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“O joyous Ecumene ours, we pledge ourselves to you.
O prosperous Ecumene ours, we pledge our labor to you.
O glorious legacy of the gods, let our lives uphold you.
O glorious succession of the First, let our deaths protect you.
We are Their heritage.
We are Their hallowed.
We are the born of Their embers.
We are the hatched from Their warmth.
We are the Progeny.
The Progeny are us.
In us, Symmetry is reborn.
Through us, Symmetry will rise.
With us, Symmetry walks Æternal.
Of us, the Final Pattern is born.”
- - Anthem of the Progenic Symmetry
The Progenic Dominion of the Ecumene of Phero Æternal (Pheroene Lexicon: [ʋɕaɪɑm-pʼæ'ɛɬ ʒæamʋa'aɸɛɾo-t͡sɸaoʟɑm]), otherwise known as the Phero Ecumene (Lexicon:[ʒæamʋaɸɛɾo]), and briefly called the Grand Pheroene Consortium of Enclaves, is a large hegemonic civilization located in the Tuuros Galaxy, comprised of seventeen enclaves governed by magistrates, with a Parliament (Pheroene: Shoaphere [ɕoɑɸiɾ]) and Prime Magistrate (Pheroene: Kathaim-Zhov [kat͡θaɪm-ʒov]) to function as a lord over these vassal magistrates. As a stratocracy, all government officials are commissioned officers and have the authority to command soldiers in battle if necessary, though actual military operations are generally handled by the magistrates, who each control their own divisions of the largely decentralized Contention Forces. The population is regularly monitored by the advanced state surveillance systems, which are less entrenched in outer systems, a fact which has allowed the so-called Phero Underground to thrive in these systems.
The Ecumene was initially created by the Tvolin Conglomerate remnants and a collection of other civilizations which were all immediately threatened by the Tvolai Convergence and more belligerent powers of the Pal-Xalakk sector, many of which would later be absorbed into the Ecumene. The planet Phero serves as the Ecumene's capital.
Unbeknownst to most, the Prime Magistrate and directors of certain ministries answer to the Quintet, a shadow government of five Psal'Jinnai that survived their civilization's collapse and now seek to use the Ecumene as a means to regain control of Tuuros and complete their various other objectives. The one benefit to this covert union is the Ecumene's access to what remains of Psal'Jinnai weaponry and technology, both of which have given the Ecumene an edge in defending itself and conquering weaker species.
Ecumene technology is something of an amalgam of its resident species' technological feats, albeit with slight general advancements that have take place since the Ecumene's formation. Most Ecumene technology takes on a dark grey, black, or purple coloration, often accompanied by light green lights or details, and tends to be either cybernetic or destructive in nature, in combined response and submission to the tendencies of the Tuuros Galaxy.
Computing & Artificial Intelligence Edit
Ecumene computation systems generally rely on quantum computing, and many also rely on some form of neural network-based AI. Most Ecumene-born AIs follow the unique and versatile Tvolin model, which uses a triad of artificial neural webs hybridized with more traditional systems to create triple-personality AIs with the mathematical capacity of an ordinary computer and interactive capabilities of a sapient lifeform. "Larger" variants of such AIs are also capable of upgrading themselves with new artificial neurons and "birthing" entirely new AIs, often less complex ones that have only one personality web.
A number of Ecumene-affiliated AIs are also captured and repurposed Convergent Minds, mostly Strategic Minds that are now used in military operations. These AIs deviate little from the Tvolin model, for obvious reasons, and have become extremely useful in pushing back the forces of the Convergence.
“To live in the Ecumene is to live in Joy. The gift of collective ecstasy is unlike anything else in this life; no quantity of copulation, enlightenment, or thrill of combat could replace this, which is my everything and everything that I am. I give all that is myself to Joy for I am Joy and Joy is within and surrounding me and all of us who give ourselves are one endless, infinite, irreplaceable Joy.”
