Species: The Rakka are a species descended from opportunistic carrion-eating scavengers. Regardless of technological advancements, the Rakka are still what their ancestors were – opportunistic carrion-eating scavengers. They look like beak faced rats that walk on two legs. They are smaller and weaker compared to most other races but make up for it with their clever nature and numbers. The creatures breed like rabbits and live a generally short lifespan, twenty years at most, making societal advancements at a slower pace than others.
Description of government: For millions of years, the Rakka have been trapped on their homeworld in solidarity, constantly competing against one another for resources in small clans. It hasn't been until recently that a miracle Rakka was born, a strong willed being whom unlike the rest of his kind, has somehow achieved immortality. After hundreds of years of uniting Rakka clans under his own banner, the immortal one has become an emperor, a living deity worshipped for his everlasting life and genius. The Rakka fight one another to achieve any sort of standing in their life, leading a band of scavenging warriors at best. Still, any Rakka currently living has only known the Emperor as being a worthy leader and follow his command before any other.
Description of military: They have no organization though the Rakka have great numbers and are known to use their enemy's weapons against them. Capturing damaged ships and weaponry and combining them with their own makeshift devices. Most of it is junk but the Rakka make the most out of it. Compared to most militaries of this age, they may seem literally as dangerous as a rat. However, those who have survived the overwhelming number of the creatures, even though they were only armed with light guns and melee weapons, cowered in fear as the overwhelming numbers encroached upon them.
Technological Overview: The Rakka were still in the dark ages when they were first discovered by a spacefaring species, but they were soon aiming for the stars after stealing the technology of aliens. Although they have yet to come up with their own design on this sort of technology, they are adept at using it with their own adaptations, using junk to replace any damage as time goes on. Because of this, many of their ships have existed for hundreds of years and are significantly outdated, but are hardly recognizable for what they used to be now that they are mostly junk.
Cultural Overview: There isn't much of a culture beyond the worship of their supreme leader and infighting in order to place themselves in a hierarchy. The Rakka are only just now ending wars that have been waged against one another for hundreds of years. They are simple beings but thrive on making the best out of what they have. An example of their work would be a junked up ship with makeshift cannons attached to it. Of course, the ship would be painted red, because it goes faster.
History: A couple hundred years ago was the unification of Rakka kind. Great Rakka Klik the Undying defeated those who would challenge him and working his way from a small clan, soon became Lord of the Rakka, uniting the planet under one banner. As time moved on, the Rakka came to view Klik as a deity, with generation after generation holding him to more godlike standards. It wasn't until another species had located them on their homeworld that the united horde first waged war, stealing the strange space faring technology and adapting it to their own uses. Now, Lord Klik guides his people to the stars, hoping to salvage and steal what he can from the other worlds of the galaxy.
Other: Although the horde itself encompasses most of Rakka kind, the strange outlier here and there have managed to leave their people in search of adventure among the other races, working as scavengers, pilots, bounty hunters, and more within the confines of other societies.
Species: The Qits are the sole race that makes up the swarm - However, depending on your definitions of "race" or "Species," the Qits could be dozens of species that all share very similar genetic code, and fall under the same name. The Qits currently are in the ballpark of dogs-to-elephants in terms of size, and all possess characteristics reminiscent of insects, such as an exoskeleton and multiple eyes. Some characteristics that are very common include:
Black, beady eyes. Exoskeletons in darker shade of color. Very little, if any, hair. Cold-blooded.
What makes the species unique are two genetic traits that they possess - The ability to selectively pass on genetic material, and the psionic power that the rulers of the species possesses. These gifts have allowed the Qit to become unrivaled on two planets, and allow the Qit to copy and steal genetic information from other species and organisms. For examples of specific Qit units, please see Military and Technology overviews.
Description of government: The Qit Queens are connected via an incredibly powerful psionic connection, allowing them to speak at all times, and think in unison. This means all decisions are deliberated on for a few seconds, before the intelligent queens settle on an appropriate action. This is done for nearly every action that the queens take, from the establishment of a new hive, to the production of a different type of unit.
The Qits are a Direct Democracy.
Description of military: Qit military is almost exclusively based on close-quarter combat, with almost no air support. Qit military strategy usually involves attacking from below via burrowers, and then quickly swarming opponents. With no ships, they are unable to participate in ship battles, but are nearly unbeatable when boarding.
