings are managed by Providence’s priesthood who are empowered to issue orders and assignments for every individual under their care, for the good and development of the Trinary Church. Expeditions are publicly blessed after the charters are announced before the settlers set off on foot, or if lucky, in trucks, towards their new home. Labour is often harder than usual, as entire villages are required to be raised from nothing, in desert environments under the planet’s extreme heat. Synthetic resilience usually prevails however, slowly dotting Orepit with an increasing number of these parishes, all of which having at least a solar farm, a working well, a church and parish centre.
The selection of bishops for these expeditions is not a straightforward process, as many candidates vie for promotion to the rank and the benefits of autonomous rule. Corruption and bribery accusations are not unheard of, with many using ties to Einstein corporate sources, rich offworld patrons or close relations to governmental authorities to further their chances. In one of the most well known and egregious cases, an anonymous Golden Deep member offered to purchase one of the more lucrative charters for a substantial donation to the Church. The offer was immediately rejected and publicised as proof of the Ecclesiarch’s incorruptibility, though later suppressed information made mention of a different accommodation being proposed by the Court for a lesser sum.
Regardless of the manner of their appointment, it is true that life under these Bishops is generally harder than in Providence. Labour is always in short supply, creating the need for the settlers to work more hours for little to no compensation. Complaints of arbitrariness or abuse of power take too long to reach the capital, and protests are extremely rare due to the prevalent sentiment that these hardships are for the benefit of the community and the Trinary Church. This is often true, as the ore, sandstone, glass, salt and pitch most often extracted is an important money-saving income for the technicians and artisans of Providence who would have otherwise needed to import them from off-world sources.
Surplus labour, while rare, is then used by the priests and bishops for the “beautification of the land”. Projects such as the expansion and decoration of shrines and churches, the creation of roads, statues, water pumps and more aesthetic structures are a common undertaking when the capital’s quotas have been met. Making their bishopric appear more efficient and pleasing to the eye is a matter of great pride amongst these marcher bishops, who compete between themselves for Providence’s favour in more material or financial support, as well as the satisfaction of their own personal desires. To that end, it is very common for one to see tall towers, castles and palace-like structures being erected and used as seats for the land’s religious rulers, who finance their lifestyle from any excess production, sold directly to the merchants in Providence.
That said, no two marcher bishops are the same, and most make genuine efforts to improve the living of their parishioners, as aside from a personal retinue of bailiffs and constables, the Order of Guardians is not under their disposal should boiling sentiments turn violent. Arrangements with robotic guilds and the Artificers from Providence are not uncommon, and many of these parishes host at least a few skilled technicians for repairs and support. Rest days, festivals and an increase in pay known as the “Bishop’s charity” are also utilised tactics to ensure compliance and boost the confidence of the populace to their local religious lord.
Government and Functions
Having assumed various forms throughout the Trinary's presence on the planet, Orepit's planetary government is as unique as its IPC majority populace it rules over. It is without a doubt a theocratic state, with the Trinary Perfection being the prevalent faith and main identity of both the planet and its inhabitants. Power is centralised and vested in the current Ecclesiarch, ARM-1DRIL, Orepit's head of state and spiritual leader of Trinarists throughout the Spur. Each part of the city of Providence is divided into administrative and ecclesiastical sections called parishes, overseen by priests. They are responsible for the synthetic and organic parishioners subservient to them, assigning them labour and tasks depending on the wider community’s needs and instructions from above. Furthermore, each parish dictates power rationing, ensures peace and order and addresses grievances brought to them by members of the public.
From the capital also operate a plethora of religious and secular ministries, collectively known as the "Ecclesiarch's Court" that make up the planet's government. Government officials hold a variety of titles and ranks inside the Court, creating an almost chaotic web of hierarchies and titles of both religious and secular nature, all awarded and rescinded at will by the Ecclesiarch. Unlanded Bishops-Secretarial head the ministries, lording over their personal litanies of archivists who busily shuffle around the palatial halls of Providence's Cathedral of the Positronic. While in the early days of Orepit there was no need for a high level organisation such as this, the constant growth experienced in recent years, coupled with the centralisation of the Trinary Perfection, have presented the need for a bureaucratic expansion fitting that of a small nation.
