The Greater Seidonian Protectorate is one of the many theocracies in the galaxy and is distinct in that it is a human dominated state that lives in harmony with a xeno species, the seidonians. Certainly the most populous state in the 60-120 Zone, Seidonia has a long history of rivalry with the Coloradan Federation. A syncretic nation mixing pseudo-Christian philosophy with communism and xeno worship, Seidonia has made an enemy of the normally belligerent Coalition and Conseil, and consequently aligned itself with the United Technocracies.
Konstantin Rodimtsev, a Cheka agent during the late 22nd century, was tasked by his Soviet masters to infiltrate American society and make it more receptive to communism. A clever man, Rodimtsev thought of one way to indoctrinate the American people in pseudo-socialist teaching while actually getting support from the American government: infiltrating the new American State Church. Taking on the name Jim Howards, Rodimtsev presented himself as the pastor of an obscure Protestant church (complete with forged documentation). The State Church, too busy dealing with “open heresy” in the form of Christian sects refusing to march the line, accepted Rodimtsev’s application without a second thought.
At first Rodimtsev kept the socialism low-key; State Church officials were always watching him and making sure his teachings were orthodox, and he needed to gain their trust first. Rodimtsev’s bombastic speeches and condemnation of “sinners” around the world attracted large crowds and impressed the State Church, which ordained him in 2219. Slowly but surely, Rodimtsev began to introduce more and more socialist ideology into his sermons, focusing more on Jesus’ criticism of the rich. The church ran fundraisers, founded orphanages, senior centers and “healing clinics” where the sick and needy were aided with Rodimtsev’s blessings of course. His preaching became more and more popular throughout America, especially the poor, and his churches sprung up throughout the country. Rodimtsev himself learned, like most other powerful men throughout history, that power corrupts; he noticed his power over the congregation. He began making hints at being a prophet sent by God, a message he slowly began to believe himself. Money, both from a congregation constantly pressured to give and the Cheka, started going to fund Rodimtsev’s increasingly hedonistic lifestyle.
However, Rodimtsev’s luck wouldn't last: on 2231, the State Church excommunicated him after a particularly blunt speech that directly quoted Karl Marx at least ten times. His Soviet masters, who had been observing his actions from a distance to prevent his capture, saw his attempts to build a personality cult and left him to the Americans. But Rodimtsev was ten steps ahead: in 2229, he told his congregation that he had a prophetic vision of the galaxy burning in nuclear flames. Rodimtsev used money he embezzled from his Soviet masters and had made agreements with the United Americas Corporation to buy a colony world (which he christened Seidonia, the main world of the Rodimtsev system) and a one-way ticket to this world for himself and his entire congregation. Announcing that the end was nigh, Rodimtsev and his loyal cultists fled Earth in late 2231 after a Secret Service raid against one of his churches in Texas. He renamed his church the People’s Church and became open about its communist nature, something his already brainwashed followers readily accepted. In 2240, an American senator would visit the world of Seidonia. Although Rodimtsev tried to present Seidonia as a utopia, the senator saw differently and he was killed after trying to escape imprisonment. The Americans never retaliated because in a stroke of luck, Rodimtsev’s prophecy came true: the Collapse occurred and the galaxy was bathed in fire.
The fulfillment of Rodimtsev’s prophecy sent his power to new heights: he officially proclaimed himself the true Messiah and called for his Greater Seidonian Protectorate to spread throughout the stars and save the remnants of humanity. His followers toiled to industrialize Seidonia with what they had at hand, only succeeding in making their first vessel in 2365. The Prophet at the time, Allan Stephens, declared the beginning of Seidonia’s quest to save mankind. During the expansion, Seidonia fought against the mostly British remnant governments and the Coloradan Federation, conquering many worlds from both. However, the biggest discovery was made in the M7-MG system: a sapient alien race. The Seidonians rather uncreatively named the primitive anemone-like xenos “seidonians,” and Stephens took advantage of this development. He converted the seidonians to his cult, sometimes violently, and taught his human followers that the seidonians were designed by God as a perfect creature and served as the vessels for the souls of dead human believers. The seidonians gradually became an intermediary between the Prophet and his flock, worshiped by the human Seidonians. However, other seidonians (those who don't cooperate) became slaves for the Seidonian regime. The justification being they possessed the souls of unbelievers. Because of Seidonia’s pro-xeno beliefs and syncretic political system, both the State Church and the Dijonists have called it “beyond heretical” after discovery and have tried to declare crusades against it. However, the Seidonians signed a mutual defense pact with the United Technocracies, keeping the other two superpowers at bay. After a successful Coloradan attack on Seidonia in the 2600s, the state moved its governance to the Roos system but Seidonia remained a religious capital.
The modern Seidonian political system still holds on to its communist and Christian roots, only warped to the advantage of the People’s Church. Because of its small size and explicitly religious nature, the Seidonian government has greater control over its citizens that perhaps even the Conseil Systems. Private property has been eliminated; all property is owned either by the People’s Church or the state, two organizations that are separate only in theory. Seidonians are managed jointly by church leaders and commissars in small communes that serve their members’ religious and temporal needs. Sinful activity, which includes things such as the consumption of alcohol, is punished severely by either the state authorities or the religious Eye of Rodimtsev. All citizens are required to be members of the People’s Church; all others are considered heretics and publicly executed. The Prophet is both ruler of the Church and the People’s Committee and has the final say in both. Prophets are chosen by their predecessors.
A discussion of Seidonia would be incomplete without detailing its interesting theology. Rodimtsev is worshiped as a messiah, one that would one day return and cleanse the galaxy of the “sinful bourgeoisie society.” Although initially pacifistic in nature, the People’s Church became a militant religion after Rodimtsev’s call for expanding the Seidonian state. Those that die in the service of Seidonia and the Church are said to immediately ascend to Paradise and become one with Rodimtsev. In times of war, Seidonian conscripts sometimes wear suicide vests and literally throw themselves under tanks to destroy them. Materialism is a “bourgeoisie sin” and will be punished forever in the afterlife. Those who live lives as average worshipers are resurrected as seidonians and are given a second chance by the Great Prophet. Corpses of dead seidonians are ground up and mixed with a fruit-flavored beverage called Ichor, which is used in religious ceremonies resembling Christian communion. It is said that drinking Ichor gives the soul of the trapped seidonian peace. This drink is believed to have healing properties, but scientists from other powers have found that Ichor is actually carcinogenic and several hallucinogenic drugs are part of the drink mix. Perhaps most disturbingly, several Seidonian commandos captured a Vacuity portal from the Conseil Systems, which a cult has taken to worshiping. This faction believes that the Vacuity is the afterlife, that Rodimtsev was just an inspired man and the true god is an omnicidal entity residing in the Vacuity that will one day enter the material realm and cleanse the galaxy of all life, sending all who are worthy to the Vacuity while everyone else is expunged from existence. The People's Church is trying to eliminate this "heresy" but its followers grow daily.
- Seidonia is based on the infamous Jonestown. Konstantin Rodimtsev/Jim Howards is based on Jim Jones, the founder of the Peoples Temple in which it was designed to indoctrinate its worshipers to communist ideology under the cover of Christianity. The intoxication of human seidonians with "Ichor" and their suicidal tendencies refers to the mass deaths in Jonestown in November 1978, in which 919 people were killed along with 909 Peoples Temple members, many of which died from being ordered by Jim Jones to drinking cyanide-laced Flavor Aid. The American senator that visit Seidonia and dying in the process is based on California Congressman Leo Ryan.