Despite their threatening appearance, the teeth are completely harmless – they are meant to assist in reducing drag and remove earth. The Burrower is covered in insanely thick armor, comparable to that of ships. In addition to this, it's streamlined design and relatively light body make it very fast, allowing it to dig at speeds that are unbecoming of the creature's size. Other than its armor and speed, however, the burrower lacks any traditional weaponry, relying on the units it carries with it in order to defend itself. They possess a drill-like tongue (5 Meters in Height and Width), which is easily able to dig earth and is nearly the Burrower's body length. This tongue can be controlled during hibernation, and is generally low-cost energy-wise, used to dig smaller tunnels when Queens are busy.
By far the largest creature that is mass produced in the Swarms, The burrower is over 100 meters in length, and 30 meters in diameter. These monsters are based off of a small worm found in the planets soil, which is capable of digging through solid stone. After increasing its size massively, along with its speed and ability to dig, the Burrower was born. The Burrower is without a doubt one of the strongest assets to the Qit in an invasion scenario – their ability to dig tunnels are unparalleled, even by the most advanced mining equipment. A Burrower does not need to breath, can withstand insane pressures, and can dig/swim 60 mph, 100 if they are straining themselves. They were the creatures that created the tunnel and caverns throughout Nesnora 25L, and should a single burrower get into the soil of a planet, removing a Qit presence becomes exponentially more difficult. A burrower is mostly empty, which allows them to have such gargantuan size while being relatively light. The largest organ being its Transport Stomach – Which can hold a truly staggering number of units.
Stingers are reminiscent of earth wasps – if children had nightmares about giant, murderous wasps. They possess 4 wings, which vibrate quickly to allow the Stinger flight. They possess weak legs, mostly used for carrying larvae and eggs rather than supporting the Stingers weight. When sleeping, they simply land onto the ground, and begin flying again once they have finished resting. The most pronounced part of their bodies are the thorax and stinger, the thorax being a repository which contains roughly 20 stingers at a time. Powerful muscles located at the stinger base, along with chemical reactions and a buildup of gases all work together to allow the Stinger to launch its payload across large distances with strength and accuracy. Unfortunately, it's only real defenses are its shields – the regular exoskeleton is weaker than average, and can be damaged with small arms fire. The Claws above the shield are difficult to use in combat, but are able to cut through trees and similar materials with relative ease, similar to an axe.
One of the few fliers within the Swarms, the Stingers dominate the skies of Nesnora 25L. They are similar in size to a Soldier, but are not bipedal. And are relatively weak at lifting. In exchange, however, Stingers can shoot with surprising strength at long distances, and are some of the only aerial support the Qit has. They are the closest thing the Qit has to artillery, and the Stinger, while slow, has a maximum altitude of nearly 1 mile. A Stinger needs only an hour of sleep a day, and possess excellent senses, making them a good scouting unit. Along with this, they can secrete paralyzing toxins from their stingers, allowing them to take down larger prey alive. Due to their weak leg strength, they are unable to land and be fed by Feeders, which means they must either hunt their own food, or a queen must use another unit to collect the feed and give it to the Stinger. A stinger eats as much food as two humans.
Resembling a cockroach, the Soldiers are an impressive 2 Meters tall, and have a thick exoskeleton defending them from harm. They have strong teeth, which not only allow them to eat nearly any material, but also look creepy to most creatures. They do not possess eyes, instead relying on echolocation and their psionic connection to others in order to "see". This, however, will cause them to be very disorientated in underwater environments, or if sound is unable to travel. Soldiers are constantly grinning, and are known to be eaten by other Qit in times of famine. They taste like chicken, but with less fat and more muscle. The muscles of a soldier can, when pushed hard enough, crack their exoskeletons, and they are usually killed since regrowing an exoskeleton takes too long.
The most basic unit in the Swarms, the Soldier is a melee infantry that is meant to double as a worker or drone. They specialize in combat in an enclosed space where they can make use of their Legs and Claws – Like a tunnel. The Swarms uses them as swarming units, and can take down very large prey using this simple tactic. Coupled with the Soldier's relatively high strength, they make the perfect swarming unit. They have one of the lowest energy costs in the entire Swarms, being able to survive off of half of what normal humans need. They can usually be found underground, digging tunnels, moving food and larvae, or hunting above ground. Soldiers also possess small wings that are used to assist their jumps, which can reach up to 30 feet at maximum. Their claws can dig into steel, allowing them to climb metals that are weaker than or are as strong as steel.
