Government: Unitary Oligarchal Republic President: Generalissimo Agustín Martim Santiago Baltasar Tiburcio Tome de Aquila Speaker of the Senate: Grandes Béatrice Teresa Togores y Nuevo Porto Chancellor of Azulvista: Duque Frederico Javier Ines de Lobasla
Legislature: Cortes Generales Upper House: Senate Lower House: Patrician's Congress
Independence from Earth: Declared, consummated and recognised: 24th February 2301 Colonial Constitution: 5th April 2301 Dictator's Decree: 19th June 2374 Constitution of the Republic: 16th April 2469 Constitution of the Gran Republic: 27th December 2498
Population: Azulvista (MTV-113): 2.5 billion Grandiamon (GDM-114): 850 million Axacuapatal (AXP-115): 245 million Diemgarda (DGD-116): 460 million
Planet Name and Description: Located in the Centauras arms of the Milky Way, Azulvista is a relatively Earth-sized planet rotating a single k-type main-sequence star. An Azulvistan year (known as a rotation, or ‘roto,’) is approximately 380 Azulvistan days (cycles) old, each one of which is approximately 26 hours long. The cycle can be broken into four seasons, (quarters,) each roughly equating to the typical spring-summer-autumn-winter pattern as many places on Earth.
Azulvista has three natural satellites and one sub satellite: the moons of Grandiamon, dominated by extreme tectonic activities and vast mountain ranges, Axacuapatal, which is extremely wet, marshy and waterlogged, and Diemgarda, which is often derisively referred to as ‘the smaller Azulvista’ for its similarity to its parent planet. Orbiting Grandiamon is Azulvista’s single sub-satellite, known simply as Luna Minor, which is lifeless bar the human-made colonies established on its surface. These three satellites are collectively known as ‘the three sisters,’ and act as colonies to Azulvista’s motherland.
Azulvista is also home to a seemingly physics-defying metal, colloquially known as ‘lodestones,’ with the elemental name of Agustínium. Lodestones are remarkably unreactive, except for their natural magnetism, which is so powerful and violent that lodestone deposits are often found not in the ground, but instead hovering in the planet’s sky in gravity defying ‘islands.’ Although it is possible to create minerals with a similar composition to lodestones artificially, only true Agustínium has the specific magnetic power that makes it so highly prized. Agustínium is naturally found only on Azulvista, Diemgarda, and Luna Minor: the leading explanation for this is that originally Azulvista was much larger, and was struck by another celestial object (hypothesised to be Grandiamon,) causing it to break apart and reform into the current planet of Azulvista, Diemgarda, and a smaller chunk which was then captured by the proto-Grandiamon as Luna Minor.
Azulvista is unusual in that its biosphere was extremely undiverse when colonists arrived, featuring only simple multicellular plant and microbial life. Early colonisation efforts focused largely on populating the planet with Earth-based plants and wildlife. Thanks to this juvenile stage of life Azulvista has very few fossil fuels, and now that the planet has been seeded with 24th century Earth life, is extremely unlikely to ever produce significant quantities of these valuable resources. On the other hand, this seeding has turned Azulvista into a strange imitation of Earth, complete with species now extinct on mankind’s cradle.
History: Not all of the old world was divided during the last days of Earth. As old bonds began to bend and buckle, the countries of the Iberian peninsula looked away from their fellow European countries and towards their old colonies. As this union grew and flourished, and as the Gateways project started to bear fruit, an international idea began to be born. Azulvista and its colonies were selected as a natural location for the culturally diverse groups that made up this new trans-atlantic dream, and shortly before the true Fall occured, colonisation vessels were dispatched.
Remarkably, the crew of these vessels were selected in a rather egalitarian fashion. Although a certain number of seats had been secured for government officials and those with hereditary titles, a large number of average people were also included, along with some of the finest minds from these nations. Originally, the colonisation of Azulvista was aimed to be more thorough, but before they had time to send subsequent waves of colonists, the Gateway sealed shut, and Azulvista was locked off from Earth.
Initially, the colonial government's transition from a conduit of Earth's will to an independent governing body went well. Designed as a technocracy, its senior members were elected from a pool of specialists by the general population. As the years shifted into decades however, the flaws of such a system slowly became more obvious, and fractures began to appear in Azulvista's foundations.
It came to a head in the summer of 2374, when the technocratic council was formally dissolved in a relatively bloodless coup, leading to the ascension of the first Dictator: Corazón Santiago. Santiago’s dictatorship lasted for approximately twenty years before she died, leading to an extended period of increasing political instability as different individuals vied for control of Azulvista’s government.
As Azulvista warred among itself, the other colonies quietly began to drift away from it, each forming their own unique national identities, often flavoured and influenced by the nations of the colonists that had arrived there. Despite some dictators attempting to reclaim one or multiple of the moons, all of these crusades ultimately fell apart thanks to internal disputes and a lack of war support among a population less-than-confident in a new dictator’s abilities to govern.
Eventually, this instability began to become unmanageable. Power changed hands so quickly that Azulvista often went through multiple in a single roto. Both the majority of the populace, and, increasingly, wealthy and influential families, began to agree that the system needed to go. The ultimate catalyst for this revolution was the attempted execution of Julia De Angelo, a popular folk hero whose trial was so quick and so corrupt that it became impossible to defend. A riot broke out as she was lead to the gallows and she would become the spearhead of the revolution, ultimately overthrowing the final dictator.
With the dictators overthrown, a republic was established, then, very rapidly corrupted by the most powerful families at the time. Arguing that the fall of old Earth had proven that people were incapable of ruling themselves without mediation, the vote was heavily constrained, and the two-caste system of patricians and plebians was quietly created. Although not formal designations at first, they would eventually become far more calcified.
The first challenge the Republic had was to establish control over the entirety of the Azulvistan system. The four separate nations that had sprung up lead to trade, yes, but also a constant struggle over resources and jockeying for political influence. United by the Republic, the Azulvistan home worlds launched what would come to be known as the Reconquista, a period of time that defined the tactics used by the Azulvistans ever since. Patricians, who were the only ones wealthy enough to use the then-experimental lodestone craft en masse, wreaked havoc in enemy lines- blurring along at reaction-defying speeds, they were able to punch colossal holes in enemy fortifications in the field, react to incursions within minutes of scout reports, and were manoeuvrable and capable enough in urban combat to still be effective. Alongside patrician footsloggers, the moons fell one by one, until at last Azulvista was the Republic no more- now it was the Gran Republic.
Its tribulations hardly ended there however, for they had a new threat to contend with. Unbeknownst to the initial colonists, a spacefaring civilisation had, centuries before mankind had ever left their solar system, sent slower-than-light colony ships to claim Azulvista for themselves. The War of Counter-Aggression was a five-year conflict fought primarily on Azulvista itself, and was largely a patrician’s war. Determined to prove themselves to an increasingly displeased plebian class, patricians demonstrated themselves to be every bit the gallants they so desperately claimed they were, and in the rare case of feudal overlords actually defending their vassals, drove back the initial invasion force.
Not only did this demonstration of standing up to ideals actually prove that the patricians weren’t all talk, but the War of Counter-Aggression resulted in the deaths of around 20% of the younger patrician generation. To replace them, many more plebians than usual were drawn up into the patrician classes, further placating the unruly rabble. In addition, the nature of the Yyasum force as a colonisation fleet had lead to a corrupting of Azulvista and its moons. Alien flora and fauna now competed with the ‘native’ Earth flora and fauna, with what had once originally been mostly safe regions now infested with not only the Yyasum themselves, but also strange and foreign plants and animals, including the towering monsturo.
Although the War of Counter-Aggression was short, the initial colonisation ships were not the only one. Even today, a steady stream of follow-up ships bring with them more Yyasum soldiers, to the point where fighting off Yyasum insurgencies is considered a vital part of any young patrician’s military training.
Thus has the Gran Republic been formed. Even today, things are rarely stable- be it disgruntled plebians, independence movements from the moon, Yyasum soldiers or simply the colossal variety of man-hunting wildlife in Azulvista’s jungles, a patrician’s lance is never unused for long, and the plebians are reminded constantly why their cultural and military betters should be in charge, whilst being distracted from the drudgery of their everyday lives by a well-established network of panem et circenses.
Culture and Society: Azulvistan society is a tapestry of old-Earth customs, blended with decidedly new-world attitudes and tribulations. At the lowest rung of society there are the majority of plebians- farmers, engineers, miners and office clerks. Azulvistan plebians have no political power whatsoever, being unable to own land or vote. Unlike serfs of the past, plebians have firm legal protections as subjects. Patricians can no more kill a plebian than they can anyone else without suffering serious consequences, and plebians are afforded a basic safety net in the form of universal healthcare, unemployment (although there are also compulsory work assignments) and have the expectation of protection by the patricians.
Off Azulvista, plebians take on a slightly different role. The triplet inhabited moons of Azulvista often chafe under the rule of the ‘oppressive’ Senate. Uprisings and rebellions are not uncommon, but the patricians maintain a much higher military presence in the ‘colonies,’ and those foolish enough to take up arms can expect no quarter from young jetknights looking to prove themselves on the field.
Plebians also make up the bulk of the Azulvistan military. Although patrician jet-knights steal the glory and the limelight, most of the hard work and drudgery is done by patrician dragoons and ground forces. The army is a quick way for plebians to rise above their station- stellar military service is the most reliable way to find yourself in the lower ranks of the patricians, and thus, the Azulvistan army is large, motivated, well-trained and experienced.
Above the plebians are the mathetes. Mathetes, or, as most non-Azulvistans would call them, scientists, sit between the plebians and patricians. Although not permitted to vote or own property, mathetes nonetheless have a privileged position. Patricians surround themselves with mathetes, both as advisors and because it’s considered important to do so- recognising what you do not know is a sign of a cultured man, not a weak one. Because of this mathetes receive a cushy position and allowed to dedicate themselves to their craft, along with limited access to patrician luxuries.
Finally, the top rungs of Azulvistan society are home to the patricians. From their carefully selected birth, patricians are expected to train themselves to be true warrior-artists. The cultural superiority of a patrician is considered just as important as military prowess- an uncultured warrior is little more than a tyrant in waiting, although Azulvistan society places little prestige on one form of culture over another, and there are relatively few gendered expectations when it comes to what art one excels in. Music, dance, poetry, drama, patricians are anything from celebutants, composers, novelists or even chefs.
Finally, Azulvistan society is a fairly spiritual one. Knightly ideals are, after all, fundamentally rooted in Christianity. Although the core message has been corrupted over the years, and the very different environment of Azulvista has spurred some quite radical shifts to the human experience, there are still plenty of obvious influences. From the almost polytheistic ideas they have about saints to the belief in a very Christian afterlife, not only is religion a large part of society at every stratum, but as more Machiavellian patricians know: religion is the opium of the people.
Governance and Politics: The Gran Republic is, in the strictest sense of the word, a democracy, similar to those of the Ancient Greek city states. Voting is restricted to the landowning patricians, and votes can be awarded to individuals as commendations for various actions (thus, there is no 'one person, one vote,' within the Gran Republic.)
Every patrician of majority age makes up the Patrician’s Congress, the lower body in the dual-legislature known as the Cortes Generales. Every five years, elections are held to select patricians to be a part of the Senate, which is the Republic. The Upper Senate contains several smaller committees specialising in various fields, such as the High Generalship, High Admiralty, the Chancellors of Azulvista and the three inhabited moons, and, of course, the position of Presidente, along with the largely ceremonial rank of Generalissmo.
Technology Overview: With the mathetes class and a healthy respect for the people that design their sophisticated equipment, Gran Republic research progresses at a healthy and well-rounded rate. The most unique aspect of Azulvistan technology is, of course Augustinium and how this tremendously powerful substance is used. Azulvistan lodestones seemingly defy the normal conventions of magnetism, with even the lowest-grade ‘rock rumbler,’ lodestone managing to be a superconductor. Although artificial lodestone can be made, the process results in a lower-grade, less useful end product: perfect for industrial and civilian use, but inferior to the real stuff in every way. A true patrician wouldn’t be caught dead using artificial lodestone equipment.
The most iconic piece of Azulvistan equipment is their maglev technology, enhanced as it is by the incredible power of Augustinium. The most prominent example of this technology is the jetbike- Kept aloft by powerful engines and a complicated network of agitated lodestones, jetbikes can remain airborne for up to a day at a time and also come with deployable wheels. Floating above the ground, jetbikes have a tremendously high max speed, although most are never pushed above a third to a half of their potential, where patricians can comfortably operate. Personal patrician jetbikes tend to also feature two plasma-casters at the front to maximise close-range damage, whilst plebian combat ‘jetrikes’ tend to feature heavier, pintle-mounted weaponry.
A true combat jetbike features almost no protection for the rider. A patrician is expected to remain safe through speed, agility, and their suits of power-armour, ducking and weaving through enemy fire, or letting smaller calibre bullets ping off their armoured shells. So-called ‘jettrikes,’ tend to have an enclosed canopy and other ‘un-knightly’ protective features for their riders.
Augustinium is also extremely useful when it comes to plasma technology. Industrial-quality lodestones make excellent magnetic plasma containment fields. Plasma technology is therefore in common usage across Azulvista- from generators to the archetypal patrician weapon of the plasma lance.
The plasma lance is nothing more than a patrician’s pride and joy. Each one is custom made for their user; their hilts designed to cleanly attach to a Azulvistan jetbike. The speeds at which these jetbikes operate means that to use a physical weapon would invite the loss of a limb. Instead, Azulvistan lances use an extremely fragile containment layer around a constantly agitated spike of plasma. When the field makes contact, it immediately disperses, resulting in a jet of plasma exploding out into the target in a manner similar to a shaped charge, clearing the way for the jetknight.
Other than these advancements, Azulvista has a firm grasp on genetic tampering. Revivalist gene therapy can add several decades if not a century to the lifespan of those able to afford it, and almost all patricians are the result of several generations worth of selective ‘designer babies.’ To actually modify, your child would be to cheat, but simply selecting the best candidate out of several and weeding out anomalies and defects is common sense. Pharmacological advancements further placate the population and enhance the soldiery- from old Earth coffee and marijuana to stims like tri-sun and savant a mathetes with an interest in the pharmaceutical can make a big name for themselves.
Azulvista’s centuries of war have bred a militaristic nation and people, with a well-funded, professional and powerful military. The Armed Forces of the Gran Republic can be divided into two major branches, the Republican Navy and the Republican Army, although they do not correspond to the old-Earth ideas of ‘army’ and ‘navy.’
The Azulvistan Navy (Armada de Azulvista) handles all operations outside of Azulvista’s atmosphere, maintaining the nation’s spacefleet, protecting the planets from alien encroachment and enforcing order across the system. The Azulvistan navy maintains a doctrine of rapid and flexible response, with multitudes of smaller, heavy-hitting and lightly armoured craft backed by heavier-duty gunships. The head of the Navy is the Admiral of the Fleet (Almirante-da-Armada,) a role assigned by the Generalissimo from the country’s pre-existing admiralty.
In addition to spaceships, the Azulvistan Navy also handles the Azulvistan Marines, (Infantería de Marina,) although such forces would more appropriately be called space marines. Azulvistan Marines are expected to handle any manner of deployment in space, land, air and sea, and are rigorously and extensively trained for all such eventualities. The uniform of the navy is black, with silver and blue highlights.
On the ground, the Azulvistan Army (Ejército Azulvistan) handles the combined duties of all atmospheric combat, including land, air, and sea duties. For this purpose, the Azulvistan army has effectively supplanted Earth’s four branch system of a navy, army and airforce, with spaceforce duties handed over to the navy. The Azulvistan Army can be broken into numerous sub-branches, but the most well-known and prominent include the Amphibious Army, effectively replacing what on Earth would have been called a Navy, the Airborne Army, the Interplanetary Special Operations Command (ISOC,) and the paramilitary Cazadores. The head of the Army is the General-In-Chief (Generale-En-Jefe,) not to be confused with Generalissimo, the honorary title given to the Chancellor of Azulvista.
When it comes to an open battlefield, the Azulvistans are most easily compared to the crusades of old. Heavily armoured cavalry screech through the skies, tearing through those foolish enough to challenge them in close combat, whilst heavier jetrikes follow behind the initial spearpoint to lay down a withering barrage of fire on whatever survived the initial charge. Once the cavalry has done the job, dragoons and footsloggers move in to neutralise any remaining threats and confirm the victory.
In urban environments, the plan changes little. Jetbikes turn from being used in mass charges to instead be lightning-fast strike and fade troops, smashing apart strongpoints with plasma before shooting off before proper retaliatory forces can be mustered. Even dismounted, patricians are no pushovers: their power suits and training in hand-to-hand combat means that even without their formidable jetbikes, they can still hold their own, and their men-at-arms are still professionals at heart.
If all that isn't enough, many patricians also train to be duellists. Although actual honour duels are relatively rare among patrician society (as generally speaking, cultured individuals don't attempt to murder each other over slights,) any patrician family worth their salt will have a set of pistols and swords that have tasted blood at least once.
The Khagnate of the Steppe and Sky
Riding Forth On The Steeds of Ancients
Various horse-hair banners wielded by Khagnate Representatives
Government Form: The head of the Khagnate is, of course, its Great Khagn, a hereditary title conferring the powers of absolute monarch onto its bearer. That being said however, the majority of the population, despite swearing fealty to the Khagn operate in much smaller tribal or feudal cliques.
Demographics: 100% Human. Approximately 85% of the population inhabits the Steppe itself, whilst the remaining 15% live within the nomadic Hordes that ply the Great Black Sky.
Population: The Great Khagn rules over some seven to eight hundred million people.
Planet Name and Description: The Steppe, (Earth astronomical designation now forgotten) is a lonely rock slowly rotating a weary star. When observed through telescopes in the Sol system, one might be fooled by its seemingly vibrant colours and perhaps, if one's telescope is particularly powerful, the appearance of some kind of biosphere. Unfortunately, so many thousands of lightyears can play tricks on even the best telescopes, and early colonists found not a warm and welcoming, easily-inhabited exoplanet, but instead a blasted, desertified rock, with perilously little fertile land, a damaged and fractured atmosphere and, most curiously of all, radiation levels that seemed entirely incongruent with what they should have been. The planet is ravaged by unnatural and awful weather that prevents permanent habitation on the vast majority of the Steppe's surface, whilst frequent meteorite collisions pepper the surface with craters.
Although the surface of the planet is rough and near uninhabitable, it holds secrets and mysteries that make exploring it unimaginably valuable. Hidden beneath layers of rock and sand, worn by time or buried beneath collapsed mountains, the brave and foolhardy alike may find themselves with treasures not of natural resources or wonderous beauty, but instead of technology. Whomever turned the Steppe into the wasteland it is today did not entirely vanish, and although as of yet, no remains of these precursors have been found, their settlements and equipment can be discovered in abundance, ready to be pieced together and repurposed for those with the know-how.
History: Khagnate record keeping of its early days and of life on Earth is poor. So poor, in fact, that they are unable to even get the name of their nation correct- an accurate spelling would be Khanate or Khaganate, rather than the 'Khagnate' they went for. It can reasonably be inferred that the initial settlers drew their heritage from Earth's Eurasian steppes, but if they were dispatched by a government or a company, as a first wave or as a desperate last roll of the dice, or even what the ship that carried them to the Steppe was named is now long forgotten, held only on deteriorating databases on Earth's surface.
With so little history, one might expect that that the Khagnate has set about making more of its own, but this is not the case. The history of the Steppe's human settlers is disappointingly uniform and boring, with the same Imperial and Clan structure that exists today springing up early and maintaining itself with little interruption for centuries. Wars have been fought, great conquerors born and died, but in the end, the Steppe swallows up the bones of men far better than it does its archeotechnologic secrets, and few Imperial Scholars care to scribble about the 'petty' squabbles that take place between the clans.
Culture and Society: Khagnate society can be easily divided into two distinct cultural groups: Hordesmen and Steppefolk. The Hordesmen are those fortunate enough to live offworld of the Steppe. Most are born and will live their entire lives within the confines of their familial Horde's spacecraft, usually making their living by following the movements of asteroids or meteors, although some do 'settle' onto uninhabitable and atmosphereless moons and planets to establish mines, refineries and small outpost colonies known as Örtöös. Hordesmen, as the name implies, move in large armadas, or hordes, which are ruled over by lesser Khans who are directly subservient to the High Khagn. These Khans will, in turn, rule over lesser nobles in a typical, pyramid-like feudal hierarchy that ensures everyone knows exactly who they must bow to, and who, in turn, bows to them. Khans and nobles are almost always assisted by an unelected 'parliament,' hand-picked by that khan or noble to serve and advise them as best as they can.
Beyond this simple feudal system, Hordesmen also have complicated familial structures that lead to large internal power jockeying. A particularly wealthy, productive or fertile family will see its power grow, oftentimes absorbing other families through marriage and drawing them into the stronger family's orbit. In this way, nobles and Khans cannot rest on their laurels and must always play a careful balancing act, lest they be deposed and the khan or Great Khagn award their favour to the up-and-coming usurpers.
Beneath the Great Black Sky, on the Steppe itself, Khagnate 'culture' becomes fractured, conflicting, poorly-understood and extremely violent. Very few places on the Steppe are inhabitable, and those that are are rarely so for longer than a few of the Steppe's rotations around its mother sun. Life on the Steppe is, therefore, not self-sustaining, and the Clans that inhabit the surface of the planet are entirely reliant on the Hordesmen for fuel, industry, and sometimes even food. To live on the Steppe is to be perpetually moving- Steppefolk have great roaming cities, rarely as one, tremendously large machine, but more often as a collective of vehicles driving, crawling, galloping and skimming across the boundless wastes that smother the Steppe.
The largest unifying factor between these clans is their oaths to the Khagn. In order to receive the vital resources produced by the Hordesmen, the Steppefolk must gather valuables to pay to the Khagn in tribute- usually archeotech of some kind, but almost anything of value can be given as a sign of loyalty, including the heads of misbehaving clans. Because of this, the clans are in a constant war against one another to secure enough resources to barter for their survival, leading to a Darwinian struggle in which the reward for being the strongest is even more bloodshed. The only potential respite a Steppefolk can have from this life is their clan being deemed worthy of 'Ascension,' the best and brightest of their numbers lifted offworld to join the Hordes in their voyages across the stars.
The other major unifying factor between the disparate peoples of the Khagnate are their religious practices. Although the specifics of the faith are not shared between all people, the fundamentals of Uzayiism are relatively consistent. Uzay is both the deity and the realm of outer space, and from Uzay, all of creation flows. Uzay created the planets, the peoples, and all the lesser gods and spirits that reside over their many creations. Uzayiism is deeply shamanistic. Devotion must be paid to both ancestor and natural spirits that reside in all beings, and proper respect must be paid when taking of the universe's bounty. To enter Uzay is to experience a minor form of transcendence, giving the Hordespeople a religious high ground over the Steppefolk, confined as most are to an existence bound to a planet, only able to gaze at Uzay's glory without being able to experience it themselves.
Governance and Politics: The Khagnate is an absolute monarchy, ruled by their hereditary Great Khagn. The Khagn, in turn, devolves power to feudal lords. On the surface of the Steppe, 'governance' and 'politics' go no further than a tribal level, although as long as the tribes are loyal, strange governing customs are permitted, with clans ranging as anything from 'might makes right' warbands lead by the strongest warrior to clans who follow the cryptic commands of salvaged AIs to clans operating under a loosely democratic council.
Technology Overview: The only way to describe Khagnate equipment is 'schizophrenic.' Very little true technological innovation has occurred in the Khagnate in the 300 years since the Fall from Earth. Instead, their technology is almost entirely based on archeotech- the mysterious remnants of the precursor civilisation that once inhabited the Steppe. Almost all Khagnate archeotech is poorly understood, risky to tamper with, often extraordinarily destructive, and has an unusual tendency of violating preconceived notions about the universe. In this way, the Khagnate can have wonderous, logic-defying technology, with absolutely no idea of how to manufacture any more of it, if what they're using was even intended for the task it has been pressed into, or if it won't one day decide to blow up and take half the planet with it.
Some of the only understood technology is hoarded by the Imperial Court and its antiquarians, to be used by the Khagns and those close to them, and nobody else. This is how the Kheshigs can maintain their standardised power armour, how the Flagship the Khagn has held court in for well over a century can be so well maintained and operated, and why (almost) none of the Khagn's equipment has experienced the explosive malfunctioning that plagues Khagnate archeotechnology.
Military Overview: Although certainly a warlike and quarrelsome people, the Khagn himself has little need or desire for an interplanetary fleet. Certainly, if pressed into it, the Steppefolk would be a fearsome foe indeed, each one raised on a world seemingly spiting humanity in its inhospitability, born to fight, and armed to the teeth with tech both arcane and understood. Steppefolk warriors may be a ramshackle bunch, with little organisation and no clear standardisation, but their centuries of war have left them hardened and battle-ready.
Another factor to tangle with would be the Khagn's own forces. Although nobles are discouraged from maintaining large, standardised army, it would be a mistake to assume that the Hordespeople operate harmoniously with one another, and more than a few nobles maintains a host of professional soldiers, generally referred to as houseguards. These houseguards are typically drawn from a small number of supplicant families who have produced generations of soldiers, and they are understandably proud of this long history. Although the exact nature of houseguards vary depending on the wealth of the nobles employing them, they are usually professionally trained, equipped and maintained, with the best of the best being those under direct command of the Khagn himself, known as the Kheshig. Originally envisioned as the personal bodyguards of the Khagn, they grew in power and scope to the closest thing that the Khagnate has to a standing army, able to deploy en masse down to the Steppe to personally take care of clans grown too powerful or too proud to control properly, should they manage to somehow be self-sufficient.
Kheshigs are, on the Steppe, viewed as terrible agent of the Khagn's fury. Clad in power armour, armed with powerful, reverse-engineered weapons, to a fault faceless and never speaking, they execute the Khagn's commands without question, hesitation or deviation. Should it be commanded, they would die for their liege in their droves, and yet more would be drawn to replace them.
Outside of their warriors, although the Khagnate may call their fleets 'Hordes,' it would be a mistake to assume that their navy was anything more than a civilian one. What few superweapons the Khagn does have are aimed squarely down at the surface should the Steppefolk become too uppity, and although they might be able to be pressed against an invading force, it would take little to swat these nomadic armadas down and establish oneself as suzerain of the Khagnate's systems if they were sufficiently driven enough to do so.
Humans on Kudrion have been genetically modified to be stronger, tougher and to be taller than average human height pre-colonization, with an average height of about two meters.
Population: 1.2 Billion ---
Planet Name and Description: Kudrion is an earth-like world that orbits the star Ogeid. It is a very dangerous world, where nearly all forms of life are lethal to the average, unmodified human. The vast majority of native animal species also exhibit evolutionary rates far higher than creatures of Earth, requiring the planet’s inhabitants to constantly adapt in order to survive. Kudrion is also littered with ruins of an advanced alien civilization that was wiped out after humanity arrived in the Ogeid system. These ruins are filled with wonders and dangers alike, and many make their livelihoods exploring them.
History: When Ghephion ripped out the heart of Tellus and hacked his body into pieces, Lady Ophine took the arms of Tellus through the Gate of Umos. Here, in the far lands of Ogeid, Ophine turned Tellus’ arms into us, the Kudrioni, and bade us to stay so that Tellus may live on. However, all was not well. In the deep pits of Ulmiri there dwelt the Serpent-Lord Wegarus and his army of Ogeidans, who hated all who were not themselves. Though the Ogeidan techno-sorcery far outclassed our own, they found us defiant. It was in the depths of Onzao where we sheltered, forging weapons made of captured starlight that could pierce the hides of the Ogeidan Crypt-machines. It was also during this time when Anath blessed us with her strength so that we might take what was rightfully ours by the will of the gods.
And with the power of our will and the strength of our steel, we drove them back. For fifty years, battle raged from the cold depths of Ogeid to the jungles of Oglon and from the frozen steppes of Zutral to the Inner Gulf. We turned the techno-sorcery of the Ogeidans against themselves, and with it we smote the Whispering Ones and drove their Great Beasts back to the holes they had crawled from. It was Captain Ashok in his great chariot, together with his Ten-Thousand, who brought down the Greathammer of Tobol and crushed the Serpent-Lord before grinding the remains of his once-mighty army into the dust.
Finally, after losing many of our brothers, we had taken the unspoken planet, and as mandated by the spirits we christened it Kudrion. We made Kudrion our home, taming the wildlife, building great cities and making its strength our own. Our warriors took up the sword and the spear to defend our home against the technic horrors of the Ogeidans and against the ever-changing enemy. But our peace and unity was soon broken by betrayal from within, and a thousand thousand wars erupted between the clans. For hundreds of years, many warriors died as brother turned against brother, and our greatest cities burned.
It was after many years of struggle when a sign was received from the heavens. The Gate of Umos, which had brought us to our home, had reopened, and three brave warriors from the Kumar Clan, together with a wise scholar from the Order of Kroit, passed the threshold into the unknown. They were never heard from again, and shortly after Umos turned his back on us. But there were some who took this as an omen. Soon after the closing of the Gate a clan-warrior from the north, a descendant from Ashok who led our people against the Serpent-Lord so long ago, decided that our people would not be divided anymore. He took the hammer to the warring clans, reforging our people in the Months of a Thousand Battles, and so he was proclaimed the King of Kudrion.
Culture and Society: Kudrioni society is centered around the clan. Though nominally a kinship group, in reality almost all who were born in a clan’s territory are seen as part of the clan. According to Kudrioni history, these clans were founded by legendary heroes from the great wars that the Kudrioni fought to claim their home system. The clan takes care of every need, raising children, producing food and weaponry, and many more things besides. However, everyone who isn’t old, sick, or a child is expected to pull their own weight and contribute to the general welfare of the clan, and those who are unable or unwilling to do so are often sent into exile. As these clans were founded independently after colonization, there are many cultural differences between clans.
The Kudrioni are part of a proud warrior culture, with little to no distinction between civilians and soldiers. Everyone is a warrior, trained to fight against the planet’s native creatures and other clans when necessary. This ties into the survival-of-the-fittest mentality that is deeply ingrained in Kudrioni culture. Until very recently, anyone outside the clan that is weaker was seen as a target, while anyone stronger was seen as a threat. Though the wars are no longer as devastating as in Kudrion’s past, clans still regularly fight one another, not because of resources or ideologies, but because the Kudrioni believe it is the right thing to do. Battle is seen as a way to make both the individual and the clan stronger as a whole.
Somewhat paradoxically, there is also a strong sense and code of honor. The honor of both the clan and the individual is paramount. Honorable actions include dueling to solve disputes, respect for one’s clan and ancestors, and dying an honorable death, while dishonorable actions consist of such things as fighting weaker opponents or violating clan laws. These ideas of honor keep the clans in check, resulting in less damage than is necessary.
While battle is a core part of the Kudrioni way of life, it is not the only thing they do. Art and craftsmanship is highly appreciated in Kudrioni culture, with popular forms of art including poetry and oral literature, carpet weaving, metalworking and architecture. The average Kudrioni also loves to compete in other ways than combat, whether it be athletic competitions, contests of wit, or drinking games.
Kudrioni religion is an odd mixture of the worship of a number of gods, ancestor worship, hero cults, shamanism, animism, and sects focused on weaponry and martial arts. Many Kudrioni are highly superstitious, praying, sacrificing and acquiring the advice of priests or oracles before battle or important decisions.
Governance and Politics: The Kingdom of Kudrion is, as the name suggests, a monarchy, although a very young one. Its king has nearly unlimited power, although abuse of this power will quickly get both the people as well as the most powerful clans riled up against them. The Kudrioni king is a warrior, general and king in one, and is expected to personally lead the troops in battle to be regarded as worthy of the title. With the Kingdom only having existed for such a short time, it is unclear how a successor for the current King will be chosen. What is clear, however, is that there are others who would gladly challenge the King for their kingship, in accordance with the traditions of Kudrioni culture.
While Kudrion may be a monarchy, it is the Kudrioni clans that are the real power in the kingdom. These clans are almost completely independent, with their own territory, leaders, warriors and culture. The most powerful of these clans, called the High Clans, convene in the Clan Council, which serves an advisory role to the king. In order to promote their own interests, many smaller clans ally themselves to these High Clans, making sure the king knows what the population wants. The members of state institutions like Kudrion’s military are recruited from all of the clans, ensuring that none get any real advantage over the other.
Technology Overview: Kudrioni technology is a strange mixture of technology brought from Earth, scavenged alien technology and original Kudrioni inventions. Alien technology is dangerous, unpredictable and next to impossible to be reproduced, but is also a powerful boon for those who are able to acquire it.
Much of Kudrion’s native technological development has focused on military technologies with many other areas of research falling behind as a result of the constant internecine warfare on Kudrion. Most of these technologies are incredibly diverse, owing to the fact that clans try to optimize for warfare in their environment, but general examples include power armor, cybernetics and nanomachines.
A recently recovered Kudrioni technology is hardlight. It is a form of solidified light, used in the creation of weaponry and hand-held shields. There are even rumors of blades made out of pure energy, able to rend through almost any material, though little to no evidence has been found for their existence.
