Biography[edit | edit source]
Eric Langhorne was born in the Terran Federation. He witnessed the destruction of human civilization by the Gbaba, and adopted a neo-Luddite philosophy. He believed the war was a consequence of "reckless" human innovation, and viewed the Federation's advanced technology as corrupting. He also exhibited megalomaniacal tendencies. Commodore Pei Kau-yung later theorized that these characteristics were what prompted Operation Ark's mission planners to select Langhorne as administrator, in favor of a less radical candidate.
Langhorne rejected Operation Ark's original plan to constrain human technology to a pre-electrical level while the survivors of the Federation hid from the Gbaba, before gradually re-introducing knowledge and building the strength and innovations necessary to survive. He believed that the only way to protect humanity would be to permanently restrict technological advancement. He conspired with Dr. Adoreé Bédard to impose his radical new plan. While the colony fleet was in its long flight in hyperspace away from Federation space, Bédard re-wrote the memories of the millions of cryogenically preserved colonists to eliminate all memory of humanity's ancient history and the Gbaba. Bédard programmed the colonists to instead believe, upon their awakening on Safehold, that they had just been created by a god, and that the administrators of Operation Ark were divine Angels.
While Pei Shan-wei worked to terraform Safehold, Langhorne purged Operation Ark's administrative board, replacing the members with similar-minded sycophants. This empowered him to sustain the changes he had made in direct contravention to Operation Ark's original mission plan. For several decades, Langhorne built a new universal religion on Safehold anchored by the Church of God Awaiting. The new faith was systemically designed to permanently eliminate technological development. Langhorne took the identity of Archangel Langhorne and acted as God's divine representative on Safehold.
Shan-wei's Rebellion[edit | edit source]
Shan-wei and several other administrators were shocked and dismayed at the changes Langhorne made, but they were powerless to stop them, and so they created the Alexandria Enclave on Safehold's southernmost contintent. When Shan-wei openly defied Langhorne's demands to comply with his new order and abandon advanced technology, he used a kinetic bombardment platform that had been constructed in secret in orbit around Safehold to destroy Alexandria and turn it into the cursed wasteland known as Armageddon Reef. Shan-wei and all of her followers were killed. Shortly afterward, Shan-wei's "estranged" husband Kau-yung used a vest-pocket nuke to kill himself, Langhorne and most of his inner circle in a counter attack. However, at least one of the "Archangels," the author of the Holy Writ Maruyama Chihiro, survived.
Legacy[edit | edit source]
Langhorne and the other "Archangels" were permanently enshrined as victims of treachery by "Archangel" Shan-wei and her followers, and the Book of Chihiro was added to the Writ to account for Shan-wei's "betrayal." The names of Langhorne, who in the Church's lore became a martyred prophet, and Shan-wei, who was made into a Lucifer-like figure, came to be commonly used to express surprise, shock, or dismay. Langhorne was treated as the patron of divine law and order, and the most important of all the "Archangels," though the priestly order named for him had fallen out of prominence by the Year of God 890. (OAR)