I, [insert name], pledge surety in the light of the Flame that I will faithfully and well, to the utmost extent of my skill and power, preserve the Imperial peace and prevent all offences against life, liberty, and property; and that I shall do so without fear of or favor towards any person, and with malice or ill-will toward none.– service oath of the Watch Constabulary
I give my allegiance, above laws, thrones, powers, and peers, to the Contract, to the Charter, to the principles for which they stand, and to the citizen-shareholders of the Empire; and in the discharge of my duties I shall hold this allegiance above all other considerations.
By these words, I am the watcher upon the walls, the guardian at the gate, the shield held over the innocent, the Flame that stands against the Fire. My life is the coin with which civilization buys peace. I will sell it dearly, but yield it gladly when I must, knowing that I am a sentinel, and my life is made for sacrifice. Never shall I fail in this trust, for this day and all the days to come.
The Master said:
First, do no evil. Then, do good. This is the Way.
The Student said:
What if I must do evil in order to do good?
The Master immediately struck the Student with his staff, knocking him senseless.
And it was good.
– The Book of Five Leaves
Among the acknowledged greatest and most disruptive grifts in the history of the Worlds is that perpetrated in the early 5800s by Murin Eldvell in the Annik Sodality. An executive for a fuel-manufacturing corporation specializing in the production of tritium and heavy (deuterated) water, Murin was inspired by the florid warnings required by the Sodality Hazardous Substances Authority to be placed upon their main products.
Noting the adverse health effects of the consumption of [pure] heavy water or semiheavy (partially deuterated) water, Murin pioneered the marketing of deuterium-free light water, a bulk byproduct of their manufacturing processes previously returned to the environment, as a healthy alternative to natural, mixed-isotope water.
His campaigns made a point of the toxicity of heavy and semiheavy water molecules, while refraining from dwelling excessively on the low prevalence of these in natural water. His guaranteed-heavy-hydrogen-free water products (including bottled water, water ice in a variety of forms, and eventually “light” versions of synthdrinks made using only light water) were a tremendous success, especially after his greatest anti-natural campaign which successfully convinced the Sodality electorate to demand warnings be placed on bottles, faucets, and other supplies of natural water.
The business eventually collapsed after six decades as sufficient reality finally penetrated the worldview of the Sodality, and people observed the continuing good state of health of the remaining light-water refuseniks. The collapse did a great deal of damage to the Sodality’s domestic heavy water industry (the increased imports lasted for over a century) and indeed to its deuterium-harvesting industry as collateral damage, and resulted in a number of controversial laws (since at no point in any of his campaigns did Murin state anything false) to prevent a reoccurrence.
It did not, however, prevent Murin himself from retiring to a private lunar retreat trillions of exval richer, fatter, smugger, and entirely safe from extradition.
(His autobiography, amusingly, points out that the ice moon on which his private retreat is built contains approximately six times as much deuterium, by concentration, as the oceans of Annia.)
– Artisans of the Grift: The Greatest Cons In History, Bad Stuff Press
With the gratitude of the Empire and the thanks of the Lords of Admiralty: that Ardíra “the Bathrobe¹” Octarthius-ith-Octarthius, while commanding Their Divine Majesties’ destroyer Faithful Hound, did successfully escape a surprise attack mounted by linobir vessels of approximate cruiser and battlecruiser type at the commencement of the Linobir-Embatil War, and in so doing did such damage to the cruiser that she was scuttled by her own crew, while preserving the lives of her crew and the fighting weight of her ship, despite the manifest advantages of the enemy in mass, armaments, and attire. Her coolness under fire, gift for tactical innovation, and the fighting spirit of Faithful Hound do her and her crew great credit, and reflect the highest traditions of the Imperial Navy.
– Mentioned in Dispatches: Imperial Navy Awards, 5300-5400
- When battle stations sound, you don’t stop to change.
