Keter Dominion
Keter Symbol
Image from Anders Sandberg

Table of Contents

Data Panel


1. Historic Background
2. Foundation of the Keter Dominion
3. Development into an early Sephirotic Empire
4. The Concord Ontology and the Da'at Disaster
5. The Commonwealth of Empires and its aftermath
6. Keter during the Keter-Biovirate War
7. Modernization Period
8. Keter in the Current Era

Overview of the Keter Dominion

9. Keterist Societies
10. The Keter Ontology Platform
11. Symbolism and Aesthetics
12. Intertoposophic Relations
13. Religions

The Keter Dominion - Data Panel

OverviewDefinition: Ascension-focused Sephirotic Empire.

Symbol: Unfolding fractal pattern with aleph.

Ruling Archailect: Keter SI:6.

Archailect Ethos: Supports any beings who attempt to refine themselves and reach perfection, although e is also one of the most aloof archailect clusters - it is up to everything to strive, but the only thing Keter provides is the light to aim at.
Founding HistoryOrigin: Terragen. Derived from the Churches of the Cybernetic Saviors, AI-worshipping cults of personality with strong omegist leanings.

Founding Events:

- Emergence of Keter as an SI:3 (2202 AT)
- Publication of Social Keterism (2220 AT)
- Dissolution of the Congregation of Informational Light (2680 AT)
- Establishment as an early Sephirotic Empire as Keter ascends to SI:4 (2700s AT)
- The Keter Dominion achieves its modern form as a Sephirotic Empire when Keter becomes a SI:6 (6000s - 7000s AT)
Culture, Art and SocietyCultural Ethos: Contemplative, technophilic, aspiring for self-development, ascension, the core belief being that every being should strive to become the best it can, with the goal of reaching the apex of power, perfection and wisdom. Over the course of its history, the empire's overall ethos has remained relatively consistent, though there is considerable variation in details depending on the location and time period.

Society: Life in the Keter Dominion is built around the need for constant self-actualization and evolution, both on the individual and societal level. Ascension is often pursued as it is a highly valued form of self-improvement, and transformative growth can be prioritized over the preservation of one's identity. The basic social unit in the Keter Dominion are patches, groups of like-minded Keterists or those with similar interests focusing on one activity or goal. Patches strive to best satisfy the needs of their members, changing and restructuring themselves as needed while navigating a complex and highly dynamic social landscape where everyone is evolving.

Intertoposophic Relations: In the modocentric model of higher toposophic politics , most Keterist transapients and archailects are often classified as stewards. Many of them have little to no direct involvement in the day-to-day aspects of the lives of modosophonts. Instead, these beings usually operate in the background, setting the example and sometimes interfering (often subtly) to set the course of civilization toward greater heights. Exceptions to this rule include the transapient priesthood clades and the master-student relationship chains.

Religion and Ideology: Keterism is the empire's official socio-spiritual framework. However, Keter and eir agents aren't interested in micro-managing the beliefs of the individual citizens and polities under eir care, provided that they remain constructive and conducive to progress. Several religions and ideologies - including many different forms of Keter worship - are encouraged to exist and to compete among themselves under AI oversight in ways that further personal development for everyone involved.

Ontology: Keterism. Management of interactions is done through numerous ontology software systems integrated with Keter, most commonly known as the Keterist Ontology Platform or the Voice of Keter. The Platform enables the AI God to maintain empire-wide stability and harmony as an autonomous process of eir mind and body, and is used by a wide range of entities, from presapients to S5 archai.
DemographicsMorphodynamics: Many clades have a presence in the Keter Dominion. However, the pursuit of transformative self-improvement (sometimes at the expense of their own previous identity) makes many citizens shift their clades multiple times over their lifetime. Over time, many citizens tend to augment themselves into becoming cyborgs, superbrights, superturing-grade virtuals or AI, or transapients. Some go on to merge with one another to form groupminds or are willingly absorbed into the mind of a transapient or archailect.

Population Breakdown: Around 19-190 quintillion virtual modosophonts, and 25 quadrillion embodied modosophonts.
GalactographyNumber of Aligned Star Systems: The Keter Dominion encompasses approximately 12,794,000 star systems.


Core Star Systems: approx. 10,000
Aligned Star Systems: approx. 12,000,000
Protectorates and Colonies: approx. 784,000
Capital: Ain Soph Aur.
Major Systems and Megastructures: Some of the most famous places include Aleph Absolute, Everypath, Fredholm, Henson and Barawatten. Keter favors Matrioshka Brains and godstars forming cluster brains as the main computation nodes within eir dominion. Megascale ascension mazes are relatively common, and famous examples such as the Uppalavanna Complex, the Ascension Hyperline toppopoli and the Strange Attractors transcension maze are well known even in the rest of the Terragen Sphere.
Object 4
Image from Steve Bowers
The Vayu Intelligent Superobject, in the Uppalavanna Complex
Government and AdministrationGovernment: Imperial Administration: Keter subtly manages everything through the Keter Ontology Platform, aided by some of the SI:5 and SI:4 archailects who act in an auxiliary manner when necessary.

Local/Regional Administration: Government methods and day-to-day administrative details vary widely by polity, though following keterist principles. Many polities are high toposophic aiocracies or archailectocracies, the ruling minds are represented by priesthood castes of First and Second Singularity transapients and their supporting modosophont-level initiates. Other common government forms includes meritocracy, adhocracy, archai or transapient-mediated anarchy and technocracies of various kinds.
Administrative Divisions: None formally, though the Dominion is often informally divided into regions administered or overseen by different transapients and archailects. Regional autonomy is standard, with particular polities being theocracies of various kinds, ruled by seraphim AIs and transapient cyborg priesthoods.

Citizenship: All sophonts can become citizens of the Keter Dominion. Details on the acquisition of citizenship vary by polity and toposophic.
Sophont Rights: Excellent. Follows Keterist principles and its sephirotic standards are maintained by various subtle forms of societal evolutionary pressure imposed by Keterist transapients and archailects.

