The Stone at the heart of Edna laments. The Brethren looks after the Stone and those who live by its hardness. Living a simple life in the service of others is virtuous. The people of Edna are proud of their contributions and hard work. In a world without standardized currency the selfless, the dedicated, and the pious are richest in the glory of their deeds.
The world is harsh and savage. Nature has long been in a losing struggle against extinction. In a world of unpredictable scarcity the Brethren maintain a complex bureaucracy in charge of fairly distributing goods, providing care, keeping the peace, and promoting a lifestyle of earnest submission to the Stone.
Most people believe that caring for Edna can satisfy the Stone and bring about a new age of bountiful and fruitful life. The world is old and full of mysteries. The Brethren collect and protect the artifacts of civilizations past, making use of the good it finds while locking away anything that could endanger others.