Orlamu Foundation
Orlamu Foundation
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motto
Headquarters Prophethome
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The Orlamu Foundation is a religious society of scientists who study the Drive Space. Drive space research and stardrive development are the principle focuses. Acceptance of contradiction, gaining a better understanding of the universe and seeing the divine in the scientific theory and studies are held as virtues.



If you have a undeniable need for traveling the stars and uncovering science's greatest mysteries, then you might be an Orlamu.

Drawing its beliefs from scientific research more than blind faith, the Orlamu Theocracy holds a unique position among the nations and religions of the Stellar Ring. The people of this church-state live within an accepted paradox of philosophy between science and religion. Their renowned tolerance for both scientific debate and spiritual enlightenment has led many to embrace such a doctrine.
Jeff Sendir actively formed the Orlamu Foundation in 2170 after becoming the first human to ever enter drivespace. His fever-visions during the original journey and his passion to scientifically and philosophically explain the existence of a drivespace divinity led to the Foundation‟s formation. In an age of discovery, he drew thousands of people to his ideology. By 2211, the Foundation renamed itself the Orlamu Theocracy and soon claimed star systems of its own. Almost a century after Sendir‟s first starfall, the Orlamu nation also discovered and united with a sentient species still in their renaissance: the Weren.
Thereafter, the Orlamu soon joined the First Galactic War against the Terran Empire to secure their independence. Following the Interbellum, they only joined the Second Galactic War when the Expansion Pentad‟s aggression directly threatened them. The Theocracy survived this latter conflict by forming the FreeSpace Alliance with the Orion League, the Borealis Republic, and eventually Insight. As a result, the war never significantly affected their national borders.
Social Outlook
From an outsider‟s viewpoint, most people would think the contradictions of Orlamu society would serve to divide its citizens. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Theocracy blends science and faith naturally, as only continued research can answer the questions posed by their religion. After all, only the most liberal of
Orlamists would place personal faith in the Divine Unconscious above scientific fact.
As a result, citizens of the Theocracy value learning and discovery above all else. The average Orlamu mindset clings to the desire to explore the universe and improve oneself. Orlamu institutions on scientific education reap the benefits of this philosophy, with many representing the best in their field.

Surprisingly, the Orlamu Theocracy leads many other nations in the field of cybernetics, tied with StarMech in overall capability. With such a heavy concentration on the sciences, the Theocracy has naturally explored the realm of cybernetic enhancements over the years. The long decades of the Second Galactic War left thousands of people crippled – lacking limbs, eyesight, or many other physical functions. Cybernetic replacement seemed the logical remedy.
Today, cybertech is no longer a rare sight in Orlamu space, especially among veterans of the Second Galactic War. But the average citizen more likely has a nanocomputer or NIJack than an exoskeleton or reflex wiring. Today, the general public takes minor enhancements like a biowatch or bioart tattoos quite casually.

Unique among most theocratic states, the Orlamu Theocracy does not forcefully impose its own doctrine. In fact, only 73% of the population practices Orlamism – a large percentage, but unusually small for theocracies. The rest of the population spreads through all other major religions, including atheism. The largest of these includes the 8% ascribing to the Humanity Reformation movement.
Many weren among the Orlamu population have also adopted a divergent form of Orlamism, praising the Divine Unconscious as a being to appease so they may find their way to one of the myriad paradises beyond Kurg. Additionally, small groups of weren greatly admire the writings of Nietzsche, and dedicate a small temple to the dead German philosopher. The majority of weren, however, still follow a native form of animism.

Religious Practices
Though quite young by religious standards, the Orlamist Church grew rapidly due to something almost unheard of by other religions — solid proof. To an Orlamist, witnessing the mind of God and the source of all creation, simply requires a five-day trip through drivespace. In the scientific age, these religious philosophers hold that „seeing is believing.‟
As for the vast majority of citizens adhering to the tenets of Orlamism, their religious life begins with the First Glimpse, their initial trip into drivespace, where they see the expanse of the Divine Unconscious for the first time. This is a rite performed when the participants are quite young, not unlike Christian baptism.
While the First Glimpse initiates the young to the Orlamist faith, men and women must complete a Thesis, generally during adolescence, before becoming fully recognized members of the Church. The Thesis involves the reading of various Orlamist religious doctrine and scientific manuscripts, commitment of specific passages and formulae to memory, which then culminates in a personal essay reconciling faith with science.