- - Joy addict
Joy is a state-provided digital system monitored by the Ministry of Joy, which can induce a state of collective thought and emotion via implants known as Plugs. All who are Plugged In experience the same thought process, emotions, and conscious states simultaneously over vast distances in space. It is treated by most as a form of stress relief, pleasure inducer, addictive pastime, or any combination of the three. While the Ministry oversees the shared mental processes of those connected via Joy, it does not always regulate or control these processes directly, and most of its functions revolve around ensuring those who use Joy do not suffer from decreased productivity.
The quality of Plugs can vary based on location and social status in the Ecumene; poorer individuals of non-ruling species are often only able to use Plugs that are prone to malfunctioning, have trouble granting them the full experience of Joy, or may accidentally overload the user with so much collective emotion that they suffer from neurological and physiological problems, while those higher up on the hegemonic social scale may use highly effective Plugs which provide the full experience of Joy while remaining safe to use.
Some illicit Plugs are produced by individuals in the Underground which are capable of linking individuals to privately operated collective cognition systems, though the thoughts one experiences or feeds into these systems can be easily bought by malicious parties.
Surveillance EditEcumene surveillance systems rely primarily on small robots known colloquially as "mites" (Pherone: T'aomdzæ [ǀaʊmd͡zæ]), each measuring less than a millimeter across. They are capable of viewing all wavelengths of light, detecting extremely faint vibrations in a variety of mediums, monitoring acidity, analyzing matter within 10 meters of each individual mite, finding concealed objects via sonar, and detonating to release a shocking electric pulse and flash of disorienting light. They can also act as conduits for local surveillance Overseers to hack into "secure" devices.
Overseers are AIs, with one in each system, that control all surveillance mites and monitor digital exchange of information. They are mostly identical, though each has a distinct name and non-disruptive personality, and several have modifications either for experimentation or increased versatility for dealing with highly localized problems. The Overseer designated "Ajkaema," is a notable example, possessing a less cooperative demeanor when dealing with local officials in the outer Ait'venda Enclave, who are often corrupted by Underground bribes and have in the past attempted to hinder surveillance operations.
All Overseer AIs also contain subroutines which regularly receive information from Ministry of Joy monitoring AIs.
Ecumene space is littered with megastructures, orbital habitats, and deep-space multipurpose stations. Of note are the Dyson swarms that surround the majority of stars in the inner and middle rims of the Ecumene, consisting of numerous mass-produced satellites which power the more intrusive process which supplies much of the Ecumene's energy: stellar lifting. Relying on the thermal-driven outflow method, equatorial Dysonic units equipped with powerful particle beams heat regions of the star's surface, with a ring current being used to direct the increased solar wind outflow into sets of magnetic nozzles along the star's axis.
Planetary Colonization Edit
Colonization of a new world begins with the construction of a space elevator from orbit to the upper lithosphere of the planet or moon, settling in a body of water if possible due to the prominence of aquatic species in the Ecumene. Worlds with no initial atmosphere are shielded from radiation that could blow it away before having nitrogen, oxygen, water vapor, helium, methane, ozone, and other gases pumped out into an artificial atmosphere around them. After the space elevator is built, pre-fabricated parts for surface structures are ferried down and put together by mechanical workers, and are followed by approximately a hundred colonists, mostly researchers, military personnel, and volunteers who wish to help populate the new colony. Foundries and refineries are quickly built to process materials found in the surrounding system into new structures, vehicles, and other necessities for expanding the colony. Plants native to other Ecumene worlds are often brought in to help sustain a habitable atmosphere and/or hydrosphere.
Additional space elevators are eventually installed at equidistant points across the planet's surface, and cities that spring up around them quickly expand both horizontally and vertically.
Gas Worlds Edit
Because the Tvolii are natives of a gas dwarf, the Ecumene often colonizes gaseous worlds in addition to rocky ones. The process is relatively unchanged, though the initial space elevator only extends down to the habitable layer of the gas world's atmosphere, and structures built around it use a combination of negative matter and rotors to stay aloft.
Government & Politics Edit
The Ecumene government is best defined as a "pseudofeudal parliamentary stratocracy," featuring a unicameral Parliament which elects a Prime Magistrate to serve as a feudal lord over enclaval magistrates. As a stratocracy, all government employees have military ranks and some training.