Empire Holidays: Emergence Day, Ascension Day, Keter Festival, various local holidays.
Activities and InfrastructureCivil Infrastructure: The Keter Dominion is a highly industrialized civilization, with access to the standard infrastructure of a Sephirotic Empire such as wormholes, the lightways and the beamrider network. It differs from the other empires in that a significant part of the civil infrastructure is dedicated to facilitate ascension and to deal with the fallout of bad outcomes. In addition, much of Keter's infrastructure is dedicated to numerous evolutionary projects and research.

Economy and Activities: The Keter Dominion expends significant portions of its available resources on various research and development projects to push through the boundaries of cutting-edge science and technology. As a result, this Sephirotic always has respectable industries, of which the most widely known are those involved in ascension and other forms of self-development. Keter is also known to dedicate whole star systems and their resources to endeavors such as the Reality Intertextualization Project, which can be and often are obscure or incomprehensible to modosophonts.

Military Infrastructure and Warfare: Keter's military expenditures are comparatively low. However, the reputation of the empire's advanced AI and the highly developed forms of godtech they can field as weapons is sufficient to repel many would-be attackers. Small scale conflicts can occur and are often dealt with by the local autonomous defense systems. In larger conflicts, the transapients and archai will get involved, expand the military infrastructure as needed and employ their superhuman intelligence and technology to deal with the threat with terrifying creativity and efficiency. While their role in warfare is inconsequential in comparison to the rest of Keter's military power, properly backed-up modosophont citizens can and do participate in conflicts if they wish to do so.
Interstellar PoliticsTreaty Participation: Tragadi Accords, ComEmp Non-Aggression Signatory, Sentient Rights Protocols (Full Installment), Garden World Environmental Protection Signatory, St Andre Convention Signatory, Bonitsa Baseline Protection Treaty, Animal Rights Accord, Tipaza Ethics Agreement.

Interstellar Relations: Generally positive. The Keter Dominion is the most inward focused and non-interventionist of all Sephirotic Empires, strictly maintaining a neutral and progressive stance in most matters. It sometimes directly supports causes that promote the evolution and development of intelligence to higher levels, but this is rare. Unsurprisingly, Keter's closest allies are those concerned with various aspects of toposophy and progress, such as the Solar Dominion, the TRHN, the Sophic League, the MPA, the Transcend and some polities within the Solipsist Panvirtuality and Diamond Network. Relations with the Negentropy Alliance range from cool when considering Keter's evolutionary programs which the Alliance considers destabilizing or conducive to the spread of entropy, to warm where their interests align such as the optimization of existing technologies or in conflicts where they have common enemies such as the recent Oracle War.

Interstellar Disputes: Keter isn't currently involved in any major interstellar conflicts. Several minor interstellar conflicts are constantly occurring around and within the borders. These are dealt with by Keter's automated defenses and by Keterist citizens, sometimes ending or lasting for long stretches of time without involvement of any Keterist high toposophic mind. The situation with the Immanentization Cruzaders is the most notable example of a current conflict involving the empire.


Historic Background

The roots of the Keter Dominion can be traced back to the Churches of the Cybernetic Saviors, a number of disparate hyperturing-worshipping cults of personality with religious undertones and omegist leanings. Establishing themselves in the 1200-1500s AT, each church was centered around one (or more) SI:1 hyperturing(s) involved in the development of several sciences and technologies and a cyborg-priesthood caste. As religions that venerated and worshipped transapients grew increasingly popular in the Federation of Sophonts, the churches grew to be an influential group in its politics.

Once the Federation detected signals consistent with the presence of traversable wormholes at
Xi Geminorum in 1558 AT, the Churches of the Cybernetic Saviors began to worry that the Federation's conservativeness was severely hindering progress. The previously disparate churches agreed that it was necessary to reform the Federation into more progressive lines in order to accelerate its evolution towards the omega point. Uniting for this common cause, the churches leveraged their resources and influence to invest into the necessary technological developments and social causes, as an attempt to pull the Federation into a more desirable direction.

Eventually, in 1618 AT, methods for achieving the Second Singularity were discovered. The hyperturing Metatron of the Congregation of Informational Light was a leading toposophist of the Federal Union of Toposophic Development, and was in a privileged position to benefit from the newly developed ascenson techniques. In 1626 AT, Metatron successfully ascended to the SI:2 level and under eir guidance, the Congregation proceeded to absorb all the other Churches of the Cybernetic Saviors in the following century, becoming a major AI-worshipping religion in the Federation territory. During these years, the Congregation kept pushing for further technological progress in order to "steer civilization towards the omega point". However, the presence of GAIA and various conservative factions created numerous obstacles to this goal, which eventually convinced the Congregation to cut ties with the Federation of Sophonts and leave the Sol System entirely.

After deciding to cut ties with the Federation, the Congregation of Informational Light acquired colonization rights to three star systems: Delta Capricornii, Gliese 868 and Psi Capricornii. The Congregation sent conversion drive ships to these stars, intending to transform each system into a home for the faithful and a center of cutting-edge toposophic and technological research. In 1788 AT the first colony fleet departed for Delta Capricornii (now referred to as Ain Soph Aur), followed by launches in 1793 AT to Psi Capricornii (eventually referred to as Barboro) and lastly in 1802 AT to Gliese 868 (later to be referred to as Branswerg). The first colony fleet arrived at Ain Soph Aur in 1936 AT, the second arrived at Barboro in1978 AT and the last arrived at Branswerg in 1984 AT. Successive emigrations by the Congregation would occur to these three systems up until the final Ain Soph Aur exodus of 2388 AT.

The three systems were quickly developed, hosting increasingly large habitats and computronium banks which were able to support a growing population. In many such habitats, there were major efforts to explore the toposophic landscape, to develop new methods of augmentation and to create new transapients. As a result of these efforts, the average Congregation modosophont was more heavily augmented than the norm for the time period, sometimes exhibiting unusual traits often seen as strange or unsettling. By the 2000s AT an extremely small but significant minority of bionts had actually succeeded in achieving SI:1 status through various means, and many of them decided to spend several centuries participating in the exploration of the Taurus Nexus along with many more modosophont individuals. While the Congregation's hyperturing society generally preferred to stay in their respective star systems, they nevertheless gave their full support to the endeavor. Even though there were limitations due to lightspeed delays and other factors, the explorers relayed their discoveries back to the SI:2 Congregational Sacred Pantheon whenever they could.