During the course of an Orlamist‟s life, they attend regular services in either the morning or evening held on the 11th day of each month. While song and prayer take up much service time, the crux of the observance is always the priest‟s sermon. While different sects of the faith have varied leanings, all Orlamu faithful focus on understanding and contacting the Divine Unconscious – quite literally, to touch the mind of God. In addition, the Orlamist priesthood routinely teaches tolerance and kindness to fellow sentients, and constantly reinforces the drive to learn and better oneself.
Marriage between Orlamists is a formal affair, administered by an ordained priest of the Church before numerous witnesses. The only prerequisites hold that a couple love one another and meet the legal age requirement. For an added expense, many couples also arrange for their wedding services to take place aboard a starship as it makes starfall. The reception follows and the honeymoon then lasts for the next 121 hours until starrise.

Once an Orlamist passes away, his funeral marks the rejoining of his spirit with the Divine Unconscious. Particularly wealthy or selected volunteers sometimes have their remains interred within a drivespace sensor probe. Once a Driveship reaches the middle of its journey, mourners then eject the coffin into drivespace. As the sensor range ends, an Orlamist‟s body presumably joins his spirit within the Divine Unconscious.

To the Orlamu, all things touched by the Divine Unconscious are sacred; the visions of Jeff Sendir, the mindwalking power bestowed on mankind, even the capacity to traverse drivespace. But no individuals prove more sacred than those born into life within the Divine Unconscious. These „Starborne‟, at approximately 4% of the Orlamu population, hold immense prestige amid the general population as well as the church itself. The nature of the Starborne provides strong evidence that the properties of drivespace may influence the development of mindwalking abilities. This theory results from the fact that 60% of all Starborne develop some form of psychic power over the course of their lives, 75% of them prior to reaching puberty. The church gathers together all Starborne children for proper instruction in the ways of science and the Divine Unconscious, with the priesthood essentially becoming their surrogate parents. The original families of such children often gain prestige in Orlamu society, and the church still allows them a small role in each child‟s upbringing. Only 15% of Starborne actually develop full-fledged psionic abilities as mindwalkers or diplomat-mindwalkers. Another 40% possess talents of varying degree, able to wield a small number of psionic specialty skills (Psi-talents and Superior Talents). At least a small population of the Starborne (approx. 5%) can tap into their mind‟s potential to become aware of psionic phenomenon (per the Psionic Awareness perk) or to influence some other skill (per the Latent Psi perk). The other 40% of children born in drivespace remain devoid of mindwalking ability. Some „psi‟-entists have theorized that Starborne not only obtain mindwalking abilities from their birth in drivespace, but that conception within the Divine Unconscious can also help to develop more potent skills as much as 40% of the time. They believe that even a non-Starborne child at least conceived within drivespace has a higher chance for psionic potential than an average child. Many also commonly believe that the color of the starfall and starrise during the birthing trip may affect the outcome of a Starborne‟s fate. Contrary to most assumptions, the Orlamist Church does not groom Starborne for leadership positions within their hierarchy. Instead, these sacred individuals serve as the most valuable government advisors, scientific authorities, and interstellar ambassadors throughout the Theocracy. Starborne serving in this capacity wear black robes to mark their position among the church as ones touched by the Divine Unconscious at birth.

Because of the prestige and aid given to the families of Starborne, many mothers throughout the Theocracy desire to give birth while within drivespace. The Orlamist Church, however, has passed laws governing this practice to ensure that Starborne enter into existence only at the will of the Divine Unconscious.
All pregnant women in the Theocracy are therefore allowed to take only one planned journey through drivespace within three weeks of their estimated due date. If at all possible, a priest accompanies the voyage to observe. Such an overseer disallows all artificial means of bringing on labor unless the mother‟s life is somehow threatened. This leaves the child‟s fate to the Divine Unconscious to determine his or her Starborne status. If delivered artificially, the Church will not consider such a child Starborne, and 70% of such cases strangely fail to develop mindwalking abilities. If a mother somehow gives birth to a Starborne without a priest present, the church conducts an investigation to ensure the authenticity of the claim. The courts view fraud in such a cases as a capital crime.
The Theocracy also maintains a number of maternity driveships for dozens of hopeful mothers to purchase their one chance for a Starborne child. Only the Orlamu government may run such ships for this purpose, and impose heavy fines on anyone caught doing so illegally.

