Seekers

“If we can’t do it ourselves, it shouldn’t get done.”

Seekers are communities of farmers and
ranchers who seek to build a new world without
depending on the technology of the old. They view
technology as evil: It produces inherently flawed
devices that encourage envy, pride, sloth and
gluttony, and increase the power of greed, lust and
wrath. Seekers believe the only path to a peaceful,
safe society is one that forces all people to do their
own labor, and be satisfied with what they can
produce themselves.

Seeker communities are simple, but not
primitive. They produce the food, clothing and
materials they need to survive even harsh
environments, and have the skills necessary to
defend themselves. While they do not have
advanced weapons, Seekers are able fighters with
the tools of war they do allow themselves. Seekers
are peaceful as a rule, never starting conflicts, but
they defend their possessions, loved ones and way
of life with zealous fervor.

Seekers distinguish between acceptable tools
and banned machines with a benchmark they call
“intuitive function.” If a group of Seeker elders with
no training in advanced technology feel the way a
tool accomplishes its tasks is intuitively obvious, it
is allowed. If the source of power, method of
function or end result is not obvious and clear to
the elders, the object is declared a machine and
forbidden. Thus a serrated knife is acceptable, as it
is clear that a sharp edge penetrates wood and meat
more easily, but a chainsaw is not as it’s not obvious
where the power to spin the chain comes from.
Of course this definition is not hard and fast,
and different Seeker communities draw the line at
different levels of technology.

Many allow windmills, water wheels, crossbows, bicycles,

pendulum clocks and even pumps, while others
forbid anything more complex than a lever. Most
take a stance between pedal-driven devices and
clockwork, though the most successful Seeker
communities are those that accept the highest level
of technology. Torches, candles and even oil
lanterns are generally acceptable, but fire must be
started with flint and steel or even a friction bow,
not any form of chemical reaction.

The most successful Seeker towns hover
between population levels of 5–7. Larger Seeker
groups often have siege engines such as ballista,
onagers and trebuchets. While primitive, these
devices can do a surprising amount of damage to
high-tech vehicles, especially when throwing multiton
rocks. Smaller Seeker communities can’t afford
to build, operate or maintain such weapons, and
are vulnerable to high-tech raiders.

For obvious reasons Seekers do not allow AIs,
robots, nanosmiths or cyborgs into their
communities. Seekers accept anyone else of human
stock, regardless of mutation, as long as they accept
the Seeker way of life. Most Seekers also accept
creatures of animal stock, not blaming them for the
technology used to create them. A common
subgroup of the Seekers, the New Dawn, feel
uplifted and enhanced animals must be treated as
second-class citizens at best; as products of banned
technology, they are tainted.

Seekers do not wish to force their beliefs on
others, and even allow some technology within
their towns if carried by peaceful visitors. Seekers
are happy to provide food, clothing and medical
aid to friends if they can spare it, as long as their
friends respect the Seeker way of life. They
absolutely refuse to allow high-tech devices to be
used for their benefit, however, and banish anyone
who insists on doing so.

Many Seeker towns have strong ties to the
Healers, who constantly struggle to convince the
Seekers to accept some new medicine or treatment.
Young Seekers are sometimes tempted away by the
promises of wondrous technological toys, but most
are content with the security and community of
their Seeker homes.

When a cyborg or similar tech-rich individual
wishes to join the Seekers, she must undergo a
difficult series of tests. First, all advanced technology
must be removed. The Seekers never have the
means to do this themselves, but do have armslength
contacts with the Healers to allow such
operations. If the individual dies during the
operation, she is accepted as a martyred Seeker, and
buried with respect. If she survives, she must
undergo some dangerous journey of purification,
using the simplest of tools, to atone for having used
advanced tech.

Characters generally take allegiance to a
specific Seeker community, rather than to the
movement as a whole. Those who do take an
organizational allegiance generally gain simple tools
as trade goods, as well has handcrafted goods. Most
characters take a Seeker allegiance after seeing the
ravages of technology, or gaining refuge in a Seeker
community. It is most common to lose these
allegiances after witnessing the low-tech Seekers
suffer defeat by a more advanced foe, or discovering
some terrible plague or famine could have been
solved by a piece of advanced tech.

Seekers

Survive and Conquer wadehone