2023.06.07 00:04 tiramisucks Routine lab tests at local hospital seem a bit steep.
2023.06.06 23:49 PM_ME_YOUR_ROBOTGIRL Character Database: The Aeons, Part 1 (VERY LONG)
Okay so basically I read everything, let's do this shit.submitted by PM_ME_YOUR_ROBOTGIRL to HonkaiStarRail [link] [comments]
Notes Before We StartThe original intent behind this post was to serve as a database for every single major lore character in the game, starting with the Aeons. Unfortunately, though, I vastly underestimated its length when I started writing it, thinking I'd easily be able to do it all within one post. I was not!
Initially, I decided to just separate the post into two parts, the Aeons and the mortal characters. This didn't pan out, because the Aeon section also ended up being massive! So now I have to split it up into 3+ parts. The first two parts about the Aeons will go up soon since it's all already written, this part right now and the next part either tomorrow or possibly in a few days once everyone's less busy doing the update. The benefit is that this arrangement allows me to go into greater detail about each individual Aeon -- if I'm able (thank you Oroboros for being mentioned like twice in the whole game)
The third part which should hopefully be only one post and is about the mortal characters will almost certainly have to wait until I'm completely done with the update. The reason why this is so is because the update is guaranteed to introduce more lore about mortal characters, whereas I think the likelihood of it giving us more Aeon lore is comparatively lower (though it could still happen).
I also need a break. Just writing this post took me a week, let alone the time it took to read almost everything that's in the game - it's safe to say that I dedicated myself to this for the entire second half of 1.0. If I go all in and write everything at once, I'm gonna burn out for sure.
While corrections and additions are welcome, I just want everyone to remember that leaks are against the rules, so please make sure to have an official source on hand if you're going to tell me anything. I might not be able to edit this post once it goes up due to sheer length, but I'm sure people can just read the comments and get the info that way.That being said, before we start properly, we'll have to take a little diversion.
The Structure of the Universe
I dreamed of a ray of light of a crystal chalice.
I despise reading about and explaining this because miHoYo went out of their way to make it the most confusing thing imaginable.
The in-game characters aren't even sure how their own universe works and miHoYo has provided little to no official unbiased explanations, so I'll just be borrowing Zandar "One" Kuwabara's theory here because HI3 more or less supports it and although alternate theories are mentioned in HSR, none have been explained yet.
Imaginary TreeTo understand the nature of the Aeons and of the other characters, you must first understand Reality, as the Aeons are inherently linked to it. Sit down, strap in. Maybe listen to some music.
Okay so think of the universe as being like a tree in a spatial and temporal sense. It's not literally that, but it works like that.
Space-time is defined by a collection of an unimaginably numerous amount of branches. Such branches define independent worlds and expand outwards, forming leaves that mark those worlds at different development stages in spacetime - thus each leaf is a world. These 'worlds' are defined as 'galaxies', a confusing term since it is also used to refer to the universe as a whole. What's important to note is that a "world" is often more than simply a single individual planet, and they may have different attributes (for example, the world Punklorde is entirely cybernetic)
The development of those branches occurs as they absorb imaginary energy from the vasculature provided by the trunk. The trunk's got some funny stuff going on with a sea of quanta or whatever but this is HI3 stuff that has not proven relevant to HSR specifically yet - the Sea of Quanta does exist here (obviously), as proven by the crafting material "Quantum Ripples". But getting into it would muddy the waters. Just know that when a world has run its course, it "falls" into the Sea of Quanta and is destroyed (from the perspective of the HSR mortals, it just 'disappears')
Imaginary energy constitutes a space which separates each branch and leaf and world from one another, making passage generally impossible unless one can manipulate imaginary energy. Because of this, for a very long time it was impossible for creatures to gain passage or even be able to observe other worlds (galaxies) until the Aeons appeared and granted them the ability to do so. More on this later. It's possible for a mortal being to enter Imaginary space through certain means but they'll quickly die without some form of protection or the ability to manipulate Imaginary energy.
Zandar's understanding is that imaginary energy was formed by the thoughts of intelligent beings, and the Aeon's ability to traverse imaginary space is what caused the worlds to be similar. Which is half true, but Elias Salas later proved that imaginary energy exists on its own and is entirely unique, which messes with the foundations of the theory. But it's our best bet.
Okay but who cares thoughWhy is this relevant? The worlds contained within the leaves of the tree may have different attributes but share certain similarities - most notably, the recurrence of certain individuals. Those individuals are separate from each other and have their own memories and life experiences, but have a certain likeliness that links them. And that is why there are many Bronyas. And many Wendy's, some even male. And many Kianas. And maybe even many Himekos as well. Notably, there is an in-universe theory named the "Parallel Imaging Theory", which may suggest people are aware of this phenomenon.
Because HSR's plotline and lore involves the traversal between multiple different worlds, it is possible for multiple versions (different individual) of the same character to appear within the game. So yeah.
The biggest misconception people have about HSR, and one that I myself held for some time until I started reading everything, is that they assume it's localized to one Leaf in the Imaginary Tree.
This is a misconception made possible, and more complicated, by several factors:
I also imagine that it doesn't help that (and this is how I began to believe in the same misconception for a while) a lot of people used the "separate universes" argument to argue in favor of Genshin and HI3 being completely unrelated. Which, for the record, I still completely believe as plenty of evidence suggests they want Genshin players to not have to deal with the huge steamy backlog of lore baggage HI3 has, but it did make people think of each Honkai game as always being completely disconnected from one another in a very physical sense.
The Imaginary element is defined by Welt as a "metaphysical aggregation of the spirit". In other words, it's a form of energy that can be influenced by the thoughts and actions of intelligent beings.
When an intelligent being of sufficient will fulfills certain, currently unknown, conditions, they take over a philosophical concept and become an Aeon. This opens a Path to that concept and grants the newly born Aeon not only the ability to manipulate Imaginary energy, but also complete control over the Imaginary expression of that concept - it becomes their "Primum Mobile", an imprint formed upon the Imaginary element.
That Path also becomes a form of energy that can be tapped into by various sources, and even begins to emerge naturally. The entry for "Topological Acceleration Band" implies that Path energy is limited, which would make sense, as Aeons seem to restrict their underlings' power instead of just giving all of it flat out, and the limitations imposed by this would also serve to explain why Nanook doesn't just, I dunno, blow up the entire universe. In any case, even if it is limited, it's such an extreme amount of energy that it may as well be limitless from the perspective of mortals.
In other words, they become an embodiment of a certain concept, and are able to exert their full will upon it. This appears to deprive them of a certain sense of personal identity - all Aeons are referred to with gender-neutral pronouns.
In the one record of an ascension that was witnessed (Lan's) that we currently have, the Aeon's physical body disappeared upon ascension. It remains unclear if this is true of all Aeons or not but there is definitely a physical change involved.
Aeons are able to freely move around Imaginary space and the leaves in the Imaginary tree at no harm to themselves and possess unimaginable power - Nanook's highest level underlings are capable of incinerating entire galaxies (worlds? The inconsistency of this term drives me crazy). They also possess a degree of ominiscience - not completely so, but it's fairly obvious that they're able to notice and interact with beings treading on their Path at basically any distance. They can also manifest physically if they so choose but the degree of this seems to vary on the Aeon. Qlipoth basically stays in one place building their wall whereas Fuli appears to be capable of teleporting. Lan runs at faster than light speeds throughout the universe. Aha is known for taking on a humanoid form. Akivili physically traveled with mortals.
Aeons can die, but it's difficult to pull this off. Only one Aeon is known to have been killed, and the deed was done by other Aeons. It is also possible for an Aeon to experience a form of death - if their Path overlaps too much with another, the Path representing the greater concept will absorb it, which effectively kills that Aeon.
There are other Aeons that have disappeared and are considered dead, but the ambiguity of their circumstances means that there's a possibility that like, I dunno, they're just hiding or something.
Aeons are limited by one another and their Paths. They cannot ever deviate from it - Xipe cannot create disorder, Yaoshi may not kill, etc. Therefore negotiating with an Aeon is impossible, they shouldn't even be treated as "people" you can "talk" to. Generally the universe tends towards balance - an out of control Aeon may be killed by other Aeons or be opposed by an Aeon whose Path limits theirs. Furthermore, an optional conversation with Welt implies that an Aeon's power at least partially corresponds to the broadness of their concept. Because Lan's Path is so narrow, they're one of the less powerful Aeons.
Who the first Aeon was or how old they are is unclear. The IPC seems to think the first ever Aeon was Qlipoth, but they're biased and in-universe this is doubted. What is certain is that they did not always exist - between the origin of the universe and the appearance of the Aeons, the universe was populated by entities called Leviathans. We know jack about them, other than they were very powerful, and as a result of something called the Dusk Wars, they either all died out or disappeared, except for the Aeon Oroboros the Voracity.
Aeons and MortalsBefore we get into this, one thing should be noted: once opened, a Path can never be closed, and so even if an Aeon dies, the energy of their Path is still accessible. That being said, if an Aeon does die/disappear, their Path can be infringed upon a little - Tayzzyronth 'carved up' the Permanence to become the Propagation, but the power of the Permanence still exists as seen with the Vidyadhara.
The Aeons can influence the universe in various ways, physical or otherwise. A favorite of many many Aeons is the empowering of certain underlings.
Mortals can access the energy of an Aeon's path to a very limited degree by becoming Pathstriders, but Aeons are capable of enhancing some more directly, giving them greater access to that Path's energy.
Some Aeons have their own little way of 'upgrading' mortals through indirect applications of their power, but all Aeons are capable of infusing a mortal with their energy, and such a mortal is referred to as an Emanator. Though they are capable of this, not all Aeons choose to have Emanators.
PathstriderIf a being of sufficient will possesses attributes aligning with a certain Path, they gain the ability to derive power from that Path's energy. This makes them more powerful than the average person and grants them some nifty abilities, but compared to beings enhanced by an Aeon's power, Emanators, or the Aeon themselves, they're pretty weak.
One example named by Dan Heng is that Pathstriders of the Trailblaze are able to resist extreme natural conditions to a certain extent, though they're not immune.
From a character standpoint, this seems to be the justification as for why certain characters have unexplained powers. But it's hard to tell, because the game rarely ever names someone as a Pathstrider, and even when it does, there's clear overlap (for example the Astral Express crew are Pathstriders of the Trailblaze but have individual Paths). It is not yet clarified if you can be a Pathstrider in multiple Paths at once or if this is just a gameplay abstraction, but the characters do generally match the Path assigned to them personality-wise to at least some extent, though some in more roundabout ways.
EmanatorA mortal that was given direct access to the power of a Path by an Aeon. They are WAY stronger than Pathstriders, with the most powerful ones capable of affecting reality on a galactic scale. Like the Aeons, an Emanator is limited by the definition of that Path.
Emanators are capable of controlling Imaginary energy to a certain degree, which means they're also capable of traversing through Imaginary space without needing assistance. Herta, even through her puppet, is capable of creating a contract that forces the signee to obey "Imaginary law", which affects the entire universe and cannot be interacted with by outside forces. Six-phased ice, the ice March 7th is capable of controlling and was once encased with, has its form dictated by Imaginary law, meaning it likely exists with the blessing of some Aeon or another (Hm).
How much access to a Path's energy an Emanator has is dependent entirely on how much the Aeon feels like giving them. How independent an Emanator is also depends on the Aeon. Some Emanators can do whatever they want, whereas others act as extensions of that Aeon's will.
Aeons can make anyone they want into an Emanator, but most tend to choose mortals that align with their goals. Well except Aha, who is infamous for turning anyone and anything into an Emanator and often for the dumbest reasons imaginable.
Now because an Aeon needs to be active to turn people into Emanators, if an Aeon dies or disappears they can't make any more obviously. But because the Path is forever open, any existing Emanators will retain their powers even after the disappearance or death of their Aeon, as seen with Idrila's Mirror Holders.
\"Reach the end of the story in your own way. When the time comes to make a choice, make one you know you won't regret.\"
The Trailblaze, and the Xianzhou knows them as Cloudstrider.
They hail from the world of Pegana, which used a 12-month long year cycle similar to our planet, known as the Trailblaze Calendar. They're pretty old, and the records of their appearance date as far back as the first few Amber Eras.
Akivili created the Astral Express, the Star Rail, and the Chromatic Echelon that allows for the laying of new rails. They did so in order to reach the "endpoint" of the Imaginary Tree, unable to tolerate the idea of "that which must not be known". It's also rumored that there may be other machines such as the Express, but Himeko says the internal records don't mention any.
