When the Vertu landed on Krenus and encountered the Syneans’ technology, they discovered they had many points of affinity with it, so they were soon using it themselves, adapting it to their own ends. An internal feud divided the faction into two groups: Adenians and Zekians. Yani, descendent of the Queen of War of Nolaos, died during the first of the Albedon Wars bringing the two sides closer together to confront the common enemy: the Nontu. In the next period of peace, the Adenians and the Zekians developed new relations, having discussions and swapping technology and information.
In the meantime, relations with the Erratics – the slaves who had come with them from Nolaos to Krenus – were increasingly critical and ambivalent. The fact was that if a part of the Vertu faction fought for the rights of the Erratics and their liberation from the historic condition of slavery, another continued to emphasize their role as sacrificial pawns inside the community.
The Untouched, keenly linked to their roots, live inside highly advanced exoskeletons to protect their frail physique. They have developed a formidable ability to manipulate the mind and have great telekinetic gifts.
The Zekians are the strongest race within the Vertu faction and the rhythms of their society are marked by discipline and martial rigour which distinguish them on every occasion. They are brave combatants who are expert in the use of swords and firearms.
The Adenians are gifted with stunning beauty and a great capacity for empathy. They are formidable scholars and notable researchers. Over time, they have developed qualities of enchantment and are highly skilful in the art of caring for and handling force fields.
The Erratics, wild and proud, cover the most disparate roles in Vertu society. Some of them are slaves in the service of exponents of other breeds, others are marginalized, still others are trying to have themselves accepted to take up increasingly important posts. Many fight in the army, brandishing gigantic shields, and exploiting their ability as half-Nontu to channel the elements.
Vertu society has a strict hierarchical structure. At the top are two power centres: the government nobility and the priestly aristocracy. Both structures can only be accessed by inheritance. Also the lowest level of the social pyramid, that of the common folk, is subdivided into castes, but based on merit.
The Vertu are born under the influence of a star which, depending if it is the Dwarf Star, the Giant Star or the Dying Star, gives them distinctive characteristics through the Keitu that runs in their veins and allows them to absorb it and manipulate its radiation.
The bond with the star replaces the genetic one with their biological parents, and every Vertu grows together with a group of companions born under the same celestial body. In fact, a Vertu may be born under any of the three stars – which correspond to the same number of signs – even if the percentages of probability will vary depending on which race they belong to: Adenians, Zekians or the Untouched.
In the course of their existence, all Vertu undergo two tests: that of the Fellowship of the Sign, through which individuals are assigned their star, and the Mission Test, which allows them to attain their social role at the end of their studies.
The Vertu attend the Primary Academy until adolescence, after which all students sit aptitude tests which determine their future. On the basis of the results, and their star, the Vertu are then sent to one of the three Secondary Academies, which welcome new members depending on the social class they are intended for.
The faction has two queens: the Queen of Peace and the Queen of War, both descendants of the blood of Yani, the Vertu Queen who landed on Krenus together with Jarnis, and each destined to rule depending on the absence or otherwise of ongoing conflicts. Right at this point in the story, given the critical nature of the relations with the Nontu, the Queen of War is in power.
The Seekians, Vertu Albedonite Hunters[edit | edit source]
The Seekians, Albedonite Hunters inside the Vertu faction, are an elite of the militia, and all members of Vertu society can join them, including the Erratics. The Seekians are paid regularly by the army for ordinary forays to recover albedonite, while the central government reward the Seekians for carrying out riskier top-secret missions.
The hunters are both respected and feared within the faction, and the degree of appreciation the people express towards them differs depending on the race.
Currently, most Seekians are on a special mission on behalf of both Queens. For this reason, Euday, the head of the Albedonite Hunters, is taking on new members for the Seekians: the current forces are not sufficient to satisfy Zephita and Jara’s orders.
The Seekians on a mission for the two Queens do not answer to Euday, but to the two leaders. Missions are allocated under Euday’s supervision, and are bound by an oath of top secrecy. To violate this would lead to the death penalty for him and for all the Seekians involved.
In the midst of an all-out war, Zephita, the Queen of Peace, has put the life of the population before all else, organizing the Seekians to recover larger quantities of albedonite from areas far from A1, required to heal the wounded and prepare new vaccines. In fact, according to studies of Vertu doctors and scientists, a new epidemic may befall A1.
Convinced that a lack of payments to the Matam could trigger further disagreements and battles, the Seekians have the task of recovering and delivering a part of the albedonite payable as a tribute to the free Erratics.
To win the war and hound the Nontu from A1, Jara, the Queen of War currently in command of the whole Vertu faction, is using huge resources of albedonite to increase the powers and physical capacities of members of the Ordeal, unbeknown to Zephita. At the same time, she has asked the Seekians to work closely with Xanya, the head of the Ordeal, to give members of the army everything they need to remain in a state of asceticism as long as possible.
Nobody except Xanya knows which drugs, together with albedonite, alter states of consciousness and physical performance to make warriors temporarily immune to physical pain.