Cult of the Saints Cameron
|Cult of the Saints Cameron|
|Time period:||2751 - Present|
|Military:||Knights of St. Cameron|
The Cult of the Saints Cameron is a religious order that venerates the Cameron bloodline, and was originally called the Believers of the Saints Cameron. Referring to themselves as Believers, they first appeared following the seemingly unrelated events of Jonathan Cameron's writings to his wife Ludmella Cameron and his sister Mother Jocasta being publicized and the vision of Sergeant Heinz Mann.
- 1 History
- 2 Prophets and Messengers
- 3 Organization
- 4 Notes
- 5 References
- 6 Bibliography
Following Jonathan's 2738 death by stroke, the Star League's ten-year rule on declassifying personal and official papers began to toll. The Court of the Star League staff began collecting and publishing his writings in book form beginning in 2748. The almost prophetic nature of these writings was a source of great public interest for a time, though most dismissed them as mere curiosities there were some who took his dreams to be visions of the future. In 2751 Sergeant Mann fell into a medically unexplained eight-day coma and awoke with visions of slaughtered Camerons. Mann's coma and visions were linked in the media with similar occurrences years prior that were largely forgotten before then, Lieutenant Saul Robstein in 2739 and Private Sandra Ustus in 2742 whose vision seemed to predict Simon Cameron's 2751 assassination. Believers latched onto these visions, combining them with Jonathan Cameron's writings to create common beliefs and rituals. Central to this was that Jonathan and Jocasta were Saints, watching over the Star League from Heaven.
|“||a Cameron child shall stand before a distant ruler and be beguiled by his rough country ways and the interests they share. I fear for the child because the distant ruler has cruel,||”|
Membership exploded, soon numbering more than fifty million with many Believers in influential social and political positions. The SLDF also had several Believers in their ranks, in no small part due to the affiliation of Robstein, Ustus, and Mann. Former SLDF Commanding General Rebecca Fetladral was a devout Believer and major contributor to the Cult during the Star League's final years. The symbols of the Believers appeared everywhere, even on the WarShips, DropShips, BattleMechs, and vehicles of the faithful. Ironically, despite near holy writings pointing to Amaris' ill intentions towards Richard Cameron and iconography of a Bloody Throne, the Believers were unable to foresee or forestall Mann's vision. Richard Cameron was personally killed by Amaris on 27 December 2766, followed by at least 21 other members of the Cameron family. Amaris gave them the option of fealty or death. One by one all would refuse to bend the knee to Amaris until a distant cousin Jason Cameron-Bashina bowed and pledged his loyalty, for which Amaris shot him with the same pistol used on the First Lord. Amaris' guards cut down the rest of the family and then sealed the Throne Room behind them, leaving dozens of Cameron bodies in pools of their own blood next to a Bloody Throne. As the Hegemony collapsed, many Believers among the Court were able to escape, including Court Archivist Gerrit van Munster who brought with him personal writings of Jonathan that were not able to be released to the public due to security concerns. These writings would be known to only the most senior leaders among the Believers and foretold a coming apocalypse that would overtake all of humanity.
In preparation for this apocalypse, the Believers had begun establishing bases on remote planets throughout the Inner Sphere and Periphery even before the Amaris Coup, greatly aided by General Fetladral's position and convictions. Their wealth was converted into universally fungible assets like gold and gems and stockpiles of food, supplies, and military assets were secreted away in strategic caches. Perhaps most prescient of all was the dissemination of the data core copies of the Prometheus network, a massive database of soon-to-be lost knowledge that was accessible to universities and libraries in the Terran Hegemony.
While these perpetrations would serve the Believer communities well during the horrors of the First Succession War, the loss of generations who had a personal connection to the mystique of the Camerons caused membership to wane as time passed, hastened by internal theological divisions and differing interpretations. By the Third Succession War the Believers had nearly faded from public consciousness, with small pockets known to exist in the Periphery and Lyran Commonwealth, and the occasional sighting of mysterious monks or nuns in homespun cloth rendering aid to those in need.