The main body is fairly small, with most of the weight coming from the tail of the Parasite. A hard exoskeleton adorns the body, while the tail retains a fleshy composition. The tail itself is significantly larger and stronger than the rest of the body, capable of launching the Parasite several meters at rapid speeds. It's razor sharp legs are meant for crawling along surfaces, and as such, make traversing soft materials like carpet or soft soil more difficult. There are two ovipositors on the Parasite – one on the ventral side of the body, and one in the lower half of the Tail. The tail ovipositors are far less uncomfortable to be injected with then the body.
The Parasite was created in order to act as an assassination and recon unit. It is able to move more quickly and remain harder to find than nearly any other Qit, and possesses a razor-sharp tail in order to slice vital parts of creatures. It's staple, however, is implanting an undeveloped Qin embryo into the target – this embryo was altered in order to explode upon the mental command of a queen. The organic explosive will also go off should it exit the Queens psionic range. This organic bomb has several methods of assassination, depending on the strain – Spreading incredibly thin wires throughout the veins of a creature and thrashing wildly on command, releasing acidic blood to melt it from the inside, to even just exploding with force comparable to C4. Due to it's small size and relative fragility, however, it is generally not used in direct conflictt. Delivery of the embryo can be done orally, through the ventral ovipositor, or via injection, as the Bladed tail acts similarly to a syringe. A single Parasite can hold 5 embryos at a time and can regenerate them given time, but are usually killed off after finishing a single mission. They eat half of what a soldier does, but do not generally live long enough to feed.
Technological Overview: The Qit, most likely due to their incredible focus on biotechnology, do not use traditional tech. Instead, they use biological counterparts. They are not unwilling to use traditional tech, however, it seems that they do not wish to create their own.
The average queen stands at roughly 2 and a half meters tall, and is capable of flight. While the original queens were made primarily for reproduction and organization, modern Queens include wings in order to allow swift movement. They possess a poisonous spittle, both to protect themselves, and also to assist burrowers in digging the caverns. They have well-developed arms and hands in order to carry units across long distances or over obstacles, allowing mobility when there is no access to the tunnels. These hands are dexterous enough to allow complex manipulation of objects.
The Intelligent rulers of the Qit, the Queens engage in combat just like any other unit in the Swarms. They spend the majority of their time underground laying eggs, but several Queens will usually follow a group of other individuals. They are one of the few units in the Swarms capable of commanding the other Qit, and as such, any individual that exists in a Swarm must remain relatively close to a queen in order to live – The average queen has a range of control of about 10 miles, until her psionic abilities begin to taper off. They are the only units in the Swarms with intelligence, and unlike their minions, are actually willing to compromise and be diplomatic. They are comparable to living computers in terms of processing power, allowing them to think/make decisions quickly, and control the creatures she has dominion over. A Queen is capable of telepathy with non-Qit creatures, thanks to years of evolution in their psionic ability. This allows them to communicate with sentient beings, but this telepathy can be easily blocked out should the recipient wish to ignore the queen. Commands and orders from a queen on a non-Qit are, as expected, completely useless. They consume roughly as much as 3 humans.
The Ziz, unlike most Qit, lacks a direct bug-like appearance. Instead, it has an almost rocky exoskeleton, and barely looks biological at all. Internally, it shares many similarities with the Swarms other units. Many small tumors dot it's surface - these are the drop pods, ready to launch upon mental command. These drop pods are capable of surviving another full month apart from the ziz, but can only contain a small number of Qit The tail provides no speed at all, instead being used to latch onto larger ships and launch drop pods directly inside the ship. The armor on the creature actually acts as 1-way glass - light can get in, and photosynthesis is possible, but it cannot escape, creating the rocky-texture.
Without a doubt the second largest organic being in the known universe, following the Collective itself, the Ziz is the Swarms attempt to traverse the very stars. The Ziz was created after decades of specialization to survive the vacuum of space - and yet, it can only last a month or two before dying. Qit within the Ziz rapidly produce Methane, which the Ziz in turn uses for respiration, releasing oxygen as a waste product. This respiration, along with the along with the presence of feeders, allow the ziz to survive without feeding. Unfortunately, it's exterior can only survive so long without protection from the vacuum.
When spawned, the energy needed for the larva is condensed into a hyper-dense sphere, which is inside of the egg. The egg, overtime, floats up via a methane-filled balloon sac, slowly rising until it eventually escapes the atmosphere. As it does so, the egg grows steadily larger, and eventually, the egg hatches - the massive creature then immediately extends several large, tentacle-like organs to the ground, where the Qit can flow in. The Ziz is in hibernation a short time after hatching, waiting until feeders are planted inside of it before it awakens.