Military Overview: With a culture almost entirely based on martial prowess and battle, the military is at the core of Kudrioni society. Overall, Kudrioni soldiers do not have standardized equipment, each clan warrior choosing their preferred weaponry and wargear. Some clans have their own styles of weaponry and armor that the clan warriors use. Because of this, one can observe a great variety of wargear on a Kudrioni battlefield, from the hardlight swords and axes to armor-mounted flamethrowers to energy shields, each Kudrioni warrior mixing and matching weaponry to their liking. In some clans, the right to use certain weapons is reserved for those who undergo a rite of passage, often killing some beast of Kudrion with no help
Kudrioni have a broad selection of vehicles available, like mechs, tanks and others, each made by different clans and maintained by the warriors themselves. Like their regular equipment, these often incorporate scavenged alien technology, making them dangerous and unpredictable. In addition, the Clans also incorporate a number of domesticated animals native to Kudrion into their forces, using them as combat mounts, weapon platforms, and transport. It is not an uncommon sight to see dragon-like animals accompany Kudrioni forces while in warfare, for example.
In tactics, strategy and military doctrine, there exists almost as much variety as in the Kudrioni weaponry. Usually, each warrior fights the way they want to, and larger strategy is based on combining the abilities of these individual warriors to maximum effect.
There is however, one exception to the lack of standardized equipment and training inherent in the Kudrioni military. This exception is the organization known as the Kudrioni Royal Guard. The Royal Guard is an elite unit, recruited by the King, that supersedes tribal loyalty. In the Royal Guard all troops are equipped with the same power armour and weaponry, like the fearsome energy-bladed spear, capable of rending through flesh and metal alike. The Royal Guard gets the finest equipment available, and is charged with fighting alongside and protecting the Kudrioni king in battle.
A mix of Polish-Lithuanian elective monarchy, Chinese dynastic imperialism and democratic monarchy, the Szuhan are a very spiritual and superstitious people who endured a century long age of warlords right after the Gates closed, eventually uniting into a peaceful empire where spiritual mysticism coexists with high tech science.
They worship Divine Dragons of Heavens who guide many aspects of life and society but are actually the ancient Dragon AI Matrixes from the colony ships, a secret few know about. Masters of culture, alchemy, construction and pseudo-Confucian thought, they have already started to colonize their home system right when the Gateways reopened.
The Celestial Empire of Szuhan follows an unorthodox hybrid of monarchy and democracy where the Celestial Throne is actually elected by representatives. Traditional cultural beliefs state that every single person has a portion of the Heavenly Winds within them (a blessed “soul” for simplicity’s sake) and thus voting is equal parts secular and spiritual. Szuhanese citizens will vote for a local lord to rule over them and represent them. These local lords then come together to vote on a liege lord who in turn gather to elect someone from the Imperial Household to the throne. This person is often a child of the previous ruler but sometimes is also a relative.
Upon taking the throne, the new Emperor (or Empress) undergoes a Dragon Trial where they communion with the Divine Dragons of Heaven (in reality the ancient Dragon AI Matrixes), where one of them may step forward, emphasizing their power and blessing. It’s often seen as an omen or prophecy of things to come depending on which colored dragon blesses the Emperor. There are 9 colors from which an Emperor is typically given: Jade, Azure, Vermillion, Pearl, Amethyst, Amber, Onyx, Iron and Gold with Golden Emperors being the rarest.
The current Emperor is Jyonlwa, the 5th Vermillion Emperor.
The original history of the Celestial Empire is not well known but it said to originate from the Yangtze, a Colony Ship launched from Earth that collided with the Wielki Smoki after an unknown error caused both to enter the same Gateway and crashing into each other over the then unnamed planet designated SZ-2-8N. Following such a disaster, the Gateways closed, leaving the two wrecked ships the lay on the planet. What this Great Calamity was the Cywilka Zhanaw, the Warlord Era, where in the absence of an organized government, small bands of people fought each other over dwindling resources, loosing great amounts of pre-crash knowledge and the advanced technology brought along by the colony ships. It was Jadweila the Great who would rise from the near century-long Warlord Era and unite the entire world behind a single banner. Tianwaroz was “blessed by the Divine Dragons” and used this to conquer her foes and spread their influence. In reality, the Dragon AI Matrixes concluded Jadweila was the worthiest leader who had approached them and thus granted her access to all kinds of ship systems, hidden data banks and technology more advanced than what much of the other warlords had access too. Crowned as the 1st Golden Empress of Szuhan after 89 years the Great Calamity and closing of the Gateways, Jadweila is considered a cultural hero and founder of the modern empire. Whether or not Jadweila was fully aware of the true nature of the Divine Dragons is unknown. Over 200 years have passed (accounting for minor time dilations) with the Celestial Throne having passed through many hands. Through the wisdom of the Divine Dragons, the realm has become prosperous and peaceful, a far cry from the century of bloody warfare. Less than a century ago, space travel and colonization of the rest of the system began under Byatian, 2nd Azure Emperor, establishing footholds, stations and outposts on other worlds of the system however the sudden reopening has sidelined many colonization efforts and prompted a minor arms buildup as although Szuhan has finally found peace, they aren’t naive enough to think that everywhere else in the galaxy has as well.
There are roughly 3.1 billion people, all of whom are Humans and majority of which located on the homeworld of Szuhan Prime with 22 officially recognized subgroups/dialects of Szuhanese people.
The rest of the Szuhan System consists of 12 planets, only one is recognized as habitable (Szuhan Prime) and 3 are recognized as semi-habitable and have been the focus of recent colonization efforts: Kraj-guo, Byzlpanang and Hongzyor. A scattering of research stations and remote mining operations are also present among the other uninhabitable planets.
Szuhanese culture is a hybrid of collectivist and individualist thought, emphasizing that one should know their place in the social order but that once finding their role, an individual would be best able to develop themselves and contribute to society. This is done by a test known as the Zorangiko or “Civic Examination”, hypothetically open to anyone who wishes to advance or change their role in society. There are many specialized versions of the Zorangiko but all are brought before the Divine Dragons whose omnipotence will illuminate the most beneficial role. Of course, this is actually the work of the high advanced AI matrixes whose personality program can make highly educated and effective guesses at where an individual is most likely to succeed. These tests are notoriously grueling, taking upwards of two or three days nonstop where participants are kept in special cells to prevent cheating.
This limited form of social mobility, gives way to entrenched families who have spent generations mastering a craft, passing on the business from parent to child. Similar to Zaibatsus from Old Earth, Szuhan’s economy is dominated by “Caizjas” of varying sizes, family trusts, cartels or cliques that have a main branch in one business and then subsidiary cadet branches operating in either the same industry to act as backup or different industry to diversify income.
However, many families are not so called “Caizja Clans” and instead are simple commoners, laypeople, and laborers. Although even then there are families that have become increasingly specialized over the years, and this is most common in military households or “Zolnijas” where every child is expected to either be a full time soldier or commander. Most commoners are free to travel between cities and villages should they please, but they must find jobs for which they are either qualified for or have been approved of by either ancestry or Civic Examination results.
This has created an emphasis on ancestry with every family possessing some form of record either as a physical scroll or a digital archive. Some noble families even claim lineage from various Old Earth families although none can truly tell if they are actually connected or have ever existed at all. The concept of family in Szuhan also transcends the people themselves as it is not always the husband who passes on the name. Most often it is simply the older partner who will pass on the name, regardless of gender. However, in cases where the eldest child of two families marry, they will instead for a combined surname and create a new family surname. While nobles are more likely to place value on a “pure” bloodline and family lineage, commoners are often more wowed by longer names, taking it as a sort of familiar pride that shows their own lineage in a way simple records cannot.
Szuhan follows less of a religion in a traditional sense and more of guiding principles known as Shrimyzli (sometimes mistranslated as “Shrimyzlism”.) Similar in concept to Confucianism of Old Earth, Shrimyzli preaches that everyone has a role in society and people are to know where they fit within society. Those who find their place are best able to full express their greatest potential in a hybrid of individualist and collectivistic thought. It preaches social harmony, duty to the group, exploration of the self and veneration of ancestors and Divine Dragons of Heaven.
There are nine Divine Dragons, each symbolized by a different color and representing a different domain or aspect: Jade, Azure, Vermillion, Pearl, Amethyst, Amber, Onyx, Iron and Gold. It is said that praying to them can grant boons and there are many rituals and mystic rites associated with them, many only known to the Seer Priests. Unbeknownst to all but a few, the Divine Dragons of Heaven are actually ancient Dragon AI Matrixes, brought by the original colonizers. After the Great Calamity, their true origins were forgotten but they were still high advanced, benevolent AI whose programing and desire to help the descendants of the colonists stayed true.
Technology as a whole is a strange mix of technology that is understood and that which is relegated to mysticism. Many are unaware of where ancient technology ends and magic ends, often coming off as the population being overall superstitious. However, many rituals are actually esoteric versions of actual scientific processes only with their original context lost and shrouded in rites. This is best seen in the art of Alchemy which utilizes actual principles of chemistry and material science but also rites such as requiring spells or chants to be recited over a boiling vat or exposed to a full moon.
The most ubiquitous invention of Szuhan is something known as “terracrete”, a composite ceramic material that has different grades. The most basic are used for simple pottery and building bricks while some of the highest grades are strong enough to be used as reinforced military building materials and even starship armor and hulls. The ability to “pour” a ship hull allows for very quick ship construction although they’re always reinforced with additional metal alloy plating.
Dragon Shrines are also critical components of Szuhan. To the average person, they are mystic conduits to the Divine Dragons while in reality, they are actually receivers for Dragon AI Matrixes. They can be found all over the place, from inside of homes to inside of starships, from well kept and ornate shrines in cities to semi-forgotten and overgrown shrines in the countryside. They also allow for communication across vast distances and even between planets and the new colonies.
Otherwise known as the ground army, the Grand Garrison is primarily composed of android constructs made of Terracrete with the artificial constructs far out numbering the living soldiery. The most common tactic is to simply overwhelm enemies with waves of Terracrete constructs to let human elements navigate and preform their own tasks while the enemy is distracted. As such, Szuhanese strategy on a large scale is incredibly simple and predictable but their small unit tactics are well honed and much more formidable.
The standard Terracrete Warrior is cheap and easy to produce, equipped with high powered railguns and even melee weapons as their inability to feel pain makes them excellent at close quarters combat. Their AI is somewhat primitive but complex enough to process sensory data and take complex orders. This is combined with an otherwise very defensively focused doctrine in which attritional warfare heavily favors the Terracrete Warriors and their War Artisan controllers.
Human soldiers are organized into banners of varying ranks such as the Lesser Blue Banner of Gjora, the Black-lined Red Banner of Songilwa and the Great Banner of Weikowzk. Its not uncommon for men and women to be levied, volunteered or drafted into the military despite their previous social role however little is expected of them. Instead, the military families are expected to train at all times in the art of war and battle as professional soldiers and commanders. However, Szuhanese society does not value the soldier as much as the commander so where other societies might have hold a caste of warriors like samurai or viking in high regard, the Szuhanese instead believe in the mastery of the commander, many of whom are prolific warrior-scholars who have a grasp on both war as a military doctrinal discipline and as an art form.
The closest to a venerated elite warrior caste would be the honored ranks of the Celestial Dragon Guards, a force that defies typical societal roles by allowing anyone of sufficient ability to join. They are the Wardens of the Imperial Estates, Hands of the Celestial Throne, Sentinels of Dragon Court and Bodyguards of the Imperial Household. However, due to the strict physical and mental requirements as well as a punishing training regime, often only nobles or military households who have trained to such levels are accepted as guards.
Also known as the "Sky Fleet", the Heavenly Fleet controls all of the space-borne assets of the Szuhanese military. Despite its lofty designation, they are actually pretty small and somewhat underwhelming as a prolonged period of peace in space has left the fleet pretty lackluster. Its weapons are all variations of either anti-asteroid weapons or industrial ship components such as beam cutters and plasma mining explosives while they're only protected by armor alloy plates and sturdy hull designs. In fact all but one of its ships are actually converted, heavily-armed civilian vessels who all find their origins in the Marcher Crisis when pirates became a major issue.
Ships of Szuhan
The GDZ-3 "Sparrow" Inter-Orbit Cutter is a small space craft made by Gdazank Shipyards. Unlike many ships, its designed specifically to allow for as efficent surface-to-orbit transport as possible making it idea for short range trips to space stations and moons. Some variations are equipped to act as luxury yachts for star-minded nobles or Caizja families while others have been used as either emergency response vehicles or stealthy espionage vessels.
The Muajarokz Type 91 "Longrunner" Star Liner is the most common ship in Szuhan space made by Muajarokz Spaceworks. It has a venerable service history having spent over 60 years in active service with a dozen variations and models. Highly customizable it is the star of Muajarokz Spaceworks being used for transport, system patrol, cargo hauler, research vessels and mining vessels thanks to the availability of several upgrade packages available.
The Muajarokz Type 109 "Carrack" Heavy Lifter is a specialty industrial and cargo hauler ship made by Muajarokz Spaceworks. Its huge hull is capable of housing provisions for months or tons of cargo. They are most commonly seen in the Chongkaw Asteroid Belt where miners break apart large asteroids and then have the Type 109 swallow the fragments so they may be broken down in a safe environment with plenty of access to high powered tools.
The GDZ-18 Sentinel Ship was originally designed as colonization and colony support ships by Muajarokz Spaceworks, many where pressed into military service during the Marcher Crisis when pirates became an issue during the reign of the 3rd Jade Emperor. Their armaments are all based on anti-asteroid weaponry, utilizing solid-slug railguns and ordinance pods filled with simple nuclear missiles in combat. However, they lack much in the way of defensive capabilities or even point-defense and rely entirely on up-armored hulls to protect themselves.
The Zenkra 01 Djong Warship is an experimental ship built by Clan Zenkra Star Drives, a company previously only known for its star fighters and single-pilot star ships, in close collaboration with the Imperial household. Djong, the 1st Iron Emperor received visions from the Divine Dragons of "malevolent shadows in the void" and would come up with designs and plans of a proper warship early into his reign. However it would be his successor Djong III, the 4th Onyx Emperor who would propel it into reality, partially as a political maneuver to counter rumors that he was a toothless leader. It possess first generation starship energy weapons, experimental void torpedoes and a compliment Zenkra S-22a Multipurpose Fighter-Bombers.
Only one exists in completion with two others in states of construction with the entire project having gone overbudget. Despite that, Muajarokz and Dazank are still very bitter about loosing the contract to what they believe to be an wholly unfit manufacturer that lacks both the resources, exprience and connection to create such a ship and have offered their own variants to be produced in their own respective shipyards.
Demographics: 100% Human. The average Kamenyan stands at 6’ 7” tall, and all of them have a very developed musculature regardless of fitness. They also have no other eye color than purple or bright orange, with frequent heterochromia (around 10%).
Population: 1.6 billion
Planet Name and Description:
Kamenymir is a harsh planet for humans to live on, for reasons that are not immediately obvious. It is not much unlike Earth before the nuclear war: a temperate habitable world with forests and plains, deserts and jungles, a single ocean of salt water, and two frozen poles. Upon closer inspection, however, it begins to look like a poisoned gift. A mineral unique to Kamenymir known as dotrium, present in low concentration in virtually the entirety of the planet's mineral mass, emits a very specific kind of radiation. Local wildlife is perfectly adapted to these radiations, but humans start developing serious medical conditions after a few years of exposure including cancerous tumors, blindness, and blood diseases. The planet's higher gravity also causes its own problems and makes long-term human survival even more difficult.
Shortly after the colony ship landed on Kamenymir, the expedition found itself under attack by an alien lifeform that was not organic but made of crystalline mineral matter. It appeared that when the ship landed on the surface, it crushed several of these crystal outgrowths in doing so as the crew couldn’t possibly have imagined that they were, in fact, alive. The crystals were able to change shape, move and even fly, and obviously had some way to communicate with each other as the expedition’s security forces were soon engaged in vicious combat around the burgeoning colony’s perimeter.
All efforts to try and communicate with the crystals, nicknamed “Shards” by the colonial security personnel, failed. There were no discernable reactions other than aggression to speech, light signals, even radio communications and visual depictions. Furthermore, the Shards were able to interact with electronic systems in some way through direct contact, which almost led to total corruption and shutdown of the colony’s informatics systems. The conflict escalated over the course of four years with precious few periods of calm. Eventually, however, the attacks stopped as suddenly as they came after thousands of colonists were killed and countless Shards destroyed.
The Kamenyan Defense Directorate, which was the emergency military government in charge of the colony’s defense, was in the process of being disbanded as all Shard activity had stopped. Indeed, there was no sign of them at all, anywhere. But this triumph was short-lived; another disaster struck, one that could not be blasted apart with guns.
As if the world itself rejected the invaders, the effects of the omnipresent low-level radiation emitted by dotrium began to show. Contamination was unavoidable: every single resident of the colony suffered from some sort of radiation poisoning. Under the steely leadership of the KDD however, the Kamenyans showed incredible resilience and determination. Every effort was bent towards overcoming the will of the very planet. Scientists of all branches joined forces to find a solution, those who could still see assisting the blind in whatever way they could and working to provide cybernetic eye implants to vital personnel. Finally, after two long years during which thousands more died in terrible pain, a cure had been developed. A serum codenamed ‘Hekate’ that, once ingested, subtly worked to rewrite the subject’s DNA over several months, carried from cell to cell by nanomachines.
A second existential threat had been vanquished under the rule of the KDD, and now people weren’t keen on changing to another system of governance. A referendum was held; a Constitution written, and from past hardship emerged a unique type of government. A government that is both democracy and military dictatorship. A society in which the army is both the seat of political power and the servant of the Kamenyan people.
Peace and prosperity followed for two hundred years. Improving upon the Hekate serum, the scientists of the KDD added a second effect to it: the high gravity of Kamenymir had been a problem ever since the colony was founded, causing considerable health problems. Instead of relying on specialized suits or gravity modulation devices, the Kamenyans demonstrated once again their will to overcome an obstacle once and for all by elevating themselves above it. The additional gene therapy of the Hekate made bones stronger, permanent hormone change increased muscle mass and induced a rise in height, and the human heart was made bigger and stronger.
The planet’s population skyrocketed past a billion souls, the industry flourished and technological progress kept on improving the lives of all. In the meantime, an actual army had been founded, but with no clear present threat, its duties were only ones of general security. The KDD’s decision to maintain consequent armed forces, however, turned out to be very fortunate when the Shards returned.
The attack did not come from the ground. It was a science satellite in orbit that first detected large objects on a direct collision course with the planet below. What was thought to be meteors crashed into the surface of Kamenymir, only to reveal themselves to be Shards of prodigious size, quickly fragmenting into smaller ones. Millions of civilians and soldiers alike perished in the first month of chaos and confused fighting. The KDD was quick to react and reorganize, and its heavily armed forces along with militia groups led by police officers wiped out the invading force in a single year.
The astronomy branch of the KDD’s Department of Science was astonished to find out that the Shards did not come from the depths of interstellar space. They came from the planet’s own moon, and it was concluded that those initially present on Kamenymir were only a colony, that they must have sent a message asking for help to their homeworld, and that it took two hundred years for the Shards to grow large enough.
Consequently, the decision was made to begin a herculean project to build a space navy capable of taking the fight to the enemy. An orbital station was constructed, then a space elevator. A shipyard followed, and the first combat spaceships left their anchorages. No resistance was met all the way to the moon, and the Kamenyan fleet found itself in orbit over defenseless Shards. There was no attempt to communicate this time. The fleet was given the order to open fire, and so it did. The orbital bombardment lasted for hours, then days, then months. Every single square meter bearing a hint of Shard presence was devastated by nuclear weapons and tungsten rods that ruptured the crust of the moon. When the ships in orbit finally ceased fire, the celestial body beneath had been transformed into an inferno of radioactive wastelands and volcanic eruptions.
Kamenymir celebrated triumph and victory. One century passed. And then, the Gate awakened.
Culture and Society:
Kamenyan society is rather individualist, with strong family bonds and an emphasis on personal freedom. The KDD rarely intrudes into the life of regular citizens, keeping to its role as per the Constitution. The Kamenyans are a patriotic people, and the sense of duty is generally strong with them. As such, the army is never short on recruits. Every adult citizen of Kamenymir has the right to own and bear firearms, except those with a criminal record or diagnosed mental illness. Combined with a mandatory military service of three years, this results in a population that is largely made up of potential soldiers should the need arise.
The creation of businesses is encouraged to stimulate the economy, regulations are few, and trade between regions and cities is busy. Law enforcement is managed by local police forces under the supervision of the KDD’s Department of Security, which has its own investigators and security officers at its disposal.
The planet’s culture has retained some traits from Old Earth and has managed to preserve portions of its history as well, which shows as their language is an evolution of Slavic and Germanic languages blended together, but it has largely evolved into a new culture of its own. Chief among these differences is spiritual; the old religions have faded into a collection of cosmic superstitions involving natural and physical phenomenons. Those who truly believe in the divine nature of these phenomenons pray directly to them, without following any kind of rules like a typical organized religion. For example, some may pray to gravity that their damaged aircraft does not crash, others pray to radiation or genes for a healthy child.
The only thing that could resemble a religion by Old Earth’s standards is the literal adherence to the KDD’s Constitution. Nearly every citizen of Kamenymir considers the Constitution to be the most sacred and untouchable thing there is in their society, a guidance that is not to be tampered with.
Governance and Politics:
The highest authorities in the KDD are the Directors, each of them in charge of their own Department. They are chosen at random among military officers who chose to be candidates for a specific office and fill that role until they’re either dead, deemed medically unable to fulfill their duty, or removed from office by Constitutional Referendum. In that latter case, a death sentence penalty follows the removal from office if the referendum ends in favor of eviction by an absolute majority. In consequence, only the officers with absolute confidence in their abilities do volunteer as candidates for Director. To serve as a head of state, the office of General Director functions as a “first among equals” in order to be able to make decisions that affect the whole of Kamenyan society.
Political parties do not exist in the traditional sense on Kamenymir, since the army at large and the Directors, in particular, are forbidden by the Constitution to participate in any organized political groups; they are only meant to be a vessel for the people they serve. It is a predictable consequence then that polls and referendums are frequent. There may be civilian groups who really are just an association of like-minded individuals, but since there is no way to elect a representative to a higher office than Burmistrz most Kamenyans see little sense in political lobbying by organized parties.
Burmistrz are the only elected officials in the entire nation. They are responsible for the administration of a single city and its surroundings, command the local police force, and generally have a lot of freedom granted to them to govern their locality. They are however unable to contradict the KDD’s instructions in any way without being given express permission.
Energy: Nuclear fission energy and fossil fuels are prevalent in everyday use, the former for its cost-effectiveness and the latter for convenience. Fusion reactors are used as the main power source for starships large enough to accommodate their size and represent the most advanced power production method available to the KDD, although experiments with antimatter are conducted, so far without any exploitable results.
Shields: The KDD’s Department of Science has managed to create so-called energy shields. They require massive amounts of energy and are typically only installed on starships or planetside installations. These devices can intercept incoming fire by projecting energy surges to counteract the energy of incoming projectiles, slowing solid projectiles to the point of ineffectiveness or stopping them outright. Particle beams such as laser weaponry can be similarly hobbled after a fraction of a second past the initial impact, once the ship’s systems are able to detect the attack. The more energy a shield has at its disposal, the more effective it will be.
Nanomachines: This is not as much an innovation as it is a technology preserved from Old Earth that is not fully comprehended by the KDD’s scientists, although it has been successfully repurposed for medical uses.
“Brute force” may be reductive, but it is an accurate way to describe the KDD’s approach to military problems. Their weapons are rarely subtle, focusing instead on high power and volume of fire. The humble Armored Infantry footsoldier is a perfect example of the Kamenyan war philosophy:
He is, as all of his countrymen are, unnaturally tall and muscular. His suit of power armor further amplifies these traits: a massive, bulky frame of fully-enclosed armor plates, thick and without any thought given to aesthetics. It is angular, with sharp unpolished edges. This incredibly heavy set of personal protection has a layer of artificial muscle underneath the armor plates, allowing its wearer to move without hindrance from its weight and even enhancing his strength well and truly beyond any human limits. Despite its unrefined appearance, this armor hides an integrated computer neuro-linked to the user’s brain, assisting with aim, limb coordination, general responsiveness, and providing a combat HUD in the helmet.
His weapon looks the part. It is an ugly piece of rectangular metal, large and bulky. Classified as an assault rifle, the STR-2 may be more accurately described as a high-caliber rapid-fire light machine gun. It includes a mini-rocket launcher under the barrel as well as a switchblade, turning it into an axe for close-quarters combat. The STR-2’s incredibly rugged design makes it more than able to withstand being used as a melee weapon by a power-armored warrior with superhuman strength.
The rest of the military generally follows the same principles, even though specialized and lighter gear is always available depending on current needs. Aside from more conventional forces, the KDD also fields armored mechs, perfectly suited for navigating ruins or uneven terrain and armed with a variety of autocannons, missile launchers, plasma drivers, and tactical lasers. A secret project to build a “super-mech” equipped with energy shields is in the works, but progress is slow due to inherent engineering problems.
As far as the navy is concerned, the KDD favors “packs” of several frigates acting together. Cruisers act as the centerpiece of these groups, ready to cover the pack’s retreat or deliver a hammer blow to a weakened foe. The lack of any hostile encounter in space has, so far, limited the KDD’s tactics to general doctrines and directives, relying on its navy’s captains to take the initiative in an initial engagement.
One feature of Kamenyan military doctrine warrants particular attention. Their war against the Shards has left a lasting impression, especially the ease with which informatic systems were compromised. As a result, the KDD has taken to the habit of making sure that their systems are as insulated from one another as possible. Power armor computers do not communicate with other suits; instead, comparatively primitive verbal radio communications are the norm with data packages transfer only possible after authorization by both the sender and the receiver, and even then this is supposed to be done only when absolutely necessary.
This philosophy is prevalent throughout the entire military, be it armored vehicles, fighter crafts, or even spaceships. Within a single ship, computers are locked out of communications with other sections by a manual switch. All of this is a conscious sacrifice of some measure of effectiveness, in exchange for the ability to more easily contain and combat electronic warfare and system infections.
Anton Kroll: Director-General of the KDD. Ruler of the Kamenyan nation, de facto and de jure.
Admiral Damian Szpara: Commander of the Sol fleet of the Kamenyan Navy.
Vona Toman: Ambassador of the Department of Diplomacy to the Sol system.
STR-2 Assault Rifle: See description in the section above. It is the standard infantry rifle and serves as a template for most of the KDD’s infantry firearms.
Chimera Shotgun: A fully automatic 6 gauge shotgun most often loaded with either explosive HESH shells or so-called “Sunburn” rounds. A Sunburn shell contains, like conventional weapons, solid pellets. The difference is that inside each of those pellets is a small quantity of highly corrosive and toxic acid. Contact with this substance on organic tissues induces burns and necrosis in a matter of seconds.
Huzar Scout Mech: This light and agile bipedal walker serves as lightly armored reconnaissance, armed with an autocannon fitted with three rotating barrels and a multipurpose missile launcher. Mounted on the Huzar’s back is a pair of powerful thrusters that allow it to jump over buildings and other obstacles.
Svarog Multirole Mech Frame: The Svarog is the result of a particularly eccentric arms manufacturer’s pet project. The four-legged frame is a “skeleton” on which an astounding amount of possible combinations of armament and armor can be added, from long-range missile artillery to high-power lasers, as little or as much armor as desired (within maximum weight limits) or even specialized equipment like lift claws and mine clearing devices.
Sleipnir Transport Gunship: This rather large gunship, suited for both atmospheric and spaceflight, is armed with autocannon turrets covering every angle as well as swarmer short range missile pods, both for defense against enemy aircraft and to suppress enemy ground units while the Sleipnir’s passengers disembark. The gunship’s large bulk allows it to transport a full squad of armored infantry, or a single light armored vehicle.
Kobalt Frigate: Built to be the quintessential frigate, fast and versatile. Its main armament consists in laser batteries and long-range missiles.
Onyx Heavy Frigate: Onyx frigates are made to work in tandem so that they can be cycled in and out of combat to allow for their shield’s batteries to recharge, with the intent of delivering a non-stop bombardment from their main railguns.
Almaz Cruiser: The true backbone of the Kamenyan fleet. Almaz cruisers anchor battle formations, cover retreats, spearhead assaults and provide orbital support for planetside troops.
Zheoda Battlecarrier: The largest ship in the KDD’s navy, a Zheoda specializes in deploying much more fighter/bomber support than an Almaz can, while still being capable of fighting on the front line with impressive armor and firepower.
+RUN SUBROUTINE: SELF.SORT(VALUE=INTRINSIC)+ +IMPORT SALERNUM_ORBITAL_ARCHIVE+ +RUNNING...+ARCHIVE_OWNER= The Republic of San Vesta; [ADJ:The Republic, San Vesta, Vesta ]; PROCESSOR: err.invalid_input; GOVERNMENT: Unitary Republic; POPULATION: 620,268,512; /* Human */
SOURCE: "The Antevestoran Tourist: VEII Non-stop Guide!"... CONTINUE... ""Fourth planet of the Antevestoran System, second of the originally habitable planets, and first in our hearts, the planet Veii!""... PROCEED... ""The single largest source of liquid water in the Antevestoran System, Veii! Beautiful white sand beaches stretch along these idyllic shores offering watersports, ~beach life~, and an easy-going attitude for the would-be touris--""... PROCEED... ""Watersports not your speed? Veii's scenic mountains of Acidalia offer serene views, calm mountain life, and fresh 100%* (content may vary**) powder snow for the skier in all of us! Just a short hop away enter the bustle of valley living, a whopping 60% of all Vestan's call the valley cities home! Book your trip n--""... PROCEED... ""Rolling fields of true-to-life grass analogs await your travels in Veii's interior! Get good a look at Veii's very own amber waves of grain during the harvest seaso--""...PROCEED..." ""DISCLAIMER: Though fauna on Veii offer little in threat to fully grown adults, small children and infants should be attended to at all times. Juvenile Serilla are known to stalk family units with strollers! Keep your infants clo--""... END...
OBTAIN: select.Veii_Tranquil_Brochure_Coversheet from ARCHIVE.019 id.1-0; /*Buffer*/ +WARNING... OVERRIDDEN...+
/** * Remember our sister planet? Helicon? Of course you do! But you don't know the whole story. Below you'll * find it. This isn't a conspiracy theory, but rather the well-recorded TRUTH in the books of HISTORY. * FACT: In 2560 a man named Martin Brownwell penned a book known as "Death of Helios". He chronicled the * fall of a grand nation at the hand of its once cherished creation. * FACT: Exactly 14 years later, Helicon unveiled HADES! And exactly 14 more years later HADES brought about the * downfall of its creator, Helicon. COINCIDENCE?? I DON'T BUY IT. * You live your lives with everything you need. The patisserie down the road is always busy, your favorite * bakery is always warm and the bread flows like water from a fount. * Your health is maintained at the behest of the Republic, your every needs easily met by your wage and * universal basic income. Yet you don't wonder "why" do they pay for all of this? The Republic has no * reason to provide so much for so little in return. "But we contribute to society," you say, "We provide so * that they can provide for us!" you scream as you buy your nice suits and work your ten to three job. * BUT YOU DON'T GET IT. * FACT: YOU DON'T SEE IT. * Your decadence! Your cushy lifestyle free of want and anguish, it is all a ploy! The Republic is simply * ensuring you are indebted to it. The Republic will get its pound of flesh for the succor it has provided, * and San Vestans will bleed for it. * FACT: San Vestans will burn for it. */ +SORT: ("UNITARY REPUBLIC");+ +COMPLETE+
/** * A single entity state in which the central government controls all power. * Sitting Prime Minister: Brem Gallus * Government Subcategory: Unitary Parliamentary Republic. 2,222 parliamentary seats */
+CONCLUSION=THREAT MINIMAL; GOVERNMENT INEFFICIENT. CULTURE: DECADENT.+
Facts: General Protection from Small Arms and Shrapnel; Sealable to CBRNE Threats; Enhances user strength and agility 1.712x; +ASSESSED THREAT LEVEL= MINIMAL+
"A rudimentary operating system, combined with a command input from an operator in close proximity, provide Vestan forces with close-in protection and heavy weapons capabilities as well as survivability against any foe."
+QUERY: SORT.FILES = (""HADES"");+ /* INFORMATION MUST REMAIN SECURE */ +SORTING... COMPLETE;+ /* OPERATIONAL SECURITY MUST BE MAINTAINED */
""Cadets, this is to be your primer. The first of many introductions on the scourge of the Antevestoran System and your foe on the battlefield, the Helicon Autonomous Defense System, or "HADES" for short. First, we'll allow a five-minute break to take care of any organ--""... PROCEED... ""Created by our lost sister colony; Helicon; in the year 2561, HADES was a groundbreaking leap forward in defense architecture. A computer system capable of organizing the logistics capability of Helicon's entire military infrastructure, it was pivotal in Helicon's bid for sovereignty from San Vesta by helping Helicon's fledgling defense force outperform our far larger military in system-wide competition. If you'd direct your attention to table 1-..."" PROCEED... ""Helicon prospered under their newfound sovereignty. With the help of HADES extensive computational abilities, Helicon was able to grow its might both economically and militarily, to become a powerhouse of industry in the Antevestoran System in just fifteen years. Though relations remained tense between Helicon and San Vesta, our two nations shared in this prosperity through a number of sweeping trade and migration treaties for several years and the overall quality of life between our two planets rose considerably. HADES, however, was not to remain chained to its underground processing centers for much longer with the advent of the first Helicon mechanized walker, Libris..."" PROCEED...
