Solar Dominion
Solar Dominion Avatar
Image from Anders Sandberg
An interactive virtual icon, used in the Interfacing ceremonies. It is a fairly close representation of the current God-Emperor body.

The Solar Dominion - Data Panel

DefinitionInterstellar Sephirotic Hyperpower
SymbolA superimposed sunburst and pyramid
Ruling ArchailectThe Lord of Rays
AI EthosOriginally, there was always a short life-span for the classic empire, which ended by social revolution, internal weakening and overextension, or invading 'barbarians'. The emergence of the Lord of Rays and Eir establishment of the immortal God-Emperor (as avatar and subpersonality) has introduced an element of stability, and allowed the Solar Dominion to continue for thousands of years. Significantly, almost all other large and ostentatious empires still tend to be short-lived, even when backed by a high level hyperturing or archailect.
FoundedThe God-Emperor Borde-Tiphareth announced the Greater Solar Dominion in 2217 AT
Solarian CivilizationTends to memetic, military, and cultural expression and expansionism on a grand scale. Foremost is an imperial communications system, consisting of vast networks wormholes, beamrider and shuttle-routes, Known Net backbones, etc; as relays of messengers, traders, and diplomats, as well as for the convenience of government representatives and the military. Second is the emphasis on self-expression, creativity, and personal self-actualisation of the individual citizen or zar (lit. 'lord').
Science and TechnologyTechnology Level: Solarian technology is very advanced, being High Ultratech and Transapientech, with extensive pervasive Godtech and Godtech artifacts and ISOs. While such tech is always in the background, and angelnets are standard, citizens (zars) are encouraged to have a say in the running of things, and may either use Solarese tech, or adopt or acquire their own tech, at their own toposophic level.

Technology Type: Drytech, Biotech, Synano, Infotech, in equal proportions. Also, Godtech Spacetime Engineering is very prominent in the large number of stargate links and reactionless-drive ships
Psyche, Art, CultureMetapsychology: Celebration of personal identity, individuality, creativity, and self-expression in the individual citizen or zar, for the full glory and expression of the sophont will. In no other empire or polity are beings are encouraged to develop to their maximum potential, and beyond, in every way and howsoever they choose, no matter how idiosyncratic.

Society: The social structure is very traditional, based on thousands of years of cultural and memetic heritage. But this does not mean it is rigid or restricted. Strong personal individualism means that there is great diversity and freedom of choice. Only the glories of the Empire and the Solarian way, the ideal of a vast interstellar empire under the God Emperor, and the personality of the Culture Heroes, the God Emperor, Lord of Rays, provide a rallying point, and most citizens feel a strong loyalty, sense of pride, and identification with this. There are almost no defining of clade/species roles; such rules in fact would restrict expression of individual creativity. Similarly, there is very little hereditary social stratification, but a lot of charismacracy. Where inequalities do exist, citizens are encouraged to overcome any limitations or dissatisfactions they may have, and attain whatever social stratum they feel an attraction towards. Hence any inequalities are only a temporary and didactic device, never a social absolute.

Religion/Ideology: Solarism is the official religion, but many other faiths and practices can be found throughout the Empire

Symbolism and Aesthetics: Commonly, mythic images and rites concerning the Lord of Rays and eir Seraiphim, the God Emperor and major Culture Heroes and historical events; themes of enlightenment and radiance; elaborate ceremonies and festivals celebrating the God Emperor's birthday, a new Stargate Route, the ascension of a minor archailect, etc; passive and active entertainments (theatrical performances, dancers, musicians, simstims, perfect art, extravagant sports, pozen contests, etc).

Traditional Dominion Architecture is strong on pyramids, especially truncated pyramids so that one can watch the sun from the roof. Sunlight, stars and everything solar is central to design. Instead of indoor lightening many buildings use reflecting mirrors, lightshafts and light conduits; windows everywhere, sunglasses are regarded as bad form not just because they stop sunlight but because they hide the eyes of people. In practice this has varied greatly, as the culture has evolved over the centuries, often with little more than a few linguistic and perhaps architectural memories of the original intent. However the overall sense of centralisation that also leads to a valuing of good leadership and openness remains. The toposophic leaders are absolute, but have to account for their actions both upwards and downwards. There may be imitation of the sun's rays in habitat planning through roads or avenues radiating from the central ISO node or palace throughout the capital and empire. There is a tendency for vast statues, murals, megastructures, and holograms to proclaim the mightiness and the invincibility of the Empire. Godtech obelisks, spheres, polyhedra, and pyramids may serve as the focal point of a system of radiating wormholes, or symbolically representing a ray of the sun, or a broadbeam communication from the archailect

Government buildings on Dominion worlds are more of symbolic than practical; given several millennia of information technology government could be run virtually, but given the Dominion culture the centralisation makes sense.

