Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Cultural Context of the Akashic Mysteries

The Akashic Mysteries deeply tied to the Maradon culture and its rise to Galactic dominion.  The roots of the Akashic Mysteries lie in the Maradon culture's ancestral legacy of psionics, eugenics, and the discoveries made on the new world of Persephone.

Of the original three human worlds, Maradon had the strongest psionic culture. Their civilizatoin quickly discovered and thoroughly researched psychic phenomenon. They used precognition to uncover crime, telepathy to separate truth from a lie, and ergokinesis and psychokinesis to explore new physics. The eugenic experiments that eventually created the Maradonian aristocracy arose long before the formalization of the Akashic mysteries.

Because this early era had not yet perfected psionic eugenics (and their direct genetic tampering proved disastrous), the early psions of the Maradon Culture quickly became celebraties or power-brokers. If one wanted as many as three precognitives to uncover crime or predict the outcome of a business venture, one had to search far and wide, and either enslave the precognitive or give the precognitive whatever she wanted. Thus, psions quickly came to dominate the Maradon culture; eugenics and aristocratic bloodlines, over time, only cemented this power.

The Akashic Mysteries didn’t really get their start until Maradonian colonists settled the world of Persephone. There, vast networks of caverns hid within its volcanic islands and mountainous inlets, creating a complex “underworld.” And within this underworld, the colonists discovered “the devils of Persephone”, or the Kairoskia.

Time, and the Akashic Order, has obscured the early stories about the devils of Persephone, so that fact blurs with myth. They might be symbolic, a phenomenon uncovered by the colonists, or literal monsters, or a strange bloodline that arose on the planet. What seems clear is that the Kairoskia killed many colonists until they began sacrifice their maidens by sending them into the caverns. Those maidens eventually returned, having brokered some sort of understanding with the Kairoskia, and brought with them an understanding of deep time. They claimed to have “read the Akashic record,” and to have witnessed the shape of time.

Persephone began to produce the greatest precognitives in human space. People from across the local sector began to flock to Persephone to beg the Akashic Oracles for answers to their questions. The Akashic Oracles gave them the answers that they needed, but demanded high prices. They sought initiates into their order, demanded sacrifices and mysterious favors. Finally, Alexus Rex himself came to Persephone and demanded to know how to expand his dominion. The oracles greeted him and drew him deep into their caves. When he returned, oracles flanked him and Sissi Sabine stood at his side. He announced their engagement, the truth of the Oracles and described the prophecy the oracles had given him: they saw a “Coming Storm” that would tear apart the galaxy, and that only the Alexian bloodline could guide the galaxy through that storm safely.

Thereafter, the Akashic Order accompanied the Alexian fleet as it conquered the galaxy. They descended into their dreaming pods and consulted their shadow councils. They told the Maradonian elite where to fight, who to marry, and when to make allies. The Akashic Order guided the Maradon culture to dominion, shaped their aristocracy and set them on the path to eternity. Together, the Alexian bloodline and the Akashic Order created the “Eternal Empire.”

But the Eternal Empire couldn’t last forever. As time wore on, some within the Akashic Order took less interest in the “Golden Path” of the Akashic record and focused more on personal success and happiness. They began to make alliances with powerful nobles, describing what paths they could take for immediate gain, knowing that this slowly, bit by bit, pulled humanity off the Golden Path, but leaving it to future generations. Slowly, the Maradonian bloodlines began to lose their potency and the Empire its power.

Then the Akashic Order met the philosophy of True Communion. Their profound power allowed them to side-step destiny. They preached a vision of the world where no person was greater than another, that all people had potential. True Communion undercut the very principles upon which the Akashic Order were founded upon: the weight of destiny, the rarity of psionic power, the need for powerful authority. The lesser nobles and the common man took to this new, alien philosophy and founded the Knights of Communion.

At first, the Akashic Order refuse to tolerate this dissent. They saw it as a danger to their golden path. Knights loyal to the Akashic Order formed their own Order of Akashic Knights who openly fought against the Knights of Communion. Eventually, though, the Akashic Order lost control of their own degenerate members and the mad Emperor, Lucius Alexus, and all out war erupted with the Knights of Communion, a war that destroyed the Alexian bloodline and shattered the dreams of the Akashic Order.