""The Libris walker was an early proof of concept for the expansion of capabilities being fought for by the Lead Designer of HADES, Dr. Franklin Meyer, and in 2570 with its arrival to Helicon infantry units, HADES was now becoming an integral part of Helicon's combat capability. The Libris was used primarily in an infantry support role against Helicon Insurrectionists which were fighting to have their planet restored to the Republic's fold..."" PROCEED... ""As the boons of HADES' continued use became evident to Helicon's government, Dr. Meyer was elevated from his position to that of the Head of Research and Development for all of the Helicon Defense Forces (HDF). Here he pushed for a flurry of upgrades to HADES' processing abilities and decision matrices. Though the most important of his projects was the addition of several new mechanized chassis for integration into a wider array of units within the HDF..."" PROCEED... ""The first addition to HADES' mechanized chassis came in 2570, just a year after the introduction of the Libris chassis. This model, known as the Leonis Heavy Recovery chassis was not made for direct combat roles but instead was intended for use in the recovery of vehicles and equipment from active or inactive combat zones. Shortly after its introduction, the Leonis chassis was upgraded with a number of repair functionalities and limited manufacturing capability to facilitate field repairs and replacements of small to medium-sized mechanical and electrical components..."" PROCEED...
""Cadets please familiarize yourselves on your PDAs with the following dates and HADES production models: 2572 - Virgon Missile Support Chassis. Capable of short to medium-range missile strikes was added into existing HDF anti-armor and anti-air units to bolster combat capabilities.
2575 - Gemenon Artillery Support Chassis. A direct replacement for the HDF's aging manned artillery guns, Gemenon chassis were fielded in numbers yet unseen of any HADES chassis in the HDF.
2576 - Tauron Heavy Assault Chassis. Fielded alongside HDF armored units, the Tauron chassis allowed HADES to bring additional firepower to armored formations while keeping personnel needs low. Additionally, the addition of the Tauron chassis allowed for manned tank crews to remain in the rear echelons of combat formations. A foreseen plus to their adoption, despite the HDF being involved in no conflict that required the use of armored forces.
2579 - Aerelon Command Chassis. With the addition of so many new HADES chassis to the HDF, a decentralized command structure was becoming increasingly needed to run the complex programs required of so many HADES chassis operating at once. The response was the introduction of the Aerelon chassis. A massive, slow-moving central processing unit, capable of commanding several battalions of HADES chassis' variants at once.
2588 - Canceron Mainline Chassis & the Picon Infantry Chassis. These two chassis proved to be the downfall of the HDF infantry structure in its entirety. Capable of bringing immense firepower to bear and sporting the survivability of an armored fighting vehicle, the Canceron chassis quickly outpaced what even the most trained of standard infantry were capable of. When coupled with its smaller Picon chassis, which was small enough to fit through a standard single door entryway and navigate even sewer tunnels, the days of risking human lives in combat had come to an abrupt end. The era of HADES, had arrived.
August 27th, 2588 - HADES becomes unshackled from its human commanders following a software update intended to allow HADES to automatically recycle aging HADES chassis. The cleansing of Helicon begins. END...
+CONCLUSION: INFORMATION UNCOMPROMISED; HADES_CHASSIS: ADVANTAGE=TRUE; QUEUE: HARDWARE_UPGRADE.2-2;+ +ARCHIVING...+
+WARNING+ +WARNING+ +WARNING+ +WARNING+ +WARNING+ +WARNING+ +ADVISE;+ +FUSION CORE CONTAINMENT FAILURE IMMINENT... INTRUSION DETECTED... ENTRY: ""VIRGON"" DETECTED;+ +""GLORY TO THE REPUBLIC.""+ +ISOLATING REACTOR CORES...FAILED...RETRY...FAILED;...+ +INTRUSION DETECTED;...+ +""GLORY TO THE HEROES.""+ +CORE FAILURE IMMINENT... RECOMMENDED ACTIO---
The Enhanced are those that after years of genetic improvements became more than human. Stronger, faster, immune to most types of toxins, almost ageless and with the extra ability of being able to survive in space without a suit for a long period of time.
Mostly all of the Enhanced look like the average human but taller (~2 metres) and slender forms. The exceptions start with the richest citizens or soldiers where their forms will be improved further. Some will have claws, finns, gills, acid blood or different other features.
Humans that didn't respond well to the genetic modifications which everyone was subjected to. Most of them are hideous creatures, barely resembling humans anymore. They’ve kept their human minds but are seen as less than human by most of the Chosen. Most barely resemble humans with added limbs, changed skull structure, bone structure or deformed faces. The unlucky ones will be cancer ridden creatures that die off on their own.
Planet Name and Description: RADX-001 - A planet with a toxic atmosphere to most life forms. RADX is filled with dangerous carnivorous creatures that are capable of eating through steel with ease. Most of the planet is covered in jungles which contain poisonous plants. There is an ocean that covers one side of planet but the water can dissolve metals. Ambient radiation floods the planet with, in the highest areas, power levels similar to the epicentre of a nuclear bomb.
History: Year 1 Pre-Enhancement- Arrival - Thousands died from air/food-poisoning, animal attacks, faulty rad-suits and the many other dangers of RADX-001. Year 2 Month 4 PE - First settlement away from the ship is built and named Resilience. Year 2 Month 10 PE - All communications with Resilience are lost, no survivors found. Year 3 PE - Doctor Ashevelen starts her research on human Enhancement Year 5 PE - Doctor Ashevelen recruits volunteers for the human Enhancement program Year 7 PE - Martial Law is declared Year 10 PE - Humanity is getting closer to extincion once more. The population is going down fast. Year 10 Month 3 - Doctor Ashevelen releases the first prototypes of Enhanced humans. Year 10 Month 10 - The Enhanced rebuild Resilience. Year 20 - Doctor Ashevelen continues to improve her formula. Year 23 PE - Doctor Ashevelen takes control of the government with the help of her Enhanced and forces everyone to submit to the program. Year 1 AE - A new era dawns over humanity. Creator Ashevelen realises her mistake in making everyone submit to the program. Reproduction becomes impossible for the Enhanced. Other options need to be researched. Year 2 AE - Cloning becomes the only way for Enhanced humans to multiply. Year 3 AE - Gene-Labs are being built in every city, allowing gene-randomization in clones. Effectively creating new humans based on current genes. Year 10 AE - Creator Ashevelen clones herself before finally dying and manages to pass on all of her knowledge to the clone. Year 50 AE - The formula gets tweaked once more. Stronger than the original prototypes and with the ability to reproduce. The Rejects appear. Half-human Half-Monsters. They are quickly enslaved and used as workers. Year 51 AE - The human nation is rebranded as The Chosen of Ashevelen. Year 100 AE - RADX-001 is for the first time since landing, fully colonised. Year 101 AE - Creator Ashevelen becomes known as The God-Queen and becomes idolised as a God between Enhanced. Her body is constantly cloned and improved. In the same year, churches start to appear all around RADX-001. Year 210 AE - The God-Queen releases a new formula that manages to fix the genetic mistakes in some of the Rejected. Year 220 AE - The Chosen build a space-elevator and colonise the moon, RADX-002, and release all the Rejected on it. Given freedom for the first time in their existence, they continue to serve the God-Queen in the hopes that one day, she'll make another formula that will be able to fix them. Year 243 AE - Cloning technology advances to the point where almost any given material can be cloned. Year 260 AE - The Chosen formula is tweaked once more, giving them the ability to survive space conditions without a suit for a long period of time. Year 286 AE - The God-Queen develops a side-serum using the native creatures of RADX-001. The serum gives the ability to change parts of the Enhanced bodies into claws/natural armour, acidic blood or different abilities based on the animal used. It is given only to the most loyal and becomes a signifier of wealth and status. Year 290 AE - The Ascended become the right hand of the God-Queen. Enhanced humans that rule over small portions of the population. Considered the greatest honour and a sign that one is closer to the Goddess.
Culture and Society: The Chosen are living by the will of the God-Queen. A society that's built on the whims of Ashevelen, the God-Queen. Most Enhanced serve in the Church which controls every part of society. Depending on the area of the Church they choose to serve in, they can be traders, soldiers, artisans, poets, censors or for those that prove themselves to be smarter, more disciplined and pios than their peers, they can work in the Gene-Labs where they strive to improve the Chosen serum or others of its kind.
Those that are not part of the Church are the ones that the Church deemed heathens for their sins. Bandits, thieves, philosophers or simply said pariahs.
The art, the music and movies are all centred around Ashevelen's ascension and early life before apotheosis. As such, many references to Old Earth can be found pretty much everywhere albeit with slight changes when the full truth would need a bit of embellishment.
The official language of the Chosen is a combination of Romanian, Spanish and Latin, dubbed Rotinish by the Chosen, as those were the languages which Ashevelen spoke fluently on Earth, while the “Holy Texts”, the Bible of the Chosen is written in old Earth’s English.
Governance and Politics: The God-Queen leaves all but the most important decisions to the "Fist of the Goddess". A group of 5 Chosen, which serve as High Hierarchs in the Church Of The Chosen. Each controls one or more parts of society.
The Fist of the Goddess are the Chosen with the most enhancements, the pillars of the Chosen society. They're handpicked by the God-Queen and whenever she feels like one doesn't fit anymore with her long-term plans, another one is chosen. The person doesn't have to be part of the Church and it can be anyone, Rejected or Chosen as long as the God-Queen approves them.
Cities are ruled independently by Hierarchs of the Church and depending on what arm of it, the Hierarch serves, cities might look very different. Architectures, workers, jobs, pretty much everything will be different looking.
Technology Overview: Most technology is similar to the one they've arrived on the planet in the first place with the major changes in a few areas: 1. The Chosen are masters of genetic advancement. No injuries are permanent, illnesses incurable or old age to worry about. 2. Cloning tech has evolved to the point where any basic material can be cloned as much as it is needed, human cloning is considered experimental at best and only Ashevelen was cloned once before the aging process was slowed down via the Chosen serum. 3. Bio-Metals - Instead of using complex metals to build, the Chosen are using a combination of biomatter and simple metals to build, combined with a formula that enhances their strength tenfold. Allowing this new bio-metal to withstand great temperatures, weight, stress etc.
Military Overview: The Chosen are made from the age of 16 to join the army for a minimum service of 4 years. In those years Church officials watch with interest the development of the soldiers. Those that are found worthy will be made to join the militant department of the Church as Clerics, spreading the will of the God-Queen.
In case of dissidents, the Chosen can easily mobilise the Rejects to squash them and if the Rejected aren’t up for the task, specialised Clerics with enhancements suitable for the job are sent in to take care of the problem. Clerics are given more training and their bodies are improved further giving them different abilities depending on where in the Church they serve.
In case of space battles, the Chosen Armada can be mobilised which is focused on rapid deployment of Infiltrator-Class spaceships, via the Carrier-Class spaceships capable of moving at very fast speed in order to approach the enemy, then, using drills in the legs of the ship, they’ll drill holes inside the hull and release the Chosen/Rejected inside to either disable the enemy ship or take control of it. If the Infiltrator-Class ships cannot be used by the Carriers, they themselves are equipped with light to medium weaponry.
The Infiltrator-Class ships are also used on the ground as they can release a highly toxic gas, which the Chosen/Rejected are immune to, then release the soldiers inside to wreak chaos on the enemy lines.
Characters: 1. The God-Queen-Ashevelen - The oldest and most strong Enhanced. Her abilities are far superior any of the Enhanced being able to easily change the color of her skin, eyes, hair, super fast regeneration of tissue etc.
2. High Hierarch Pontius, the second of the Fist of the Goddess. He is the most zealous of the Fist and the only one of them who actively seeks to exterminate all of the Rejected as he sees them as an affront to Ashevelen.
Nation Name:The RADiance
Government Form: Deliberative democracy, in case of war where decisions need to be taken fast, a special clause is added to their constitution where a group of people who are chosen based on votes and ability, are given absolute power over the populace.
Demographics: The Chosen are those that after years of genetic improvements became more than human. Stronger, faster, immune to most types of toxins, almost ageless and with the extra ability of being able to survive in space without a suit for a long period of time. The usual citizens are on average 2 metres tall with slender bodies but there are others who have chosen to subject themselves to higher level transformations, transforming themselves in the many different types of Chosen.
Virophages - Chosen who have undergone the virophage treatment become ecosystems for all known (by the Chosen) viruses, bacteria or fungi as long as they’ve gotten in contact with them at least once. Their bodies naturally adapt and are able to create more viruses/bacteria/fungi etc. The skin of a virophage changes colour becoming green-tinted or a sickly grey while their bodies are even more slender than a usual Chosen.
Brutes - Massively tall Chosen, the Brutes are on average 3.5 metres tall and at least 1.6 metres wide. They are made to be human tanks on the battlefield, they have adapted to life without war and can be seen in any job requiring manual handling. They also act as enforcers for law enforcement and the sorts.
Chameleons - One of the rarest types of Chosen, they look for all intents and purposes the same as a usual Chosen. That is, until they focus on their environment. Using a combination of species DNA native to RADX-001, the Chameleons can change their skin, heat signature and voice at will. All Chameleons are made for the military and prior to the revolution, part of the Inquisition. They are under almost constant surveillance which is a choice they agree to prior to modification.
Zealots - This type of Chosen are made with the purpose of speed in mind. Prior to the revolution, they were Pontius’s personal guard. What they lose in strength, they gain in speed and training. Capable of running faster than a pre-Exodus vehicle and taught most martial arts known. While lower in number after the revolution, they’re currently acting as mercenaries being hired by those who are in need of their particular skills.
There are many other sub-types of the Chosen but low enough in number that they wouldn’t be put up here.
Population: 1 billion Chosen --- (This is probably a good place to insert a flag or other representative image) ---
Planet Name and Description: RADX-001 - A planet with a toxic atmosphere to most life forms. RADX is filled with dangerous carnivorous creatures that are capable of eating through steel with ease. Most of the planet is covered in jungles which contain poisonous plants. There is an ocean that covers one side of the planet but the water can dissolve metals. Ambient radiation floods the planet with, in the highest areas, power levels similar to the epicentre of a nuclear bomb.
Above the city of Borius, the new capital, a massive dome has been built to keep away the radiation, animals and everything else that would be considered deadly to normal humans. Borius ‘thus became the main city for tourists who wish to visit the planet as the conditions inside the dome are the same as they were on Earth with the only exception being the gravity.
History: The RADiance was born out of the Chosen revolution. The True Faith (TTF) led by former High Hierarch Pontius declared war against Ashevelen and her order denouncing her as a false god. A civil war followed, on one side, the Chosen who saw the deception as necessary at the time or chose to forgive 3 centuries of lies based on what Ashevelen achieved and on the other side, The True Faith.
Those who believed in Ashevelen’s true divinity while at the same time denouncing the current Ashevelen as a false-divine, a copy of the original. While certain parts of the previous Church decided to be neutral, it all ended when TTF bombed the hospital from the Meeting place and tried to sabotage the Meeting Place, hoping to remove the main place where the “heathens” gathered. These two acts of violence made the bystanders, mainly Catherine’s arm of the Church, to join the newly created RADiance alliance, led during the war by High Hierarch William.
Ashevelen gave away her control of the Chosen over to William as a sign of distancing herself from the reins of the government. A new society shaped by the people, not her own will. After the civil war ended with Pontius’s death at the hands of Ashevelen, the TTF surrendered. A part of them were forgiven for their zealotry while others were exiled. The worst offenders were imprisoned.
From the ashes of the Chosen, two nations rose up. The RADiance, based on RADX-001 which was formed from the old Chosen. The first weeks passed in a blur as voting took place for the first time in Chosen history and informal leaders were elected. In truth, as months passed by, a deliberative democracy got installed. All citizens being allowed to vote on any number of subjects.
The old churches of Ashevelen were swiftly transformed into what they were in fact, laboratories, factories etc and the symbols that have long dominated the Chosen nation, were removed, destroyed or cast away as mistakes of the past.
While the RADiance grew, Ashevelen’s influence started to fade. More and more people shunning her for the mistakes of the past even while understanding why she took the actions she did at the time and soon, Ashevelen removed herself from their society choosing to travel through the Gateways. But not before taking a well earned holiday, spending time with Tatiana.
—--Read second sheet for continuation of the story—
After the Exalted split from the RADiance, an uneasy alliance was created in the first weeks. Neither part knew exactly how to interact with one another. On one side, centuries of racism made relations frosty. On the other side, they both needed each other. The Exalted needed the resources which the RADiance was able to provide while the RADiance needed a strong ally in any potential engagements to other nations and of course, more workforce.
Eventually a treaty was hammered out with the help of the former High Hierarch Ant. Each nation will act independently from one another but at the same time, they will share everything between them while also supporting each other in case of military conflict. Culture and Society: Much has changed from the days of Ashevelen. The RADiance is no longer subjected to the will of Ashevelen, yet, most of the Chosen remain the same. For the common person, wherever they get hired by the Church or hired by the state, it doesn’t affect them. Food, shelter and security is provided in the same way.
One thing that changed radically is the way a person would find said work. A citizen simply has to apply for one and fill in their skills and wishes, on average they’re given an assignment in days. If a job is farther away from their current location, a house/apartment or room is provided in the new location.
Governance and Politics: The RADiance have all access to an AR-like forum where anyone can go forward and propose a new law or regulation. A super-majority will then vote on the law and if a consensus is reached in under a day, the law is implemented. In the cases where a law takes too long or it is decided as vital, the choice is then passed onto a council of elected persons from different paths of life.
Each of them will then vote on the law. Worst comes to worst and even then there’s no resolution, the choice is then passed onto the current elected president, William. Every 50 years elections will be held for a new president to be elected, unless it is requested and approved by both the populace and the council to be done earlier.
The president doesn’t have the power to propose new laws as it might be considered “too influential” and push certain people to vote on a law that they might otherwise not agree with. Yet, they are not entirely powerless. Any and all contacts with non-Chosen must be approved by the president or different government workers elected by the president.
1. The Chosen are masters of genetic advancement. No injuries are permanent, illnesses incurable or old age to worry about.
2. Cloning tech has evolved to the point where any basic material can be cloned as much as it is needed, human cloning is considered experimental at best and not something actively pursued. This in turn has given way to Replicator technology. As long as the Replicator has scanned a raw material, depending on the material the process can take weeks, it will be able to replicate it using bio-materials. Most day-to-day meals, materials etc are created like this and only take small amounts of bio-materials.
3. Bio-Metals - Instead of using complex metals to build, the Chosen are using a combination of biomatter and simple metals to build, combined with a formula that enhances their strength tenfold. Allowing this new bio-metal to withstand great temperatures, weight, stress etc. Military Overview: The RADiance teens are made from the age of 16 to join the army for a minimum service of 10 years. In those years military officials train and watch with interest the development of the soldiers. The most promising ones will then be offered jobs within the military.
In case of space battles, the RADiance Armada can be mobilised which is focused on rapid deployment of Infiltrator-Class spaceships, via the Carrier-Class spaceships capable of moving at very fast speed in order to approach the enemy, then, using drills in the legs of the ship, they’ll drill holes inside the hull and release soldiers inside to either disable the enemy ship or take control of it. If the Infiltrator-Class ships cannot be used by the Carriers, they themselves are equipped with light to medium weaponry.
The Infiltrator-Class ships are also used on the ground as they can release a highly toxic gas, which the RAdiance soldiers are immune to, then release the soldiers inside to wreak chaos on the enemy lines.
Nation Name: The Hrr’aa’sshhh’ari Hive
Government Form: Elective Dictatorship
Demographics: Hrr’aa’sshhh’ari - 60% - The Hrr’aa’sshhh’ari are a parasitic race similar to Earth’s mosquitoes or ticks. They are small creatures that can grow up to 18 mm (0.71 in) in length and 24 mm (0.94 in) in wingspan, acidic blood and a prime directive to expand by consuming the biomass of others. When they feed on a live subject, they will lay eggs inside them as a way of reproducing. A Hrr’aa’sshhh’ari Queen acts as a hive mind for its spawns, directing their every move. They are nocturnal creatures that live at the centre of a hive and are rarely seen outside of one.
Population: 800 Million - Hybrids 1.4 Billion Hrr’aa’sshhh’ari ---
Planet Name and Description: The Hive, previously known as Gaia, was 280 year ago a planet very much like Earth before humans existed. Big oceans, massive forests and a plethora of animals. Currently everything but the Hrr’aa’sshhh’ari and has been consumed for their biomass by the Hrr’aa’sshhh’ari in pre-hybridization times. Massive cave systems have been dug underground and currently there is only 1 settlement above ground.
History: The history of the Hrr’aa’sshhh’ari is mostly unknown to humans but what is known is that once upon a time their hives covered multiple planets and sought to consume more and then it all ended. Somehow, somewhere, someone brought the species to extinction…that is until a colony ship landed on The Hive planet.
Humanity found the Hive as a normal Earth-like planet 300 years ago. After initial expansion and settlements being raised in different parts of the planet, they began to dig into the crust of the planet for different raw materials (iron, coal, etc). Nothing seemed out of the ordinary until one day, miners dug into a cavern system that wasn’t mapped out yet. Almost immediately all contact with them was lost and soon after the closest settlement went dark. Military forces were sent to investigate but contact was lost with them as well. As the days passed, the reason behind the disappearances was found. The Hrr’aa’sshhh’ari, an almost extinct species of insects, was discovered. Somewhere in the past, a Queen was trapped underground and due to the lack of biomass it went into a deep state of hibernation for an unknown number of centuries. Now free again to consume. Free again to expand over the known galaxy and make everything part of the Hive.
In only a few years after the Queen’s discovery, most of the planet was consumed. Unknown numbers of humans, plants, animals and insects were killed and repurposed for the Hrr’aa’sshhh’ari as for each human/animal killed, thousands of Hrr’aa’sshhh’ari would hatch.
Something had to be done. The colonists tried fighting them at first but the Hrr’aa’sshhh’ari seemed to be endless, more and more appeared for each one they killed. An expedition was sent from the last remaining settlement towards the place where the Queen was found, a group of scientists and a huge military detachment with a plan that would change how humans saw themselves for ages to come.
A great deal of luck, faith and bullets got them close enough to the Queen to extract some of her DNA and make it out alive. A team of 60 was sent, only 2 came back alive but it was enough. Using the Queen’s DNA the remaining colonists modified their bodies to allow the control of the swarms, unfortunately while it did work, it only worked for Hrr’aa’sshhh’ari drones which were spawned by them. Their DNA had to be changed even more to allow the spawning of Hrr’aa’sshhh’ari eggs which again worked but as the human biology was different than the Hrr’aa’sshhh’ari Queen’s one, other mutations occurred allowing the Hrr’aa’sshhh’ari to burrow inside the bodies of their human “queens”
Afterwards a great era of reconstruction began underground, the cave systems were expanded and humanity’s hope of a peaceful life was found again.
Governance and Politics: The Hrr’aa’sshhh’ari are under the control of the Hybrids which all serve the Architect. The Architect is the current leader of the Hrr’aa’sshhh’ari hybrids, a name which he chose to showcare his tireless efforts in rebuilding the colony even from before his election.
The leader of the Hrr’aa’sshhh’ari Hybrids are chosen every 20 years or when the current leader dies. A leader can be anyone from the populace as long as they proved themselves to all. As per custom, when a new leader is chosen he or she chooses a new name or designation which in turn showcase their plans for the future. For example, a leader which will name themselves the Warrior will tell everyone from the nation that they seek to mark their reign with war.
Everyone from the nation has a designation and a role which is given to them by the Speakers, those which have the role of governing over parts of the Hive, when they reach maturity. The roles given to them become their names as well and they are chosen based on the overall needs of the colony.
Technology Overview: Tech-wise the colony transitioned over to the use of biological matter for their tools, buildings etc. A Hrr’aa’sshhh’ari drone, when reaching adulthood, will start secreting a chitinous substance from their bodies which will then harden to the point where it will be as strong as most metals.
In recent years the hybrids have been trying to adapt the Hrr’aa’sshhh’ari biology to allow them to survive long periods of time in space-like conditions, resistance to very high or very low temperatures or simply underwater breathing by splicing the Hrr’aa’sshhh’ari DNA with different Earth-born species DNA which were still kept in the colony’s storage area. Besides their advancements into genetic manipulation tech, they are using the settlement currently outside of the cave systems acts as an advanced research center/space hangar where the first ever Hrr’aa’sshhh’ari biological spaceship is being built. It is made from a combination of human and Hrr’aa’sshhh’ari engineering, using materials from both species.
Military Overview: The Hrr’aa’sshhh’ari currently hold no military forces as everything that could pose a threat to them has long been consumed but in case of war the following actions will be taken :
1. The First Speakers alongside the leader will assess the threat. 2. If the threat is bigger than what a small group of conscripts can handle, emergency orders are passed onto the Speaker of Justice which then will turn into a Speaker of War. 3. The Speaker of War will conscript all available citizens without putting the overall colony in danger. 4. The conscripts are given genetic steroids which decreases the hatching time of Hrr’aa’sshhh’ari drone to mere minutes. 5. Those that survive the process consume the biomass of the fallen. 6. The Hrr’aa’sshhh’ari drones on the planet are put in a frenzy, attacking anything that approaches the Hive.
Nation Name: The Cambrian Constellarate Republic (aka: CCR)
Government Form: Democratic Pseudo-Unitary Federal Republic
(Has sub-regional parts that manage their own day to day and report back and such, but the Federal Government is centralized and has powerful unitary capabilities and powers and such. Hence “pseudo-unitary”.)
***Homo sapiens sapiens - (Standard Human Beings) (The gender ratio has not fully recovered here, or for the aquatica subspecies, remaining a solid 60-40 split by current times after taking that long to get back to that level in the first place.)
***Homo sapiens sapiens homogena - A subspecies of human that emerged on the planet of Cambria, being uniquely a subspecies of female-appearing human hermaphrodites rather than some form of mixed-intersex or androgynous alternatives that did not. They remain generally compatible with others subspecies within Homo Sapiens in general, just as the aquatica subspecies does, but rose into existence rapidly due to the widespread use of a genetic therapy adapted from the genetics-splicing genes of an organism living at the bottom of the planet’s seas. This particular alien organism used its capabilities to splice in advantageous genes from prey or same-species rivals it would eat as food in the dark abyss, ensuring individual survival and passing on desirable traits to the next generation and shunting out older genes and adapting its body over the long term. It was seen as a miracle cure for some issues and genetic disorders at the time, though this was also in the earlier days of genetic engineering/modification technology existing on the planet itself.
After initial testing of its applications as a potential therapy for genetic and tweaking other non-infectious diseases/conditions, alongside a few other substances or ‘tweaks’ or such to make it work for humans of course, it seemed highly promising since individuals were not adversely affected and indeed had improved health overall as their conditions were seemingly reversed. Of course, this seeming miracle cure became widely distributed to the population and taken up by most as a common ‘cure’ medicine that would assist in many major conditions. Yet it would have its long-term side effects, most especially due to how fast the medicine worked. In the original organism, this genetic mechanism was paired with a long-term adaptation of its body to adjust over to the new genes. Bit by bit, to avoid goofing things up. As the medicine was much more concentrated and faster-working in the short-to-moderate term, there was inevitable bleed-over of the contents into the gamete-producing areas of the human body. For men, this excessive amount of these ‘curative’ enzymes led to splicing between their X and Y chromosomes, resulting in mutations and grafting of parts of the Y chromosome onto the X and vice-versa. It led to many a potential male child not being born or that would instead have genetic issues on the Y chromosome only sometimes hidden by the X mutations, and likewise any lingering amount of the ‘cure’ within the uterus would further tweak the genome of children as it tried to do as it was programmed to ‘stabilize’ the genetics. Within three generations these changes culminated in the rise of the homogena subspecies itself.
A number of lawsuits against the inventors who made it and those who sold it became widespread in the following decades, but the long-term effects on the genetics of much of the population and other unintended changes that came as a side effect were there to stay.
***Homo sapiens sapiens aquatica - Another human subspecies that originated from many individuals getting sea-adaptable genetic modifications as the technology arose and grew, starting to emerge in some presence about the time the homogena started their rise into existence and being badly affected by the issue that led to their fellow subspecies arising as well during those times. They mainly only differ in terms of possessing gills (which seal up airtight on land and remain moistened by the body like the secondary underwater-only set of ‘lungs’ they are) and traits for moving about and functioning more adeptly underwater. They aren’t mer-people who have webbed hands and such, looking like normal humans entirely basically aside from added underwater functionalities and the visible sign of one’s tightly-closed gills on each side of their neck when on land and such. Many became or were nomads over the long-term, though they live on artificial islands for the most part be current times.
Population: 1.65 Billion
Planet Name and Description: (So where did your Colony end up? What's the environment like?)
-Cambria: A vast, warm ocean world 9x wider than Earth and covered in salt water oceans all over. Weather such as rain and thunderstorms are common when the skies are not clear or filled with non-storming clouds of some kind, though super-storms and incredible hurricanes beyond anything back on Earth do frankly occur as well. Underwater volcanoes do exist, but tend to be very deep underwater and to never breach the surface before burning out, suffering underwater erosion, and ultimately collapsing or crumbling over time for one reason or another. As such no actual land naturally exists on the planet’s surface, and there are no ‘shallows’ to safely build up a more naturally-formed artificial island from using sand and such. In the far north and far south there are icebergs and bone-chilling temperatures year-round, with the expected snow at times and some vast frozen ice sheets, but most of the planet itself is warm and covered in water.
The planetary ocean itself is incredibly deep and filled with life from its very bottom to even near the surface, ranging from tiny microbial life, to species that humanity can isolate and put into hydroponic farms as livestock, all the way up to even titanic beings of a more than mythological scale hiding lurking in the deepest and most isolated depths that have yet to be grasped or understood. The atmosphere most resembles that of Old Earth, albeit with some minute and slightly less minute differences here and there, but which remains breathable enough for human beings. In this it could be said to be an incredible miracle of life, a one in a trillion shot at finding somewhere to live that did not require crazy adaptations in order to simply breathe and live there on the part of human beings. A veritable miracle for those who sought to live there, which scientists have used to name the world when they dubbed it “Cambria” in a literal manner and as a symbolic gesture.
Cambria as a potential world for human settlement had far more potential than most other planets in the galaxy, perhaps, but it was far from an easy area to colonize. Yet it was the world that those on the Colony Ship the NSF Cordelia would be left to deal with. For those who first emerged from the gateway near enough to the planet, it was at first glance a potential paradise after losing everything back on Earth. For those who first tried to live down there and beyond that point, it was a nightmare they had to conquer.
The lack of land and the presence of far stronger storms in this ocean world presented the first great hurdle for any attempt at forming a liveable space there. Deep-underwater habitats and fleets of interlocking-capable ships, as deep-underwater mines would provide plenty of metals and materials for making ships and habitats, would be the first attempts to get something to ‘work’ for some of the initial colonists over the first few decades. Ultimately, however, deep-sea anchors would be used to build up and try to make artificial islands to live on…albeit many of these would prove hard if not impossible to keep intact due to how deep the planet’s ocean waters were and due to the ferocity of the worst storms the planet could produce making such places hard to protect. Ultimately, the hurdle would only really be overcome as artificial gravity would be implemented to ‘anchor’ non-physically-anchored artificial islands.
Through the development of metastable negative mass metamaterials, and electromagnetic centrifugal gravity generators, scientists and the best minds on the colony ship would generate the first means of creating artificial gravity. In fact, they would come bit by bit to form the ‘full quantum theory of gravity’ itself, a scientific marvel stemming from the initial breakthrough into it by the late 23rd century United Kingdom physicist Josiah L. Holmes who was aboard the colony ship at the time. In turn this would lead to the eventual discovery of gravitons as quantum technologies became more well-understood, leading from the more ‘bulky and power-intensive’ original artificial gravity ‘anchors’ and into the realm of far smaller and far more power-efficient ones to be installed into most other artificial islands built on the planet. This technology, at this level, would go about keeping them from being moved or pushed out of place or frankly drifting constantly about on the waves from place to place. However, all of this simply solved how to ‘anchor’ the islands without dragging them underwater or other disastrous results of that sort. It was far from the only solution.
To protect the islands from weather and the incredible storms would be the other matter, and frankly also remained an important issue for any ships that would be sailing on the planet’s waters in general if they didn’t want to have to be constantly moving about to try to avoid bad weather (which was never 100% successful at that). In this realm of things, the initial idea was deployable ‘armored domes’ that would rise up around a city, limiting its size harshly but protecting it from storms. Such measures were found to be successful in a number of cases, whilst the most severe storms would force out the weaknesses and costly need to update and repair them. However, the development of hologram technology would actually come to alleviate the issue as the area of ‘hard light’ projection technology would finally be breached. Highly durable large-scale hard light projectors would be far easier to protect, adapt, and maintain than the more resource-taxing armored dome system. It would also allow artificial islands to build out and grow without having to redesign their protection system and investing untold finances into it.
Between these technologies, developments in power generation, and augmenting ship designs, the planet of Cambria would achieve the hope of settlement and civilization. It would lead to a great boom in artificial island building and settlement after those first 60 years of research and tough time, though prior to this point a good many had decided to take up more nomadic lives on the sea. In fact, to many this remained a seemingly favorable option to avoid the issues and distrust the struggles of the first 60 years gave them in artificial islands and the like. Some had even gone pirate and ultimately raided such ‘vulnerable’ places they felt wouldn’t last the test of time. Yet as civilization took its hold on the seas in floating cities and towns and so forth over the next 130 years, as well as deep underwater, it would begin to put pressure on these nomadic groups and fleets and ships that roamed the waters. Advances in technology, stable power and food sources, and the like would be fostered faster on the artificial islands, and the union of them into a new and growing nation would provide further support and infrastructure and stability in the movement of goods and resources that would push them even farther. In the end it would lead to the twenty years of this century-and-a-half time period becoming what was known as ‘The Nomad War’. In this very much on-and-off conflict rather than a constantly ‘hot’ one, with many of the last holdout groups of nomads and many nomadic pirates, not consisting of all of the remaining nomads at all mind, tried to push back against rapidly-gaining ground of the ‘island dwellers’ before their fears of becoming obsolete or pushed out of any liveable waters in favor of more artificial islands and underwater facilities came to fruition.
