“Come in, come in son. I know that look, wore it on my own face some twenty years back, when I was fresh out of
the mountain. Figured I would roll on back an’ impart some of my vast learnin’ on you fresh faced youngsters. Heh. 'Firstly, you got your piece? Good. Keep it. Gonna need it sooner or later. Now my advice; pick your battles. You want to go off messenger-ing to all and sundry? That’s good, but you’ll get nowhere being all scattered. You a doctor? Make ‘em wash. You a soldier, make ‘em behave... Whatever, most won’t listen and most won’t thank 'you, but that ain’t the point now, is it. Go. Be better. An’ show ‘em how.”
There is a mountain unlike any other. The mountain is Sanc, and it is hollow. Deep within its protective stone survives the last remnant of the world before the Burn – the Peacekeepers. Sanc is undoubtedly a Pre-Burn military facility, vast in scale and filled with technology that is generations ahead of anything anyone else has functioning. If the Peacekeepers’ own records are to be believed, at the Start of the Great Burn the military forces stationed in Sanc threw open the doors and took in as many people as they could to save them from the Burn. No one has been allowed into Sanc since.No one knows how many people live inside Sanc today. The Peacekeepers have no interest in ‘recruiting’ to their faction, and they certainly do not give tours. Indeed, if it were not for a fundamental internal problem, many believe the doors of Sanc may have stayed shut forever.This problem is due to the nature of Sanc itself. The Mountain is a closed, self-sufficient environment. Power is generated by a massive machine that is tunnelled into the depths of the ground. It has its own water supply that provides both drinking water and supplies the ‘water gardens’ that grow all the food Sanc needs.However, as it is a closed system there is an upper limit on the number of people it can support, and people being people, this limit is frequently reached. The surplus population problem has led to the ‘Peacekeeper Messengers’.
Peacekeeper culture is founded on the principle of a Moral Military. There are clear divisions within society, and each citizen will be a member of a particular division.
Individuals join a division at a very young age and are taught skills appropriate to their division. The whole of Peacekeeper culture then operates on a military model with rank structure, reflecting ability and experience in their fields.
Peacekeeper Messengers have a vital role in the culture of the Peacekeepers. Practically, they enable the continuation of Sanc by removing the surplus population that Sanc would not be able to support. Each division within Peacekeeper society has a maximum number of people that it is permitted, calculated on its importance to the functioning of Sanc.
As this maximum number approaches, the division requests volunteers to become Messengers. Messengers are individuals who leave Sanc for good – taking the ‘message’ of the Peacekeepers out into the world.
This message is the second vital role the Messengers perform for Peacekeeper culture: They give it the moral right to exist!
Peacekeepers living inside Sanc have the longest lifespan and the best quality of life of anyone (with the possible exception of the most powerful of the Aristoc). For the Peacekeepers to live in this relative safety and luxury, while those around suffer, is an uncomfortable position for a culture that values its moral system. The Messengers are a partial answer to this. Periodically, skilled individuals leave Sanc and go out into the world to be visual representations of Peacekeeper values. They integrate into the settlements and provide moral examples that others can aspire to, often becoming ‘sheriffs’ or setting up medical clinics... Or that’s the theory...
Peacekeepers believe that they are the only true survivors of the Burn. They in no way deny that others are ‘human’, but that they have lost all the civilisations development that came before the Burn, and as such the Peacekeepers are the only link to this past. In many ways they have become obsessed with preserving this legacy, and have become very insular.
Sanc may be an impregnable fortress, but it is also the Peacekeepers prison. There is no way they could spread out from Sanc without an aggressive war and forced labour in order to support their troops while away from Sanc’s resources, and this they will not do.
Instead they have adopted the principle of 'minimum interference, maximum example'. In their dealings Peacekeepers try to be a moral example, but believing power corrupts, will not force their position on the world, rather allow the world to realise the rightness of their position for themselves.
That position is best summed up by the guiding principles the Peacekeepers call the Charter Rules:
1. All Humans are Equal.
2. Mutation threatens the inherent nature of Humanity and must be prevented.
3. The strong must protect the weak.
4. Justice must be done.