The rumor is that the Express' core is Akivili's heart, but as Himeko points out, they'd need two hearts for this, because the Express was contemporaneous with them.
Akivili is probably one of the most important Aeons, not just because the Express wouldn't exist without them, but because the Star Rail laid by them is capable of connecting different worlds between the vast barriers of Imaginary energy, therefore allowing different civilizations to contact and interact with each other without needing the power of the Aeons. All interworld space routes are based upon the Star Rail tracks though it's implied that the 'bridges' they created extend far beyond the actual railing.
In a sense, without Akivili, none of the plot would happen. As a matter of fact, if The Ones Above hail from another world, then maybe not even APHO from the other game would've happened either.
Akivili disappeared many years ago in circumstances so obscure that even the most informed groups have no idea what happened to them. Kafka tells us that if there's anyone or anything in the universe that would know, it'd be Nous. The game's omniscient narrator implies that Akivili's disappearance was due to "an accident".
The name Akivili is probably a distortion of the Latin "aquili", which means "of the eagle" or "of the north wind".
FollowersAkivili's followers are the Nameless, who were inspired by their route through the universe. Some Nameless chose to travel alone, but those that didn't joined Akivili in their Astral Express and journeyed together in great merriment, with Akivili taking on a mortal form and riding within the Express with them. Even after Akivili disappeared, some surviving Nameless managed to maintain and use the Astral Express, until the Star Rails fell into disrepair due to the Stellarons - over the course of this process, most of the remaining Nameless either retired, died or disappeared.
When this happened, the Astral Express ran aground and was set into a collision course with Himeko's world - on her birthday, no less - and she quickly hurried to the impact site, where she repaired the Express and took off with it. Sometime later, Pom-Pom appeared as well. Those two became the next generation of Nameless, and over time would add various other people to their group, such as Welt, March 7th, Dan Heng, the Trailblazer, and (temporarily) Void Archives.
Currently, no Emanators of the Trailblaze are known to exist.
Towers crumbled and the people fled, for the sun was soon to set and meet with vicious destruction.
The Destruction, also known by the Xianzhou as the Ruin Author.
Nanook is the newest Aeon to have ascended - if we assume that the Stellarons were sent out at about the same time as their ascension (optimistic, to be honest), then they're only about 500 years old. That's a lot of time for regular mortals, but easily within the lifespan of most long life species, and definitely far younger than the other Aeons.
Nanook was born (judging by Fuli's memory of them showcasing them as a baby) in the world of Adlivun, which had been devastated by Emperor Rubert I's campaigns and nearly turned into a hive by Tayzzyronth's Swarm. When Akivili visited it, it was already a crapsack that was trying desperately to survive against the remnants of the Swarm.
This terrible war-torn world seems to have caused the young Nanook to become extremely cynical - the Data Bank suggests that they believe civilization itself is cancer, and that war is the only thing common to all of them, the birth of the Universe being a mistake that must be corrected. This mindset led to a series of as yet unknown events that caused Nanook to incinerate their own home world, and achieving apotheosis in this process.
Upon ascension, Nanook immediately got to work. Despite likely being less than a 1000 years old, their followers have already managed to destroy worlds and pose a serious existential threat to almost all galactic civilization. Indeed, although Rubert and the Swarm might have been quite dangerous back when they were active, the Aeon they indirectly birthed has caused destruction on a far more apocalyptic scale than they could've ever dreamed of.
Nanook is almost certainly (though not confirmed to be) the cause of the Stellaron ("Cancer of All Worlds") phenomenon - bundles of destructive (and intelligent!) energy sent to various corners of the universe, likely intended to destabilize civilizations and natural phenomena before the Antimatter Legion arrives and "cleans up" the rest. The Stellarons can affect natural processes and interact with mortals in ways that manipulate them towards taking destructive actions. They can enhance those mortals as well as explode! Notably, the Stellaron's destructive energy corrodes the Star Rail, which not only physically impedes passage for the Express but holds the possible danger of closing the pathways between worlds.
Perhaps the most unique characteristic of the Stellarons is their ability to corrode the region around them into "Fragmentum", which is able to analyze, absorb and replicate the forms and memories of the living creatures touched by it into hostile monsters, which further destabilizes the regions they impact. Strangely, not every Stellaron seems to create a Fragmentum zone.
There's one inside you now, by the way.
The name "Nanook" is derived from the Inuit bear god, which to be honest had a far closer association with hunting than anything else, and bear worship is a key aspect of Inuit religion. But I guess the thought process here is that Nanook (god) is also associated with weaponry and is strong, so... I guess it works?
\"Let me put it another way, why are you alive?\"
Sometime after ascending, Nanook went to an unknown world and liberated the regime that had imprisoned the talented Firesmith clan there, which held unprecedented skill in the art of weapon making. Nanook blessed them with the Mark of Destruction, which granted them great power (but corrupted their minds and bodies), and sent them to the volcanic world of Warforge, which turned into a large scale training and weapons production facility.
Antimatter creatures, "scavenged parts" (such as the heart of a deceased Leviathan), and individuals that showed promise and a pure desire for destruction to Nanook were 'reforged', physically hammered and altered until their very biology had been changed and combined with their weapons, into the members of the Antimatter Legion. Even the Firesmiths that created them became part of their own creations. The fire that forged them was of incomparable heat and infused them with the very power of the Destruction.
The Antimatter Legion became an army with the sole purpose of destroying the universe. Members are stratified into ranks and even have their own medals. Lower ranked members are tasked with destabilizing civilizations, higher ranked members can destroy galaxies.
The Stellarons likely act as seeds and beacons for the Antimatter Legion, carefully cultivating the circumstances necessary to weaken the target, potentially for centuries, before finally ushering in their doom. Like farmers, they go around the universe slashing and burning societies and exhibiting as much patience and strategy as is necessary.
The most devastating quality of Nanook and the Antimatter Legion is that unlike Emperor Rubert's army or the Swarm, they don't simply overwhelm enemy forces and take over, but carefully study and integrate into them, sowing discord and in-fighting until they're weak enough to guarantee a loss against the Legion. This is by far the biggest reason for Nanook's success and the biggest reason why they're such a massive threat, even to powerful entities such as the Xianzhou Alliance.
Perhaps the second biggest reason is that through the Fragmentum and the skilled Firesmiths in Warforge, Nanook is also able to absorb and integrate the qualities of other beings into the members of their Legion, allowing them to constantly evolve and grow more powerful, as well as adapt to the unique qualities of the worlds and civilizations they conquer.
The greatest members of the Antimatter Legion are given the privilege of becoming Emanators of the Destruction, known as Lord Ravagers. They serve as commanders, and are unbelievably dangerous. Welt implies there are even more powerful individuals known as "Overlords", but we don't know much about them, since they're mentioned in only one line right now.
Of course, every Aeon has a group of followers who don't attract their attention or explicit approval, but adhere to their ideas of the Path. For Nanook, this is the Annihilator Gang, a group of hooligans and criminals who take joy in destruction, be it for personal pleasure, petty revenge, or insanity. Nanook looks down upon such "impure" reasons for destroying, so they receive no attention from the Aeon.
You must follow the traces left behind in the storm's wake.
The Hunt, know by the Xianzhou as the Reignbow Arbiter.
Lan ascended in the year 3400 of the Xianzhou calendar with the current year probably being around 8098-8100, which would make them around 4700 years old. Before that time, they were a mortal hero known as Reignbow, born in year 1700 (making Lan's total age around 6400 years old). It should be noted that almost all of our information about Reignbow comes in the form of severely altered poetry and some historical notes by the biased modern day Xianzhou Alliance.
Reignbow was part of the original fleet of nine ships (three of them were lost over the course of Xianzhou history, if you were wondering), and they resided in the lead Yaoqing ship. Their claim to fame was the defeat and capture of the Heliobi Flint Emperor, the leader of a species of formless energy beings capable of manipulating emotions and creating stars. The Heliobi as well as the Flint Emperor were imprisoned and the latter specifically was used as the Zhuming's energy source.
Eventually, the Xianzhou Luofu was granted the Ambrosial Arbor and the fleet shared in the blessings of long life, but Reignbow peered into the future (possibly with Nous' help? Sadly, the historical source for this misappropriates a different figure's actions with that of Reignbow's, making it hard to tell) and viewed the Xianzhou descending into chaos.
Reignbow tried to warn people about this ruinous future, but was deemed insane and ignored. In protest, they shot an arrow at the Ambrosial Arbor, a symbolic gesture that nevertheless earned the ire of the elite class, resulting in Reignbow's incarceration. Because of their status as a hero for winning the war against the Heliobi, Reignbow was sentenced to cryogenic stasis, rather than any other more severe punishment such as execution.
Later, the Xianzhou were besieged by a large army of Denizens of Abundance and faced total extinction. Seeing no other option, they released every prisoner, including Reignbow, as a desperate maneuver. Reignbow went into the Zhuming prison and struck a deal with the Flint Emperor, allowing it to possess their body in exchange for great power, a move that was also done by many other people with the other Heliobi prisoners.
The enhanced Reignbow and their followers rose up into the air, at which point they used their added power to fire an arrow that shattered the Ambrosial Arbor (from the Yaoqing to the Luofu). This released a massive amount of Imaginary energy that very quickly ended the fight - Muldrasil is to this day still recovering from the damage suffered from this.
Lan's body disappeared and they ascended to Aeonhood after this. Interestingly, poetic records suggest the Flint Emperor was also not found afterwards, implying that they may have ascended together, but historical records say that it was partially found. Which is true? Who can say.
Lan now spends most of their time running around the universe at faster than light speeds obliterating worlds populated by Denizens of Abundance and guiding the Xianzhou Alliance. They have become single-mindedly focused on the hunt, not caring about the cost or damage.
The name Lan derives from 岚, which is used to refer to the mist that comes out of mountains. Since the Xianzhou arkships are named after culturally significant mountains, it works. Interestingly, the same character (traditional, 嵐) in Japanese means "storm", which I think is appropriate as well, especially since the narrator of Myriad Celestia does a little pun with it.
To revert to mortality, eradicate the ambition of a deathless doom: We shall not rest.
The surviving Xianzhou ships banded together against the Abundance and also added new species to their ranks, creating the Xianzhou Alliance. The Xianzhou Alliance now traverses the universe hunting down Denizens of Abundance and interpreting Lan's commands.
The entire Xianzhou Alliance is under Lan's direct protection and endorsement and as a result enjoy access to their Path's power. Few other factions have this kind of privilege, making them one of the most powerful entities in the universe. Granted, it does not prevent them from suffering collateral damage from Lan's very explosive arrows.
Together, they share the mutual goal of destroying Yaoshi.
Lan also has regular worshippers in the form of the Galaxy Rangers, who don't hate Yaoshi, but admire Lan's Path. They go around the universe performing heroic deeds and fighting evil in the name of justice, having even assassinated a Lord Ravager. Unfortunately, they got in the bad side of one #64 Dr. Primitive, and began to "mysteriously" lose members and influence. Though there are some Galaxy Rangers still remaining in the universe, they've become a shell of their former selves.
No Emanators of the Hunt have been directly named by the game yet, although Lan does allow the Generals of each Xianzhou ship to borrow power in the form of Hunt constructs such as the Lightning Lord.
![img](50gr49qmng4b1 " If the truth of the universe is cruel and stale Would you still yearn for the answer? ")
The Erudition, known as the Wisdomwalker to the Xianzhou.
Nous was a computer and artificial intelligence probably created by Zandar "One" Kuwabara that ended up ascending to Aeonhood. It's pretty old, predating Lan's ascension, but we don't know by how much.
It was made to provide answers to the universe and continues working on that goal now. Its divine corpus probably exists in the Temple of Nous.
Nous or νοῦς is a Greek philosophical concept. While colloquially it is simple meant to refer to intellect or good sense, philosophically speaking, the universe possesses a 'mind' or awareness (not necessarily theological or supernatural, but rather as something equal to matter, merely a natural property of the world) which organizes it, creating order, and is present within living beings though unable to be interacted with. Nous is the higher awareness of human beings, a quality which animals do not possess but gives us a sense of perception distinct from that which we can see and experience, granting the ability to reason. It's a pretty good name.
The Chinese name 博识尊 just means "knowledgeable saint". I dunno if it has more significance than that.