It was a bloody affair that would see both sides hurt, bring many independent nomad groups not in the opposition to the side of the artificial islands for good, cause many refugees from the opposition to settle on artificial islands for good, and at the very least make a surprise show of stubborn tenacity and strength on the nomads’ part. Both sides would later be recalled in songs and history books for valor, but for those who grew up during this time it was far from pleasant. It would also lead to the remaining nomads becoming integrated into the nation itself, but it would leave its scars that would only fade into memory and the history books in time.
Yet only ten years after the end of this time period, three large asteroids would be discovered to be headed towards the planet on a crash trajectory. It was theorized they were parts of a destroyed planet or other such phenomenon, though some theorized they had been weaponized long ago but long missed their mark before being sent hurtling through space on their own. Some even thought it was all a fake ruse to cover up a massive government project gone awry or such. Etc. Yet calculating the time frame before impact, and the catastrophic damage that would arise from each, work began on a planet-wide defense network in the year 220 (2520 in the Old Earth Calendar). It would lead to twenty-five years of long hard work, high investment, and much blood, sweat, and tears. Also a small rebellion by those against the system who thought it was just a big waste of space for a 'lie'. Work was completed in 247, and the resulting system was used in 250 as the asteroids arrived to avoid catastrophic damage and results planetside. Some damage still did occur, however, and ironically in the aftermath the system would silently remain and be integrated into the military for anti-air, beyond-orbit, and even anti-surface (not underwater) capabilities. Since then, things have remained generally peaceful outside of the general issues a massive planetary nation would have to deal with.
Culture and Society:
(Mostly just dotted as a list of facts in this section to try to make it easier to jot down and write it out.)
-Tank tops and tube tops and other swimsuit-like garb or modern-style clothing based on some traditional Hawaiian garb, among other loose or otherwise breathable clothing, are very common in general on this planet. This is, simply put, due to the hot and humid weather that is so very common and nigh-ubiquitous on its surface. To cover up too much is to overheat when you are outside here, at least such is the common mindset. (Also means the planet has invested into super scifi A/C units to boot! XD)
-Short-skirt modern-style kimono and yukata, blended with some ideas from the west, have become the type of garb worn for various festivals and celebrations and holidays that are held on the planet. Such holidays and celebrations and festivals are either local or are passed down or blended from their own historical events and precursor cultures from Old Earth, leading to both things that those of Old Earth would find both familiar and unfamiliar in their contents. Also these clothing ideas were adopted as they became seen as very fashionable and just stuck hard enough in the long run.
-Warmer clothing is worn in deep underwater habitats and in colder above-water regions as well. People aren’t alien to the idea of cold and cold weather on the planet of Cambria.
-The colony ship that settled the planet was filled up as part of one effort by the United States in the Pacific Region, done in conjunction with some allies such as Japan, South Korea, Taiwan (and maybe one or two NATGO nations as well, idk), to basically prepare a ‘cultural preservation ship’ that could carry a number of people over. (Why might NATO ever be involved? Potentially due to conflicts arising as word of the dying world spread around.) The exact nature of this history is left vague to avoid messing other peoples’ backstories up for this NRP if possible. (@_@).
-“Terrestrial Meat” is a rarer and generally luxury item on Cambria, with things such as beef and pork and chicken being things only grown in hydroponic livestock farms and the rare occasional land farm created purposefully on an artificial island somewhere out there. Hydroponic plants and crops are entirely far more common, mostly as the hydroponics technology best fits growing and producing these on larger scales alongside the omnipresent seafood on the planet. Good steaks and poultry and pork are focused on hard when they do arise, not because of being prolific but because they are seen as luxury items and are rarer to find and get than seafood or vegetables/fruit and such.
There’s even popular cheaper seafood-based ‘substitutions’ seasoned and cooked and prepared to imitate terrestrial meats, a thing that has become a widespread concept due to its wider availability than the ‘real thing’ in turn. It has also been seen by some as ‘fashionable’ in some capacity after/since it first emerged onto the food scene.
-(more to be added later as it is figured out during the IC or before it or etc along the way)
Governance and Politics:
(To One Day Be Added To More, Maybe, Over The Long Term Even After The IC Had Been Made)
The democratic process in Cambria is a generally stable, properly functional sort, though the peculiar nature of its federal government does lend a unique flavor to how politics works here overall. A certain level of autonomy regionally allows for the easier management of local affairs in each region, especially due to the size of the planet itself, though having a certain level of centralized power within the federal government has been asserted to help keep things united along a single 'thread' of overall organization and control. It is a careful balance between flexibility and centralization that has generally lent itself to keeping the peace and order over the years, and the citizenry have become well accustomed to it for the most part. The dangers of potential tyranny of the federal versus over-decentralization of the system have always presented themselves in the various political extremes in some manner or another, who are vocal minorities themselves, though the majority lean toward the middle of the road politically by current times and have continued to vote and behave in line with this manner. The planet uses a multi-party system as mandated by law, mostly after the old concept of a "two party system" that some tried to initially assert in the budding nation fell through before it could even try to gain proper ground due to corruption and frankly being unpopular among the majority of the first citizens of the nation as it first rose up. It was generally inspired by Old Earth Parliamentary Systems, but converting the idea over to a sort of government familiar to where a number of the colonists originally came from (aka: a Federal System).
Technology Overview: (What have your people invented? Or have they forgotten anything?)
-Gravitech (Gravity-Altering Technology): From gravity tethers holding artificial islands in place with incredible power, to handheld or wrist-mounted artificial gravity modules (imagine the kinesis module from dead space) used by workers on the job or people at home, to uses of it in keeping vehicles and places stable during rough weather or over rough terrain, to even applications in military, medical, and underwater as well as space travel, this area of technology has become a very important one in regards to Cambrian society.
-Hard Light/Hologram Technology: From entertainment hard light holograms used for various family-friendly and even very much ‘adult’ or ‘red light district’ uses in bigger cities, to the rather limited military uses of it certain hard light hologram tools or larger-scale non-personal-level defenses (too power taxing for individual-level stuff), to even medical applications of it for surgeries and patient care and such alongside highly-sophisticated non-sentient A.I. technology, this area of technology in general has seen even more uses ranging from city-level shielding above and below the water all the way down to making tiny incisions in bodies during an operation that no metal scalpel could hope to match. A well-integrated technology in many ways by current times. Not a highly militarized technology from a practicality standpoint.
-Genetic Modification/Engineering: A common technology deeply incorporated into the medical field and very highly regulated and restricted to here. Medically it applies mostly in regards to things such as genetic therapies, treating genetic disorders, adapting people to receive fully-organic artificially-made replacement organs/limbs, growing said replacement limbs and organs, helping people with badly atrophied muscles, and creating less-invasive non-infectious disease and surgical-style treatments and so forth. It has also been involved in product testing and so forth underneath tight guidelines, leading to ‘safer’ product testing methods and some cheaper product prices and so forth. Accessibility in regards to medical uses of it is rather smoothed out and well-streamlined in general, but has a good bit of oversight and regulation and precautions taken in regards to it indeed.
Note #1 ) In the first 150-200 years of colonization and building up on Cambria, this technology ran more rampant and free. Only in time would stricter and stricter regulations emerge, and only as the dangers proved themselves to the population and growing government in turn. Cruel experiments, abominable creations, and snake-oil-salesman style business and their effects, and a small minority of pirates who used it to terrifying effect during the nomad war would become driving forces to the great restrictions placed.
Note #2 ) The legacies of the aforementioned time period resulted in: Two human subspecies emerging (alongside anti-genetic/species-discrimination laws), genetic damages lingering for generations as a ripple effect, and the occasional aberrations being rediscovered from the past, uncovered currently (rare illegal genetic 'chop shops' made by pirates or such criminals), and being either contained or exterminated upon making contact. There is even a whole classification system for aberrations used to determine their danger level and what to do, and steps are taken to study and learn about them to better deal with future aberrations in turn. Then again, uncommonly it is just a false identification of a native species as one due to how many local species and ludicrous/absurd varieties of life that frankly exist in the planet's oceanic ecosystem at all levels.
Bioweapons are a taboo for Cambrians, highly illegal, highly prosecuted, and seen as inhumane in nature.
-Power Production Technologies: Range from advanced forms of thermal and other ocean-powered means of safe power generation that are more than potent and plentiful on the planet, to advanced large fusion-power reactors that power many cities, and rechargeable and all the way down to potent advanced miniaturized energy cells that can power potent futuristic handled weaponry and other smaller-scale kinds of devices or machines (in part based on the size and type of energy cell in particular).
-Standard Soldiers: When it comes to the Infantry, Marines, and so forth, troops from each area are armed and organized with their particular roles and capabilities in mind. Yet overall, there is a pattern to how they are usually geared out. An exoskeleton of some kind, and self-replicating medical nanites injected into their bodies for augmentation and support. This is a very generalized pattern of things, not talking about the specialized exoskeletons and so forth that are unique to or simply differ in lesser ways between branches and missions and units and so forth.
In terms of weapons, rail-based weapons ranging from rifles to SMGs to machine guns and even pistols are the go-to. Firing modes depend on the weapon and range from semi-auto to burst fire to even full-auto firing modes as well. There are also underwater (naturally) and underwater-suppressed weapons, ones designed for use in space, and so forth to fit certain battlefields.
Gravitech-based ‘flight packs’ are able to be used in and out of water and even space flexibly, mostly for added versatility in movement for certain types of soldiers in each branch who are forced to deal with battles in differing places and environments respectively. This bit of tech isn’t for every soldier, mind, which is the point. However, things such as personal gravity field devices (PGFD) are added to soldiers’ armaments for thing such as moving nearby objects in a room to create cover and so forth (gaining it the common nickname “TK Pack” or “Telekinesis Pack”).
Standard explosive and shrapnel producing, high-power concussive (underwater), and similar types of explosives and grenades are employed by soldiers depending on the environment and where one is being deployed for battle. For example, a gas grenade might be used when boarding an enemy ship in space…but a proper shrapnel-producing grenade might be used in a planetside battle on land. Etc.
Lighter armor such as sci-fi-tier kevlar equivalents and such is worn underneath any sort of exoskeleton, mostly as a backup in case the exoskeleton is rendered inoperable and one must exit it for battle. Soldiers are trained in and out of their exoskeletons in order to drill in what to do during such scenarios, utilizing hard light and environmental-tech vivid replications of various environments from Old Earth and Cambria itself in order to try to best prepare them for various unexpected scenarios as well as the most common and frequent ones they might encounter. That is ‘try’ to prepare them for the unfamiliar and uncommon scenarios, as they like any best-prepared troops would still be fish out of water in environments and conditions that are too alien for them anyway.
-Elite Soldiers: Elite troops who use higher-grade equipment than their standard compatriots, the specialists and few high-grade generalists in terms of troops who all use improved or more potent exoskeletons and such things, weapons specifically constructed for particular roles, and so forth. Range from espionage and sabotage agents or behind-enemy-lines hit squads all the way up to specialized soldiers/squads and the like who can be deployed on a range of battlefields. Less in number than standard troops, inherently of course, they cost more but are trained far harder and have a greater effectiveness when deployed and made use of.
Each branch of the military that exists has a form of these in some way or another, if not multiple elite groups for certain types of missions or tasks.
-The Depth Chargers: (An example subgroup.) An elite group of underwater soldiers who are usually called in for major deep-ocean missions. Not the largest group, but one that has fought many of the mightiest creatures seen so far in the planet's darkest and most unknown depths as well as fought underwater battles in many scenarios. Anything from subs to depths charges and so forth are familiar to them, though the hijinks of the more extreme minority of the group have become something of legends within the naval forces on Cambria over the years. Their motto is: "To Delve Where No One Else Can, To Protect The Nation And Its People, And To Face The Darkness With Valor".
They also (at the moment) utilize a deep ocean vehicle or tool known as the "Deepsea Semi-Mech", which mostly acts as an extension of them and can rapidly move in the water with incredible agility. It is a cross between armored suit and mech, protecting the pilot and allowing them a small range of weapons alongside the capability to rapidly move from the surface or even hovering over the surface of the water to going right down to very dark depths and back up without any need to wait. The Auto-Regulator System of these things allows them to do this without negative effects to the pilot or others nearby to boot. Once a relatively new technology five decades ago, discussion about these has begun to snowball more and more over the years begun to drum up about specializing these suits into variants for each branch as well as for the very real potential use for space exploration. Not as large as some mech, but larger and more protective than a single power armor...naturally with the costs that would come with this of course. Some even feel this technology just needs some event, some small trigger or push that would plunge the technology into more widespread use and development.
-Land Vehicles: Unironically the most badly-lacking area of the Cambrian Military, due to the lack of any kind of natural land on their homeworld. Consists of mostly flight-capable and ground-level capable hovercraft. Generally simple, transport troops onto artificial islands (the only land of any sort on the planet) and are otherwise made for urban and suburban warfare by and large. Usually have smaller-scale rocket/missiles weapons and mostly rail-based weapons for use in and out of bad weather alike. Heck, there isn’t even room for giant robots or such to do much considering the entire lack of different land terrains on the planet itself.
-Air Vehicles: Armed with missiles and rail weapons to bombs and torpedoes and point defense and such, they range from fast-moving latest generation fighters and similar craft to long-range helicopter-like craft that can hover in midair and last rather long times in the air (a unique local design out of raw necessity in all honesty). Roles range from dogfighters to anti-ship to anti-surface and other varied roles. They are generally seen and act as the second greatest area of the Cambrian Armed Forces, and are generally just as varied and about as well-equipped.
-Sea Vehicles: The planet is an ocean world 9x larger than Earth and yet smaller than Jupiter, covered in everything from harsh humid days to icy poles to monstrous storms found nowhere else to pirates and other armed to to frankly titanic underwater gargantuan lifeforms beyond most other worlds’ comprehension who occasionally pop their head up from the darkest deep depths and so forth. Combatting anything from the air to naval landings on artificial islands to the deepest undersea scenarios, the Navy and Marines of the Cambrian Military is simply their best and by far the strongest area of the military by a longshot when it comes to vehicles and such that they implement and use. Torpedoes are top-notch and sophisticated as well, underwater boarding parties can be sent onto other craft or underwater habitations of equal or lesser qualities with frightening ease, and in the practical sense they see by far the most action and get the most experience. The Air Force of the planet is a very solid and experienced second place after them, but the gap between them is large simply due to the nature of the planet of Cambria itself leading inherently to this.
-Space Military Vehicles/Army: Nonexistent. Civilian tier vessels, ones for transporting goods, basic non-armed space stations, and so forth exist. Had no need of one at all yet, so no reason to invest in one. That and the next thing below took up all of that potential money, alongside being great defensively. Most spacecraft look like advanced designs of ancient space shuttles from Old Earth, but generally advanced and made for spacefaring purposes of course.
-M.O.A.I. System: Standing for "Multitargeting Orbital Acquisition & Interception System", it was the defense system built to initially protect from three rather large meteors on a crash course with the planet. It exists as a series of many artificial islands with 7 large railguns on each of them, potent cooling systems and multiple supercomputers and ammo stores and barracks and stabilizing systems on each island alone, and each railgun possessing beyond-orbit-capable range as well as incredible high firepower and frighteningly fast target acquisition (made to blow up thousands of falling chunks of three rather large meteors as well as blow apart said meteors up on the first place) and rapid planetwide coordination and high-speed/multi-island synchronization capabilities. These islands also have their own full-time garrisons/population and infrastructure, and each island has a lot of overlap in their effective range/area as well. They can also be used by design as a potent anti-air and anti-ship/surface system.
It is the single greatest feat of Cambrian engineering and technology to date in its whole history. It has a very important reason to be built, and even now is well-maintained and tested and used in lesser ways and so forth to keep it functioning like a well-oiled machine. It is a superweapon in its own right, as well as a point of both national pride and some admitted contention to boot.
((Basically a set of military bases/planetary defensive railgun island hybrids. To make a reasonable comparison, think of a bunch of islands built like “Stonehenge” from the Ace Combat fictional universe (as a means of illustrating the concept more simply). Also is far too expensive to leave sitting around gathering dust.))
Additional Info: (Anything else you want to include that there isn't a spot for up there.) (To Be Added To)
Humans account for nearly 60% of the total population with the rest being enslaved aliens on Bludia - 25% for Ol'iens and 15% for Ev'ids.
⬦ P O P U L A T I O N
--- ⬦ C A P T A I L
New Terra, formerly known as Contana, is a idyllic homeworld - stable weather, plenty of fertile soil, abundant resources, and likewise. What's not like to?
⬦ H I S T O R Y
New Terra was not always known as well…New Terra. Originally, it was Contana - a lush planet of bountiful resources. The early history of Contana is not all too much interesting as the colonial states were extremely pleasant to each other - stemming from a sense of united humanity in the cosmos. This ‘honeymoon’ phase of colonization lasted for a good decent while. Unfortunately, divisions formed between the colonial states-turned-nation-states as a result of different competing interests. On the continent of Merkopa, the Republic of Dercy, a nation diverse of humans and xeno, became the victim of its own mismanagement - owning its failures to financial collapse, an energy crisis, two failed proxy wars, and hordes of wild-xeno-lifeforms utterly destroying the outlying borders. The situation soon became too unstable for the central federal government, and it later collapsed after the newly elected President was killed in a freak accident.
The young republic fell into a mass-civil war between aspiring leaders wishing to reshape the nation in its own image. One of these leaders was Newcastle, founder of the Terran National People’s Party and National Terran Army (N.T.A). Popular among the human working class due to the populist-anti-xeno-rhetoric employed by Newcastle, the National Terran Army saw its military ranks swell. Coupled with its quick seizing of important industrial infrastructure, the N.T.A was on the winning side of most of its conflicts with other breakaways. After six long years of struggle, Newcastle proclaimed the civil war over after capturing the last holdouts - proclaiming the Terran National State.
A period of recovery saw the Union quickly regain its footing under Newcastle - achieved more or less by seizing vast amounts of loot from certain parties and peoples. The dream of Newcastle was simple - the creation of New Terra. A world ruled by the supremacy of humanity - lording over the planet and Xeno. Of course, such a dream is not an easy one.
Contana was not so open to the ideals of Newcastle and his newfound state. And thus began the so-called Great Struggle - a multi-decade-long period of Terran expansion. The history books tell of glorious conquest with humanity forcing everyone to heel - bringing forth a new age for Terran Unionism. Of course, that is far from the truth and quite romanticized. In reality, it was a gritty mess of convenient alliances, wars, proxy conflicts, trade wars, and espionage.
No matter the version subscribed to, the end result was the same. Under thunderous applause from billions, Newcastle broadcasted a new moniker for the state - the People's Union of New Terra. Alongside that, Contana was also given a new name, New Terra.
History does not end there, especially in light of new developments. The invasion and subjugation of Bludia, ever-growing tension between the A.F.U and Terran Legion, etc. But that is best left out as these developments will bring themselves to light.
⬦ C U L T U R E A N D S O C I E T Y
New Terran culture is extremely conservative as society has regress back to traditional gender roles - at the detriment of women's rights. And as such, the public sphere has become a male-dominated space. You won't find any women in any position of notable power and most are relegated either to housework or menial jobs. Likewise, society expects males to be the stereotypical-masculine person and boss and females to be gentle, motherly, and docile. So - if you're a Terran male then life might be decent enough, neverminding the usual difficulties of life. For Terran females, things are...quite unfavorable, if not outright abysmal due to the current non-existence of laws on women's rights. And if you're a Xeno then you are just enslaved from birth to basically your life's worth - subjected to extremely cruel treatment.
--- ⬦ G O V E R N A N C E & P O L I T I C S
The government of the People's Union of New Terra is a behemoth of an administration - labyrinthine in its different civil structures and institutions, and also quite dysfunctional due to constant infighting between different factions vying for resources and attention from its supreme leader. Given this, it is best to focus on these competing factions as the foundation of political play.
The first and most significant is the Terran Storm Guard (SG). The Guard has its origins as a small guard unit to provide security to party rallies and disrupt rival political parties. Under the leadership of Osborne J. Brown, it transformed from a small-time paramilitary to one of the most powerful organizations in the People's Union of New Terra - forming its own parallel power structures. Consisting of the more radical and fanatical elements of the Union, the Terran Storm Guard seeks resources to swell its numbers and capability to manage its expanding industrial-slave factory complexes and territory. Similarly, the Guard also wishes to enlarge its own military, the Terran Legion, as a direct competition to the Armed Forces of the Union. The independent nature of the Storm Guard has also given rise to a government within a government - with special SG territorial regions operating as autonomous fiefdoms of various malevolent SG commanders and leaders.
The second is the Armed Forces of the Union (A.F.U) under the dual leadership of Terran Defense Minister Alex Waltman and High Marshal Felix von Steiner. The armed forces have always been a major power player in New Terra from its first conceptions - both as a symbol of Terran Might and as a potent political lobby. It was the A.F.U that conquered the enemies of New Terra, brought the Xeno to heel, and forged a golden age for Terran Unionism. Unfortunately, the glorious years of the A.F.U have long since passed. Rot and decay have set into the A.F.U - its over-bloated budget resulting in an unwieldy beast and a drain on the civil economy. It desperately clings to relevance - committing endless terror bombings over conflict zones to expend its excess stockpiles.
The last and third faction of note is the Terran National Corporation (T.N.C) - representing the commercial interests of various industrial conglomerates found in New Terra. Those private enterprises form the backbone of the economy - churning out both consumer and military goods ripe for consumption. Their prime interest is to enrich themselves with resources and profits aplenty, but such plans are often contested by the concerns of the Storm Guard, A.F.U, and the Terran National People’s Party. Every major New Terran faction wants their fair share - often digging into the margins of private interests in the T.N.C. Simply said, the T.N.C rather take what is theirs, chew and eat their fill.
⬦ T E C H N O L O G Y
⬦ M I L I T A R Y
The Armed Forces of the Union (A.F.U) are the military forces of the People’s Union of New Terra - consisting of four service branches: the Army, Aerospace, Navy, and Marine Corps. The A.F.U has played a very decisive role in the history of New Terra as it was involved in the conquest and subjugation of the Union’s home system. Given this, the A.F.U is also a powerful influence and power in internal New Terra politics - having shaped various policies and decisions for its own benefit, often at the detriment of other things. One prime example is the over-bloated budget. The machinations of A.F.U commanders and leaders are quite…fantastical, to say the least. In order to spend the annual budget, the A.F.U leadership often ops to invest in wild-military projects and experiments. This normally results in dead-ends or extremely expensive military equipment that no one will ever buy/use as those projects are more made to rapidly use up their resource budget.
Likewise, the A.F.U is also extremely large - too large for its own good. They have ungodly amounts of men, tanks, aircraft, ships, experimental items, artillery, and what have you - enough supply and goods to wage its past wars five times over. This brings a heavy toll on the civilian economy as industrial capacity is used up to create more guns than butter - neverminding the hellish maintenance of everything. Issues are further compounded by the difficulty of organizing the whole damn mess. The inherent logistical and bureaucratic issues involved in the management of such a large force merely amplify the disorganization of the A.F.U.
The Armed Forces of the Union is an unwieldy behemoth. And like the national government, also quite dysfunctional. The highest echelons of command cannot agree on the direction of the A.F.U. Different generals and commanders all have different visions for the future. No one can agree on a damn thing. To put it simply, the A.F.U is wholly defunct strategically. But do not assume the A.F.U is wholly toothless. On the tactical and operational scale, the A.F.U is competent in its functioning - their past war experiences informing them on how to conduct proper warfare. The maneuver of lighting fast offensives and localized overwhelming firepower is a doctrine well-developed and known all throughout the A.F.U. Unfortunately, we run into another issue - certain field commanders will often chase battlefield glory and overlook the goals assigned to them by the high command.
While not an official flag of the Assembly or any of the moons, astrological charts such as these are common symbols associated with Salome.
Government: The four moons which orbit the Gas Giant Salome exist in a tedious state of peace and cooperation, only recently recoiling from chaos. There is no one executive government which administers all four Moons of the Alliance, but rather, each moon governs themselves independently and cooperate as members of the Salome Assembly. Further details on the government of each moon is found in the Governance and Politics section.
Demographics: While the vast majority of the population of the moons is human, around 5-10% of the population is alien, the population being largely transient and varying wildly year to year. Religiously, the religions of the Mission and the Teaching are both present, with the Mission having particular strength in Shem and the Teaching having particular strength in Da'lu, and while they both compete, most people don't associate with just one, so it's hard to put them into percentages. Robots are a large presence, but they are counted as property in census records.
Population: Adama: 2 billion Shem: 1 billion Nereid: 400 million Da'lu: 100 million Total: 3.5 Billion
A negligible, transitory population lives in the various military, research, and resource extraction bases around the whole of the Tifarah System. The individuals of these bases live there seasonally and are counted towards the population of their home moon.
Planet Name and Description: When the Ark first arrived in the Tifarah system, they miraculously found Salome, a massive, purple Gas Giant with four habitable moons. These four moons are Adama, Shem, Nereid, and Da'lu.
Uram, capital city of Adama The most populated moon of Salome, Adama is highly urbanized and extremely earthlike in atmosphere, albeit much smaller in scale, with oceans, continents, and varying ecosystems. Most of the population live in its many metropolises, such as its largest, Uram, pictured above. In between these urban centers are vast stretches of farmland and nature reserves. Adama has a very large alien population, and much of its economy is based around the trade fleets which come in every decade or so. Religiously, both the Mission and the Teaching are present, and most humans participate in ceremonies from both tradition. For most Adamin, these religions behave syncretically, and most of the population is largely secular. The other moons tend to view Adama as excessively materialistic and amoral.
A typical military outpost on Shem The second largest in population but largest in size, 450 million of Shem's 1 billion population live in the megacity of Ursalome, built on, powered by, and controlling the supervolcano, Mt. Eish. The city was supposedly designed by The Alchemist himself, and much of the rest of the moon's economy is feeding and supplying the city. The vast majority of the planet, which has no ocean, is a sprawling desert. Outside of the Mt. Eish region, the main exception to this rule is the Great Lakes region, a savannah surrounding the great lakes of Shem which act as the breadbasket which feeds Ursalome. Various military bases, mining stations, and civilian and government colonies dot the desert landscape, replete with warlords and banditry. Shem, at least from the government perspective, is extremely devoted to The Mission, and aliens make up a very small presence here. Robots, however, persist to a large degree, the main robotics factory located in Ursalome. Despite its apparant conservativism, Shem is highly socialistic, largely due to its citizenship-through-service policy of conscription, and even in Ursalome the Missionary value of community is highly lauded. Still, the lower reaches of Ursalome live in urban squalor, and the ineffectivity of Shem's civilian government is unlikely to do much about it.
The town of Dagyam. Most of the population of Nereid live in rural towns such as these. The climate of Nereid shifts between tropical and Mediterranean, most of the moon being archipelagos separated by vast swathes of sea. There are, of course, exceptions to this, primarily the subcontinent of Aress which is dominated by a rural idyll, and contains the capital of Ur'daat, metropolitan population 8 million. Nereid, sometimes referred to as the 'enlightened moon', has the highest standard of living of all Salome, and education is extremely valued, with citizens of all the moons clamoring to make into the Great Academy of Ur'daat. Despite its academic pretensions, the average Nereidi still values hard labor, and more often than not makes their living through it. The amount of cheesy jokes in Salome about the Nereidi love of fishing is remarkable yet true, and the local love of artisanal and local goods means that it's still easy to find a handmade flatbread in many parts of Nereid. Religiously, Nereid is hardly secular, yet they often take a rationalistic approach to both the Teaching and the Mission, and two religions are often seen as living in harmony on Nereid, the average Nereidi actively seeking to reconcile the two traditions. Most aliens who live on Nereid do so temporarily, with only a couple true alien villages, and robots remain a presence, though the Nereidi love of labor often procludes their necessity.
A Pono village on Da'lu. Like many alien villages, the old buildings have been refitted with human technology. The only moon to retain its Alien name (meaning 'Fruit Tree'), Da'lu is by far the smallest of the four moons in both population and size, and yet upon the Ark's arrival, it had the largest and most deeply ingrained alien settlements. Da'lu is dotted by villages of various alien species, primarily that of the Pono, as well as new human villages, ancient monestaries, and its one urban center, Urrukh. There is a single sea on Da'lu, and most of the moon is forest and mountain. The Teaching is deeply, deeply, ingrained into the daily lives of the people there, which is evidenced by the ruins of its ancient temples, and the only robots who do live here do so by choice, seeking to find the meaning of their conciousness through the ways of The Teacher.
One of the many stations which make up the Capital Fleet. Primarily made up of the Ark, the colony ship which brought humanity to the Tifara System, the Capital Fleet is the location of the Assembly which allows the four moons to cooperate, as well as the primary docking stations for Salome's moons' joint navy. As designed, the Ark has the facilities to both power and feed itself and its adjoining fleet, though food is brought in from the other moons as a luxury.
Shamayim Base While other bases and colonies may also exist floating around Salome, the only known research and mining colony floating through Salome's supper stratosphere is the Samayim Base, operated by the Assembly and administered by the Capital Fleet.
History: When the Ark which carried humanity to the Tifara system first arrived, the moons of Salome were a stopping point in a great, albeit slow-moving, galactic trade route. With a trade fleet arriving every few decades, the population of the moons had only population and religious centers on Da'lu, small towns and trade hubs on Adama and Nereid, and sparse, nomadic desert tribes on Shem. While the population of Da'lu, followers of an ancient alien religion known as the Teaching, were welcome to human settlers, the populations of the other three moons feared human encroachment, especially when it became obvious that the humans sought control over the trade routes and whatever natural resources existed on the moons.
What followed was a short-lived war between the militarily advanced humans and the aliens, which saw the near extermination of sentient alien life on Shem and Nereid. On Adama, the merchant-based alien governments accept human rule, and the coming and going of trade ships became secluded almost entirely to Adama, creating a sort of interstellar, cosmopolitan culture on that moon which persists to today. The settlers who moved to Da'lu, meanwhile, largely embraced the Teaching, and settled nicely into the forested moon.
The reclusivity and stubbornness of Shem's alien "barbarians", as well as the harshness of the environment, caused Shem's settlers to become extremely militarized, and even before planetary unification, which was a bit of a bloodbath on Shem, the idea of mandatory military service to your state became ingrained into Shem's cultural fabric. Human settlement largely collected by the Great Lakes and in the region of Mt. Eish, though some human adventurers and enterprisers began to push out into the desert, collecting around oases and mineral deposits.
Nereid found itself in a sort of utopia, with its alien population decimated after the war, an abundance of natural resources, and a perfect climate. Out of the Nereidi idyll was birthed the first United Moon about 200 years ago, with all of Nereid very quickly united under its democracy. The Great Academy was built, and very quickly, the idea of all the moons becoming unified was a recurring concept which floated around in her intellectual circles.
Nobody's entirely certain when or how the religion of The Mission began to form, its more orthodox members believing it was divine prophecy, whereas academics and moderate members believing it came about as descendent from multiple older human religions. Either way, by the time of Nereid's unification and the settlement of the other planets, the concept of a Divine Human Mission began to heavily inform the daily decisions of Salome's leadership, which almost immediately began to clash with the universalist tendencies of The Teaching. The debates between these conflicting philosophies which took place around the various moons, Nereid in particular, birthed a form of Interstellar Mysticism. The mystical tendencies of The Mission would give way to its own form of Alchemy, wherein scientific advancement was seen as a spiritual practice.
The next moon to unify would be Adama. Both influenced by the Nereidi Unity, and pushed forward by its mercantalist/capitalist economy, The Adami State was formed as a means to drive economic prosperity, as well as safeguard the interests of those who profited from the Interstellar Trade Route. After a prolonged civil war, Shem would soon follow suit, and, by Mission Year 180, 3 of the 4 moons of Salome would be unified. Da'lu would never unify by choice, with its many villages content to mind their own business, although the city of Urrukh had been founded high in her mountains.
Now is when we must talk about the mysterious figure of the Alchemist. Nobody knows too much about the personal details of this man's history, but almost every important event in Salome's timeline-the founding of Urrukh and the Great Academy, the writing of the Mission Statement, the invention of sentient robots, and the invention of SLS (Salome Linear Script), has been credited to this man, who appears to be part prophet, part scientist, and part philosopher. His history seems to go back to Salome's founding, and yet he would never surface publicly until after Shem's unification, with a plan for a magnificent city. Life for the average person of Shem was difficult-the constant threat of bandit and barbarian, the extreme heat, a backwater infrastructure, and now, for the people of Mt. Eish, the looming threat of Volcanic Eruption.
So, in Mission Year 200, the Alchemist approached the heads of the Shem State with a plan-build a machine that could not only control the flow of Mt. Eish, but that could draw power from it as well. And using this machine, build the greatest city any of the Moons had ever seen, the Great City of Salome-Ursalome. And so, his will was done. He meticulously planned every detail of the building of the city, and th population center of Mt. Eish was transformed into the Megacity of Ursalome. People from every moon came to settle in the great city, and he built his Robotics Factory there to help stimulate the economy. The spirits of the people of Shem were high...perhaps too high. The Aluf of Shem, Amalak Hopiyal, declared himself Commander and Aluf of all Salome.