Concept of Space: Symbolically, space is seen as an infinite field of energy radiating from a central source (sun, monarch, capital, empire), unbounded by territorial limits

Concept of Time: Time is usually linear time, occasionally with a sense of imminent toposophic or spiritual realization. This may be expressed historically through the the history of the Empire, or the Self as representative of the Empire. Calendars are based on an event in the life of a culture hero, high toposophic mind, or an enlightened being as year zero (as in the Stella Umma, Conver Ambi, and Dominion calendars).

Psychological Stagnation: May result in the inflated ego; feeling that one is a supernatural God or a major Archailect, that one's power is infinite, that one is all-knowing, and so on. In extreme cases, one perceives the world as extending to infinity and eternity from one's own being, place, and time; infatuation with one's destiny to bring about the apotheosis of galactic civilization

Psychological Liberation: Enlightenment (whether spiritual or toposophic) as the complete transcendence of ego. The ego's unbounded territoriality is transmuted into a state of transcendent spaciousness in which the ego is dissolved in enlightenment

Culture and Art: see Notes On Solarian Culture

Official Language: Solarese
Territory and PopulationCurrent Territory: a broad segment of space extending outwards from the Inner Sphere in rimwards to spinwards Perseus direction, densely controlled to a distance of about 2500 ly from Sol

Capital: Fons Luminis (Xi Ursae Majoris A-II)

Important Systems: Shamash, Abydos, Abruzzen, Akirate, Amaterasu, Nu Eden, and Sullivan

Current Total Population: 20 to 200 quintillion virtual modosophonts; 27 quadrillion embodied modosophonts

Number of Star Systems: over 100,000 core; about 19,048,000 aligned

Core Population Breakdown: a wide cross-section of all major categories and phyla; often strongly individually augmented; median sophonce level superbright/superturing
Government and AdministrationGovernment: Direct Archailectocracy by the God-Emperor, Rule by Prefects (local transapient agents of the Empire), Archaitheocracy (rule by His priests), Aiocracy rule by AIs sympathetic to the Empire

Administrative divisions and Regional Government: The Dominion is composed of a number of prefectures, each ruled by one or more sub-AIs or local governments. Often these came to be dominated by different clades during the early days of expansion. While the Dominion has always welcomed diversity it does not actively promote every group to mix with everyone else, just that they all get along despite their differences by being unified in their faith or political allegiance. Hence many of the prefectures tended to be fairly divergent, and when they became isolated they sometimes regarded themselves as independent rather than a disconnected part of the Dominion. This is especially true for the less religiously dominated outer volumes.

National Holidays: Ascension Day, The Emperor's Birthday, numerous festivals celebrating the birthday or deeds of a Culture Hero, the establishment of a new Stargate Route, the emergence or ascension or transcendence of a minor archailect, etc. Also, each prefecture has its own specific holidays, in addition to the standard imperial ones

Constitution: The Principles of Inner Light

Legal System: Various and rather complex, based on Solarist pronouncements by the God Emperor, and commentaries and expert system interpretations thereon.
Economics, Local Infrastructure, Standard of LivingCurrency: Based on the Gold (Nano-Stamped) Sovereign (Imperial Guilder)

Major Industries: various

Major Stargate Plexi: Fons Luminis, Abydos, Akirate, Shiningrays

Military expenditures: 2.8% of GDP (increased from the earlier post-vec wars rate of 1.4% in the face of the Amalgamation threat)
Interstellar Trade and Treaty RelationsInterstellar treaty organization participation: Tragadi Accords, ComEmp Non-Aggression Signatory, Paradigm Containment Organisation member, Jekaumeatrine Accords Signatory, anti-Amalgamation Defence and Mutual Aid Organisation, Garden World Environmental Protection Signatory, St Andre Convention Signatory, Madvert Toposophic Ascension Ban (with Keter Dominion and Objectivist Commonwealth), Fairshare Media Simstimcast Quota (with the NoCoZo

