The Pax Era refers to the historical period coming after the Web Era, and arising from the The Fall of the Farcasters. It was a time in which the Catholic Church, via the Pax, was the primary governing body over most worlds of the human diaspora. One of the main tools used to achieve dominance over most human beings was the Cruciform, which by that period had been perfected by the TechnoCore so that it no longer caused harmful side effects such as the loss of cognitive abilities and sexlessness. Given the opportunity to become quasi-immortal, entire worlds converted to Christianity and submitted to the control of the Church's governing entities embodied in the Pax.
Consequently, the Pax took control over interstellar travel and commerce among former Hegemony worlds. It also had complete military control of human space, possessing state-of-the-art faster-than-light technology such as the Gideon Drive ships like the Raphael.
As Tau Ceti Center had once been the center of the human civilization, during the Pax Era, Pacem - home to the Vatican - became the most important and capital planet, now terraformed even further, making it a very pleasant world. Its population ballooned and real estate prices skyrocketed, which didn't stop people from living near the world, in an array of orbital living units around the world.
During this Era, the Pax didn't exactly forcefully convert all peoples under its control, but exerted constant pressure. Vitus-Gray-Balianus B, for instance, despite being a non-Christian world, had Pax bases at Bombasino and missionaries set on converting individuals. Other non-Christian worlds under its influence include New Harmony, Renaissance Minor's terraformed moon. Mare Infinitus with its pagan fishfolk similarly largely resisted Christianity and the Cruciform.
Just like the Web Era in centuries past, the Pax Era was marked by humankind's unknown submission to the TechnoCore by way of its Cruciform-perfecting technology, as well as other technologies such as the Gideon Drive.
End of the Pax Era
SPOILER ALERT! The section(s) below are MAJOR SPOILERS.
The Pax Era lasted for 300 years and came to an end following the Aenean Shared Moment which revealed to all mankind the true motives and intentions of the Catholic Church and its nefarious relationship with the TechnoCore. As a result, much of humankind turned against the Pax, taking over control of their worlds, including Pacem, which was retaken by reforming forces within the Church. The mass acceptance of Aenea's DNA Sacrament further eroded Pax control. Finally, all-out war was declared against the Pax. Some forces remained loyal to the Pax, which ended in the final Pax stronghold planet of St. Theresa.
- Worlds Enough & Time, 2002, 73-130