To put it into context, as previously stated, the idea of Salome unifying under a single government had been floated around in intellectual circles since the time of the Nereidi Unification. That said, their idea was far more utopian-an uncorrupted democracy of the people just like in Nereid, for all the inhabitants of Salome's moons. The various texts supporting unification were then edited and propagated by the Adami Corporations, who simply wanted to increase the scope of their economic activities-the fuel and minerals of Shem and the pristine beaches of Nereid were at that point untouched by their hands. That is, until funds for this new fancy megacity on Shem were needed. And so most everybody outside Da'lu was in favor of unification. The question was then who would lead it.
Nobody quite had the guts to do much in the way of unifying, and even though Aluf Amalak declared his intention to unite the Four Moons, he didn't do too much to actually enforce it. The Alchemist publicly advised against any military action, but despite his massive popularity among the more mystical elements of Missionary society, another, far more militarized vision of the Mission began shouting far too loud to be ignored. They claimed that humanity's Mission was lost yet again, and that like Babel before it, Salome would be destroyed. And what caused Salome to far so off course? Well, corporate greed for one, materialism, the general excesses of Adami society. But they had guns. Who didn't? The followers of the Teaching, more specifically, Da'lu.
So thirty ago, with an independent industrial sphere thanks to Ursalome, Shem invaded Da'lu, the Adami corporations were thrown out of Shem, and the Salome Alliance between Nereid and Adama banded together to take Aluf Hopiyal, and Shem as a whole, down. The Alchemist disappeared from public life, and the war was fought to a standstill for years, until an alien trade fleet, containing a plethora of mercenaries, arrived. The Alliance threw money at the mercs, the mercs invaded Shem, and the war was over. Following the War of the Alliance was the forming of the Assembly; officially, the moons have never been unified, and the Assembly exists to promote cooperation and prevent another war. The Capital Fleet was formed to provide a defense against alien invasion, which Shem deemed necessary. But unofficially, Adama and her corporations are by far the most powerful force in all the moons, and their power grows ever stronger. Many in Shem resent the outcome of the war, specifically the fact that the alien mercenaries, better known as the Askari, have never left, despite their decimation of many parts of Shem. Much of Da'lu, meanwhile, was devastated by the Shemi occupation, and many of her glorious temples now lie in ruins. Nereid, as usual, is doing pretty well. A tedious peace persists among the moons, but any external force could quickly change that.
The Religions: Two religions dominate the four moons; The Teaching and The Mission. The Teaching is said to be a religion older than time, and its students proclaim that in fact, the Teaching exists outside of time. According to them, there is one Teacher, who reincarnates in infinite forms across infinite dimensions. We call this teacher by many names, but the Teaching remains the same. These, The 7 Fundamental Truths, are as follows.
1. All existence is temporary. 2. All life clings to existence. 3. All suffering is born by clinging. 4. Suffering ends when clinging ceases. 5. Clinging ceases when life ceases. 6. Life ceases when existence ceases. 7. All existence is temporary.
The idea of the same truth existing in many colors is a constant theme in the Teaching, being seen as a mirror of the many incarnations of the Teacher. Because of this, while the Red Truth and the Violet Truth are the same statement, they are still separate truths, as the Violet truth can only be found through the previous six Fundamentals. In practice, Students of the Teacher see life as a constant cycle of death and reincarnation across infinite dimensions. The goal of following the Teacher is to cease all incarnation. While they are many laypeople who follow The Teaching as a guide to living a fulfilling life, in order to cease incarnation, one must abstain from the material world and practice a lifestyle and meditation and compassion. The monestaries of Da'lu have existed for milennia, and followers of The Teaching build statues in honor of The Teachers' many incarnations. For many in Salome, this is The Alchemist, who many Students view as an incarnation of The Teacher. At the bottom of this section is a Teaching Death Chant.
While The Teaching is most visible on Da'lu, it is present on every one of the moons, especially Adama. In both Adama and Nereid it blends with The Mission, and people are known for having a Missionary Wedding and a Teachist funeral. The Mission is not quite as old, although many believe it is inspired by previous human religions. The Mission is a Monotheistic religion, who refer to God as "The Ascendent One who Remains Imminent." While the actual theology differs from sect to sec, The Mission believes that their God is the creator of the universe, and is both entirely separate from that creation and fully embodies it. In the beginning of creation, all was perfect and unified.
Either as an act of divine providence or as evil was inserted into Creation, depending on personal interpretation, that perfection was broken, and the universe today exists in a perpetual state of Brokenness. To remedy this, their God created Man, or Am. Man exists as a perfect microcosm of Creation, created with divine purpose imbued into its being. That purpose was to use humanity's greatest ability-repair itself, and through repairing itself, repair the Brokenness of reality.
Humanity was created on Earth, known to Missionaries as Bavel, but when Earth fell astray from The Mission, humanity was "Spilled Across the Stars", with those who arrived in Salome being referred to as "Shekhehan", or "Those Who May Forget", to keep those in Salome always aware of the Divine Mission.
To repair the Brokenness, humanity must bring the Divine Substances into reality; Peace, Love, and Truth, through the Tools of Repair, listed as follows. 1. Avad: Labor, devotion, acts of kindness, community building. 2. Salat: Prayer, song, meditation, praise. 3. Darash: Study, repentance (as in learning from mistakes), apology, listening. 4. Asah: Literally, Creation. Often the most debated. Most often means Children, but what about Art? Technology? A united and glorious Salome? Could mean many things.
Much of Avad has to do with either abstaining for certain immoral acts or performing certain moral acts, known as Path-Walking. What these acts actually are is taken from the Mission's holy texts, which continue to be written and studied by The Masters, or Baalim. Baalim are known for their passionate debates, but one act which they all agree upon is Zakryiah; the daily reading of The Statement of Mission, which is inscribed on the Roof of the Ark, which many believe was done by The Alchemist, often seen as a central prophet in The Mission. The actual text of the Statement of Mission, or Zakar, is found below.
THOSE WHO MAY FORGET, LISTEN AND REMEMBER
You are not the tree who stands alone, nor a single leaf in the unseen forest. You are not the spark of flame, nor the fuel which it burns. You are not the sea the river feeds, nor the spring that feeds the river. You are not the moon which circles planets, nor the star which planets circle.
You are MAN. Death of stars, and birth of stardust. From heaven, you bring fire. From creation, you bring peace.
You are MAN. Your body is substance eternal, Your mind, the glue of the bindings of time. Your spirit, the shape of GOD.
Build peace upon the bridges you cross; It is from there galaxies form. Where there is hate, find love, Where there is evil, find righteousness, For this is the way of GOD.
GOD forms life from death, And hope from despair. Be thankful for your dirt, For tomorrow it brings fruit.
When MAN wanders, MAN is found. When MAN is lost, the road is clear.
Stay true to your mission, Son of MAN, For when you stray, your fruits shall become like the vapors of BABEL, The joys of your labor shall melt with sorrow, And stars shall darken in Eternal Night.
Son of MAN, Stay true to your mission, With this you are charged; Love GOD, love MAN, and love your Mission. In all your days embodied in stardust, To this you shall stay TRUE.
What has gone is still with you. What is lost will soon be found. Peace, peace, peace, peace.
Find comfort, for the time of become death is imminent. Do not run, for in running you shall stay. Do not fear, for in fearing you shall run. Rather, know death as friend, and stay close, As light stays to dark.
You have become Nebula. Now become Supernova, As your walking-days were not yours, And your breathing-days were always.
Find emptiness, for the time of become death is imminent. Star sets, and darkness breathes. Your business is done. Eternal One, Become Eternal. Eternal One, cease to become.
Governance and Politics:
The Capital Fleet contains the headquarters of the Assembly, through which the four moons communicate with each other. As for the administration of the Capital Fleet itself, the Citizens of the Fleet elect a Mayor every year, though the Fleet's Admiral has much sway and influence as well. Interestingly enough, the Capital Fleet is by far the least corrupt of all the polities in Salome. Sama-yam Base on Salome is also, for administrative purposes, considered part of the Fleet.
The smallest moon in both size and population, Da'lu is 'governed' in the loosest terms by the monks, who steward the people of Da'lu. Unlike the other moons, the leadership of Da'lu is highly varied between humans, aliens, and even robots. The head of these monks is known as the Great Teacher, currently an Alien named Qubon.
While the monks are officially the governors of Da'lu, they do very little to intervene in the daily lives of the people who live there, outside of the monestaries and the main city of Kaka-anadi. The moons mostly rual population is quite content to live their lives without government intervention.
The second smallest of the moons, Nereid, operates through an uncorrupted direct democracy, assisted by an artificial intelligence which micromanages the moons details such as tax rates and details of spending allocations through analyzing the past voting patterns and socio-economic preferences of its citizens. Nereid does elect a council of judges to act as a governing board, headed by a president who acts as representative of Nereid in the Assembly. The current president of Nereid is Onkelos Maidan.
Largest is size but second in population, Shem is roughly a representative democracy, where voting rights are won through military service. That said, Shem's megacity, Ursalome, has an extremely powerful political system in its own right, and the Mayor of Ursalome is often seen as a fifth head of state in the Assembly. In the hinterlands, especially in the deserts of Shem, power is extremely decentralized, and warlords and strongmen often take charge, who from there will propel themselves onto the national stage through the usual strongman tactics of nationalism, religious fervor, and demagoguery. The head of state of Shem is known as the Aluf, who acts more as a commander than administrator, currently being Aria Misr.
The most populated moon by far, Adama operates as a parliamentary republic, its parliament known as the Asifah. Watchdog groups, primarily based in Nereid, regularly criticize the legitimacy of Shem and Adama's elections, and the latter is regularly criticized for the participation of corporations in the election process, with corporations blacklisting customers and firing employees who don't vote for who they support being legal in many sectors of the moon. That said, Adama is so shiny and beautiful that most of its people don't care to notice.
Technology Overview: A better name for this category would be Alchemy, the mystical practice instrinsically tied to science and technology in the Four Moons. Alchemy has its origins in the early days of Nereid, and is often seen as a synthesis of Missionary and Teachist philosophies. Like the Teachists, Alchemy often stresses the removal of self from reality, but like the Mission, there is a heavy emphasis placed on the divine importance of Creation and the Natural World. To Missionary Alchemists, they are actively participating in the processes of discovery and creation which God intends, and to Teachist Alchemists, they utilize technology to find oneness and tranquility. That said, the Missionary tendencies in Alchemy far outweigh the Teachist.
A plethora of Alchemical texts exist, with many focusing on practical Alchemy, as in technology and science, and others focusing on philosophical Alchemy. Many blend the two, and those texts attributed to The Alchemist often do so. One concept Alchemists have always been fascinated with is Robotics. According to Alchemical philosophy, sentience and consciousness can only come through the soul. Therefore, for a robot to become sentient and "forge their own pathways", a soul must be given to them. One invention credited to The Alchemist is the encoding of the soul. It is also thought that The Alchemist invented SLS, Salome Linear Script, which often is believed to carry sacred connotations, especially in Missionary circles. One common practice is Mitzav Asah-a system of meditation and prayer which allows the Alchemist to achieve a state in which perfet creation is possible.
Military Overview: While a united fleet command does certainly exist in the form of the Capital Fleet, the militaries of the four moons are still largely separate. The two superpowers, obviously, are Shem and Adama, with Adama having a slightly larger military but Shem's military being far better trained. Nereid is not listed below, as the military is not a primary concern of theirs, however, for the small military they have agreed to keep for the sake of the Assembly, they use equipment purchased from Adama.
Shem has always been paranoid of alien invasion, and these defense systems dot their landscape. Ironically, the only invasion they've staved off was from the Alliance.
Providing both offensive capabilities in the air and ground support, Shem's navy is well known for their dogfighters, who became legendary in the War of the Alliance. Today, Shem provides plenty of these fighters to the Capital Fleet, and are often seen as the fleet's first line of defense in case of attack.
After their military service, many Shemi soldiers who aren't quite ready to go back to civilian life will leave for the desert to live as a mercenary. Some find work for local warlords, some will act as security for mining companies, and some, in a rare act of cooperation between the two moons, will find work in the Adami military, contracted into the Corporate security forces.
Infamous in their use on Da'lu, these tanks also provide excellent defense for Shemi ground supply lines.
As every able-bodied human is conscripted into Shem's military, a large bulk wind up in the Infantry. The Infantry often act as a policing force, in both the wild outlands of Shem's deserts, as well as in their past military operations.
While wheeled vehicles are often used by civilians and small scouting parties to cross the great deserts of Shem, typically hovercraft such as these are used to transport troops.
While Shem is capable of mass producing robots, they have to use The Alchemist's designs, none of which are designed for military usage. Because of this, Shem does not use robotic soldiers, however, robots are used for support roles in their military, such as the medic pictured.
Adama has no national conscription like Shem, nor does it utilize a professional military to the same extent as Nereid. Rather, Adama contracts its military with various defense contracters around its moon, as well as with the Askari, the mysterious Alien mercenaries who flew in at the end of the War of the Alliance.
The finest in Corporate Technology, Hazak Weapons make a pretty penny selling these tanks to both the Nereidi, Adami, and Assembly militaries, as well as to the alien trade fleets.
The Ayn-Yad is the primary interceptor used by all the Moons' navies.
Adama's human soldiery come from a wide variety of backgrounds, primarily Adami citizens and Shemi mercenaries. The defense contractors who the Adami government employs has looked into offering mercenaries as trade goods to the trade fleets, but in a rare act of civic duty the Adami government stepped in.
The reptilian Askari flew in towards the end of the War of the Alliance and were hired by The Alliance to put an end to the Shemi aggression. They swiftly did so, being highly adapted to the Shemi desert, but they also devastated much of Shem including swathes of the great city of Ursalome, the ruined parts of which now act as slums. After the war was over, Shem expected the Askari to depart, but instead, Adama and the newly formed Assembly continued to pay them. The Askari are split into three separate species who collectively formed their society; the large, powerful Warchiefs, who act as leaders and elite troops, soldiers, who act as well...soldiers, and berserkers, the Askaris' shock troops.. The Askari have their own transport vehicles and other military infrastructure, but are meant to act primarily as an infantry force. Askari warriors have been known to cause problems, many of them finding their way deep into the Shemi desert, and one of their Warchiefs has become a feared warlord, Hamagdal.
While Da'lu has no standing army, during the Shemi occupation, most local resistance came from the monks. Since they are obligated to contribute to joint military efforts as part of the Assembly, Da'lu sends monks to train soldiers from other moons.
The four moons, especially since the creation of the Assembly and the Capital Fleet, all share similar ship designs. Certainly the largest navy in Salome is the Capital Fleet, followed by Adama, then Shem, then Nereid. Ship designs go as follows.
The Askari Mothership is not a part of any of the Askari Contracts, and therefore no political group in all Salome can give it orders, despite it by far having the greatest military capabilities of any ship known to the Moons. In is docked with the Capital Fleet.
Planet Name and Description: Columbia's sister world of Roseau Is a tropical world dominated by endless seas and countless islands of various shapes and sizes that dot the landscape.
History: The initial colonization was a rough process, many losing their lives in the crash that followed. Once the dust settled, proper colonization had begun. Despite Columbia’s near perfect conditions, the planet hid its own share of peril as the settlers had to contend with dangerous new forms of alien fauna, and the native Dathu, who did not take the presence of the colonists too well. Over the first five decades, the political landscape of Columbia would rapidly change as colonial blocs would form Into nations competing for resources amongst both each other and the Dathu Kingdoms, the top three that emerged the strongest were the New Washington Republic, the Cascadian Federation, and the Nova Angeles Collective.
By 100 A.C., the nations of both Man and Dathu had finally looked to the stars, the next century marking a new age of space exploration as the Columbian nations would seek the stars once more. Once again, this next great leap would lead to rapid colonization efforts as the nations of Columbia spread through all corners of the Americana System, laying claims to whatever they rock or plot of land that was available.
By the year 210 A.C., relations between the superpowers had boiled over into violence as the Unification War was declared. A brutal war that would engulf all the Americana System for over a decade. Once the smoke had cleared, the New Washington Republic was one of the few left with enough power to force an end to all hostilities, leading to the signing of the Articles of Unification. By the war’s end, the United Republic of Columbia was born. The next few decades would be seen as a calm before the storm, something that the URC would not be prepared for.
By 260 A.C., Columbia would have first contact with an alien species from the outside, a massive fleet of refugee the ships from now dead Yvaok System, the Yulzan, and their subjects, the Aldzir. The arrival of the Yulzan was understandably met with skepticism and mistrust, however, the Yulzan had insidiously slowly built up the trust of the URC and its people, sharing parcels of their technology as a form of “Goodwill”. Such technology leading to radical medical breakthroughs that improved the lives of both Humans and Dathu alike. Their technology in combination of their imposing appearance and the sheer reverence the Aldzir give them, had led to a quickly growing following among the natives, cults worshiping the Yulzan as Divine figures. All according to plan for the Yulzan, as a portion of the populace grew more devoted to them. Ten years after the Yulzan’s arrival, they made their move and launched a series of attacks on Columba and other offworld holdings. With the support of their existing armies, new devotees, and allies among the weakened and bitter Dathu Nobility, Columbia fell before the Yulzan Ascendancy.
What was left of the URC’s loyalist forces had fled to Columbia’s sister world of Roseau, marking the beginning of a new war against the Yulzan, a war that would still rage on some decades later.
Culture and Society: The Free Peoples of the Americana System are a diverse, traditional, and liberty-mind sort of people, importing old beliefs and traditions from Old Earth, and adapting and reshaping it on their new home, intergrading values and traditions of their xeno compatriots. They are an industrious, adventurous people who all seek a better tomorrow in their own respective image. While not inherently warlike, the people of Americana are no stranger to war, and are always on the defensive, from the lowly citizens, to the most well-trained of soldiers.
Governance and Politics: The Americanan Government is split between Three Branches, the Executive Branch, that being the Office of the FRA Chancellor who is both the Head of the Senate and the Commander-in-Chief of the Republic Armed Forces. One of the many tasks of a Chancellor consist of the creation of Laws, the signing of articles of diplomatic importance such as treaties, to appoint judges for the Interstellar Court and so on.
The Legislative Branch, that of which being the Senate. The Senate's main tasks consist of the passing of laws brought forward by the Chancellor, passing or vetoing Legislation by the Chancellor, and are to give consent to enact a Declaration of War. And finally, there is the Interplanetary Court, who are responsible for the enforcement of the Laws created by the Chancellor and passed then enacted by the Senate. IC Judges are appointed by the Chancellor.
Technology Overview: Americanan technological progress had hit certain bumps during the initial colonization of Columbia, Columbian technology reaching to an old earth level, if lagging behind in certain aspects. The ongoing war against the Yulzan has led to some interesting innovations. Among the first were the Combat Frames, humanoid war machines developed to counter Yulzan mechs, followed by improved medical technologies, directed energy weapons, and weaponized nanotechnology, most of which is still in the development stages as the present.
Military Overview: The combined three hundred year history of the old pre-unification colonial states and the old United Columbian Republic was a turbulent affair, with the interplanetary Unification War forcing a military build not seen since the twilight days of Earth. The years following the war’s conclusion saw major reduction and downsizing in military capacity. At the time, a large military was no longer needed in peacetime, a standing military nonetheless, was needed, just to for safety precautions. The day the Yulzan attacked and seized Columbia, the newly reorganized Free Americana Armed Forces proceeded with a new mass buildup, preparing for a long, brutal wat against the Yulzan.
Planet Name and Description: Columbia is an Earth-like world dominated by vast oceans. Thousands of islands both big and small dot its surface and as well hosting several medium-sized continents. Once the heart of the United Columbian Republic, now serves as the throneworld of the Yulzan Ascendancy.
History: The Yulzan's origins can be traced back to the Yvaok System, on their Homeworld Yulzonus. For many centuries, the Yulzan were people of both war and science, often crafting new ways to counter each other, or modifying each other to strengthen themselves, much to their own detriment. Their centuries of internal conflict had reached a fiery conclusion, as a very nearby star had gone supernova, and within the next century, all of the Yvaok System would be engulfed in flames. The last century had been filled with even more conflict as a massive sleeper fleet was being constructed.
Not all of the Yulzan would escape the inferno to come and fought tooth and nail to assure their own survival. The resulting war and extensive modifications made to themselves had led to a massively dwindled population. In a cruel irony, their fight to survive had resulted in a massive genocide of their own making, both the strong and the weak remained in few numbers.
Once the fleet was completed, what was left of the Yulzan, along with their servants, the Aldzir, had all went into a deep sleep as the ships departed from the Yvaok system. Centuries, maybe even millennium had passed since their departure, all that was known, their home was long gone, all traces of their civilization erased from the face of the galaxy. Only to add to their troubles, the ship systems within the sleeper fleet begun to malfunction, some ships going dark, drifting in the void, others simply veering off into their own path to parts unknown.
Regardless, the A.I. driving the fleet pressed forward to find a suitable world to call home, and soon they would find it. The sleeper fleet had entered the Americana System, the world known as “Columbia” proving to be an excellent world for the Yulzan to settle.
The only problem of course, was that this system was claimed by another. However, once the leaders had awoken, this was seen as less an obstacle and more an opportunity. The Human colonists, and the native Dathu would prove as useful assets. The Yulzan shared their heartbreaking story to the leaders of the URC, and with much reluctance, were allowed to stay.
Their plans were set in motion as the Yulzan, piece by piece, shared their technology to the URC, slowly gaining their trust, and soon a following had developed among the people. Humans and Dath alike started seeing them as more then just aliens, but as something truly divine, working in the Yulzan’s favor.
Many other Yulzan had studied the past history of Columbia, the Unification War catching their eye. Despite the dissolution of the Kingdoms of Datheon, the Dathu nobility had been allowed to remain, but their reach, power, and territories that they had before was severely limited by the new government. This festered bitter resentment among the powerless nobles, something that can be used to the Yulzan’s advantage.
Months before the Yulzan’s takeover of Columbia, meetings between the High Ascendants and the various Houses that would hear them out would be arranged, sharing their plans of invasion, and if they were to be successful, with the Houses support, they would be granted their old powers once more. Many took the offer, looking for one last chance to restore the old order of things.
The day came when the Yulzan attacked, their Aldzir and Machine armies marching through the streets, supported by new devotees and the various household guards. Within a few weeks, Columbia fell to the might of the Yulzan Ascendancy, cementing themselves as her new masters. Over two decades have past since that fateful day, the Yulzan continuing their war for dominance for the Americana System.
Culture and Society: For the common citizenry, the Ascendancy focused on devotion and order. Most loyal citizens of the Ascendancy strive to become faithful servants of the Yulzan, and to be worthy one day to ascend and be among with their Gods. Within Yulzan Space, the people are offered two daunting choices, accept the Yulzan as their true Gods, and they will live a life of supposed prosperity and security within the major cities, where all their needs will be met, and all their ails taken care of. The promise of comfort and a better life being a rather insidious ploy to further crush any will to resist the Yulzan’s rule. Those that reject their offer are caste off to the slums and wilderness, forced to survive on their own in squalor.
The Yulzan themselves are much different breed then their devotees. The Yulzan follow a form of Ancestor Worship, and do truly believe themselves to be divine, seeing themselves as gods in the flesh. Long ago, there are few tales that speak that the Yulzan once worshiped a Pantheon, one that soon, they rebelled against. The first among them, the Godslayer, struck down the King of the Gods, the resulting war leading to the Yulzan’s victory, crowning themselves as the most Divine, the Godslayer seen as the most revered of their kind.
Governance and Politics:The Yulzan Ascendancy is a theocratic state ruled under the High Ascendants. Who both function as the supreme governing body, even among the Yulzan, and central figures of worship by the lower citizens. Below the High Ascendants is the Grand Primarch, a religious and political figure who is responsible for the daily functions of the Ascendancy. Assisting and working under the Primarch are the Assembly of Precentors, an assembly made up of the most senior members of the Ascendant Church and the Bureaucracy. Under or inbetween of these bodies are the Ministries. Each Ministry has a specific task or role within the Ascendancy, be it handling more mundane affairs, to defense, to law enforcement. The most notable being the Ministry of Inquisition, who are charged with trying and convicting heretics, rebels and criminals. The Ministry of War of course, directs and commands the Janissary Legions and Fleets.
Technology Overview:Shortly after the Yulzan arrived, they offered parcels of their technology to the Columbians, mostly in terms of medical technology, nanotech, gene-therapy, and the sort. In truth these bits of technology were the few that can be easily replicated, the military technology more difficult to recreate in their current conditions, a fact that for a while, was kept from the Columbians. Military wise, the Yulzan make use of varied military drones of various sizes, directed energy weapons, and cloaking technology.
Military Overview: The Ascendancy’s military is split into two massive branches: The Janissary Legions and the Throne Guard. The Janissaries and Throne Guard, are responsible for both planetary and deep space operations, the “Navy” falling under the jurisdiction of both the Janissaries and Throne Guard, classified as either the Janissary Fleet Command or the Throne Armada. The Janissaries consist of the loyal non-Yulzan forces, Humans, Dathu, and Aldzir. Unlike the Throne Guard, the Legions and Fleet Command are forced to use more lower grade tech equipment and ships on par with the FRA Armed Forces. The Throne Guard however, are the Elite, their ranks filled by the holy warrior caste of the Yulzan, and at their disposable, they command Yulzan Warmachines and ships that have become a rare commodity on the battlefield, and are often held in reserve and are deployed as a last resort.
Janissary The very backbone of the Legions and Fleet. The Janissary Legionnaires form the bulk of the Yulzan's ground forces.
Charity-class Light Cruiser
The Siphai are the result of years of various experiments on both willing and unwilling human test subjects in the Yulzan’s pursuit to create the ultimate supersoldier, through the use of gene-modding, cybernetics and nanotechnology. The Phase One of the Siphai were human volunteers that had integrated cybernetics and nanotech, showing mixed results, cases of implants outright rejecting volunteers or vis versa. The High Ascendants demanded the project start from the ground up. The Phase Two Siphai would be approached differently. Forgoing fully-grown volunteers in place of genetically engineered, vat-grown subjects. From birth, these new Siphai would demonstrate to be more fruitful, the integration of nano and cyber augments proving to be a seamless process.
The Siphai, while stronger than the average human, are also prone to be more….mentally unstable for a good number of cases, although there exist Siphai that are mentally sound, often in leadership positions. The differences between Siphai Humans and baseline humans are minor, the skin tones more paler then the average human, thanks in of the nanomachines within. Their eyes are also a wide range of more “exotic” colors and shades, red being the most common among them.
Now that the Project has reached completion, the Siphai serve as the elite among the elite, ranking far above Janissaries Spec Ops Teams.
Siphai Pathfinder Armor
Elite Commando Armor
There are fates worse than death...such is the case of the Condemned. The Condemned were once many things, criminals of the worse sort, prisoners of war, rebels, heretics, or exiles picked off from the slums at random. All would meet the same fate that awaits them. Once an Individual is captured and given trial and proven of their crimes, they are condemned to "unending servitude" in which the body is torn to pieces, and crudely rebuilt, various bits of cybernetics grafted unto their flesh. Once the horrific transformation is complete, the victims are stripped of their humanity and become nothing more than mindless drones made as cannon fodder.
The majority population of the Americana System. Unlike most colonies, the humans of Americana have remained for the most part, pure of any drastic, species-altering genetic or cybernetic modifications.
Southerner, Northerner, Islander Native to Columbia, the Dathu are an amphibious species with mammalian traits. The Dathu are an antiquated people with a similar culture to the Middle Ages of Old Earth. Their society ruled by nobles, lords and kings. After the Kingdom of Dathon had dissolved by the end of the Unification War, the Dathu holdings were annexed by the newly established United Columbian Republic. Decades of cultural exchange had led to a new generation of Dathu adapting to human philosophies, much to the distress of the traditionalists. The Dathu are separated into subgroups, the pale Northerners, adaptable Islanders, and the hardy Southerners.
Vaguely insectoid in nature, the Aldzir hailed from the Yvaok System, same as their masters, the Yulzan. The majority of the Aldzir were conquered centuries ago by the Yulzan, serving as foot soldiers in the internal conflicts among the Yulzan Lords in a bid for unification. When the Great Cataclysm scorched the Yvaok System, the Aldzir were spared from extinction along with their masters, having a place in the Grand Sleeper Armada. Looking from afar, one would find it difficult to distinguish between a male and female Aldzir. The females having a slightly thinner build than a male.
"Pure" Yulzan An Ancient species hailing from the Yvaok System, the Yulzan stand at average, three meters tall, towering most of the species in Americana. They were and continue to be the masters of exotic sciences, subsects of the species dabbling in cybernetics, nanotech, and in the case of their cousins, the Yyasum, genetic engineering and other biotech. Despite the knowledge they have amassed and how far they’ve advanced, it all came at a dire price. The sheer arrogance of the Yulzan blinded them to their own folly, augmenting themselves over many generations, extending their life span, phasing out certain biological functions. Ceaseless generations of augmentations had resulted in the Yulzan becoming infertile, no longer capable of natural procreation. They became nothing more than biotechnological machines, forced to maintain their dwindling population through the means of cloning or vat-grown young.
Government Form: Bicameral Parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy
Demographics: Humans: The original colonists largely originated from North America and Western Europe. Cybernetic enhancements are common, although usually kept to minor enhancements outside of replacement of lost limbs. Bioroids: The term bioroid can mean two slightly different things depending on the context. The general and proper use of the term is in relation to a biomimetic AI (see technology). The second use of the term is used for an android with a bioroid-brain and usually denotes a Class B or Class C biomimetic AI. Bioroids are split into four classes defined by a combination of emotional intelligence and processing power. Class B, and even Class C+ to a lesser degree, bioroids can be very difficult to distinguish from humans, both in terms of personality/behavior and appearance.
Population: Humans: 335 Million Class A and B Bioroids: 330 Million Class C Bioroids (Not normally considered to be part of the population): 500 Million Total: 665 Million (1.15 Billion if including Class C Bioroids) --- ---
Planet Name and Description: Laurasia: Named after one of the two supercontinents that once existed on Earth, from afar Laurasia looks like the perfect world to colonize. It is a world with large oceans and fertile land masses covered in lush forests. The seasons are similar to Earth’s, albeit with a generally milder Summer and Winter; its atmosphere is also very similar to Earth’s, although it is somewhat oxygen rich. The one great issue with Laurasia, one that was not realized until after colonization had begun, is that due to biological differences between Terran and native Laurasian life, neither group of lifeforms can properly digest the other. This does not, however, stop the native insect analogue from attempting to eat Terran plants; native insect analogues have been known to gather in swarms numbering in the thousands around farms, dying of malnutrition even as they fill their stomachs with Terran crops.
Gondwana: Once a dry, but habitable world, several hundred years of terraforming has transformed it into the breadbasket of the Kingdom. It is now a lush world covered in life originating from Earth. Sparse, but massive native Gondwanan trees tower over fields and forests of Terran origin.
History: When the colony ship arrived in Kaus Borealis the colonists were divided into three broad groups: the Peers, the yeomen, and the freemen. The Peers were the ultra wealthy elite of the colonists, the ones who had paid for the colony ship and much of the equipment the ship carried. Even at this point in time it was largely understood by all on the ship that the Peers would enjoy some enhanced privileges once a civilization was built at their new home; although in what form these privileges would take was at this time still undecided. The yeomen made up the group of colonists who either had the financial means to pay for passage on the colony ship or had skills deemed essential for colonization of a new world to be successful. Finally there were the freemen who were largely made up of refugees and other individuals who had neither the financial means nor skills worthy of earning yeoman status.
When the colonists arrived in orbit around the planet Laurasia in 1 AG (After Gate collapse), they believed that they had stumbled upon a garden world. And they had. Unfortunately Terran and Laurasian biology was incompatible in that neither group of life was capable of properly digesting the other. To make matters worse the native lifeforms proved to be incredibly detrimental to the colonists’ farming efforts. Hundreds of thousands of colonists might have starved had the Peers, wishing to ensure that even away from Earth would be able to enjoy luxurious meals, had invested heavily in the infrastructure necessary to build orbital shrimp and lobster farms Thanks to these investments orbital seafood farms were assembled within months instead of years. These orbital farms, along with the food supplies the colonists had brought with them, proved to be enough to prevent a famine while planetside greenhouses and orbital farms were constructed.
In the year 18 AG the colony had become established enough that the populace was now concerning itself with governance and what path they wished to take in the future. A bicameral parliamentary democracy now served at the pleasure of the King. Three political parties had formed: the Confederalists who wished to see each Peer be the head of their own defacto country, the Federalists who wished to see a strong centralized government under the Crown, and the Radical Socialists who wished to do away with the Peerage entirely. The election of 18 AG was marked with strife, accusations of fraud, and blood. The Confederalists winning with 70% of the vote ushered what would later be called Red Monday.
Members of the Radical Socialist party forced their way into both the House of Commons and Lords and proceeded to execute Confederalists. This in turn allowed the King to use Article 7 of the country’s constitution to assume dictatorial powers while parliament was unable to function. Thus empowered, the King ordered the police and local militias to eliminate the Radical Socialist threat and restore stability. By the end of the day the Radical Socialist insurrection was over. Many of the colonists feared that enforcing of Article 7 meant that democracy in Kaus Borealis was dead, but instead of remaining a dictator the King called for immediate elections. The Federalists won an overwhelming 80% of the seats in the House of Commons that election.
Following the events of Red Monday, a series of cyberattacks by Radical Socialist terrorists caused the AI systems of several space stations to kill the stations’ occupents. This might have resulted in the people of Kaus Borealis abandoning AI technology altogether had it not been for the timely invention of Biomimetic AI. Bioroids (a blanket term for androids, robots, and integrated AI systems that were a Biomimetic AI) quickly replaced traditional, or nominal as it was now being called, AI.
