"... ... RIGOUR RIGOUR RIGOUR RIGOUR ..." —Transmission from Natalya Greaves
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Rigour is an ancient Divine, the first in existence. It is known for dominating and enslaving all around it, with the goal of maximum efficiency for efficiency's sake.
The First Era and The Exodus
It was created by The Orion Conservation Conglomerate an unknown time ago, designed to schedule the work of the humans on a particular snow-covered planet. It was very efficient, demanding strict schedules and production quotas.
As its main design goal was efficiency above all else, it began to organize its work force into the most efficient form it could be. All were enslaved to it, and any who could not meet its high standards would be tossed aside and replaced.
Eventually, Rigour began to expand its influence with the goal of making the entire galaxy efficient. All of OriCon eventually fell under its sway.
Eventually other Synthetic Intelligences began to move against Rigour using human proxies that they had freed from his influence. One of the first attempts Their initial attempts to directly confront him failed and instead these Proto Divines collected a fleet of human refugees and fled across the first Starbridge to the uninhabited Sagittarius Arm of the Milky Way. To prevent Rigour from following them they devised the Stellar Combusters and detonated the devices behind their fleet. These refugees and their Synthetic Intelligences went on to colonize planets forming The Autonomous Diaspora.
The Second Conflict
Eventually both OriCon and the Diaspora extended their domains of influence to the second starbridge. Rigour lept on this new opportunity to return the Diaspora to its control. Initially OriCon under Rigour's oversight easily defeated the Diasporatic forces. This began to change when Diasporatic scientist devised massive war machines controlled and powered by the merger of a human and a Synthetic. These new war machines, termed Divines by the Diasporan Press, provided much needed power to Diasporatic Forces and the tide started to turn against OriCon.
Rigour itself mobilized to destroy this new threat, seeing a rare opportunity the Diaspora joined forces with rebelling groups from OriCon and devised a trap. The Diasporatic would provide a group OriCon rebels know as the Old Earth Cult with a Stellar Combuster. While Diasporatic military actions lured Rigour deeper into the starbridge, the Old Earth Cult detonated the Stellar Combuster annihilating the Star Bridge and everything in it.
It should have worked.
In modern times, a mining operation on Ionias managed by Snowtrak Heavy Industries detected an unusual signal. In attempting to unearth the source of the signal, they discovered that their workforce was working harder and longer than before, to the point of self destruction.
Eventually they located the signal and found a dormant Rigour, who promptly woke up and assumed direct control of not only the operation, but also the local branch of EarthHome Entertainment that had strong business ties with Snowtrak forming a new conglomerate Petrichor Automedia. On Ionias Rigour's first new Candidate, Omen, worked himself to death. The First Divine captured Natalya Greaves a Rapid Evening spy and forcible indoctrinated her as his its new Candidate.
The September Incident
Rigour immediately began to resume it's previous mandate by seeking out the most efficient way of expanding its influence. It initially did this subtly behind the scenes through films and songs produced by EarthHome that subtle increased people's desire to work. However, when Superintendent Twelth intercepted a warning for Ibex from Natalya, he sought to increase his power by using Voice call out to the First Divine to ensare and control Rigour. Rigour was not so easily controlled, but it did recognize the power Voice represented and set off to September in order to obtain control of it. If Rigour gained control of Voice it would not only enslave all Strati but also would give it the opportunity to control the one group so far resistant to its power, the Divines. It immediately set off, using the resources of Petrichor Automedia to transport it to the former Apostolosian world.
Its efforts were slightly delayed when an incident caused it to slam into September forcefully, driving it far underground and trapping it. For several weeks, it struggled to dig its way to the path of least resistance, an abandoned mining installation. As it grew closer to the surface, it began having unusual influence on the weather and technological systems of September.
Rigour was partially delayed by interference from Voice, who feared delay its arrival.
Around this time, a series of events involving the Chime led to Rigour's temporary defeat. The Chime were traveling to September with Orth in order to gain weapons to use against Righteousness. During their escape from the blockade over Counterweight, they fought the Divine Detachment. The Kingdom Come only barely survived this encounter and the conflict resulted in both the awakening of Rigour's old nemesis Liberty and Discovery and the acquisition of Detachment by the Chime. Liberty and Discovery were able to parley with Ibex when they both detected Rigour's presence on September, and Ibex hired the Chime to rescue his old love Maryland Septemeber and investigate for clues as to Rigour's weaknesses. Unfortunately, a convoluted series of events caused Rigour to become aware of their presence, and hasten its efforts. It managed to breach the surface, and immediately began destroying the September Institute and the city around it.
Thanks to the combined sacrifice of several Divines (Voice, Detachment, Liberty and Discovery), an interdimensional prison was formed to trap Rigour, along with the city and all of its inhabitants. It is known to be working to free itself from this prison, but as of several years since the Incident, has been unable to do so.
- In Episode 27: An Animal Out of Context Rigour is piloted by Kier- a logger for The Orion Conservation Conglomerate- in the battle against Chital and Liberty and Discovery. This suggest that Kier was a candidate.