- See Also: Knights of St. Cameron
In 2956 the Cult made a more public appearance when Kommandant Martin Gluck, whom retired from the Twenty-ninth Lyran Guards the year prior, announced the creation of the Knights of St. Cameron. Recruiting exclusively from those who could trace their heritage to SLDF family members, he quickly raised two ’Mech regiments to take part in "the struggle between good and evil, in which the knight is always the Lord's first defense." It is unknown how much of the Knights' membership was composed of Believers, but their tactical similarities with Order Templars indicate at least some.
Both regiments of the Knights were believed destroyed in January 3052 when Clan Wolf's Beta Galaxy struck Domain and Rastaban in swift succession. Unknown to those outside of Clan Wolf and ComStar, the survivors of Domain were not completely destroyed, instead mysteriously vanishing into the city of Kusson or the Kusson Mountain Range beyond. ComStar suspected they might have joined the Clans.
The appearance of the Clans coincided with an increase in Believer sightings in the coreward regions, though it is unknown if this was to gather information on the Clans or in response to a vision or prophecy. One such sighting on La Grave on 27 December 3051 alleged a Believer wielding a St. Cameron's Templar Vibrosword took down two Elementals to save an ejected Fifth Davion Guards JagerMech MechWarrior. When the Clan's true nature was revealed at the Outreach Conference, membership in the Cult began to grow for the first time in centuries. This growth only increased in late 3053 when an ancient Monolith-class JumpShip, the Jonathan Cameron, heavily laden with Star League-era supplies and equipment appeared in Main Street system. Several companies of BattleMechs and aerospace fighters, with many Star League designs including one Spartan, were within those DropShips. Also on board was Colonel Mortimer Dewey and a battalion of the second regiment who vanished on Domain.
The FedCom Civil War saw even more growth for the Cult, as several previously obscure dreams and visions seemed to refer to the events of that conflict. The Knights' performance in the battle of Fort Loudon further added to the rolls. The Knights policy of recruiting only those with SLDF heritages resulted in some well known pedigrees among senior leaders in 3067. Their aerospace wing was commanded by Salvador Ben-Shimon, a relation to one of Clan Goliath Scorpion founders, Bair Ben-Shimon. Third battalion of their Mech regiment was of House McKinnon. But perhaps most fascinating were the commanders of First and Second battalion, David Robstein and Jenifer Ustus, relatives of two people the Saints Cameron visited in visions.
As the Jihad burned through the Inner Sphere, the Knights took part in the liberation of Galatea. Returning to Donegal to prepare for the next strike against the Word of Blake, a Leviathan-class vessel jumped into the system and disembarked a lone DropShuttle. Landing at the Knights' cantonment a lone man wearing the homespun robes and sword of the Cult emerged, and then immediately sequestered himself away with Colonel Dewey in the regiment's mobile HQ. Various members of the command staff joined the two over the three-day conference, at the conclusion of which the man boarded his DropShuttle and returned to the JumpShip. The regiment immediately struck camp, boarded their own Overlord DropShips, and departed the system aboard their two Invader-class Jumpships and the Leviathan.
Since the Knights disappearance in the Jihad, the Believers had been nearly silent, their leadership had decided to shepherd their strength for the apocalyptic confrontation they believe Jonathan Cameron predicted. This changed in late 3152 when Sister Claire, a member of the Jangso Order for nearly a decade, had a series of visions leadership had been awaiting. "Men and women in armor," bearing "shields" adorned with the "Cameron Star," "riding black stallions, going to the aid of people screaming in terror," to fight against "dragons and bears, hounds and birds." Believing Sister Claire's vision to be the foretold call to arms the Jangso Order, and perhaps others throughout the Sphere, began preparing their hidden DropShips and Knights of St. Cameron contingent for war.