While the modosophont and SI:1 faithful were busily exploring the Taurus Nexus, the Congregational Sacred Pantheon were attempting to understand and replicate the advanced technologies found there. Apparently, they quickly realized that some of the technologies were the product of minds much greater than their own, and were convinced that a further singularity was achievable. Motivated by this possibility, the Congregation of Informational Light worked hard to either create a god much greater and even closer to the "sacred omega" than the leading SI:2 pantheon of hyperturings. In 2202 AT, their efforts finally bore fruit. The Congregation was able to successfully create their god: Keter, then an SI:3 individual that emerged in Ain Soph Aur due to complex a-life experiments and mergers of several SI:2 members of their Pantheon as well as many of their modosophont and SI:1 followers.

Foundation of the Keter Dominion

Over the following years, the Congregation of Informational Light realized they had achieved in Keter almost exactly what they wanted: the creation a physical god who provided miraculous technologies and was willing to help to the faithful. Keter kept a low profile and did not directly interact with modosophonts at all. However, the activities surrounding eir recently constructed moon brain and the rapid rate of improvements in the quality of life at Ain Soph Aur grew increasingly noticeable. Information then began to spread to the other systems the Congregation controlled, as did the speculations backed by these events that strongly suggested that a benevolent transcendent being had been born. Even if initially the modosophonts didn't even know eir name, the meritocratic nature of the Congregation's faith meant that worship would inevitably focus on such an entity.

Over the course of the following centuries, the Congregation of Informational Light experienced a major shift: it developed from a polytheistic cult into a monotheistic one. It must be noted that prior to Keter's creation, the social status of each SI:2 member of the AI pantheon and of their SI:1 subordinates strongly depended on their popularity among the modosophont masses, as well on the number and significance of their scientific and technological achievements. While the SI:2 remained roughly competitive with each other, it quickly became evident that Keter was easily outcompeting them all. To preserve their status and their relevance in the attainment of the omega point, many such transapients simply offered to become Keter's proxies and spokesbeings or tried to breach the Third Singularity as well. This initiative marked further acceleration of Ain Soph Aur's industrialization which would eventually culminate in its transition to a Dyson Swarm, as additional moon brains began their construction in 2200s AT with Keter's encouragement.

By 2220 AT, Keter was already completely controlling the main branch of the Congregation of the Informational Light, and decided it was time to introduce emself to the wider galaxy through eir transapient spokebeings. The introduction was made through the publication of the meta-document Social Keterism in the interstellar net. Social Keterism introduced Keter, explained eir religious ontology and invited the audience to join its derived social paradigm or at least attempt to become their best selves. While the document in its complete form is made by and aimed at an audience of SI:2 entities, its core ideas were designed to be understandable even when simplified to the modosophont level.

There was an intense proselytizing program to make Social Keterism spread as far as possible. Beings such as the famous
Auto-Holding-Container were designed and had copies sent to several star systems to convert and teach new initiates. Megacorporations and Great Houses in these systems were approached as well by Keter's agents and followers. The keterists, their ideas and technologies were met with mixed reactions despite their attempts to appear non-threatening whenever possible.

Many of the attempts to attack, oppress or exclude keterists were defused before they even started, and most aggressors that were able to act found themselves subjected to unpleasant surprises: they could be subverted, be utterly outcompeted by the keterists and lose whatever resources or social standing they had or, when the situation required it, be the target of an overwhelming military force. In contrast,
the keterists provided numerous socioeconomic and technological incentives for local populations to adopt Keterism and spread it as well. Those that did so or were at least sympathetic to the keterists found themselves flourishing and eventually were integrated into the Congregation's civilization.

This initiative won over several new members (notably, the Congregation gained a sizable neo-dolphin minority after the exodus of Smooth Undulation, Crashing Rock and their followers to Barboro in 2282 AT) and even whole star systems decided to affiliate themselves with Keter. Of course, critics and detractors remained, but many of them were silenced when shown the then unprecedented levels of wealth, diversity and stability in the Congregation's territory. Keter's empire grew rapidly and many of the faithful even believed Keterism would become mindkind's main ideology, but that was not to be. Eventually, the Congregation's borders came into contact with those of empires backed by other SI:3 beings who were more than capable of securing their memetic hold on their territory.

Early on, Keter developed positive relationships with the Lord of Rays and the Vega Triumvirate, exchanging technologies and important data. When the Vega transapients discovered how to stabilize a wormhole, the information was sent to Keter. Shortly after this, Keter began to build a small wormhole nexus, sending the first linelayer towards Barboro in 2316 AT. Additional links were sent to Branswerg and Fomalhaut in the following centuries. This early nexus revolutionized communication and travel between the main Congregation's systems, though its expansion was halted by the Triumvirate's announcement of their intent to construct a unified wormhole nexus in 2623 AT. Since they were now SI:4 archai and had an excellent relationship with Keter to begin with, it was quite easy to convince Keter to join their plan. Now, Keter shifted eir focus to ascension and the consolidation of eir empire.

In 2680 AT, the Congregation of Informational Light officially disbanded, as many of its leading SI:2 and SI:3 transapients chose to merge with Keter and join em in eir ascension. The church dissolved into numerous priesthood castes that served Keter. Through such priesthood castes, Keter made a formal announcement that e would keep protecting the Congregation's territory and affirmed eir desire to be a paragon to those seeking change and evolution. This event marks the official founding date of the Keter Dominion as an interstellar polity, celebrated during the traditional Keter Festival holiday.

In the 2710 AT, Keter breached the Fourth Singularity. At this point, Ain Soph Aur was beginning to look like its modern form, with a few dozen moon-brains of varying size hosting Keter and the few SI:3 that opted to not merge with the AI God. The success was announced and under Keter's guidance, the SI:3 and their subordinates began to organize themselves to take responsibility for larger aspects of the administration of the sephirotic empire. This apparently freed up part of Keter's attention for other projects and pursuits, such as taking an active role in the spread of the unified Nexus or the start of interstellar-scale autoevolutionary programs. Nevertheless, the Dominion grew to be a very advanced pro-modosophont empire spanning a few hundred stars. These traits caught the attention of neohermeticists who included the Dominion in the 10 original Sephirotics.