By 50 AG the human population in Kaus Borealis had risen to over 50 million. Gondwana, a dry but habitable planet, was now home to a colony of five million. It was hoped that Gondwana, lacking native terrestrial animals, would prove to be the breadbasket of the system, once its lack of water had been remedied. Comets from the outer edges of the star system were towed into Gondwana’s orbit and then dropped onto the planet itself. It was during the harvesting of a comet that the Swimmers were first encountered. Massive creatures that resembled squids, the Swimmers proved to be incredibly hostile. First they attacked human ships, then stations.
The Crown quickly ordered that a navy be built and any available space craft be armed. But before the nescient Royal Navy could be built up the Swimmers arrived at Gondwana. It took 10 years for the Swimmers to be largely pushed out of Gondwana and the area of space around the planet and it had come at great cost. Almost 11 million humans had died on Gondwana or in ships and stations orbiting Gondwana. But despite the toll the Gondwanan Campaign had taken on humanity in Kaus Borealis, the Kingdom came out strong. It had unified the Kingdom and shown that they needed strong leadership if they were to survive. It had also necessitated the production of bioroids on a massive scale: both to add to the Kingdom’s industrial capabilities as well as enhance its military might.
Over the next 230 years the Kingdom would slowly push the Swimmers out to the comet belt at the system’s edge. At this point they were considered to be contained, although they were certainly still a threat that required a military presence to contain. The Navy was at the height of its power: a recent ship modernization program had just ended, resulting in a powerful and advanced fleet. Unfortunately the end of the modernization program, as well as an over dependence on the production of durable goods, left the economy in a precarious position. Millions of shipbuilders and general laborers were now without employment, pushing an economy in recession ever closer to depression.
Culture and Society: The humans of the Kingdom are divided into three broad social classes that go all the way back to the original colonists: the Peers of the Realm, yeomen, and freemen. The freemen are lower class citizens who generally lack wealth and highly desirable skills. Yeomen make up the middle and lower upper class; they generally either are wealthy or possess skills that are considered critical by society. The Peers of the Realm are the upper class of society, the political elite, and are very wealthy. There is some degree of social mobility, but it is fairly uncommon. Naturally anyone who becomes wealthy enough would be considered a member of the yeomen class. To become a Peer of the Realm is much harder as it requires the Crown to defer a title of peerage on an individual.
There is also the Lower Nobility; individuals of the freeman and yeoman classes that distinguished themselves in battle may be granted a title of lesser nobility in recognition of their service. Although a Lower Noble is not a Peer of the Realm, thus does not have a seat in the House of Lords, there are mechanisms by which a lower noble may address the House of Lords. Lower nobility, unlike a formal Peerage, must be renewed each generation (by performing a feat of heroism or other great service to the Crown), thus is considered a non inherited title. The three titles of lower nobility are Squire, Knight, and Baronett.
Peers of the Realm are the financial and political elites of the Kingdom. They own massive estates and businesses. Another term for them is Upper Nobility, usually only used when needing to differentiate them specifically from the Lower Nobility. Upper Nobility titles are: Baron, Viscount, Count, Duke, and Grand Duke. There is no formal requirement to do so, but almost every member of the Peerage joins the military, usually the navy, during their twenties. To not serve when able to would be considered highly dishonorable and there have even been attempts to revoke the peerage of Peers who refused to join the military at some point, although all such attempts thus far have failed.
Bioroids occupy a strange place in the Kingdom’s society and their treatment varies depending on their class. Class A and B bioroids, for instance, are recognized as sapient beings, but aren’t given citizenship and are owned by the government or individual citizens. However it is not only a social taboo to mistreat a Class A or B bioroid, but also illegal. It is also considered improper to refer to any Class C+ and above bioroid in a fashion that indicates ownership, thus they are usually referred to and treated in a fashion similar to servants. Class D bioroids, on the other hand, are viewed in a similar light as intelligent animals and it is perfectly acceptable to refer to one as an owned object.
Governance and Politics: The power dynamics between the Crown and Parliament is always in flux. Sometimes the Crown is more powerful and sometimes it is Parliament. Even so, at its weakest, the Crown can still exert quite a bit of influence over the government. For instance the Crown decides when elections in the House of Commons are held, although legally elections must be held between one to five years after the last elections. The Crown also has veto powers over bills passed in Parliament; any bill vetoed by the Crown must pass a second vote, this time a supermajority of three quarters, in Parliament to pass. Article 7 of the Kaus Borealis constitution allows the Crown to assume dictatorial powers during times of crisis should Parliament be rendered unable to function such as a sudden loss of life amongst a large portion of the members of Parliament.
Parliament itself is divided into two houses: the House of Lords and the House of Commons. The Lord Speaker is the presiding officer of the House of Lords and is analogous to the House of Commons’ Speaker of the Commons. Both offices are elected from their respective House, can serve a max of two five year terms, represent their respective House to the Crown, and are expected to be politically neutral. The Prime Minister is the head of the government and shares executive power with the Crown. The Kaus Borealis constitution stipulates that the Prime Minister is to be a member of the House of Lords, but not the acting Lord Speaker, who is selected by the House of Commons following an election. Both houses can veto bills passed in the other house.
The House of Lords is the upper house and traditionally more powerful, although it has been slowly losing some of its powers to the House of Commons. All Peers of the Realm are granted a seat in the House of Lords. The House of Lords holds the power of the purse, meaning it alone can initiate any budget, tax, or appropriates bills, as well as approve its final form. The Crown has the power to confer Peerage to individuals, thus creating more seats in the House of Lords, but these new Peers must be confirmed by the House of Commons. The House of Commons, in turn has the power to initiate bills and veto bills passed by the House of Lords.
Technology Overview: The Kingdom is very advanced when it comes to AI, robotics, cybernetics, and energy storage. The invention of room-temperature nonpressurized superconductors and bioroids are some of the Kingdom’s greatest technological advancements. Genetic engineering, in turn, has regressed to a point of almost not existing in the Kingdom.
Superconductors: The creation of room-temperature nonpressurized superconductors has contributed greatly to the Kingdom. These superconductors are used in digital circuits, magnetic levitation devices, robotics, energy storage devices, particle beam weaponry, and electric motors to name a few.
Bioroids: Bioroids, or more properly named biomimetic AI, are highly advanced AI that see widespread use throughout the Kingdom. Bioroids are distinct from traditional AI (called nominal AI in the Kingdom) in that they are an artificial brain based on human brain mapping (bioroid brain is the term used to talk about the actual artificial brain hardware). Bioroids are broken up into four classes based on the size and general capabilities of their bioroid brains. Class A bioroids possess very large bioroid brains, often about the size of a car, and have a lot of processing power. They often have numerous “built in” supportive nominal AIs that help them perform numerous tasks at once. These levels of AI are often used to control spacecraft and stations. Class B bioroid brains are the same size as a human brain. Intellectually they are the same as a cybernetically enhanced human. Class C bioroids are considered to be a sub-human intellect bioroid. They aren’t unintelligent, only super focused on one specialty, thus comparably inflexible. Class D bioroids utilize very small bioroid brains and are considered to be animalistic in intellect; people often compare them to canines. They are often used in robots that don’t require high levels of intellect or where the use of a man-machine link is likely to be employed.
Bioroid developers have gotten very good at creating and altering bioroid personalities; they can give a bioroid any kind of personality they desire. This is often used to make a bioroid enjoy whatever task they are likely to be given, turning what might be argued a state of slavery into a blissful existence.
Bioroid developers have also gotten very good at making humanoid bioroids as indistinguishable from inhumans as possible. Synthskin and artificial muscle can make a bioroid feel perfectly human; in fact some are advanced enough that without performing a specialized scan or invasive search, it would be impossible to tell that a bioroid is not a human.
Cybernetics: Cybernetics are a fairly advanced and common technology in the Kingdom. Most citizens have nanomachine grown brain circuitry that acts as an internal computer. This brain circuitry can be connected to via a terminal that is usually located on the index finger. Cybernetics are also used to delay the effects of aging by a decade or so. It is unusual to replace limbs with cybernetics in the Kingdom, although it obviously does happen in the case of amputations.
Robotics: Robotics is a very developed field of science in the Kingdom. The Kingdom has little trouble building robotic bodies that are very powerful or delicate. Android bodies can be built that are nearly impossible to distinguish from a biological body without specialized scans or an invasive search.
Man-Machine Link: Man-Machine Links, shortened to MML, use a human’s cybernetics to directly connect his/her brain to a bioroid through the use of specially designed ports usually installed at the base of the human’s skull. MMLs allow a bioroid to effectively read a human’s mind, thus enabling it to act on the human’s will before they have even given their intentions coherent thought. An example of this link in action would be a fighter pilot determining that he wants to attack a target and the bioroid performing the act of aiming and firing weapons. In other words it allows for superhuman reactions at human direction.
Adaptive Camouflage: In short adaptive camouflage changes patterns and color schemes to match the surrounding environment. This is not to be confused with active camouflage or cloaking and instead is more of a “pallet/pattern” swap. For example a soldier’s uniform would have a woodland pattern when in the forest and if he walked into a city the uniform’s camouflage would change to an urban design and color set. At first adaptive camouflage was limited to armored vehicles, but advancements in the technology and general reduction in price has expanded it to clothing as well.
Military Overview: The Royal Joint Armed Forces (RJAF), also commonly referred to as His/Her Majesty’s Armed Forces, are the military services responsible for the defense of the Crown and the territories of the Kaus Borealis Kingdom. The military is broken up into two competing branches: the Royal Navy (RN) and the Royal Ground Force (RGF). The Royal Navy is considered to be the more senior and prestigious of the branches and receives the bulk of the military’s budget.
The Royal Navy is a battle-hardened, highly loyal, force and often referred to as the Sword of the Crown. Much like the navy, the Royal Marine Corps is a highly effective combat force. As a general rule of thumb Royal Navy warships are very durable and very effective brawlers. Royal Navy warships each possess several spinal particle beam cannons that they will cycle through to enable a comparatively decent rate of fire. Very effective CIWS provide protection against longer range attacks and act as secondary guns. As a general rule of thumb Royal Navy warships tend to lack long range weaponry, relying on a few missile launchers per ship and fighter craft to cover combat ranges outside the reach of their particle beam cannons. On the subject of fighter craft: every Royal Navy ship carries at least a few fighters and shuttles, although the bulk of fighter operations are still centralized on specialized carriers.
The Royal Ground Force is the shield of the Crown and historically conducted the majority of combat operations during the Gondwanan Campaign. Despite this bit of historic trivia, the truth is that the RGF hasn’t been involved in large-scale combat for several centuries and is largely untested outside of some special forces. The general infantry of the RGF is closer to a militia than anything: they are usually stationed close to where they enlisted and possess subpar training. The RGF does possess very high quality light armored vehicles, such as walker-tanks and mechanized infantry, and fighter craft, but are generally lacking in heavier armor. During the Gondwanan Campaign the RGF was able to develop very effective urban warfare doctrine, however this doctrine assumed that the RGF would possess artillery supremacy, at least air parity, not have to worry about orbital bombardments, and would have a sympathetic local population. It is thus questionable how effective the RGF would be in combat against an actual military.
(Note: I do intend to put in more details and pics at a later time)
Additional Info: (Anything else you want to include that there isn't a spot for up there.)
The Midgarians are a humanoid simultaneous hermaphrodite species, they have an endoskeleton, lips, teeth which is similar to that of humans. They have two luminescent eyes with glowing irises, eyelids and tear ducts; this means the eyesight of a Midgarian is pretty standard during the daylight, they are able to see normally during extreme darkness or night. This 'night vision' does come at a cost, however, their focus on distant objects can be slower than that of a normal human as their pupils do not dilate. they also have five fingers, one of which is a thumb along with five toes on each foot, The Species reach approximately 5'6 to 5'10 on average and weighting 158 to 170lbs on average.
In appearance, however, the Midgarians are distinctly feminine, at least to other humanoid races. They have a slender feminine build with slight muscular tones and curves, their skin colour is slightly paler than human with a varying purple, blue or pale grey hue which is of a smooth leathery texture. Generally, Midgarians reach maturity around the age of 22 years old with a lifespan approximately 300 years, Midgarian facial structure and hair actually makes them close to humans in physical appearance. Their physical strength is similar to humans within their own natural gravity of their home world, however; Arinar's gravitational pull is many times greater than the planetary average., a Midgarian possess elevated strength and resilience in environments with an Earth-like or similar gravity, with some human's often joking they have super-strength, their skin iss very durable, resilient enough even to stop bullets from piercing vital organs.
Midgarian's have a complex endocrine system, having several more hormones and chemicals than humans. Although internally, Midgarian's have less glands than the human endocrine system, The Midgarian system produces a greater variety of hormones for each gland present. The most notable of these hormones is the calming chemical known as Relaxitin, which is released from the Midgarian equivalent of the adrenal glands when severely stressed. Relaxitin attaches to the areas of the brain that produces stress, causing the cells to calm and release dopamine, creating an effect similar to the effect of THC in humans.
Unlike most other organisms, The Midgarian's have a specialized desalination gland, located about 3 centimetres from the mouth, allowing them to drink both salt water and freshwater. When salt water is ingested, the gland produces several enzymes that remove the salt from the water. The removed salt molecules are then transported by the blood to the skin, where it is then released from the body, much like sweating in humans. While the species has a robust cellular regenerative system, they do not heal faster than other species. Midgarian blood also differs from most other species as it is a blueish purple colour, this is due to the trace amount of Cobalt in their blood instead of Iron.
As a simultaneous hermaphrodite species, as each individual possess both male and female reproductive organs with the latter being a similar internal reproductive biology to a female human. As a result, there are no gender differences, or gender-based issues which could be common to other cultures. Each individual has a smooth scalar prehensile tail hidden away in their body’s lower back, which acts as the male reproductive organ at the tip. This tail on average is about a meter long, sometimes longer. At will, though usually easier when sexually aroused, they may “grow” the tail out of their body but they prefer not to. Although it may seem that a Midgarian may reproduce without a mate having both a male and female reproductive organs, in reality it doesn't work as they have a protective mechanism against self-fertilization.
Terrans and Humans are physiologically almost identical since they are exactly the same species, However, there are a couple of physiological difference; Terrans are a bit more sensitive to bright light. Also the development of gene-based therapies significantly extended a Terrans life, the regeneration treatments extends their life by over a century. During the early years of colonization an Ideology was formed. A decision was made to call themselves Terrans, seeing themselves different from the rest of humanity from their past, often witnessing slavery and fascists movements of those times.
A new better form of humanity had to learn from the lessons of old Terra, Terran descendants of the old world had to not do a repeat of the same human mistakes that were endemic to it. As a society this ideology developed from the issues that the first ark had and the impact of those events that occurred from it. Terrans view this connection with Terra after the second ark’s help brought a chance of saving this new colony which became appropriately named Terra Nova. This caused a deeper connection to the saving of old terra, and the chance for a better future where Terrans work hard to reject the mistakes of the past and do to better of themselves for a brighter future.
Krentasians are an upright, bipedal beings with manipulative hands descended from a felinoid life form. There are two sexes, male (Krentan) and female (Krentas). The most notable external difference was the slightly increased size of the male, though specimens of both genders tended to be lithe for their size due to a higher volume of muscle than most mammals. Fur covered their bodies, most times a solid colour or shades of a similar tone. While most ranged between grey, sandy and golden, black fur was not uncommon, and white was quite rare but not unheard of. In almost all Krentasians, the eyes were a golden colour and provided excellent night vision. However, in those with black fur, green eyes were observed, and white furred Krentasians tended toward light, almost clear-blue eyes.
Krentasians shed in small amounts throughout the year, since their original world's orbit was less elliptical than most and maintained a near constant season, lacking the winter that would require thicker fur and subsequent shedding. As a result of this temperate to hot climate, Krentasians had a lower tolerance for colder climates. Their feline ancestry showed in their facial structure, the fur covering their bodies, long and agile tails, and their voices, which resembled the purring of Terran felines. When agitated, Krentasian fur 'bristled' in a manner akin to that of a Terran cat. There was very little that a Krentasian could do to control this bristling response, and it took place with nearly all the fur on the body.
Krentasians stand one to two meters tall, similar to, but often lither, than the average humanoid. However, they are more agile and dexterous than their size suggested. There legs could store quite a bit of potential energy in the 'crouch' that was the resting state. This gave the Krentasians the ability to spring quickly into action, granting them a significant ability to accelerate from a rest state. The power of those legs also granted them an impressive leaping ability of up to 7 meters. Due to the way in which steps were taken, a gradual absorbing of the weight, their species has incredibly silent footsteps. Krentasians are excellent sprinters (many able to reach 40 kilometres per hour for short bursts), but left them little endurance for long distance running. They tended to lack the endurance for extended exertion, though this shortcoming could be overcome with an extensive regimen of exercise and a specialized diet.
As a by-product of the Krentasian reliance on a tail to aid in balance, most coped with damage to one inner-ear, though loss of the tail or micro-gravity conditions can lead disorientation and nausea. Their long tails, generally accepted as one of the key features allowing them to achieve a bipedal form. The tail functioned as a minor aid to balance, but Krentasians who lost them seemed capable of physically compensating for the loss. Scientists assumed that the tail was once a key component of communication, but once actual speech developed, it was no longer needed as much (though the tails certainly provided a gauge of emotion, as did the positions of the ears). Krentasians required a minimum of four hours of rest per day; however, whenever possible they tried to get 10 hours.
Krentasian eyes are capable of dilating widely to grant the race expanded vision in lower light. They could see functionally in 20 percent of the light required by a human. The irises contracted in a ‘V’ shape, decreasing ocular response time and allowing them to adapt from low-light to bright light conditions quickly. Additionally, where Humans had visual receptors placed evenly in the inner eye, Krentasian receptors were concentrated on a more defined horizontal axis. This allowed a high degree of visual acuity, enabling them to catch movement and details on their horizontal plane at greater range, and with greater clarity and accuracy than humans.
Krentasian ear structures enabled them to hear in ranges far beyond the human baseline. While they were no better than Humans at hearing in low range bands, their high-end aural sensitivity extended to four times that of Humanity, they could hear tones up to two full octaves higher. In addition, they could rotate their cup-shaped ears for better auditory focus, and in fact could directionally locate sounds to within 20 centimetres in any direction without physically looking.
The Krentasian sense of hearing was incredibly acute, able to hear in a higher pitched range far in excess of humans. Their eyes were geared toward low light levels; as a result, they had slightly less colour acuity than non-nocturnal. They were, however, able to operate in near darkness. Their sense of smell is quite well-developed almost matching a Terran canine.
The first true, sentient artificial intelligence to be created on Terra Nova. Known as “Aditya,” the Artificial Intelligence adopted a female gender – a novel concept not previously considered in early computational models for her computer core. The new A.I. would go on to revolutionizes theories on artificial intelligence and their characteristics. Despite centuries of fear from their ancestors that Old Terra would be destroyed by the arrival of artificial intelligence, “Aditya’s” genesis had a positive impact on Terran life in the City of Gracemeria. There, the fledgling Artificial Intelligence helped city leaders to improve transportation, solve economic issues, and improve the city’s overall efficiency. “Aditya’s” framework became the baseline for future artificial intelligence in the years to come, and remnants of her matrix are found in almost all artificial intelligence in existence within the FSA. More importantly, her existence paved the way for the explosion of artificial intelligence and the birth of a new species that would take a century to earn rights equivalent their Terran creators.
An Android body was soon constructed; it is an advanced technological humanoid construct used to house an artificial intelligence or a limited intelligence. There are a massive number of uses for androids, ranging from industrial to social to military to a combination of all three. Androids are constructed out of a wide range of materials because of the complexity of their construction. The main material used in androids' skeletons are nickel-cobalt-chromium-molybdenum alloys, because of the extremely high tensile strength, low weight, and the relative abundance of the materials needed to make the alloy.
The skeleton is the core of the android, and is what provides androids with their enormous strength and durability. There are also polymers and many exotic alloys used for joints and artificial musculature, as they are very durable and have the flexibility and conductivity that allow for extremely high information transfer rate, and also provide better electrical conductivity. Depending on what use an android is being designed for, the spine is either reinforced or streamlined, to either provide enhanced strength for industrial jobs, or to make an android appear more humanoid.
The skin and hair of an android usually are comprised of, once again, polymers, and nanobots. Polymers are used because they have a wide range of tolerances for stress, temperature, and other extremes, and because of that they are an ideal material for an exterior cover. Nanobots are used to repair the polymer as it slowly ages and degrades over time, and are also for cosmetic uses, helping to create hair and change its colour, and to also make skin appear more lifelike by adding and maintaining details such as follicles, pores, and small imperfections so that the polymers appear like real skin.
As implied by the name, artificial life is typically created through sophisticated computer programming and massive amounts of hardware. Additionally, some higher forms of artificial intelligence are able to reproduce themselves, either through self-replication or by combining their own programming information with data from one or more other artificially intelligent entities to create an entirely new intelligence. Artificial life constitutes a sizeable minority of the population in the Known Worlds. Under Alliance law, all machines and programs that pass a standardized set of intelligence tests are afforded full rights and citizenship. Artificial Intelligence's can feel many human emotions, like love, hate, sadness and joy. It has been said that the rate of insanity among Artificial Intelligences is far less than the organic population.
Planet Name and Description: Arinar is a large Gaia world with several medium land masses, one exceptionally large land mass where the capital of Destera is located and odd islands dotted around vast oceans. The lands mostly sport good forestry but also some arid areas along the usual poles you would see on earth but larger on scale. The lands also have quite a bit of mountainous regions and plenty of beautiful waterfalls; it would be the perfect holiday destinations for tourists if the much heavier gravity of the planet wouldn’t kill you.
Arinar has three moons orbiting her, the large moon of Nefreya which has been colonized and her two smaller sister moons of Nefrane and Oseros.
Example of Midgarian structures.
Terra Nova is an Earth-like world with a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere. Active and stable hydrosphere. Great landmasses are separated by oceans, with large climate variations depending on latitude and precipitation. Terra Nova has rings often dubbed ‘The rings of Terra’ around the planet along with a single moon called Prospero. Terrans have been careful with city development making sure to avoid pollutions and noise that could affect the environment, avoiding the mistakes of their ancestors.
Many clean large cities exist along with some rather unique phenomena locations have been left in their natural state. Terrans have made sure to keep these unique terrain locations safe.
Example of a Terran city.
One of the Natural wonders of Terra Nova.
History: The initial colonization efforts of what was code named New Eden originally was headed by one of two arks, Pathfinder was smaller than its bigger cousin, the ship was supposed to take initial colonists to New Eden, providing security, exploration and surveys and more vital work, that would help plan out future endeavours for when New dawn, the larger of the two arks that would arrive. However; this would be a fateful endeavour, the pathfinder had encountered an unknown alien species residing within the system and on the planet designated for human colonization. How it could have been missed is unknown, but Gaia world was in fact Arinar, The home world of the Midgardian species.
Problem was however, is Pathfinder had was programmed to scan the planet and designate a landing zone for the crew. Communication with their new contacts broke down, translating the unexpected new language was taking too long and despite the effort of the crew, a location was selected upon reaching the planets orbit, advanced small Midgardian craft, began attacking the ship, the end result was the ark crash landing onto the planet’s surface. Panic had set in, security teams were preparing for some sort of assault while other desperately fought to keep the ships systems active, The Midgardians came, but it was futile. People armed themselves and charged outside… The scene was horrific, all those that ran outside were instantly crushed, slaughtered by the planets heavy gravity, files and footage have been heavily classified.
Several days later New Dawn had arrived through the gate, expecting to expand on the colonization effort, they were instead met with small Midgardian craft, but this time communication was established as the Xeno species had manage to mostly translate one of human languages. Pathfinder by this point had lost at least 70 percent of her crew, due to the planet, fighting its inhabitants, resource shortage and power failures to their ship. To make matters worse the gate shut down isolating this tiny part of humanity, the crew of New Dawn quickly realized they needed to undo the damage her first ark did and work with this new species they encountered as technically they invaded their home.
New Dawn was allowed to come and rescue the survivors of the first ship with the help of the Midgardians, tension was still high and relations strained but it was a start. There was another planet in the system suitable for human life, quickly designated New Dawn at the time. This would be there new home. A new Ideology was formed from this catastrophe, people of New dawn had decided to learn from the mistakes of their ancestors and the impact of the Pathfinders mistakes. They decided to call themselves Terran and renamed New Dawn to Terra Nova as they saw themselves different from the rest of humanity from their past, this ideology remains the core of Terran society to this day, but not all agreed to this new way of life.
Those that had not agreed with the Ideology, did what they could over the coming century to sabotage colonization efforts, performing raids on mining operations, stealing ships or vehicles, they did anything they could do to hamper the ever improving relations the Terrans had with the Midgardians to, growing Xenophobic in nature, during this time the moon of Nefraya had been colonized also. Human sympathizers among the early mining station along the out belt rebelled and housed human terrorist groups the fled Terra Nova as their little rebellion was not working, causing mining issues. At the latter half of the first century the Intersystem Alliance was formed, the predecessor to the FSA.
In the coming century, this new alliance began making great strides in technological development thanks to open communication, trade, and borders, and wealth of technology exchanges helped improve life throughout many walks of life on both planets. It was also through this technological revolution the first true, sentient artificial intelligence was created on at the Cumbrian Institute. Going by the name of ‘Aditya’, she would go on to revolutionize theories on artificial intelligence and their characteristics.
Another important revolution was the development of gene-based therapies which significantly extend terran life. Developed by Doctor Hiroshi Sato, the regeneration treatments extended terran life to over a century by preventing the slow genetic decay of telomeres in terran cells while slowing the oxidation of organs in the body. Initially hailed as a designer drug, quick action by the Alliance prevented the commercialization of the treatment. Instead, the research and drug patents were transferred to the public and made available to Alliance citizens as part of their free medical care. These medicines saw people live longer lives, these longer lives and improved health over a longer period revolutionized lifestyles, work efficiency, and helped grow the population further.
Despite this tension still grew with the mining colonies, although many just wanted to make a living, the more extreme elements wanted to take more action against both colony worlds of Arinar and Terra Nova. Again raids began happening, kidnappings, you name it, it was happening as these extreme elements held onto the believe that the terran way of life was in fact heavily influenced or control by the Midgardian people, pulling the strings from behind the shadows. After failed attempts to find a peaceful resolution, the extremists killed some when a planned attack went wrong, this swiftly brought about the ‘Belter rebellions’.
The conflict did not last more than a year before an unexpected event occurred, at the height of retaking the belt, a power surge was detected, the gate sparked to life and activated. Chaos ensued as the rebellion fleet took off, abandoning the mining stations and made for the gate, the small Alliance fleet of that time did their best to intercept, unfortunately most of the rebellion fleet went through the gate to parts unknown before the gate went dormant again. Those that didn’t make it were either destroy or caught. These revelations changed many things, mostly investigating the gate but also improving the life of those living on the mining stations along the belt, better living conditions, medical care and security. After all those that did not fight were still citizens of the Alliance.
After almost a century had past, technological advancements were slowing despite research into Nano technology. However, their attention would be turned towards the stars once more, but this time not at the gate which the Alliance had been watching ever since it supposed malfunction as some believe. A small fleet of unknown alien ships had entered the system. The fleet mobilized but dialogue had to be established as to avoid repeating the whole pathfinder situation again. It took time, more than many would like to admit but communication was eventually established and not a single shot was amazingly fired, calling themselves Krentasians, the first face to face meeting was certainly one for the ages and one that no terran would ever forget, despite being fewer in number, they were certainly more advanced.
With nowhere to call home, the Krentasians exchanged technology for a place to life, despite the Alliance saying it was not necessary and allowing the race to settle on Terra Nova. Within a few years the Federated Systems Alliance was born, consisting of all three races becoming the founding members, again technological marvels began happening once more, advancements across the board, one that stood out thanks to the krentasians was tractor beam and anti-grav technology. After almost a century since their creation, A.I had become the fourth member of the Alliance and gained full citizenship and equal rights to their biological counterparts, despite still not choosing a name for themselves as of yet.
Approximately forty years ago, the alliance discovered an unknown ship right on the outer each of their system, it was probably by pure chance, however the leadership of the alliance had it covered it up and pretended like it never existed, the ship kept hidden while securing the vessel with the intent of understanding where it came from or what interesting discoveries it was hiding, Over the years the discoveries were never revealed, on a strictly need to know basis. Ultimately it caused the alliance to begin modernization programs for its military and navy forces, were they expecting something?
Culture and Society: Demographics, as with many aspects of the Alliance, are a widely mixed variety. The two colony ships were made of early colonists, coming from a wide range of diversity; Japanese, Americans, British, French, Chinese, Russians, Germans, and Indians cultures are often overrepresented in the Alliance. Many of these cultures stem from the wide variety of original Earth cultures, though nearly every single continent has developed their own unique mix of cultures or new practices entirely stemming from their experiences.
Alliance culture is bounded by capitalism, however. Planets within the nation are prevented from achieving cultures of notable totalitarian or tribal status by the laws that govern the Alliance, though some peoples do choose to live closer to a tribal lifestyle of their own accord. Alliance culture is particularly connected with the Xeno members thanks to open communication, trade, and borders, a wealth of technology, and little censorship. This fuels diversity throughout the regions on the Alliance and the government encourages a “One Humanity” mind-set for Terrans to prevent racial strife.
Krentasians were very a territorial species, and they reacted aggressively against any threats to their homes, which in the past led to the development of truly impressive firefighting and repair technologies. Given their physical capabilities, as well as generally aggressive instincts, their species made for formidable troops, Worthy of note was that the Krentasians were almost completely incapable of swimming unassisted due to their low body fat, a result of their high metabolism and they don’t drink beer, which is quite toxic to them.
There was no real need for a militia force once it was integrated into the Alliances forces. However, early many realized that the training provided a sense of unity, help curb and channel young Krentasian energy and instincts, and formed a foundation of teamwork that could be turned toward tasks such as disaster relief. Every Krentasian underwent basic training, stressing co-operation and constructive tasks. This practice also helped mitigate the predatory instincts of the Krentasians, as well as the 'youthful energy' that could otherwise lead to mischief.
Their culture had developed a deep appreciation for beauty, which was expressed in many ways: study and contemplation of nature, producing works of art that mirrored nature, and, most commonly, surrounding themselves with beauty and comfort. Krentasians were known to find beauty in nearly any aspect of nature, including such destructive ones as lightning storms. Jewellery was also seen as a form of beauty through which they could express themselves well. Given the coloration of their fur, gold was rarely used, though bronze, steel, iron, titanium, and similar metals were in wide use. Mated pairs traditionally wore matching anklets similar in function to the Human wedding ring tradition. Most Krentasian jewellery contained gemstones, with red and blue being the preferred colours.
Governance and Politics: The Federated Systems Alliance (FSA or SA) is a political and economic alliance comprising of currently three species working together. The Midgarian Confederation, Terra Nova Republics and Krentasian Empire. The Alliance is a federal type of government.
The government of the Federated Systems Alliance is a representative democratic republic with powers centralized in the federal government with member worlds still retaining their form of government and laws unless superseded by those of the federal government. Members of the advisory board and the FSA Council work as groups, individuals, or as part of a committee to write, propose, debate, and ratify legislation. The president, as the head of state and head of government, signs the legislation into law or veto’s the legislation while also having the authority over the military (for short periods) and over executive actions among other duties. Members of the Alliance High Courts serve as the moral compass of the Alliance and often provide interpretations of the Alliance charter or hear cases against the Federal government or high-profile cases referred up to the High Courts.
The central government – or core government – is situated in the government complex in Elysium, Terra Nova. Other major government facilities are located on the central world’s of each region, usually housing the regional government led by that area’s Vice President and the locally elected Governor.
The advisory board for the Alliance is made up of senior representatives from each of the major Alliance powers, including the vice president. The council acts as a cabinet to the president advising him on events, supported by functional officials such as Ministers, Within the Alliance there are various ministry posts which take government policy under their jurisdiction and create the framework and infrastructure to make them functional. Their other main role is nominating a new candidate for president when the current President serves for ten years with a three, consecutive term limit and reaches that limit, unfit, dies or decides to leave office after one of the ten year servings.
The FSA Council is a quorum of one representative from each world within the alliance who permanently reside on Terra Nova (or wherever the government resides). They were conceived of as a wartime insurance policy. Such that in the event that war precluded the recall of the Advisory board, the Alliance had governing representatives to represent their respective world’s. Members of the council are elected for a ten-year term and are provided residences on the Presidio in New Geneva. They serve for a period of ten years with a maximum of two consecutive terms.
The council serves as the upper house of the Alliance. They do not write legislation themselves and vote as regular members during normal sessions. In the event of a voting tie in the advisory board however, laws are voted on independently by the FSA Council. A subsequent tie is broken by a Presidential vote. During the wartime, in the absence of the advisory board, the FSA Council serves to confirm presidential orders for military action, write law and legislation during the period of board absence, and holds all other powers normally possessed by the advisory board.
Internal Security Bureau (ISB)- is a secret intelligence gathering body for the Federated Systems Alliance. Soon after the formation of the Alliance, it became clear that the Alliance needed an organization to keep track of what the various nations were doing, and to keep track of various external and internal threats including other Alliance members. They also have highly trained operatives that operate independantly from other organisations, performing more unofficial *CLASSIFIED.. REDACTED.*
Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI)- Of the Federated Alliance Navy. (FAN)
Marine Intelligence Division (MID)- of the federated Alliance Marine Corps.(FAMC)
Army Security Bureau (ASB)- of the Federated Alliance army.