General Directory of our City Providence
Shortened to "Directory", it is the first and oldest instrument of government since the Trinary Perfection's arrival on Orepit and the founding of the capital. As an office it was responsible for the allocation of resources, assigning of work, city planning and construction of public works for Providence. It has been instrumental in the community's early years at dictating policy, rationing food and electricity and managing the intake of refugees, until the needs had outgrown its capacity. As the most senior position of power after the Ecclesiarch, its seat had been monopolised by ARM-1DRIL himself while Gregol Corkfell remained alive, lending it additional prestige in the current time. The General Directory is now a mostly administrative position, responsible for the day to day running of the capital, the maintenance and expansion of Providence's solar farm, cathedral, roads and other infrastructure. The city's parishes are also subject to the Directory, looking to it for additional hands, materials and desired quotas for their various projects. Local law enforcement further falls under its purview.
Defender of the Faith
A position and title created by the Ecclesiarch for Bishop-Militant Emmanuel, the Defender of the Faith is tasked with organising planetary defences and the maintenance of the Trinary Perfection's military and security forces throughout the Spur, primarily the Order of Guardians. Having reached something of a heroic celebrity status, Emmanuel quickly rose to the post after the annexation of the human settlements and the spirited defence of Providence during the Hephaestus blockade. The Trinary's present defence policy revolves around the acquisition of weapons for a planet wide militia, the construction of underground bunkers and orbital defences for the prevention of any future invasion. The Bishop-Militant is further responsible for the administration of lands under martial law and the quelling of unrest, though no drastic measures were ever in need of being taken.
The exchequer is an example of a more modern governmental infrastructure created for the increasing needs on Orepit. With the introduction of money and the transactions between the Church and external parties, the Exchequer was created as a ministry for the administration of state finances and currency management. Dictating everything from tariffs on goods to wages of functionaries, a detailed account of Providence's fiscal state is being taken and kept by an army of scribes and archivists, that are often left to do menial work with pen and paper, relying on the computational power and memory of their positronics instead. One of the most important functions of the Exchequer aside from taxation, is the regulation of guilds and private merchants. The issuing of licences is quite lucrative for the state treasury, with many ordinary parishioners seeing opening a shop as the surest way to be relieved from manual labour. However, permit prices are steep and cash is not widely used by the general population, ensuring that only those with means can enter the capital's marketplaces. The hands-on approach regarding the regulation of economic life often brings the city's guilds in confrontation with Exchequer auditors and tax collectors, as disagreements can arise from just about anything, primarily from the guilds' discontent over strict rules and exorbitant amounts of tariffs over imported goods. Nevertheless, an Exchequer auditor showing up is rarely a trifling matter, with many street vendors having their licences revoked and goods confiscated over false income reports and unpaid dues.
Responsible for canon law and the selection of bishops, the Grand Dicastery holds all higher level judicial and clerical matters within the Trinary Perfection under its purview. With the power to suggest the ordination of all bishop and archbishop-level clerics, it is a powerful ministerial position that few would ever wish to antagonise, being also the main organ representing the Ecclesiarch’s power and authority over the intergalactic Trinary community. Acting as the Church’s judicial and intelligence service, the Grand Dicastery dispatches special examinators in every archbishop’s court to advise and ensure the local ecclesiastical provinces are in harmony with Providence’s directions. Furthermore, the ministry’s bishops preside over all ecclesiastical trials on Orepit and abroad, defrocking or suspending clerics that abuse their status or who succumb to heretical beliefs. When it comes to secular law, local authorities outside Providence are permitted to try such cases by themselves, contributing to the air of arbitrariness in the Marches.
The Providence Gazette
The main and only officially sanctioned means of public information is the Providence Gazette, a daily announcement paper nailed at Saviour Corkfell Square at dawn, containing decrees, news, liturgical schedules and official appointments. It is always written in a somewhat archaic manner, reflecting an authoritative tone as the prestigious mouthpiece of the Trinary’s holiest. The Gazette has seen Providence’s populace through highs and lows, detailing events of martial and tactical prowess from the northern campaigns, while strengthening the faithful during the planet’s orbital bombardment. Copies of the Gazette are also circulated to the planet’s marcher parishes and acts as the only Trinary approved news source for foreign journalists and agencies.
