Dogmas & Organizations
“May the merciful gods, if indeed there be such, guard those hours when no power of the will, or drug that the cunning of man devises, can keep me from the chasm of sleep. Death is merciful, for there is no return therefrom, but with him who has come back out of the nethermost chambers of night, haggard and knowing, peace rests nevermore. Fool that I was to plunge with such unsanctioned frenzy into mysteries no man was meant to penetrate; fool or god that he was — my only friend, who led me and went before me, and who in the end passed into terrors which may yet be mine!” - H.P Lovecraft
Dogmas, Religion and faith play an influential role in Outland. Outland is a place beyond reality where the Elder Gods, their servants, and the conscious minds and the will of the human descendants have great power to shape their world. Some wish to improve the lives of those in the Outland, some want to discover hidden knowledge, while still others seek only destruction, domination and power.
Carcosans - In the times long before man came and shaped the universe with a logical mind, there were uncounted years of pure chaos, a universe of possibility, of dream… of madness. For eons that world has lay beyond the reach of man, veiled behind a wall of form, matter and unyielding reality of their own creation. There have always been prophets, the mad seers, those whose broken and twisted minds could glimpse what was behind, but their wisdom was never seen by the blind, sane mortals around them who couldn’t possibly understand the truth in the madness. The coming of Outland changed all of that. This new world was broken, insane and twisted in ways that man could never have dreamed. All their works were torn asunder and try as they might they could not hold on to their sane dreams any longer. They found themselves beyond the wall that stood for so many eternities and in the world beyond, the lands of Carcosa and Lumeria, the realms of Dream and illusion were within grasp and the wisdom they offered just a dream away.
Disciples of October - Believers in the moral corruption of wealth and the absolute equality of all auspices in Outland. They seek to work in perfect communion and harmony with each other to ensure both survival and happiness. Many work towards building strong communities while others stand up against capitalistic systems that they feel degrade the dignity of personhood. This belief system can seem out of place in the barbaric and nightmarish environs of the Outland but its message of cooperation and unity resonates with groups throughout the realm. In a community of Disciples everyone is given a role and job based on what they can best contribute and they are given from the whole what they need to survive and thrive. Greed is seen as one of the highest sins, along with pride and divisiveness.
Lost Prophets - When the world fell into the Outland it was washed clean of everything that came before. Almost all culture from the former world of man was lost forever. What remained, they believe, survived for a reason. The Lost Prophets have found that the relics of the old world hold great power. The programs on the television, the movies, the books, the comics, the music. These things told stories or parables to the people of the old world whose meaning is now a mystery. What fate left to the auspices may not tell of what was but can teach lessons about this world or what is to come. The Prophets seek out media and artifacts of the old world and use it to divine the future or discover secret wisdom. They believe that there is great power manifest through the words images of these things and so they study relentlessly.
Children of the Nodens - The Children of the Nodens worship the Nodens as a protective deity for its ability to grant life back to the dead and guard settlements against the Elder Gods and Chthonic Dukes. One would think that this dogma would enjoy a much wider, or even universal worship, and yet while most auspices respect the Nodens, its form and actions are often too disquieting, and the visions between life and death too hard to bear, so they turn to other philosophies instead. The Nodens does not seem to mind. Its protection is universal and indiscriminate, a quality its followers say is proof of its ultimate forgiveness and benevolence.
Seekers - The Seekers were originally a small group of devoted scientists who studied the strange properties of the Outland after humanity found itself moored in this new realm. They found that the laws of physics and the nature of science were far more mutable here, and that new forms of technology, advancement and biological change were possible in ways that could never have occured on Earth. The discovery of alien life forms opened their eyes to infinite possibilities and that understanding the infinite universe became like a religion to them. As more scientists joined their research they discovered the mystic manifestations latent within the Auspices and from there built an entire faith around the exaltation of science.
Sensates - Believers in the importance of self-awareness, fulfillment of desires, and delving the depth and breadth of possible experiences, the Sensates are dedicated to seeing and experiencing all that life in Outland has to offer. Sensates regard the ideational and purely spiritual aspects of life to be unfulfilled at best, and a waste of time at worst. The physical realm, they claim, is all that exists, and all that matters. If we are to find wisdom it must be by knowing this world in its fullest form because nothing good lies beyond.
Shintao - A dogma born out of the belief systems from the humans from East Asia that found themselves in Outland. The Shintao combined the wisdom and teachings of their predecessors into a strict code of conduct to honor the ancestors that guide their people. In many ways the Shintao is not one dogma, but several. Each sect and indeed many of its members following different paths, or family traditions. However the reverence of the ancestors and the desire for a life ordered by traditions unites them, as does their shared history. They see honor as fulfilling one’s oaths and obligations in an upright fashion and without betrayal. This does not always mean that a Shintaoist does the good thing, or even the right thing, but they will do the honorable thing.