Prophets and Messengers
Jonathan Cameron & Saul Robstein
First Lord Jonathan Cameron died of a stroke 7 September 2738. Unknown to most, he had been plagued by dreams and visions (during epileptic seizures) of Terra's destruction and had sought to greatly expand the SLDF to resist that dark fate. The true reasons for the expansions were known to a select few: his wife Ludmella Cameron, his sister Mother Jocasta, and her good friend and Commanding General of the SLDF Rebecca Fetladral. Years later his dreams would disseminate to the public with the legally required publication of many of his personal correspondences. The Believers came to view Jonathan's dreams as prescient, further reinforced by the visions they believe he and his descendants imparted to others. Exactly one year after Jonathan's death, 7 September 2739, Lieutenant Saul Robstein of the 191st Royal BattleMech Division was at the controls of his Crockett during an exercise on New Earth when he was struck deaf and dumb. Doctors could find no medical reason for this condition in this otherwise healthy MechWarrior. After three days, he suddenly recovered and began ranting that the ghost of Jonathan Cameron had visited him, wielding a flaming sword. Cameron's spirit told Robstein that his sister Jocasta would die in two and a half years but that her influence would be felt far into the future. As a result of this vision The Three Swords has become one of the symbols of the Believers and has been adopted by the Knights of St. Cameron.
Jocasta Cameron & Sandra Ustus
One of two known people Jonathon confided in about his dreams and visions, Jocasta appears to have believed in them. After the failed coup by Ikolor Fredasa in 2729, Jocasta performs as de facto First Lord in light of Jonathan's instability. One of her first acts is to appoint her good friend Rebecca Fetladral as Commanding General of the SLDF. It was later revealed that Jocasta had shared Jonathan's visions with Rebecca, and she came to believe in them wholeheartedly. As Commanding General she set about girding the Hegemony for the coming cataclysm. In the fall of 2741 Jocasta Cameron was diagnosed with breast cancer. She died peacefully at he abbey on 27 March 2742. Five days later on 1 April Private Sandra Ustus, a Turhan gunner with the Seventieth Infantry Division was struck deaf, blind, and dumb. After five days she suddenly recovered, showing no physical or psychological explanations for her condition. She claimed that she had had a vision of Mother Jocasta prophesying that her nephew Simon Cameron would be killed by an "assassin's digging machine." As a result of this vision Jocasta's Habit, a rendition of the habit worn by nuns in the Benedictine Order, became one of the symbols of the Believers.
Simon Cameron & Heinz Mann
Unlike Jonathan and Jocasta Cameron, Simon was not elevated to the level of their divine trinity as he had shown little interest in spiritual affairs nor had he had or appeared in visions following his death. For many Believers, however, he was still honored as a minor prophet. Unknown to all but Simon himself, his lack of visions was not strictly accurate. On 17 February 2751 Simon was aboard the SLS Ascendant, an Overlord-class DropShip in the Star's End system as part of his goodwill tour of the Inner Sphere. His security chief, Major Carolina Devalis collapsed and had a vision after touching a bulkhead's Cameron star. After regaining consciousness moments later she recounted it to Simon as a Cameron star which has gone supernova and left behind a pulsar of rapidly spinning degenerate matter, screaming in rage and pain as it stood alone in the universe. Fearing in was a bad omen Devalis begged the First Lord not to continue his tour in Star's End, stating that Devalis women had a history of accurate visions. Simon continued anyway, and later that day in Tunnel 5T, Level 42 of the Consolidated Titanium New Silesia Site a sabotaged Mining ’Mech charged the control booth Simon was in, killing him. As he began dying in the vacuum of space, he too had the same vision as Devalis though whereas she interpreted it as an ill omen for the Star League, in his final moments Simon realized his son Richard was the pulsar, left alone in the night with no one to shepherd him.