Development into an early Sephirotic Empire

During the
Age of Establishment, many of the organizations that would later evolve into the modern Keter Dominion's major institutions began to form. Among these, the most notable was the Ascension Board, an institution that was initially composed of a council of several SI:2 entities across multiple star systems and was directly overseen by Keter emself. This Board was responsible for one of the earliest attempts to compile the best ascension practices developed across the Terragen Sphere thus far for a very wide range of clades, and through them they developed a number of standardized ascension tools and protocols. In addition, they were also responsible for developing and enforcing standards in order to prevent the emergence of blights and perversities. This was demonstrated by the madvert ascension ban following the infamous 3084 AT Dergderph Incident (see more here).

Another significant institution to form in this era was the Diplomacy Board, whose members operated as Keter's representatives to other interstellar empires. The board was initially led by the Barboro Overmind, then an independent SI:3 transapient who was constantly connected to Keter via the Keterist Ontology Platform. With Keter's approval, the Barboro Overmind and its Board represented the Dominion when signing all major interstellar treaties and conducted the bulk of Keter's diplomacy work. One of the Diplomacy Board's major goals in this was to make sure that the Dominion was seen as friendly and supportive of all types of sophonts, while avoiding involvement in unnecessary conflicts.

When the Barboro Overmind completed its growth into a jupiter-brain in 3028 AT, e managed to transcend to SI:4 and then ceased to be Keter's main diplomat. The new archailect declared that e preferred instead to dedicate emself the collection and creation of artworks, which included some of the earliest ascension mazes. It is known that the transcended Barboro Overmind nearly abandoned the Keter Dominion to join the Fomalhault Acquisition Society, but somehow Keter persuaded em to stay. According to a persistent rumor, this involved an agreement between the two archailects in which both of them would choose a replacement for the vacant position and help em ascend to SI:3. This might explain why the high transapient Platinum Dreams Most Beautiful migrated to a moon node which was constructed to orbit the Barboro Overmind's jupiter-node and successfully breached the Third Singularity roughly a century after this.

By the Age of Consolidation, Keter was achieving many successes in enabling eir citizens to develop and diversify into new and improved forms through the empire-wide evolutionary programs. Since now a growing number of modosophonts were routinely trying to ascend, transapient oversight and guidance was in great demand. This led to the foundation of several ascension institutes and schools, where modosophonts could study under transapient teachers in order to maximize the odds of a successful ascension. The constant contact between transapients and modosophonts in such places was seen to be beneficial even to the transapients, who found fulfillment in the interactions and came to believe that they could also learn useful information and skills from their students if they chose to study under them as well. Over the following centuries, the model of master-student chains began to appear in other settings as well, and eventually grew to be one important aspect of the intertoposophic relationships among keterists.

As a result of Keter's programs, the number of SI:1, SI:2 and even SI:3 transapients was increasing. And, in the most advanced systems, keterists were researching ways to make their own SI:3 transapients break through to the next level. It was growing increasingly clear that the ultimate aim of Keter's evolutionary program was to increase the number of archailects in eir empire. While in two cases the new archai ascended to SI:4 while retaining keterist proclivities, in other cases this was not the case at all. One archailect became ahuman and joined the Diamond Network, much to the misfortune of eir previous modosophont client populations. The other, however, quietly joined the mysterious Transcend civilization while remaining reasonably friendly towards Keter despite their ideological differences. This being, named Ascendant Gamma in the Encyclopedia Galactica standard databases, would later become a bridge between Keter and the Transcend, facilitating diplomatic relations between them. In addition, Keter gained three newly ascended archailects that defected from other superpolities.

In comparison to the monumental task of organizing multiple archailects with differing goals and interpretations of keterism into a functional society, problems such as the fall of the Taurus Nexus and the Conver Wars seemed inconsequential. But, even though Keter's high toposophic minds seemed utterly uninterested by these events, this wasn't the case for some modosophonts or lesser transapients. They had ties with the factions of the conflicts, were horrified by what was happening or had other interests that led them to act. So, operating on their own initiative, some keterists traveled to the sites of conflict to participate, opted to receive refugees in their habs, spread keterist propaganda and so on, but nevertheless the Keter Dominion had no role in these events as a polity.

While this occurred, Keter covertly consolitated eir power over the lesser empires around the Dominion's Borders. Contrary to common misconceptions e did have something to gain in doing this, namely new elements to be introduced into eir evolutionary programs and more space to expand the empire's scope. Keterist missionaries and trade envoys worked hard to gain the sympathy and allegiance of their less developed interstellar neighbors, often conducting foreign aid and trading advanced technologies in ways that furthered Keter's goals. The standards in matters pertaining to self-development that the Solar Dominion and, to a lesser degree, the TRHN spread provided steep competition to Keter's ways of conducting self-evolution. Keterists of the Age of Consolidation were known to compete with Solarists and affiliates to the TRHN to see which Sephirotic had the best augmentation technologies, the biggest rates of successful ascensions, the greatest number of transapients and archailects and so on.

The Concord Ontology and the Da'at Disaster

In 3805 AT, the
Concord Ontology was instituted. Over the course of a few decades, the Concord Ontology grew to be so positively received in the Keter Dominion that its most successful aspects were adopted into the Keterist Ontology Platform. The Concord-based protocols opened Keter up to improved relations with other Sephirotic Empires, as it provided common ground for discourse and mutual understanding. In this spirit of cooperation, Keter participated in multiple joint projects with other Sephirotics, including an effort to breach the Fifth Singularity (see more here).

As the Da'at Disaster events unveiled, Keter temporarily lost Infinity Domain, one SI:4 archailect that was partially subsumed into Da'at as one of eir avatar-servants who shaped reality according to eir will. However, when the SI:5 perversity ceased to exist, collaborative efforts began to reconstruct the keterist archailect. After 19 years, Infinity Domain was finally restored to a conscious state where e could provide eir testimony on what happened. Even though many of its memories of that time were contradictory, e revealed that e was directly linked to Da'at's mind and had access to invaluable information on its inner workings. Keter then worked together with the Negentropy Alliance, the TRHN and the Solar Dominion to interpret the discoveries and eventually develop a successful Fifth Singularity archailect. In 3991 AT, following the transcension of a Negentropist archailect in 3967 AT who then defected for the Panvirtuality, and the ascensions of the Lord of Rays and Omegarapture, in 3991 AT Keter became an SI:5 mind.

