The Cycle

The Cycle is a philosophy from Kasath that seeks revelations through the natural, infinite cycles of the stars and universe. It is the foundation of many solarian teachings, and was popularized in the Pact Worlds system by kasathas who traveled there on the Idari.

Dismissed by outsiders as "star worshipers", solarianism is the main religion of the kasatha.

Devoted adherants are the Solarian Warrior Monks.

Solarians are mystical melee combatants who harness stars and black holes to create weapons and armor from energy, and can manipulate these balanced, fundamentally opposing forces of energy and entropy.

Table of Contents

Philosophy


Solarians believe that the life cycle of stars, from their creation to the gravitational influences of their existence and their eventual destruction or inversion into black holes, represent two sides of a natural cycle of creation and destruction. A solarian can harness these forces and manifest them into physical forms that resemble armor and weaponry.

Some solarians practice this philosophy in organized training, while others stumble upon it through sudden revelations.

Monasteries


The Cosmonastery of the Empty Orbit, located in, is the largest solarian monastery outside Kasath or the Idari The towers of this sprawling complex are built facing the stars, on a courtyard on the outer surface of one of the Arms of Absalom Station, shielded from the void by a force field. It was founded by High Sola Tabishad Oseo Markola to spread the Cycle to the people of the Pact Worlds and oppose the re-engineering of the cosmos, which she considers to fundamentally disrupt its balance.[1]

Initiates are trained by the high sola's two assistants, Solas Sverdan Toloma Noyd and Zokora Yakarahv. Sverdan keeps new recruits focused and alert with drills and ambushes, and teaches them to strip away distractions and distil their resolve and vitality into a stellar mote with gruelling physical exercises. Zokora teaches students to manifest this mote in reality, and helps them dissociate their subjectivity through meditations and lessons on the Cycle.

Initiates who demonstrate solarian abilities leave their classmates behind to train with Tabishad herself. These proto-sols apply their new abilities in combat under her supervision, and serve as ambassadors by serving as guides or guards for visitors to Absalom Station, or speaking with or helping important figures, in so doing developing their tact and maintaining the cosmonastery's external relations. Once her students have learnt all the skills needed to combat the danger of re-engineering of the cosmos, Tabishad grants them the full rank of solarian, speaking in their graduation ceremony:

“You go into the galaxy as adults among children armed with plasma cannons. Teach them responsibility, or take away their toys and be ready for a fit.”

Those who wish to enforce these ideals can join the Order of the Empty Orbit, an elite solarian group that opposes reckless terraforming, planetary exploitation and artificial movement of astronomical objects.[3]


PRADULEX MONASTERY

The Pradulex Monastery is a site of knowledge that provides wisdom to those seeking to learn more about the kasathan philosophy of the Cycle. It also caters to those solarians seeking to learn more about or hone their existing abilities. The structure and its satellite buildings rest atop an artificial hill near to the Idari’s fore. Local transportation can take the PCs to the outskirts of the artificial desert lining the outer edges of the Idari’s interior, but a brief hour-long ground journey through the desert and up the hill is necessary to reach the monastery.Read or paraphrase the following as the PCs approach.The Pradulex Monastery is an imposing structure resting atop a tan desert hill. The structure rises well over a hundred feet above the vast desert terrain. Columns of marble-like stone stretch to the height of the building’s roof, while ancient statues of armored and robed kasathas stare down as if scrutinizing all who enter. The great gates of the monastery’s interior grind open as newcomers approach, interior light flickering through
the widening gap.

As the PCs approach the open monastery doors, a trio of kasatha initiates emerges to greet them. Unlike Alsuka, these initiates lack proper kasathan etiquette and perform only the basest introductions before escorting the PCs to master Boojan. These kasathas later attack the PCs in the Defense of Honor encounter, but for now should be portrayed as meek attendants. A PC who succeeds at a DC 20 Sense Motive check recognizes that one of the initiates, the kasatha Kan-Zal, seems annoyed to be dealing with outsiders. If confronted about this, Kan-Zal states that he dislikes being taken away from his training


The stars guide the planets with gravity,
create life with light and heat, and
utterly consume worlds in supernovas
and black holes. You understand that
these acts of creation and destruction
are not opposites, but rather two parts of
a natural, dualistic cycle. You seek to be an
agent of that cycle, an enlightened warrior
with the ability to manipulate the forces
of the stars themselves. Constantly
accompanied by a mote of
fundamental energy or
entropy, you can shape
this essence in combat
to create weapons
and armor of gleaming
stellar light or pure, devouring
darkness. Whether you apprenticed
in a temple or came to your powers
through personal revelation, you
recognize yourself as part of
an ancient tradition—a force of
preservation and annihilation.

The Cycle: Introduced to the Pact Worlds by the kasathas, the
philosophy of the solarians teaches that existence is an endless
cycle. Stars are born, die, and are born again, alternately bringing
life to the universe and destroying it. The balance of the cosmos
rests on the Cycle, and it connects everything in the universe.

The Cycle is a philosophy from Kasath that seeks revelations through the natural, infinite cycles of the stars and universe. It is the foundation of many solarian teachings, and was popularized in the Pact Worlds system by kasathas who traveled there on the Idari.[1]

Absolutely. Entropy is simply the tendency of systems to progress towards a less orderly state. In a more metaphysical view, entropy is progression towards an inevitable end. Entropy is a part of the cycle the kasatha believe in. Indeed, entropy is the ultimate balancing force, undoing anything that would cause imbalance. I can easily imagine a vanguard believing in the Cycle.

