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Mankind has been blind for thousands of years-for all of its history. We have come to a place whose wonders are a hundred-fold more amazing than anything on Earth. Around us is clear evidence of the will of a higher power. I bring the Vision to the blind eyes of men. I bring the Word to the deaf ears of men. I will make them see it. I will make them hear it.
~ Prophet Cha Dawn on Planet Rising

The Cult of Planet is an Alien Crossfire faction.

Description[ | ]

The leader of the Cult of Planet appeared under mysterious circumstances a few years after Planetfall. Though clearly just a young boy, he claims to have the Word of Planet in his ears, and promises to lead his followers to a cleansing jihad, making them (and the will of Planet) supreme.

Little information is known about the Cult of Planet, due to the strict secrecy and slavish devotion of its members. The Cult sprang up a few years after Planetfall, and consists of Ecological Malcontents who have deserted the other human factions. Adherents fanatically follow the will of Prophet Cha Dawn, a mysterious figure who claims to embody the Voice of Planet. Their power derives from a complete dedication to their leader's commands. The Cult of Planet gains a +2 Planet bonus from their rabid devotion to the environment, increasing the chances of capturing native life forms and reducing the effect of industrial pollution. Additionally, Cultish reverence for native life confers double police powers for native units acting as base garrisons. However, the religious asceticism practiced by these acolytes results in an industrial slowdown and a sluggish economy. They get a free Brood Pit with the discovery of Centauri Genetics.

The Cult of Planet begins the game with knowledge of Social Psych and Centauri Genetics, and may not make the "Wealth" social choice.

History[ | ]

Among the early colonists, there were a few whose devotion to environmentalism bordered on insanity. Soon after Planetfall, these "Environmental Malcontents" claimed to have found a human infant alone in the xenofungus, breathing Planet's air without a filter, unharmed by the mind worms that lurked all around. They immediately hailed the infant as their Prophet, claiming that he was a genetic construct created by Planet to speak on its behalf. The boy Cha Dawn grew to maturity, in both body and mind, with unnatural speed. Within a few years, he was able to function as the charismatic leader of the Malcontents, and was being hailed as their Prophet. At his urging, many of the movement's members fled the established bases for the wilderness, where they became the Planet Cult and laid plans for the eradication of human civilization from the surface of Planet.

Beliefs[ | ]

The Planet Cult is not a simple environmental movement, but a religion which rejects almost all previous human civilization. Cultists believe that by destroying its homeworld, humanity has forfeited any right to continued existence. If human beings are to survive, then they must throw themselves on the mercy of Planet and hope for its favor. Anyone who fails to do this, and reenacts the crimes of humanity on Earth, must be stopped and punished. As a religion, the Cult is elaborate and formal. The Planetmind is worshiped as a god. Mind worms and related native life forms are viewed as divine beings in the Planet-god's service, capable of both benevolence and viciousness. Prophet Cha Dawn is regarded as semi-divine, the direct offspring of Planet by a human woman. The Cult has borrowed some elements from both Christianity and Islam, but is largely a new creation based on the pronouncements of the Prophet.

Relations With Other Factions[ | ]

The Planet Cult is openly friendly with no other faction, believing itself destined to destroy all traces of human civilization on Planet. The Cult's worldview is closest to that of the Gaians, although this is no guarantee of friendly relations. At times, the Prophet is more hostile toward Deirdre Skye and her followers than toward any other faction. The other factions are at least ignorant, and might one day be brought to understand their natural place. The Gaians know what Planet requires of them, and yet they refuse to obey! Like the Gaians, the Planet Cult is specifically hostile toward the Free Drones and Morganites. They also find themselves in frequent conflict with the Lord's Believers, with each faction considering the other's religion to be an abomination.