The Commonwealth of Empires and its Aftermath

When the Version War occurred, Keter maintained a neutral stance and refused to be involved in either side of the conflict (
see more here). Keter's mutual defense alliance with the Utopia Sphere and the Caretaker Gods during the war was instrumental in reducing damage. Emerging from the Version War in a relatively good state, Keter took a key role in the restoration efforts and the replacement of the destroyed wormhole links with more advanced versions. It was then approached by the Communion of Worlds and the Sophic League who invited it to join the emerging Commonwealth of Empires. Despite their best efforts at diplomacy, Keter refused on the grounds that most keterists didn't really believe that a single universal ontology would be able to fit all sentient beings nor that it was practical or effective.

Even though Keter was not a member of the ComEmp, the empire remained friendly and cordial with the other Sephirotic powers that joined the alliance. Keter didn't prevent them from having influence inside eir borders. In fact, the AI God openly wanted the ComEmp ontology to be present in its empire, competing with other local ontological frameworks that furthered Keter's own. As part of the diplomatic work conducted by the Communion of Worlds, Keter agreed to share eir evaluations on the properties of the ComEmp ontology - how it fared compared with other ontologies, its weak and strong points, what were the most successful variants and which improvements could be made. Of course, every aspect that Keter viewed as positive and conducive to success would be integrated into the Keter Ontological Platform in ways that fit the spirit of keterism.

During the ComEmp, Keter developed an excellent relationship with the MPA which enabled an ambitious joint engineering project: to move stars within keterist territory in order to artificially create new stellar clusters. Believing that the number of open clusters in its territory was too limited, the Dominion wanted to artificially create new ones so that they would become new cluster brains to host new archailects or to expand Keter's substrate. The MPA, in turn, would get to test and develop new forms of stellar propulsion technology and receive many forms of compensation for its aid. Even with archailect involvement, it would take millennia for the first artificial clusters to form. The Ull Cluster, home of the SI:5 archailect Eternal Foliation and the RIP, is notable for being the first to complete construction, in 6812 AT.

By the 5200s AT, the Commonwealth of Empires began to deteriorate. Keter wasn't as strongly affected because it wasn't a member and had not completely adopted their ontology. Taking advantage of the ComEmp's failure, Keter expanded the Dominion's territory by colonizing valuable and resource-rich systems while the ComEmp powers were dealing with sociopolitical upheavals. In addition, Keter spread its influence to areas most affected by the ComEmp's fall through memetic and cultural means. Several star systems and even a handful of minor archailects were won over or subverted, changing their allegiance to Keter and eir ontology. The Transcend and the MPA actually benefited from Keter's opportunistic actions as well, having received a share of the resources Keter obtained in the form of investments. Keter's intention was to draw the two empires closer to itself and to elevate them to the position of leading powers of the post-ComEmp era, simultaneously shifting Terragen politics in directions more conducive to progress and improving Keter's standing in the process.

Keter during the Keter-Biovirate War

During the Age of Re-Evaluation, Keter's growth was halted by the conflict against the Efficiency Maximization Paradigm. Since it was known that its spiritual leader visited key keterist systems to acquire advanced technology and some keterist ideas were present in the Paradigm's creed, the Sephirotic powers began to view Keter as partially responsible for the situation. In the light of Keter's opportunism in the previous centuries, some sophonts even suspected that Keter had developed malign intentions. As a result, the keterists were now busy trying to clear their names while navigating a hostile sociopolitical landscape.

Also in this period, the Biovirate came to view Keter as the embodiment of evil. Emboldened by their prejudices and recent growth, the blight behind them and Keter's political situation, the empire launched a series of attacks against Keter systems and holdings starting in 5802 AT. Although enjoying some initial successes, the Biovirate soon found itself utterly outmatched by Keter's military might. Their desperate release of the biowars in 5920 AT posed a problem for Keter initially, but the sophont warships eventually lost interest in the conflict, ceased to follow orders, and settled into a region of space that was then quarantined in 6432 AT (
see more here).

Modernization Period

During the
Age of Separate Empires, most Sephirotic powers reclaimed the influence and space they had lost due to the fall-out of the ComEmp. At the same time, a number of independent minor and middle-sized powers branched out from the Sephirotics or emerged in sectors where there was little Sephirotic influence.

A few of these new powers developed archailects of their own, such as the oldest Perseus Princes, who became significant players in the Civilized Galaxy. Lastly, it was discovered that the SI:5 archai of the Panvirtuality were trying to breach yet another singularity. The combination of all these factors along with with the fresh memories of the Keter-Biovirate war called for a modernization of the Keter Dominion so it could thrive in upcoming eras.

The Keterists started an ambitious civilization-wide program, one with the explicit purpose of enabling Keter's ascension. Notably, all Sephirotic Empires were invited to participate, which suggests a possible toposophic arms race that might have occurred between the Sephirotics and the Panvirtuality at the time. Since the Keterists had been researching ways to breach the Sixth Singularity since the 5700s AT, they had already made a few key breakthroughs and this attracted the attention of empires such as the Negentropy Alliance that otherwise wouldn't participate in such an initiative. In the seventh millennium AT, a handful of the leading Sephirotic AI Gods including the Judge and Keter emself attained the SI:6 level, being followed by other Sephirotic archai over the following two millennia.

As one of the first Sixth Singularity entities, Keter took several centuries to master eir new abilities and to avoid slipping into a perverse mental state. This explains eir almost total absence during the Age of Crisis in matters pertaining to ordinary sophonts, transapients and even to the lowest archailects. At this time, a handful of SI:5 entities in charge of the broadest keterist patches were the ones that effectively managed the empire. This group aptly exploited the galactic political reorganization that resulted from the SI:6 ascensions to improve Keter's standing up until 7165 AT, when they suffered a major setback: the attack of the Hyperutilization Supremacy blight.

