Formidable Factions 1: Techno Priests

PA-17755123Faction play fascinates me. I’m bad at actually running it, mind you, but the best way to learn this sorta stuff is just to keep failing until you don’t anymore. So 85% of the worldbuilding I’ve done for “On A Red World Alone” has been inventing the various factions that control territory within the dome. For my most recent game I had to flesh out the Techno Priests, and I was happy enough with what came out that I thought someone else might benefit from it.

Priests and Practitioners of the Techno-ligion

The Techno-Faithful revere what they call “The Past Gods.” The Engineers of the pre-apocalypse are their pantheon of deities. People whose knowledge was beyond any modern understanding. The Techno-Faithful know that their gods were men and women, and that those people have long since died. But they also believe that those men and women were possessed of a power that was lost through the moral decay of the human species. The Past Gods were mere men, yes. But we have become some lower thing. A race of sub-men, shackled to weakness and ignorance by our own immorality.

The Techno Faithful marvel in the wonders of technology. They meditate by clicking a flashlight on and off, or playing a working gameboy. They pray to the collective spirits of The past Gods to guide them away from sin, and towards an understanding of technology.

While the Techno-ligion is widespread, there are just as many people who think the whole “Past Gods” nonsesnse is hogwash. But even they must admit that Techno Priests are the masters of getting old technology working again. They’re pretty much the only ones who can do it. Althought within the whole of their religion, no one actually understands technology. They’ve merely ritualized what we would call tech support procedures. The first rituals an acolyte learns are just over-complicated ways of checking to see if it has fresh batteries, or turning it off and back on again. Mid level acolytes can spend hours muttering “Ω” as they follow a wire to see if it has frayed.  The most experienced elders of the faith wield Smelting Scepters (soldering irons), and know how to repair a pathway on a circuit-board, or replace a blown capacitor.

But concepts like “an electrical circuit,” or even “electricity” are alien to them. Perhaps even blasphemous. When they get a shock from a frayed wire, they believe it is The Past Gods chiding them for their failings. Only through ritual and meditation do they believe the soul can be purified, and technology understood.

If you have a piece of technology you wish to have repaired by a Techno Priest, they will always begin with the lowest level rituals and work their way up. (Even if the issue obviously requires the fifth ritual, it is sacrilegious to skip rituals 1 through 4). Each ritual has a 1-in-6 chance of fixing the technology, and costs 100 credits multiplied by level of the ritual. So the first attempt costs 100 credits, the second attempt costs 200 credits, and so on.

Once a device has been given to a techno priest to repair, under no circumstances will it be returned until it has been repaired. If a given priest is not knowledgeable enough to fix it, they will take it to their superiors. If you don’t have enough money to pay for the next level of ritual, they will hold onto it for you until you do. This is a matter of cyber-heaven or giga-hell for them. They will not budge on this issue.

The Techno Faithful typically wear a broken computer fan or an LED somewhere on their person. Techno Priests cover their clothing in as much broken technology as they can. These are worn as a sign of respect for the knowledge of those who made the relics that cannot now be understood; and as an act of penance for allowing the race to decay to the point that this knowledge was lost.

Religious services for the Techno Faith involve gathering in large groups to spend an hour or more pedaling at stationary bicycles to charge batteries. The exertion cleanses the body and the soul, and means that most devotees of the faith are exceptionally fit.

Sample Monastery

A cell hidden deep in unfriendly territory. Tasked with seeking out relics that have not yet been discovered by the locals, and smuggling them back to Technotopia before they fall into irreverent hands.

High Priest Tsaros. A plump woman with a pair of satellite dishes on her shoulders, and a tiara of working LED computer fans. Tsaros is learned in the faith (can perform up to level 8 repair rituals). However, since she became the leader of an outpost far away from any of her superiors, she has become lax in her worship. A weak-willed person, but not stupid or cruel.

Adjunct Priest Sessarum – A middle aged woman a decade Tsaros’ senior. She has less of a knack for ritual, (only up to level 5), but she is disciplined and devoted. Always pedals the hardest during service. Handles most of the day-to-day administration. Doesn’t like Tsaros, but is supremely respectful and faithful in her duties as Adjunct Priest, and to the chain of command laid out by the church elders. She will not betray Tsaros under even the most dire circumstance. 

Knight Seeker Able’Tut – A brusque young man. Scornful of nearly everyone, particularly those who he perceives as being complicit in the moral fall of the human race. Constantly skirts the line of what is permissible in his hatred of High Priest Tsaros, and does not trust the dedication of Knight Shepherd Yule. He is capable of performing level 3 rituals, and his primary duty is leading search teams, out to find new relics.

Knight Shepherd Yule – An elderly man who joined the faithful late in his life, Yule performs rituals only up to the third level. But as a softspoken man, nearing the end of a life fully lived, he is uniquely qualified to tend to the spiritual and educational needs of the younger priests and acolytes.

Other – There are 12 priests capable of the 1st level of ritual, and 5 priests capable of the 2nd level of ritual.

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