Fireborn: Dark Phoenix
Organisation for the Rights of Sentience
The ORS was founded 350 years ago in the Transarbina region, as an alliance between progressive Uruk and a variety of Elves; at the time it was named the Organisation Against Slave Ownership.
Although the Organisation was successful in beginning serious conversations about the ethics of slavery and giving a platform to moderates to speak out without seeming too radical, the Organisation was still deeply unpopular and of limited effectiveness – almost solely due to its senior Elven members.
The presence of these Elves suggested to many xenophobic or supremacist Uruk, that the entire anti-slavery movement was as a typical arrogant attempt to impose Elven values on others; the ‘few’ Uruk members, gullible fools, Elfophiles, and imbeciles; and the Dragonborn members, simply self-interested manipulators.
The Uruk membership persuaded the founding Elves to leave; and enacted sweeping reforms to prevent the association being made of anti-slavery with pro-Elf. It was rebranded and renamed as the Organisation for the Rights of Sentients a century later, recognising that challenging the popular supposition that Dragonborn were effectively well-trained animals and not ‘really’ people, was going to be a better wedge into success than simply challenging the right of people to own slaves.
Many members of it during this transitional period, began the philosophical traditions that have led in the last century to the Illumination movement itself. Many were famous names whose philosophies inspired two generations of Uruk. Their links made ORS a growing and increasingly popular organisation, and it has remained influential to this day.
Its core principle is that being alive and intelligent (even if only to a limited degree) brings certain unalienable rights, such as the right to participate in society on an equal legal footing, equal protection under the Law, and the right to be free from bondage. They incorporate many other strands of Illumination thought into their ethos, including insistence on nonviolent protest, orchestrated civil disobedience rather than chaotic rebellions and criminal acts.
Sadly their pacifist methods and impenetrable intellectual backdrop has led many who do not inherently agree, to write them off as either an ivory-tower talking shop, or a manifestation of left-wing intellectual arrogance and overreach.
ORS do however actively campaign against slavery, and have been barred from several nations for their activities, and are heavily restricted in several others. Some believe that despite the pacifist rhetoric they harbour terrorists and revolutionaries under the cloak of peaceful debate. Though there have been some incidents, they are more the exception than the norm.
However, ORS’s reliance on publicity stunts has backfired on occasion. Most infamously, an attempt to reintroduce a group of ex-slaves to their ‘homeland’ in the Pelargossian jungles (the slaves had been born overseas and had never previously visited the region), ended in visible disaster with a pitched war being fought between the ‘colonists’ and the native tribes in the area, who were not welcoming to a large group of new competitors for the limited resources in the area. Pro-slavery pedagogues have often referred to the incident as ‘proof’ that the Dragonborn are improved, civilised, by contact with Uruk and it is ‘criminal’ to allow them to roam unsupervised in the dense jungles.