As I mentioned previously – I want TDE to embrace some hard questions – including religion. Too often S-F settings brush off the importance of religion or distill it into boring platitudes. I can’t count the number of settings that just assume that as technology advances then humanity will, for some unexplained reason, just leave religion behind and become a culture of atheists. Those same settings usually leave religion as a plot point for throwback cultures. This is boring and insulting.
TDE will deal with religion, warts and all – and I am working with members of the faiths I plan to highlight in order to do the various belief systems, ideologies and motivations justice. I am sure I will get something wrong along the way, but I don’t want to avoid the issue of religion for fear of offending someone. So, I am going to venture forth and if I get something horribly wrong – have the grace to admit I messed up and correct it. In the meantime, I hope to develop some cool setting opportunities for the PCs.
That brings me to one of the great faiths of the modern (and ancient) world, Judaism. Jews in TDE have been through yet another rough time. Iran lived up to its threats and to the horror of the rest of the world, trucked in a number of dirty nukes and irradiated much of the holy land. It was a catastrophe the likes of which the world had not seen in millennia. Tens of millions died – Jews, Muslims, Christians and others. Those who survived had to be evacuated – Israel and Palestine (and portions of Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan) were no longer habitable.
The repercussions were severe for Iran. It became a political pariah, and in short order a coalition of nations, supported by a UN Security Council mandate* invaded Persia and forcibly ended the Ayatollah’s reign. In the modern age of TDE, Iran remains a UN-administered holding. Officially it is independent, but it lacks representation in any of the major international forums, and an uneasy coalition of bureaucrats
If history has taught us anything it is that the Jewish people are resilient and determined. In TDE they wont let a thing like the irradiation of the Holy Land stop them. In the wake of the Iranian attack, the remaining diaspora mounts a massive rescue operation with the support of much of the UN member nations. The effort saves only a fraction of the Israelis (Jewish, Christian and Muslim alike), but it is a symbolic victory. Again denied a home, the diaspora begins preparations for a new home, one where they can coordinate the reclamation of the Holy Land. The displaced Israelis (and Palestinians) remain in a very murky legal status, but both continue to claim residence in the irradiate wasteland of the Holy Land.
The latest great diaspora migration sees many displaced and sympathetic Jews move to the Hilda asteroids of Jovian space. The Hildas were long neglected and ignored as too far away and yielding too few high-utility resources, perfect for the hard-nosed displaced Israelis to make a new home. Over the decades, the conglomeration of Jews along with like-minded Muslims and Christians a “new” Holy Land in the Hildas. The lack of exotic and valuable resources holds the New Holy Land back from becoming an economic or trading center, but do yield enough valuable commodities to provide the tools for life (including some trade). Remittances and donations from sympathetic faith-based communities and individuals scattered across the System lend a not-insignificant amount of resources to the New Holy Land. So, despite being material poor, the Hildas build a thriving (and surprisingly advanced) community.
Quietly, the New Holy Land has moved from hard-scrabble, to thriving, to a center for advanced construction – especially if you want that construction done outside of the prying eyes of the inner planets. Business, banking and advanced agriculture (especially for non-terrestrial environments) are major industries as well. The New Holy Land is quickly becoming an economic force and manufacturing innovator to be reckoned with. It is starting to turn the corner for a debtor nation into a creditor – with much of its newfound profits being poured into time-intensive processes for scrubbing Israel/Palestine.
The New Holy Land* has also begun to flirt with creating its own navy. Small but powerful (and advanced) ships are starting to come off the line and instead of going to fill the military needs of other nations, are staying put. Rumors persist that tech teams from the New Holy Land have delved farther than other researchers into creating “stealth” technology.
|Trojans, Greeks and the lesser known Hildas...|
The rumors are true. Recently, researchers in the New Holy Land figured out how to drastically increase the permissible temperatures of superconductors to serve as hyper-efficient heat sinks. The technology is still very new and untested, but as the setting is about to kick off (potential energy) the shake-down voyages of the New Holy Land’s stealth ships are about to commence. If/when discovered, the technology could very well upset the balance of power throughout the System.
Oh, and Mossad? Mossad is definately there. In a game about mecha and special forces, of course Mossad is there.
*Any Hebrew speakers out there are welcome to suggest a new name – if you could transliterate “New Home” or “Dislocation” into English that might work. I am open to suggestions as well.