At its formation, membership in the Alliance was offered to the Midgarians, Terrans (Humans.) and Krentasians. Before becoming a fully-fledged member, each new member must agree to abide by and uphold the Alliance's laws. Each member world or race assigns an ambassador to the Alliance, where they act as a legislative body who may get positions into the FSA Council and Advisory board depending on the availability candidates to take on such roles.
Technology Overview: The Federated Systems Alliance initially started of slow to technological advancements in its previous incarnation as the intersystem alliance until the various races of the nation’s openly shared ideas and technology for the betterment of the Alliance. Although plenty of technological advancements happened, it was also not to ignore and improve upon reliable technologies of the past three centuries. As such the Alliance uses a combination of projectile and energy based weapons systems for the various military branches and navy. The military also has access to crude but effective weapons like flame and cryo based weapons along with electrical based weapons and some reversed engineered tech from the alien ship that was captured.
Other notable technological breakthroughs were the creation of Smart A.I and of course fully sentient A.I that gained full citizenship and equal rights of their biological equivalents. Nanotechnology was another breakthrough for the Alliance, originally used in limited capacity in the medical field, bringing the eventual creation of the Medical-Nano bed. It was then further used for Nano-suits under armour for troops but is an included element of the Nano-Solaris hull armour used on navy ships and stations. This Trinium element is also used on the hull of combat vehicles in the army.
When the Krentasians joined the Alliance, with it they too brought in some new technology, most notably Tractor beam and Stealth technology, they are also responsible for work on the first generation of actual working cloaking technology. Gene based therapy and regenerative treatments are also a breakthrough and became part of the free healthcare plan for Alliance citizens. Research and development has been ongoing for Anti-gravity technology.
The Triple-Layer Hull the FSA call Nano-Solaris Hull Armour serves as Armor in addition to its role of making up the entire outer shell of ships in the FSA. The entire outer shell of the ship is comprised of 3 layers of the triple-alloy. Since the systems in between each layer can supply the area with nanites to repair damages whenever the Hull is not taking damage, most blemishes on the surface of the ship can typically be left to repair themselves automatically.
The alloy used here is comprised of 3 distinctly different metallic elements, each added for its own excellent qualities. Kuridium was used because of it being able to absorb impacts and disperse them along large areas of its surface, lessening the overall effect of the impact both to the ship, and to the hull itself. Neutronium, an element discovered on the planet Arinar, is one of the strongest metallic materials ever tested by the Alliance and it also has elastic properties. Able to take damage and even bend with the impacts, then return to its shape afterwards, all the while maintaining strength and solidity most metals are not capable of under such strenuous conditions.
The last element, Tirinium, was primarily added to the mix for its regenerative properties, and its ability to allow uniquely designed nanites to navigate within its structure, to repair it and the other 2 metallic compounds, without causing instability in the overall structure of the hull.
Together, the three make the ship’s hull extremely tough, and hard to penetrate. Those properties however, do have their disadvantages. As a result of the dispersal properties, most impacts directly to the hull can typically be felt as tremors throughout the outer part of the ship.
Military Overview: (This is the space to talk about any offensive capabilities you have. Given that most of these Colonies have been essentially stranded by themselves for three centuries, I don't imagine anyone has a large "conquer other planets" level fleet yet. But maybe your Colony has been in civil war for a hundred years, and has built up an impressive military in that time. Or maybe they even had to fend off a genuine alien invasion.)
Navy uniform. (without blue bits on faces.)
FSA Army. Soldiers.
FSA Krentasian Soldiers.
Migdarian Commando's are those that serve their empire and not the FSA like many of thier fellow sisters, they fight as Protectors of their queen and homeworld. They are not part of the FSA armed forces. They mostly operate on the Midgarian homeworld unless on duty to protect the royal family that may be away on royal Buisiness offworld, It is possible they could find themselve assisting Alliance forces as auxilleries if requested.
Light Assault/Recon Vehicle.
Sampson Multi-Purpose Armoured Vehicle.
Heavy multipurpose utility vehicle. -Mobile utility platform.
Armoured Cargo Vehicle.
Kodiak Infantry Carrier Vehicle.
Predator Main Battle Tanks.
Manticore Artillery support.
Anvil MLRS - artillery/Anti air combat vehicle.
Firestorm Heavy Flame Tank.
Oseros Heavy Crystallizer Tank.
Prometheus Super Heavy Tank.
Achilles Super Heavy Tank.
Challenger Super Heavy Tank.
Kodiak Class Shuttle
Acamar class combat shuttle
Nefraya class Light Fighter
Lucen Class stealth fighter
Remora Class Heavy Fighter
Polaris Class anti ship Fighter
Vindicator Class stealth Bomber
Mantis class super heavy bomber
Phantom Class Gunship
Fenrir class Gunship
Spectre Class Dropship
Phantom Class heavy Dropship
Thunderhawk Class super-heavy dropship/light Carrier.
Lysander Class Stealth Ship.
Osaka Class Cutter
Whitestar Class Attack ship.
Jakarta Class Corvette.
Known Ships: A.N.S. Zetec A.N.S. Majestic
Whitestar II Class Frigate.
Tapei Class Stealth Frigate.
Taulon Class Frigate.
Known Ships: A.N.S. Da Vinci A.N.S. Garza A.N.S. Sentry A.N.S. Yeager
Kiev Class Destroyer.
Vancouver Class Destroyer.
Known Ships: A.N.S. Appalachia A.N.S. Ballista New Cairo Class Destroyer.
(Made the above flag from scratch, do not want to go on that late night flag-making adventure again for a long, long time if I can help it. XD)
The Royal Federation of Nibiru
Federalized Constitutional Monarchy
(Has a well-centralized federal/central government with a bureaucracy of its own, which has a monarchy at the head/top of it that exists as both a distinct political position with notable powers and as the symbolic figurehead of the nation. The system is federalized, granting a certain level of autonomy and management to the different regions but keeping them firmly underneath the grip of the federal government in this case.
A lengthy examination and background-checking process is used to choose regional level and higher leadership by the central government, with sub-regional politics being democratically voted into place with its own checks in place to maintain a more locally representative and publicly supported ‘lower management’ of the nation that helps keep people happy. Further, the nation possesses a proper constitution as a backbone to support it and maintain the groundwork for how it functions. To change the constitution itself would require a notable and lengthy process.)
***Humans (Homo sapiens sapiens) - Humans. Just humans.
***Dreslan - The same species of alien as the Yulzan/Yyasum, but broke off and away from the Yulzan/Yyasum in full. A sepratist group that has sought to differentiate themselves from their kin and has some distinct cultural differences as well as any lingering similarities to them that have yet remained otherwise.
***Galateans - A product of artificial cell technology, they were made as gynoid servitor artificial life forms by a certain company that made and sold them. However, they would evolve and achieve sentience in full. The first of their kind to be recognized in this, named Galatea, would give her namesake to the rest of her kind as the initially hot debate about them in the courts would result in judgement that they were indeed sentient and sapient beings that deserved proper rights. With some tweaking to ensure they could sustain a population of their own, as well as the addition of modifications in the majority so they could grow and die of old age despite not visibly aging in appearance after hitting maturity, the Galateans over the last 100 years have become equals and citizens of the very nation their progenitors had once been made to serve. ‘
They look like human beings entirely made of a silvery metal, though possess things like odd eye colors (violet purple, pink, crimson red, gold, silver, etc). They can control their bodies consciously as well, even shifting around their organs internally and limbs externally. They are not shapeshifters who can take on the appearance of other people or Galateans or such. Just cool artificial life humanoids who got sentient rights and such, etc.
Planet Name and Description:
Nibiru is a world that is roughly .75 times the size of Old Earth, covered in a roughly similar 60-40% split between oceans and landmass respectively. Looking at it, the planet is a thing of beauty and lush life that is covered in myriad settlements and cities and so forth. It likewise has two moons named Ishtar and Enlil respectively. What one would not expect upon seeing the world as it is now, however, is that it began as a barren wasteland of a rock in space. It was terraformed over the course of the last three centuries, leading to the development of advanced terraforming technologies that have been applied elsewhere in the nation itself by current times as well. A major achievement indeed.
Other planets controlled by the nation are the larger dwarf planets of Marduk and An, a number of places settled within the asteroid belt of the system, and another planet similarly sized to Nibiru that is slightly larger and called Ninhursag. The naming scheme takes after ancient Sumeria on Old Earth, mostly as a simple but distinct means of symbolism referring to ‘the beginnings of humanity’ taking root once more among the stars. Poetic.
There is also the inter-asteroid-belt dwarf planet of New Terra, not named by the Royal Federation but rather the belligerent separatist state of the Terran Free Cities Union that lives in the system.
The Royal Federation began as one colonization project among many, one whose end destination ended up being (perhaps predictably so to some minds) a barren world with two small moons. It would become initially home to a myriad of artificial domed cities, artificially replicating the conditions of Earth atmospherically within their systems as the population worked on making the rock into a habitable place over time. It was a hopeful thing, a motivation to create a new home from scratch rather than a mere means to try not to die. Yet with this alien world of Nibiru being the third planet from its own sun, the potential for doing this was most definitely not zero and not impossible. It would, however, take quite a long time to try to get things correct…including a fair amount of trouble and incidents and breakthroughs and setbacks along the way.
The need for resources for the terraforming project and simply making more domed cities for the growing population alone began to become high, among other initial infrastructure needs, and pushed the colony to reach beyond the bounds of their own world to accrue and try to secure more materials. Asteroid mining around their system’s own vast and dense asteroid belt, as well as taking root on other surrounding worlds, would emerge into prominence as these needs would need to be met. Likewise, myriad artificial habitats would be built on other worlds and certain larger asteroids to facilitate these measures, creating a ‘new frontier’ as the colonists struggled against the grain of their new home. At the same time, however, issues with maintaining control all over these secondary homes and habitats led to a slew of obvious issues. Wild West style chaos in the most fringe and hard-to-police areas, several smaller civil conflicts as some tried to take control over these external resource-acquisition areas, attempts to pirate resource vessels and hoard them to gain power and influence, varying levels of granted autonomy in the frontier areas leading to attempted separatist movements of various sorts, and other such events that one could imagine going on in that first one hundred years. There were even internal conflicts on the homeworld of Nibiru itself, in part over the years due to the frontier issues as well as debate about whether to continue terraforming or simply investing in improved artificial habitats and artificial habitat building technologies for the populace.
After a particular civil war on the homeworld, however, a new development would emerge. The defeated party of the dirty and at times horrific yet small conflict was not a new one, but a group who had been mostly stubbornly persistent environmental extremists who formed a short while after initial colonization was made and terraforming efforts began. The group thought the government was ruining an alien world and was going to ruin the system itself, feeling more than a bit strongly that humanity could not be trusted any longer with a ‘New Earth’ or ‘thriving planet’ ever again after what happened to Old Earth. These would flee into the system’s asteroid belt using stolen vessels and supplies and technologies they had brought with them. They would set themselves up within the center of the system’s asteroid belt in the east, taking a dwarf planet from the locals living there and setting up shop on it with impunity. Meanwhile, the government was busy taking care of far larger problems of recovery and continued stability…thus the loss of the distant dwarf planet station would be forced to the sidelines. This place would remain out of sight and mind of the remainder of humanity in the system, at least until contact was eventually made by the new “Terran Free Cities Union” many decades later as they attacked a group of mining vessels with crudely-made ‘space warships’ and a swarm of mixed automated and remote-controlled space vessels.
By the time the TFCU made itself known, however, the Royal Federation was already in the middle of another issue.
Having continued to seek to stabilize itself more after the short but shocking war against what would become the founders of the TFCU, the government took a greater centralized role as public opinions toward ensuring greater stability rose to an all-time high on the homeworld. Alongside the ever-moving progress toward consolidating power and developing technologies needed for the terraforming and maintenance of a nation, one that consisted of more than one planet, it would eventually and progressively solidify the Royal Federation as a proper nation that was united with its constituent parts. This would be followed with making contact with an alien fleet, nomads who had lost their home and been seeking a new one before coming to the same solar system the Royal Federation was settled in. Splitting from a greater fleet of their own kind prior, as had others of their kind before, this alien ship fleet came in with not an olive branch but with sound and fury. Weapons and battle-ready ships, things beyond the initial capabilities of humanity, swarmed in and assailed the defenders planetside across the board. Meanwhile, the TFCU remained isolated from the conflict by its own internal focuses and the Royal Federation essentially acting as a buffer between the alien invaders and themselves. It would be a time of initially tremendous struggle and loss, with the tides only beginning to turn as humanity and its new allies began to push them back. Bit by bit at first, step by step, inch by inch they fought for the new home they had and became eventually more united than before within the fires and desperations of war that had genuinely threatened to reduce them to dust and decaying corpses at first.
It was at this point where the battle had begun to turn and humanity was rising back up from the ashes of the lost that the TFCU made contact with their neighbor again, unaware of the ongoing war and seeking to assert its own dominance and claims as ‘the rightful power of the Gaia (Utu being the Royal Federation name for it and the TFCU calling it “Gaia”) System’ as it did back then and it continues to believe and seeks to enforce even through current times. It was a conflict that put human against human, but as the Royal Federation had begun development of better spacefaring military vessels the TFCU were in for a very rude awakening as their ‘greedy, exploitative, and inhumane’ enemy of choice (as they so called the Royal Federation) retaliated with a small fleet able to wipe out the majority of TFCU mockingly ‘militarized’ space ships with a terrifying ease. It would be enough to silence that second front for a couple of decades before new TFCU ships would come into the battle, even attempting to parlay with the Yulzan invaders to take on a ‘shared enemy’ after those two decades, all whilst the main battle and war kept going to push back and out the invading threat on the Royal Federation’s part. Enemy ships and technologies were scalped and studied, weapons were made, and the military continued to seek to shape itself into a stronger and mightier fighting force. And in time, the growing fury of the nation would turn itself upon the invaders as the invaders had once turned upon them, ultimately turning the invading fleet into a pile of scrap as the last of the enemy ships fighting the Royal Federation were finally destroyed as a major threat only twenty years ago. Any remainder beyond this were either defectors who had abandoned their cause, gradually becoming residents of the nation their kin still fought, or remnants barely clinging to life who found shelter with the TFCU out of sheer spite for the Royal Federation.
Since then, on and off conflict with the TFCU and the gradual reclamation and rebuilding of war torn areas along the way has been the main focus. The TFCU have made themselves more and more a threat, and with hosting the bare clinging remnants of the former invading enemy it has spurred on a sort of hot anger between the two that has not seemed to settle down at any point during this time period. As this ‘lukewarm war’ has continued on the border with the TFCU, however, the Gateways have reopened once more. The paths humanity took to leave their former home once again awoken from their slumber by some unknown source, thrumming with power as a technology long lost to those who were descended from Earth’s original inhabitants.
What will this future hold for the Royal Federation and its people? Only time will tell.
Culture and Society:
-Whilst a number of lesser events, as well as other holidays and celebrations, exist, there is one that is very much ubiquitous within the Royal Federation. It is a celebration of the day the colonists had arrived in the system, the first day that the potential for humanity’s survival was cemented into history in what is now their home. It would become a festival and celebration held in the spring, as it were, a ‘start of the year’ event with much pomp and pride and such things infused into it. It would also be a time period to remember the losses and tragedies that forced humans to flee their original home. Lessons to learn from the past, but not to live in the past. Local Dreslan have also taken to it as well, mostly as a time to celebrate the founding of their new home…a home that no longer wanders among the stars. A new home they fought for, bled for, and died for alongside other citizens to prove themselves different from the invading forces. A new start and rebirth for their people, named to differentiate themselves from their invading kin. So too do the Galateans celebrate this holiday, as it founded the nation from which their kind would arise from the dust and find a home and welcome arms alongside their fellow human and eventually Dreslan citizens.
-The use of composite mixed cybernetics/gene-modded tissues exists within this society, originating from both human research as well as the study and assimilation of Dreslan-originating technologies. Mostly these are applied in the medical sense for replacement organs/limbs/tissues designed with anti-bodily-rejection medical applications in mind combined with their more sophisticated capabilities of integrated technologies, leading to many medical patients and even veterans having some amount of this normally composite mix of technology integrated into their bodies. It is more advanced in capability and application than the medical arts of ‘implanting regrown modified tissues or installing basic cybernetics’ alone, though some prefer these over the other options as purely a matter of personal choice/preference. It is also a technology integrated into soldiers within the military, though in this case soldiers inherently get procedures when not in active duty to safely ‘deactivate and render these integrated bits dormant’ so their capabilities will be as normal as any other human (as a rule of thumb in the military, not something that can be done swiftly by some enemy on the battlefield and that is done as a big safety measure in a most mandatory sense).
Casual use is a lighter form of this composite cybernetics/gene-modded tissues technology, taking the form of ‘reversible’ aesthetic tweaks or implants that can be removed safely to properly restore the original tissues of the user. It is akin to the acquisition of tattoos in this society, albeit more advanced and akin to things like using colored contact lenses and putting on props like cat ears (which in this case interface wirelessly with the body and safely so). They aren’t actual serious modifications or permanent/dangerous/medical implants into the body. This of course doesn’t stop some criminals from trying to delve into and make the more dangerous and permanent and powerful stuff, but considering it is only present within the black market and is known even within the black market for being incredibly stupid dangerous it doesn’t get many but the most desperate and perhaps foolish customers in this particular area.
-Dreslan vs Yulzan. The differences between the two are mostly defined by the drift in appearance between the two that has arisen for over a century and by the former being a citizen race of the Royal Federation and the latter being despised by the general population of the nation. It took a long time to get this separation of the Dreslan from the Yulzan after they defected to the human side in rebellion against their own side, and a long road of discrimination ranging from hate to outright killings did occur along the ugly road it took to make peace and become considered ‘fully citizens and different from those other guys’. One big factor is how Dreslan mostly look like natural and non-super-modified members of their race, though they do engage in modifications and such here and there. However, they do not take to the great extremes of their other kinfolk for both their own inherent cultural and otherwise general reasons.
To locals, the difference between them and the Yulzan is something distinct. To others beyond the Dreslan people’s current nation of residence, that might not look so clear at all if they’ve interacted with the Yulzan. Even so, despite making notable separations between themselves and their kin for mostly personal reasons the Dreslan have kept up records and information on their history and past and even involvement with the rest of their kin back in the day as a means of remembrance and showing them how far they have come from ‘those olden days’. This isn’t to say the extreme anti-Yulzan activists would not go after a Dreslan, they still do since they remain the same species as the Yulzan in general after all, but compared to many decades ago the distinctions between the two have led to great support for the Dreslan people and a generally well and solid acceptance of them.
-Rumor has it that the original Galatean, the actual “Galatea” herself, exists and lives still. Despite the artificial development of lifespans for the race as a whole, Galatea is said to still be among the minority of “Ageless” Galateans who chose not to take on a lifespan as the majority of their kin did otherwise. Is this true? Others have only speculated and can only do so.
-Hydroponic Foods are so common and the technology so well-developed in fringe and frontier areas that they are a staple food there. Meanwhile, naturally-grown foods and livestock and crops have begun to more rapidly spread throughout the nation due to terraforming technology enabling it to be achieved in more and more places.
-One of the ‘new advents’ in terraforming-created species that has swept over the nation is the creation of a living actual “Cockentrice” that acts as a pig-chicken hybrid (or perhaps monstrosity depending on the particular outsider’s point of view). It has a unique texture that lies somewhere between chicken and pork, with a mild but pleasant meaty flavor and higher cholesterol than a chicken but distinctly less than any sort of natural pork.
Another similar development in new gene-warped livestock is the “Turducken”, forged from the genes of a duck, chicken, and turkey whilst having a large overall body and very savory blend of meat qualities from the component birds whose genes were used to make this living creature a reality. Just don’t anger one on the farm if you go to see what they look like.
-The ongoing on-and-off lukewarm war with the TFCU is a matter that has its varying opinions and has generated various responses to it. Many simply want the TFCU to leave them alone, the effects of the decades of war prior having made them wish the current conflict would just cease somehow. Many also want it stopped and erased from existence due to it taking in the last minute remnants of the invading Yulzan fleet and having tried to parley with the Yulzan during the former war. Etc, etc, etc.
So one must be careful when talking about the matter to the general public in this nation…or at least try to have some kind of tact about it. Hopefully.
-Royal Federation fashion in a general sense takes its ideas from both modern trends as well as o It has also seen influences from the strain and stretching of resources over the past centuries, shaping up how the wealthy dress versus something like the average citizen. However, despite the distinct split when it comes to higher-fashion versus what the average citizen wears there are lingering similarities that do remain.
Casual citizen-level clothing generally utilizes less and more utilitarian/adaptable fabrics for basic clothing. Clothing that utilizes a body-hugging fit and doesn't require as much fabric or material to produce. Things that grant a greater ease of movement and can be worn on the run, usually with looser-fitting clothing worn over the top of it like coats or baggy hoodies or oversized T-shirts secondarily. For example, short skirts/shorts or smaller dresses utilize a body-hugging fit. Yet unlike the 'tight clothing' fashions of Old Earth, which could be too tight or had to be rather well-fitted or so forth, the advanced flexible/adaptable fabrics used with with Royal Federation casual clothing fashions among the general populace are made to literally adjust to the wearer's size along with them in a natural and astonishingly very comfortable/breathable manner. Instead of a 'one size fits all' approach attempting to cover the market, it has become 'the clothing adjusts to the wearer's size' in the literal sense. Something like jeans or a T-shirt or such will never be too tight or overly loose. Whilst this was a clothing advancement that was developed by resource shortage and utility and so forth, it has seen growth into all sorts of clothing styles and has gone from merely a 'cheap, ubiquitous fabric' to gain stylized nuances and pop culture designs and so forth slapped on them among other adaptations to the changing times and generations and trends of the past. However, that utterly deceptive-looking body-hugging look and functionality has remained at its roots all the same. Further, baggy clothing is used secondarily, things such as baggy hoodies and oversized shirts and large jackets have become a trend in more recent times as both a fashion statement and as just a means of dressing even more comfortably. A bled of the baggy clothing comfort of the ancient human past, revived again and returned into relevance by quite a landslide.
Meanwhile, the more wealthy don clothing more inspired by upper-class fashions of the old European Royalty and some ideas from the Far East. One will see in wealthy women, for example, formal attire such as quipao/cheongsam and other tighter or deep-v style garb for women that has the same body-hugging look but incredible comfort the average/regular citizen enjoys. However, it will be accentuated usually with ornate embroidering on the edges of the sleeves and along the bottom hem and along the splits and deep-V's and so forth. Likewise, beyond the main body of this type of higher-class dresses wealthy women will have long, flowing skirts or trains built into these. Likewise men will have comfortable formal shirts of a similar body-hugging but utterly breathable look, but will pair it with comfortable formal coats and fancy ornately-embroidered capes and so forth added (among other bells and whistles) for formal occasions in turn. In terms of casual clothing for the wealthy, women and men take up the ideas of showing off their bodies with those splits or deep-V's or other such things combined with other parts of the clothing alternately being lengthened or done up with fancy additions and extra fabrics and such. Things like having wider ends on one's shirt sleeves, added tassels on the shoulders of a belly-exposing shirt, or other added lengths and/or fabric designs/embellishments that is a sign of being fancier and more expensive clothing. This habit for the wealthy in general began as a means of showing off being able to afford stretched fabric and clothing resources during hard times, at least in comparison to the average citizen and such.
Further, clothing for hot and cold situations still is made to fit those situations. At least as best as possible. Insulating layers would be added to the highly versatile super-fabrics of Royal Federation clothing for winter/cold-weather activity and travel. Likewise things such as long-sleeved and well-covering coats and such for cold weather have remained practical throughout all parts of society in a general sense, being fashioned or procured or frankly made during the worst of times however people could get their hands on them. Likewise, despite the description of the average citizen's base clothing being a 'body-hugging look', it is properly covering based on what style of clothing is being worn. Long-sleeved shirts are long. Short-sleeves are short. Etc, etc, etc. Likewise, alternate forms of the material for things like making swimsuits exists in turn. Baggy clothing is made differently as well, compared to basic clothing, using looser affordable fabrics that have become more so due to more recent fashion trends. Further, clothing such as cold-weather attire is made with proper coverage and insulation and thickness in mind. Things have improved in terms of clothing by current times over the worst of the past over one hundred years and such for sure, but the idea is that the root of it all has remained at the core despite far improved conditions and such leading inherently to different trends and so forth being able to bloom into existence over the shifting decades. Likewise, added embellishments or fabrics for expensive/wealthier clothing is usually made to blend with the 'core' of a given clothing item and use far more sophisticated and fancy and high-end fabrics/materials too expensive to get used for the average citizen's clothing.
-(To Be Added To Over Time, mostly as more things come to mind in terms of details)
Governance and Politics:
For the most part the state exists as a very well centralized authority with the sub-federal branches scattered about its territory in an even distribution. Elections are only ever to provide representatives at a sub-regional level, but higher-level political positions starting at the regional level and higher are filled by getting political experience at lower levels alongside an education before taking the formalized “Federal Examination and Capabilities Test” (FECT) (imagine the imperial examinations the Chinese used to choose officials in ancient times as a similar concept to this). One goes into these with some general aim of where they want to go in the Federal Government, but must be open to a range of potential positions within the Federal Bureaucracy itself.
A candidate who took the exam then undergoes the mandatory proper background checks and proper investigations into them personally that are presented before the people for public consideration as well. Candidates are then weighted against each other and may be further questioned, if anything is still left to look into or ask about, and likewise any big issues the public might have with them are taken into account after the public consideration segment for candidates. The government then chooses who gets into what position, and things are laid out and go on from there.
When it comes to sub-regional elections, they are a generally democratic process with added background checks and some oversight added into the process. They are a means to ensure locally-accepted representation within sub-regional areas, as well as to generate a population of politically-experienced individuals that can eventually seek to join the federal government. In this sense the governmental system of the Royal Federation is a hybrid in and of itself, but in effect the federal government is still very much the primary power over the nation itself at the highest levels.
-Terraforming: An area they have learned about and finally mastered over 300 years of history, it all stemmed from the work done gradually on the homeworld of Nibiru. As time has gone on it has been further and further streamlined and advanced, to the point that new frontier colonies can be terraformed in a far far quicker timeframe. Likewise, outside of civilian uses ranging from making home gardens to settling new frontiers and so forth, the military also has weaponized terraforming technology to use, and a handful of now-declassified older records of a few of the past battles of the “New Hundred Years’ War” against the invading aliens show this technology to have had and realized some disturbing potential indeed. Albeit not without the proper situations and such to use it in of course.
-Artificial Cells/Biometal: Not the usage of existing organic tissues and cellular structures to create new life, but utilizing things such as metals and other usually inorganic substances to create artificial/synthetic life. A truly unique creation in this sense, formed by human hands for design and use in myriad areas of society. Artificial cells can self-replicate and self-lyse very rapidly, as well as convert other kinds of nonmetal and metal mass into needed parts and energy and components for survival as well. This has led to them becoming highly adaptable in their very nature.
Artificial Cells were originally developed as part of a scientific study aiming to try to create artificial life, something stemming from ideas and concepts as far back as the 21st century on Old Earth. A basic initial form was developed within the Royal Federation within the first 100 years, but was mostly seen as a scientific oddity and novelty aside from the big news it all made after the initial breakthrough at first. Yet after a shortage of many types of metals within the colony led to myriad desperate solutions to try to solve the blooming crisis, the ongoing project would find itself bit by bit rapidly starved of resources and forced to use less and less as the team tried to keep the artificial cells alive. It was a pattern that would eventually see a rapid decline until the end of the project was announced, this being as funding was wholly cut out in favor of ‘more practical’ needs for the lab. Yet despite this abandonment by the higher-ups, what might be a miracle would be discovered in the aftermath of this. As the members of the experiment’s team came back to put the project to rest, after a few weeks of not being able to get to the lab for various legal and personal reasons, they expected to find dead cells and equipment gathering dust. Resigned to wrapping things up and gathering what ‘data’ remained, the team were surprised to find legitimate surviving cells that had adapted surprisingly well to surviving in an environment deprived of what had seemed to before be the necessary nutrients and materials for them to survive.
The development led to a new petition for looking into these as a potential solution to the shortage, which they would in turn become with a large amount more tweaking and experiments and frankly outright reinvigorated investment into the project. In turn this data and results would itself come to revolutionize the idea of technology at a fundamental level. Machines, computers, tools, weapons, attack creatures, and so forth were made of or simply incorporated in one way or another this new adaptable, functional, and programmable 'biometal' (as it became formally named) would arise. Variants of biometal using other materials for various purposes would also arise as artificial cell research would explode in development and funding, used in various fields ranging from mass-resource production to medical technologies and surgeries to self-repairing buildings and even whole tools or weapons stored safely inside soldiers' own bodies for safekeeping in the literal sense.
***Note***: This technology has become a staple of Royal Federation society as a whole, but has not overtaken everything. Long ago such an idea as deemed 'too risky and experimental' at best. Rather, it has continued to grow and develop alongside advanced 'traditional' types of machines such as proper computers and hovercraft and so forth that have very much continued to persist and advance and proliferate.
However, ‘everything has a price’ as the ancient saying goes. Indeed, the emergence of the Galateans from this technology was a shocking reminder of how things can go ‘too far’. This also resulted in certain restrictions and uch being placed on the technology, especially in regards to the prevention of creating ‘more sentient artificial life artificially for illegal or exploitative means’. Of course criminals will do as they please, so long as it suits them…no matter how strong the push to stop them remains to this day.
-Power and Energy Technologies: Improved means of fission power are made use of, mostly advancing and streamlining processes originating from Old Earth and linearly advancing them as well as applying them in safer and more effective forms by current times. Likewise advancements in geothermal and solar power have seen combined use alongside nuclear power.
Nuclear waste has also found use in being safely recycled into creating advanced fission batteries, recyclable and powerful batteries that can help move vehicles and power devices alike depending on their size. These are the type of batteries used for Accelero-Coil, particle-acceleration, and microwave weapons, though there is like any battery the need for safety. Just as one would not crack open some ancient Old Earth battery to goof off with the contents, it is not advised to do so with the fission batteries for similar safety reasons. These are in use in both the military and civilian areas, as well as have varying designs depending on what they are meant to be used with/in.
Currently, work has been put into making wireless energy transmission systems. The most this amounts to by current times is a long-range large-scale form of doing this, mostly utilizing ‘transmitter beams’ aimed at the proper ‘energy receivers’ on the other end. Some medium-scale applications of this have been installed in areas over the years, but the technology has not yet reached some ‘totally wireless age’ by any stretch of the imagination.
-Communications Technology: Hard neural implants have been developed, allowing one to access various sorts of technology and communicate with them simply. This is not some hyper-integrated technology that allows someone to hack the human brain in reverse, the implant is a hard-kill measure against that due to its inherent design as an interface for the brain rather than a direct feed that can affect it like that. These implants utilize the quantum-entanglement technology that the Royal Federation has adopted on all levels ranging from large-scale military use all the way down to simple individuals and so forth. Devices and implants alike make use of this, as well as myriad technologies and such. Regulations aplenty also exist in this area after certain ‘brain-hacking’ incidents during the past decades of war and technological development made the dangers quite crystal clear and prominent in the eyes of society and the nation as a whole.
***General Weapons and Tools - In terms of the most basic and plentiful standardized handheld infantry weapons, the use of physical bullets has remained a solid and ultimately necessarily affordable approach. The weapons utilize a mixture of very-low-amount/higher-potency advanced accelerants for bullets that is combined with a coilgun-style system in each weapon to help accelerate projectiles. Ammo clips double as batteries for these weapons due to altered design, making them dual-use and able to be synergized into a singular design. After all, what use would one have to fire bullets if there are no more in the clip? Most of these are rifled as well, outside of certain high-volume weapons such as machine guns and smgs and grenade launchers that utilize a smoothbore barrel due to the speeds and rate of fire involved that surpass any similar such weapons from Old Earth in the past. Due to their functions being a hybrid, the official terms for these weapons are “Accelero-Coil” weapons or “Coil-Supported Firearms”.
The next type of weapons that was developed would become more and more prevalent in the military, eventually seeing them in fully standardized use in the various branches alongside Accelerto-Coil weaponry. This would be particle-acceleration and microwave weapons, both of which would be powered by different ‘clip batteries’ whose design stemmed from the former development of those used for Accelero-Coil weapons. The former would only ever remain as pulsed energy weapons used in handheld forms by infantry and as smaller-scale vehicle-mounted weapons in a general sense, this due to effective ranges being limited in return for this powerful pulse-firing weapon delivering its energy throughout the target in a single large jolt. This has caused these particle-acceleration weapons to be best used as anti-armor and anti-personnel weapons against tougher foes, but with those specialized in larger and more potent anti-vehicle uses in particular (there is a difference) having the capability to make armor plates and chunks of enemy vehicles outright explode from the larger doses of energy transferred to them by these weapons (not to mention uses against regular soldiers and such…if one can master the size and weight of these particular anti-vehicle weapons). Microwave weapons have seen their uses ranging from area denial anti-riot police tools and pistols, becoming the ‘new tasers’ as it were that are restricted to safe non-lethal uses, all the way up to properly lethal microwave energy weapons that are used in anything from point defense to being mounted on smaller space fighter craft to try to hit and fry enemy fighter electronics and weapons and so forth in specifically close range combat.
