(You can listen to this information being read out loud in our introductory episode!)
The term “orbits” refers to Siderea’s caste system. Like all Sidereal matters, it is based on the cosmic order of things. The names and positions of the castes correspond to the planets of the known universe.
A person’s belonging to an orbit is marked early on in life with a Sidereal brand. The branding ceremony consists of a Sunray – an elite and revered servant of the Sun – tattooing a planet’s symbol onto the back of a child’s hand.
The distinct colors are achieved through the use of Celestial metals in the branding solution. These metals are only found deep within the Stardust mountains, mined exclusively by Heart Technologies. Because of the highly restricted access to the Celestial metals, creating a believable fake mark is exceptionally difficult, although the organized crime syndicate Black Hole does offer such a service, for an appropriate price.
A person’s occupation in life is determined by the orbit they belong to. Each orbit has a vast spread of positions and plenty of room for advancement. Therefore, even though a person cannot move past the boundaries of their orbit, there is still possibility for career advancement, and they do not have to hold the same position their entire life. For example, a member of the Dorei orbit might start out as a simple guard, and work their way up to becoming one of the Satellites, a group of elite fighters.
Marriages are only permitted within your own orbit, but not restricted to specific occupations. For example, a doctor could marry a baker, as they are both members of the Vomus orbit.
Children are only permitted within intraorbital marriages, and will usually take up the occupation of one of their parents. If a child is born as a result of an extramarital, or, worse, extraorbital relationship, they will not receive their Sidereal brand and will most likely end up in one of the many orphanages in the Umbra, and their parents will face the appropriate consequences.
Sun – the Sun is Siderea’s sole religious and political leader. The Sun’s orbit can only ever contain a maximum of two people at a time: Siderea’s current Sun, and their firstborn. The Sidereal brands of all other orbits are placed onto the back of a person’s hand; the mark of the Sun, however, is placed on the forehead. The current Sun bears a full golden ring on their forehead, whilst their heir will only receive the bottom semicircle. When the successor ascends the throne, the ring on their forehead will be completed.
Victus Lumen (current Sun) and Rahna Lumen (the Sun’s firstborn)
Helora – this orbit is designated to those who shape the minds of Siderea’s citizens. Some examples are artists, teachers, scientists, scholars, and, most importantly, Sunrays. Those of Helora spread the values of the cosmic order of things, carry on Siderea’s history and tradition, and immortalize Sidereal values in art.
Macen Lumen (Siderea’s most prominent scientist)
Jacob Fort (Rahna’s husband)
Ludmir – this orbit consists of administrative and managerial positions. Those of Ludmir run the functional parts of Siderea’s society, ensuring its stability and prosperity. Many members of Kiluit are employed by those of Ludmir.
Simon Heart (and the rest of the Heart family)
Raphael Devereux (Siderea’s treasurer)
Moriah O’Hagan (Siderea’s judge)
Dorei – this orbit consists of those enforcing Siderea’s security. Historically, members of this orbit focused on regulation of crime and the upkeep of order. However, a war with the foreign nation of Varnavir loomed over Siderea for many years a few generations ago. This led to the buildup of skill and discipline in Dorei’s ranks, resulting in the elite group of fighters called the Satellites.
Loraine Schultz (the Cursed Catcher and the leader of the Satellites)
Vomus – this orbit encompasses most jobs and services used in the everyday life of the average Sidereal citizen. Doctors, bakers, shoemakers, tailors – any craft that requires a certain level of knowledge, training, and skill is part of Vomus’ orbit.
Mrs. Vines (Simon’s building manager)
Kiluit – those of Kiluit are manual laborers and “unskilled” workers. Their jobs require a certain level of physical strength and present more hazardous working environments. Some examples are miners, fishermen, construction workers.
Ciolo (as well as his parents, Amber and Andros)
Nonentities – this group consists of those who have fallen out-of-orbit and were either stripped of, or have never received, their Sidereal brand. Nonentities are the lowest a Sidereal could fall, and are seen as barely human. One way for a person to become a nonentity is to commit a crime. These people are stripped of their brand and imprisoned. It is also possible for a person who has not directly committed a crime to not have a place in the orbital order. The most common case is children born of extramarital or extraorbital relations. People in such positions usually end up in the Umbra.
Cursed ones – cursed ones are beings with unnatural powers that exceed the abilities of a normal human. They are Siderea’s nemesis and have been persecuted for thousands of years, ever since their revolt in the age of the Sunkillers. Different Suns have employed various methods of dealing with cursed ones. Under the rule of Victus, cursed ones are sought out by Loraine and her Satellites, and then publicly executed. They are extremely dangerous and deemed Siderea’s greatest threat, and thus need to be dealt with swiftly and mercilessly. Cursed ones are believed to be drawing their powers from the Void, sent as its agents to compromise the sacred order of Siderea’s society. Whilst nonentities are regarded as the lowest a human could fall, cursed ones are not seen as humans at all.