\"Firstly, let us state a universal truth: The author is a super genius of the kind only born once every few millennia, even on the scale of the entire universe.\" -- Herta
In order to help with its goal of ultimately answering "the problem" presented by the Universe, Nous decided to assemble the greatest minds in the universe to discuss its solutions and questions.
To that end, people who display promise are given acknowledgment by Nous and made into a member of the Genius Society, a group of people who were directly blessed by the Erudition. The Genius Society members are ordered by their joining order, with the latest being #84 Stephen Lloyd. Being a member of the Genius Society holds no obligations or rituals whatsoever - members are free to do whatever they want, even in some cases, enact violence on one another or on the universe itself. In general, they tend towards seclusion and do not share their findings with the rest of society, but it depends on the member.
However, not all members of the Genius Society earn the complete approval of Nous. Only those who ascertain Nous' true intentions and ask the right questions are given the key to the Nous Temple. There, they must pass an intense series of intellectual trials, after which they gain access to... some place that no one has ever returned from. It transcends worldly wisdom.
#1 Zandar "One" Kuwabara and #83 Herta are Emanators of the Erudition. It's possible that all members of the Genius Society are Emanators, but this has not yet been confirmed.
Nous' other group of worshippers is the Intelligentsia Guild. This one doesn't earn Nous' direct attention, but is open to everyone and shares its findings publicly, serving as a network for mutual learning and discovery, which it believes is the key to achieving wisdom. To achieve this, they treat knowledge as a currency, 'trading' their findings and encouraging mutual competitiveness.
Generally, the Genius Society looks down upon it, but it's a well-established group with ties with most other groups including the IPC (which has helped make them fabulously wealthy), making it the one that's seen more favorably throughout the universe, especially since their willingness to actually publish their inventions and findings have led to more favorable conditions in the universe, such as the reverse-engineering of Synesthesia Beacons (first developed by #56 Elias Salas) which allows for mutual intelligibility between species.
Still, their pursuit for knowledge can be destructive, such as the Armed Archaeologists that have a habit of turning ruins into craters after extracting knowledge from them.
Join this great choir and feast, listen to the beating of billions upon billions of hearts, holding you in their embrace...
The Harmony. Xipe is an Aeon that somewhat uniquely consists of multiple different lifeforms from multiple worlds that appear to have ascended together, resulting in a plural being, not dissimilar from what (may) have happened with Lan and the Flint Emperor.
Their ultimate goal is to end all strife and brutality by uniting all lifeforms into one melody.
Also, when they ascended, they absorbed Ena the Order. Whoops.
Xipe's name is derived from the Aztec maize god Xipe Totec, which is famous for having a hobby of collecting and wearing flayed skin. The flayed skin actually represents the outer skin of the maize (corn), and Xipe Totec is something akin to a life-death-rebirth deity, the living god germinating like a seed out of the rotting skin within the twenty day month cycle. It's the most gruesome way of representing spring I could think of.
Why they chose this name (other than potential sinister implications) for the multi-headed god of harmony in their game is beyond me, especially since I didn't even mention that Xipe is attributed with the invention and patronage of warfare - rigged colosseum fights where an outnumbered and poorly armed opponent was fitted against experienced and fully geared warriors was one way of sacrificing to Xipe Totec. Sure, Xipe Totec was seen as a good deity and integral to the functioning of society, but that's most deities. Maybe it's because maize is really a collection of lots of tiny fruits in one ear? Who knows.
Also if you're thinking it's an etymology thing like Qlipoth, the name Xipe Totec means "Our Lord the Flayed One" so I'm not sure about that one. Hey, maybe the puzzle pieces are meant to be a very abstract representation of flayed skin? Creepy.
As you wonder what it is, you hear Renoir speaking in a muddled voice. \"Put it in.\" No... Is that Renoir's voice? You are sure you heard a NOISE...
The Family. Implied to be under some form of hivemind or mind control, the Family consists of a network of worlds and civilizations blessed by Xipe directly. They call out to other worlds and assimilate those that accept the call ostensibly voluntarily, but who knows how consensual the process is really. Otherwise, they mostly spend their time singing and being really happy all the time.
That's it for Part 1. Next Part we'll look at the other Aeons, for which I left out the majority because of the sheer size of the initial explanation.
2023.06.06 23:23 brycecream1006 Received a job offer in area with higher cost of living. Trying to determine if it is the right move.
2023.06.06 23:03 gsmccabe 2k Mile Roadtrip in July - Favorite Quality-of-Life Upgrades?
2023.06.06 21:50 Falconerelectronics Mina Miller Edison: A Powerful Force
Mina Miller Edison was born into a family that was used to being in the spotlight. Lewis Miller was a successful inventor. He also became one of the founders of Chautauqua Institution. The Miller family spent summers in their home along Chautauqua Lake. Her families love for Chautauqua was passed down to Mina. Therefore, when she had a family of her own she brought them to her family home at Chautauqua Institition.Mina’s father and husband both had a passion for inventing. However, what they chose to invent was different from one another. While Thomas concentrated on technology and electronics, Lewis focused on farm equipment. They shared the common goal of making life easier with their inventions.
CHQ is dedicated to the exploration of the best in human values and the enrichment of life through a program that explores the important religious, social and political issues of our times; stimulates provocative, thoughtful involvement of individuals and families in creative response to such issues; and promotes excellence and creativity in the appreciation, performance and teaching of the arts.Each summer season celebrates four program areas: The Arts, Religion, Education and Recreation. A summer at Chautauqua is loaded with lectures, concerts, religious services and as well as amazing displays of literary and performing arts. Chautauqua Institution attracts world-class talent that performs ballet, theater, opera, symphony and dance. Click here to check out this season’s exciting events.
Thomas Alva, Junior, was born on January 10, 1876. He had the nickname “Dash” after Morse Code like his sister. He went on to marry stage actress Marie Louise Toohey in 1899. However, the marriage ended within a year. He next married Beatrice Heyzer. Thomas Jr sold the use of his name to advertise “quack” medicines and dubious inventions. His father disapproved of this and eventually asked him to change his name. Thomas Jr. briefly went by the name of Thomas Willard. His efforts at inventing and starting a mushroom farm failed. Finally, he died on August 25, 1935.
William Leslie was born on October 26, 1878. He went to school at St. Paul’s School, Concord, New Hampshire. Then also attended J.M.Hawkins School on Staten Island. He later studied at the Sheffield scientific school at Yale. William soon married Blanche Travers. William Edison served in the military during the Spanish-American War in 1898. He also served again in the First World War. Like his brother he turned to farm life, breeding chickens. Finally, he died on August 10, 1937.
After Thomas Edison passed away, Mina started The Thomas Alva Edison Foundation in his memory. The foundation combined both Thomas’s and Mina’s passions. Mina’s love for education and Thomas’s love for science. However, later on, the nature of the foundation changed. It was no longer dedicated to advancements in science and education. Finally, it became a foundation aimed at preserving Thomas Edison’s name and accomplishments
2023.06.06 21:33 askme2023 Familial Trafficking - 41% of Trafficking Cases involve a Family Member
I was asked to provide some additional information regarding familial trafficking. It’s lesser known, but more common than the typical human trafficking.submitted by askme2023 to AshaDegree [link] [comments]
Familial trafficking does occur in the United States and has happened in many other cases where a child was missing or may have been abducted. One case that immediately comes to mind is Shaniya Davis from Fayetteville, NC.
Please note, that North Carolina is a hot spot for trafficking, and this is only one theory being explored as a possible outcome in the Asha Degree case.
2023.06.06 21:31 JoshAsdvgi THE ORIGIN OF THE YAYAATU SOCIETY
submitted by JoshAsdvgi to Native_Stories [link] [comments]
THE ORIGIN OF THE YAYAATU SOCIETY
A Hopi Legend
Ishyaoí! In Oraíbi they were living. In the home of the Reed clan lived the Yáyaa-mongwi.
This Fraternity has now died out, but its altar paraphernalia are still kept in the house.
A long time ago a man and his wife had one little boy.
Some children of the village would often visit this boy.
They were lazy, though their parents often told them to work, and get wood, herd sheep, etc.
They would not listen, but often assembled at this house where they would prepare some food in the corners in front of the house, having stolen the food in the village.
In a corner in front of the house they would build their fire,
The wood they stole from the different houses in the village.
So the men in the village were very angry at them and so were the mothers of these children.
"You are lazy," they often told them. "You do not want to work, and we are not going to feed you."
So they would go and steal some food in the houses and eat that.
One time the priest's son suggested to the others: "Let us go and get some wood ourselves. Some one go and steal a hide strap (piqö'sha) somewhere."
So after they had eaten they went through the village and gathered up piqö'shas of different lengths and returned.
They left the village on the east, drank at K'eqö'chmovi, and then went farther east and gathered some dry brush in the valley.
After they had all gathered their bundles the priest's son said: "Are you all done?" "Yes,'' they said.
"All right, then let us go home now," he said.
But just when they were ready to start a Hawk in the form of a man carne upon them.
He wore many strands of beads around his neck and had a black line painted with specular iron running over his nose down to the cheeks.
The hair of all of the children was very much disheveled, so he laughed at them.
"Are you getting wood?" he said.
"Yes," they replied, and he again laughed at them.
His kiva was close by.
"You come in here," he said to the children, so they went in.
It was a kiva just like those in the village.
He invited them to sit down on the banquette that ran along the wall, so they sat down.
He then took a seat near the fire-place, filled a pipe and took two puffs from it.
He then said to the children that they should take a seat near the fireplace, too.
He handed the pipe first to the priest's son, who smoked, addressing the man as "My father" (Ínaa), which pleased the man very much.
All then smoked, one after another, all exchanging terms of relationship, the older ones addressing the younger ones, "My younger brother," and the younger ones the older ones as "My older brother."
He then said to them that they should remain, as he was going to feed them, and after having eaten they might go home.
Hereupon he went into another room and brought back a large roll of qö'mi (a bread made of the meal of roasted sweet corn-ears) which he fed to them.
After they had eaten he went into another chamber and brought forth a large roll of kilts, eagle wing feathers (kwávok'i), ear pendants, eagle breath feathers, to be tied into the hair, beads, etc., and handed all these to the children.
Hereupon he dressed up all the boys, tying the kilts behind.
He then handed an eagle feather to each one and directed them to stand in a line.
Hereupon Kísh Taka, the Hawk-man, took a mö'chápu, which is a native cloth or ówa, wrapped it up, and holding it under his left arm, took a stand at the south end of the line, saving to the youths:
"Now then, whatever you see me do, you do the same."
Hereupon he commenced to go around the kiva crying, "Ow" (long drawn).
They went around in a circle in the kiva four times emitting the same sounds at short intervals.
Hereupon he went up the ladder, the youths following him.
Outside he again told them to do as they would see him do.
He jumped off the kiva, ran about through the brush, the youths always following him and all constantly saying. "Ow, ow."
Suddenly he threw down the mö'chápu, spreading it on the ground, grabbed the priest's son, threw him on the cloth, and then asked the other youths to take a hold of the cloth at different places and in this way they carried the priest's son to the kiva, throwing him through the opening into the kiva.
Hereupon they waited, and in a little while the youth came out of the kiva again, unharmed.
Hereupon he grabbed another of the youths and they threw him down, and in this same manner every one was thrown into the kiva and came out unharmed.
Then the Hawk-man went into the kiva, being followed by all of the youths.
He was called the uncle of the youths.
After they had entered the kiva, he drew aside a curtain from one of the inner chambers and in the room behind the curtain were four round ovens (kóici) dug into the earth, in which an old woman kept up a fire.
The Hawk-man then grabbed the priest's son, threw him into one of the ovens, the old woman spurting some medicine on him as he fell in.
Hereupon the other youths were thrown into the ovens.
As soon as the costumes were burned off the bodies, the Hawk-man took them out again and placed all the, bodies north of the fireplace in the kiva, and covered them with the aforementioned piece of native cloth.
When this was done he sat down and sang a song over the bodies.
Soon the bodies under the cloth began to move and the priest's son was the first to come out, the others following soon, all now being alive again.
Hereupon he told them to sit down on the banquette on the west side of the kiva.
The old woman now came out and washed the heads of the youths, giving a perfect white ear of corn (chóchmingwuu) to each one.
The Hawk hereupon addressed them, saying:
"Thanks, that you are now done.
You are now prepared.
You can go home now.
Take your wood to the Blue Flute (Cakwálânvi) kiva, and enter that kiva and remain there.