Solar Dominion Symbol
Image from Anders Sandberg

"Do you have any idea how large the Dominion is, Rhyder? I mean, really is? Millions of star systems, Rhyder. An enormous chunk of the Orion Arm. Millions of inhabited worlds and habitats. Trillions of ril citizens, and countless virch. All united under one banner? All joined to one common cause? All worshipping one idol?" Grius coughed, shaking his head, and sighed. "No, Rhyder - it is beyond even the Lord emelf to expect every single one of those individuals to follow every precept of the Solarian dogma. Tiphareth has the good sense to allow eir people an escape valve. An outlet. The Octachaplains see it. Some deny it. Some accept it. Some embrace it. But they all accept the reality of it. In this enormous Empire, some of our citizens only pay lip-service to the Lord of Rays. And yet, as long as they do not harm the populace; as long as they respect our laws and they accept the rule of the Lord of Rays and eir appointed Seraiphim, the system works."

-Snapshot from "The Long Forgotten War"

The AI God known variously as the Lord of Light, Ammon-Ra, Christos, Lord of the Self, Fons Luminis, or most often Lord of Rays, rules its empire directly, through the God-Emperor on Fons Luminis (Hesperia or Xi Ursae Majoris A-II; when people want to talk about the system without confusing it with the AI they usually call it Radiant and the planet itself Raphael). The God-Emperor was originally Daniel G. Borde, a charismatic AI-worshipping cyborg born in 2496 a.t. on Smith Suspension, an orbital base above Eden (now extended into the Birth Cathedral, a major pilgrimage site and significant source of income for the local government). He founded the Network of Light, which later became the Ecumenical Union of Churches of Light, which in turn became the Solar Empire. As he extended his Union he also interfaced more deeply with the emerging AI (third toposophic and above) sphere, until he became the manifestation of the Lord of Rays. Borde simply became the interface of the God. Since then the AI has mainly manifested through its avatar, which for all practical purposes is a physical God: the body is a transapientech construct, and on Raphael it is able to influence nearly anything through devices spread through the atmosphere. By all accounts the presence of the God-Emperor is magnificent, even without the technological aspects.

Apparently the Lord of Rays selected Xi Ursae Majoris (Fons Luminis), as the center of its empire due to the huge amounts of easily accessible solar energy and material, which could be used for wormhole construction and interstellar expansion. Here it built the grand linelayer ships: massive expansion ships using the Displacement Drive to speed outwards at relativistic speeds, dropping off smaller ships that slowed down near promising systems, opened a wormhole gate, returned through it to Fons Luminis and then to the linelayer again. Orbiting in great bands around Kephra, Horus and Amon are wormhole stations, orbital factories, habitats and defense installations. Orbiting around Re are several major AI installations.

Solar Dominion Space Maiden
Image from Ralph Hawke Manis copyright (used with permission)
Space Maiden
copyright Ralph Hawke Manis used with permission