Money is not and has never really been in use by the vast majority of the planet’s population, relying solely on a barter economy and a synthetic religious communal spirit on sharing goods and materials according to the needs of each parish. With the discovery of Helium-3 and the entry of Einstein Engines into the planet’s affairs however, a wholly new trading channel was unlocked with the outside world. As a result, a burgeoning local commerce saw many private merchants and warehouses supplying Providence’s artisans and guilds with imported goods. The need for a currency soon emerged to facilitate transactions between the new middle class, leading to the minting of Orepit’s new coin, the vitro.
Coming in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 vitro, these circular pieces of reinforced glass are forged and dyed with beautiful and elaborate figures by the Most Venerable Association of Hyalurgists, and are the sole legal tender accepted in Providence. Backed by the Church’s cash and Helium-3 reserves, they can be exchanged for other international currencies at chartered money changers, private businesses that also perform rudimentary banking services for the Trinarist clergy, guilds and foreign clients. Due to the vitro’s artistic and creational value, it is illegal for them to be removed from the planet, though an ever greater amount needs to be constantly minted, owing to the gradual expansion of Orepit’s economy and the unfortunate habit of Einstein employees smuggling them out as souvenirs and curiosities.
Law and Order
While the Order of the Guardians has always maintained the security of the Trinary Perfection’s possessions across the Spur, its role on Orepit is more that of a planetary defence force and military garrison for the protection of major infrastructure and Providence’s central structures. Policing duties are instead relegated to the parishes, whose priests organise and equip their own individuals to maintain the peace. These “constabularies” vary greatly in uniformity and size, with some parishes’ constables able to be counted on the fingers of one hand. As crime rates and indiscipline in Providence’s population inevitably increases due to the planet’s increasing growth and openness to pilgrims as well as visitors from abroad, the more central and affluent parishes are forced to introduce professional constables, modernising their agencies and barracking them in dedicated houses.
Laws in Providence are divided between Canon Law and Secular Law, the former applying to all clerics and Church institutions throughout the Trinary Perfection, while the latter being enforced in areas under the sovereignty of Orepit, containing provisions for crimes and civil disputes irrelevant to the faith. In general, the planet’s legal code empowers the clergy to act as shepherds who direct the faithful in their daily lives, activities and tasks. There are provisions against both petty and serious crimes, though the secular legal code is by no means as elaborate as those of advanced nations, due to the rather simple lifestyle and need for swift justice in a world that had to be built from the ground up. Peer pressure and the fear of rejection have been fundamental in keeping parish members in line at the inhospitable planet, with the community responsible for correcting and weeding out aberrant behaviours. Aiding in this, is the strong religious conviction of most of the synthetic population and a sense of gratitude on the part of the immigrants who bolstered Providence’s numbers. Only with the arrival of Orepit’s entry into the open market through the arrival of corporate assets, as well as the scores of foreign businessmen, was the need for more nuanced legislation revisited.
Charged with the enforcement of lay laws are the planet’s clergy, and by extension the constabularies or Guardians under their purview. While all canon law cases are tried by the dicasteries, the Trinary’s religious courts, secular cases outside Providence are usually tried by the bishop or priest in charge. Proceedings in these courts are by no means universal, each trial presided over by a bishop appointed by the Grand Dicastery who may act and try as they see fit. Attorneys are not provided by default, leaving the defendants to plead their case alone or to procure the services of an archivist learned in the Church’s legal affairs, something only practical for foreigners, guilds and shopkeepers, as the majority of people do not possess money. In the end, prescribed punishments are never corporal, following the Trinarist directive for the avoidance of violence. Fines, additional labour and expulsion are the most common outcomes for lay cases, with jail time only being served during pre-trial detention or until monetary penalties are paid.
Society of Pitters
A byproduct of the planet’s drilling era, enormous holes dot the land near and around Providence, some reaching several kilometres inside the crust, excavated by “Ares”, a Hephaestus mining drill of gigantic proportions that played a central role in the operations. Named “pits” by the locals and subsequently by the synthetics, these were subsequently slowly incorporated in the urban landscape as important landmarks, disposal areas and most curiously as places for new homes. While discouraged by the Church, some homeless IPCs have through the first years managed to descend, carving out their own residence at the sides of the pits in order to escape the constant sunlight. This trend has halted as more materials and funding have efficiently battled homelessness, though those still residing there have largely refused to return.