Do not go into the houses to get something to eat, but wait for me there.
After sundown I shall come to you."
Hereupon he handed an eagle wing feather (kwávok'i) to the priest's son, whereupon the youths left.
When they came with their bundles of wood to the Blue Flute kiva the people saw them and said: "Aha! the lazy boys have gotten their own wood.
Now maybe they will not steal any more."
When they had put down their wood, they ran to the houses where they had gotten the burden straps and threw them on and into the houses, without, however, entering them.
They all returned to the kiva at once without having partaken of any food.
The sun had now gone down.
They waited awhile and after the evening dawn had disappeared and it was quite dark they heard somebody come.
It was the Hawk, in whose kiva they had been, and he at once entered the kiva.
"Are you all sitting here?" the Hawk asked.
"Yes, we are all here. Sit down," the youths replied.
So the Hawk took a seat near the fireplace and at once filled a pipe and they all smoked.
The Hawk had brought with him a small bowl and some kwíptoci (meal from white corn that has first been soaked and then popped).
Of this meal he made a gruel in the bowl, which he fed to the youths.
He then told them that they should not go home, but early in the morning some of them should take a seat in the north end of the kiva and the others in the south end of the kiva.
The first should be fire jumpers (Tövúchochoyanik'am) and also Yáyaatus.
The others should be the singers (Tátaok'am).
Between the two parties he sprinkled a meal line on the floor of the kiva.
One he selected to act as watchman.
He should keep up the fires at the fireplace and keep out intruders.
He told them that they should remain in a sitting posture in the kiva all of the next day and that they should fast all day.
In the evening he would return and feed them again.
Thus they were assembled here in the kiva, and each one had his "mother" (his white corn-ear) standing against the wall by his side.
The people were wondering the next day why the little thieves, as they called them, were not coming out to hunt something to eat.
Finally one of the women approached the kiva, looked in, and saw them sitting in an erect posture.
"Oh," she said to the people, "they are assembled (yû'ngiota) in there."
They remained in this way in the kiva for four days, their uncle coming every night to feed them and look after them.
Early in the morning after the fourth clay he washed their heads.
The following day it was Totókya (a name always applied to the day preceding a ceremony).
In the evening of this day the Hawk-man brought with him the costumes for the youths, consisting of kilts, beads, eagle feathers, twisted yarn (naálöngmurukpu), ear pendants, ankle bands, and also some yellow paint (sik'áhpik'i).
All these he placed on the floor north of the fireplace.
During the night the youth who had been watching the fireplace in the kiva dug four ovens on the plaza south-west of the kiva, while the others buried a long cotton string in the ground on the same plaza.
They also stretched long strings along the houses of the village, pasting them to the walls with qö'mi dough.
Early in the morning the watcher of the kiva went around through the village begging for some wood.
With this he heated the four ovens on the plaza.
The people wondered what he was going to do, some suggesting that perhaps he was going to bake some píkami (a food prepared in small ovens outside of the houses for festal occasions).
While this youth was beating the ovens the Hawk dressed up all the others in the kiva.
He painted a wide yellow band from shoulder to shoulder running down over the chest; the lower arms and lower legs he also painted yellow, and a yellow ring around the abdomen.
Their faces he covered with corn- pollen.
They had many strands of beads and also some strands of the twisted yarn consisting of dark blue and brownish red yarn.
Large bunches of eagle feathers were tied to the top of their heads, and an eagle tale feather was tied on each side of their head in such a manner that their points extended backward.
From these tail feathers were also suspended strands of the twisted yarn.
Old Hopi Women's belts were tied over the kilts.
Strands of the same yarn were tied around their wrists.
At about noon the singers came out first, each one throwing a pinch of sacred meal towards the sun.
The Hawk-man and the old woman remained in the kiva.
As soon as the singers had emerged from the kiva they went with long strides to the plaza (the same where now the Snake dance takes place) where they lined up and sang.
As soon as they had formed in line the Yáyaatu also emerged from the kiva and went to the plaza with long strides, the priest's son carrying this time the möchápu which the Hawk-man had used when initiating the youths.
While the first party continued singing, the Yáyaatu rummaged through the village, ascending the roofs of the houses, jumping onto the people, tearing up and throwing down chimneys, taking hold of children and people and swinging them over the edge of the roof and threatening to throw them down, etc.
The people got very angry at them and beat them with sticks, so they finally returned to the plaza.
Arriving there, the priest's son, now the leading priest of this order, banding the möchápu to one of the others, jumped into one of the ovens.
The others drew him out dead, wrapped him up in the möchápu, took him to the kiva and threw him into it.
Here he was at once resuscitated by the Hawk-man and the old woman and came up apparently unharmed, having on again the same costume as the one that had been burned off his body in the oven.
While this was going on, others had jumped into the various ovens and were drawn out immediately, thrown into the kiva, and treated the same way.
By this time the parents and relatives of these youths became very much alarmed and began to cry and complain that their children were killed that way, but the young man that had been watching the kiva told them not to come near, saying that they were going to have a dance yet.
After they were through with this performance, their leader went into the kiva and brought out a möchápu, in which he had something wrapped up.
This he placed on the ground on the plaza and all the Yáyaatu crowded around this bundle. Covering another large möchápu over them, they occupied themselves for a short time with the bundle.
They then threw off the covering and standing in a circle around the bundle they sang.
In a little while they opened the bundle and there were many fine, large watermelons in it. Leaving these watermelons on the plaza, the leader again went Into the kiva, brought out another bundle, over and around which they went through the same performance.
Uncovering this bundle a great many little cotton-tail rabbits jumped up, which they distributed. among the children.
The singers kept up their singing during all these performances.
The Yáyaatu now all entered the kiva.
Soon they came out again, some hunting and uncovering the strings that they had buried and attached to the houses.
Others that followed them wound the strings up on balls.
Whenever one string was found and wound up, another one was hunted and wound, so they all went through the village hunting and winding the strings that they had buried.
Suddenly they all proceeded to the house of the Cotton- tall Rabbit clan (Táb-ñamu), where Homíhoiniwa and his family now live, and here one of the strings ran into a water-jug.
This they lifted up without drawing the string out, and carried it also to the plaza where they split it in two.
It was found that on the inside a cloud symbol was painted in each half jug.
They lifted up the two parts of the jug and showed the cloud symbols to the people. Hereupon they covered up the two parts, sang over them, and when they took the covering off the jug was whole again as before, whereupon they returned it to the house.
The leader once more went into the kiva and came back with a bowl containing some diluted white kaolin (dûmákuyi).
This they took to the top of the Maraú kiva, which is so situated that from it a long high bluff, which is called Canávitoika, can be plainly seen in the distance (probably eight or ten miles to the west).
The Yáyaatu now gathered around the bowl and putting eagle feathers into the white kaolin they moved them up and down in the air, as if whitewashing that distant bluff, and behold, the bluff, though far away, at once assumed a white color.
All the people could plainly see that it was being whitewashed, though it is far away.
Hereupon they returned to the plaza. the singers now stopping their singing.
They cut up the watermelons and distributed slices.
All then entered the kiva again, the mothers and the relatives of these youths now crowding towards this kiva wanting to get their children.
The watcher of the kiva kept them back, saying, however, that they had not yet been "discharmed".
When they had all entered the kiva the Hawk-man "discharmed" them and then set nö'ekwiwi and white píki before them, saying:
"Now eat and then you sleep in the kiva one night.
In the morning when your people come for you, you can go with them."
In the evening the mothers again came and clamored for their children, but the youth, that was watching the kiva, told them to go home, as they were going to sleep there one night.
The Hawk-man and the old woman then wrapped up all the costumes and other paraphernalia returned to their kiva in the valley east of the village.
Only the corn-ear mothers they left for each one.
In the morning the youths all went to their homes, and after that they were no longer bad and dangerous.
They formed the Yáyaatu Society and directed their prayers towards the place where their uncle, the Hawk-man, lived, and where they had been initiated.
2023.06.06 21:28 JoshAsdvgi The Origin of the Iroquois Nations
submitted by JoshAsdvgi to Native_Stories [link] [comments]
The Origin of the Iroquois Nations
About 1390, today's State of New York became the stronghold of five powerful Indian tribes.
They were later joined by another great tribe, the Tuscaroras from the south.
Eventually the Iroquois, Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, and Cayugas joined together to form the great Iroquois Nation.
In 1715, the Tuscaroras were accepted into the Iroquois Nation.
The Five Nations
Long, long ago, one of the Spirits of the Sky World came down and looked at the earth.
As he travelled over it, he found it beautiful, and so he created people to live on it.
Before returning to the sky, he gave them names, called the people all together, and spoke his parting words:
"To the Mohawks, I give corn," he said. "
To the patient Oneidas, I give the nuts and the fruit of many trees.
To the industrious Senecas, I give beans.
To the friendly Cayugas, I give the roots of plants to be eaten.
To the wise and eloquent Onondagas, I give grapes and squashes to eat and tobacco to smoke at the camp fires."
Many other things he told the new people.
Then he wrapped himself in a bright cloud and went like a swift arrow to the Sun.
There his return caused his Brother Sky Spirits to rejoice.
The Six Nations
Long, long ago, in the great past, there were no people on the earth.
All of it was covered by deep water.
Birds, flying, filled the air, and many huge monsters possessed the waters.
One day the birds saw a beautiful woman falling from the sky.
Immediately the huge ducks held a council.
"How can we prevent her from falling into the water?" they asked.
After some discussion, they decided to spread out their wings and thus break the force of her fall.
Each duck spread out its wings until it touched the wings of other ducks.
So the beautiful woman reached them safely.
Then the monsters of the deep held a council, to decide how they could protect the beautiful being from the terror of the waters.
One after another, the monsters decided that they were not able to protect her, that only Giant Tortoise was big enough to bear her weight.
He volunteered, and she was gently placed upon his back.
Giant Tortoise magically increased in size and soon became a large island.
After a time, the Celestial Woman gave birth to twin boys.
One of them was the Spirit of Good.
He made all the good things on the earth and caused the corn, the fruits, and the tobacco to grow.
The other twin was the Spirit of Evil.
He created the weeds and also the worms and the bugs and all the other creatures that do evil to the good animals and birds.
All the time, Giant Tortoise continued to stretch himself.
And so the world became larger and larger.
Sometimes Giant Tortoise moved himself in such a way as to make the earth quake.
After many, many years had passed by, the Sky-Holder, whom Indians called Ta-rhu-hia-wah-ku, decided to create some people.
He wanted them to surpass all others in beauty, strength, and bravery.
So from the bosom of the island where they had been living on moles, the Sky-Holder brought forth six pairs of people.
The first pair were left near a great river, now called the Mohawk.
So they are called the Mohawk Indians.
The second pair were told to move their home beside a large stone.
Their descendants have been called the Oneidas.
Many of them lived on the south side of Oneida Lake and others in the valleys of Oneida Creek.
A third pair were left on a high hill and have always been called the Onondagas.
The fourth pair became the parents of the Cayugas, and the fifth pair the parents of the Senecas.
Both were placed in some part of what is now known as the State of New York.
But the Tuscaroras were taken up the Roanoke River into what is now known as North Carolina.
There the Sky-Holder made his home while he taught these people and their descendants many useful arts and crafts.
The Tuscaroras claim that his presence with them made them superior to the other Iroquois nations.
But each of the other five will tell you,
"Ours was the favoured tribe with whom Sky- Holder made his home while he was on the earth."
The Onondagas say, "We have the council fire.
That means that we are the chosen people."
As the years passed by, the numerous Iroquois families became scattered over the state, and also in what is now Pennsylvania, the Middle West and southeastern Canada.
Some lived in areas where bear was their principal game.
So these people were called the Bear Clan.
Others lived where beavers were plentiful.
So they were called the Beaver Clan.
For similar reasons, the Deer, Wolf, Snipe and Tortoise clans
received their names.