In the fiery collapse of the “Eternal Empire,” the Akashic Order had no haven in the storm. The had no single bloodline they could ally with. The debts of the degenerate members came due and the timeline fractured into a million unnavigable paths. Some in the Akashic Order would side with one noble house, while another portion of the Akashic Order would side with another house. One side would win, and the other would blame the portion of the Order that backed him for giving him bad advice. Slowly but surely, the Maradonian elites lost faith in the Akashic Order. Some remained true, but the Akashic Order retreated back to Persephone while the aristocracy picked up the pieces of the Empire and welded it back together as the Federation.

The Akashic Order remained on Perspephone, in an archconservative part of the Federation that still believed in the old ways. The sight of a veiled girl flanked by robed defenders became a quaint reminder of a more superstitious past. Their loss of power meant that only those who believed fiercely in the need to protect the galaxy from the Coming Storm: the fires at the end of the Eternal Empire had purged the order of the unfaithful. The Akashic Order rededicated itself to its original purpose.

They foresaw the galactic invasion for what it was: the first rumbling of the Coming Storm. They tried to warn the Federation of the need to act, but they bickered instead. They foresaw the rise of the Emperor, and they warned the aristocracy to prepare. Some, like House Sabine and Grimshaw, did just that, and were ready for the Empire when it erupted. Suddenly, the old prophecies snap into clear focus and the Akashics of the modern era begin to wonder: is it possible to bring mankind back onto the golden path again? Perhaps the galaxy can yet be saved from the Coming Storm...

Akashic Culture and Values

The Order of the Akashic Mysteries are grounded in the culture and values of the Maradonian people. Thus, their basic preconceptions tend to be grounded in the same elitist prestige, value for innocence and purity and their sense of restraint that the rest of the Maradonian elites have.

The people of Maradon believe that some people are demonstrably better than other people. Their aristocracy are stronger, healthier, smarter and more attractive than the common man, and thus more suited to rule. Even if one disagrees with these assessments on subjective grounds, objectively the aristocracy have powers that mere mortals do not: they can see the future, shape your mind and toss around electricity. The rationalists might dismiss these as tricks, but the Maradonian people know better. Because the aristocracy has powers and insights that the common men do not, they obviously have the right to rule.

But this right to rule comes with an obligation. The reason the Maradonian elite have the right to rule comes because they’re the best suited to do the job right. Which means they must do the job right! This creates a compact between the ruled and the ruler, with each bound in turn by the other. The aristocrat must rule wisely and justly and use his power to expand not only his own wealth and happiness, but the wealth and happiness of all his people. This means that the elite must exercise restraint. He is not free to act as he sees fit. They should not use a wasteful, warlike or insulting solution where an elegant, peaceful and respectful solution could work just as well.

This fosters a paternal relationship between ruler and ruled. The elites shelter the common man from the dangers of the galaxy, and thus the elites begin to value the softness associated with a well-sheltered person. A delicate princess with flawless skin and long, long silken hair who has never faced an unkind word, to the Maradon people, is not a sign of indolent degeneracy, but a sign of the power of her protectors. To the Maradon people, the ideal world is an idyllic one, full of lush pastures and happy, fat commoners who never worry about war or theft.

The Akashic Order feels the same way. They see themselves and their self-appointed leaders, as the only elites capable of ruling the galaxy. Only the strongest, the fastest, the best can possibly do the job, and the Akashic already knows who the best are. However, a heavy hand on the timeline might have unexpected consequences, and if people become too aware of the realities of the hardships that they face, or the true content of prophecy, they might begin to act unpredictably. The Akashic Order wants people to be blindly obedient so that the Akashic order can move them to where they need to be with minimal danger to all, and this even applies to its own members. The Akashic Order is rigidly hierarchical, with the most prestigious and pure-blooded at the top of the Order; they exercise a restrained rule, seldom making appearances and making small, subtle moves, while they expect their followers to blindly obey and to pull back from the world, to make as little impact on it as possible, while also allowing to make as little impact upon them as possible (to best retain their objectivity).

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