The Temple - God is eternal. The world is His and the woe we face is a test of faith that we must overcome. The Temple believes these things with a single-minded devotion. After humanity found itself in Outland, many of the survivors formed a multi-faith ecclesiastical council made up of clergy from many of the old world’s major monotheistic faiths. They sought to discover the divine purpose behind the seemingly impossible and horrific events of the fall into Outland. After weeks of intense deliberation they came to the conclusion that God had allowed this catastrophe as a test of his faithful. They joined together, a bastion against this darkness, building a compound called the Temple that was part bomb shelter, part cathedral and part military base. From there they gathered the faithful, trained their soldiers and set out to bring peace to this brutal alien wasteland.
Tungasar - A nature-based faith whose various Sects are found throughout the tribal peoples, from Solari mystics to Eregot shamans. They find common ground in seeing the world as interconnected on a very basic level. They seek to understand these connections and celebrate the cycles of the natural world. Unlike other dogmas, the Tungasar have no distinct hierarchy as a church, in fact it is only due to a loose agreement among the leaders of its various Sects that it is even named. The only thing that really binds them is a belief that magic is unexplainable by science and that that magic flows from the cycles of the natural world. They stand united in faith against the more urban communities who dismiss them as superstitious and support each other's spiritual journeys.
Auspice Culture has grown across Outland. The descendants of humanity have created culture that often combines the vestiges of their old world with the harsh realities of the new. Unlike Dogmas, these groups are not based on faith, but rather on mutual interests or goals.
In the days after the survivors of the Rift Fall came to Outland, a military historian and general in one of the old world armies began organizing settlements under a single banner in order to, in her assessment, increase their chance to survive and thrive in this new world. A pragmatic woman, she took this new world as it was and did not waste time pining for what was lost. She based this new society on an ancient human culture from the old world called Rome. In the image of this once great empire she unified a swath of settlements, built a vast and well organized army, and created a new society that would influence the descendants of humanity for centuries.
The Bookkeepers’ Guild
A guild of beggars, thieves, scoundrels, and con artists, this guild is the central trading hub for the black market and any other illicit job outside of murder that you might need done. The Black Market is a group of interconnected traders, criminals, and smugglers who trade and transport illicit goods across Outland for sale and purchase by those that would avoid knowledge of such purchases by the lawful authorities of their settlements. If you wish to make a living by pilfering or tricking the wealthy from their hard earned coin or are skilled as a smuggler of hard to acquire goods then this organization has a place for you.
The Astrologer’s Guild
The Astrologers are scholars whose central goal is to gather as much knowledge about the celestial powers of Outland as they can and try to finally understand the real ebb and flow of its forces and powers beyond the seeming chaos of the stars. They gather at their observatories and share their findings. One day, they hope, humanity can gain some control over its destiny.
A secret cabal of Necromancers that are intrigued by the Nodens’ ability to resurrect the Auspices. They study death, some maliciously, some to help, but they are united in their scholarly pursuit. The Lazerites seek to understand the fundamentals of resurrection and learn how to shield the mind and soul from its harsh process. They believe if they can learn to do so they can render humanity immortal.
The Outlands are a dangerous place, to put it mildly. For humanity to thrive someone must keep the Sanctuaries connected, bring the news, and carry the tales. The Couriers are those few. They are bold, tough, fast and always on the move. To be a Courier means to be able to run the Badlands where there is no hope of resurrection should you die. They do it all for a little coin and hopefully a hot meal. It’s a hard job, but without it civilization would collapse.
Law, order, and justice in the Outland can be hard to come by. When settlements are often hundreds of miles apart and widespread communication is difficult tracking down criminals becomes a specialized job beyond the scope of a local Sheriff. That’s where the Fugitivari come in. Professional bounty hunters who track the wastes for fugitives and criminals, bringing them back to stand trial.
Trade Syndicate (NPC)
Trade is the lifeblood of the humans of Outland. No one community can make or do enough to survive so they must purchase goods, and ship them out. To make trade a stable reality it must be organized, and kept centrally balanced. In the old world this was handled by global organizations like the WTO, but in the dangerous realm of Outland it is handled by a far more merciless organization. Every settlement has a Trade Syndicate office and representative and while they are religiously apolitical they will get involved if matters occur to disrupt or try and circumvent the fair and orderly flow of commerce. The Syndicate taxes import goods and trade routes to finance itself and in doing so maintains strong relations with the Couriers.