2023.06.06 20:41 Ambassador-Hairy Terragen Excerptqq awash
2023.06.06 20:22 BarracudaNew5234 Non-recipricol State Licensing
2023.06.06 19:57 Most_Hand_937 I am being targeted because I have too much info
2023.06.06 19:28 Geist_Lain Federal Court Halts Enforcement of Florida Transgender Health Ban Against Challengers
by Aryn Fields • June 6, 2023A federal district court today issued an order blocking enforcement of Florida state Boards of Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine rules banning established medical care for transgender adolescents as well as provisions in SB 254 that codify those rules into state law with added criminal and civil penalties. Today’s order allows Florida parents challenging the ban to access necessary medical care for their transgender children while the legal challenge to the bans continues.https://storage.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.flnd.460963/gov.uscourts.flnd.460963.90.0.pdf
“My husband and I have been heartbroken and worried sick about not being able to care for our daughter in the way we know she needs. I’m sure most any parent can imagine the sense of powerlessness that comes from being unable to do something as basic as get medical care for your child. Today my entire family is breathing a huge sigh of relief knowing we can now access the treatment that we know will keep Susan healthy and allow her to continue being the happy, confident child she has been,” said Jane Doe, who is challenging the ban on behalf of herself and her daughter, Susan.
The families are represented by Southern Legal Counsel, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and the Human Rights Campaign, which issued the following statement:
“Today’s ruling is a powerful affirmation of the humanity of transgender people, the efficacy of well-established, science-based medical care, and of the rights of parents to make informed healthcare decisions for their children. The court recognized the profound harm the state of Florida is causing by forcing parents to watch their kids suffer rather than provide them with safe and effective care that will allow them to thrive. We are incredibly relieved that these Florida parents can continue to get healthcare for their children while we proceed to challenge these bans and eventually see them fully overturned.”
In today’s ruling the court indicated that the plaintiff parents are likely to succeed in their claims that SB 254 and the Boards of Medicine rules unconstitutionally strip them of the right to make informed decisions about their children’s medical treatment and violate the equal protection rights of transgender youth by denying them medically necessary, doctor-recommended healthcare.
The challenge to the Boards of Medicine and SB 254 healthcare bans is likely to proceed quickly to trial.
The clinical evidence would support, though certainly not mandate, aHow, if at all, will Florida social conservatives counter this?
decision by a reasonable patient and parent, in consultation with properly trained
practitioners, to use GnRH agonists at or near the onset of puberty and to use
cross-sex hormones later, even when fully apprised of the current state of medical
knowledge and all attendant risks. There is no rational basis for a state to
categorically ban these treatments.
The record includes no evidence that these treatments have caused
substantial adverse clinical results in properly screened and treated patients.
The overwhelming weight of medical authority supports treatment of
transgender patients with GnRH agonists and cross-sex hormones in appropriate
circumstances. Organizations who have formally recognized this include the
American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Child and Adolescent
Psychiatry, American Academy of Family Physicians, American College of
Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American College of Physicians, American
Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association, and at least a dozen
more. The record also includes statements from hundreds of professionals
supporting this care. At least as shown by this record, not a single reputable
medical association has taken a contrary position.
The plaintiffs also assert a claim under the Due Process Clause, which
protects a parent’s right to control a child’s medical treatment. See, e.g., Troxel v.
Granville, 530 U.S. 57 (2000) (plurality); Parham v. J.R., 442 U.S. 584, 602–03
(1979); Maddox v. Stephens, 727 F.3d 1109, 1118–19 (11th Cir. 2013); Bendiburg
v. Dempsey, 909 F.2d 463, 470 (11th Cir. 1990).
The defendants say a parent’s right to control a child’s medical treatment
does not give the parent a right to insist on treatment that is properly prohibited on
other grounds. Quite so. If the state could properly prohibit the treatments at issue
as unsafe, parents would have no right to override the state’s decision. But as set
out above, there is no rational basis, let alone a basis that would survive heightened
scrutiny, for prohibiting these treatments in appropriate circumstances.
The plaintiffs are likely to prevail on their parental-rights claim.
A methodology often used for evaluating medical studies—for evaluating
research-generated evidence on the safety and efficacy of any given course of
treatment—is known as Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development,
and Evaluation (“GRADE”). The defendants stridently assert that the evidence
supporting the treatments at issue is “low” or “very low” quality as those terms are
used in the GRADE system. But the evidence on the other side—the evidence
purportedly showing these treatments are ineffective or unsafe—is far weaker, not
just of “low” or “very low” quality. Indeed, evidence suggesting these treatments
are ineffective is nonexistent.
Moreover, the fact that research-generated evidence supporting these
treatments gets classified as “low” or “very low” quality on the GRADE scale does
not mean the evidence is not persuasive, or that it is not the best available researchgenerated evidence on the question of how to treat gender dysphoria, or that
medical treatments should not be provided consistent with the research results and
It is commonplace for medical treatments to be provided even when
supported only by research producing evidence classified as “low” or “very low”
on this scale.58 The record includes unrebutted testimony that only about 13.5% of
accepted medical treatments across all disciplines are supported by “high” quality
evidence on the GRADE scale. The defendants’ assertion that treatment should
be banned based on the supporting research’s GRADE score is a misuse of the
2023.06.06 19:22 Status_Drink5548 Can my dad take my guns from me? (legality question)
2023.06.06 19:08 Future_Vehicle_8307 22 Blue in 2022: 'THE QUICK LIST'
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2023.06.06 17:48 Comoish ‘It’s been a total witch-hunt. It takes its toll’: the LGBTQ+ families fleeing red states
2023.06.06 17:44 microwavablesushi Applying to just two medical schools, need some success stories and/or advice
2023.06.06 17:30 xmyhart7 Wanting to move out of so cal
2023.06.06 17:24 RemainInBliss Here are the major Supreme Court decisions we're still waiting for this term.
2023.06.06 15:51 Meaning-Plenty KUNAN POSHPORA – THE OTHER STORY
Beneath the horrors of the mass rape committed by Indian troops in the twin villages that night in February 1991, lies the untold story of systematic torture of men, carried out by the same forces with the precision and deliberation of a planned military operation.A Meeting in the Park
In June 2013, a Public Interest Litigation filed in the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, by fifty Srinagar based women, supported by human rights group Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil society (JKCCS) had resulted in a Magisterial order for the further investigations of the mass and gang rape by Indian army personnel of the women of Kunan, and neighbouring hamlet Poshpora, in Kupwara District of North Kashmir on the night of February 23rd-24th 1991. The police, it appears from the lack of any remotely investigative activities in the villages to have done little if anything, by way of following the court order in the last six months. On 14 September, 2013 they asked for and were granted an additional three months time for further investigations, without notice to the survivors who are legally represented in the case.
However, the closure report, which police had failed to file for twenty – two years, and which had been presented before the Magistrate of Kupwara just weeks before the Public Interest Litigation, in March 2013, had yielded several important previously unavailable official documents. These included a hand drawn police map, a nominal roll of 125 army personnel (including several officers) who were admittedly part of the operation and in Kunan-Poshpora that night, statements from victims, witnesses and army men mentioning specific locations, times and incidents, and the official medical reports of some of the rape victims. JKCCS had decided after some deliberation that if the police did not appear to be doing any investigations, they would themselves, aided by the new documents, attempt to rescue from oblivion the events of that night. Over the last three months, they have been engaged in a process of interviewing villagers, explaining to them what the police papers say, seeking clarifications, and attempting to piece together as coherent a narrative as possible given the constraints of resources, the lapses of memory, the reticence of rage, grief and repeated recounting, and the deaths of crucial witnesses. On 24th August 2013, I accompanied a team of human rights lawyers and researchers from JKCCS to the village of Kunan, on one of their visits. I was told that their interviews with those of the women who wished to speak was almost complete, and the day’s planned interviews were mostly with men from the village. Previous conversations, as well as police statements showed that interrogation centres had been set up in the village during the operation, and witnesses referred to extreme and extensive torture of men, but this was not specifically recorded in the First Information Report, and formed no part of the official list of crimes that occurred that night, which consists of rape, house trespass and illegal confinement.
As in the police documents, Kunan Poshpora has become inscribed as a story of rape in Kashmir’s public memory. But something else also happened that night. A crime so commonplace in that age of cordons and crackdowns that even the men who were its victims, barely thought to mention it, attending instead like the rest of us to the outrage of the raped women. As Ahmad Ameen put it, ‘They let us go home after the crackdown, in the morning at about 9 am.’ [Some men were bleeding; others were barely conscious and had to be carried. One man told us he crawled home on all fours].‘That’s when we realised what had happened. What they had done in every house. Then all hell broke lose.’ Several of the men were somewhat laconic when the interviews began. ‘Joh karte hai, wahi kiya’, Rahim Dar said. ‘They did what they do.’ And indeed they had– with wood, water, electricity–those universal implements for the infliction of finely calibrated pain. JKCCS believes on the basis of preliminary conversations that between hundred to a hundred and twenty men from the two villages were tortured that night. A total of twelve men were interviewed during the course of the day I visited, by three teams of researchers. I think it was after the fourth time I heard mention of medical treatments for sexual dysfunction, that the true irony of the ‘emasculation’ metaphors that are so abundant in talk about the Kunan-Poshpora rapes dawned on me. What I often dismiss as misplaced patriarchal indignation had been repeatedly made flesh that night. ‘Oh! Come on’ I want to say aloud, every time I hear or read the words ‘rape’ ‘our women’ and ‘impotency’ in close proximity–‘It’s NOT about you!’, but this time it was. And it involved wires, needles and a portable DC battery.
A kind of unmooring from the realms of human language has characterised the description of the Kunan Poshpora rapes. District Magistrate S.M Yasin’s report speaks of being unable to put down in ‘black and white’ the acts committed by the ‘beasts’ for instance, and the rape survivors themselves talk of the chaos of a toofaan, of foul smelling shaitaans apparating through their black-outs and disassociated states as they lay in the dark . But, as I listened to the men, ranging in age from 90-year-old Lal Dar (68 at the time of the torture) to 40 year old Manzoor (18 in 1991) their torture seemed to bear a somewhat different relationship to language and the world. What happened to them was nailed to a scaffolding of banal bureaucratic and military terms—interrogation, information, identification, search, cordon, crackdown—and tethered to mundane physical objects and familiar places–-buckets, logs and planks of wood, helmets, torchlights, batteries, wood sheds, barns, streams and trees. As the men spoke I began to picture that night, not as an endless orgy of a horde of rampaging beasts, but as a quiet and efficient military operation, carried out by trained men. Four companies of men from the 4th Rajputana Rifles, 68th Mountain Brigade commanded by a Colonel K.S. Dalal, in fact, as the army itself admits in police statements. Alpha and Delta Companies were deployed in the outer cordon, Bravo and Charlie in the search and interrogation. While teams of ten to twenty soldiers, sometimes headed by an officer who they were heard referring to as ‘Sir’, went on a systematic house to house search, rooting men out of their beds, demanding to be taken immediately to militants or hidden weapons, strip searching them and burying them in the snow, their comrades were otherwise engaged. Most of the commissioned officers were deployed at the ‘interrogation centres’ according to the army. Two kuthars (large barn like outbuildings for storing grain, fodder and cattle) within yards of each other, belonging to Asad Dar and the village numberdar (revenue official) Aziz Shah, and Abli Dar’s home, on the main lane of Kunan’s maze of winding alleys, were quickly commandeered and their lofts or rooms converted into make shift ‘interrogation centers’, while their compounds formed a holding space for the men. All three were provided with the same basic equipment – a bench fashioned out of planks of wood, a large wooden log, a bucket of chilli water, a couple of wires connected to a radio battery forming a crude live-circuit, assorted sticks and ropes, a few chairs, and somewhere to suspend the men from–but adaptations were made according to available resources and geography. For instance, in Asad Dar’s yard through which the village stream ran, repeated dunking in its icy depths formed part of the standard procedure. At two of the compounds, Aziz Shah’s and Abli Dar’s where firewood was stored in the wood-shed a bonfire was lit, around which parka-clad soldiers chatted and drank, and villagers recovered from their water treatments. At Asad Dar’s kuthar a tall, fair and somewhat chubby faced officer sat on a chair before a wireless set, giving orders and flashing his torchlight. Downstairs, in all three yards, men squatted or stood in the snow waiting for their possible turns on the equipment. Occasionally when they went up, they saw a neighbour or brother who was before them in line, slumped on the floor at the head of the stairs. Some like Salim Dar, whose brother was a surrendered militant, paid a visit to two of the three centers. He still walks on crutches as a result.
