Burning Path was a group of extremist Valtanists that were founded in the 25th century.
Origins -The New Corinth ConventionIn the year of 2437, a major Valtinist conference was held on New Corinth. The most important discussion was regarding AI with the advent of the 11th generation AI, which was viewed by Dr Dillon Schroeder, as the "Death-Knell of humanity". The Convention rejected the idea that AI were inherently evil, though they did not agree on whether an AI has a soul or not. As a result of this, Dr Schroeder and his followers formed a break-away movement referred to as "The Burning Path", later simply referred to as Burning Path.
BeliefsBurning Path believe that self-aware AI represent an existential threat to the human race, if not all sentient life in the quadrant. They extend this view to all AIs including TND intelligence and "hybrids" such as Atans.
OrganisationBurning Path's organisation is not generally known but it has a central organizing committee that arranges for funding, the purchase of equipment and some high level recruitment. Strategic organisation is done by a "General Staff" which is rumored to be organized in a military fashion Burning Path has many militias that are organized in a loose military fashion and then multiple smaller cells, which often have no direct communication with the higher ranks.
Relationship with Mainstream ValtinismBurning Path is publicly condemned by the mainstream leadership of Valtinism and nearly all Valtinist communes and schools would bank members who are members or supporters of Burning Path. The Ranger faction has generally been the most hostile towards Burning Path. Many secular organisations have conflated the actions of Burning Path with those of Valtinists in general, which causes considerable offence to many Valtinists The Valtinist Organizing Committee have made several statements stating that the views and actions of Burning Path are not consistent with those of Valtinism. However it is safe to say that a large number of Burning Path's supporters are Valtinists and most Burning Path militia are either Valtinist or some off-shoot of the faith.
Terrorist ActivitiesBurning Path began with protests and political action on Mars in 2444, protesting against the production of 10th and 11th generation AIs. Burning Path's first overt terrorist attack in 2448 was an attempt to assasinate a high ranking AI member of ADVANCE. The Imperial Council voted to make Burning Path illegal and it was later described as a terrorist organisation. In 2454 Burning Path attempted a raid on Allied-West's offices on Mars and New Berlin . In 2471 Burning Path apparently assassinated Lord Solway Ashpool, the CEO of AHI and a former Secretary of Defence. His intelligence was later "spun up" by TND technology. In 2501 Burning Path launched a nuclear attack against AHI's HQ on Al Ahily killing nearly ten thousand people. Even after the fall of the Empire, membership of Burning Path remains illegal on many worlds.
The Cobalt AttackIn 2493 a copy of the Azure, modified and released using the networks of Empirical Media struck against the AI community of the Empire. The virus caused AI's to suffer data degradation and a loss of cooling, causing their hardware to melt and their memory to be erased. It would also prevent the AI from downloading or broadcasting away. Around 80% of all AIs (around 42 million) were killed by this attack. As a result of this attack, the Empire launched Operation Resolve, a joint effort of CIS and the Marine Corps. This huge but slow operation raided dozens of locations and ended up with pitched battles on Avalon, New Corinth and Vanheim. 40,000 Burning Path militants were captured and more than 3,000 people were killed.
Dillon SchroederFounder of Burning Path, Dr Dillon Schroeder was a fringe Valtinist lecturer, political activist and author who created the movement and laid outs its tenets and organisational structure in his book "The Last War". Dr Schroeder handed himself in to the CIS and was placed under arrest but kept in good conditions. His time under arrest, without trial, was a point of pride for Burning Path and he was considered a political prisoner by Burning Path and their allies. He wrote another book whilst in prison "The Dawning of the Dusk" which was a best-seller and initially banned in the Empire, though later made available again thanks to intervention from the Empress.
Solasta VarleyThe young preacher and terrorist became one of the most important leaders within Burning Path after the Burning Coup. She led Burning Path's militia and proved to be a brilliant combat strategist and politician. The Republic made many attempts to assassinate her but they all failed.
The Burning CoupIn 2513, Burning Path successfully launched a major military coup on Nova Terra, overwhelming the planet's meagre security forces and quickly capturing the Downport and the Capital. The Governor's mansion and government quarter fell quickly and House Maquessa was all but wiped out, with all native Atans on the planet murdered. The Republic military HQ was able to resist but Burning Path had secured control of the planet within a few months. After a long siege, the Marines and sailors of the Republic surrendered and were returned to the Republic. In 2515 the Republic landed a large marine corps force of over 200,000 men supported by 125,000 Legion troops. A fierce war began on the planet and after five years of brutal fighting, both sides had lost many lives and the Republic had been unable to restore order. By 2520, the Republic had lost over 100,000 casualties and inflicted at least as many losses on Burning Path. In 2523, Strategic Dynamics deployed 200,000 PMCs to the planet, along with hundreds of thousands of battle-mechs. This larger force was able to increase the Republic's control on the planet. In 2524 Secretary of Defence Leander Ashpool announced the end of Republic combat operations on the planet, though the war was not yet over.
The Port Wellington SummitIn 2527 representatives of the Republic along with Elyon Maquessa met with representatives of Burning Path. The sixteen day talks proved to be very productive and both sides agreed to a full cease fire and that the future of the planet would be decided in the 2530 gubernational and legislature elections Generally speaking both sides kept to the cease fire agreement, though there were sporadic border clashes.
The Election of 2530In the 2530 election, Ravenheart swept the board, winning the office of Governor, Attorney General and better than 60% of the legislature. This was seen as a partial vindication of Burning Path, who agreed to disband their militia Many of these militia were later recruited directly into Nova Terra's militia and government.
Illicit, Terrorist group
BP, Bo Peep