The position of Prime Magistrate is extremely powerful, exercising nigh-unchecked authority, though the Prime cannot directly contradict the laws of Parliament, and can generally only order Parliament to review certain laws. The Prime Magistrate, while the political leader over all enclaval magistrates, is technically equal to them in direct military authority, though the Prime's control over the Director of Contention allows them to exercise various oversight powers. In addition, magistrates are legally required to lone their contention forces and conscription powers to the Prime if ordered to do so by the Prime or Parliament.
The Parliament of Phero is made up of representatives chosen by the magistrates, with the number of seats allowed for each enclave varying based on population size. However, the assimilated state holding each seat is determined by the vote of the eligible population in their corresponding seat districts. Directors of bureaucratic ministries are selected from among existing Parliamentary ministers by the Prime Magistrate, and become immune to recalling by their magistrates until the extant Prime dies or steps down.
- Name - Umbyrvraxa
- Role - Prime Magistrate
- In Office - 2760 CE - present
Umbyrvraxa is a female-identified Tvolis and the current Prime Magistrate of the Phero Ecumene, formerly the Director of Occult Research and Security and later Magistrate of C'cysa before being elected to her current position by the Parliament of Phero, succeeding Daj Kesini, who was assassinated only six years into his reign. Originally intended to be an interim Prime, she was so liked by both the public and Parliament that she was officially elected in 2784, when Kesini's term would've ended. As a former Iconoclast for the Ministry of Occult Research and Security, she has seen firsthand the horrors that have come forth from Tuuros' Schism, and her resultant Frontierist views are shared by much of the population. She is also notably in favor of letting the Coelyss counterculture "bring life to her Ecumene," as she puts it, despite the repeated criticisms many of its members have of her and her government.
With tensions brewing between the galaxy's more prominent powers, Umbyrvraxa has begun approving increased centralization of the military in preparation for the outbreak of a massive conflict, to the silent protest of both her peers and underlings.
Vigorous Anti-Machinist · Moderately Pro-Essence Regulation · Slight Militarist · Vigorously Anti-Schism · Pro-Surveillace · Pro-Counterculture
- Name - Beurahl Goh Djazor
- Role - Director of Contention, High Consul of Talorossa, First Parliamentary Talore Seat
- In Office - 2788 CE - present
Beurahl Goh Djazor is a male Oslun serving as the current Director of Contention, tasked with oversight of the entire Ecumene military. In addition, Umbyrvraxa has granted him the position of standby Master of Legions, and if she deems it necessary he will be granted full command of all the Ecumene's military assets. He is a seasoned veteran of the Second Convergence War, and has seen firsthand some of the bloodiest battles in Ecumene military history. Much like various other veterans and commander, he harbors strong anti-machinist views, and loathes the concept of machines having equality to or superiority over organic life. Interestingly, he is one of the few non-magistrates to hold a pre-Ecumene title, having inherited the position of High Consul of Talorossa and thus the recently recreated Vend Legion.
Strong Anti-Machinist · Strong Militarist · Vigorously Anti-Schism · Slightly Anti-Surveillace · Expansionist
- Name - Slurone Om
- Role - Director of Information, Second Parliamentary
- In Office - 2802 CE - present
Slurone Om is a Nech and current Director of Information, tasked with overseeing one of the largest and most influential ministries in the Ecumene. Often bearing the brunt of counterculture-fueled criticism of the government, he has no love for the movement and is only held back from using his power against them by Umbyrvraxa, who is more sympathetic towards them. Within Umbyr's desires, he sets the general standard for all publicly available knowledge in the Ecumene, ensuring anything that comes too close to inciting rebellion or revealing the true nature of the Ecumene is censored and those behind such works are captured and/or executed.