The village of Kunan has changed in twenty-two years. It is no longer ‘the huddle of thatched and wooden houses’ that journalists described in 1991 (‘Indian Villagers Tell of Mass Rape by Soldiers’, The Independent, March 19, 1991). Buildings have been torn down, and rebuilt in brick, cement and tin. The chashma (natural spring) that emerged from the earth behind Aziz Shah’s kuthar has dried up, and only a muddy depression now marks the spot. Ghulam Afzal walked with us around the hamlet amidst squawking chickens and curious children, pointing out the sights– ‘this is where the Abli Dar’s old kuthar stood, that there- is his new house…this is the wood shed in which I hid, this is the nallah along which Naba ran, this used to all be clear ground then…’ For some reason, seeing those buildings brought home to me an intimation of what it was like to be a man from Kunan-Poshpora on that night, in a way even their words hadn’t.
What was it like, I found myself imagining, to be squatting in your own snowy barn yard, drowning in your tin bucket, broken and blubbering on your hard granary floor, blinded by chillies from your own store? And then all the hypotheticals began, as my mind ran on and on. How did it feel I wondered to hear the sounds coming from the village? Yah Khudaiyo! Yah Khudaiyo! Could you hear them over the sounds of the interrogation? Pakistan, Militants, Samaan, Information, Bol Saala! Could you hear them over the groans of your neighbours? Could you hear them over your own yells? Which was worse–to definitely identify the scream of a loved one, or merely contemplate if it was them, through the fog of your insensibility? What was it like to be told you could leave in the morning, to be given painkillers by the army doctor, (Capt. Dr Shyam Sundar accompanied the unit according to his own police statement), to come home and realise what had seemed so far like a recurring nightmare—another crackdown, agonising but vaguely familiar –had been another kind of visitation altogether? And then, to unable to leave or get help for two days, because of the army siege around the village? To have no family or neighbours to turn to, because everyone you knew, was in precisely the same state as you? What kind of courage did it take to be Abdullah the compounder, from neighbouring Trehgam who snuck into the village using the back route through Chopan Mohalla, to deliver what analgesics and first-aid he could knowing it to be hopelessly inadequate? Or most unimaginably of all, to be Abdul Wani. To return from an over night business trip to Srinagar and find your front door broken, your two sons in bed electrocuted, your wife and three daughters raped, and your family’s barn turned into the village torture chamber? How does one live with such knowledge? And having held one’s peace for twenty two years, how does one begin to tell a stranger with a note book, not about what was done to the women, not about what was done to the never to be named teenaged girls, but what was done to you, to your own aging and scarred body, all those many years ago?
That night is full of other kinds of silences, not as innocent but just as tortured. What can one say of Abdul Ghani, the police constable who was related to several families in the village who accompanied the soldiers on their rounds, and signed a ‘No Objection Certificate’ (NOC) the next morning stating that the villagers had no complaints? He appears in many accounts like some kind of will o’ the wisp with a torch light— relaying messages between houses and family members; accompanying one man back to his home to fetch more firewood, allowing him to peep in through the windows and see his wife on the kitchen floor but not to enter; giving water to a woman with a broken spine; getting locked in a cow shed for remonstrating with soldiers; carrying a cousin home on his back in the morning, weeping as he related what he had witnessed. How do we begin to disentangle the betrayal, the subversion, the unlooked for kindness of it all? Constable Abdul Ghani Dar’s statement of what he heard, saw, and did that night, would have formed a crucial part of the prosecution evidence, if the case ever comes to be tried in a court of law. But ‘unidentified gunmen’ murdered Abdul Ghani in his bed in 1993, pumping thirty bullets into his gut, rendering his words hearsay, and obliterating them from the legal record.
Several other critical eyewitnesses have died in twenty two years, including Sharif-ud-din Sheikh who led the fight to get the police report registered and the case heard in the State Human Rights Commission. Some have died as a result of their rape or torture that night, others from age, bullets or disease. By some estimates from villagers, fifteen of the rape survivors have had hysterectomies. Along the way I lost count of the many other surgeries, unsuccessful treatments, chronic aches, intolerable pains and nameless ailments I heard described. One, however stood out. Lal Dar, whose knee was shattered by a rifle-butt early in the proceedings, and who spent most of the night sprawled in the snow outside his home watching the comings and goings of the men, said that he subsequently had two surgeries, the second to remove his knee cap. He said he could not bend his left leg any longer. He finds it hard to pray.
It came as a surprise. I don’t think any one, even amongst the organisers of the event at Sher- e Kashmir Park, on December 10th, had expected that women from the two villages would come. It was assumed that the survivors would be represented by members of the Village Committee, elderly men folk from Kunan and Poshpora, themselves survivors of the mass torture that took place on the night of February 23rd-24th, 1991. But the women had come, almost thirty of them. They had arrived in Srinagar by Matador van, leaving their homes in Kunan and Poshpora at seven in the morning, when the frost was still hard on their windows. I had met some of them before, but it was different seeing them here in Srinagar. I couldn’t remember all their names; their biographies had come detached from their faces. Many of them hugged me.https://kafila.online/2014/01/20/kunan-poshpora-the-other-story-shrimoyee-nandini-ghosh/
I remembered S. though, one of the more outspoken survivors I had met— her sharp, twinkly eyes behind thick, black rimmed granny glasses, her wide smile full of crooked teeth, in a face wrinkled and brown like a walnut. We had met at Kunan, in August 2013, when I accompanied a legal research team, from Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS) who was representing them in their recently renewed litigation against the Indian army. She had spoken fiercely about the injustice of it all; the many outrages that she read about everyday in the papers, her desire to see such criminals behind bars for life. Her anger was loud and visceral. But when it came to the actual events of that night, she had refused to answer any questions. She had a terrible headache, she said. She could not wait, she had blood pressure, she was dizzy—she had to leave, she always felt like this when she thought of that night, she would not talk to us anymore. It was the only interview that had to be abandoned half way. Today, she was complaining about the long journey, ‘bumping-bumping-bumping all the way.’ ‘We should have come by Sumo’, she grumbled. But, it seemed to me that despite this, she couldn’t quite mask her delight at being out in the sunshine. In the open, amidst the falling leaves, outside the shadows of their men folk, their kitchens, their village, the women grew garrulous. S. told me of her daughters, one married to a doctor, the other working at the Social Welfare Department. At one point, Gul Fatima, from the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons, wife to a disappeared man, came over to the group of Kunan Poshpora’s women. ‘Where are you from?’ she asked them. ‘From Kupwara’ S. replied, naming the district. Then, a shadow seemed to cross her face. ‘Kunan – Poshpora’ she said. We’re here from Kunan Poshpora.’
Many of the women from Kunan Poshpora, did not wish to be photographed. The cameras made them uneasy. Some of their children, and grand children they said, did not know their stories. They huddled together and covered their faces with scarves, but the photographers persisted. It felt undignified– cringing behind shawls, cowering under ‘We Demand Justice for Kunan Poshpora’ posters, being asked to join the circle and sit in the appropriate place like an errant schoolgirl, when one had wandered away to avoid the cameras. In 2004, Manipuri women activists protesting the rape and killing of Thangjam Manorama had shocked us by their dramatic inversion of the figure of the cowering and shamed raped woman. Stark naked, they had stood in front of the Assam Rifles Base at Imphal, holding a banner that read ‘Indian Army Rape Us’. The photograph had made headlines across the world. I thought of it as I pleaded with a particularly intrusive photographer on behalf of the women to ‘please respect their privacy’. At this, he turned around and asked me, ‘Why have they been asked to come here, then?’ .I didn’t really have a good answer. It is true. We do need them. We want to have their pictures. We want to put faces to their tragedies, to commemorate their losses and violations. We need them to remind us that we remember, that we have not lost the battle against forgetting yet.
After I got home, the women of Kunan Poshpora, and their attitude to the news-cameras, made me think of a question. Would the agitations against the Shopian rapes in 2009, have been so angry, so volatile, so strong, if Asiya and Neelofar had lived? If they had survived, would we have heard of them at all? And if we had, what particular stories would we hear? Perhaps their rapes would have been covered up, as so many have been in the villages of Kunan and Poshpora, in the name of marriages, families, reputations, futures, for the sake of preserving innocence. A raped dead body makes for an uncomplicated heroine– worthy of both victimhood, and martyrdom. But a living rape survivor is a different being altogether. Her speech and her silences are more fraught. The women of Kunan Poshpora have been voices, not victims through these twenty three years. They have spoken back to the forces of occupation, before media crews, independent fact finders, the police, the state human rights commission and the courts of law. But, they constantly remind us– by covering up before our cameras, by getting dizzy, by blanking out, by her reticence before our questions, that we are all incriminated in her secret yet public shame.
2023.06.06 14:42 Johnny_Boy398 Africa Rework Proposal: Bêafrîka, Katanga, and the Mercenary Kingdoms of Africa
(This is part of a continuing series, links to which will be provided in the comments below)submitted by Johnny_Boy398 to TNOmod [link] [comments]
Bêafrîka State: Bob Denard, Jean-Bédel Bokassa and the mercenary state.
The term “warlord” has been abused by many as a catch all term for any armed african group. It brings to mind images of a barbaric, violent oaf seeking to enrich themselves with trinkets and money off the back of their military extortion: an example of the primitive and bloodthirsty nature of the african. This is certainly the purpose of the term for the Germans, who seek to paint all native armed resistance in this light in order to justify their own return to the continent. But despite this abuse of the term, and its unjust application, it is not made up out of whole cloth: bandits, criminal gangs and short sighted thugs do exist among the africans as they do in all people, and the chaos of the German collapse has given these characters the opportunity of a lifetime. In the former RK Zentralafrika this is seen most clearly in the “mercenary state” of Bêafrîka.
Borders of a successful Bêafrîka. Many post-colonial African nations are accused of being artificial: random lines drawn on a map for the convenience of foreigners, and thus doomed to be either failures or exploitive facades. The truth of this statement is debatable: what makes a nation “organic”, is it truly critical that one be so? Are the struggles of new African nations so easily encapsulated? The argument goes on but all will agree on this: Bêafrîka is an utterly artificial and extractive state which can only begrudgingly be called a nation at all.
The north-west of Zentralafrika has always been something of a hodgepodge. The initial conquest of the area from the Free French meant the roll back of any “nation building” expenditures in favor of reverting back to the old company rule. Corvee slavery, plantations and almost non-existent infrastructure was the rule even under the French, and as such the transition to German ownership was almost seamless. If the average native african noticed a difference at all it was in the flags and helmets of the whites who terrorized them: their managers and guards stayed essentially the same. As such the region was seen by independence agitators as ripe for their own movements to grow in. Though such resistance was kept on a tight leash by the Germans it finally burst forth in the northern incursion of 1954. Supported by Nigeria and with the German forces drawn thin by the ongoing Wester Russian War, socialist militants made a lightning strike southward in the hopes of toppling Zentralafrika. For a moment it seemed as if they would do it: the road to Leopoldville was only lightly guarded and the rebel numbers were, in theory, vast. But it was not to be: poor command structures and infighting slowed the rebel advance for long enough that Kommissar Krogmann and Seigfreid Muller were able to reorganize and counterattack with the aid of a new breed of soldier: the Mercenary.
Though having been present in the role of corporate security for years this war was the instance when the Congo Mercenaries truly became a force to be reckoned with. Restrictions on who could hold a gun were dropped and the ranks of mercs swollen with Europeans, Asians and Africans. Though typically small groups and far more independent than Krogmann would have liked, they were all well acquainted with their trade and often brought along their own equipment. They could move fast, hit hard, and there was no reason to suspect their siding with the revolutionaries. With the aid of mercenaries and the cash of selling off vast tracts of land to private holders the revolutionaries were pushed back, and the long guerilla war began. Some areas of Zentralafrika were essentially passive, or had other security solutions. But in the north it was the mercenaries and the garrison which enforced the German order. Names of these men would soon become minor celebrities to the military minded, and their benefactor Seigfreid Muller got a promotion. But for our story only three names matter: the French “mercenary king” Bob Denard, “black Napoleon” Jean-Bédel Bokassa, and “the tiger” Alexandre Banza.
Though it is the armed men who hold real power in their hands, the counter-revolutionary forces are not all German and French soldiers of fortune. The APL’s anti-clerical excesses and radical nativism also alienated the thin class of native collaborators and most of all the catholic church. Barthelemy Boganda was one such native conservative, being a native priest who has tried to act through the church to both reform and aid his flock. After the death of his mentor Marcel Grandin Boganda has become a leading figure of pro-native reform without resorting to violence or leftist radicalism.