Strengths[ | ]

The Planet Cult is devoted to living in harmony with Planet, to a greater degree than even the most fanatic Gaians. This enables them to blend their activities with the local environment, avoiding all but the worst mind-worm attacks. Indeed, the Cult is even more effective than Gaia's Stepdaughters at communicating with and "capturing" mind-worm boils. The Cult's fascination with native life forms has profound effects on Cultist society. Cultist communities normally set aside large areas in which mind worms and other native life can live in close contact with human beings. The Cult often breeds its own mind worms, and its military establishment relies heavily on captive worm boils. The presence of active mind-worm boils in a Cultist community does much to reduce any social unrest.

Weaknesses[ | ]

The Planet Cult is uninterested in material goods, so members must make do with a bare minimum of equipment and possessions. What industrial production does occur is usually devoted to the military.

Lifestyle[ | ]

The Planet Cult has the most unusual way of life on Planet. A Cult base is usually a haphazard scatter of buildings, open to the atmosphere, with wide tracts of xenofungus running into the core of the city. The Cultists move about their business, paying no attention to the ever-present mind worms as they writhe along the streets and cling to the buildings. When the worms congregate into a boil, the humans gather to watch in superstitious awe. Most Cultists lead an austere existence. Living quarters are cramped and bare of comforts. Clothing tends to be ragged, patched, and filthy. Locally manufactured equipment is serviceable but crude. Only the priesthood enjoys clean, ostentatious garb and luxurious quarters.

The Cult is run as a theocratic state, with the Prophet Cha Dawn as absolute dictator. There is a hierarchy of priests (called "Intercessors") below the Prophet, selected for empathic ability and loyalty to the Prophet's teachings. Other members of the Cult have no civil or political rights, living only to do as they are told. Punishments for dissent run from the painful (flogging) to the horrifying (being thrown into a brood pit to be devoured by mind worms). There is very little dissent in the Cult, even concealed. Most Cultists are dedicated to their religion, and would not flee to another faction if they had the chance. This is probably because many of their religious beliefs do not need to be taken on faith. Planet's existence is undeniable, and there is enough evidence of its borderline sentience to convince even non-telepaths. Meanwhile, mind worms make very effective angels of divine retribution.

Citizens[ | ]

Early instruction, continued throughout a Cultist's lifetime, means that almost every citizen has a working knowledge of basic biology. Any Cultist is likely to have at least a few points in some combination of Botany, Ecology, and Zoology (usually with the "Planet" specialization). As well, most Cultists will have at least a point in Theology, with the optional specialty "Planet Cult." Aside from this, the Cult is a complete society and has use for a wide variety of skills. Of all the human factions, the Planet Cult has the most ideologically committed population. Most citizens have Sense of Duty (Planet); a substantial minority have Fanaticism. Mind Worm Sympathy occurs more frequently among the Cultists than in any other faction.

Strategies[ | ]

The Cult has little interest in material things, causing a general economic slowdown in their faction. However, they are supremely in tune with Planet, and have better capabilities with native lifeforms than even the Gaians. They get a free Biology Lab in each base upon discovery of the appropriate technology, and their people are so in awe of the native life forms that mindworms count double for police duty.

Colony names[ | ]

Land[ | ]

  • Dawn of Planet
  • Worm's Lair
  • The Edicts
  • Terror's Delight
  • Seers of Chiron
  • Sword of Planet
  • Wormfang Shrine
  • Consecration Pit
  • Planetvision Gate
  • Trance of Purity
  • Virgin Planet
  • Chiron Stigmata
  • Locust Haven
  • Well of Souls
  • Remain in Light
  • Sporerunner Sanctum
  • Childhood's End
  • Trial By Fire
  • Dawn's Chancel
  • Concordat of Worms
  • Misericordia
  • The Hermitage
  • Invictus

Sea[ | ]

  • Deep Isle Shoals
  • WaveTrance Dome
  • Point Flensing
  • Ninevah Rising
  • Ark of the Edicts
  • Dawn's Reverie
  • Sealurk City
  • Sanctuary Dome