The ziz can move itself quickly by releasing various gasses, and while it's maneuverability and acceleration is poor because of this, it can reach absurd maximum, sub-light speeds. Unfortunately, deceleration is also a slow process, making hard turns and stops impossible for the Ziz. As expected, it is meant for transport, rather than combat.
One of the larger Qit, the Feeder is a combination of both plant and animal. The large sack on top of them is a specialized organ, which can inflate with an incredibly nutritious and calorie-dense pus. The opening below this is the siphon, from which a proboscis can exit. Upon receiving psionic commands, it can eject this pus from the proboscis, usually into a Qit's mouth. They are anchored into the ground via chitin-covered tendrils, which given time, could even burrow into solid steel. Underneath the Feeder is a large pit, where waste and biomass can be put into. Slowly, this is digested by the Feeder, becoming more pus.
About 6 meters in size, the Feeder is more of a structure than an actual Qit. This being is an amalgamation of many different plant species of Nesnora 25L. While most are highly poisonous, Qit genetic manipulation has allowed the Swarms to remove these qualities. Instead, the Feeder possesses insane cultivation abilities – it is capable of thriving in nearly any conditions. While it primarily relies on photosynthesis, it is more than capable of producing puss solely from nutrients in the soil, or even gases in the atmosphere via chemosynthesis. The life cycle of a feeder is as follows: A larvae, receiving enough food and a mental command, forms an egg around itself. Then, the egg sprouts secrete a corrosive acid, which slowly burrows the egg into a pit In the ground. Upon hatching, Tendrils begin to grow, and lift the Feeder. This is a 3-week period, and during it, the Feeder lays down root-like structures into the pit, along with an animal-like stomach. After these three weeks, the creature is fully grown, and begins to produce pus. A single feeder could supply food for 20 Humans daily if given sunlight, but only half as much if it must rely on chemosynthesis or Nutrients. With a steady supply of biomass and sunlight, they could produce enough pus to feed 30 Humans a day, but this is pushing the creature to it's limits, and could only be sustained for a week at most before it dies.
A soft, segmented creature, seemingly lacking any weapons. It possesses two "spines," which painlessly connect itself when it is inside of the host, usually along the stomach wall. Upon doing so, it slowly shifts until the two long spines are deep in the host, allowing the smaller spines to connect to the nervous and circulatory system. The fin-like protrusions are actually stores of chemicals and bacteria, which help adjust hormone levels and even act as a second immune system for the host. These chemicals can be any that the Qit has already consumed, but synthesis of harmful chemicals is impossible. Within each segment is a "Suicide organ," which kills the creature on command and slices it into many, very small chunks, allowing it to be digested and expelled from the body with waste. The mouth, Legs and eyes are leftovers from various species that form the symbiote, which were too hard-wired in the DNA to remove. As such, they are vestigial and useless.
The symbiote is the Qit's attempt to create a "gift" for other species. It is the only creature in the swarms capable of altering other beings besides the Qit, and does so from within the body. By connecting to the nervous system, it is able to directly interface with the brain, and force the hosts brain to use DNA provided by the Symbiote to alter itself. The extent which the host is able to alter itself is limited – they are able to make minor changes like increasing muscle mass and changing hair color incredibly easily, but something like introducing acidic blood, or beginning to grow chitin is beyond the Symbiote's current capabilities. Still, organs that are inside of a creature can be created by the Symbiote – such as creating organs for transplant that are identical to the host, and pose no risk or rejection. Unfortunately, new limbs or any major external feature is currently unavailable. Along with these, however, the Symbiote also acts similar to a stim pack – it can release any chemical that the Qit has consumed before, except poisonous ones. This allows an immediate introduction of morphine or adrenaline in a combat situation, should the Qit discover these substances. Finally, the Symbiote acts as a second immune system, being far more efficient at it as well – most diseases are completely eradicated by it, and several can be prevented by it as well, such as Alzheimer's and cancer.
Despite these boons, there are several drawbacks to using a Symbiote. They are not costly to create, however, supporting them is the hosts duty – even before altering the host, the hosts caloric requirement increases by 250 simply by hosting the creature. This increases dramatically the more alterations the hosts have. Additionally, while they act as an immune system, certain biological weapons would require intense research in order to counter, and may even be impossible to prevent. The process of actual implantation takes several hours, and is incredibly painful – the symbiote must enter through the hosts mouth, slowly crawling along until it reaches the stomach. The pain is so much that the host usually must be put under in order to endure – luckily, the recovery process is only a matter of days, less for races that have a fast regeneration speed. The symbiote dies after 3 year, when constant reproduction of STEM cells places too much stress on the creature. As such, any organs or alterations by the symbiote will slowly fade away, unless a new one is introduced.