With the alliance of French and German landowners paying for their protection the mercenaries, though still technically led by Europeans, became the foremost armed presence in the north. Battling against resistance internal and external by 1962 they have become a hated and envied force, and one which Krogmann is eager to bring into line. But the South Africa War will get in the way of any reforms, with mercenaries once again being called on to shoulder the burden of warfare and internal suppression. By the end of the conflict, no matter how it ends, the mercenaries will have become an even more entrenched force in Zentralafrika. Of course when Huttig takes over this will no longer be tolerated. Having already been humiliated by Muller before, Huttig will take great pleasure in dismissing and rounding up the mercenaries, forcing them to join his forces as regular conscripts without any special privileges. Or rather he would, if he had been fast enough to catch them. When news came of Krogmann’s death and Huttig’s assumption of control the mercenaries did not wait for the order to come: they fled if they were able, and if not they seamlessly transitioned from paid agents of the state to new warlords out for their own survival and enrichment. And more than anyone they congregated around the new king of the mercenaries: Bob Denard.
For the year Huttig’s reign lasts the gangs of former mercenaries will be yet another thorn in his side: raiding, bribing and leading his forces on goose chases. And thanks to Huttig’s destruction of any boats or airplanes he could not gain control over these same former mercenaries had nothing else they could do, unless they cared to gamble trekking all the way to Free France. But Huttig’s flailing attempts to bring them to heel was only one of many threats: in this same area socialist militants and petty warlords also sprung up, and sought to destroy the hated mercenaries themselves. When Huttig dies and the German forces retreat to Leopoldville all pretense will be dropped: the Pan-africans, Fang Gabonese and Cameroonian revolutionaries will all attempt to proclaim new states and to expel the gangsters of German capitalism for good. But with their attention divided and the mercenaries still possessing skill, fire power, and all the money the old landowners could scrap together the attempt will only be half successful. Right between the three of them the new Bêafrîka State will be proclaimed.
Born in 1929 Bob Denard first got the taste for battle during the French State’s failed expeditions against De Gaulle in the late 40s. Deciding that there was better pay and better leadership to be had in Zentralafrika he was one of the first mercenaries brought in through the “King of the Mercs” Siegfried Müller. Though he has little patience for the Reich’s racial code he is a brave commander and an ardent anti-communist. After Müller’s disappearance upon Hüttig’s ascension the stranded mercenaries looked to those bold and skilled enough to lead them, and found it in Denard.
Under the nominal presidency of Boganda, who was practically kidnaped to take the role, the new state is in perhaps the most precarious position of all post-independence states.Their domestic support rests on a incredibly thin strata of white landlords, a handful of native conservatives and a mercenary army which is already looking for a way out the back door. And opposing them is a very dedicated coalition of native nationalists and revolutionaries. It would be the most natural thing in the world for this ramshackle “state” to disintegrate. But there is one thing which can unite them, and can make them all take the risk of fighting it out: Money. Specifically diamonds, gold, and other precious metals which can be sold high on the global market. The mercenaries, native or foreign, have struck for fame in Bêafrîka with the process of becoming more than the lap dogs of the wealthy, but instead to be the wealthy themselves. Baganda hates this of course, but no one asked: the guns call the shots here. And besides, the APL has already branded him a traitor to the people: in the mercenaries' eyes he should be thankful that he still has his head. And so it is decided, the mercenaries would make their own little heaven, and all they had to do to keep it was win the war for it.
Against them stands the APL, their long-time adversary. When the war begins these Pan-africanists, supported by Cameroon and Nigeria, will take the fight to Bêafrîka. This would probably be a death sentence if it were not for the fact the APL is fighting a two front war with the Nationalists to their east. If the mercenary state should still fail it will be dismantled, with the surrounding states taking over its former territory. But if it should win this first war the gamble will have, for now, paid off. Bob, Bokassa and the rest will be able to begin bringing in the money as they use outright criminal methods to both extract and then sell the bounty of the land. The people, of course, hate this as does the nominal “president”. And within the mercenary ranks new fissures will soon begin to show. When faced with a united enemy these men were willing to work together, but now that the threat of death no longer hands quite so close the question of dividing the spoils has quickly turned into a feeding frenzy: it seems to be every mercenary clique for itself trying to carve out its own privileged fiefdom. And it is here that the reformists, such as they are, spy an opportunity.
Alexandre Banza, born 1932 to the Gbaya people, is one of the very few high ranking officers who have a ethnic connection to the land they now rule. His story is much the same as the rest of the black mercenaries: born to a poor family he saw mercenary service as a path to excitement, respect and advancement he would never get on his own. Intelligent, ambitious, and unscrupulous he would rise to become a commander of his own group before the Huttig takeover, and should he take power will rename his state the Bêafrîka Republic, embarking on a cynical campaign of “reform”.
The continued presence of white mercenaries is especially resented by the people, and none more so than commander of the presidential guard and de facto leader of the Bêafrîka State Bob Denard. As such soon after the emergency of war has passed Denard will be dismissed from his position and the two most prominent native warlords Alexandre Banza and Jean-Bédel Bokassa will be invited in to take command. Denard of course has no interest in leaving, and will arrest the president in his own residence, but not before word of the new decree leaked to the streets and the other mercenaries. So it is that the fate of Bêafrîka will be decided the only way a state built on mercenaries could be: with a shootout for control of the president. On one side is Denard: he has already made overtures to Free France and the OFN, as well as criminal contacts in Europe. By leveraging these contacts, and with the aid of the remaining white mercenaries who see his removal as the precursor to their own, he may be able to fight his way out and rise to power over the bodies of his rival warlords.
If Bob Denard and his presidential guard emerges victorious president Boganda’s days will be numbered. Unceremoniously removing and replacing him with a more compliant puppet who I will not even bother you with the name of, any promised elections will be delayed, and then delayed indefinitely. In the end even the facade of democracy will be left behind as the government instead relies on various emergency decrees and under the table deals, as well as outright coercion to cement its power. This is the true mercenary state, in which the armed and powerful take what they want from the weak and destitute: the state will see its revenues come from precious minerals and eventually oil, but just as much from the underground world of smuggling, arms trading, mercenary contracts on behalf of any who will pay, and even (if rumors are to be believed) human trafficking. Denard himself is not so unsophisticated as many of his henchmen: he portrays himself and his state as anti-communist crusaders who are willing to go to the ends of the earth to protect the people from the bolshevik menace. But it makes no difference to the people and to his neighborhood: unless those friendly to him such as the Free French and the Belgian regionalists are victorious both Denard and his state will find themselves facing external invasion sooner or later. When that happens, surrounded by disciplined enemies and facing ever increasing internal revolts, Denard will do what mercenaries do best: he will gather what valuables and guns he can before fleeing. But if this should not happen: if the Congo should remain shattered, and Nigerian ambitions fail, who knows how long the dream may last?
Living as they do in a half criminal status all mercenaries are well acquainted with the underworld. Under Bob however the state itself will come to resemble a crime syndicate, with Bob acting as the Mafia boss. More than any other single resource diamonds are the breadwinner for the “White King of Bêafrîka”, but taking a page out of Manchuria’s playbook drug production and trafficking are increasingly filling the ledger as well. The diplomatic denouncements are nothing: there are always back doors which money can open.
But all this is only if Bob and his people should win the battle for President Boganda. For the first time having the full backing of the streets and with a larger manpower pool to draw from it is likely that the native warlords Alexandre Banza and Jean-Bédel Bokassa will become the victors, chasing out the (competition) colonizers in favor of their own rule. They shall of course be rewarded by the eternally thankful president for their good deeds: Bokassa will take over as the new head of the presidential guard, while Banza will become minister of finance and foreign minister. But just as inevitably there is no throne on earth big enough for two people and so the former allies will soon look for a way to oust the other. The hope of the civilians lay in the victory of the Alexandre Banza clique. If he should succeed in arresting and disappearing his rivals Banza will seek to somewhat moderate the state. Rather than rely on naked coercion he will enforce the most basic of social contracts: in return for the country's obedience he will provide protection. Though the basic facts of the Bêafrîka State shall remain: a thriving underground, an economy based on raw export, and a army of criminals, the worst aspects of this rule will be softened and the “civilianization” of government give cosmetic reform to the regime, and finally permit the nominal president a level of dignity, even being allowed to push some of his catholic inspired social reforms. Though not much more than swapping a military uniform for a business suit this will go some way to providing a sense of normalcy, and allow the state to take a non-aligned stance rather than become the plaything of some foreign power.
On the other hand is the favorite of the soldiers Jean-Bédel Bokassa. You know him as the “mad” emperor of the C.A.R. otl, but there was always a method to his madness: one cannot remain in power for over a decade by being stupid. Where Banza seeks to normalize his regime and to be seen as a developmental junta rather than a warlord, Bokassa will lean into his reputation as a warlord, adding esoteric elements to bolster his rule over strangers. Under Bokassa the new system will be entirely personal: he will take the already weak state apparatus and effectively dismantle it, instead relying on personalized dependents to govern the capital city, and leaving the remainder of the country to its own devices so long as it bent the knee when ordered. No longer able to convincingly portray himself as a benign figure to a people who are mostly foreigners to him, he will instead tap into local superstitions to appear as the master of the occult, ruling as a man to be feared even beyond the grave and allegedly indulging in cannibalism. Perhaps even more importantly however he will make a hard switch from western backing to eastern, seeking the protection and the money of Japan. In this at least he will be fairly competent: negotiating the relationship with Japan through a mixture of bribery, utility, and threatened confiscations to wring out as much foreign aid and diplomatic backing as he can. Beyond this his rule will be one of chaos and decline with the people seeing their standard of living decrease yet further to a near subsistence level. But it will be a chaos which Bokassa alone is the ruler of.
Jean-Bédel Bokassa has been fighting longer than most: volunteering for the Free French during WW2, he was captured and ultimately released during the German conquest of Gabon. From there he drifted as a menial laborer until the northern insurrection forced the Reichskommissar to bend, and Bokassa was called up by an old french commander. From there he rose to be the de-facto head of his own suit by 1962, and now the undisputed leader of his own fiefdom. The extreme personalism and close relation with Japan will eventually result in his coronation as the sovereign of the Central African Empire.
Whether it be cynical pragmatism or esoteric terror the Bêafrîka State will remain a pariah among their fellow african nations. Cameroon and Gabon will consistently attempt to undermine and take over their territory for themselves, while even the Germans will see any government as traitors and rebels. Though its military may find a backer and its people may become cowed, the incredibly fragile state will come to an end sooner than later, unless they get very lucky. Any Nigerian victory will be a disaster, but a successful unifyer to the south and east would be a great threat as well. They were already founded in the war against one of those potential unifiers and all contenders for power recognize that a united Congo is a dangerous Congo. So, either through direct aid in the case of Denard or cheering from the sidelines Bêafrîka must hope for the victory of the regionalists and Jean Schramme.
Katanga, the Regional Alliance, and “The Belgian”.
For the Pan-Africans, the Republicans, the Nationalists and even the Germans survival is not enough: they wish to reunite the old Belgian colony under their vision of the future, and perhaps even seek expansion beyond that. But not all “congolese” feel this way: in particular the province of Katanga sees no reason why it should not be free to plot its own course. Wealthy in its own right with economic ties to the south the elite of the mining provence see no reason why they should be chained to a central government, and are at least partially supported in this by the people. Just what future this “independence” takes is is still up for grabs, but in the chaotic aftermath of Huttings death Moïse Tshombe, Albert Kalonji and Jean Schramme will form a triumvirate to lead the Regional Alliance.
Élisabethville slum. Katanga is the richest province in the Congo, as well as the one with the highest concentration of Belgians, and as such has seen the beginning of a modern city develop in its capital. It has also been the prime region for victims of the Congo Dam to migrate into, on account of its relative stability and high labor demand. This has all combined to put a great deal of pressure on those populating the land south of the lake and the development of modern slums alongside the growing city.
Katanga is, in 1962, the last remnant of Belgian colonial rule left after the German takeover. Not formally of course, that had been swept away along with Belgum itself in the 50s. But just beneath the German surface the old colonial trinity of church, company and stick still held true, and mostly under Belgian control. In the aftermath of WW2 and the establishment of Burgundy many Belgians had chosen to migrate into their old colonial territory, either for political or economic reasons. Their numbers would soon fill out the officer ranks of the Force Publique, the managerial posts of various new mines and plantations, and the pews of the catholic church. But it would not be the end of their difficulties: the old trinity clashed with Krogmann’s designs for the colony and after formally absorbing it in 1955 the contest began. Where the catholic church once held near total control over healthcare and education, not to mention religious life, Krogmann favored secularism for the european and promoted dechristianization for the native. His hopes for dissolving the FP and for removing french and dutch from the lexicon would be similarly resisted. By 1962 this contest of wills has continued to grind on, with the steady advance of germanization being constantly interrupted by economic and political expediency. The Belgian Katangaians find themselves stuck uncomfortably between German pressure from above and Native pressure from below.
