The Cultists

Whilst more respectable worlds will talk about their ‘First Settlers’ and occasionally mention a ‘Second Founding’ when the original settlers were no longer a viable population (sometimes because they could no longer mount a convincing defence of significant natural assets), Caldoom is always getting new settlers. Historians do not even attempt to divide the settlers into ‘waves’ preferring to regard settlement as a constant steady process.

Any group that is experiencing difficulties on its current world can look to Caldoom for new opportunities. Thus Caldoom has a number of theocratic republics. Some of these will often owe vague allegiance to another of the republics, for theological reasons. Similarly some may be in a state of Holy War with each other. This will be because of a legal ruling on some theological dispute, promulgated by a forgotten cleric on some far distant world. In all candour they tend to ignore these matters preferring to fall out about issues of immediate and local interests.

On such cult is The Order of Malthus in His Aspect as the Personification of Self-Restraint. It differs from a number of other cults due to minor but insoluble theological issues.

The theology of this Order is complex but if over-simplified can be regarded as an attempt to achieve communion with a Supreme Being through meditation. There are hints in the Order’s teaching that achieving this communion is not an entirely unalloyed joy, in that it appears that the Supreme Being is not entirely happy with them.

Still what makes this order different is that it lacks territory of its own, and has a semi-peripatetic existence with members of the order being shuffled between a small number of relatively secure sites rented from other groups. Indeed the Order is notable in that it regularly turns its eyes to Liberty, on the grounds that a commanding presence in the city would give them the wealth that they so far lack. Whilst the order has preachers who spread the word and lay brethren who work on the Order’s rented farms, it is the Brothers Militant who are most regularly seen, running foot patrols in the areas around the Order’s shrines. These are known by some for their spirituality, but most remember the flak jacket under robes and their hardwired energy carbine.