Genetic Information Storage - Less of a technology and more of a use of the Collective. Should a queen ever consume biological matter, she is capable of identifying the genetic structure of it, and send a blueprint via the psionic connection, where it can be accessed by any other queen. This is stored in the Collective until it is needed. Chitin Mastery - The chitin of the Qit are impossible without the Qits direct influence - capable of stopping light arms fire easily, and withstanding extended exposure to medium arms fire, it can be sharp enough to cut through steel, and is relatively light. It is the material most exoskeletons and weapons are made of in the swarm.
Cultural Overview: The Qits lack any real sense of culture - all members of the species aside from the Queens are essentially brain dead, unable to perform basic functions without the constant presence of a queen. The only sense of culture that the Qits possess are their food - they are surprisingly well adapted chefs, and regularly produce gourmet masterpieces from the various Qit species.
Despite their lack of culture, individual queens are very interested in many things - some are in love with gardening, while others write plays and use the various Qit they control to act them out. However, these activities are mediocre at best, and the Qits are starved for culture. An easy alliance could be earned by simply allowing the queens to visit a show or try a new meal.
History: Nesnora 25L was relatively normal in terms of habitable planets - it was covered in jungles, with small lakes dotting the surface to provide water, and a massive desert on one of the continents. Despite the incredibly high levels of biomass, it remained uncolonized for various reasons. Perhaps the wildlife was too dangerous, or they simply didn't see the point of colonizing a planet with no large bodies of water. For whatever reason, however, Nesnora 25L was left alone - which also allowed the Qits to rise.
The Qits, even before forming the swarms, were the dominant life of Nesnora 25L. Ever since they first evolved, the possessed the ability to pass on certain genetic traits consciously, resulting in incredible specialization as the primitive Qits grew farther apart in terms of appearance. Some didn't even stay entirely animals, as several evolved into stationary plants, subsisting off of their star - Dars. One strain of the Qits, however would eventually prove it's superiority over the others - these were the first queens.
Originally a strong and large hunter, the first Queen was given a higher level of intellect by it's progenitor - the reasons for why are unknown. However, this allowed the queen to realize the true potential of the Qits - and also discover the power of psionics. By using a once vestigial part of the Qit brain, the Ordo Link Index, The first queen was able to establish a weak domination over other Qits. This control was weak, and before long, the queen began to reproduce, focusing on giving the next generation of Queens a better grasp on their psionic abilities, and also increase their intelligence. Very soon, the entire planet was covered with Queens, all of whom were controlling and making more subservient minions.
Everything changed with the discovery of the Collective. Roughly 204 years ago, a queen discovered a massive volcano, just between the desert continent and the edge of the forests - it was nearly indistinguishable from the mountain range it was a part of. Sending a psionic message down, seeing if any queen was already present, she and every other queen were immediately connected mentally - Queens could communicate, regardless of distance, via telepathy. This was the start of the hive mind, and this unification allowed the establishment of the Qits Swarms.
Burrowers were created only a few years later, allowing even the underground to be dominated by the Qits. Soon, the only life remaining on the planet were Qit based, and the Qits recently created their first space craft - The Ziz. It was incredibly difficult to use, considering the difficulty of space flight using biological matter, but it lasted long enough for The Qits to colonize the only other habitable planet in their system - Tholla JW5. Now, with no other method of further colonization, The Qits simply remain on their planets, occasionally sending out signals to the voids of space, and desperately trying to develop longer lasting ships.
Other: While Qits possess strong psionic powers, they have not weaponized them, with the most direct attempts at using it interspecies being the occasional psionic signal they send into space.
Qits have not experienced first contact.
The collective is a massive Qit, most likely one of the first to exist. It lives in the mantle of Nesnora 25L, and destroying it would mean the complete destruction of the Qit Swarms.
Maps have several problems for a space game. For example that any impressive looking galaxy map or even starmap would have too severe indications regarding size. A tiny dot on a giant galaxy map could have thousands of systems if not even more. And any reasonably sized territory could collect millions of star systems. It's just difficult to take empires of such size.
Here's my NS so far. I'll likely do some final touches but I'm practically finished.
Also called the Dragonrealm it describes an ancient culture of wanderers who spend most of their lives in space habitats. They're spread out and only sporadically make contact with outsiders. They refer to their species as "Asterians" or the children of stars and are known to have a vaguely feudalistic government lead by the Kaiser.