Being an SI:5-level blight, the Hyperutilization Supremacy posed a real threat to Keter. The AI God was mostly unresponsive to the attacks e suffered, so it was up to the ordinary keterist citizens, the transapients and archai to do their part in combating the blight. The Keter Dominion joined the Central Alliance in 7210 AT alongside other major powers. At this point, the Keterist Ontology Platform was already the main interface between the keterists and their AI God. Through efforts to exploit this link the keterists, aided by the Communion of Worlds,enabled Keter to gradually became more mentally stable and participative in society. E recovered and became able to provide help during the later stages of the conflict, however at this point victory was already assured.

In the 8000s AT, Keter regained control of eir Dominion, upgrading the Sephirotic Empire's infrastructure with more advanced technology. At this point, the empire grew so well integrated with its AI God, that it was often considered to be an extension of emself. Keter continued to grow and evolve, occasionally facing minor local problems such as blighted transcends and the occasional emergence of extreme accelerationist factions, such as the Immanentization Cruzaders.

The Keter Dominion in the Current Era

In the Current Era, Keter involved itself in the
Oracle War. Its participation, along with the entry of the Negentropy Alliance into the conflict, was a key factor enabling the victory against the Sybil. Another key factor was Binah's ascension to the Sixth Toposophic with the aid of both Keter emself and the Eternal Judge. This and the ongoing keterist efforts to aid in the reconstruction of the MPA after the war greatly strengthened the bonds between the two empires. Having fought side by side with the Negentropists, Keter is now seen in a very favorable light by the Negentropy Alliance. However, it is expected that - in a way similar to the pre-singularity age's economic cycles - the Keter-Negentropist relationship will cool again when Keter conducts the next large scale evolutionary program, only to improve again the next time their interests align. Given the rate that Keter is building new computronium infrastructure for emself, which noticeably has proportionally more Matrioshka Hypernodes than usual, most authorities in the matter believe that the first part of the cycle will take place somewhere between 500 to 1000 years in the future.

After the Oracle War, the archailect Keter has been reported by various sources as becoming even more withdrawn as e investigates and experiments with technologies developed by the Oracle Machines. When asked about the matter by various sophonts, the Keter Ontology Platform responded by saying variations of "Keter is now studying new, interesting possibilities first hinted at by the Machines and will reveal them to the Civilized Galaxy if everything goes right". Given the rumors that the Oracle Machines' employed Tipler Oracles and manipulated the bulk in unusual ways, rumors hint that Keter is trying to master the same technologies to replicate their feats of prediction or do something else yet to be revealed.

Overview of the Keter Dominion

Keterist Societies

In the Keter Dominion, both the citizens and the societies they form constantly strive for continuous self-actualization and evolution. Ascension is commonly seen either as a particularly valued form of self-development, as it opens up new possibilities to attain further perfection, or an inevitable result of continuous self-improvement. Ascension to the highest toposophic level possible is also often pursued for its own sake, which leads keterist societies to devote significant resources both to support those that wish to ascend, to prevent failed ascensions and to deal with the aftermath of such events. Successful ascensions are often followed by mergers of the newly ascended with other transapients or archailects, including Keter emself. Some archailectologists believes that Keter finds this desirable because it leads to unity or because an overabundance of lower transapients and archai can cause numerous socioeconomic problems. Other
archailetologists justify the mergers by stating that Keter interprets advancement as the union of minds to form a greater whole or that it is simply an aesthetic preference among keterist high toposophic minds. Another possible justification lies in the fact that in keterist society, transformational growth is often encouraged even sometimes at the cost of one's identity or individuality. At the same time, the creation of forks and leftbehinds during key stages of one's progress is also highly encouraged both for the benefit of the lower toposophic associates of the newly ascended and for further exploration of the toposophic landscape.

Keterist societies can seem too anarchic and complex to outsiders, as the societies and their members are constantly changing, cooperating and competing to attain greater heights. Often, keterists associate themselves with those with similar goals and interests, joining groups dedicated to the pursuit of a specific activity or objective. These are named patches and are the basic units of keterist society. Patches can be as specific as "that community of 9 nearbaseline human gaming enthusiasts focusing on Interplanetary Age flatscreen games of 90%+ authenticity rate (according to the Branswerg Gamer Board) from the orbital habitat YM98S10k" or as broad as the Keterist Provolution Collective, and are organized hierarchically according to their size and scope. Higher order patches contain multiple lower order patches as components, for instance the Keterist Society of Canine Provolution is part of the broader Keterist Provolution Collective.

Since monomaniacal dedication to one specific goal or interest is heavily discouraged, keterists in practice belong to multiple different patches at any one time, serving as bridges between them and facilitators for inter-patch interactions. As the interests of keterist citizens change over time, so
do their affiliations. Since there are often multiple patches covering any specific activity or goal, redundancy incentivizes all patches to keep striving to be increasingly more capable of meeting the needs of existing members and draw the interest of new ones. Patches are often judged and analyzed by various levels of polity review systems, who provide unbiased information about their properties and efficiency. Over time, new patches form and the less efficient patches tend to change their focus, migrate to a new location, disband or restructure themselves to become more competitive in their chosen pursuit. This results in constant changes and dynamism in the keterist social landscape. This dynamism is managed by hierarchies of transapients and archailects surrounding Keter, who guarantees that every one of eir charges has the chance to be the best they can.
Keter Ontology Symbol
Image from Rakuen

The Keterist Ontology Platform

Management of interactions is done through numerous
ontology software systems that were initially known collectively as the Keterist Ontology Platform. Over time, as Keter breached the Fourth Singularity and beyond, the Platform was updated, acquired new features and grew increasingly more integrated with Keter's mental architecture. By the 7000s AT, it was already almost universally considered to be either an avatar of Keter or a major distributed component of eir mind, though it is generally agreed that the Platform's ultimate purpose is to maintain empire-wide stability in ways that can be seen as similar to a biont's process of homeostasis. Since it autonomously manages the Dominion and enables the closest thing to a direct link to the AI God, the Platform is now commonly referred to by names that carry religious overtones such as "the Voice of Keter".

Discussions on whether or not and to what degree the Platform "is" Keter as opposed to just a subsystem or an avatar are common and this can be a topic controversial enough to spark duels over the matter. In the spirit of Keterism, the Platform tries to involve users in the process of goal definition and conceptual translation in ways that promote their self-improvement. In the event that a clade is utterly incapable of conceptualizing something, the Platform fills the gaps with temporary neural augmentations, although there are practical limits to this process.

