instrumentality-8116-ei15INSTRUMENTALITY
This is a partial/starter profile to build upon as I progressively review the Dreadstar series


Leadership: Lord High Papal, Cardinal Spydar;
    formerly
Syzygy Darklock, Sister Marian,

Divisions: Deacons of Deltor, Order of Vieltoor, Techno-Spirituals,

General Membership:
    possibly
Ravol Darklock,
    formerly Ajar'l Darklock, Cula Darklock, Lena Darklock, Woolfor Darklock

Military Units: 7th Sacred Division;

Purpose: Rule, conquest, worship

Aliases

Affiliations: Gods of the Instrumentality;
    hundreds of world were under the Instrumentality's dominion (including Altarix, Caldor, Tortorelzor (aka the Rock))

Enemies: ;
    formerly the Monarchy (notably
King Nellor, King Gregzor)

Base of Operations: Alternate Reality (Reality-8116);
    headquarters/base on the planet Altarix;
    formerly occupied a portion of Jaxon's Tomb;
    active throughout the Empirical Galaxy;

First Appearance: "The Price," Eclipse Graphic Album Series#5 (1981) - see comments

Powers/Abilities: The Instrumentality is a powerful, mystical religious order (theocracy) that ruled its half of the galaxy through fear of damnation, Heavenly edict, occasionally mass inquistions, and an army of holy warriors.

Catorlite

instrumentality-8116-symbolicwarpictureHistory:

("The Price," Eclipse Graphic Album Series#5 (fb) - BTS) - The Instrumentality is a powerful, mystical religious order that ruled through fear of damnation, Heavenly edict, occasionally mass inquistions, and an army of holy warriors.

    The other major power in the Empirical Galaxy was the Monarchy, a 12 century old dynasty.

("The Price" (fb) - BTS) <Over 200 years before the main story> - When the Monarchy and Instrumentality each laid claim to the small world of Nimbus, the two governments -- both of whom had gods and the might of several hundred worlds on their side -- decided that the only way to settle the dispute was all-out war, which continued for over 200 years.

("The Price" (fb) - BTS) - During the first 100 years of the war, big busines reveled, as productivity and profit skyrocketed, and industry expansion went wild.

    The second century of the war, however, was marked by stagnation as there was no more space, market, or resources with which to grow. The economy was left in a state that it would collapse without a war to support it.

("The Price" (fb) - BTS) - Over the last 200 years, the two super powers continued the star system-spanning conflict, but they adjusted to its existence. Only the outer planets ever became involved in the war. For the inner planets, it was business as usual, except for the occasional government announcement of victory or disaster in one of the outer colonies.

    The planet Altarix was deep within the protective folds of the Instrumentality, and it was the homeworld of the Order of Vieltoor, the Instrumentality's mystic arm.

("The Price" (fb) - BTS) - The Instrumentality was aware of the power of the infidel Taurus Killgaren, black sorcerer of the Dread Veil Plane, whose legendary power dwarfed even the Instrumentality's High Lord Papal. Because of his power, the Instrumentality saw fit to leave him in peace as long as he left them in peace.

("The Price" (fb) - BTS) <A few decades before the main story> - Dread Veil Sorcerer Taurus Killgaren discovered a potential future stellar event that would have a tremendous and very positive effect on existence. Learning that one of the Darklock brothers was destined to be a major factor in this grand scheme, Killgaren chose Syzygy and influenced him into joining the priesthood of the Instrumentality, within with he rose to Lord High Bishop within the Order of Vieltoor. Syzygy ultimately sought to rule the Instrumentality and put an end to the war with the Monarchy.Ajar'l Darklock became an executive tax lawyer for the Instrumentality.

("The Price" (fb) - BTS) - Ajar'l led an army of clerical detectives who sifted through mountains of tribute returns each year, looking for those sinners who sought to defraud the church of its "rightful" 25% of every citizen's income.

("The Price" (fb) - BTS) - There were "wild/whispered rumors" about how the church dealt with tribute evaders.

("The Price" - BTS) - Ultimately, Killgaren arranged the murder of Ajar'l Darklock by demon agents associated with Bialgesuard.

("The Price" (fb) - BTS) - The investigating police captain assumed Ajar'l's death to have been the result of some outlaw fringe religious cult, some sort of human sacrifice, although the security officer felt the butchery didn't look to be the work of any human killer.

("The Price" (fb) - BTS) - As the security force was legally not allowed to investigate any crime involving any mystical power or element, the Papal division sent a cardinal, who examined Ajar'l's remains and ruled that no supernatural agency had anything to do with it.

("The Price") - Syzygy learned of his brother's brutal passing, the official ruling, and the security officer's suspicions and met with the Lord Papal, requesting a leave of absence from his studies to put Ajar'l's affairs in orders.

    The Papal offered his condolences and granted Syzygy leave but also strongly advised him -- as a fellow mystic of the Brotherhood -- to remember the church's stand on its bishops using the powers granted them on non-Instrumentality-sanctioned ventures, such as seeking vengeance on what appeared to be demonic killing. The Papal stated "May the Gods of the Instrumentality watch over you," but Syzygy considered that he meant "May they keep an eye on me."

    Secretly sensing Killgaren's involvement in the death of Ajar'l Darklock, the Lord Papal knew Syzygy would investigate, and he allowed this, hoping to see his rival eliminated

("The Price" - BTS) - Syzygy discovered the involvement of and confronted Bialgesuard, who led Syzygy to gain the power to defeat Killgaren but allowed the power to mutate and physically cripple Syzygy before saving him. Rebult as a cyborg, Sygyzy confronted and slew Killgaren after learning his motivations. Reluctantly accepting his destiny, Syzygy sacrificed his greatest love to gain even greater power from the demon Slytis.

