The Hatire Community is an empire filled with contradictions. A theocratic stellar nation that couldn’t practice its faith without the stardrive, the Brethren deny the value of the technological advances of mankind. Most of humanity sees the advance of science as a measure of humanity’s progress. This belief seems foolish in the eyes of the Brethren. The success of a species cannot be measured in technological toys alone. The Brethren believe that the next step in humanity’s evolution will be a spiritual leap of faith.
More than 100 years before the invention of the stardrive, Adam Hatire and his group of religious reformers exercised moderate influence over several of Earth’s superpowers. Over time, the Brethren lost ground as technological breakthroughs continued at an ever-faster pace. Still, as scientific advances forced radical societal change, the Hatire faith attracted millions by aggressively marketing itself as a return to a spiritual way of life. The message was heard, and hundreds of Hatire communes existed on Earth by the time the first space colonies were founded.
Hopeful colonists left the Sol system, and the Hatire Brethren were among them. Many wealthy Hatire churches decided that only in the uncontaminated reaches of space could a new spiritual colony meet with success. Millions of the Brethren left Earth behind, hoping to build a new society. Subsidies from friendly Terran powers helped lift the Hatire into space, and the faith’s early spaceborne popularity ensured its offworld success. Colonies were established in dozens of systems, and the Hatire doctrines of a simple life of hard work and a minimum of technology met with great success. Colonies supported their closest neighbors and exchanged information. Eventually, the linked colonies formed a closed economy with one another, excluding the rest of human space. But since any closed society is an irresistible lure to human curiosity, the fame of the Hatire colonies spread, and more Brethren took to the stars. Connected by religious ties, a shared sense of the future, and a budding economy, the Hatire Community declared itself a nation on September 16, 2271.
As decades passed, the Hatire faith lost some of its cohesion. Generations of Brethren grew up on a number of diverse planets with different ways of life. The simple style of living remained popular, and the mad advance of science met with the same scorn by the collected Brethren. The religious fervor of the faith had never been as strong as the call for a return to simpler days, but now the religious component of Hatire life was weakening rapidly. Heretics grew in number, and the normally reclusive and peaceful Brethren were forced to put down several splinter groups.
The start of the First Galactic War in 2299 brought the Community’s internal schisms into sharp relief. Governed by a system-by-system confederacy, most of the Community elected to declare neutrality. A few colonies sided with Earth, and a few allied themselves with the Thuldan Empire.
Despite the community’s neutrality, the first decade of the 24th century transformed Hatire society. Haven, a beautiful planet settled in the late 23rd century, provided the inspiration that eventually drew the Community together. The exploration of Haven’s surface offered humanity a rare opportunity to see the intact ruins of a million-year-old alien civilization.
Hatire archeologists reported that the largest structure to survive was located at the center of the ancient city. The relics found within that site dazzled scientists, but the story told on the edifice’s walls was even more important, at least to the Brethren. After studying the alien symbols for a dozen years, the Brethren announced a discovery that would reshape the Community. The ancient dwellers of Haven’s ruins revered a noncorporeal being that the translators named the Cosimir. The alien writings recorded the history of the Cosimir’s visitation to the material world and its prescription for a new purity of spirit. As more texts were translated, the gospel of the Cosimir spread among the Hatire. Over the next decade, the Community went through phases of curiosity, debate, and ultimately revelation. While Hatire theologians argued about the Cosimir’s message, the masses accepted the Cosimir as an element of faith they had been missing. Purity of spirit and trust in the Cosimir became the watchwords of the Hatire Community.
Transformed by their new faith, the formerly reclusive Brethren saw their mission clearly. The Cosimir’s word must be heard and spread throughout space.
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The Second Galactic War
The years between the wars – and the first few years of GW2 itself – went badly for the Community. As Hatire missionaries met resistance to what many outsiders perceived as a bizarre religion, the Community became more entrenched. Unlike other stellar nations, the Community spent few resources exploring new frontiers. Instead, it concentrated on spreading the faith, but with missionaries traveling throughout human space, the Hatire were ill prepared for the outbreak of war in 2346.
When the Thuldan border expanded to contact the Community in 2357, the survival of the nation was threatened. Fortunately for the Hatire, the list of the Thuldan Empire’s enemies had grown long. Meetings with Emperor Decret produced a peace agreement that eventually led the Community to join the Expansion Pentad. A detachment of Hatire mind knights went into action in the first Expansion Pentad joint operation in 2362 in a ground assault during the Battle of Morgan’s Bluff.
While the Community had accepted force as a useful instrument to spread the word of the Cosimir, its goals were different from those of the Pentad’s other members. Even as Thuldan and Hatire forces fought together against the Borealins and the Solars, Hatire missionaries worked to gain converts in the powerful Empire. After all the physical battles were won and lost, the Empire found there had been a spiritual front to the war as well. Almost a quarter of the Thuldan population had embraced the Hatire faith by the war’s end, and the ties between Empire and Community grew stronger than ever before.
