Contestant (minor)

Tech -1 Environ +2 Resources +2

“Fissionpunk chivalry”
“Bodhisattvas among us”
“Bringing jets to a railgun fight”

A garden planet with many quiet centuries of rule under near-immortal Lamas. The Lamasery state, which keeps meditating adepts in every city and village, is supported by certain legacy technologies. The most important are anagatic gene therapies and ritual control over fusion missile ‚fireworks‛ surface-launched and detonated outside the atmosphere on the new year. The missiles originated as asteroid defenses but have not been needed for that purpose in generations—but within the living memory of not even the oldest adepts. The Lamasery provides medical care, education, and economic stability: there is no hunger or poverty. About 25% of the population are adepts and devotion to the Dharma is widespread through the rest of society.

The Seigneur aristocracy choose legislators, administrators, and other positions from among themselves and client families through ritual aerial combat: each seigneurial family has a handful of ancestral trans-atmospheric fighter planes, each a custom creation. The common citizens outside the seigneurial families have no political power except by association with a Seignueur or life as an adept. But with few internal problems and no external enemies until the appearance of the Alliance and Contestants in recent decades, governance is far more a matter of prestige and spectacle than the execution of meaningful authority.

Two marginally habitable moons and one planet in the system have recently been opened to colonization. Those who want the freedoms of the Alliance traders, without the restrictions of the Lamas and Seigneurs, are emigrating and forming new social experiments. Contestant societies are also planting colonies, some of which collaborate with Hamadryadese, others cultivating rivalry. Alliance traders run regular settlement flights between planets. Many Seigneurs, too, are unhappy with the hollowness of ceremonial power. Several factions have acquired civilian Alliance starships and are attempting to convert them into military assets.

Many Etan and Khartoumi adherents of the Etan theosophy spend time at Lamasery institutions, which have their own esoteric tradition. There are also Alliance scholars interested in the extremely ancient religious, philosophical, historical, and linguistic information therein transmitted. Dharma tradition indicates that the Way was rediscovered in past millennia from materials preserved from even more remote times.

Connections: New Terranova, Rhodes-Tufts, Maraksh