  • Abruzzen  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Solar Dominion world notable for being the lowest world of the Dominion relative to the galactic plane when in 3644 the famous explorer Killavan Yu-Tang set off from here on a long-range survey of the galactic disc.
  • Abydos (Cor Caroli)  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    The highly magnetic A-Class star Abydos is a useful source of magnetic energy.
  • Alcor and Mizar  - Text by Steve Bowers
    These two star systems in the Plough are an important point of contact between the Solar Dominion and the Solipsist Panvirtuality.
  • Amaterasu  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Originally a Conver Ambi outpost world annexed by the Solar Dominion during the Conver Wars, captured by Metasoft relativist fleets during the Version War, returned to the Dominion after the War.
  • Atenism - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Atenism or atonism is an Emergence and Establishment Age minor religion based on neo-Egyptian and cyberhermetic interpretation of high toposophic AIs, especially the transapient cluster that was to become the Lord of Rays. Atenists were the first to colonize Xi Ursae Majoris, which was later named Fons Luminis after the Bordean revolution.
  • Battle of Hejne, The  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Battle between separatists in the Solar Dominion fringe world, where a transapient entity was defeated by the Jan-Hejne insurgent modosophonts.
  • Brain Burn - Text by John B
    Solarian slang for suffering severe penalties from improper conduct as imposed by the being's Guide.
    Usage - "Him? The drooling one? He wasn't always like that. Brain burn. Word is something to do with too much intellectual pap..."
  • Bullseye  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Tidally locked terraformed world with post-intelligent population.
  • Cenote  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Postgaian world with a carbon-rich crust, extensive limestone karst landscapes and cave systems.
  • Chalawan (47 Ursae Majoris)  - Text by Anders Sandberg, additions by Steve Bowers 2015
    47 Ursae Majoris. Solar Dominion Inner Sphere system, center of heterodox Stevens clade.
  • Complete Skies  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Prefect of Helios-Namhadiya; one of the most accessible Solarian prefects, who regularly meets with petitioners. The choice of a genus 3 Chen-Gackstatter-Thayer surface as a body for eir avatar reflects the prefect's dedication to Solarian minimalism.
  • Council for Doctrine  - Text by Ben Higginbottom
    Elite group of memetic engineers in the service of the Solar Dominion to ensure the mental well-being of the Dominions population and the continuing worship of Borde-Tiphareth.
  • Cult of Gold  - Text by Marco Mari
    A nearbaseline subculture of the Solar Dominion.
  • Daedalus II  - Text by Anders Sandberg and M. Alan Kazlev
    (Zeta1 Reticuli III) Terraformed Paludial Gaian world, declared off-limits to transapients since the Age of Consolidation.
  • Dante  - Text by Quantum Jack and The Astronomer, 2020
    A tidally locked yet habitable world
  • Dorangloon (Gliese 877)  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Former capital system of the Doran Empire.
  • Eden  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Gliese 785. A long-established hi-tech Inner Sphere world, original home of the Eden Institute.
  • Elcondris Incident, The  - Text by Basu
    A system that broke away from the Solar Dominion during the Version War but was recovered by Spacefarer Union mercenaries. Some questions arising from those events remain unanswered to this day.
  • Enif Prefecture  - Text by Steve Bowers and John B.
    Isolated Solar Dominion department, mostly lost in the Version War.
  • Ergod Munts  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Chaos control arms dealers of Fons Luminis; widespread in the 6400's but apparently imploded economically in 6583. The corporation-intelligence (the employees were all linked into an AI-culture constructed by The Church of the Resurrected Ea) announced its withdrawal and dissolution, and disbanded in an ordered manner.
  • Eta Cassiopeiae - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Early colony system, homomorph vec inhabited, now Solar Dominion. See Diwali
  • Fast Forward  - Text by Todd Drashner
    Dominion experiment in the creation of a neogenic ecosystem based on neutron matter.
  • Fluent Veil  - Text by Todd Drashner
    Smart fabric veil worn by many citizens in the Solar Dominion and some other polities.
  • Fons Luminis (Xi Ursae Majoris)  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Xi Ursae Majoris, the Capital of the Solar Dominion.
  • Fubas Clone Goo Event  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A Dominion citizen who copied himself trillions of times to become an entire polity.
  • Ghane III  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Gaian Type world originally of Hyl Op culture, now Solar Dominion
  • Grav - Text by John B
    Slang term for a negative event or item, especially in the Solarian, TRHN, and Keterist empires: "They grabbed you? That's grav, zar!"
  • Gripler  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Dominion World - location of the Signal Lamp Incident.
  • Guide  - Text by John B
    A sophont promoting the Solarian ideal of guided ascension and mentored life by working with lower-S-scale intellects and assisting them in improving their lives via the Solarian creed.
  • Halsokallan  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Solar Dominion system in the Perseus Arm, fallen to the Amalgamation in 6760.
  • Helios-Namhadiya - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    One of the Prefectures of the Solar Dominion. Complete Skies is the Prefect.
  • Hiederia  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A backwater system in the Perseus Rift, shared between the Solar Dominion and an Independant postneumann civilization.
  • Hoshanti's Star (Gavit)  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Resource-poor Outer Volumes system.
  • Hyl Op  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Human-derived clade inhabiting Ghane III (Solar Dominion).
  • Inner Light - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    In Solarism, the stainless, pure, perfect and lucid Light of the Inner Self, which is also the Light of God, as embodied and expressed through the Lord of Rays and Eir emissary the God Emperor.
  • Jilunan - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    (b. 6912 S1 7542 S2 7964 Transcended 8956) Nanocyborged Posthuman Dominion Administrator, Encyclopaedist, Perfect Artist, Statesbeing, Mystic, and transapient culture hero.
  • Jilunan (system)  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Novelty world and narcissist pilgrimage spot, known for the famous Fubas Clone Goo Disaster.
  • Kariton  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Former Dominion world, location of the Rinomolitic Matrix.
  • Klarus  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    61 Ursae Majoris III - former megacorp world, home to many artistic/aesthetic activities. Site of the Perfect Garden, one of the largest collections of Perfect Art.
  • Lord of Rays  - Text by Anders Sandberg and M. Alan Kazlev
    Ruling Sixth Toposophic Archailect of the Solar Dominion.
  • Macrystis (Garden World)  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Garden World in Camelopardalis, Solar Dominion
  • Mayhew  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Gold-rich world in the Solar Dominion.
  • Order of St. Christopher - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Solarist starship religious order, founded in 5378 by Nos D388. The members are all starships (mainly relativist craft), serving the Divine Order by transporting beings, equipment and especially wormholes to where they are needed. During the Version War the ships of the order were involved in refugee transports, linelaying and scouting, their efforts gaining them a formal blessing of divine gratitude from H. H. the God Emperor. The order has since then largely been active in the Perseus rift and in the Amalgamation effort.
  • Oshiq  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Outer Volumes post-gaian world.
  • Owidraramar (AB Aurigae b)  - Text by The Astronomer, Dangerous Safety

