Penitent Brotherhood
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The most common insignia of the Brotherhood

"Trouble me not with the inclinations of the unenlightened; one man and God make a majority."
- Abbot-General Joshua Sandalwood, Ruminations on Humility

The Fraternal Order of the Penitent Man is a human religious organization that has established theocratic rule throughout Dragon Sector in the wake of the Terran Stellar League's collapse, and is renowned throughout human space for the black-and-white dichotomy they show between the love and compassion for the human race and the seething, insane hatred they have for alien races. Their nation's capitol world is Benevolence of Hobbes System.



The Brotherhood's earliest roots lie in a religious tradition originating from the Asian continent of Earth that was taken to the earliest colonies by United Nations EJDE settlers drawn from that region. It spread quietly among colonists from there, primarily among rimward colonies, and established its first mission on Benevolence in 2213.

League Era

During the Human-Skaald War - even before the League's full commitment to the fighting in Prometheus Sector - many of the sub-optimal colonies in Dragon Sector started running low on supplies. A band of pirates were attacking private vessels bringing supplies into the area, and the League refused to bring in humanitarian aid with bigger problems on their plate in Prometheus and Van Ryan. In desperation, these planetary governments turned to the Brotherhood on Benevolence for help, and soon the order had produced an Order Militant that escorted relief ships through Dragon Sector space, earning considerable amounts of goodwill.

By 2442, seven systems had ceded control - either direct or indirect - of their planets to the Brotherhood, and the Order presented their request for representation to the League Presidium. A controversial vote in favor followed, with unlikely allies to the Brotherhood stepping forward in the form of the Spartan Brigade. The Brotherhood would repay this boon in the Presidium less than a decade later - and in doing so, set the stage for the breakup of the League.

Recent Years

Outside its borders, the Order is a mere religious tradition, albeit one with virulent anti-modification beliefs that cause it to antagonize the Mirandolans - not to mention its anti-alien rhetoric that has caused more than a little trouble in Hydra Sector with the Jensai. Inside its borders, though, visitors are often disturbed by the hard limit to the amount of free information flowing amongst the populace - nothing outside its borders can be relayed to a Brethren below a certain rank unless approved by an Order board of censors, and attempts to disseminate free information are heavily enforced against and brutally punished.

This section has been disputed.

A number of recent events in Hydra Sector - theft, assault and trespass against Jensai citizens, capped by the attempted assassination of Jensai Ambassador Shelanna at a Holman joint press conference - have implicated Brethren suspects.

Political Structure

In theory, the Penitent Brotherhood is a nongovernmental religious order - but as in so many other cases, in practice it influences its protectorates in the same manner as a theocracy might. Generally speaking, any government with organizational ties to the Brotherhood can be considered theocratic in nature. In Republic space, the Brotherhood has an odd dual status as foreign government and religious organization that is often dealt with on an uneven keel - so in some places, Brotherhood temples retain a political advisor where embassies have been declined, and in other places Brotherhood embassies retain a chaplain (or ten) to lead religious ceremonies where their churches are not protected. Many Core Systems worlds - especially those far from Dragon Sector - don't make the distinction between the Brotherhood's two facets, and either refuse them together or allow the Brotherhood to operate as a religious organization with all the rights and protections afforded diplomatic staff.

Military Strength

The Penitent Brotherhood's military arm, the Order Militant, consists mainly of specially trained monks who spend most of their time on cramped, slow, unglamorous - but heavily armed - Swordcane Q-ships protecting cramped, slow, unglamorous freighters between Dragon Sector colonies from pirates in cramped, slow, unglamorous raider ships. That said, though, even the Swordcane is a vicious foe, and if it's as fragile as an egg, it's an egg with a sledgehammer.

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