Faction:Lightbearer

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Lightbearer

Faction data
Lightbearer
Species Lightbearer
Homeworld (Origin) Earth
Capital fixme

(Defunct Meme-group comprised of members of the "suprahuman" strain of humanity)

From a planet discovered on a joint mission with the Shapers the Lightbearers cultivated some of the early Dgn, further twisting their development along their own designs until they settled upon what are now the Shmrn.
When later a Lightbearer exploratory group discovered the Klk'k homeworld they prepared to subjugate, and "correct" this species, whose somewhat anthropomorphic construction they viewed as a mockery of the divine human form. Fortunately for the Klk'k, the Andolians discovered them only some weeks after the first Lightbearer pacification vessel had arrived at the planet. The Andolians were outraged at the Lightbearers' actions against civilized sapients, and threw themselves against the Lightbearers in the first full-fledged human interstellar war.
The Andolian's greater manufacturing base outperformed the Lightbearer's economy. As the Lightbearer military-industrial complex collapsed, a secret was revealed that not even the Lightbearer allies had known about, namely, the existence of the Spaceborn a genetically engineered slave race of humans, designed to live their lives in zero gravity so as to prevent Lightbearer from having to deal with such a menial task as laboring in vacuum.
It is this revelation that is believed to bear primary responsibility for the lack of action taken by any other faction when the Andolians proceeded to eliminate not only the industrial capacity of the Lightbearer, but also the Lightbearers themselves.
Those that did not manage to escape to Shaper or Highborn space, or were not fortunate enough to be killed in the assaults on their worlds, had the dubious honor of being turned over to the Klk'k, the Spaceborn, and the Shmrn. The ensuing combination of sterilization and incarceration served to eliminate the Lightbearer meme from the realm of dominant thought.

Members of the Light-Bearer meme-group remained until the 'current' time, but extremely few within the Confederation, and none publicly, as any hint of the Light-Bearer meme tends to cause members of the Simons to conduct a hunt. Those fleeing into unexplored space rarely stayed ahead of future human expansion and were hunted diligently by the Simons. Those few who fled off of the jump network entirely gained a longer respite, but the practical limitations of such journeys meant that all but the most well-hidden outposts could only be temporary homes -- anything reachable by a defeated and fleeing group via SPEC would clearly soon become reachable by those searching for them, especially with greater resources behind them.

Descendants of Light-Bearers remained until the 'current' time, but only in small numbers, and generally integrated into other societies, if not necessarily into other gene pools. As the Andolian view of the war was not a war against a polity or a people, but a culture, ideology, and general worldview ( i.e. a set of ideas and beliefs) that the Andolians believed intrinsically diseased, given the behaviors undertaken by their adherents, in the most general case, only those young enough to be deemed viable candidates for successful re-education were even given an opportunity for a post-internment existence. After dispersion among many worlds, the total population of living Suprahomo is quite small, especially pure-strains. Existing populations are generally ideologically integrated into their surroundings, and, while subject to surveillance, are not otherwise infringed upon provided no contact with Light-Bearers has been observed.

Shaper custody: As mentioned in the description of the Shaper faction, they find the concept of human slavery fundamentally abhorrent to their ideals of personal freedoms. Thus, while those Light-Bearers who fled to Shaper space may have faced a less dire fate than those remaining to face the Andolians, they were not welcomed with open arms. Precise details on the number of Light-Bearers who submitted themselves to Shaper control have never been made available, and it is generally believed that only those Light-Bearers with useful skills or information were well treated in Shaper custody. Within a few months of the end of the war, only limited signs of the Light-Bearer influx could be seen, and the number of Light-Bearers presented by the Shapers to the Shmrn, Space-born, and Klk'k delegations for oversight by said aggrieved parties is widely believed to be much smaller than the number arriving within Shaper space.

Being supra- rather than super- human in nature, all of the genes in the Lightbearer genepool were of human origin, but the mix doesn't reflect the configuration of any particular historical group. An individual Lightbearer can, unlike the Shapers, blend in (to a degree) with any sufficiently diverse population of homo sapiens sapiens, although groups of them would be conspicuous, and there would likely be clear suspicions of heritage. Differences would be most acute at age extrema -- suprahomo tend heavily toward earlier growth spurts, and age very gracefully compared to sapiens. Suprahomo skin tends to be devoid of any visible blemishes and only memorable injuries tend to leave visible scars. Suprahomo do not suffer from hair loss, hair discoloration, or other similar aging effects stemming directly from isolated genetic traits.

Lightbearers stood 1.9 - 2.3 meters in height, and had universally muscular builds and bulk scaled to their size. Skin tones, while given to some variation, were heavily centered in bronzes, such as can be found in Mediterranean-Persian hues. Hair color varied widely, but the hair itself was always straight and frequently worn long. Lightbearer men traditionally wore full beards, again of arbitrary color, frequently of no correspondence to hair color, but, unlike their hair, tightly curled, and kept close and neat.

One of the keys in understanding the Lightbearers was that they didn't have a _desire_ to be seated at the head of the evolutionary table, but a steadfast, axiomatic belief that humans already were, by definition, at the head of the evolutionary table, and that all that was necessary was a perfection of humanity. The Lightbearers believed universally in a creator deity with specific interest in humanity, and in a literal interpretation of humanity being created in said deity's image. This literal view was central to the negative reaction of the Lightbearers to the Klk'k, as the only (vaguely) anthropomorphic sentients discovered.

At all levels of Lightbearer society, the hallmark of their culture was confidence. While in retrospect, hubris may seem the more appropriate term, for the Lightbearers, their place in the cosmos made them feel entirely secure in their sense of selves. Lightbearers, in attempting to be the ultimate expression of humanity, developed what many other contemporary cultures considered an indulgent hedonistic streak. Excesses in all manner and direction were not uncommon, but the excesses themselves were not of uncommon origin -- the Lightbearers did little that others did not, but they did it moreso, both "good" and "bad".

The Lightbearers quickly shot to power in the early human FTL era through aggressively expansionist growth and exploration policies and favorable starting conditions, having weathered the nano-plague in relative stability. While their relative power was waning even before their destruction, especially as the Shapers became increasingly more effective in adapting themselves to inhospitable environments in the post-SPEC age, the Lightbearers were, if not second to the Andolians, then sufficiently close to other contenders as to be considered tied for "second" in their military output leading up to the war. However, as all space navies were quite diminutive prior to the Fraternal War, it is difficult to draw much from such comparisons.

The Light-Bearers were capable, if not always masters of every art pursued, and their constructions captured both their solid workmanship and reverence for the aesthetic. Light-Bearer ships were unnecessarily pretty, but such beauty was, pragmatically, only skin deep, and any damage would reveal that the artisans working on the exterior had been working on an exterior separate and almost distinct from the craft or station underneath.

Precious few Light-Bearer vessels still exist, but some of their outposts, both those constructed pre-defeat and those constructed post-flight still exist in under-inhabited and remote systems. Many have been directly assaulted, but others merely pillaged, relocated, or otherwise repurposed by pirates or other tertiary entities. Several stations abandoned or surrendered, rather than defeated, are still in use by one entity or another, and others have become the nearly unrecognizable centers of subsequent colonizations.

The Light-bearers began the war with a population of ~20 billion spread across 11 major colony systems and with outposts in another 2 dozen or so systems, the whole of which was ruled from a world called (thanks here to Oblivion) "Cradle".

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