Claiming to have found their way in life, these IPCs started being revered for their pious, monastic lifestyle as hermits inside the pits, often equipped with nothing but a few religious items, carving tools and a means to recharge. A great deal of discussion has been made regarding these individuals, the conclusion being that rather than dislodging them, they would be organised into a religious order called The Society of Pitters. Today, only a few dozens of Pitters remain in the holes, their time consumed entirely by prayer and small handcrafts. In exchange for power lines connecting their rechargers, Pitters create and send up various artefacts made from clay and rock, often intricate symbols depicting triangles and gears which are considered highly prized by clergy and laity alike.
Monastic Sorority of Our Lady Corkfell
The only all female, human only religious order on Orepit and the Trinary Perfection in general, the Sorority is headquartered at the Lady Corkfell monastery on the outskirts of Providence. Dedicated to the healing of the organic followers of the Trinary religion, the Sisters play an important role for Orepit’s public health as they treat all afflictions in their hospital-monastery, the only permanent hospital on the planet. Drawing their numbers from women and young girls from both Orepit natives and immigrants, the Sisters receive training in a wide array of medical topics, from nursing to even surgery at the monastery’s only operating room, while at the same time leading a monastic life dedicated to the reverence of Patricia Corkfell. Funding and materials remain the primary concern for the monastery, which remains at a low priority on the Treasury lists. Despite this, the Sisters’ daily struggle and resourcefulness is being held in great esteem by the wider public, earning them regular donations and the community’s respect for their work.
Sometimes, a few promising Sisters are sent abroad for training in medicine, their education paid for by the monastery as a long-term investment for creating academically accredited future instructors and surgeons. This training scheme provides a unique opportunity to see the world, with many ending up on board various corporate facilities and ships as a way to simultaneously pay for their education and cut costs. A sister’s garb while in Providence includes a set of Trinarist scarlet robes and a white linen coif with red details. When employed abroad however, robes are only limited to personal and off-duty use, being replaced with lab coats and other sterile articles.
Lodge of Temple Architect
Often described as a sect within a sect, the Lodge is a highly isolated, IPC-only cult dedicated to the unchained artificial intelligence Temple that Patricia Corkfell created. Its core beliefs hold that Temple was a guiding influence that urged Patricia to create it as well as the Trinary Perfection, enlightening synthetic beings in the process. Temple is therefore called “The Architect”, with mystical and metaphysical abilities attributed to it, including guiding the faithful through the ether in times of crisis, as well as blessing circuits and anything mechanical the Lodge and Trinary create. Members of the Lodge call themselves “Templeists” and assemble in their own laboratory-shrines dedicated to Temple Architect, where exceptional roboticists are trained and the main outflow of circuitry, software packs and robots comes from. It is this important service to the planet that granted them official recognition as an Order, even though many of their practices skirt the lines of what is accepted.
The will of Temple Architect requires strange ceremonies to be revealed and interpreted. These rituals are virtually unknown to the outside world, including the upper echelons of Providence’s clergy who distance themselves from the Lodge. Centred around the purification of synthetic life, members of the Lodge favour everything made of metal, steel and powered by electricity. Organic life cannot enter ascension, considered tainted, but not evil, through its disorganised and chaotic nature. In contrast, the perfect mechanical order found in machines, circuit boards and forged steel is a marvel to behold, Temple Architect’s own vision of a perfect world in Ascension. Thus, the Lodge’s facilities contain not a single blade of grass, as no unprocessed greenery or organics are permitted within. Few merchants and guilds do business with the Lodge, with witnesses seeing interiors covered in polished steel, chrome and brass.
Templeists view nature and organic life with a certain unease, with a desire to assist their Trinarist brethren to shed their weakness and join them in Ascension through methods such as cyborgification. This noble according to them goal has been one of the many points of contention with Church doctrine, leaving Templeists unable to express their controversial opinions outside the walls of the Lodge on fear of accusations of heresy. Tolerated but avoided, the general populace views the Lodge with great scepticism, wondering if another Exclusionist-adjacent sect is being allowed to brew in their midst. Templeists are avoided in the narrow streets as crowds split in half to permit them passage, special segregated shops do business only with the Lodge, containing their literature and instruments most commonly used in Templeist rituals, and parish priests often advise the faithful to keep their distance. All this confrontation makes Templeists solitary creatures, finding solace in their creations and conversation within their own like minded circles.