Council of Science
The most important council of the Theocracy, the Council of Science regulates and conducts research and development in matters of technology. Reports on everything from new ballistic breakthroughs and bioengineering discoveries to the all-important stardrive find their way to Prelate Kalin Ference‟s desk (Hm/Orlamu/TO-11).
Fixatedly precise, Prelate Ference is a middle-aged man dedicated to the scientific method. He adopts the role of scientist first and the priesthood second, with any diplomatic duties running a distant third. Notable subcommittees under his control include Research, Holy Technologies, Advanced Technologies, and Agriculture.

Formed by both skill and the necessity for war, the Orlamu military has strong and capable forces. The Theocracy‟s armed services consist of the Orlamu Sacred Navy (OSN), the Orlamu Sacred Army (OSA), and the Orlamu Order of Secrets (OOS). While many underestimate the OOS, the army and navy remain in the top third of all stellar nations.
The officers of each military organization answer to members of the Council of Defense and the First Prophet. The priesthood carries no official direct influence (except in the OOS), although most naval officers have certainly served in the Church.

Council of Science
While only one of six councils in the Theocracy‟s government, the Council of Science continues to have the most influence on Orlamu economics, prosperity, and religious interests. The stardrive represents the be-all and end-all of Orlamu society. Without it, they cannot reach God. And without selling it to other nations, the Theocracy loses money, and thus lacks the funds for further research to discover the Divine. For these reasons, the government and citizenry always take the requests of the Council of Science very seriously.
Prelate Kalin Ference sits at the top of this throne of power. Fortunately he has never used his great influence for self-gain, but responsibly shepherds scientific and religious research for the good of the Theocracy instead. Many among the top levels of the Church see Prelate Ference as the influential voice between Galindus and Memorn. He has traditionally sided with the First Prophet in disputes, but begins to wonder what heights the Theocracy could achieve with StarMech engineers to enlist.

The Weren
While the weren represent only 4% of the Theocracy‟s population, they remain important in the public eye. The Divine Unconscious led the Orlamu people to Kurg to save the weren from themselves, and so they have. The weren of Kurg are no longer in danger of self-initiated extinction, and billions of weren have joined stellar society at-large. The weren view of the Theocracy as benevolent caretakers remains very important to the Orlamu people, both personally and politically.
Although weren offworlders hold many positions in the Church, very few climb significantly high. The military continues as the true arena of influence for Orlamu weren. So while they have no official way of affecting Orlamu policy outside of Kurg, those serving in the armed forces can throw their weight around enough to influence the nation‟s leaders.

The Prophet Scrolls
Written by First Prophet Jeff Sendir in the years following his experience with the Divine Unconscious, the Prophet Scrolls contain the firsthand accounts of Sendir‟s visions. Although the Orlamu government will not openly admit the existence of the Prophet Scrolls to other nations, they remain a driving influence behind Church motivations. The vague and metaphorical format of Sendir‟s writings makes direct interpretation difficult. However, many in the upper hierarchy of the Church believe the scrolls have dictated Orlamu policy through both galactic wars.

Galactic Concord
Where the Orion League supports the Concord in all matters, attaching themselves at the proverbial hip, the Theocracy is simply very cooperative. Orlamu interests seldom run counter to the Galactic Concord‟s agenda, but First Prophet Galindus values his moderate stance and would rather Concord diplomats cater to the Church‟s needs a bit, rather than take their participation for granted.
The Theocracy is particularly helpful in matters concerning the Verge. From the donation of the Lighthouse, to contracts investing the Orlamu in the creation of new scaled-down versions of the station, the First Prophet and his diplomats are quite eager to accommodate the Concord if it will support them in establishing a stronger foothold in the Verge.

