History[edit | edit source]
Having seen her parents succumb to the Omnius Scourge on Parmentier and barely surviving herself, young Rayna began her personal crusade against the machines. Claiming to have had a vision of Serena (possibly a hallucination caused by her illness), Rayna began destroying both electronic and mechanical machines, including innocuous devices and desperately needed medical equipment. The subsequent antitechnology mobs hampered the work and threatened the lives of Mohandas Suk and Raquella Berto-Anirul, doctors who had established the Hospital for Incurable Diseases. Suk and Berto-Anirul barely escaped the planet. She head been joined by the Martyrists, who worshipped the Three Martyrs who instantly took Rayna’s mission. In 88 BG, the Cult started destroying machines on Salusa Secundus.
Led by Rayna who was relocated on Salusa Secundus by her brother, the Cult of Serena caused more mayhem for humans than the thinking machines. After the Butlerian Jihad, machine destruction spread to the inhabited planets in renewed waves, wiping out most machine-based technology and also the majority of historical documents. Culture based on the production of highly developed machines survived only on Ix and Richese. The Cultists traveled to many devastated League Worlds to perform their crusade until they returned to Zimia in 88 BG.
Interim Viceroy Faykan Butler, Rayna's uncle, asked her to control her masses and march in an "orderly fashion", not to devastating the city in their emotional fervor Rayna incited. Faykan promised to introduce appropriate legislation that will forbid the development of any devices or circuits that even remotely resemble gelcircuitry computers, even punishing those who would refuse.
Some of the Cultist had infiltrated the ranks of the Zimia Guard while zealots had discovered infiltrators placed among them (perhaps by Faykan) and killed them quietly. Upon learning of it, Rayna ordered that such activities must stop, and her lieutenants grudgingly agreed (or they simply no longer intended to tell her about their secret murders).
Despite inherent double standards (such as the destruction of some technology, but the continuous use of spaceships) within the group, the Cult’s legacy endured. One of the primary commandments in the Orange Catholic Bible, “Thou shall not make a machine in the likeness of a human mind,” is attributed directly to Rayna Butler. Furthermore, the group is responsible for the strict rules banning all thinking machines under pain of death (and sometimes torture).