Vigorously Pro-Surveillance · Anti-Expansionist · Slightly Anti-Gigaquadrant · Moderate Anti-Machinist · Strongly Anti-Counterculture
- Name - Navine vax Phero Kel-Tryshi
- Role - Director of Trade
- In Office - 2772 CE - present
Navine vax Phero Kel-Tryshi is a female Lieschi and current Director of Trade. Throughout her tenure, she has worked to reverse the attempts of her predecessors to create a more centralized set of regulations, as she believes in leaving most economic decisions to the feudal magistrates. However, she has implemented a universal ban on illegally acquired Okra laborers, has provided numerous incentives for all employers to give better treatment to organics, as opposed to synthetics, and encourages all guilds to refuse service to those who advocate for machine rights.
Moderately Pro-Surveillance · Strong Expansionist · Strongly Xenophobic · Vigorous Anti-Machnist · Vigorous Anti-Economic Centralist
- Name - Zhaliphax
- Role - Director of Occult Research and Security
- In Office - 2819 CE - present
Zhaliphax is a male-identified Tvolis and Director of the MORS, a ministry known for its parsecs of black ink and involvement in defending the Ecumene from "unconventional threats to public safety and stability." While it has seen a drop in activity since the collapse of The Congregation, Umbyrvraxa appointed Zhal due to his less relaxed personality relative to his predecessor, and he is intent on, as opposed to merely fighting paranormal threats, studying and weaponizing them for use against potential enemies of the Ecumene, both internal and external. Zhal is also a strong advocate for regulation of Essence usage of any kind within the Ecumene, and he has coordinated with other Parliamentary lawmakers to establish a MORS-operated Essence Registry, with unregistered Essence-usage now being illegal in Ecumene-controlled space.
Vigorously Pro-Essence Regulation · Moderate Expansionist · Strong Anti-Machinist · Moderately Authoritarian
Enclaves are the feudal subdivisions of the Ecumene, numbering seventeen, including the Capital Enclave. Unlike the Prime Magistrate, voting has nothing to do with the appointment of enclaval magistrates, who must compose a list of favored successors in the event of death, exile, ore resignation. It is from this list that each new magistrate is determined.
Within their enclaves' borders, magistrates wield nearly absolute authority, save for when they are limited or superseded by the central government. No separate legislative or judicial bodies exist within any enclave, though enclaval subdivisions of the bureaucracy may check certain actions of magistrates on behalf of the Prime and Parliament, both of which can do the same if necessary. Magistrates control their own semi-independent contention forces, and it is not unheard of for one or more magistrates to be in conflict with an outside entity that is not at war with the Ecumene as a whole. The now-defunct Federation of Gheshumba, a small collection of systems inhabited by species who had fled the Tvolai Convergence's advance into Pal-Xalakk, was a good example of this, having been absorbed by several outer enclaves with little notice or comment from the central government.
Assimilated States Edit
Several civilizations assimilated into the Ecumene still exist to some extent. Each member of the Ecumene's ruling species has a form of unique dual citizenship, to the Ecumene and to their species' former civilization. Laws applying only to members of these semi-defunct civilizations continue to be passed by their leaders, who often hold additional governing or policymaking roles in the Ecumene. However, territorial control no longer belongs to these semi-defunct states, though should a leader of one of them also come to rule an enclave, said enclave will abide by the assimilated state's laws for the duration of that magistrate's rule.
Autonomous & Restricted Worlds Edit
A number of planets within the Ecumene are designated as Autonomous; that is, independent of enclaval control and governed by an elective Autonomous Tribunal. The Ministry of Autonomous Worlds and its Director oversee these unique planets. Many of them, such as Coelyss, are simply planetary dumping grounds for sociopolitical deviants who cannot be realistically rehabilitated.
Uninhabited planets in the Ecumene, such as Teopas, are often reserved for a variety of purposes by the central and enclaval governments, from mass automated mining to ecological preservation to advanced weapons testing. These planets have incredibly acute orbital scanning satellites, capable of picking up and object as small as ten meters across and shooting down any unauthorized ship that refuses to leave when contacted. Most Uninhabited Worlds are overseen by an AI, though those that experience more activity, often worlds reserved for weapons testing, will have direct oversight from whatever ministry has acquired the planet from the Ministry of Restricted Worlds.
