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Scheveningen

The Supreme Order of Christ [slightly WiP]

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MAJOR credit to my mate Snake for the help in drafting this lore canonization application.

Type (e.g. Planet, Faction, System): Autonomous paramilitary faction.
Founding/Settlement Date (if applicable): Answer depends on context. If context is within the 'ultramodern' Supreme Order of Christ, roughly 2302 AD, with steep advancements and windfalls all along the way to the present date.
Region of Space: Generally within Alliance space. Main Diocese HQ on Luna, whilst the Vatican City serves only as a ceremonial location for annual parades or events led by the Papacy or Ecclesiastical administration. Various Chapters that answer to the Grandmaster of the Order are generally spread out throughout known space, even having chapters on worlds such as Moghes in their efforts to convert some of the Sinta peoples.
Controlled by (if not a faction): In terms of ranking authority, The Papacy > Any designated Cardinal by the Papacy to hold authority over the Order > The Grandmaster of the Supreme Order of Christ (who is chosen either by the Papacy or by the designated Cardinal) > Chapter Masters (often chosen by the Grandmaster of the Order) > Holy Regiment Commanders (chosen by seniority rules, approved by the Chapter Master).
In general, the Supreme Order of Christ is an autonomous functionary of the Roman Catholic Church. 
The Order's highest echelons of leadership are generally descendant from Portuguese, Spanish or Italian descent.

His Holiness John Paul V has absolute sovereignty over the matters of the Supreme Order of Christ. Presently, the Grandmaster of the Order is César Guerra. The Order's Honorary President is Bruno Cdl. Iannella.
Other Snapshot information: Special thanks to Robert Chew for concept art. Copyright infringement not intended. https://robertchew.artstation.com
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Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light. - Micah 7:8

Known outside the Papal structure as the Supreme Order of Christ (SOoC heretoforth), the aforementioned is another link in the chain of RCC-supported military orders that eventally merged into a single, autonomous entity, and the old Orders such as the Knights Hospitaliers and St. Boniface eventually were merged into Chapters to allow for easier management of clergy-personnel.

If the Knights Templar were the sword and shield of the Roman Catholic Church in the Medieval Ages, then the SOoC are the firearm and mobilized infantry of the Roman Catholic Church for the futuristic era. While certain traditions of the Catholic faith have been timeless and never changing, the needs of a Papacy to be able to defend its own interests have always shifted and adjusted with the times. The SOoC is the example to the latter rule.

Essentially, the Supreme Order of Christ is the Papacy's answer to the paramilitary complex in the current galaxy to be able to defend its own interests and project power where it needs be.

The overall numbers according to the Papacy's census data states that the Supreme Order of Christ numbers at 70,000 persons strong, however this does not take account of its special operatives and its integrated positronic chassis units that follow the agenda of the Order. There have been speculations that the actual manpower number, assuming 1 IPC is equivalent to another being, is roughly around 120,000 to 200,000. Not all sources testifying to this being the case have been verifiable, however, and many such voices proclaiming the Supreme Order of Christ being larger than really it is suddenly fell quiet in due time. 

Long Description:

Much like the Knights Templar and Hospitaliers that preceded it many generations ago, the SOoC is a charity-led organization turned elite fighting force for the Papacy's interests. It has projected its influence in ways as one might expect a religious order would do: They've provided immediate crisis relief for natural disasters on Earth and the other colonies too far away from the centralized reach of the Sol Alliance, as well as towards the other systems with non-human inhabitants, often with the motivation to streamline conversion. In many ways their presence has saved more than just a handful of lives within the Core Worlds and outside of them.

Due to issues regarding traditional dogma and ancient stigma regarding the role of women, The Roman Catholic Church does not openly permit women to be in any public Chapter. There is, however, an exception to this, listed further below.
The Roman Catholic Church also is extremely selective regarding alien candidates, especially considering how one must be a converted, pure and wholesome Catholic to have any chance of passing the very heavy screening process to be given entry into the Order. While they have a separate Chapter for synthetic paramilitary operatives, they ultimately see IPCs as tools much as a sword or a shield would be seen as.

Known commonly for their white garb with red accents in urban environments, the Supreme Order of Christ is nonetheless feared for its zealotry and aptitude to seize property out on the Frontier and mistreat whom the Chapters view as 'Unrepentant apostates', which has earned the SOoC a mixed reputation. Certain members carry what seem to be archaic longswords in their sheathes, but there are reports that these seemingly ceremonial weapons hidden in their sheathes are actually vibroblade-based technology, capable of magnetizing and drawing incoming bullet-based projectiles to absorb their impact. Given this is in reality a known development of Alliance technology, one could only wonder what kind of support the SOoC really receives from the Alliance.

