Sometimes called the ‘Seekers After Borom’, or merely the ‘Seekers’, the Under Fallen are a mystical guild whose beliefs make it a far more homogenous and integrated guild than any other. Rather than have tightly-knit familial clans, the clans are voluntary, loose associations formed around a core of hereditary Seekers but with additional converts attached to them. Most notably, however, every member of every clan in the Under Fallen has skin implants to ensure their hides are almost black with a patterning of stars in gems or lighter colour showing the night sky at the moment of their birth or conversion.
Such colouration signifies the succession to the void of both the individual Boromite and the morph a as a whole, a palpable statement of their ownership of the stars. Amongst both Boromites and other panhuman morphs, the sight of a star-spangled Boromite induces nervousness – and sometimes fear. It is not helped that depictions of an Under Fallen are seen as a deliberate slight on the Seeker’s worthiness, so the Under Fallen try to remove or eliminate such images wherever they can (Ed: Which explains why we can’t find images of the Under Fallen!).
Whether or not that fear is justified is questionable. The Under Fallen are quite open about their primary goal: to rediscover the true origin of mankind and reseed it with the ultimate development of humanity, the descendants of Borom. Finding Borom is seen as a key step towards that goal, despite the gate to Borom being lost in the midst of time. The Under Fallen are certain that by finding their ancestral home they can encourage the Watchers – the mythical group of Gatebuilders who remained behind – to return and hence bring around the end of time when all Boromites can unite and find peace.
To all those who claim that Earth was destroyed, the Under Fallen merely ask for proof. Of course, there is none – other than that Earth has never been found and it’s just ‘generally known’ it was destroyed, so the Under Fallen continue their search for the belts of Borom and Old Earth with a mystical fervour.
The members of the Under Fallen are found in all places where there is a great deal of exploration, especially around the equator and the melting-pot that is the Determinate, as well as in all the voids on the surface of Antares. There is a small enclave of Seekers in every single sector of panhuman space, typically in the capital systems and in centres of research where they track the discovery of new systems and investigate any archaeological leads that might hint as to the location of Earth or Borom.
“The Xon poets claimed that the Boromites were set to wandering the stars ever in search of their ancient home and that one day they would return to it, but only at the ending of the universe when the Watchers returned to claim their own.”BtGoA, p.245
Seeker clans frequently volunteer for the toughest jobs in the more remote or abandoned systems on the grounds they are more likely to discover clues to their origins in such barely explored places than elsewhere – after all, if the Freeborn heard of any such clues, they would sell them to the Under Fallen! It is a source of friction that some Freeborn houses trade fraudulent leads to the Seekers knowing that they are false or fake.
As a result, rather than follow up rumours of a Gatebuilder relic, the Under Fallen are far more likely to hunt for the ruins of pre-Second age site or for the rarest of minerals in an (apparently) abandoned asteroid belt in orbit three planets out from a star. This odd selection of assignments rarely impacts the Under Fallen in economic terms as other Boromite Guilds are likely to make substantial donations when handed a rich find by the Under Fallen, or may well make a voluntary donations if they strike an extremely rich lode of rare metals.
The Under Fallen’s urge to seek the lost is their life’s work, their sole task, an extreme expression of the Boromite work ethic. This has developed into a mysticism that permeates Seeker society at all levels. Whilst all guilds have their own customs, clan songs, dances and rituals, the Under Fallen have more than any other and apply them whenever the individual deems appropriate. Known songs are the stirring and fear-inducing ‘Song before Battle’ (the Hu’orgha – one of the few words in Borom that is widely known), the mind-focusing ‘Chant on Seeking Anew’ (used when opening up a new lode or new site), and the deep, sad and slow ‘Hymn to the Fallen Dancers’ (also known as the ‘Seeker’s Death Dance’) – which brings many to tears.
The problem for others is that this spirituality at the core of Seeker belief has inculcated a belief in the Seekers that they are the only ones worthy or skilled enough to find and investigate leads towards what they Seek – the origin the ultimate expression of panhumanity, the Boromite morph. This righteous conviction means that they regard all leads to what they Seek as ‘theirs’ and any who claim otherwise and directly usurping their natural right to work the site. This is another, perhaps the most common, source of friction between the Under Fallen and Freeborn and sometimes a trigger for hostilities even between the Seekers and prospectors from the IMTel nations.
Apart from the consulates within each sector, and a small clan capable of carrying out any urgent work, the Under Fallen tend to make their homes in the nearest environment they can find to their natural, Borom environment: asteroid belts. Whether in the major belt around a star or around a gas giant, the Borom find a suitably sized asteroid or small moon (or make one) and hollow out its interior. They then fit it out with all the comforts suitable for those most precious to them: their children, their mystical leaders – highly knowledgeable and well-trained researchers called Earthseekers or Birthseekers – and, of course, their matriarchs and females. Such asteroid homes are as heavily defended as the Under Fallen can make them and often filled with deadly traps. Technologically and militarily, the Under Fallen are as pure to the ethos of Borom (as they see it). They claim to never fight except in defence – but what they consider defence is sometimes confusing to outsiders. The Under Fallen regard a gazumping of a claim, for example, as outright theft, especially one that may hold clues as to the origins of panhumanity.
In combat the Seekers prefer to use their innate strength, resilience, discipline, mining machinery and genetically altered lavan species rather than the high-tech, nanospore activated weapons of the rest of humanity. As a result, they only use easily-maintained equipment such as mag weaponry or frag borers rather than the more complex plasma and compression weapons. They do not have specialist combat leaders such as Rock Fathers, nor specialist combat units such as Gang Fighters and only have minimum numbers of heavy weapons. They were the first to alter the focusing lenses of their fractal technology weapons to reduce the range but boost the acceleration of destructive power to turn them into mining and breaching machines without peer.
The Matriarchs of each clan are considered too precious to appear in battle – whilst a Guildess may be encountered whilst leading an expedition, a Matriarch will never be seen except in the depths of clan ships or their clan home asteroids.