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Dia Khovaria

Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years ago

The Dia Khovaria

Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold.

W. B. Yeats Terra, Prelmp c. 9730

 

 

Location: Hanaan IV (Hannan) [33xOy-l0z]

 

 

Otherwise known as The Church of the Word, the Holy Tabernacle of the Word, or simply The Church, the Dia Khovaria is one of the largest independent organizations in the Empire, and is officially sanctioned by the Emperor.

 

 

The D.K. was at one time a religious organization which traced its roots to pretechnology Terra. During the dark times before machines (according to the Khovarian claims), humans actually manually copied information from speech, writing with their hands. The houses of the Tabernacle held the only real data archives anywhere, and it was to those libraries that anyone seeking information would go. Even there the prelates of the Church jealously controlled the dispensation of data, and they released only information which would further the power and authority of their religion (and so also, themselves).

 

 

With the coming of certain technic advancements, though, the usefulness of this aspect of the Church was on the wane. They went through a number of revitalizations, but never enjoyed the political sway they held during the Dark Ages of Terra. One such time was the Universal Technological Recession, when D.K. archives were among the few data storehouses to survive.

 

Within a few hundred years after the development of the Hyperdrive engine, however, the Church had all but collapsed - the victim of humanity's diversity and headlong rush to the stars.

 

In Prelmp 1076 all this changed. The Tachyon Beam Dictor, a nearly instantaneous sublight communications system, was invented. With a range of only about 50 light-years, it required an extensive network in order to be truly effective. The Church was a party to the coalition which developed the device, and recognizing the potential significance of combining an instantaneous communications system with their vast data storehouses, moved quickly to consolidate a leading position. Calling in their debts from the many who depended on D.K. data after the Technological Recessions, they bargained their way to a decisive edge in TBD development. Though they could not secure a monopoly, they had considerable lead time on all competition, and risked all of their resources to set up the most complete Datanet possible.

 

 

The hierarchy of the Tabernacle was ambitious, and more clever than most would have thought. For several hundred years they played one faction off of another, regaining power and authority.  Now they have evolved into a virtually secular group, dealing in information as a religion and commodity, while developing their own massive database.

 

 

To this day Access Tachyon Technology- a division of the sprawling Church organization - is recognized as the leader in communications and data commodities. The Imperial Executive Division uses them exclusively. The GCH utilizes local groups and independents in what some consider a calculated snub of the D.K. This isn't surprising considering the cool relationship between the Truthsibyls and the Church.

 

 

The organization is also frightfully efficient and politically powerful. Their 'research' agents regularly make fools of Provincial and Imperial operatives by their expertise. The D.K. denies fervently that they even have an intelligence arm, or that the fabled "Tabernacle Police" really exist.

 

DIVISIONS OF THE D.K.

 

The Church is divided into several components, all controlled by the Khovarian Curia.

 

 

Curia Headquarters: located on Hanaan IV, it is the home of His Holiness the Reidyr (the Chairman of the parent company and supreme head of the Church). It is also the meeting place of the Cardinals (company presidents and directors).

 

 

Access Tachyon Technology (ATT): The group responsible for operation of the Tabernacle Datanet, the Imperial Tachyon Beam relay installations which connect the Empire in a faster-than-light communications system. They also operate the related courier/paging system which allows TBD messages be carried from terminal to final destination. The acronym was deliberately chosen in tribute to a semi-mythical group which reputedly pioneered the tenets of the D.K. in the Dawn Ages of Technology.

 

 

Tabernacle Central Archives: The branch which administrates the databases and 'libraries' of information, found on all Provincial Homeworlds. Archives are usually supervised by a Bishop or Archbishop in conjunction with a Church Diocese.

 

Tabernacle Police: This group really does exist, though it is not the terror it is made out to be. Tabernacle Police spend most of their time investigating TBD interference and other attempts to defraud or defame the D.K.  They do not get along well with VegaPol.