The Sons of Adam are the largest Chapter and ultimately the most crucial to the interests of the Papacy. Their role is to protect the various Dioceses within Alliance territory from outside harm. The most notable regiment under the purview of the Sons of Adam are the Papal Guard, formed from the remnants of the Pontifical Swiss Guard and integrated with the highest quality military training money can buy in order to protect the Pope and the Cardinals within the Vatican. The Chapter's official HQ was based in the Vatican, but their training facilities are primarily located on Luna, and the Luna Diocese is where one would spend the majority of their life during times of peace as a member of the Sons of Adam. Additionally, since a fair amount of time they've been driven away from being able to attend mass in the Vatican, a major political focal point as part of their agenda to influence the Alliance government to grant the Roman Catholic Church its property back. The Sol Alliance has no official opinion regarding the status of the Supreme Order of Christ or the Sons of Adam, in spite of how much assistance the organizations have given the former. In short, they are the bulwark to protect the homefront and are easily the most dangerous Chapter given their numbers and influence. The Sons of Adam also dispatch members out to the Frontier colonies that the Alliance's own military cannot reach as part of their charity efforts... as well as attempting to convert more faithful, of course. Much of their generosity towards the Sol Alliance has been in part due to spite of the Alliance's unjustified occupation of the Vatican, with hopes that the Alliance will one day grant the RCC the return of the most Holy City on Terran soil.

The Daughters of Eve are the smallest Chapter and perhaps the most unusual one. This Chapter's numbers are primarily women and purportedly led by a woman as the Chapter's Master, particularly sourced from candidates that are rumored to be sourced from consecrated lay virgins. A Daughter of Eve must be chaste in order to attain and maintain membership, as well as marry themselves to God, carrying on the exact same rules as they had to follow from before. This lends itself to a degree of plausible deniability especially since it is not common knowledge that the Supreme Order of Christ conscripts women into their ranks. The conditions of which a Daughter of Eve is chosen is not known apart from brief glimpses based on non-verifiable ex-Cardinal testimonies and what the Pope himself is beholden to know. The exact role of the Chapter is not publicly known given the lack of insider information, though there have been sightings out in the frontier of individuals in the regalia and armor of a typical warrior-monk of the Supreme Order of Christ, but their figure was far from what would be a masculine appearance. This has led to wild speculation such as the Supreme Order of Christ fielding female operatives working their own operations with varying levels of discretion and indiscretion, but these reports have not been corroborated by a legitimate investigation, nor confirmed by the Roman Catholic Church to be true or false.

The Sons of St. Bonifacebased on a remote underground outpost on Moghes, are also particularly detested by those of the Sk'akh faith due to drawn-out antagonism between the Knights of St. Boniface and the Maraziite Order donning their iron masks. The motivation for this conflict is due in part to the Chapter attempting to support and convert certain Sinta communities further out of the reach of the main cities, but often the Chapter's members have intruded upon sacred ground of the Maraziites in doing so. This has resulted in those of Sk'akh faith proclaiming themselves a staunch enemy of the Sons of St. Boniface and condemning the Roman Catholic Church for allowing this trespass. The other faiths are not as hostile towards the Sons of St. Boniface as the Sk'akh are, and on occasion have crossed paths with the Chapter, leading to each party relieving the other of minor inconveniences, though perhaps not intentionally on the Chapter's part. The Th'akh and the Si'akh likely only see a benefit in relations with the Sons of St. Boniface due to a common enemy being shared, but this has not often been taken advantage of either by the Chapter's leadership or by the Th'akh and Si'akh. Ultimately, the Th'akh and Si'akh would not likely be compatible with the interests of the Chapter and vice versa short of sharing that common antagonism with the Sk'akh.

The Sons of St. Lazarus are a Chapter within Dominian space, though much like the St. Boniface Chapter, the Sons of St. Lazarus have a hidden headquarters chapter. The efforts of the St. Lazarus Chapter have largely been to subtly sabotage the affairs of the Dominian Tribunal (given the total ideological incompatibility between the RCC and the Dominian Tribunal this should be no surprise), though they have been very careful in threatening the sovereignty of the Emperor, often avoiding certain opportunities to throw a wrench in the plans of the Dominian Tribunal if it meant aggravating the Emperor himself. For the past 5 years their operations have been without substantial progress in their line of affairs, but this is more perhaps due to the Dominian suppression of the media that no such stories of certain acts being thwarted by the Sons of St. Lazarus.