Asterians believe in the fact that living on planets and other large astrological bodies with notable gravity would weight down their souls and lead to their moral/ethical ruin. As such they prefer to live in artificial environments of the space habitats, albeit dwarf planets and asteroids ae also acceptable. They are often nomadic, preferring to not remain at the same place for long. Nobody knows the time when they've left their homeworld as history record from the early age are scarce if even non-existent. Some think it was deliberate erasure by the current government while others believe it could've been an accident. Drachenreich subjects in general are xenophobic and don't trust outsiders and even fellow Asterians from distant colonies have a hard time to warm up to each other. They live in a relatively rigid social system of commoners (Landsmanner) and nobles (Edel) with one of the most appreciated values being one's magic aptitude. Through intermarriage and other customs for millennia the nobles have a much higher magic potential in general and they use this fact to claim genetic superiority.
Asterians, the star children, are considered a humanoid race especially as far as appearances go. Their outward looks are strikingly similar to humans with the only obvious difference being the pointed ears. That being said in terms of skin tone and hair colors the Asterians have a wide range of faint metallic tones, blue hair or even skin aren't that unusual for them. Physiologically though the Asterians are very divergent from humans, only sharing a similar setup/function for vital organs but not even their chemical makeup. Asterian bones for example are made up from a metallic material not native on Earth and their bloodstream flows with a brownish yellow liquid. Though it does worth noting that high magical aptitude can change the color of blood to glowing cyan blue, a common indicator of noble heritage. Average height for Asterians is in the range of 150-170cm and life expectancy is around 90-120 years albeit gifted and wealthy individuals might live for hundreds of years. In spite of their appearance it's impossible for a human and an Asterian to have children together.
Giant cylindrical space vessels vaguely resembling O'Neill type of rotating space habitats. Their typical dimensions being 6km wide and 36km long albeit this can vary a lot. There are small colonies that are only 8km long and there's Drachenstadt which is 120km long at total and has specialized facilities that can assemble new colonies from scratch. Building a colony doesn't necessarily require Drachenstadt's facilities and many aristocrats expand their territory through starting their own colony building projects but the capital has by far the most efficient means.
The interior walls of the colony are planted with soil and have a blooming vegetation, animals and overall an enjoyable biosphere for the inhabitants. Artificial gravity, generated by centrifugal force, is around half that of Earth's albeit this can vary per design, so does the atmospheric pressure. Light is artificially generated and inhabitants usually can watch a virtual sky projected from the center. The central portion is under zero gravity and is usually reserved for large scale production facilities. A colony is always under the jurisdiction of a noble, usually at least medium rank, and can be equated to medieval age fiefs. The population of a colony varies, mostly depends on size, facilities, taxes and age. While they have propulsion and FTL capability a space habitat is no combat vessel, nor is it practical to mount anything but perhaps the most basic defenses on it. As such these ships in spite of their immense size contribute nothing directly to combat and it's the duty of the defense fleet to protect them. Also while colonies are by far the most common dwelling for Asterian population, it isn't the only one. Asteroid colonies or other mining facilities also have their workforce and occasionally they even live on planets. Still, even those usually wish to live on the traveling colony ships the species is famous for.
Drachenreich is considered a monarchy, lead by the Kaiser or Kaiserin. This is an elected title granted through the support of the aristocracy and could be revoked any time using the same measures. Candidates are usually (albeit not always) are chosen from the Seven Great Houses. The feuds and alliances of these families determine much of the Dragonrealm internal politics. Infighting, coups and rebellions aren't uncommon. As a true feudalist system the majority of colonies are under the hold of the aristocrats, only Drachenstadt and the few core colonies surrounding it are the Crown's explicit property. The basic requirement of stable rulership requires the candidate to own considerable personal holdings and/or set up a strong web of alliances owning most property. Legislature is split between the upper and lower houses. Also referred as the High Council the upper house consists of the eldest active members of each Great House, the Kaiser/Kaiserin and the senior heads of other major owners. Edler (nobles) have the opportunity to request audience within the High Council and may even participate for a session if given the Kaiser's permission. Commoners though can only enter the halls if specifically invited and only as long as they're needed. Lower house describes the gathering and legislative body of local representatives, one for each colony or major outpost. Each vote is weighed by the count of lives within that property, at times with a multiplier weighing into the results. The latter is mostly used to give mining outposts a more realistic importance in votes as their economic influence can shape entire regions. Laws are always created in the upper house which the lower house only need to accept and make the preparations to enforce them. At times the lower house might not be satisfied with the details of the law and instead submit a modified version back to the upper house. Alternatively the lower house can give suggestions for new laws or royal actions. Unlike in many of the more democratic systems the lower house is weaker and does not have the authority to check and limit the upper house's power.
