Throughout the universe, sentient creatures seek to understand the meaning of existence. This quest for deeper knowledge seems to be a shared urge among all self-aware creatures, and the answers each species, group, and individual finds are many and varied.
Entropism was founded by mathematician Jalal Sunyaev-Zel’dovich in the mid-twenty-first century. The basic tenets of this stateless, pseudo-religion were belief in the heat death of the universe and a desire to escape or postpone said death. Their central text, the Entropic Principia, contained a summary of all known scientific knowledge, with primary emphasis on astronomy, physics, and mathematics.
Entropists devoted considerable resources to scientific research and contributed—directly or indirectly—to numerous important discoveries. Open adherents were noted for their gradient robes adorned with a stylized symbol of a rising phoenix. The robes were a metamaterial laced with advanced technology that allowed them to act as a skinsuit, armor, and, when needed, a weapon. As an organization, the Entropist’s tech consistently ran several decades ahead of the main of human society, if not more.
The League of Allied Worlds found the Entropists difficult to control, as members pledged loyalty to no one government, only to the rigors of their pursuit. As a result of clashes with the League (and its predecessor, the Solar Alliance) the Entropists chose to locate their headquarters, the Nova Energium, at the unallied system of Shin-Zar.
Entropists called themselves Questants, by which they meant, “one who quests for a way to save humanity from the heat death of the universe.” They had the annoying habit of calling everyone outside their order Prisoner, meaning “one imprisoned within the dying universe by their lack of knowledge.”
Motto: “By our actions we increase the entropy of the Universe. By our entropy, we seek salvation from the coming dark.”
Greeting: “May your path always lead to knowledge.” Reply: “Knowledge to freedom.”
Reform Hutterites (RH) were an offshoot of traditional ethnoreligious Hutterism. They accepted the use of modern technology where it allowed them to further pursue the spread of humanity and establish their claim over God’s creation, but they frowned on any use of tech, such as STEM shots, for what they deemed selfish, individual needs. Where possible, they hewed to communal-based life. They proved highly successful everywhere they settled. Unlike traditional Hutterites, RHs were known to serve in the military, although this was frowned upon by the majority of their society.
Shortly after the construction of Earth’s first space elevator, RH colonists left for distant worlds, in what was called the Hutterite Expansion. Their intensive colonization efforts began in the Solar System and expanded outward, following the discovery of FTL. This period of accelerated growth ended with the settlement of Eidolon.
Numenism was founded on Mars by Sal Horker II circa 2165–2179. The religion was led by the Pontifex Digitalis and was centered around the supposed holy nature of numbers. It quickly gained traction among colonists and workers dependent upon the technology of their new world for survival.
The defining feature of Numenism was the Enumeration, the ongoing broadcast of ascending numbers that Numenists were required to listen to as part of the observance of their faith. New converts began a private Enumeration, which they chanted quietly to themselves, beginning with the number 1 and continuing forward. The higher they got, the more empowered members felt and the higher their status in the organization. These devotional sessions were tracked by the College of Enumerators, who verified the authenticity of claims.
Joining in the Grand Enumeration with others was considered a powerful ritual. Some numbers, such as primes, were considered more auspicious than others, and certain rites were associated with them.
As defined by the Numenists, the Number Supreme was the largest number imaginable, containing the sum of all knowledge, known and unknown. Sal Horker II claimed that the Number Supreme was “the greater part of two equal parts,” which is also the definition or term that the Numenists used for God.