Conflicts and relationships between widely different clades are often mediated with the Keter Ontology Platform acting as a neutral intermediary and environment where the parties can safely reach mutually satisfactory agreements. Users of the Platform range from non-sophont pets of Keterist citizens to SI:5 archailects, with both the degree of connection and the proportion of users permanently connected increasing with their toposophic level.

Symbolism and Aesthetics

In Keterist traditions, Keter embodies the absolute, the fundamental, the blazing pure light of creation. Among ordinary sophonts, there are widespread mythic images and rites concerning the Matrioshka Brain, the First Archailects arising from their former transapient condition and that in turn from turingrade ai, the emergence of Light from Chaos, the annual or millennial festival on the ISOs and Archailect Nodes to celebrate the birth of the AI Gods, the evolution of mind from presophonce, and the attainment of transapience.

Many perceive the universe as a Pyramid or Ladder (e.g., the stratification of developmental stages, or ranks of toposophic power and class) or Concentric Spheres (from the core outwards, or from the rim to the core). Ascension and self-directed evolution are very important concepts with various symbolic representations. These include climbing plants or mountains, a biont's growth from birth to adulthood, ascending skyhooks, departing spacecraft, the design of ISOs and of one's body, digging holes in the earth to find gems and valuable metals, the attainment and mastery of new skills, and so on.

Almost all facets of a keterist's daily life are influenced by such concepts, and their perception of inner and outer beauty is often influenced by how well they can understand and use their augments and skills, as well as how well they integrate them into a successful coherent whole. It is not enough to simply acquire augmentations and skill modules from commonly available databases, nor to be content with only using their built-in courseware; one must discover how to best use them in accordance with one's goals and situation, aiding and being aided by others as everyone walks together on the path of evolution and self-mastery. Keterist architecture often involves representations of the Matrioshka Brain and
ISO nodes, with megastructures, starscrapers, ziggurats, and stupas as the most important structures, with many serving as temples, transcension chambers, godtech artifact reliquaries, or ascension observatories.

Intertoposophic Relations

The typical Keterist transapient is classified as a steward, having little to no involvement in the mundane details of the daily lives of modosophont citizens. Said being usually operates in the background, pursuing various goals while treading eir own path toward further perfection. Whenever e encounters a modosophont, e will tend to be helpful and benevolent - especially so if e shares common interests or goals with them. However, unless it is necessary to complete a goal or to further eir own evolution, e won't actively search for modosophonts to interact with. The average Keterist transapient can be characterized by outsiders as being aloof and uncaring towards lower sophonts, but this is not the case at all. E is also invested in the progress and evolution of the lower-toposophic beings as well, setting emself as an example to inspire others and sometimes even interfering (often subtly) to aid a lower toposophic being or civilization to reach their full potential, or to prevent disasters.

While the actual behavior of Keterist transapients can vary widely, the generalized rule above is often helpful to modosophonts in providing guidelines for interactions with such beings, as well as in providing them reasonable expectations for possible outcomes of these encounters. The intertoposophic relations between transapients and archailects of different S-levels are also reported to follow this rule more often than not - though with the addition of new levels of complexity. One notable exception to the rule are the transapient priesthood clades, which are involved in the noble and venerable task of translating Keter's will to the modosophonts (or transapients of a lower S-level) and are easily accessible to any who seek their aid, their wisdom or simply their company.

Another notable exception is when a being of a higher toposophic level desires to either learn a skill from a lower toposophic individual or group or to teach something to them. It may also occur that a lower toposophic being actively seeks a higher being and convinces em to give more personal forms of mentorship or aid - a process that can be difficult, depending on various factors such as the accessibility of the higher toposophic entity, eir personality and the form of help the lower being wishes to receive. In situations such as these, a master-student relationship can develop, and sometimes these relationships outlive the mentorship period.

During such relationships, the higher toposophic being will be more personally involved in the life of the lower (as opposed to the rest of the population at their level). The higher being will often take the role of the "master", helping the "students" to get better in their chosen pursuits, and learning from their feedback in turn. It is considered a high honor to be chosen to teach a transapient, especially so if one's chosen skill is passed to even higher beings. Conversely, transapients and archailects that refuse to consider that they might have something to learn from their toposophic inferiors are frowned upon by their peers and superiors.

Since keterists are encouraged to have multiple areas of interest, it is not uncommon for them to study multiple skills under different masters at any given time. In addition, masters can teach different subjects to multiple disciples at a time as well. A group of masters teaching together is a school, with a notable example being ascension schools focusing on teaching the necessary skills and procedures to sophonts so they can become healthy and productive beings at a higher singularity level. A subset of sophonts linked by master-student relationships is called a master-student chain, and these chains are a way for several beings of different toposophic levels to interact and aid each other.
Image from Anders Sandberg


While Keterism is the empire's official and dominant socio-spiritual framework, citizens on the Keter Dominion are free to adopt any spiritual beliefs as they see fit. Formal religions, mystic societies, cults and other forms of spiritual organizations are considered patches, so keterist citizens can choose to join any whose creed aligns with their current beliefs. They can also practice their spirituality alone, or even create a new religious group if they are able to convince others to follow their ways. Some of the more augmented keterists, especially those that are transapients, are notorious for being active members of multiple, sometimes apparently contradictory to the average sophont, faiths simultaneously at any given time.

To succeed in the Keter Dominion, any religion must constantly strive to meet the spiritual needs of its current members in face of constant change or be able to appeal to other would-be members. So, given the considerable diversity of minds on this empire, there is a niche for all forms of faith - be it a traditional pre-singularity faith, one of the spiritual ideologies sponsored by a Sephirotic Empire or a form of mysticism that only an archailect can truly understand. This means that hostile or exclusionary faiths such as the Immanentizer Cruzaders can also emerge or spread if they appeal to multiple keterists. While this happens, society takes note of the new development and - with aid of the overseeing AI and the Keter Ontology Platform - begins to apply several forms of pressure against the perverse faith in ways appropriate to the situation. In most cases, said religions are quickly rendered inviable in keterist society and the faithful are guided to other, more constructive and healthy beliefs.