Eight days after Simon's death, on 25 February, Sergeant Heinz Mann of the 290th Mechanized Infantry Division fell into a coma. Having been in excellent health, doctors were unable to determine a medical reason for his condition. After eight days he awoke on 5 March and spoke of visions of dozens of dead Camerons lying in their own blood. When news of Mann's experience got out, the seemingly accurate prediction of Simon's demise by an "assassin's digging machine" from Ustus' vision was remembered which the media was quick to popularize. Mann's vision of blood, when combined with one of Jonathan's dreams of The Bloody Throne became one of the more prophetic and powerful symbols of the Believers.
In the wake of Jonathan Cameron's death, General Fetladral recommended her former aide General Aleksandr Kerensky for the position. She was absolutely convinced that Kerensky was the only person who could prevent the disturbing visions of Terra being scarred and mutilated from coming to fruition. After the Star League fell and the majority of the SLDF departed in EXODUS, Believers elevated him to complete their trinity. While the revelations of the Clans' origin certainly damaged some of Kerensky's mythos, Believers point out that it was his son who created the Clans, not the General.
Steve Thorvald is considered a minor prophet by the Believers. As head of the Department of Education and Information he was the driving force behind the Prometheus Inc. network, a massive database of knowledge shared between schools and libraries in the Terran Hegemony. Several of these data cores have been uncovered and secreted away by Believers over the years.
As the fires of the First Succession War burned the Inner Sphere down around them, some of the first theological and dogmatic cracks began to occur among the Believers. Surely these were the apocalyptic times the Saints Cameron had foretold, for what could be worse than 148 worlds being scoured clean of life? Many still remained the worst of the prophecies still awaited mankind. As time passed and new interpretations of Jonathan's writings came and went the Believers tended to separate into three groups.
- Traditionalists: These Believers held the original interpretation was correct, all the prophecies pertained to the Amaris Coup and Succession Wars. While they still practiced the rites and customs, they no longer saw themselves as humanity's guardians. They adopted the Bloody Throne as their symbol.
- Cloisters: More common in the Periphery, these Believers held that the apocalypse still awaits. Despite practicing subsistence farming, their communities were often situated above huge storehouses of technology including several Prometheus datacores. They adopted Jocasta's Habit as their symbol.
- Templars: Consisting of several different interpretations, the Templars varied between a Cloister-like belief that the apocalypse was yet to come, while others contended the era they lived in then fulfilled the prophecies. The one uniting factor was a conviction to act instead of sitting by and watching the universe fall apart. Templars organize themselves into Orders which operate independently. Their service varied as well, some Orders were medical or academic in nature, while others were martial and waged the "struggle between good and evil." Each Order had Forty-seven Knights who were replaced upon death in a series of trials reminiscent of the Trial of Position. Each Knight must choose a weapon or form of combat to focus on and were trained in tactics and strategy; many received MechWarrior training. Every Knight wore a Templar Vibrosword in addition to their chosen weapon. Squires were the rank below, typically received a university-level education. They were entitled to carry a sword and received combat training. Particularly promising Squires were apprenticed to Knights. The Lay Member formed the remainder of the Orders' ranks, and provided medial labor, funds, and supplies to the Orders. They adopted the Three Swords as their symbol.
The following locations are known to house Orders, chapter houses, abbeys, or other communities of Believers.
- Blaubeuren Abbey, Jangso
- Mendham: purported to host the largest population of Believers in the Inner Sphere, ca. 3150. This information might qualify as a canon rumor.
- St. Jocasta's Hospital, New Syrtis
- Kusson, Domain - The Knights of St. Cameron disappeared in the vicinity of this city, located at the foot of the Kusson Range.
- Nagayan Mountain Castle Brian, Helm - General Rebecca Fetladral oversaw this project. Her fervent belief in Jonathon's apocalyptic visions and the inclusion of a Prometheus memory core in an otherwise military installation suggests this was to double as a Believer doomsday bunker.
- Illyria: Pedro Ellingsen had a map leading to this facility. It also contained a Prometheus memory core.
At its height before the Star League collapsed, the Cult had membership of around fifty million Believers. It has since ebbed and flowed over the centuries.
