Society on Refuge is feudal, with the haves and have nots you’d expect in such a society. The planet is huge and the population density low, so it doesn’t have the population pressures that medieval Europe had prior to the Black Death. But it does have people living in servitude to overlords.
The Adepts are the nobility. They don’t suppress the people with armies, although they do have small military forces. They control the people with their psychic powers. I’m not going to explain why they have these powers on the blog, but they’ve selectively bred themselves and pulled promising children from the common population for 100 centuries to create the powerful Adepts that exist in the story. The Adepts breed themselves like we breed dogs, breeding to amplify certain traits and culling those that do not make the standard. After all this time, the most powerful Adepts are unbelievably powerful.
Abilities due to Adept psychic powers:
They cannot violate any existing physical laws or currently observed universal behaviors.
Telepathy exists, and is instant communication without respect to light speed. Einstein would call it spooky action at a distance. Look it up. It’s interesting stuff.
If momentums change, heat is created. This heat is information that the Adepts can transfer from one set of atoms to another, just as long as energy is neither created nor lost. For example, an Adept hurling a rock into orbit would have to acquire that energy somewhere. He might pull so much heat from a nearby lake that it freezes solid hundreds of feet deep.
The Adept can kill with heat or removal thereof, by simply boiling an enemy or freezing them. Again, this involves transferrring that heat information somewhere.
Adepts can read minds, mainly by learning what neurological firing patterns mean. They will have difficulty reading the minds of those not from Refuge.
They can, on occasion, see a short distance into the future. This is basically a perception across the multiverse to see the myriad of possible outcomes. It is then up to the Adept to solidify as real the one the Adept prefers.
They can see remote locations at times by intercepting the photonic information transferred to matter at a location they can see. Basically a form of over the horizon backscatter radar but psychic. Look that up too. 😉 This would be similar to remote viewing.
Limits to their psychic powers:
They cannot perform mind control other than by terror methods. They cannot manipulate the neural patterns of a mind fine enough to control them. They can, however, stimulate certain nerve systems to simulate pain, pleasure, etc.
They cannot teleport themselves or anything else. They do not have control of matter to the degree that they can move it from one place to another, they can only transfer the information state of matter from one set of atoms to another. An object contains far too much information to move it intact from one location to another.
The Adept cannot protect themselves from physical damage (harden their bodies), perform ‘magical’ healing of any kind, or raise the dead.
They cannot see auras, tell fortunes, read patterns (cards, bones, tea leaves), speak to the dead, dowse water, consort with demons (although their religion has demons in it), manipulate luck, access teaching they haven’t themselves learned, discern omens, or wish their dirty clothes clean.
The average Joe on Refuge is just a poor schmuck who grubs in the dirt for a living or works a trade. Small villages are scattered along paths or roads easily reached by the forces of the Adepts (or the Adepts themselves) so that the population can be controlled. The villages have a zone around them that they are allowed to farm or graze. Ostensibly the villagers own their animals and crops, but they pay fees and taxes too the Adepts political structure.
The common man realizes they are subject to the whims of the Adepts, they pay their taxes, turn over thier children, and comply with the wishes of their overlords. After all, that’s how it’s always been from their point of view.
The religion of Refuge is basically sky worship, they believe each object that is normally in their sky is a God. Since Refuge is WAY above the galactic plane, the night sky is dark except for the planets within the Oasis (the name I have now assigned to the K4 orange dwarf star powering this solar system) star system and of course Oasis itself.
The locals refer to Oasis as Em’ Faroo (The God Faroo), the planet Hades or Ember (I haven’t decided on a name for it as Em’ Jalai. The moons of Em’ Jalai don’t deserve such formal titles as they are children of Em’ Faroo and Em’ Jalai. They are simply called by name. Fandama is a moon closer in orbit to Hades than Refuge is, and is much like Venus. It glows a beautiful yellow in the night sky of Refuge, and is regarded as the Goddess of Beauty. The next largest moon in the Hades system from the point of view of Refuge’s surface is Yoro. Yoro is barren with a thin atmosphere, so varies from white to gray in color. Yoro is considered to be Fandama’s suitor, and although he chases her eternally he never catches her. Yoro is one orbit out from Refuge, so unlike Fandama he sometimes disappears below the horizon so he can try to sneak up on Fandama yet again. Fandama, in her desire to be seen as much as possible, never sinks as low as the horizon line because she orbits inside the orbit of Refuge. The only time she disappears completely from view is when she is close to the same position in the sky as Em’ Faroo. The locals believe when they die they are taken to the sky to live with the Gods, and that those who are found unworthy of immortality due to living an unworthy mortal life are cast down as Burning Souls. These are basically meteors burning up in the atmosphere. Some locals believe that when a meteor survives to reach the ground (which happens quite often in the moon system of Hades) that the soul is either reborn or enters the world as an unbodied demon to bring bad things to the lives of mortals.
I have the potential of adding more mythology into the world if I need too, but for now this will do to illustrate the religious state of the locals. This is in opposition to most of the outsiders (although a few are religious) who are mostly atheists.
Part of the evolution of the story will be the concepts of religion, fate, and free will as the three books progress. Eislen will question his religions, Sarah will question her previous certainty that nothing divine exists, and both will arrive in a different place than they started.
Remember, this blog is religion free in the sense that I won’t discuss modern religion. But the religion of the locals on Refuge is open game. Feel free to make suggestions and help me develop their ethical beliefs and traditions.
I have very rough first drafts of Chapter 11 and Chapter 12 underway.