LEGACY AND JUMPWEB OF THE PROGENITORS part 2
(click here for part 1 of Legacy and Jumpweb of the Progenitors)
THE EMPEROR WARS (5002-5112)
In the year 5002, the last Hantei ruler, Empress Hantei the 35th and her immediate family were summarily executed after a coup by dissidents in the Imperial military and police, the Mercantile Alliance, the noble houses, the Imperial High Council, and the United God Movement. The conspirators proclaimed the continuation of the Intergalactic Empire, though they decreed the end of the Hantei Dynasty, the abolition of the old Constitution (which served as the fundamental legal and governing document since 3400 under both the Second Commonwealth and the Hantei Dynasty) and the dissolution of the Imperial High Council. The ruling of the Intergalactic Empire was vested in the new Rovolutionary Council, and a new constitution was drafted, the Organic Charter, to serve as the basis of law until a new, more permanent government including a new ruler, constitution, and legislative body could be established. Meanwhile, the United God Movement's Supreme Religious Council elected Garash Rashid, an ordained priest and a member of House al-Haz as the new Prophet's Successor. In 5005, the Revolutionary Council, dominated by Imperial police and military leaders, appointed Embry Decados of the Mantis Lords as the new, though figurehead Emperor, and also appointed an advisory Imperial Assembly composed of representatives of the United Giod Movement, Mercantile Alliance corporations, the noble houses, and even representatives of alien races, though Changed humans and A.I. machines had no representation. Soon after the Organic Charter was amended to strip the United God Movement of it's status as the state religion, and full freedom was restored to religions outside the United God Movement, and the amended Charter also restored equal rights for aliens, Changed humans, and even some A.I. machines that they had enjoyed under the Second Commonwealth. The Intergalactic Empire for a century afterward was plagued by civil war as factions of the Imperial military and police, Revolutionary Council, Imperial Assembly, United God Movement and other organized religions, Mercantile Alliance corporations, noble houses, and even among alien, Changed, and A.I. machine population all waged armed conflict to replace governments and Imperial rulers. Embry Decados was executed by a Revolutionary Council faction in 5009, and from 5009 to 5112 there were no fewer than 50 rulers on the throne of the Intergalactic Empire, who often were little more than puppets of special interests. During this time, the Organic Charter remained the nominal constitution of the Empire, though it was periodically amended, and the Revolutionary Council (renamed the Council of Order in 5091) held the real authority, though lawmaking powers were supposedly jointly vested in the Emperor, Council of Order, and Imperial Assembly since the amending of the Organic Charter in 5011.
RISE OF THE HAWKWOOD DYNASTY AND THE PHOENIX IMPERIUM
In 5112, the Emperor Wars were ended, as the Hawkwood Dynasty was established and the Intergalactic Empire transformed into the Phoenix Imperium, as Jane Daisy Hawkwood of House Lionheart was crowned Empress of the new Imperium, establishing the Hawkwood Dynasty. The Organic Charter, in amended form, was retained as the official constitution. The Council of Order was retained to control the Imperial military forces and law-enforcement establishment, and the Imperial Assembly was retained as a la legislative and advisory body. The Assembly included appointed members representing the United God Movement and other organized religions, big private corporations (not just from the Mercantile Alliance), the traditional noble houses (Lionhearts, Alectos, al-Haz, Mantis Lords, and United Rokugan Clans), and representatives of alien races, Canged, and A.I. machines. It also was expanded to include many members elected by popular vote to represent ordinary citizens on various planets and solar systems. Other bodies of the Imperial government established under the new Imperium included the Domestic Council, which saw all public affirs except for public spending, taxation, foreign affairs, the military, and law enforcement; and the Council of State, which supervised public spending, taxation, and foreign affairs. The planet Mars was retained as the seat of government as it was under the Second Commonwealth, the Hantei Dynasty, and the Emperor Wars period. The official flag of the Intergalactic Empire, a black banner with a galaxy of white stars and a red sun in the middle, was replaced with the new flag of the Phoenix Imperium Imperium, a purple banner with a white hexagon in the middle and a yellow flaming bird perched on top of the hexagon.
THE USE OF THEURGY (RELIGIOUS MAGIC)
The priests of the United God Movement and clergy among the Incarnates and Progenitor worshippers over the centuries sometimes displayed the ability to use theurgy or religious magic, including healings, blessings, curses, and the enhancement of objects and technology, believed to be granted by the Pancreator, Progenitors, the Prophet Zabasius, angels, demons, and ordinary people turned into gods after their deaths. Though the use of theurgy was often stricted regulated by religious and secular/governmental authorities, there were some violations of ecclesiastic and secular law, and occasional criminal prosecutions.
THE USE OF PSYCHIC POWERS OF THE MIND
The use of the powers of the mind was legal under both the laws of political authority (under the Second Commonwealth and more recent government) as well as under the authirity of religious leaders (especially the United God Movement), though both types of authority strictly regulated the use of psychic powers as they did theurgy. Certain alien races, like the Nubo and the Raku, naturally included many born psychics. In humans, the development of psychics was initially due to encounters with relics of the Progenitors (gargoyles and philosopher stones) or exposure to the Jump Dream by passing through jumpgates in starships without dampers, but psychic humans were discovered to genetically pass on their powers of the mind to their children and descendants. Humans transformed into Changed via genetic engineering sometimes developed psychic powers and passed them on to ther children. Psychic powers includind mind-reading, telepathic and empathic communication of thoughts and emotions, telekinetic manipulation of objects and technology, medical healing, etc. Like theurgy, there were occasional criminal prosecutions over the misuse of powers.
THE JUMP DREAM CULT
The cult utilizing starships without dampers to experience the ecstacy of the Progenitor jumpgates, the so-called Jump Dream, was over the centuries outlawed and persecuted or legal but closely monitored by various governments. The United God Movement always opposed the Jump Dream cult and insisted that all starships have dampers on their jump engines, and very often they succeeded through moral/ethical persuasion if not via political edict. The Jump Dream cult was legal under the Second Commonwealth but banned under the Hantei Dynasty, but became legal again during the time of the Emperor Wars. The cult is legal under the Phoenix Imperium, but it's members and their starships have to be registered with the Imperial government.
GARGOYLES AND PHILOSOPHER STONES
The Progenitors left behind Gargoyles, statues of various, often grtesque creatures and animald; and philosopher stones, basically shaped as spheres, cubes, or pyramids. Gargoyles and philosopher stones are made of a purple alien metal, virtually indestructible, which in fact is the same material of which the jumpgates are made of. Gargoyles and philosopher stones are both known to have granted psychic powers of te mind to certain people who touched them (particularly humans). Gargoyles are also credited with granting visions to certain people who touch them, kind of like dreams. Philosopher stones, when placed upon starships, protect the space vessels with force fields in addition to the standard energy shields, and even allow the ships to travel FTL interstellarly or intergalactically without jumpgates (though the vast majority of starships still need jump drives and jumpgates). Gargoyles are far more common than philosopher stones, though both types of objects are definitely rare. Under the laws of the Second Commonwealth, Intergalactic Empire, Phoenix Imperium, and earlier regimes of the Diaspora, the use and possession of Gargoyles and philosopher stones is a legal monopoly of the central government.