Patriots, Terrorists, and Spies
More Frontier cults for Star Frontiers gaming

by Kim Eastland
Dragon Magazine, #109, pg. 80

As noted in Zebulon's Guide to Frontier Space, Volume 1, "cult" is the term used for any radical political, terrorist, religious, or other self-interest group. Some cults are legal and some are not, but too often they present a real threat to the harmony of the Frontier and provide extra fork for law enforcement and security personnel.

The year FY 111 marked the Grand Celebration of the Frontier. Social events, political rallies, fund raisers, and so forth were planned for all the planets on the Frontier that year to celebrate the 111th anniversary of the signing of the UPF treaty. What was not planned was the sudden appearance of dozens of new cults that decided the year of the Grand Celebration was the perfect time for them to make themselves known to the public. Though hundreds of cults "went public" in FY 111, the following ones seem to have grown the fastest and have the most clout.

The Alliance for the Right of the People

This cult is a legal, liberal, political organization dedicated to upholding the rights of the citizens of the Frontier. While this appears to be a noble cause, the ARP has recently enacted a policy of political pressure to limit the authority of Star Law and other local law-enforcement groups. This campaign includes holo-vid promotions portraying law-enforcement agents as looming shadows that are always waiting for the average citizen to slip up.

The ARP also feels that the practice of maintaining penal colonies (currently located on asteroids) is cruel and that criminals should at least be kept planetside, within the influence of civilization. On the other hand, ARP also has been the leading organization defending Rim immigrants who wish to live in the UPF space against those cults who want them deported.

The ARP has its headquarters on Laco. It sometimes allies itself with the Frontier Peace Organization.

The Defenders of the Divine Will

This cult is a unique conglomerate of various religious groups that believe that the divine will of their individual deities formed and evolved planets perfectly. They are vehemently opposed to GODCo's terraforming practices and some members have even threatened violence if it does not cease. Currently, they are considered a legal organization. Mega-corps are worried that the DDW's beliefs may spread to eventually encompass any business that alters the original form of nature (including mining, forestry, and other operations that alter a planet's surface; cosmetics, plastic surgery, and other products or services that alter the body's appearance; etc.).

The Supporters of Mechano

This is a growing political organization that includes members of all the Frontier races. The Mechanites, as they are called, believe the Mechanons are a sentient, sapient race (though of artificial origin) that deserves full citizenship in the UPF. Though the Mechanites began as a completely peaceful organization, their many encounters with the Silver Death Cult and Anti-Satharian League have resulted in the death of many Mechanites and the formation of their own security forces. It is rumored that some extremists within the organization are forming a radical splinter group that believes the end justifies violent means.

Since one of the charges constantly being leveled against the Mechanons is their cooperation with the Sathar in subversive activities, many Mechanite investigations are aimed at discovering the truth behind these terrorist activities, with an eye on clearing the Mechanon name.

The Mechanites have centers on every civilized planet. Their leader, a human named Mathias Pritchard, is extremely charismatic (PER/LDR = 99/99) and the driving force behind the cult.

The Liberators

This is a terrorist organization that is dedicated to "liberating the oppressed masses from the chains of mega-corporation tyranny." This is an extremely violent, illegal, quasi-political/economic cult that has already taken credit for hundreds of deaths due to bombings and terrorist raids, usually on mega-corporation headquarters. Star Law suspects the Liberators are backed by a few rich individuals or another cult, but they have no leads yet on who or what finances them. Though the identity of the leader of the Liberators is also unknown, certain terrorist members have been identified and their faces and descriptions are broadcast regularly throughout the Frontier.

The Clear Thinkers

This is a reactionary political group with militant leanings that seek to banish (or destroy) Mentalists and enlightened characters in the Frontier. They have strong financial backing and fund projects that will develop items, drugs, and robots designed to thwart mental disciplines or seek out discipline users. This group has the most political savvy of all the cults, has been careful to stay inside the law with its public activities, and is starting to run Clear Thinker candidates for various political positions, including seats on the Council of Worlds. The leader of the Clear Thinkers is a smooth Yazirian politician named Hased Kor. He is one of the most powerful individuals on Yast/Astor and expects to be President of the Council one day.

The Free Thinkers

 This is a new cult that has grown in response to the Clear Thinkers movement. This non-profit organization is made up of various races and individuals, both psionically gifted and non-gifted. The organization fights its battle in a legal, honest, and public manner. It funds promotional campaigns aimed at educating the masses about the benefits of having psionically gifted individuals in society. It has established legal aid clinics, educational grants, help lines, and other programs to aid both Mentalists and enlightened characters. It works with the authorities whenever possible to aid in the location of psionically gifted individuals who can held solve crimes. The Free Thinkers have recently begun to open small offices in every major city, but their headquarters is on Morgaine's World.

The Zenk

The Zenk (Vrusk for "family") is a Frontierwide criminal organization that currently is responsible for most high-credit criminal activities on the Frontier. The Zenk sells its services to anyone, but it nearly always operates in its own best interests. There is no criminal activity that the Zenk cannot perform, though it prefers to stay away from anything directly relating to Star Law, Spacefleet, or Landfleet. No one knows who governs the organization, but referees should create NPCs who run local operations, as player characters may want (or be forced) to tangle with them at some time.

The Zenk is divided into eight different sections:

An interesting note on the Information section is that it supposedly has personnel working within most law-enforcement agencies. On the other hand, most law-enforcement agencies, especially Star Law, have personnel working within the Zenk. Consequently, information obtained by both sides is sometimes planted or altered in efforts to flush out spies on either side.

The Firsters

This cults is a quasi-political/terrorist faction that believes all of the Rim races should be sent back to the Rim. Their slogans are such clichés as "The Frontier for the Founders" and "Kick a Rimmer Today." At first this organization was not taken seriously by most inhabitants of the Frontier and become the butt of many a joke, but recent militant activities aimed at members of the Rim races and their businesses have sobered the public to the reality of violent racial prejudice. The ARP organization is the greatest opponent of the Firster movement.

No Firster headquarters is known to exist, as its operations are completely covert. While none of the leaders are known, a rallying figure is known to be a dead Vrusk named G'rch B'on. B'on was a member of the Firsters when they were still a tiny cult. He attacked an Ifshnit couple one night, but died in the assault. The coroner's findings indicated B'on tripped over his own feet and broken his neck in the fall. The Firsters insist that witnesses (other Firsters, incidentally) saw the Ifshnits pick a fight, then kill B'on. B'on is now a martyr for the Firster cause and a rallying symbol for anyone who dislikes beings from the Rim.