The Bannercasting is the name for the period of years in which the majority of the Banners were formed. Though each has its ancestry and existed in some form or another before this point, this is considered the time of inception for their modern states.
The Bannercasting happened at a time of relative, if strained, peace and prosperity, where the nations of Ethnis were beginning to look to the stars in earnest.
It began with the determination that the Jhoutai WayHall
must have two sides. One side lead to Via Lactea's Sol WayHall
, but the other was a dark pool of void. On the lit side, at the top of the ring, a shining chromatic sphere floated behind some arcane shielding, but the same slot on the other side was empty.
The Verin Haimarchy
A Great Discovery, a New Frontier
The Reclamation of the Mar'rianiyan Territories
included the rediscovery and reclamation of the Tower Palace
, a once-critical Ancient Haimarchy
site: a tomb where previous Verin Sovereign
Among these tombs they discovered an Index
, an artifact first found long ago by Sovereign Alephus
and passed down through the Sovereign for a couple generations until one insisted on being buried with it. At the time of its original discovery it prompted the invention of the Divinoriums
, but in the modern context the reigning Azukenda
of the Haimarchy recognized it as the key to unlocking the WayHall.
delivered the Index to the WayHall, and on their approach were astounded to find that the Index began to gravitate towards the WayHall and, once released from the airlock, slotted into it. With a flash of prismatic light the dark pool became a window to another galaxy, and the space race began.
The hope of new lands and a new home—a planet to call their own again—drove the Verin into a new era of growth. They turned their gaze and their economy towards the WayHall, and the modern Verin Haimarchy
was born. An interstellar empire.
The ValuSelu Pact
This event motivated the Sazashi nations of Jhoutai to hold a Pact Moot, wherein they decided to combine their forces. They marked this with the 5th signing ot the Pact of VeluSelu and joined their forces in a union called the ValuSelu Pact. Competition with the Haimarchy drove the Pact towards a common goal, and knocked down many of the barriers between its cultures along the way. Their dislike of eachother may have been strong, but their dislike of the return of Verin supremacy was stronger.
The titanic force mustered by the Haimarchy sent a ripple through Ethnis. The demonstration of power that it represented elicited concern from the rest of the universe. It was not long before the other major factions of the time began to consider their standing and the possible ramifications, and came to the conclusion that they must band together and muster equal force to expand to the stars lest the Verin get such a foothold that they change the entire intergalactic balance of power.
The Church of The Somnolent
The sleeping giant awakens
and Humanity, and in the vacuum left behind a new power grew, opposing the growing technocratic rule of corporate interests.
This movement was aligned behind an enigmatic and charismatic leader, the Somnolent, who claimed to have been spoken to by The Creator
, to have been given great power and the responsibility to look after and protect humanity. He spoke with a fire that spread among the populace. The Somnolent roused the sleeping giant of humanity, and filled it with his intense resolve. The Wheel—Metatron, voice of God—chose him as the Human Sovereign. He was given the power of Astral
Metaphysics and shared it with the rest of humanity.
His influence grew until the faith in his Church eclipsed faith in the government, and the Church of The Somnolent took over Eden
and Mars. They put up the Ion Curtain
around Eden and set their roots deep into the soil.
Now the Somnancy operates from its base on Eden, behind an Ion Curtain of protection. Their roots are deep, their power great, their sense of justice afire.
In creating their union, the Sazashi relinquished their protectorate status over
The Jupiter Syndicate
Faced with the dire possibility that they may get cornered off and eliminated by the Church of the Somnolent, who now had control of the WayHall, the collective marginalized businesses and government signed an accord which merged them into The Jupiter Syndicate. They then came to realize that if Jhoutai had an index for the dark side of its WayHall, the Sol WayHall may very well have an index of its own somewhere; this initiated a rabid search for the second Sol Index.
The Somnacy found the Index first, with the help of the Somnolent, but the Syndicate managed to steal it and get through the gate first before setting up a barricade on the other side. They found themselves in a semi-habitable solar system Andromeda
, and quickly laid down the infrastructure to colonize it's main world, which they named Victoriana
While the influence of the Church of the Somnolent was a great boon to the spirit of Eden, it villainized the organizations which had facilitated diplomacy and trade between Jhoutai and Eden for the last century or two. Their existence became so hated that they became the focus of terrorist attacks and were forced to retract from Eden to their bases on Jupiter.
