One Star Faith
The One Star Faith is a Lyran Commonwealth religion built around the belief that the descendants of Aleksandr Kerensky and the Exodus Fleet were guarding the paradisiacal One Star. The faith suffered a near-mortal blow in the wake of the Clan Invasion.
|One Star Faith|
The One Star Faith was founded on the Tamar Pact world of Graceland in 2801 by Simon Kroeger, a wealthy trader. Kroeger claimed to have experienced a religious revelation upon staring through a neighbor's telescope, stating that instead of seeing:
|“||Myriad stars awash in the sea of black space, I saw instead a single star. This one star burned blue with purity. About this truthful star was a world, and about this world, so green and inviting, were the long abandoned ships of General Kerensky.||”|
Word of Kroeger's vision soon spread, many considering him to be a prophet against his wishes. The increasing number of converts soon led an unsympathetic nobleman forcing Kroeger and his followers to leave Graceland, triggering the group to begin a pilgrimage through the Lyran Commonwealth searching for the One Star, a system with a world they believed would be Paradise. Though only spending a brief time on each world visited, Kroeger's fame spread, eventually spawning a whole religion.
The Faith continued after Kroeger's death, having spawned priests to spread the world, believers installing observatories behind their homes or on rooftops, holding nightly devotions intertwined with systematic scanning of the heavens. The High Elders, leaders of the Faith, also introduced the concept of migrations, approximately every three decades deciding some particular section of space is more likely to contain the One Star, causing the Faithful to migrate with them. The Faith have staged migrations to the Isle of Skye, the Dark Nebula and even the Periphery. By 3025 the Faith was clustered around the world of Halfway in the Bolan Province.
In 3032 the One Star Faith was galvanized into action by Egan Telosa, a childhood friend of Melissa Steiner and Misha Auburn; despite never having shown an interest in religion before, Telosa woke up one morning driven to contact the One Star Faith over a dream he'd had in which he had seen the blue lights of Kerensky's ships surrounding the star in the Elissa system. Located in the far-flung Elysian Fields, Elysian was considered to be a protectorate of the Oberon Confederation by General Hendrik Grimm IV, and the High Elders of the One Star Faith were moved enough by Telosa's dream to contact Grimm and request access to the system. Grimm openly scoffed at the idea of a vision, but gave permission for the One Star Faith to migrate to Elissa - in exchange for the payment of 100 million C-bills. Despite being stunned by the sheer amount of money demanded, the One Star Faith began a twelve-year campaign to amass the funds required to make the pilgrimage to Elissa while Telosa led the group slowly towards Oberon. The One Star Faith had managed to travel as far as the Pasig system before the Inner Sphere lost contact with General Grimm, leaving the cult waiting for word that it was safe to continue the journey to Elissa.
The One Star Faith steadily expanded until 3050, when the arrival of the Clans and the revelation that instead of Kerensky's descendants guarding Eden for the Faithful that they were in fact bent on the conquest and subjugation of the Inner Sphere, dealing a near mortal blow to Kroeger's vision. The faith of many of its followers shattered, membership declined drastically, only a few hundred members still believed, much to the mockery and derision of many.
By the era of the Second Star League and the Lyran Alliance, the "reformed" One Star Faith had begun to recover thanks to the efforts of High Visionary Egan Telosa. A childhood friend of Melissa Steiner-Davion who joined the Faith in 3032, Telosa asserts that Elissa in the coreward Periphery is the One Star, proven somewhat awkwardly by it being in the direction from which the Clans arrived, in the post-Invasion era having modified Kroeger's beliefs by claiming that this paradise world will be open to all and that once discovered that the leaders of the Clans will pledge their toumans to its defense, guarding against a dark time still to come.
Clan One Star Faith
At the time of the Clan Invasion, some One Star Faith believers were in Elissa. They have adapted well to the planet, with their leader Cyrus Grissom managed to convince most to leave their people alone. The Clan's arrival changed everything for them. It is not clear if they resisted Clan forces actively or passively, but they refused to accept Clan rule. As a result most of these Faithful were killed, but one man named Garland Greene managed to find his way to the Clan Homeworlds as a trader.
Though not terribly charismatic, he was insightful and a true believer. He managed to tell others in the Clans of his faith and of the visions he had received, that showed men and women of the Clans, Periphery and Inner Sphere taking a long journey, led by Clan WarShips, to find the One Star.
That the Children of Kerensky led the way appealed to the Clans' lower castes who sensed in it a pathway to equality with the warriors. These faithful donated time and effort to their cause. Though the warrior caste tried to put down this movement as it grew more prevalent, they could not easily dispute a vision where the Clans led the way, nor could they afford to blatantly oppress those who supplied them with all they needed. This dream spread to most Clan worlds, with a few ardent supporters working to make Greene's vision come true.
Most of the Faithful in the Clans have come to think of it as something that will one day happen, many generations from now.
Elissa holds members of the "Clan" One Star Faith but also from the "Inner Sphere" One Star Faith. The latter view the Clans as corruptors of Kerensky’s vision, and while both movements remain peaceful, an uncomfortable tension exists between the two views, at least on Elissa.
The One Star Faith is led by a Grand Council. The current High Visionary acts as the Faith's spokesperson. The other members of the Council are referred to as High Elders. The High Visionary can be changed by rule of the Council, but this has only happened once, shortly after Telosa's appearance and the resignation of Joseph Prather.
In the Clan worlds, the One Star Faith is not well structured. Most congregations meet in public areas after dusk, though if there is a Star of the Magi Cloister present, congregations sometimes meet in their chapterhouses. Garland Greene, now a member of the merchant caste, shows up from time to time as he travels around Clan space, making sure the congregations are staying on the path. He is using his access to the Chatterweb as another way to stay united despite their physical separation.
Views and Opposition
In many respects the One Star Faith is highly puritanical, holding repressive views on property, work, women and sexuality. Politically the Faith is fanatically supportive of the Archon. One area the group can be considered anti-Commonwealth is in its extreme response to any attempt to hamper their sporadic migrations. Many of its members are skilled lawyers in immigration law, the rest being highly vocal protesters that occasionally turn to physical violence if provoked.
The Faith has drawn considerable complaints from nonmembers for its strict obligation to donate a substantial portion of one's income to a communal fund used to pay for their sporadic migrations. Numerous court cases have been launched by relatives of believers and converts claiming this proves the Faith is a scam, which only gathered strength in the wake of the Clan Invasion.
The One Star Faith is one of the more notable exclusions from the Commonwealth Religious Council, a fact that has hampered efforts by the council to convince the Faith to accept its mediation in conflicts with religions which a seat on the council.
- House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth), p. 106: "The One Star Faith and Other Beliefs"
- Handbook: House Steiner, pp. 124–125: "Religion and Philosophy - Other Religions and Faiths - The One Star Faith"
- 20 Year Update, p. 94: "Egan Telosa"
- Interstellar Players, pp. 76–77: "Destination Unknown"
- Interstellar Players, p. 80: "Organizational Structure"