The Sons of St. Dominic are based within Jargon Federation space. Unlike the Sons of St. Boniface and the Sons of St. Lazarus, the Sons of St. Dominic have much more amiable intentions towards their hosts. The Sons of St. Dominic have a Diocese on Qerrbalak itself and often assist in much of the same ways as the Sons of Adam. While the Chapter has excellent diplomacy and rapport built with the local government (due in part to constant exchanges of generosity in some highly sophisticated and complex attempt to out-gift the other party), the Skrell have proven generally difficult in proselytizing to given the secular nature of the Skrellian scientific community which is ever-present throughout Skrell culture, as well as how obvious the cultural barriers are. As a result, there is a very low turn-over rate of Skrellian Catholics, but the Pope and the leaders of the Skrellian communities at the federal level possess good relations in general, albeit many altercations near ending in heated debates over subjects of belief (Popes are particularly stubborn in terms of doctrinal argumentation, as a rule), before returning to warm relations and amiable departures.

The Sons of Cain, also known as the Sons of Brutus and the Sons of Judas, are a traitor Chapter with Freemasonic, corrupt megacorporate allegiances. They were previously a Chapter based on Adhomai that was eventually taken over by a malicious Chapter Master that has since been excommunicated by the Church, but is still at large. Their primary agenda is based on dragging down the reputation of the Supreme Order of Christ down by any means necessary, in doing this they often co-opt the identity of a legitimate member of any other Chapter (often a local one for enhanced believability) and then commit terrorist attacks while in the traditional garb of the relevant Chapter. The Sons of Cain often operate within Tau Ceti and Adhomai, the Sons of Brutus operate often within the Alliance territory, and the Sons of Judas operate in-between the Jargon Federation territory. The distinction between members of Cain, Brutus and Judas can often be confusing, but they are simply subdivisions of the same Freemasonic interest. It is said that if they had equivalent numbers to the Sons of Adam, they'd be an incredible threat, given the financial support by the criminal Syndicate umbrella organization that funds anti-national government activity. The Sons of Cain employ tactics such as blackmail, sabotage, threats of murder and bribery in order to corrupt the vulnerable to their cause. It is said that one can identify a Son of Cain by a Maltese cross with a diagonal slash through it etched into their body, though operatives have been identified before without these markings at all, making them all the more frightening and dangerous. These individuals are the antagonist faction.

All public Chapters have divisions of regiments, the significance largely lays in the specialization of individuals.

The Knights of Saint John eventually developed a military branch of the Supreme Order of Christ of what is known now as one of many Hospitaller Regiments. Their presence as doctors and EMTs match that of the IAC, and the two organizations have collaborated in many occasions. Many of their hospices have been established together. Those who studied under either the civilian Knights of Saint John (whom are unaffiliated officially with the SOoC) or underneath the Hospitaller Regiments as a member of the SOoC would likely be well suited as an EMT, Medical Doctor or Surgeon. They operate anywhere they can and their duties involve healing the sick.

The Maltese Order, originally sourced from the Knight Hospitallers, developed into a separate paramilitary branch of the SOoC of what is now known as the Maltese Regiments. These individuals heavily specialize as the vanguard operatives of the Papacy interests, and they can perform a very wide variation of tasks, whether it is breaching and clearing a defensive position with the assistance of their sapper squadrons, or capturing and holding critical locations with remarkable resilience and fervor. Units of the Maltese Regiments are also known for their starship piloting and mechanized infantry crews.

[A few things are left unfinished. I hope to god I can still edit my OP anytime, this is just proof of concept for now, the non-fluff is mostly done. Tell me what you think.]

Edited by Scheveningen

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Ok, here is some feedback.

I really like this. The concept art, even if cool, looks a little tacky. Do sci fi Catholic boys really need crosses all over them and literal shields? Actual Catholic knights just had knight armor, not anything special.

Secondly, the Sons of Cain and Sons of Judas are hilariously over the top. I would still think this chapter is still Christian. Unless they became satanists, it's pretty stupid. And even if they were not satanists but still not Christian, it'd still an over the top name.

If this were to be implemented, there should be some reflection of it in game. Maybe some sprites of the armor and guns, a news channel, etc, something to validate it.

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On 13/12/2018 at 07:57, DeadLantern said:

Ok, here is some feedback.

I really like this. The concept art, even if cool, looks a little tacky. Do sci fi Catholic boys really need crosses all over them and literal shields? Actual Catholic knights just had knight armor, not anything special.

Secondly, the Sons of Cain and Sons of Judas are hilariously over the top. I would still think this chapter is still Christian. Unless they became satanists, it's pretty stupid. And even if they were not satanists but still not Christian, it'd still an over the top name.

If this were to be implemented, there should be some reflection of it in game. Maybe some sprites of the armor and guns, a news channel, etc, something to validate it.

gonna throw in my two cents here because I study religion at university - depending on if the Sons of Cain are Christian, they could be Gnostic... tertullian mentions a sect of heterodox Christians who glorified Cain as the first dude to get owned by Satan (keepin it simple)

if they're non-Christian Sons of Cain be a very edgy name... but reality is edgy sometimes so it doesn't seem super crazy

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Sorry, forgot to reply to some criticisms.