 

 

Tabernacle Research Agency: A much more secretive and formidable group than the Tabernacle Police, TARA is ostensibly a benign investigative division, their sole purpose - the acquisition of new data for the Church files. Strictly speaking, this is true .. However TARA operatives are possibly the most highly trained and best equipped intelligence agents in the Empire! Many are telepaths, and all are trained in such unusual skills as unarmed combat, trickery, and propaganda. Their purpose is indeed to gather information of all kinds although sometimes the desired information - as well as the gathering method  is highly unusual.

 

 

Church Diocese: The Church has divided Human Space into administrative areas (often corresponding to current political units such as Provinces) which it calls diocese; larger or more important ones an archdiocese. Diocese Chapterhouses are regional headquarters which frequently house databases and TBD relay administration as well. A Bishop controls the database and all D.K. operations within his diocese, and has free access to the ATT network. Nary a Provincial Lord has turned down a Church request to place a Chapterhouse on their Homeworld, though some barely conceal their dislike for the powerful organization. Some Provinces - and of course the Emperor - work closely with the Church and have benefited from D.K. information-gathering facilities.

 

SYMBOLS OF THE D. K.

 

The Dia Khovaria remains - at least outwardly - a very arcane organization. They retain the ornate vestments and rituals of their distant origins - though some rituals have been adapted to suit their current organization.

 

 

The uniforms of the Church are briefly summarized below. In general, they are full, flowing robes which sweep the floor. Monk's robes are hooded and tied at the waist by a simple tool belt, while the upper echelons often wear small skullcaps of a color to match the robes, which are more fitted than the loose monk garment.

 

 

The Reidyr: Wears only white with silver or gold trim. He carries a staff of pure silvery alloy.

 

Cardinal: A Cardinal wears scarlet robes and a small red skullcap. Each Cardinal has a unique, large, ornate amulet which indicates his division in the Church. Most Cardinals reside on Hanaan or their Division Homeworld.

 

Archbishop: This most powerful regional authority has robes which are primarily purple, but the style varies with the Archdiocese. They also wear skullcaps and have distinctive amulets. Their area of authority is usually an entire province or Imperial Sector.

 

Bishop: Men of this rank wear pale blue. They administrate a planet or Minor Clan.

Monsignor: Monsignors are often personal aides to Cardinals or Archbishops. They wear black trimmed with scarlet or purple (depending on which prelate they serve).

 

Priest: Wear black robes trimmed in white and decorated with a colored surcoat which indicates their division. They wear no cap or hood, and their function is essentially support and lower bureaucracy. Highest ranking priests are in charge of TBD relay stations.

 

Monks: The vast majority of this all-male institution is made up of Monks (and monks in training: Novitiates). The standard color is a featureless black habit with a dull grey web belt. The robes are voluminous and flowing, has full sleeves and a deep hood, and is designed to be unencumbering but capable of concealing a number of devices. Novitiates wear white, while TARA monks have grey habits.

 

Church officials are properly addressed in the following manner:

The Reidyrr: "Your Holiness"

Cardinals: "Your EmiĀ­nence"

Archbishops and Bishops: "Your Grace" or "Excellency,"

Priests: "Reverend Father" or "Father"

Monsignor: "Father"

Monks are addressed as "Brother".

 

Every member of the Church has an Integrated Signet ring. This device is a means of identity verification (sort of an ident disc for internal Church purposes), and every ring is keyed to its wearer. Each is encoded with appropriate security clearance both for entry into certain facilities (in this capacity it functions as a sophisticated electronic key) as well as access to the various classified ievels of data.

The rings of the upper hierarchy (Bishops and above) have an additional feature not known to outsiders. Each is a combination microcomputer/brain pattern scanner. Through the ages the Church has insisted upon maintaining the ritual in which, when one meets a prelate, the prelate's ring is touched to the forehead. With the sophisticated rings, a church member can record the brain wave patterns of officials they deal with regularly and so covertly confirm that official's identity at every meeting.

 

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