("The Price") - Syzygy met with the Papal, noting that he was leaving the priesthood, although both men were aware of each others actions, motivations, etc. After Syzygy's departure, the Papal was disgusted that Cardinal Spydar could not sense Syzygy's power, which he felt must be nearly equal to that of one of the gods.  Appeciating that Syzygy would menace the Instrumentality in the future, the Papal thanked the stars that there were twelve Gods of the Instrumentality.

(Marvel Graphic Novel#3 (fb) - BTS) - The Instrumentality's 7th Sacred Division occupied the small, mineral-rich satellite known as Jaxon's Tomb, where they fought against the Monarchy's 2nd Royal Division, led by Captain Dreadstar.

    Dreadstar's orders led Monarchy forces to retake section seven and send the Instrumentality forces there into full retreat.

    As Dreadstar was being too successful and the Monarchy did not actually want to win the war (due to economics), he was reassigned to be serve in the Royal Palace's military liaison office in Jewelcity, Jewelworld.


Comments: Created by Jim Starlin.

Dreadstar / Reality-8116 primer

    The Price was originally published in black and white in Eclipse Graphic Album Series #5 (1981). It was reprinted, with colorized artwork, in Dreadstar Annual#1 (1983) by Epic (the licensed characters/stories division of Marvel)

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
The Instrumentality has no known connections to




Gods of the Instrumentality


("The Price" (fb) - BTS) - The Instrumentality worshipped a group of twelve gods.

("The Price" (fb) - BTS) - The High Lord Papal grew fond of being the right hand of the Gods.

("The Price" - BTS) - As High Bishop Syzygy Darklock prepared to investigate the demonic slaying of his brother, Ajar'l, the Lord Papal -- who knew what Syzygy would do, regardless of laws to the contrary -- told him "May the Gods of the Instrumentality watch over you," but Syzygy considered that he meant "May they keep an eye on me."

("The Price") - After Syzygy gained vast power and departed the priesthood, the Papal considered that Syzygy's power must be nearly equal to that of one of the gods. Appeciating that Syzygy would menace the Instrumentality in the future, the Papal thanked the stars that there were twelve Gods of the Instrumentality.


--(Behind-the-scenes) "The Price" (possibly one of them, the "god" who would cause Syzygy's end was shown in shadow in the image of Killgaren's prophecy)



Order of Vieltoor

Membership: Formerly Syzygy Darklock, Lord High Papal; presumably Cardinal Spydar

Base of Operations: Presumably Altarix

("The Price" (fb) - BTS) - The Secret Order of Vieltoor Instrumentality's mystical arm, composed of those daring and mysterious holy men who delved into, studied, and communicated with the Instrumentality's supernatural forces. They dealt with "all those things you can't see in the shadows every day."

("The Price" (fb) - BTS) - The Lord Papal (and presumably Cardinal Spydar) were part of the Order of Vieltoor.

("The Price" (fb) - The Price was originally published in black and white in Eclipse Graphic Album Series #5 (1981). It was reprinted, with colorized artwork, in Dreadstar Annual#1 (1983) by Epic (the licensed characters/stories division of Marvel)BTS) <one year before the main story> - Syzygy Darklock reached the position of high bishop in the Order of Vieltoor.

("The Price" (fb) - BTS) - After Ajar'l Darklock had been slain by demonic means, the High Papal told Syzygy that, as a priest of the holy order, he offered his most sincere condolences to him in this dark hour. He further advised that, as a fellow mystic of the Brotherhood, he strongly advised him to remember well the church's stand on its bishops using the powers granted them on non-instrumentality-sanctioned ventures.

("The Price" (fb) - BTS) - Having gone through with his mission and gained great mystic power, Syzygy informed the Lord Papal of his decision to leave the Order and Altarix.


--(Behind-the-scenes) "The Price"

Note: I would assume the Order of Vieltoor is the same Brotherhood to which the Lord Papal referred.



Techno-Spirituals


("The Price" (fb) - BTS) - The Techno-Spirituals are the holy men of the Instrumentality who actually run the political and bureaucratic machinery of the Instrumentality


--(Behind-the-scenes) "The Price"


7th Sacred Division


(Marvel Graphic Novel#3 (fb) - BTS) - The Instrumentality's 7th Sacred Division occupied the small, mineral-rich satellite known as Jaxon's Tomb, where they fought against the Monarchy's 2nd Royal Division, led by Captain Dreadstar.

    Dreadstar's orders led Monarchy forces to retake section seven and send the Instrumentality forces there into full retreat.

    As Dreadstar was being too successful and the Monarchy did not actually want to win the war (due to economics), he was reassigned to be serve in the Royal Palace's military liaison office in Jewelcity, Jewelworld.

--Marvel Graphic Novel#3: The Metamorphosis Odyssey Book Three: Dreadstar

Note: I do not think the 7th Sacred Division was actually shown.




images: (without ads)
  "The Price," story pg. 1, panel 1 (population and symbolic picture with Instrumentality and Monarchy symbols);
Epic Illustrated#15/4: Dreadstar, story pg. 1, panel 2 (symbolic image with image of the Lord Papal looming over holy warrior, priest, and nun) - scanned from Dreadstar: The Beginning


Appearances:
"The Price," Eclipse Graphic Album Series#5 (1981) - Jim Starlin (writer/artist); I don't know who edited it; reprinted in Epic's Dreadstar Annual#1 (1983) it credited Jo Duffy (associate editor) and Archie Goodwin (editor)
Marvel Graphic Novel#3: The Metamorphosis Odyssey Book Three: Dreadstar (1982) - Jim Starlin (writer/artist), Archie Goodwin & Jo Duffy (editor)


First started 08/05/2023
First posted:
Last updated: 03/02/2024

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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