Drachenreich is an ancient civilization with numerous discoveries and scientific achievements in the past. Correspondingly they have a fairly developed industry and relatively sophisticated technology. On the other hand their social structure is often even makes them opposed to any meaningful innovation which rendered their technological level mostly stagnant. While they have kept refining their technology for those millennia the most significant scientific developments were through adopting technology from others. Their industry generally thrives on exploiting nebulas and asteroids for their resources and rather than improving the efficiency they're more inclined to just raise the sheer quantity of collectors. Another common sector is agriculture which tends to use relatively traditionalist farms. Synthetic foods are incredibly uncommon, only used when all else is unavailable. AI technology exists and helps industrial processes but they aren't advanced enough to replace all forms of manual labor, nor there's an interest to do that. Small scale manufacture is also likes using live workforce but when it comes to larger scale projects the automatization grows immensely. Most Asterian colonies have a large mile-wide if not larger cylindrical portion in their center dedicated to nothing but heavy industry, often while abusing the benefits of near-vacuum and zero gravity environment. And these literal giants of industry are supported by a flood of resource collection units and transports ferrying materials from interstellar distances. Drachenreich has a stagnant technological environment but only because their current level of development is more than sufficient to sustain or even keep on growing. That and dramatic changes to technology would undoubtedly change their society, a notion which the nobility is outright afraid of.
- Atomic Reactors: An evolution of nuclear reactors which relies on advanced forcefield and magic crystal technology to use any of the common materials as nuclear fuel and with high efficiency. The system is highly regulated, safe and widespread in use. For such reasons Asterians don't seem to rely on solar energy at all as nuclear power practically always worth it for them.
- Thermokinetic Engines: A complex powerplant which can turn kinetic and thermal energy into electric power or in reverse. At large scale this is often used as secondary power generation and efficiency improving measures while the reverse has common use for locomotion in ground vehicles.
- Mechanocells: Also referred as kinetic battery, it's a power storage method which uses nano scale surfaces and spring mechanism to store pure mechanical energy. When required this power can be converted to electricity thus providing a lightweight and compact alternative to classic batteries.
- Annie: Carbonic material with specially engineered electron structure to produce an electric field sufficient to hold antimatter particles. Antimatter Neutral Medium or "Annie" is effectively a simple fuel used for simple function to power rockets or to be an easily accessible energy source.
- Positronic Capacitors: High-powered energy storage method which turns electricity into positrons. As matter-antimatter annihilation occurs within femtoseconds it allows extremely fast impulse energies necessary for certain high energy applications including but not exclusive to weapons.
- Nanolathes: By using forcefields as a 3D blueprint and inject nanoparticles it's possible to produce complex objects relatively quickly and without the usual upfront costs for acquiring the right machinery. Nanolathes are energy demanding processes but are highly popular and modified versions are even used for research purposes. That being said nanolathes can't replace all industrial processes or not without sacrificing quality. As such classic construction methods are still in use.
- Durametals: A large group of engineered transuranic metals that have massive densities along with various unique properties. Durasteel for example is a standard high strength material used in almost anything for structural reasons. Durabar on the other hand has excellent radiation absorption properties. Over the millennia durametals went from a niche into widespread use and the only cheap objects are made from lighter materials. Even when weight is considered the Asterians developed Duramesh which is a spongy metal foam. This both saves resources and can result in a much lighter body.
- Inertial Control Devices: To handle accelerations at warp speeds Asterians developed a technology which could control weight and redirect inertia from specific parts of the vessel. This isn't much different from similar technologies introduced by other spacefaring civilizations and as others they also made use of it in other fields like hovertech or lifting heavy objects. Inertia manipulation also found military uses like the iconic Gravity Blades that help delivering greater blows through manipulating the mass behind each strike.
- Jumpdrive: The simplest FTL drive known, commonly used by many other civilizations. Jumpdrives work by traveling through subspace which effectively allows going from one point of realspace to the other while traveling considerably less. The drawback is that, at least for Asterian variants of the drive, it has limited operation time which ultimately restricts this to shorter ranges.
- Hyperdrive: A variant of jumpdrives which dwelves deeper into subspace called the "hyperspace". This effectively allows faster travel albeit restricting it to the so-called "hyperlanes". It's like traveling in stable corridors within the chaotic swirl of imaginary space. As such distances in realspace might not equate for the same in hyperspace. Neighboring star systems might be more distant in hyperspace than another coordinate hundreds of lightyears away. This also explains the dispersed nature of Dragonrealm colonies. While any sufficiently well-equipped vessel can have a Jumpdrive the Hyperdrives are restricted to only colony ships and the largest vessels. This is due to their complexity and horrible energy demands.