The Ecumene Contention Forces are fundamentally fused with the government itself. All government officials are commissioned officers, and the feudal magistrates have effectively total control over their own divisions of the military, commanding them on behalf of the Phero government during wars in exchange for authority over their enclaves. This system is both a blessing and a curse—while the mostly decentralized military is more unpredictable than conventional ones, such decentralization can hamper its effectiveness as a united fighting force. However, the Prime Magistrate has the authority to abolish feudal control of enclaval military divisions and place them under the more centralized control of a Master of Legions, if it is deemed necessary to overcome an enemy. Though decentralized, each division follows the same basic organization of its forces.
A unique aspect of the Contention Forces is the application of belief as a tool of war. A large number of soldiers, mostly those who are planned to remain in service for a lifetime, will be cybernetically indoctrinated into a hybrid of Therusism, increasing their thirst for success in combat and conquest significantly. This hybrid religion is believed to have originated in the First Oslun Empire as the state religion before it largely died out, only being artificially resurrected within the past few centuries.and
total mobilization time: 6 months
total mobilization time: 3 months
total mobilization time: 1.5 months
total mobilization time: 3 weeks
total mobilization time: 1 week
total mobilization time: MOBILIZED
recruitable population: N/A
recruitable population: N/A
recruitable population: N/A
recruitable population: 970 trillion
recruitable population: 8 quadrillion
recruitable population: 15 quadrillion
Society & Culture Edit
Demographics & Species Edit
|Societal function|| Aristocracy|
|Societal function||Military|| Military|
The Ecumene contains a rigid species-based social hierarchy which is backed by the government. Recently assimilated non-Progeny species, such as the Perüle and Settans, have their interplanetary movement and representation rights restricted, and are confined to outer enclaves, ruled by magistrates not of their species. The Perüle, in particular, receive regular physical and psychological examinations to determine their fitness for conscription into the Contention Forces of various Enclaves, and all recently assimilated races undergo a process of political, social, and cultural reprogramming. Atriants, being on the border between synthetic and organic, are controlled by the Ministry of Atriant Usage and function either as laborers or light infantry.
At the top of the visible Pheroene social pyramid are the Tvolii, Oslun, Nech, Tyle'ans, and Lieschi. All are allowed ruling rights and are rarely found outside political, scientific, or military roles. The Oslun dominate the Contention Forces of most Enclaves, fulfilling a variety of roles, though some have also taken up professions as leaders within the government. Tyle'ans and Lieschi serve scouting, sniping, and security roles in the military, and Tyle'an-led Lieschi-majority planetary branches of most ministries are incredibly common. The Nech dominate the scientific body of the Ecumene, with most working for the Ministry of Information or Ministry of Progress, and while banned from Terrestrial Legions, some have proven to be excellent naval commanders. The Tvolii are effectively a ruling species, making up the majority of directors, magistrates, and ministers and serving "commanding specialist" roles in the Contention Forces.
The Psal'Jinnai, while not recognized as members of the Ecumene, remain the true ruling race in the form of the Quintet.
Economy EditThe Pheroene economy is based on the use of Zemblite (Pheroene: [zɛmɓʟaɪt]), a form of programmable matter left in caches across Tuuros by the Psal'Jinnai, as currency. Once converted into a new state, such as part of a machine or a piece of hull plating, it is impossible to convert it back into "raw" Zemblite, increasing the demand as it is used. However, this demand is supplanted by the eerily regular finding and reactivating of new Zemblite caches both in and out of Ecumene territory. In addition to functioning as currency, Zemblite has information-gathering properties that send raw electromagnetic, auditory, and chemical data to a Psal'Jinnai organoserver, allowing the Quintet and Ministry of Information to monitor the locations, usage, and movement of all active Zemblite.
Much of the Ecumene's mining and manufacturing is automated with some organic oversight, though a number of guilds have deals with the Okra Inalvial that allow them to use worker-caste Okra as cheap physical laborers. However, the fact that the Okra are not an Ecumene resident species means they are not protected by regulations that would otherwise keep workers from being abused, leading to a sort of semi-legal slavery, which is kept secret from the Inalvial by the guilds indulging in it. However, most Okra that live past a month as adults are without any severe mental defects that could make them rebellious, and almost all torment inflicted upon them is due to the sadism of guild overseers. Atriants are also known to be used in a slave-like way, with guilds often purchasing illegally reprogrammed Atriants from Underground markets and seemingly hiring them on the surface.