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Hatire society is defined by its faith, which permeates all levels of Hatire life. Morning and evening meditation services are established custom among even the most secular of the Brethren. Indeed, more than a third of the Hatire petition to join the priesthood, hoping to live in constant contemplation of the Cosimir. The order accepts fewer than half of the applicants.
The current High Minister is Marion Rhodes, who has been serving the Cosimir with distinction for the last 40 years. Each planet in the Community has a parish Minister, and the 27 highest-ranking Ministers function as the true governing body of the Community. Serving from within the holy walls of the Temple of Cosimir on Haven, the Ministers issue decrees that affect both the political and religions life of their followers.
To the Brethren, little distinguishes the political from the religious. Haven is the spiritual and political center of the Community. Most followers of the Cosimir hope to make a pilgrimage to the holy ruins before they die, and as a result the planet is now one of the most heavily populated Hatire worlds.
Militarily, the Community appears to be one of the weakest stellar nations. 0nly eight fortress ships survived the war with Hatire loyalties, and of the twelve stellar nations, the Community boasts the third-smallest standing army. Speculations of their military weakness, however, end on paper. The crusading army of the Community is made up of known fanatics, willing to sacrifice their lives for the Cosimir. Moreover, the Community’s neighbors offer no threat. Ties to the Thuldan Empire and even the Union of Sol have grown with the spread of the Hatire faith, and the Borealis Republic’s military threat is negligible.
The revelation of the Cosimir radically altered and matured the Hatire faith, but much of the conservative ideology that brought the Community into space remains with it. The words of the Cosimir call for a purity of spirit. The long-despised invasion of technology has contaminated that spirit in humanity. Hatire distaste for technology is now famous, and in truth most Hatire treat all forms of advanced technology with suspicion. But the Hatire reserve their greatest hatred for technology that pollutes the spirit, and they turn clones, mechalus, and fully cybered gearheads away at the border. Those who don’t take the hint are often spurned or even attacked if they overstay their brief welcome on Hatire worlds.
The most important part of Hatire life is spreading the word of the Cosimir to unbelievers. Many take this tenet of the faith quite literally and become crusaders. In fact, most Hatire encountered outside the borders of the Community are crusaders. No one questions the zeal of these well-intended citizens, but the actions of a few violent crusaders have given this missionary work and the Community at large a mixed public image.
Still, it is possible to live a life fun of the Cosimir’s bounty without serving as a missionary. In all the roles of life, the Community demands that the Brethren hold themselves to the highest standards of excellence. Not only must every member of the Community strive for purity of the soul, but the Brethren must stand out against a galaxy of sin and mediocrity as a skirting example of what joys enlightenment brings.
In the Verge, the Hatire Community is resettling Diamond Point, its colony on Grith in the Corrivale system. However, the Hatire also have a monastic retreat in the desert of Alaundril in the Tendril system, and small missionary temples in most cities of any size.
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Playing A Hatire
Accused of racism and feared as Luddites, the Hatire follow a difficult path. Almost all the Brethren have an abiding distrust of new technology, and they abhor technology that alters the human body. Those who tie themselves to cybertechnology, including the mechalus, have strayed from the path of truth.
The Second Galactic War and the fearsome Hatire mind knights gave the Community a reputation for militarism and intolerance, producing an image of a religion bent on converting humanity by the sword. To the Hatire, such notions are absurd. The Hatire has proven itself a Community willing to accept change: Did not the Community founders accept alien doctrine into their own theology? Did they not accept the Cosimir, an alien divinity? The Hatire life embraces metamorphosis, accepting both the actuality and potentiality of human existence. Now the Brethren must work diligently, redefining themselves as crusaders of peace rather than war while maintaining important ties to their powerful Thuldan and VoidCorp allies.
Wisdom clings to the Brethren as gravity clings to stars. Only the independent and thoughtful members of the Community, arriving in space without blinding notions of nationalism or conquest, could open themselves to the spiritual message of a long-dead alien species who probably knew nothing of the human species. It is a source of Hatire ecstasy that the words of the Cosimir, a noncorporeal entity with nothing but sentience in common with humanity, ring true. The life of spiritual contemplation calls to all Brethren, and it is with some regret that the Brethren acknowledge a duty to the Community and all of humanity. Duty calls for individual Hatire to practice agriculture, business, and even the art of war. Duty doesn’t demand that they enjoy these distractions from the higher things in life.
For the words of the Cosimir to reach all species, the Community itself must prosper. Without thought of reward, the Community has accepted the burden of preaching to the unwilling it wouldn’t say much about the strength of their faith if they only spread the word to those who were already listening. Until the day when ‘all are one,’ the Brethren must act to preserve the Community’s integrity even as they found Hatire churches in far-flung reaches of space under foreign flags.
The loyalty that the Brethren feel for the Community is only rivaled by the reverence in which they hold the Cosimir. It is unfortunate, for its own sake, that much of humanity fails to enjoy the happiness and peace the Cosimir brings.