The Brotherhood Fraternitas is not a directly defined group nor is its Latin derivative which is used less commonly though like the term "Brotherhood Fraternitas" is present in some chapters and completely absent in others. Like the term Rubble, Brotherhood Fraternitas refers to a blanket term for people who follow a religious group that is opposite to the Order of Astraeos and actively preach the freedom of humanity and the denouncement of the Astrae. The disparity between different sects of the Brotherhood is so great that it is common for groups to be antagonistic toward each other and often actions against one group will not necessarily have repercussions with another. The Brotherhood is as varied and secular as the Rubble itself and if not for the way in which the beliefs of the Brotherhood are spread across such a large area they would be easily classifiable as a Rubble religion like hundreds of others of varying sizes.
The earliest confirmed ancestry of the Brotherhood Fraternitas can be traced to an American philosopher, Andrew Rakehell, who gained a short lived fame with his publication of a book in 2021 which laid out his philosophy of humanities superiorities and warning against worshipping any deity that arrives on the scene. At the time the book made little impact however over the next few years similar ideals would form particularly in Eastern Europe where Rubble populations were reacting, sometimes with violence, to aggressive Astraeos recruitment operations. The single term which unifies the Brotherhood from other Rubble religions is it's key belief that the Astrae are not gods although the technicalities of these differ with some questioning the Astrae divinity while others the actual existence of the Astrae. The second unifying principle of the Brotherhood is the belief of humanities ability to adapt to new situations and develop abilities. Interestingly the Brotherhood front on Apollyon, while varying between chapters, is generally positive declaring the Apollyon mutagen to be an opportunity to prove humanities adaptability and strength. Some do however attack the Apollyon just as some communities of Rubble will act against Apollyon carriers. The hard and fast rule of the Brotherhood is that they hate the Aliens and love human intuition, but they are not a unified group and do not have a definite manifesto of operation that can be universally spread between chapters, often a group is indistinguishable from other smaller religious sect with similar ambitions. The Brotherhood is a blanket term which is incredibly inaccurate and is in fact more often unhelpful. The true strength of the name lies in how it is used by various groups in order to attempt to suggest a unification of purpose which in fact does not exist.
The Brotherhood Fraternitas has various belief systems guiding it, these range from buddhistic beliefs to anarchistic atheist systems to Pagan worship of the deities that guide the natural elements. It is a common practice for the suffix of Fraternitas to be appended to the name of a group which practices Brotherhood beliefs and the primary objective of this is to make clear that followers of Astraeos will not be welcome in such company. Rubble communities based around Brotherhood churches often have general operation and peacekeeping managed by a Monk who will oversee general operation for the area and attempt to keep order. These communities generally have socialistic tendencies and are therein discouraged by most governments with the MET particularly fighting any anti-Astrae belief systems and the PCoE denying assistance to similar groups.
Nevertheless the political power of the Brotherhood as a general philosophy is significant. There are thousands of Rubble groups which have tendencies towards the overall Brotherhood beliefs. The Rubble is often underestimated as a group and the Brotherhood with their ability to unify the Rubble under a single general belief is worth noting.
In recent years there have been movements within the Rubble. Larger settlements have begun to form some built around the ideals of the Fraternitas religion and some even have aspirations to become a city in the wastelands. Groups of Brotherhood followers have been unifying into large bands roaming the lands in similar ways to how the Order of Astraeos once led conversion crusades to spread their beliefs.
An excerpt from a letter by an Anonymous writer to a Brotherhood chapter: "...when the ships do fall from their islands in the sky so the Astrae will no longer grip the minds of the weak, the true Gods, Fraternitas will spread across the world bringing freedom to all who seek it. Democracy, education, enlightenment and opportunity these we shall bring to those who seek it." The letter was signed: "Apostle Aleksey"
The writer of the letter is unknown but in recent years it has provided a spark for many new churches of Fraternitas who seek the world described in the letter. The letter promises that the Astrae shall fall and those below will no longer be "blinded by the lies of those who seek well with evil’s promise or those who seek evil with the arm of the righteous individual sheathing claws of the demon”.
The Brotherhood Fraternitas is growing into something more powerful, once disparate elements are now forming into organised groups. Societies are growing around the Fraternitas beliefs and despite Astraeos attempts belief in the Brotherhood is spreading. It is currently leaderless and purposeless but if there is a spark which can give their cause strength then there may be a possibility of the disparate elements of the Brotherhood adjoining into a powerful coalition.
Case Study: War on the Astrae
The Order of Astraeos for decades had led an almost genocidal campaign against any who may suggest resistance to their teachings. While these activities were acceptable in rubble settlements away from active media activity (beyond the usual documentary style calls for aid for these “poverty stricken communities”) they have been condemned when brought to light and could not be attempted near larger settlements where temptation, government support and to be brief the proverbial “carrot” are the method of choice. With the reinstatement of border controls after the famine and many nations starting to reinvest interest in their Rubble populations (as spearheaded by the People’s Confederation of Eurasia) the aggressive policies of the Order against other religions have been scaled back. Partially in response to this and partly due to an unexplained growth in influence the Brotherhood Fraternitas has emerged, uncoordinated albeit, as a serious competitor to the religious influence of the Order.
With this growth in the Order’s influence in majority among small populations and settlements so has the violent tendencies of the group, with many such townships based in some way upon accumulation of resources from foreign sources (i.e. stealing from other settlements or raiding convoys) so has the militarised capabilities of followers of Fraternitas increased. With this developing capability to launch assaults on Order churches so a war-like conflict has begun between the followers of each group. The Brotherhood regularly attacked congregations of the Order, killed priests in their homes, wiped out followers within communities. The Order used its influence among governments and its own forces to destroy such resistance but this had become a guerrilla war. With the easy attainment of weaponry any cell could become a threat and the Order could provide little actual defence. That is not to imply that the Order of Astraeos simply allowed such dissent. While public opinion had turned against their oppressive tendencies and governments were seeking to reduce the animosity felt toward them by their abandoned citizens (therein reducing their cooperation with the Order), the Order is still powerful and any resistance against them is purely an underground movement.
The expansion of the Brotherhood has been noted before. The single obstacle between Fraternitas and a fully open church is the operations of the Order to restrict counter-religious development. Conflicts are mostly reduced to small flashpoints and “terrorist” actions, however more and more Astraeos churches that are not guarded are being vandalised while Order crackdowns are targeting innocent Fraternitas followers over extremists 9 times out of 10. Tensions are high and in situations where sympathisers of the conflicting sides meet it does not take a large argument to see blood spilt.
- 2021 - Andrew Rakehell writes "Fraternitas Telluris”, a philosophy for the modern soul"