Like the government, Drachenreich's military is in the hands of nobles. Every Lord has obligations to maintain an army for defense. Yet more often than not these are insufficient for anything more than internal security. As such for over a millennia it's a common practice for Lords to rent the services of knight orders. Knights (Ritter) are a portion of the nobility who dedicate their lives for warfare. They generally do that by joining one of the myriad of knight orders starting as a mere apprentice, squire and then become a fully fledged knight. Landeritters are the lowest rank who are little more than common troops while Rittermeister (Knight Lords) are managing an entire Mobile Castle (Kriegschloss). The supreme leader of each knight order are called the Hochmeister (Grandmaster). Since reliable interstellar travel required massive vessels they invented the Mobile Castles (Kriegschlösser) which serve as a mobile fortress and base of operations. They carry both troops and service staff required for long campaigns and some of these castles are indeed on permanent patrol duty. Of course as a mobile base the Kriegschlösser aren't fit to be general frontline vessel and instead they use small ships for that purpose. Yet during combat in space the primary focus is on the Eisenreisen (meaning: Iron Giants), 8+ meters tall giant mechs with capability to fight in space and even inside colonies.
250-1000m long armored compact space colonies and battle fortresses that serve as the knights' primary base of operation. Due to its size it doesn't have the same amenities as civilian colonies and relies entirely on artificial gravity instead of the old method of centrifugal force. These vessels are well-protected with the mix of gravity barriers and thick duracomposite armor plates and of course equipped with numerous weapon stations for self-defense. Most castles also have a large durasteel spike used for ramming attacks albeit some prefer giant energy cannons. That being said their primary role is to be the mobile habitat of knightly forces and their servants. As such they have lot of space for equipment, docks for larger vessels, refineries, factories and everything to wage war and to be relatively self-sufficient.
Used to be the backbone of Asterian space forces they are nowadays closer to fire support and battle carriers. They are powerful yet don't approach the sheer versatility of Eisenreise which makes their combat role only secondary yet just as necessary.
Giant humanoid machines that form the backbone of knightly forces. Their appearance is synonymous with the Ritter title and their contribution to battles is the subject of nearly every legend. Their ultracompact atomic reactors give them considerable power while the combination of impulse drives along with inertia control mechanism give it phenomenal agility in space. Their combat role roughly equals that of space fighters albeit with a lot more focus on agility and fighting techniques. They also have a tendency to choose close combat where their Gravity Blades and Gravity Lances can turn their momentum and energy reserves to devastating strikes. There are various models and different regions tend to prefer different models as their standard. Commoners who piloted Eisenreise usually received outdated models while a Landeritter would use amore up to date yet standard variant. Distinguished knights often customized their mechs and some even went for higher grade machines built directly to their specs. Such aces are often the pride and greatest asset of a knightly order.
Simply referred as armed vehicles, this is a category for mostly ground vehicles. Since the Dragonrealm is diverse this is reflected back the most in the chaos that accounting for various ground vehicle variants. They can range from repurposed civilian vehicles to mass-produced vehicles unique to a certain house or even entirely custom battlewagons sparing no cost in their construction. As such rather than trying to reconcile these Crown had introduced an universal standard system categorizing these vehicles.
Wwgn-1: Ultralight vehicles with the maximum weight of 1 ton.
Wwgn-10: Light vehicles with the maximum weight of 10 tons.
Wwgn-25: Intermediate class vehicles with up to 25 tons of weight.
Wwgn-50: Medium-class vehicles with up to 50 tons.
Wwgn-100: Heavy vehicles up to the 100-ton range. Often battletanks or heavy artillery.
Wwgn-100+: Superheavy combat vehicles with over 100 tons of weight. They are usually custom-made and rare.
Wwgn-1000+: Not an official classification but semi-popular for referring to gigantic mobile constructs that stretch the meaning of vehicle.
Most land vehicles have conventional propulsion like wheels and threads and use thermokinetic engines powered by either Annie or mechanocells rather than atomic reactors. When a vehicle is hover-capable it's signified with an S (Schwebend) letter at the end, ie: Wwgn-10S. Similarly if it's flight-capable but still mostly considered a surface vehicle than aircraft it gains the F letter, Flügend. If a vehicle has an ultracompact fusion engine rather than traditional powerplant then it gains the N designation, Nuklearen.