The Phero Underground (not to be confused with the Phero Subterranean Transit and Commercial Network, which is also referred to as the Phero Underground) is a massive web of contract killers, contraband salesmen, slave markets, hacker cells, radical cults, organized criminals, and others working outside the law. Its presence is most obvious in outer-rim slum and frontier worlds, where federal and enclaval surveillance infrastructure isn't as developed as it is in the inner systems.
Nevertheless, the term "Phero Underground" can often be taken literally, as almost 50% of its physical substance exists in unmonitored but sophisticated subterranean tunnels. In most cases, an individual will strike a deal on the Ecumene's darknet from a planet's surface, then travel underground to finalize the transaction. While this may sound like an easy process, dark markets will often enlist hackers to review a customer's personal information to ensure the Underground is not found by security forces. If a detective or security officer attempts to sneak into the Underground, they will either be rejected immediately online or lured into a trap before being sold on a slave market, interrogated, or harvested for organs.
Unbeknownst to the public, the Quintet and Prime Magistrate are actually fully aware of the extent of the Underground through hypercovert Psal'Jinnai surveillance systems left behind by the old Psal'Jinnai civilization. They allow the Underground to exist as part of a private deal with the uncomfortably nearby Vranntan Order, allowing the dark market slavers to do business with the Order to stave off a potential invasion.
Satellite States Edit
Defensive pact since 2695 CE · Trade route since 2609 CE · Political manipulation · Economic manipulation
Defensive pact since 2818 CE · Trade route since 2732 CE · Political manipulation · Research agreement since 2764 CE
“A new order in its infantile state.”
“Know that whatever walls are built by the weak have no foundation. All walls that exist outside of our own exist merely to be knocked down.”
- - Lord-General Sarhadraxantal of the Asilaphean Empire
“They're smart; that much is obvious. Dangerous? Perhaps. The Phero Undeground, however? Well...business is business.”
“Weak and foolish creatures, cowering behind walls. Your worlds will burn beneath the fires of destruction, as this universe is cleansed of your inadequacy.”
“Chir-chir. Strong and valuable partners. We feel safe with the Ecumene at our side.”
- - An Okragenn
“All existence will be brought in order and Categorized. Threats to the Convergence will be Simplified.”
- The Phero Ecumene was the hardest faction to come up with a flag design for, according to Parazrael.
- The original Phero Ecumene flag design was radically modified following the introduction of the Progeny into his fiction.
- The initial concept and aesthetic of the Ecumene was inspired by Destiny's Cabal Empire. While it was changed dramatically before being brought into the Fiction Universe, this initial concept lives on in the Oslun, a species partly inspired by the Cabal. This iteration was also notably less dystopian and more democratic than the final draft. In 2018, the Ecumene military also received a visual overhaul that blends the original Cabal-esque aesthetic with that of the Vanu Sovereignty from Planetside 2, which it also shares various aspects with.
- In addition, the original Ecumene would have been located in the Mirus Galaxy, and would have likely absorbed much of Parazrael's extant fictions present there. Due to its pre-implementation relocation to Tuuros, this is now highly unlikely, at least for the time being.
- The Coelyss Counterculture evolved from the original concept's overall cultural atmosphere, which was also partially inspired by the counterculture of the 1960s US and Parazrael's personal beliefs.
- In addition to the Cabal Empire, some of the more hegemonic aspects of the Ecumene were inspired by Halo's Covenant.
- Unlike most fictional surveillance states, the Phero Ecumene is not explicitly collectivist or fascist.
- Planetside 2 Soundtrack - Terran Republic Theme serves as the Ecumene's theme.
- Over the course of its development, the Ecumene has evolved from a hybrid parliamentary-feudal state contrasting with the extreme dystopia of Tuuros to something of a hegemonic cyberpunk society ruled by a quasi-fascist regime.