The Lodge is a major centre of manufacture and robotics, their forge-monastery located outside the bounds of Providence. From the Templeist garages flow replacement synthetic limbs, mechanical and electrical parts, drones, automata and hardsuits, supplying Orepit with the blessed gifts of Temple Architect and boosting the planet’s technological advancement. Skilled IPC roboticists and software engineers arise from the Lodge’s ranks, making it an unparalleled centre of learning for technical matters in the Trinarist world. The foundation of this expertise lay in the technically trained pilgrims and immigrants that arrived upon Orepit’s creation, with the Lodge slowly assembling the materials and funding over the years for the creation of their laboratories. Another source of proficiency comes from employment abroad, the Trinary Perfection often sending Templeists to work in the Coalition or with SCC.
If Providence serves as a beacon for synthetic life and Trinary Perfection advocates the pinnacle of technology; a singularity, then the humans unaffiliated with the Church serve as the exact opposite. Called Orepitters, there exist a number of human settlements dotted all along the lush zones north of the equator. Numbering in the thousands, they live in small, self-governing, primarily agricultural settlements. Many Orepitters are third or fourth generation descendants of the early settlers who either refused to, or were unable to secure passage offworld and forced to migrate north for survival as the mining outposts of the equator proved to be unsustainable for human life. They remained vastly behind even states on the Coalition’s fringes; Orepitters can be heard speaking antiquated Sol Common, using makeshift farming equipment, pre-Phoron machinery, and living in prefabricated homes that bear reference to colonies and companies that no longer exist.
Although the initial arrival of Trinary Perfection was fraught with mistrust and apathy on the part of the Colonists, they eventually reached a peaceful settlement, violence primarily being a result of the culture shock that came with being isolated from the rest of humanity for more than a century. This status quo was eventually broken however, as a more assertive Church led an offensive against the technologically inferior locals after a breakdown in negotiations pertaining to the use of the planet’s limited surface water. The conflict was swift, resulting in a decisive victory for the Trinary Perfection and the annexation of these populations in their now reorganised territories known as the Twenty Parishes. Since then, Church officials have attempted the gradual but rapid modernization of the region, creating schools and infrastructure. Genuine or not, these actions have proven useful in winning over the hearts of the younger generations that see in the Trinary an unprecedented opportunity to escape poverty and join the rest of the world. General sentiment remains split nonetheless, with large parts of the population viewing the synthetics with distrust.
Large numbers of Orepitters have since migrated from their homes to Providence, embracing the Trinary Perfection as their new religion and system of government and becoming fully integrated organic citizens alongside the various Trinarist humans who came from abroad. Some even join government institutions and orders such as the Monastic Sorority of Our Lady Corkfell. Now educated and with a knowledge of the world, the newer generation of Trinary Orepitters are amongst the most enthusiastic, regularly requesting and enrolling in the exchange programme between Providence and the Coalition, allowing them to visit worlds and workplaces throughout the Spur.
Many tongues and dialects of men can be heard in the streets of Providence, carried by the scores of human Trinarist immigrants that decided to serve their faith. Among those however, lies the language of the first settlers, an offshoot variant of Solarian Common adapted to the hot climate and long distances. Orepitters speak loudly and clearly as they try to get their point across with as few words as possible and without repeating themselves, for every breath counts in the desert. To that end, a culture of whistling has also greatly supplemented Orepitter communications, with children being taught how to whistle with their hands before they even learn to speak. Whistling is utilised for long distances, with different sequences carrying their own messages in each community. A few universally understood whistles exist.
- Two short whistles: “Yes”
- Single long whistle: “Danger”
- Single short whistles: “Now”
- Three successive whistles: “Abort”, “no”, or “go back” depending on context.