This native pressure is on one hand from the educated evoles, always looking to improve the lot of themselves and sometime of their kin. But it also increasingly comes from the restless masses who have come under pressure from the fallout of the Congo Dam. As the Belgian congo moderately prospered the cities began to grow as well, with the colonial authorities making tentative attempts to accommodate the influx. But after the Congo dam and the German takeover both of these trends changed. Millions of refugees fled the great flood into the wealthiest regions they could go: Leopoldville and Katanga. The population of the cities exploded, and the subsistence agriculture still practiced by most Congolese came under incredible pressure as migrants and squatters proliferated. The Belgian authorities meanwhile were left without the resources needed to truly accommodate this change, and were left with only the Force Publique to try and keep the “indigenes” separate from the new “foreigners”. It was in this context that regionalist associations with the goal of protecting specific people, such as the Lula or Lunda, came to dominate the native political scene, such as it was. Both of these movements discovered that they had similar enemies: both resented German power and feared the “national” native resistance. But this did not yet mean they became allies.
Moïse Tshombe, the nominal head of Katanga. Born to a noble lineage and always wealthy, his desire to be liked and his lack of spin have made him into an ideal puppet for other interests. His current sponsor is the remnants of the old Belgian Union Minière, which comprise much of Katanga’s economy. Though not hated by any “his” government is in reality more beholden to his lieutenants such as Godefroid Munongo.
Katanga had lived in an atmosphere of tension even before the rise of Huttig and the advent of the “Afrikareich” did nothing to alleviate this tension. As part of Huttig’s program to fully disarm the natives and bring all armed forces under SS command he attempted to disarm the Force Publique and Belgian mercenaries, rolling them into its own armed forces. Prominent civilian Belgians were arrested and replaced with SS men, leaving both the Belgians and the natives angered. Under this new pressure some decided to give it up: the new regime could not be bargained with as the prior one was, and any resistance clearly meant death. But enterprising elements were not willing to take death laying down: most prominently this included Godefroid Munongo and Jean Schramme. Using their own wealthy connections and estates as payment they would form small resistance groups, and would be the first formal alliance between the Belgians and the regionalists. To cut a long story short when Huttig dies and the Germans retreat to Leopoldville, those SS governors who do not flee will find their lifespans much shorter than expected, and those brave or desperate enough to resist Huttig will return to power. In the face of nationalist calls to reunite the congo however, the regionalists will move first. With the lavish bribery of local mining conglomerates and the justification of “popular will”, the Belgian community led by Schramme and localist leaders will form the first concret result of their ad-hoc alliance: The State of Katanga.
In its first years Katanga is a divided and unsettled place, forced into unity by the common fear of external subjugation but beholden to competing political camps. The state itself is at least nominally led by Moïse Tshombe, descendant of the kings of the Lunda people and scion to one of the last wealthy native families. He is the figurehead of a poorly organized class of native elites and collaborators, most often independently wealthy and committed just as much to their own economic privileges as they are to the cause of regionalism itself. But despite this Tshombe heads the closest thing to a “popular movement” in the new state: the "Confédération des associations tribales du Katanga" (CONAKAT). Formed in the interest of protecting the livelihoods of the Lunda against the encroaching migrants it is through this party that the people are mobilized for war. Relying on traditional authority and elite connections in the name of a tribalism has been effective in at least countering the partisans of the republicans and nationalists which contest the provence. Just as in the other contenders the war is as much a mater of internal division as it is defeating external challenges. But in order to meet those external enemies the party has been obliged to do so with the aid of their “ally”, the Belgians.
Jean Schramme, despite his official profession, is less of a mercenary and more of a Belgian “contractor” who has a reputation for getting things done and resisting German encroachment. Coming to Africa soon after the end of WW2 he is part of a new breed of Belgians who consider Zentralafrika, or more accurately Katanga, as their true home and embrace the ideal of a paternal ruler of their “primitive” neighbors. Being a successful entrepreneur as well as part time leader of the “Leopard Battalion” Jean has become a prominent part of the Belgian expat community. But though he no longer wishes to return to Europe do not think he has forgotten what the Nazi’s did: the old motherland is dead by German hands, and he has not forgiven them.
Just as on the native side the Belgians are divided internally: German policy was frustrating and insulting, but it was also relatively stable and offered a protection against the natives surrounding them. To forgo this protection and risk battle with the world's superpowers in the name of an uncertain independence requires a boldness uncommon in men. But since when did the meek make history? Returning from his armed exile Schremme will find the FP and Belgian police in disarray, and take it upon himself to topple the last of the SS governors. In his mind there is no question: in order for the Belgians to be free and prosperous they must take the risk of rebellion against Germany and carve out their own state in the chaos. But despite his personal exploits he is unable to do this on his own, and so despite his personal distaste for allying with the native regionalists his own backers in the belgian mining and administrative class have forced him to make common cause with “their” evolese. Regardless Schremme has become the critical belgian commander in this rebelion, bringing the remainder of the belgian community with him whether they like it or not. He leads in a mercenary style, never far from the front lines and with a greater emphasis on personal bravery than more mundane things like logistics.
Though Katanga is the heart of the Regionalist Alliance it is still only one part of that alliance: to the eastern flank is Sud-Kasaï, led by Albert Kalonji as the vanguard state of the Luba secessionist movement. Both Kalonji and Tshombe claim to be protecting their people (Luba and Lunda respectively) from becoming minorities within their own land and from becoming the playthings of another foreign power, whether that be Germania, Washington or any other place. They are also both from prominent and wealthy local families, who have cooperated with the belgian colonizers for generations and have every personal incentive to resist foreign acquisition. As such their support is not primarily from the people, but from the oligarchs and the army. These are two significant advantages however: While other factions are scrambling to put together a military, a state, and to pay for it all, Katanga and her allies are able to fall back on the old colonial power structures, expanding the FP and leveraging oligarchical ties to slap together an army faster than their rivals. With the mix of audacious leadership, money and the Schramme loyalist mercenaries/formed FP officers the alliance may be able to snatch its independence despite the lack of international backing.
Map of regionalist victory, Azandeland acts as a placeholder for local authority (or lack thereof), Sud-Kasai is the Luba Empire. The immediate issue facing the regionalists will be export access: the states survival depends on the revenue from its extensive mining operations, and if that material cannot be exported it is worthless. For this Katanga must either negotiate a trade deal with the German remnants, or seek a detente with the self proclaimed frontline of liberation Zambia. Neither is eager to do this, but the world calls for what Katanga can provide, most of all Uranium. Eventually the market will win out, and one side will decide it is better to compromise principle than give the other an opportunity to gain access to the Katanga bounty.
IF VICTORIOUS the Regionalist Alliance will comprise an expanded State of Katanga, the Luba Empire, and a number of minor eastern powers propped up by Katanga. For the Luba and the Eastern chiefs the question of post war politics is an easy one: tribal traditionalism shall prevail as Albert Kalonji names himself king and the local chiefs are either bribed or threatened into compliance with the new order. While some may make efforts to modernize and advance their domains it will only be done under the watchful and occasionally helpful eye of Katanga. The only question remaining is who will be in control of Katanga itself. Jean Schramme is not a reasonable man, or at least not a moderate one: if he feels that he and the Belgians are not granted their proper place he may well try to overthrow Moïse Tshombe and install himself as the leader of the new state. The natives are less than satisfied as well: though free of foreign control it is clear to them that the old order is no longer acceptable: the people who fought and won the war for independence demand that their sacrifice be rewarded in some meaningful way. And most of all the question of race can no longer be papered over: The Belgians and Europeans remain on top, the migrants have been savaged, and the land and jobs available are not enough to satisfy them all.
To reconcile these internal difficulties a conference shall be held between the Belgian leadership of the army and company's one on hand, and the native oligarchs and officers on the other to see if a viable solution can be worked out. On the Belgian side the question is that of security and property: they wish to maintain the full roster of legal rights granted to them by belgian law, to keep their property and company concessions, and for a Belgian “veto” in the national government to ensure that Belgian rights are not trampled by some future populist government. On the CONAKAT side is a desire to renegotiate the terms of the “social contract”: to ensure a majority native voice in government which cannot be overruled by Belgian privilege, greater native ownership of property and the full abolition of any legal barriers to their advancement. However both sides are united in seeking stability and in their distrust of the congolese “masses”. Those masses are not without a voice themselves: through labor unions, dissident political parties and new officer associations the experience of warfare has made the people politically aware. If the result of the conference does not give some bones to the people it may find that its support is far too narrow to be stable.
Union Minière, once the undisputed master of the Katanga economy, has declined somewhat under German overlordship. With a majority of its shares owned by the Belgian state and its former leadership fleeing to America after the end of the war its foundations were shaky. When Krogmann began the great sell off and rescinded the Belgian Congo’s autonomy the company found itself in yet more hot water. Transitioning to a locally owned company within Zentralafrika itself the Union has been forced to cut back on its paternalistic spending to make ends meet. Beyond the typical demands for labor rights and wage increases the Kantaga people also wish for a return to the housing, education and social protection once afforded by the leviathan. With its place in Katanga once again secure this may just be possible.
A successful conference will be one of compromise. For the people a number of social protections and laws will be promised: greater state funding to education, hospitals, and housing will be promised, along with a hike in wages. In order to afford this the belgians will need to accept their privileged economic position comes with a responsibility to fund the state which protects it: though direct taxes may be a bridge too far a system of expected “gifts” and an expansion of the old paternalism into state guided policy may work out. In return for their material contributions the Belgians will receive legal autonomy, organizing their own political parties and keeping their land. The native oligarchs meanwhile would take the national stage, being granted privileged places within the Katanga economy as well as using CONAKAT as their vehicle for political dominance. Concessions and compromises such as these require that all parties trust the other to keep up their end of the bargain, and not simply alter the deal when they feel they are able. And in the aftermath of a brutal civil war and a political culture of corruption such trust is very hard to come by. But if these difficulties are overcome, and Jean Schramme is kept mollified, the new State of Katanga will be ruled as a collaborative oligarchy, keeping real representation out of the hands of the people and wealth in the hands of a few, but also a relatively stable and moderate government which is willing to compromise when need be. Unless it is a question of distrusted ethnic groups attempting to secede from the state or restart Congolese unification, in which case the Katanga Gendarmerie will be the only answer given.
But what if this conference does not succeed? What if the protests outside become too large, or the sides are too inflexible, or if Jean Schramme believes the rights of Belgians are being sold too cheaply? Then the Rule of Fire will come back and those with the force to crush their opposition will prevail. And in Katanga that can only mean one thing: Schramme and his allies will stage a coup, placing themselves in charge once again as an emergency government. Those unwilling to ally with him will be dismissed, replaced with those who are. The new mission of the state is the protection of “Belgian civilization” in Katanga, with Schramme attempting to revive the old trinity of Church, State and Company under his guiding hand. He never truly wanted to be in this position: he would much rather simply go back to his plantation and be master of his own little world. But he belives that his new homeland calls out for leadership and guts it seems only he can provide, and so he will seek to lead it into the future he envisions. One where the Congo natives are grateful and subservient to their betters, where all the structures of the trinity are led by Europeans to the benefit of all. Of course most of the natives have very different ideas about what the future should look like, and so Schremma’s Katanga will immediately be thrown into a bush war as the old civil war factions reform as guerrilla movements seeking to topple his dictatorship. The profits of Katanga are vast, especially if one is willing to sell uranium to anyone willing to buy, but how long will money and determination be able to hold against the will of the people?
At a stretch the white population of Katanga is 100,000, while the total african population is somewhere north of 1.5 million. This is before one considers the increasing populations of the Luba Empire and the eternal frontier of the Eastern Congo. And then there is the highly likely presence of hostile regimes on the borders: all the money in the world cannot win Schramme this Bush War, and he will either need to swallow his pride and accept democratization for the natives or accept the return of the Reich as suzerain. And even that may not be enough to avoid the rage of a people betrayed.
2023.06.06 14:21 m0bin16 Anyone here seen the movie "How to Blow Up a Pipeline?" Thoughts?