Firstly I forgot to mention that the Chapter was not initially known as the Sons of Cain, but rather the Sons of St. Paul. I'll edit more comprehensively when I get time to fluff things up.

The Sons of Cain can still likely be Christian but are often more than not, Gnostic. To be part of the traitor chapter implies a distaste for the overarching Papacy and what they view as corrupt Cardinal rule.
The Sons of Cain are not intended to be Satanist in the slightest. They own that name simply for fear factor's sake.

Much like some Cardinals in the Papacy, however, it wouldn't be surprising if some members of the Chapter of Cain were heretical atheists in private, especially in the higher ranks. For the most part, however, there is still a religious element to the Sons of Cain, but also a lot of antagonistic tendencies directed towards what they view as a corrupt papacy.

@deadlantern It more or less depends on the Knightly chapter. The Knights Templar (known today as the Supreme Order of Christ in real life, actually) wore their own cross, as did the Maltese/Knights Hospitaller Order, and the Order of Saint Lazarus. It also depended on what a Catholic knight could afford based on his class in society, especially at the time of the Third Crusaders where paraphernalia of "deus vult" memes tend to originate from. Some Catholic knights did not even belong to a chapter per se which likely further extended the possible backgrounds a knight could come from. One could have simply followed King Richard to battle during the Third, and was nominated a crusader regardless.

The comparisons of this to WH40K are also largely unintentional, but the comparisons are easy to make no thanks to WH40K essentially basing the majority of their lore on Catholic military orders and ecclesiastic bureaucracy structure.

Kyres and I are working on concepts for the most part to help further realize this.

Edited by Scheveningen
things

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btw - some info on catholic thought regarding artificial intelligence; st. thomas aquinas's mentor, st. albert, allegedly made an automaton out of metal that was capable of speech. st. tommy responded by burning it. just some food for thought re: why the sons of cain might have split. if they are gnostic, they might have almost definitely had huge issues with the creation of new, intelligent life capable of suffering.

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On 15/12/2018 at 04:16, Scheveningen said:

Sorry, forgot to reply to some criticisms.


Firstly I forgot to mention that the Chapter was not initially known as the Sons of Cain, but rather the Sons of St. Paul. I'll edit more comprehensively when I get time to fluff things up.

The Sons of Cain can still likely be Christian but are often more than not, Gnostic. To be part of the traitor chapter implies a distaste for the overarching Papacy and what they view as corrupt Cardinal rule.
The Sons of Cain are not intended to be Satanist in the slightest. They own that name simply for fear factor's sake.

Much like some Cardinals in the Papacy, however, it wouldn't be surprising if some members of the Chapter of Cain were heretical atheists in private, especially in the higher ranks. For the most part, however, there is still a religious element to the Sons of Cain, but also a lot of antagonistic tendencies directed towards what they view as a corrupt papacy.

@deadlantern It more or less depends on the Knightly chapter. The Knights Templar (known today as the Supreme Order of Christ in real life, actually) wore their own cross, as did the Maltese/Knights Hospitaller Order, and the Order of Saint Lazarus. It also depended on what a Catholic knight could afford based on his class in society, especially at the time of the Third Crusaders where paraphernalia of "deus vult" memes tend to originate from. Some Catholic knights did not even belong to a chapter per se which likely further extended the possible backgrounds a knight could come from. One could have simply followed King Richard to battle during the Third, and was nominated a crusader regardless.

The comparisons of this to WH40K are also largely unintentional, but the comparisons are easy to make no thanks to WH40K essentially basing the majority of their lore on Catholic military orders and ecclesiastic bureaucracy structure.

Kyres and I are working on concepts for the most part to help further realize this.

Ok bro, be real, you're making their name St. Paul so that their emblem would be an upside down cross. After the explanation, I do like the name Son of Cain as they are gnostic and apparently glorified him at some point. I'd encourage you to try to be as realistic as possible. Their emblem should be the mark of Cain (upside down L with two vertical dots on the left side) rather than the upside down cross.

Edit: disregard my first part about St. Paul. I am mixing them up with St. Peter.

Edited by DeadLantern

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Posted (edited)

Although I am no expert in this matter, I'd say the autonomy of post-modern sci-fi with autonomous sects of Catholicism, spread out across the galaxy between sector to sector, would cause some sort of sect(s) to break off. This may be very interesting to see in game, and would develop the religious lore and at that human lore significantly in my opinion.  

This has a lot of potential currently, and I would love to see this developed. I would like to see bluespace discussed within beliefs possibly, and at that how the distance from Rome many chapters have to face, not being able to reach the papacy in a timely manner.

Edit:  Adding on to what I said, it may be interesting to see a new improptu "third" bible developed possibly by the Sons of Cain, maybe denied by the Church or something. Might be a little overkill, but it would do for some neat stuff.

Edited by ComradeCorbyn

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