The House of Sorrows
the continued fallout of the other Banners forming was causing widespread concern among those parties who knew they would not benefit from the casting of those Banners.
Several major names in particular rose, calling themselves the House of Courage
. They urged the Pact to take action against the Somnolent now that he was clearly on the warpath. When their voices were ignored they turned instead to violence, and began to assassinate members of the Monolith Pantheon of Jhoutai
en masse. Their power was such that they didn't even need an army; their march became known as The Harrowing
. Their intent was simple: they were tired of the Monoliths
and rulers who dared tell everyone else how to live.
By the time The Harrowing was brought to a bloody end, those involved had torn apart the very foundation of the Pantheon and left a gaping hole in the spirit of the people. Those who believed in the the House of Courage carried their cause even in their death, believing that the world will always be broken so long as it is beholden to the wills of higher powers. They carry in their hearts its mantra, but bore on their brow another name. The House of Sorrows.
Time and again they have tried to rise. Each time they have been struck down—either for their own deeds or as the scape goat for another Banner. Their reputation and repeated defeats have gotten the better of them, warping their presence into a more clandestine shape, and their ideals into ones often ripe with the Sorrow of their namesake and a deep, abiding loathing.
They lurk in the shadows, leadership and intent unknown to all, perhaps even themselves.
The Apple of Hedon
A defiance of fate; living in the moment, forevermore
, an Engine
in charge of entertainment of the people. She created for them a device called Sensate
which allowed them to share sensation.
The technology came at the best, and worst time. It became the lynchpin in the creation of scores of Foci
—thoughtforms lent strength and form by the quasi-hiveminds of Sensate crowds. Most were easy enough for Auric Psiolic
to dispatch, but by sheer quantity they won out, and began to lurk in every dark corner. Among them a voracious one rose, consuming all of its kin to become particularly powerful. Its name is Desire
Saavy and intelligent, Desire lurked in the shadows, helping pick off the other Foci and organizing the Sensate masses into a cult, then a religion. Her word spread outwards, whispered into ears in the night and outwards through the stars until her name became known to every home despite so rarely being said by daylight.
She revealed her hand in a fell swoop, calling on those who had quietly pledged themselves to her and absconding with fleets of ships and turncoats from all the other Banners. As new systems continued to be discovered she stole a handful for herself and lay invisible roots in all the rest. Her battlefield was, and remains, one of culture rather than land.
Oppositional to the House of Sorrows and the Somnolent, and in the fear of both, many people sought comfort in socializing and indulgence. The Pact fed this with
Many eons have passed, and while the dynamics have changed the old patterns and names remain. Others have grown and tried to claim power, but their corpses are dust in history, their bonemeal the concrete of the road of time.
Another has recently risen to join them...
The Free Planet Federation
Separate but united
The landrush of the modern Era of Reclamation
tends to be a mixed back for many of the worlds they reclaim. For some worlds it's a lifeline—a saving grace from an existence of scraping together meager survival from a dying planet; for others—namely those who flourished on their own—it's a death knell to their independence and the beginning of their exploitation.
A few worlds in particular (Perduro
, and Nouvelle Planète Bordeaux
, to be precise) have taken offense to this and, with the help and organization of The Archive
have cast themselves into a fresh superpower. Rich planets, skillful tactics on many fronts, and a small-but-capable military have not only halted the occupation of their worlds, but allowed them to turn the tides.
When new planets are found they are often on the front lines of exploration and diplomacy, eager to talk another world into their fold. Many are still drawn by the other banners, but each world the Federation takes quickly comes to enjoy the riches of the others, and grows quickly as a result. Their tactics change often, ranging from the logical to the insane, a feature which makes them difficult to reckon with.
They're seen as wild and free, a reputation they have cultivated and which the other Banners have begun to act against...
The formation of the Federation is a tale of defiance.
The landscape is ever shifting. There's always opportunities for new powers to rise, and old powers to fall.
Everything hangs in the balance, everyone quietly fears the day when the cold war of the Banners goes hot.
The fate of the universe falls on the shoulders of seven names.