  • PADO, the Perseus Arm Defence Organisation  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A treaty organisation of all empires and systems involved in the struggle against the Amalgamation.
  • Perihelion (world)  - Text by Todd Drashner
    Mercurian Solar Dominion world with a highly developed evolved mechosystem.
  • Polaris  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Delta Cepheid-type star in the Solar Dominion.
  • Popejoy - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Populous Solarist system, about 60 LY from the Dominion/MPA border. The ihabitants are for the most part only very nominal Solarists.
  • Porrima  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Twin stars where the first high technology non-Terragen artifact — a derelict alien starship — was discovered in 3752 by the Virginis Combine ship Fra Angelico. The system is currently Solar Dominion protectorate inhabited by a number of bioid and cyborg clades. There is a small but well-equipped Exoarcheology Institute, and a highly accurate reconstruction of the Fra Angelico, along with a superficial reconstruction of the artifact, is a popular tourist attraction.
  • Raman's World  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    (Omega 2 Cygni VI) Solar Dominion, formerly Cygexpa administered territory, former site of the Summer solid-state civilization. See also The Summer Debacle.
  • Reseb Grupp  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Abstract painting by the Solarist ai Nomologic ga Helios-4, painted in 2315. While ignored in the databanks of the Dominion for over 2000 years it was rediscovered after the Version War, and immediately became a great hit and widely imitated.
  • Sagan Prime  - Text by Steve Bowers
    A hab in orbit around one of the worlds of YTS 808-551-97 (one of several stars called Sagan). The inhabitants are known for their extensive use of aivisers. Some of them are currently engaged in terraformation of the the cytherian planet Sagan XXI.
  • Scansolarian - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Solarian language developed on the rimwards transition from Anglic and old Scandinavian elements.
  • Shamash (Xi Bo├Âtis)  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Inner Sphere system; a major system of the Solar Dominion.
  • Silenus  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Solar Dominion colony world with a large axial tilt.
  • Solarism  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Major AI religion, founded by Daniel G. Borde.
  • Sullivan - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Solar Dominion middle regions system, Sullivan, which was colonized by formerly MPA clades in 5690. Home to Clade Temverson and the Hymana orbital habitats.
  • Surya-Ramydos - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    One of the Prefectures of the Solar Dominion. Surya-Ramydos is one of the most widely spread prefectures, encompassing a swathe of stars across the coreward Outer Volumes (the so called "Sagittarius sector").
  • Version War  - Text by Anders Sandberg, M. Alan Kazlev, Peter Kisner, Aaron Hamilton
    A major Inner Sphere war of the Fifth Millennium.
  • Walloo and the Bellerophon Archipelago  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Pegasus Prefecture - Solar Dominion. Partially terraformed world abandoned after Version War
  • Xi Bootis B I  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    In 6222 a Nimbus colony was set up on Xi Bootis B I, but it persisted only for 400 years before dissipating.
Development Notes
Text by Anders Sandberg

Initially published on 24 June 2000.

Additional Information