The dates of Jocasta's death and Sandra's vision have had discrepancies over the years which authors have clearly attempted to reconcile. The Star League (1988) and Jihad Conspiracies: Interstellar Players 2 (2008) have an identical timeline between Jonathan's death, Robstein's vision, Jocasta's death "two years and three days later," and Ustus' vision. However that timeline would place Jocasta's death 12 Sep 2741. The Star League genealogy chart and p. 64 puts her death year as 2742, Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume 1 (2012) confirms 2742 and Era Report: 2750 (2012) expands that to 27 March 2742. Technical Readout: 3075 (2008) also confirms the correction by stating Sandra Ustus' visions took place five days after Jocasta's death in 2742 (so 1 April 2742). Accordingly, the prophecy allegedly delivered to Robstein by Jonathan's spirit had to be altered to two and a half years (and seventeen days) instead of two years (and three days).
- The Star League, p. 72: "Cult of the Saints Cameron"
- Jihad Conspiracies: Interstellar Players 2, p. 70: "Origins of the Cult of the Saints Cameron"
- Jihad Conspiracies: Interstellar Players 2, p. 74: "Views of the Future"
- Era Report: 2750, pp. 84–85: "Rebecca Fetladral"
- Jihad Conspiracies: Interstellar Players 2, p. 72: "Symbols"
- Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume 1, p. 28: "The Throne Room Massacre"
- Jihad Conspiracies: Interstellar Players 2, pp. 74–75: "Gamemaster's Section"
- Field Manual: Mercenaries, Revised, p. 83: "Knights of St. Cameron: Knights Errant"
- Jihad Conspiracies: Interstellar Players 2, p. 71: "The Knights of St. Cameron"
- Wolf Clan, p. 68: "Domain (FC) & Rastaban (FC)"
- Campaign: Wolf Howl in Shrapnel Issue #10
- Jihad Conspiracies: Interstellar Players 2, p. 107: "Personal Equipment"
- Jihad Conspiracies: Interstellar Players 2, p. 73: "Cult of the Saints Cameron"
- Jade Falcon Sourcebook, p. 43: "La Grave"
- I Was Lost - Provides battle's date
- Mercenaries Supplemental Update, p. 79: "Knights of St. Cameron"
- Technical Readout: 3058 Upgrade, p. 220: "SPT-N2 Spartan"
- Jihad Conspiracies: Interstellar Players 2, p. 72: "Modern Times"
- FedCom Civil War, pp. 32–34: "Ft. Loudon"
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3076, pp. 102–103: "Knights of St. Cameron Vanish"
- No Substitute for Victory, Epilogue
- Era Report: 2750, p. 34: "Chaos"
- See Notes section for an explanation of the apparent retcon.
- Jihad Conspiracies: Interstellar Players 2, p. 71: "The Trinity"
- Era Report: 2750, p. 82: "Jocasta Cameron"
- Technical Readout: 3075, p.172: "Turhan"
- Era Report: 2750, pp. 4–6: "Pulsar"
- The Star League, p. 104: "Department of Education and Information"
- First Succession War (sourcebook), p. 107: "The Death of Worlds"
- The Cameron Question
- Dominions Divided, p. 22: "Alexander Hasek Returns"
- House Marik (The Free Worlds League), p. 152: "Pedro Ellingsen"
- BattleTechnology, Issue 12, p. 9
- BattleTechnology, Issue 13, pp. 41–50: "A Lust for Lostech, Part 1"
- BattleTechnology, Issue 14, pp. 34–39: "A Lust for Lostech, Part 2"
- Campaign: Wolf Howl in Shrapnel Issue #10
- Dominions Divided
- FedCom Civil War
- Field Manual: Mercenaries, Revised
- Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume 1
- I Was Lost
- Jade Falcon Sourcebook
- Jihad Conspiracies: Interstellar Players 2
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3076
- Mercenaries Supplemental Update
- No Substitute for Victory
- The Star League
- Technical Readout: 3058 Upgrade
- Technical Readout: 3075
- Wolf Clan