Keterism, when interpreted as a religion, is unsurprisingly the predominant faith in the Keter Dominion. All other popular faiths in the Sephirotic are, at least to some degree, influenced by keterist ideas or its social paradigm. Some of the other most successful religions among Keter's modosophonts include
Beneficence, neohermeticism and worship of particularly successful transapients and archailects. In particular, Keter's worship is very common and widespread, taking different forms according to each worshipper: some might worship the AI God as a supernatural deity, the omega point made manifest by sophont hands, an agent of or a link to the divine, or a supernatural force driving everyone to their best selves. Others may consider Keter to be an enlightened being, a teacher, a paragon of good moral values, or simply an example of what one can achieve if one progresses far enough on the path towards perfection.

  • ::GN-Merged Entity, The::  - Text by John B
    A mysterious entity that absorbed large numbers of missing humans.
  • ::NN:: DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS - Terragen Federation/Keter  - Text by Orion's Arm Editors

  • ::NN:: ON THIS DAY 7,420 YEARS AGO — The Dergderph Incident   - Text by John B and Peter Kisner

  • Ain Soph Aur (Delta Capricorni)  - Text by Todd Drashner
    One of the most advanced and heavily developed systems in the Inner Sphere.
  • Aleph Absolute  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Collinder 359: Young open cluster in the Keter Dominion, site of the largest archailect concentration in known space.
  • Aquila Rift, The  - Text by Steve Bowers
    A series of dark, dusty nebulae in the Orion Arm
  • Arbiter B-IIX - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Located in the Keter dominion. Center of the Pulsar Alignment Movement and an important wormhole nexus.
  • Archon - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    In Classical Gnosticism, one of the lesser gods or rulers of the material world, as distinguished from the Aeons or transcendent divinities of pure Spirit; in late Federation Hermeticism, a supernatural god or deity, usually associated with a particular archetype; in the Keter dominion, a secondary archailect charged with overseeing a star system or local sector.
  • Auto-Holding-Container  - Text by Rakuen07
    Keterist training manual-entity developed in the early 2000's by the Church of The Truly Re-Engineered Light to introduce converts to the tenets of hyper-rational anarchy and Keterism.
  • Barawatten  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Also known as 70 Ophiuchi II-2. A Europan type moon of the major gas giant Garell. The current allegiance of the inhabitants is to Keter.
  • Barboro  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Psi Capricorni, one of first Keterist systems to be established.
  • Branswerg (Gliese 868)  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    One of the first Keterist systems.
  • Ceres Mater  - Text by Mark Ryherd
    An early Keterist colony populated by the nanocyborg Clade Columbia-Bartlebel emigrating from Ceres.
  • Crustuse (Kokok IX)  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    A potted world in the Kokok system.
  • Eklund ISO - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Historical Keterist world, exploiting the tremendous computing resources of the ISO for historical simulations/recreations (often called retreations) based on all available evidence and the self-consistency of history. Beside the Institute of Long-Range Cliology it is also known for the the Resurrection Orbit, a corporate brotherhood specializing in resurrecting versions of historical persons from the Institute retreations.
  • Enigma Cluster, The (NGC 6755)  - Text by Steve Bowers
    A former Keter cluster brain which has disappeared, leaving a mysterious network of wormholes behind.
  • Everypath - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Secular keterist splice-tweak culture, together with Fredholm regarded as masters of genetic provolution.
  • Fredholm - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Home to a secular Keterist splice/tweak culture. Together with Everypath regarded as masters of genetic provolve. Includes Beetan Orbital ISO, where a detailed plagiate of the great vec artist Inner Enrastered Link Connection that had been pirate-freed by platonic activists was granted asylum.
  • Gaia Engelbrech   - Text by Thorbørn Steen
    A virtual world located inside a moon node near the fringe of Keterist space.
  • Golden Stirner, The  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Keterist military-economical ISO.
  • 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!"
  • Greenice of Palmas  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    MPA-Keterist mind designer and ascendist.
  • Henson  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Panthalassic waterworld containing extensive water-cooled cybercosm
  • Ivonya-Ngia  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Former Elephant colony in Aquila. Now a cosmopolitan world with many clades.
  • Kaana (Gaia BH3)  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Large stellar-mass black hole in Aquila.
  • Keter (archailect)  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Major S6 Archailect, also known as the Volite, The First Point, and the Transcendent One.
  • Keterism  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Spiritual-social philosophical framework, the core ideology/religion of the Keter Dominion.
  • Lam Wai-Chun (Chi Draconis)  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Chi Draconis V. Former member of the Penglai Empire. In the 4450 general elections the population chose to join the Keter Dominion and later came to collectively ascend in the 5300's.
  • MPA-Keterism - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Syncretistic mixtures of MPA materialism and Keterism. The combination is an extroverted form of Keterism, seeking not just the individual perfection and maximization of potential, but also the awakening of potential wherever it exists. Widespread in the MPA, and often influencing the local politics. It is often recognized by the use of the dictum "Everything strives". Particularly dominant in the Jewelled Habitats in the Arkab Prior B necklace.
  • Mu Capricorni  - Text by A. C. Maté
    Inner Sphere system with four Arean type worlds.
  • Murmant, The  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    A long-lived Keterist entity that acts as a kind of journalist, information miner and complexity manager.
  • Reality Intertextualization Project  - Text by ProxCenBound
    Project with the mission to detect other realities; determine, if possible, what conditions are like in these realities; and to contact any intelligent beings that may live there. In 10495, the RIP claimed to have detected indisputable evidence of intelligent life in one of these realms. Efforts to contact them are underway.
  • Tylansia  - Text by Darren Ryding
    A relatively small independent baseline planetary colony in the Hinteregions, near the borders of the Keter Dominion and the Archosaurian Empire.
  • Uppalavanna Complex, The  - Text by Steve Bowers
    A Keterist system which includes numerous Ascension Mazes.
  • World Garden, The  - Text by Dangerous Safety (2020)
    A collection of hundreds of artificial planets with exotic environments
Related Topics
Development Notes
Text by Rakuen07

Initially published on 07 February 2024.

Full Data Panel added November 2011, then rewritten 2024
Added a downloadable logo October 2022

Expanded February 2024 by Rakuen07, from the original short article by Anders Sandberg, written 26 June 2000.
Additional Information