On the sea or in space, a battlecruiser is a cruiser putting on the airs of a battleship, and a fast battleship is a battleship cosplaying as a cruiser. This doesn’t become a problem until the types start to overlap.Admiral Brandel Tsurilen, First Shore Lord
There are those who accuse Mer Vadális Exoarchaeological University of being home to, if not infested with, one of the Starfall Arc’s greatest collections of adventurers, looters, graverobbers, smugglers, treasure-hunters, weirdseekers, and other scoundrels of like nature. It is my honor to assure them that they are understating the case.Morrí Elarios, 7th Chancellor of the University
cla-elén bríäz jé elén duenissí: (literally “without blades or maidens¹”) an ancient idiom, this phrase provides a way of discussing dangerous or forbidden topics.
If all parties to a conversation (or other means of communication) agree on discussing a matter “without blades or maidens”, the conversation may proceed without concern that offense will be received (or at least that such will not give rise to a cause of action, although it is courteous to refrain from receiving offense insofar as such discussions are often invoked to cover potentially offensive yet necessary subjects) or that the subject will pass before the ears of those who should be spared its ugliness.
When the conversation is complete (or when a party to it withdraws their agreement), it is not done to resume discussion of the matter at any time not without blades or maidens.
- While the choice of word here may seem unusual for eldraeic sensibilities, the reader is reminded that this is an ancient idiom, and one imported from a language (pre-Imperial era Chresytani) in which the word commonly translated “maiden” was routinely used to describe those possessed of a certain quality [not generally sexual] of innocence, regardless of their actual gender.
Hyadíne Ossoric-ith-Ossoric, Sixshires (4162-4550): Advanced a doctrine that certain peoples could not be content in a state of liberty, being incapable of comfortably serving as their own directive authority, and should therefore be made subject for their own contentment. Proclaimed a heretic of the Uncaring Rider in 4372. Accepted exile as a Renegade in 4441. Assassinated by the First Directorate in 4550 after attempting to put his ideas into practice.
Yadira Moko-ith-Moko, Kanatai (1749-1933): Advanced the theory that creations (including children – the only possible sophont creations at that time) had an inalienable duty to their creators; some of his writings were later used by AI-shackling theorists. Accepted exile as a Renegade in 1933, but was killed by his grandson in self-defense before he could depart the Empire.
Caríäl Volovoga-ith-Volovoga, Jussovy (5441-6543): Selected as Senator from the 182nd century, 5790. During her term in the Senate, she advocated for many policies in accordance with her expansive theory of power, in which the popular will was held superior to, and thus able to override, the individual will (cf. Drowning of the People). Repeatedly censured by the Senate, and eventually indicted for conspiracy to deprive the citizen-shareholders of their fundamental and Chartered rights in late 5791. Accepted exile as a Renegade in that year. Went on to a moderately successful if undistinguished political career in the League of Meridian. Died in an groundcraft accident during her re-election campaign of 6543.
Anatev Sargas-ith-Sarathos, Stonewall (6890-present): Attempted to set up an organized crime group, specifically a thieving crew, within Imperial space. While more successful than others of its type, the crew was broken up by the Watch Constabulary in 6955. Sarathos alone escaped their pursuit, fleeing to the distant Expansion Regions on a privately owned freighter. He was convicted and declared Renegade in absentia in 6956. Sarathos is currently the estrev of the Providers crime syndicate in the Flotsamic Shore constellation and nearby. Currently at large, Sarathos is on the Red List, but is considered a low-priority case since he retains more scruples than the typical Renegade.
RED VULGAR SEVEN
NOTE: Sarathos has occasionally proved useful to ISE operations in the region. As long as this remains the case and he remains competent, provide information as necessary to ensure that he is not caught and/or terminated by serious actors. Authority of the All-Seeing Eye.