Given if there was no entropy, there would be no stellar radiation, it makes sense to me.

In fact, without entropy things simply do not change. Thus, in order for a cycle of birth and death to exist, entropy needs to exist.

Of course, it resembles hinduism which contains the same belief about the endless cycle of birth and destruction. Shiva is the god which brings destruction, but he is worshipped by millions and considered absolutely essential. Without destruction there can be no rebirth.

A vanguard might consider his powers an essential evil, or not evil at all but as inevitable as aging.

The birth and death of stars is just one part of the Cycle, merely being the Cycle on a cosmic scale. It is more the end and renewal of everything, birth, death, rebirth. As someone mentioned, it is similar to Hinduism with the endless cycle of creation and destruction.

In terms of its scientific validity, it's a bit hard to critique the feasibility of it when it's in a universe with literal magic and countless scientifically impossible or implausible elements. Besides, the heat death of the universe isn't necessarily the end of all things, merely one hypothesis out of many.

If it follows the history of the current cosmology and multiverse, however, there will be a hard break between the current cycle and any future rebooted existence. The material plane and star cycles didn't exist for some immense amount of time in the current iteration of existence.

If they think their particular Cycle is eternal, they're wrong. But I suspect several of the gods are similarly delusional about their long term prospects. Asmodeus probably really believes in the possibility of success for his plots to take over the whole cosmology and somehow avert the inevitable.

God's lifecycle is shorter than planets', stars' and universes'.
Most gods will be long forgotten before a million years to pass, hence a billion.

There's a balance between creation and destruction. Solarians are agents of that balance.

Also per the CRB, as a Solarion your powers can come because you "apprenticed in a temple or came to your powers through personal revelation."

So your beliefs regarding that balance can be from a temple or from your own understanding of the balance.

To me, it feels the same as asking what is the philosophy of Wizards that drives them all. It is different for everyone. I take the Solarians as the SF equivalent of Force-sensitives in Star Wars. Yes, you have specific disciplines/orders like the Jedi or the Sith, for whom their powers are intimately tied to their philosophies and helps define and drive them. But those are not the only Force traditions in Star Wars. It's possible for people to discover their connection to the universe completely on their own and develop their powers without the influence of some other religion or philosophy. The Solarian description mentions the connection to the forces of the universe and how Solarians recognize the balance of the universe and become a part of it. But just recognizing the balance and the back and forth of creation/destruction doesn't mean you have to be tied to that balance and seeking to maintain it. Maybe you think working for the positive energy side creates more good in the world, and you strive to push the balance towards creation and light. Maybe you see the positive energy as a pointless aberration of the eternal entropic void, so you seek to further the ends of entropy and destruction to restore the universe to a natural state. Or maybe you think your special Solarian powers were given to you to further some social or political cause, or just to make you rich, or that Solarians are a superior order of people who should rule over others. Could be anything.

I look forward to future books that will delve into Solarians more thoroughly, and which will probably make 80% of what I just said flat-out wrong. But that's how I'm playing it for now. Let the player work out whatever works best for them.

It'll vary from Solarian to Solarian. They seem to have tapped into some secrets relating to the stars, but the specifics are (quite intentionally, I'm sure) left up to the individual player (and likely their GM).

The primary philosophy of solarians in the pact worlds is called the Cycle. It has a brief description near the bottom of page 482. You can read a more about it throughout the Paizo blog post about Altronus, the iconic solarian.

it is essentially a philosophy of life, death, rebirth, the endless cycle of the universe, and the balance of that cycle. Apparently the universe itself likes people who acknowledge the cycle and grants them powers… or something.

According to the solarian class preview this philosophy came to the pact worlds on the Idari, so most solarians in the pact worlds are Kasatha. But apparently there are other similar philosophies that lead to solarian powers, because some solarians are from places that have never had contact with Kasathas.

I've been thinking of them as monks whose monastic orders align them with the universe, and whose powers stem from that alignment.

I get a very Taoism vibe from them. The balance between chaos and order, life and death, dark and light. Neither one nor the other but something in between.

Philosophy varies wildly from sect to sect.

What is the specific philosophy of this cosmonastery?
what are their tennents?
What are they driven by?
Are their powers sourced from this philosophy, or it it just something you can learn?

taught to focus his thoughts on the forces of the universe around him, to draw strength and guidance from the endless repetition of celestial creation and destruction.

the most advanced students, most of whom sought not just to understand the lessons of the Cycle, but to embody them in the path of the solarian

For the first time in his life, Altronus truly confronted the fact that he was going to die. Like the stars themselves, he too would be extinguished, his body breaking down and eventually being reincorporated over millennia into new entities, new worlds, new stars. At last, he truly understood the Cycle. With his final moments, he reached out to the universe, embracing it.

Introduced to the Pact Worlds by the Kasathas, the philosophy of the solarians teaches that existence is an endless cycle. Stars are born, die, and are born again, alternately bringing life to the universe and destroying it. The balance of the cosmos rests on the Cycle, and it connects everything in the universe. Solarians act as clerics to the cycle.

The philosophy that all things in the Universe are balanced between creation and destruction, light and dark, stars and black holes, and that this balance must be observed in one’s own life.

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