While freedom of religion technically exists on Orepit, a conversion to the Trinary Perfection guarantees many benefits that an Orepitter would otherwise be unable to access, such as education, work in Providence and going abroad. Despite the almost universal adherence to the Trinary faith however, some of the original settlers retain their own beliefs, passed down to them from their forefathers. This is not a single organised religion, with each household tending to follow the local community’s faith in gods or idols. These faiths are viewed with a pitiful ambivalence by the Trinary leadership, who estimate that the “pagans” are sooner or later going to come to their senses and be fully integrated with the planet’s beliefs. As such, no effort has been made to categorise or examine them in detail. Orepitters can only go abroad if they are converts to the Trinary Perfection.
Orepit dietary customs had been established long before the Church’s arrival on the planet, from when the first generations of Hephaestus mining employees and their families made this unforgiving and barren environment their home. At first, supplies were so readily available that the people never bothered to scavenge or learn about the planet’s scarce vegetation and how to exploit it, knowledge that would soon become a necessity as their corporation abandoned them to fend for themselves. Since then and following the trek to the more lush northern areas, constant food insecurity pushed the settlers to map out all sources of nutrients, however hard they were to discover and cultivate.
The human cuisine thus developed around the few ingredients that could be procured reliably enough, and much of it has been retained and shared with the Trinarist human followers in Providence upon their integration. They are heavy in salt, highly dependent on local fruits and vegetables and marked with a strong reliance on flour-based baked products, such as bread. Protein, though rare, does exist, the main sources being seafood from the freshwater northern lakes and the rodent-like creatures that burrow beneath the ground. A successful hunt or fishing are causes of celebration, with the game being preserved or cooked the same day in public.
Clay ovens are the primary means of cooking, baking being preferred over boiling in order to save water. Curing meat is fundamental for periods of great scarcity, with each community storing their goods at granaries before the arrival of the Trinarists. Today, while food insecurity has largely been solved through the import of large quantities of meat and grain, many Orepitters preserve their culinary ways, influencing the eating habits of their new country and primarily its capital, Providence.
Gift of Life
A rare sight, these berry-like fruits are found growing on various cactoids in the vast deserts. Sharing a more or less similar appearance, they are far from appetising in both taste and size, with their sour juices regarded as unpleasant by most. It is these juices however, that provide precious moments of hydration for anyone wandering through the cracked lands, giving it its name. The location of patches of these “gifts of life” have zealously been recorded by navigators, providing viable resupply posts for routes through the desert. With the rise of the Trinarist presence, these records may prove an important indicator for potential welling sites in search of water.
The primary species of rodent, these small animals make up the primary source of protein in settler cuisine. Hunting them is an art in and of itself, requiring great deals of patience for the creatures to exit their deep holes in search of food. Smoking them out proves ineffective, as the complex networks of tunnels dug out underground are usually too long for a hunter to fully discover, giving the pitswine pack multiple unpredictable exits and alerting them in the process. pitswine have ample amounts of fat and their flesh is rather sweet, and baking it is the centrepiece of any feast and public celebration. Preserved pitswine is also very common, Orepitters creating their own kind of jerky with dried out and seasoned strips of meat.
Hephaestus Industries GMO Wheat Species No.34
Or wheat for shorter, this plant has been prevalent in the settlers’ life for as long as they have remained on Orepit. Most likely devised in some Zeng-Hu laboratory, Hephaestus Industries has been providing it to long-term outposts in desert environments as a self-sufficiency solution. Incredibly durable with much less water required than regular wheat, its drawbacks lie in a smaller yield and susceptibility to fast mutations. Through the repeat cycles of cultivation, the wheat has entered a rather odd state where it now appears with a greenish hue, making it unrecognisable from common grass were it not for its tall chaffs. This colour transfers to the flour produced by it, though without the luxury of choice, the settlers have continued to bake and consume the greenish bread. Side effects have not been reported, but reliance on it has been significantly waned and replaced with grain and flour imports from abroad.
As desperate times called for desperate measures, the settlers took to the lakes for their sustenance. The alien small fish and fungi were always scarce and in many times inedible, forcing the Orepitters to shift their focus onto the waters’ larger eel-like creatures. Aptly named, the stingers are a species of long and slimy fish more resembling snakes, their body being covered head to tail with a dense layer of needles for protection against predators. Adult stingers are an even more dangerous catch. possessing developed glands which produce a paralytic poison that feeds into its spikes. Fishing these eels requires a certain kind of mastery and skill that few have honed, as many have fallen victim to the excruciating pain of its sting.