The Orlamus attempt to reaching a better understanding of the universe and their place in it has met with great success. Pioneers in many realms of science, Orlamus pride themselves on their use of scientific methods and instruments to discover truth. A player may choose to be an Orlamu for his/her race (human only) during character creation. They gain a +1 bonus to star navigation and physical science tests.

Navigator
Character Background: Pilot
High Attributes: Acquiring and Scientific
Archetype: Technician
You live for drivspace. To you, entering the Divine Unconscious is always an enlightening experience. You may even politely request your crewmates show some degree of reverence during a starfall. Being ship's navigator allows you to hone your talents, even able to do most of the necessary course calculations in your head without the need for computer assistance. Mapping routes and piloting the ships make you a valuable asset to any ship's crew.

Starborne
Character Background: Any
High Attributes: Empathy and Scientific
Archetype: Mindwalker (Special) or Rogue
Born in drivespace. The theocracy holds a special admiration for your kind. Anyone blessed with their first moments of life while in drivespace means they have been touched by the Divine Unconscious in a special way. For many it unlocks powers and special talents. Because a higher than usual amount of human psionic talents come out of the Theocracy, a majority of those are Starborne. You may have been granted special schooling and opportunities, and often pampered. Once you get to the harsh realities of the Verge, you may yet use your gifts for something greater.

Orlamus happily attribute the origin of their society to a scientific advancement. Their origin is tied directly with the creation of the stardrive. On 2159 the first test took place in orbit of Mars. They activated the engine and soon the test satellite disappeared in a spectacular wave of light. This was the first recorded starfall. The destination was only the other side of the Sol system, so research vessels waited there. They expected it to reappear after minutes, but the wait turned to hours, then days. This panicked the scientists. Then exactly 121 hours after starfall, the ship came out at its destination, and was immediately surrounded by military and science vessels. The experience during the starfall was a unique one for the charismatic scientist, Jeff Sendir, the only one aboard during the test. Unprepared for a long departure in an unexplored dimension, Sendir struggled to survive. The satellite's sensors drew no readings from drivespace, reporting it was surrounded by a featureless void the whole time. But Sendir's report said otherwise, like unto a dream, he felt a presence with something greater, like a massive expansive intelligence. Vast unfathomable ideals floated through him. Many wrote this off as an anomaly as no other test pilots reported a similar experience in later tests. Sendir stayed active in the scientific community for another decade, working diligently to advance stardrive technology.

At age 45 he took many of his colleagues with him in establishing an independent academy for the study of drivespace and dark matter energies. The Orlamu Foundation, devoted to unlocking the mysteries of drivespace, always had religious overtones. Even while his scientific pursuits attempted to deepen the knowledge of drivespace, Sendir continued to develop religious views, and they spread throughout the scientific community. The foundation claimed several systems of its own, and in 2211 became the Orlamu Theocracy. Shortly after, the new theocracy discovered the Weren on the planet Kurg. Despite the Weren's own never ending civil war, they were peacefully integrated into the theocracy over the following years.

Despite it being a religious organization, drivespace research and stardrive development remained the nation's principal focus. It remains a scientific body first, and a religious organization second. This propelled the Orlamu economy to a great deal of success. Orlamu stardrives run in almost a third of the galaxy's ships, and are counted among the most reliable and efficient. Intellectual freedom are accepted as a matter of course by the Orlamus. Even as most follow the Orlamist faith, most hold the theocratic government as a necessary evil, not a divinely inspired power, as bureaucracy of any government exists in full. Weren have flourished under Orlamu guidance. Their violent tendencies have made integration difficult, but talented Weren are growing more common. The people of the theocracy maintain a belief in scientific revelation. Along with their allegiances to the most advance disciplines of science, the Orlamus gaze with wonder at the marvels of the universe - the beautiful balance of energy and matter, and the existence of life itself. And in these marvels, they see witness of a conscious divine will. Orlamus obsess with drivespace, they hold a great deal of reverence for all things drivespace touches, and perform most of their meditations traveling through drivespace, or as they call it, the Divine Unconscious.

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