Magis Major, formerly Magis Houseless, formerly Magis Múranios-ith-Múranios, Selenaria (3301-5497): An entrepreneur and industrialist, Múranios became wealthy through his ownership and management of several resource extraction and industrial manufacturing companies in the prosperous industrial region of Rorevel, in Esmérel Province. However, in the course of his commercial disputes with Blackstone Industries and their House Falsazik owners, Múranios adopted an increasingly extractive mindset that put him at odds with the industrial consensus of the time. From the 3800s on, Múranios engaged in an increasing number of clashes with the Protectorate of Balance, Externality, and the Commons, over matters of resource depletion and pollution, and found it increasingly difficult to find contractors willing to work for his businesses under the terms he demanded. Indeed, several professional guilds blacklisted Múranios as a counterparty and offered assistance to their members to relocate elsewhere in the Empire, if they wished.
House Múranios severed ties with him in 3952 over his attempt to introduce an institution similar to the “employment contract”. After this stern rebuke, several lost suits in Shareholders’ Court, and further blacklisting, including by other industrial institutions, Magis Houseless left his existing businesses behind (selling them at below cost to Dalsúl Falsazik of Blackstone Industries) to embark upon a new scheme, inspired by the ongoing expansion into space and the concurrent development of biotechnology.
In 4044, Houseless, who many had thought was well into the process of a rapprochement with society, left the Empire suddenly along with a number of other businessmen of dubious repute. By 4052, the shape of this scheme was revealed as Houseless, now calling himself Magis [the] Major, revealed the existence of the Magen Corporate, a polity dedicated to the pursuit of profit without the hindrance of ethics, with himself as Holding Chairman.
Major’s polity was a bitter reminder to the Empire of the danger posed by certain Renegades if left unchecked. Nonetheless, the Imperial governance declined to take direct action against Major in the interests of interstellar diplomacy and stability, the stresses leading up to the First Interstellar War making themselves felt at the time that the unpleasant details of the Corporate were becoming known elsewhere. Nevertheless, several branches posted private bounties on Major, some running into the 12⁹ esteyn.
Since none of those bounties were collected in the aftermath of Major’s assassination in 5497, it would appear that this was a matter of Magen corporate infighting. Nonetheless, the polity bearing his name remains a thorn in the foot for Imperial plutarchs and an offense to good business everywhere in the Worlds.
Tarasta Houseless, formerly Tarasta Rysar-ith-Rysakar, High Daëntry (2154-2309): Antipropertarian “philosopher”. Disowned by House Rysakar in 2184 for misappropriation of family assets. Indicted for defalcation 2194 and on several continuing occasions. Founder of the Never First antipropertarian movement in 2260. Deprived of citizen-shareholdership for felony theft in 2283 along with several of her followers. Declared herself Renegade in 2291 and voluntarily exiled herself and her followers to an abandoned orbital colony. In 2309, she incited a riot among her followers in habitable domes attached to the recently constructed Silver’s Line lunar mass driver in an attempt to distract attention from theft of freight. In the ensuring antiriot, Houseless and the majority of the Never First movement were killed.
ulargydar: (from ul, negation + argyr, worth + daráv, person or sophont) Usually translated “nithing” or “nihility”, ulargydar literally means “worthless person”, used to describe the worst miscreants. The implication is that Entropy has devoured all the worthy qualities and virtues present in the ulargydar‘s soul, leaving behind only a nothingness in the shape of a man.
kaälath: (from “ka”, present time marker, and “alath”, wisdom) context-uncoupling or dehabituation, that state of mind in which one experiences everything as removed from its context and from the normal state of affairs. In the state of kaälath, one is able to experience all things as fresh and new, despite that one may be accustomed to them by long experience.
Learning to achieve kaälath is not only a core part of objective-perception for rationality training, but is also considered one of the keys to ethical maturity, unlocking the ability to be aware of the unique value of all things, and thus to not take those things one meets and makes use of every day for granted.
Having established as an ethical principle that to be sophont is to be entitled as of right to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness, it must necessarily follow that the proper function, in accordance with virtue, of the technical organs of a civilization is the abolishment of death, constraint, poverty, and misery.Ch. 1, Eternal Progress, Ianthe Claves Elinaeth