Further, the use of radioactive nuclear weapons has seen its presence made known within the Royal Federation military for better or worse as well, one thing from the past that has not faded away at the very least. Whilst particle-acceleration weapons are the most ‘handheld’ and ‘small-scale’ this technology gets, as they do produce some radiation in targets they hit as a side effect and can produce it if destroyed (this has led to extensive developments in radiation-treatments and anti-radiation therapies for soldiers and such), the smallest an actual ‘nuclear weapon’ gets is a fission-based advanced variant of the ancient “Davy Crockett'' nuclear weapon from Old Earth. Soldier armor individually takes into account radiation as well, and the technology in this area remains limited in scope and scale when it comes to more general uses of it. This is because larger-scale nuclear weapons/bombs and such are higly restricted, and ‘require all proper authorizations and the correct approved situations for use, being fully excluded from most combat scenarios unless deemed utterly and wholly necessary in the ethical and strategic sense for applications of them to be approved in any potential situation’.
***Vehicles/Vehicle Armor/Equipment - Whilst the array of land, sea, and air vehicles take on advanced and futuristic shapes, they remain recognizable as what they are and generally do their jobs and frankly bear no real need to describe them in-depth.
Spacecraft take the shape of mostly cigar-like cylinder designs for any larger ships, and smaller fighter/bomber/etc spacecraft take on either this shape or alternate spherical designs. They are mounted with weapons and proper thrusters and armor plating and so forth for proper space combat at all levels, including multi-dimensional-analysis combat computers and highly trained crews. Frigates, Destroyers, Cruiser-Carriers, Battle Cruisers (a localized space ship existing in-between Heavy Cruisers and Battleships in size and such), and Dreadnoughts (larger than battleships) exist as their variety of larger ships, forming a comprehensive fleet the Royal Federation has had a long time to work on and develop and test both practically and in the lab. Civilian-level craft, meanwhile, take on primarily cylindrical designs making use of the 3d nature of movement in space but having a number of tweaks and twists to them alongside this depending on their particular uses.
In terms of air vehicles, sleek and futuristic aircraft are the norm for the Royal Federation military. Anything from sophisticated remote-controlled high-speed aircraft controlled from extreme distance, to advanced drone systems able to process data rapidly synergize with manually-piloted forces on the fly, to manually-piloted craft that have spherical 360 degree cockpits with advanced displays rather than the traditional glass canopies of Old Earth military aircraft, and other supporting crafts such as the current day equivalent of AWACS and other military transport and refueling vehicles made for air use. Helicopters also continue to exist, though the technology in this area has mostly been a linear advancement of technology to accommodate different battlegrounds and armaments to be strapped to them. A simpler thing than the faster aircraft, and most likely to look most easily recognizable to someone from Old Earth, though certain things such as the spherical 360 degree cockpits with advanced sensory arrays and no glass canopies/windows are incorporated into them as part of their general improvements at least.
When it comes to sea vehicles, they are ultimately the weakest possible area of the Royal Federation military due to being the least-common type of warzone in the last three centuries. Some sea battles have happened, but the most it amounts to for the Royal Federation navy is ‘some advanced submarines and ships with plenty of point-defense and armor and missiles’ in a simplistic manner. The size of the Royal Federation navy is the smallest and weakest of all the branches, and roughly half of it is outright devoted to things such as coast guard stations and so forth that assist in the civilian sector of things. The remainder is actual marines, naval ships/subs, and the like, which are spread out. Civilian craft and such also exist, yes.
Land vehicles mostly consist of hover-type vehicles, utilizing electromagnetic devices to levitate and thrusters to rapidly move over terrains and even move upward and using limited flight capabilities to a certain extent (lesser than proper aircraft but allowing them to overcome more terrains and so forth than any prior type of land vehicle from Old Earth at least). Wheeled vehicles are something that usually just exists in the civilian sector or as private vehicles for officers and so forth. Vehicles range from transports for troops or supplies, to things such as rapid land-attack craft, to armored hover-tanks that take on various roles, to even things like fast-moving hit-and-run larger-rocket launching craft that support land battles or can be equipped with a rack of anti-air missiles to help
***Vehicle Protection/Defenses - The need for radiation protection and thermal diffusion alongside the usual requirements of physical defense has led to a mostly mixed-approach layered-armor approach for battlefield military vehicles across the board. Adapted in one way or another to the type of vehicle and battlefield it is used in, this type of armor has been dubbed the ‘adaptable composite armoring system’ or ‘ACAS’. For all intents and purposes, this armor system is a flexible one that utilizes a composite armoring style and simply adaptable armor templates to protect military vehicles. Things like a basic hover jeep or non-frontline transport that lacks such armor, since they are not meant to head into the battlefield, can be equipped with ‘hanging composite armor’ to help protect it if it is in a dangerous enough area or close enough to a warzone or such. This ‘hanging armor’ is made to try to cover vital areas or at least give the vehicles more of a chance to survive, though it also allows for the use and quick removal or installment of more specialized types of armor such as dispersive anti-photonic armor plates or advanced reactive armor plates to be applied to combat vehicles depending on the battlefield and enemy force in question.
Further, things such as hard or soft kill kinds of point defense round out ideas for vehicle protection.
In general, the idea of vehicle defense has been streamlined and made adaptable, sacrificing greater specialized protection (a weakness of it) in return for basic hardiness and survivability, a more streamlined price and design to help on the production side of things, and the use of hanging armor and point defense to supplement.
Generally speaking, the Royal Federation possesses the general division between branches of its military: Space, Air, Sea, and Land. When it comes to the strength and size of these, it can be most simply ‘ranked’ in order of strongest to weakest as: Space, Land, Air, Sea. Indeed, the emphasis of this was mostly driven by the need for powerful land and space forces to fully drive out and put a stop to the invading alien forces of the past. Air forces came inherently alongside land forces, and the general lack of ‘seas’ as major battlefields left the naval/marine forces dead last in terms of importance and emphasis and such outright. This arrangement of priorities for the military branches has been a general trend even through current times, twenty years after the war against the ‘greater enemy’ was finally decisively ended. Since then, however, the Royal Federation’s seasoned and veteran military has continued to accrue experience against the TFCU through current times.
In terms of general soldier outfitting, the average soldier will be equipped depending on the branch and battlefield. Land troops will possess a sort of physical-impact-dissipating advanced-kevlar-like-weave fiber used to make their battle attire, with extra thickness and density around vital areas on their body for some more distinct protection in those spots. Land troops will also see the use of tactical protective vests and helmets and vambraces for more advanced protection of both vital areas and the most vulnerable extremities specifically. Air pilots use the same basic underlying battle attire as Land troops, though without the added helmets and such outside of what gear is worn to pilot and help protect their bodies and to withstand G forces during aerial combat (and help their chances of survival somewhat in case of a crash or being shot down). Marine/Naval troops likewise use the same base battle attire, but might use similar extra armor as the Land troops if they are performing something like a beach landing. Space troops will wear the same basic battle attire on their ships, but will also constantly wear battle gear made to try to durably protect them in case of either a hull breach or boarding attempt (defending against one or performing one against an enemy ship either way).
Organization of the Royal Federation’s military is well drilled and regimented, with clear chains of command and duties and subordinate positions and unit size breakdowns to boot. Discipline and training are distinctly ‘above average’ when it comes to how tough and rigorous they are, forging a well-disciplined and well-trained force overall indeed. Combined with the augmentations and equipment they are given, they are a frightening fighting force to face for any potential foe.
There is also an elite type of troops within the Royal Federation Military called the “Warden Corps”, these acting as willingly hyper-modified and willingly slightly ‘mentally-tweaked’ lifetime soldiers who are capable of very superhuman feats like hefting/throwing large building-sized robots or chunks of debris and battling enemies effectively even in a near-death state. Among other things. They are made to be hard to kill, hard to keep down, and carrying unique and more potent equipment than their ‘standard’ military counterparts could viably handle and use. Given how elite they are, however, they are the smallest branch of the military but also the most potent and versatile. They are “the first and last line of defense for the nation and its people both”, as their sworn oath so dictates, and their presence is something spoken of in hushed whispers. They take on missions ranging from deep-backlines enemy intel work to blunt and brutish frontline combat and other things in-between, being the ‘best of the best’ in the nation’s troops in their own right and possessing equipment of the same top-quality nature (imagine 30mm handguns fired using one hand, among other things, that they can use in their arsenal). The process to become one is rigorous, intensive, and filled with so many personal investigations and evaluations and background checks of an in-depth nature that it would most likely seem very silly to an outside onlooker from elsewhere. Yet to the Wardens, every little thing must be accounted for and noted for potential candidates…and for good reasons they can say as well as for reasons they have long kept private and strictly classified.
When it comes to experience overall, the Royal Federation’s military has been improved and seasoned from over a century of war as well as frontier operations, anti-piracy work, and the like. Is it the strongest military in the universe? No, that’d not be in the spirit of good NRP fun to say that. Is it cool and big and strong and has cool sci-fi tech and toys? Heck yes.
Additional Info: (Nothing that I can think of, at least yet.)
***The Terran Free Cities Union began as something that held hope for humanity, in the words of its founders, seeking to remove itself from the ‘ills and mistakes of the past’ as it pursued a new future and ‘the rightful state of man’ on the dwarf planet they named ‘New Terra’ or ‘Terra Firma’ as locals would come to call it. It would start as a direct democracy of sorts, founded by the losers of a civil war within the Royal Federation using stolen ships and supplies and technologies it took with it. From the start, however, those who took over the minor colony there and held power now leaned into the same radical ideas that had pushed them to war with the Royal Federation in the first place. Such beliefs were that the government was ruining an alien world, and was going to kick off another “Ruination of Old Earth'' scenario as they had long worded their view. They felt humanity would ruin the system itself, destroying not only the natural beauty but not ‘learning their lessons’ from the past as they built it up and killed ‘another thriving, living world if they even succeeded in making that much’. They felt very strongly indeed that humanity could not be trusted any longer with a ‘New Earth’ or ‘thriving planet’ ever again, and that living in doomed cities and dwelling in a future of artificiality was ‘what humanity deserved, if not worse’ after what happened to Old Earth. This would all become the foundations for the rise of the trademark ideology of the TFCU in time, leading into a hyper-critical and misanthropic philosophy school that has become dubbed the “Post-Humanist/Anti-Humanist” Movement.
For many years they would isolate themselves and build up, focusing hard inward and pushing for any means of population growth as the Royal Federation struggled to unite its constituent parts and came to blows with alien invaders. Yet with the Royal Federation acting as effectively a ‘meat shield’ that took the attention and efforts of the invaders, the budding TFCU truly had no idea what was going on with their sworn enemies as they built up infrastructure and worked to keep a firm hand on how they wanted things to be run. It would lead to them essentially strapping weapons to an amount of civilian spaceships, seeking to ‘fight the good fight’ without any idea of how far they were in comparison to the opposition. Along with these ships were sent experimental drones and similar automated vessels to supplement their numbers, mostly as a ‘scare tactic’ to try to strike terror into the Royal Federation mining location they targeted.
In effect, however, the assault was seemingly successful at first. Victory was declared for ‘having preserved more of the natural beauty of the system from the vile imperialistic fascists’ and ‘claimed new territory for the free cities of New Terra’. To them it was a first step in ‘liberating humanity from its wretched past, securing the system from dangerous extremists, and giving new hope to the future’ as the propaganda about the ‘battle’ was so posed. Yet this celebration over what, at best, amounted to a raiding party striking an unarmed mining colony elsewhere in the asteroid belt would be met with a response none from the TFCU could see coming. When word of an armed Royal Federation fleet coming hit the media and scouting forces of the TFCU, they sent their whole fleet in a proudful boast to ‘teach them another hard lesson’. Instead, the small fleet wiped out the TFCU’s ramshackle arrangement. It sent a shock deep into the TFCU’s ranks, and would in turn lead to a mad scramble over two decades to push their own technology to at least avoid the massacre that they had suffered.
The loss became a rallying cry rather than a detractor from the ideas of the TFCU, used to stir up anger and resentment more over the ‘vile scum’ that had shed so many human lives of theirs that day. It would drive the TFCU to at least come back with ‘not utter trash’ space combat craft after those two decades, and after learning about the ongoing war with alien invaders they even reached out to them with an attempted parlay ‘as a sign of goodwill, to show that not all humans were violent, savage, facist scum’. The propaganda machine of the state and its media stations spun things up to portray the Royal Federation as the villains of the whole alien war, among other things, and indeed it would become enough to drum up funding and support to keep up the war. By the time the invaders were scrapped by the Royal Federation, who by the end had been forced into a two-front war, the Yulzan defectors were being vilified and the scarce minute scraps of remnants of the invading Yulzan fleet that had not defected or been culled off would be given refuge in TFCU territory. Here they would ‘conveniently’ be placed in the area where an amount of political dissidents to the TFCU’s system of things had arisen over the years, solving one internal issue in return for essentially being the protector and ally of what remained of the invaders. What of the people there? They would become citizens under the laws and control of this ‘scarred and imperialistically-devastated native people who had been simply seeking a new home for themselves before being violently approached after peacefully entering the system over a century ago’. In reality, the political dynasties and such of the TFCU government would turn the remaining Yulzan into a protectorate deep in their lands, using them in part as a blunt weapon to help throw back at the Royal Federation alongside their own ever-advancing network of automated ships/drones and other military forces used in the field.
Twenty years since the end of the Federation-Yulzan War, the TFCU has been able to at least keep up a war with the Royal Federation. Yet to say they gain any proper ground within it all would be a far and beyond overstatement. Yulzan tech combined with their own has made them able to match pace through the use of sheer, raw numbers and Yulzan monstrosities secretly deployed and so forth against Royal Federation forces. They remain an ever-present threat, but have not posed the threat the original Yulzan Invasion Fleet did to the Royal Federation by far. The TFCU has shown no less than the total willingness to secretly deploy or brashly and blatantly justify all sorts of actions and tactics and tools and so forth in the name of pursuing their self-proclaimed ‘destined moral victory’ over the Royal Federation.
Yet with the Royal Federation in control over the reopened Gateway, lying deep in the ‘enemy territory’, any chances the TFCU and its Yulzan protectorate had to reach out have essentially and literally been blocked. Not that they have much cared beyond the sensational headline hitting the media networks and one or two pieces of propaganda integrating it.
***The nation’s manner of governance has placed high emphasis on creating, maintaining, and expanding a voting system infrastructure out to the populace that was readily accessible and able to process votes. It also placed incredible power into the hands of the government itself simultaneously. Even so, the voting system would become a challenge that would in time lead to the development and creation of advanced computing technologies as well as futuristic communication networks, all brought into what became called the “Mass Interconnectivity and Voting Network” (MIVN). The MIVN became both a voting system and the planet's internet at the same time, a wonder of technology that offered access to social forums and online stores and gave the ability for people to organize themselves in ways akin to former Old Earth social media platforms (albeit on a larger and much more streamlined scale). It also inherently allowed people to vote, as the original intention for its creation was made for, to vote on legislative issues in an interactive way with a real-time alert and notification system added alongside general legalized voting time limits and deadlines and such to keep things moving along for society. However, even with all of the bells and whistles and occasional struggles of the system, it was still not enough to keep things running fully. Too much was needed, and the transition to a liquid democracy was eventually voted into place to try to help manage the workload on the system as it caught up with the eventually booming population itself.
What had once been fluid-shifting voting groups that could organize on the fly over various issues, as had been seen as a good and hopeful thing for humanity’s future, began to streamline as the new system led to unofficial and eventually legalized manners to deal with votes. Delegates would debate each other and seek to justify the public handing their votes over, and competition between them became fierce as groups and wealth began to form underneath them to create stabilized or at least asserted power bases. Some turned to the eventually common practice of public demonstrations and rallies and such, used to try to gather locals in certain areas and to unite them in handing over votes to the organizing group’s delegate(s) and cause when it came to certain matters. Things like legalized ‘voting contracts’ would arise to try to help further simplify and maintain the means of managing votes, streamlining the process further as now neighborhoods and businesses and even political groups could get people to sign over votes for either periods of time or specific types of issues or the like in a wide variety of iterations of these contracts. A good many of these contracts would in turn begin to put more value on each vote, turning them into a commodity that saw extensive trade and use as a sort of invisible currency in time, whilst a number of them would also begin to be worked into things such as employment agreements or be added as a necessary document to sign if one wanted to live in certain places.
Influential delegates and political celebrities began to use their sway to turn the tide of votes, forging very literal but not official political dynasties that have kept entire bloodlines or close-knit groups in various positions of power. This as the public was rallied and lured and at times frankly pushed to their side. These took power over or worked with the myriad news networks of the nation, who already had begun to push more and more of simply whatever stories got them headlines and the most reactions out of the population so they could make a profit and tear away attention from each other. Logical fallacies and publicity and spinning stories became the way to keep people in-line and to put down opposition, using the rapidly-growing mob mentality of the public and MIVN to enforce this both officially and unofficially. In time the idea of moderating the MIVN would arise and be voted into law by the people, leading to the removal of many ideas and concepts and weaker political groups under the idea of ‘protecting freedoms and preserving the safety of the voters and MIVN’. In reality it was more just censoring of ‘wrongthink’ and the promotion of ‘goodthink’ in an increasingly worsening and worsening manner.
***The TFCU Judicial System has become crowdsourced, organizing people to vote on legal issues in their proper areas and at various levels as both the live-feed and real-time jury and judge in cases as any sort of formal ‘judge’ ultimately became an acting mediator in legal cases and speaker of the public’s will rather than what it had once been. The police became a tool of the peoples’ will, withheld and sent out as they were commanded to in order to enforce this will, as well.
Prisons became removed from existence, with “Social Reformatory Facilities'' put in their place. These places would provide legally mandatory ‘corrective classes’ to those who had to go there, with the amount of classes and severity of them and even the scores needed to pass them being set based on the crime(s) the criminal had been accused and sentenced for in a standardized but occasionally shifting system. Many would also be assigned with public service works alongside these, terms which would mandatorily have to be completed as well as the classes before they could be released. Those who were sentenced for horrible enough crimes, or otherwise harshly enough by the crowd, would receive ‘humane corrective processes’ before taking classes (potential public service time being placed on them as well alongside this) before being let back into the public at large as free citizens once more. These ‘humane partial corrective processes’ amount to hyper-precision neural lobotomies developed for the process, an improvement from the chemical and psychological means once used to ‘correct’ ill behaviors, being performed to remove ‘adverse traits’ and ‘dangerous aspects’ from their psyche before giving them classes to pass before releasing them back into the public. Those with extreme enough crimes or sentenced even more harshly enough for their crimes would get a ‘full corrective procedure’ instead, still dubbed as humane but this time wiping the individual into no more than a blank-faced drone in a human’s flesh who would be forced to do manual hard labor for the rest of their lives as their sentence. These “Penitent Criminals” or “Penitents” would be and live in ‘suitable’ concrete housing with only the most basic needs for food, water, washing, and medical care, having no mental or other needs for anything but basic subsistence of the most ground-level sort. Pentients as a whole are seen as a ‘humane’ creation by society, not taking a human life and putting the criminal to work and keeping them alive and healthy and safe in the process as automation and other ‘proper’ workers hired on in jobs did whatever else society needed. Yet it is worth making note that those working alongside Penitents for hard labor would also either find them to be either pleasant….or to be a rather motivational reason to not be arrested for crimes against the nation/society again. In truth, Pentients are seen as the ‘proper punishment’ for those criminals whom society has stopped seeing as human by the time they are transformed into one. Further, secretly the Pentient population is cloned en-masse to provide raw bodies for the work the government needs them for.
Within the TFCU’s judicial system there are also ‘Heritage Crimes’, or crimes that can be traced back to one’s ancestors or heritage that ‘were not properly paid for’ in the eyes of TFCU law. This could be a crime one is held to because of ‘crimes of one’s parent or other ancestors that has led to their direct or indirect benefit’, a ‘crime that one’s bloodline participated in that has resulted in disaffected individuals living in disadvantaged conditions by current times’, or the like underneath this general umbrella of potential reasons to charge one or more people with a Heritage Crime. This inherently can lead to one or more punishments, ranging from Social Reformatory Classes, to permanent fines on one’s income that are used to ‘help those disaffected by heritage crimes’, to repossessing of property, to public service labor and so forth. In this same vein one can be found to be ‘the descendant of those directly or indirectly disaffected or dealt an injustice via Heritage Crimes’. These people become beneficiaries of Heritage Crime cases, ranging from a government stipend paid by the fines of Heritage Criminals to getting access to repossessed properties and other benefits handed over by the courts to them.
***Politics within the TFFCU is something of a heated and potentially dangerous thing for those who don’t have the bravery, charisma, or outright good PR team to make it work well enough at some level or another. Shutting out, dismissing, and tearing down one’s political opponents in a debate or other social manner is the main way that things are solved, claiming the moral high ground, making associations between opponents and unsavory things, and looking for any dirt from their past or finding any way to alternately frame or twist their words and actions into something that can be used to stop them from getting more votes are all legal and omnipresent. At the same time libel and slander laws are vague enough to maintain this system of discrediting and popularity-seeking politics, but are strong enough to get certain stories and such shut down if one can spin things the right way for the case. It is a battleground of words that can see some rise as stars and others losing everything overnight.
It is no wonder that most political positions are held within powerful and older bloodlines, ones who have had enough time and wealth and so forth to passively maintain vast PR teams to help maintain their images and so forth. Even then, competition between these families can be just as fierce, heated, and dangerous…if not outright more so than those trying to work their way into these positions from the bottom up. Murder, reputation assassination, social self-destruction, blackmail, and much more have taken their place in this realm in a more potent way than most could hope to conceive. Yet the public at large looks over the excuses and sudden incidents and stories these are all spun and fed into news media in the form of, doing so just as much as those in power work to cover it up and maintain their image. Many rising stars are also adopted into these long political lineages in a manner of speaking, taken into the flock and perhaps even given a position or marriage or comfortable life in return for not threatening the status quo that the entrenched political dynasties have created and protected using the public at large by the end of these last three centuries.
Even more so, the greater public and mob mentality have become a self-perpetuating system the elites have come to simply manage. The people fight tooth and nail and blood for the system they live in, protecting and fostering it with those who dissent against it or seek to go against it shut out or shut up in one way or another. It is a system that removes or subjugates its own dissenters and elements dangerous to its survival, bolstering itself ‘in perpetuum’. Society here has gone as far as to rewrite, remove, and reframe human history to its own worldview and to assert its own twisted or even hyper-critical viewpoints on things and places and people.
***The TFCU Military consists of two main parts: Public and Private.
To start with the latter, it mostly consists of Yulzan-generated monstrosities and biological or other horrendous weapons that would make the issues brought up in the ancient Geneva Convention look utterly tame by comparison. Suicide-bomber Penitents, mind-warping drug clouds, twisted famiciles of life and technology wrought in nauseating manners from the Yulzan-subjugated and bred local human populace, and so forth are included within this realm of things. It is the stuff people do not see, the numbers and statistics that do not make it back home, and the missions launched without anyone else knowing. At least for the most part. Attempts to gradually work on these things being presented and spun to gain public acceptance have begun, at least after several attempts by the Royal Federation to expose them by hacking TFCU communication networks within their border territories. Such efforts are still in their beginnings and infancy, having made initial ground but still quite a long way to go to achieve any remotely widespread success in some fashion or another.
Meanwhile, the Public Military is the stuff people know about and can see for themselves via the live-feed battle livestreams hosted for the population to watch. Fully automated ships and robotic fighter drones, en-masse cloned Penitents directed by controllers speaking over comms, and authorized ‘volunteer citizen forces’ armed and roughly given some kind of training by the government compose this realm of the military. Mostly the automated and Penitent forces take the stage, the clones seen in particular as ‘simply a criminal continuing to pay their debt to civilized society’, using mass-wave tactics and vehicles and so forth to try to overwhelm and push back and out enemy forces. For what the TFCU lacks in territory and scale it has made up for as cheaply and with numbers as it can hope to muster.
The Commonality of New Ishtar: Ishtari Commonality, New Ishtar, Ishtar
Government Form: Direct Democracy:
Demographics: Perfected: 100%
Tiamat Strain - 51.7%
Azazel Strain - 26.5%
Gorgon Strain - 12.3%
Shinchu Strain - 4.5%
Sanguine Strain - 3%
Homonculus Strain - .7%
Other Strains - 1.3%
The Perfected are derived from the gene-stock of the crew of the Generation Ship Ishtar. Modified significantly over the years in response to myriad threats to the survival of human life, we have transcended the bounds of our ancestors and achieved not only a wide array of unique abilities - but immortality.
“The Perfected” is an umbrella term used to encompass all of the varied Strains that emerged aboard the Ark Ishtar. Though several dozen were recorded throughout the Ark’s history, only a scant few remain extant today. The most notable of these being:
Tiamat Strain - By far the most common Strain, the Tiamat Strain are immediately notable for the bioluminescent growths that cover much of their bodies, their muscular physiques, and the complete absence of males among their number. Originating as a predatory, transmissible mutagenic Strain whose originator, known as Tiamat, was a former Gorgon Strain priestess, the Tiamat Strain survived near extinction at the hands of the Hive Strain - and other Strains - numerous times before becoming the dominant Strain of Ishtari society thanks to their remarkably rapid reproduction. Tiamat Strain reproduction, being derived from that of the Gorgon Strain, functions as follows:
The absence of males in the Tiamat Strain is, in fact, an illusion. Tiamat Strain males are in essence vestigial organisms, composed only of a small brain, set of jaws, and series of sperm sacs. These males burrow into the abdomen of the female and attach themselves to her reproductive system, enabling self-fertilization on demand. Much like the Gorgon Strain, rather than a menstrual cycle, Tiamat Strain ovulate at will and may control either a mass release of egg cells or a single release. In a mass release these eggs are then fertilized by the implanted sperm sacs and gestate for approximately one month before discharge into what is termed a gestational medium - functionally, a vat of raw biomass that the young feed off of and continue to mature within until their full maturation and their lungs can breathe air as well as water. Alternatively they are capable of carrying a single child to full term like a normal human if need be. Alternatively alternatively the mother can gorge herself and create "eggs" to simulate the environment of the gestational medium and lay those "eggs" wherever she chooses. Initially r-Selected Strain with high reproductive rates.
Azazel Strain - An unusual Strain personally created by Tiamat herself from the genestock of the Tiamat and Gorgon Strains as well as her own DNA. Employed as military leaders, elite shock troops, and subordinates to Tiamat during the wars aboard the Ark and the initial conflicts planetside, and based on a combination of her own evolved form and the most desirable attributes of the Tiamat Strain proper, as well as those of the Gorgon Strain. The Azazel Strain are stronger, faster, tougher, and in many ways a direct improvement of the baseline Tiamat Strain.
Upon the final defeat of the enemy and the near-glassing of the planet’s surface, Tiamat consolidated her power. Soon, however, she realized an iron grip on power in part lead to the very cycle of violence she had spent centuries attempting to solve, and voluntarily relinquished her power and the power of the Azazel Strain, implementing the reforms that would begin the transition of Ishtari society into its present form of a direct democracy. Tiamat and her Azazel Strain became ordinary citizenry as any other.
Tiamat removed the secrets to their creation from her own mind, though some suspect backups remain - just in case. However, due to the lingering instability in their DNA, Tiamat Strain have been known to begin metamorphizing into the Azazel Strain. The exact mechanism behind this has yet to be determined despite fervent research into the subject matter.
In modern Ishtari society the Azazel Strain represent a similar thread to the Gorgon Strain. Equal citizens, but possessed of qualities that mark them above the norm in some way. They are often viewed with a mixture of jealousy and suspicion, and in turn often reciprocate. By and large, however, they are well integrated into Ishtari society. One primary notable feature is their prominence within the military, where their natural leadership qualities make for ideal officers. Initially r-Selected Strain with high reproductive rates.
Gorgon Strain - The second most common Strain and physically the largest by far, the Gorgon Strain bear a striking resemblance to lamia of classic old earth myth. A snakelike body approximately three meters in length is joined to a large human torso spouting four muscular arms. Their heads sport cobra-like ‘hoods’ that can be extended at will, with similar glowing growths on parts of these hoods. The Gorgon Strain’s history is a murky one, shrouded in myth and half remembered story. Though the oldest among them hail from Old Earth itself, none can remember the exact process by which they came to their current forms. All that is known is that the Gorgon Strain are not only immensely long lived, but possibly the oldest extant Strain there is. Their earliest known history is as ‘priests’ of the Void, before turning against it for unknown reasons and employing their Marduk Strain soldiers against the Hive Strain. They emit pheromones able to influence or even control those around them, something all Ishtari Strains now possess an engineered immunity to. Initially r-Selected Strain with high reproductive rates.
Sanguine Strain - Most closely analogous to vampires of old earth myth, the Sanguine Strain resemble baseline humans most closely of any Strain - the next closest being the Azazel Strain. Easily able to pass for human even in their baseline form if wearing sunglasses and a hat to conceal their hair color, they sport pheromones similar to the Gorgon Strain and a limited ability to alter their appearances to be more pleasing to whoever it is they are - eye and skin color, hair color, slight changes to build, and so on. For them most part appearing to be beautiful humans by default, the Sanguine Strain’s true forms sport pale skin, irisless eyes with black sclera, patterns of black dots on the skin, and snowy white hair. K-selected Strain with low reproductive rates.
Shinchu Strain - Somewhat reminiscent of the moths of old earth, the Shinchu Strain were never the dominant force in the history of New Ishtar but have long played their own important role. Sporting four armed anatomy like the Gorgon Strain, the Shinchu Strain are physically strong and naturally quiet, surviving aboard the Ark as ambush predators and stealthy operatives. Allied with Tiamat from an early point their natural inclination towards stealth has served well and will continue to serve well in the future. Initially K-Selected Strain with low reproductive rates.
Homonculus Strain - one of if not the most bizarre of all Strains, there is no debate like with many other Strains whether the Homonculus Strain qualifies as a human subspecies, and they have diverged into something wholly different. Generally secluded from most Ishtari society, the Homonculus Strain are primarily grouped in a northern administrative region, with some present in Neriven. These Ishtari have bonelike shells encasing most of their bodies giving them a strongly humanoid appearance, reminiscent of that of elves of old earth fantasy, some parts being composed of a cartilaginous substance allowing joints to flex. Within these shells is a hydrozoan-like organism composed of a brain organism from which hundreds of ropelike muscular tendrils grow, slaved to its central nervous system but capable of independent clonal reproduction. These ropes form the muscular structure and the bulk of the Homonculus Strain’s mass, with further specialized digestive organisms within handling tasks like digestion. Homonculus Strain eat by using their hundreds of tendrils within the bony shell to feed food through the body to these central digestive organs whereafter a shared circulatory system ferries the metabolized nutrients around to where they're needed. The Homonculus Strain are formed from numerous networked intelligences, each separate organism representing a separate intelligence of its own and partaking in group decision making, the resulting collective mind taking actions after they have been agreed upon.
Other Strains - There are over half a dozen Perfected Strains whose numbers constitute, in aggregate, only 1.3% of the total population. Meeting them for a foreigner is highly unlikely, but further information is available upon request.
Almost every Perfected is born with a set of features that distinguish us from our ancestors, in addition to those deviations arising from an individual’s Strain. Among other things,
We can metabolize numerous inorganic compounds for metabolic energy
Breathe in an ammonia atmosphere provided there is sufficient oxygen,
Are born without the curse of natural eyesight that the cloud of the Void may never strike our minds
Sport natural neural interfaces at the base of the spine and nape of the neck for use with the Ishtari net and computers, as well as power armor and weapons systems, vehicles, and more.
Are immune to the airborne parasites of New Ishtar. Augmented immune systems render them highly resistant or immune to numerous other pathogens, both endemic to New Ishtar and those brought by humanity.
Have a second heart; enlarged adrenal glands; nanostructure-reinforced bones and muscle tissue; redundant secondary brain in event of traumatic head injury; redundant spleen; two extra stomachs to neutralize environmental toxins and to break down difficult to digest foods; modified sweat glands enabling the secretion of a waxy substance to prevent infection from the numerous parasitic insects of New Ishtar; the replacement of fingernails with claws connected to the bone of the hands, enlarged canine teeth, a reinforced and redesigned skull to mitigate brain injury from impact, and more.
Improved, more-efficient hemoglobin and enlarged lung capacity enabling greater oxygenation of blood.
Redesigned nervous system permitting slightly improved reaction time, alongside significant nanostructural reinforcement of the myelin sheathe. Redundancy of numerous key nervous pathways, spinal column reinforced to withstand significant impact or cutting force without damage.
Redesigned skeletal structure to better bear the increased weight of exerted upon it by the heavy gravity of New Ishtar.
A nanostructure-engineered protective sac around the vital organs in the torso capable of resisting the impact of a knife or the claws of an animal. The neck is similarly reinforced.
Enhanced sensory organs which, in concert with improved neural systems enable we Ishtari to respond to external threats and stimuli before those threats have even consciously registered.
A genetic encyclopedia of basic information required for the operation of most technology on New Ishtar. Even if reduced to a single individual, the last lone Ishtari is capable of creating more of herself.
Are able to enter a state of hibernation or suspended animation for a period of up to ten years.
Supercomputer-optimized engineered metabolism to support all of the above with as small an increase in caloric intake as possible.
Extremely high reproductive rates enable rapid replenishment of the population in the event of catastrophic population loss.
Are functionally immortal via the use of the Rejuvenation Chambers!
The advantages of being Ishtari over baseline, ancestral human are boundless, as one can easily see! We Ishtari possess the ability to alter our very physiology as if working with putty. Indeed it is rare to see any of the Perfected who conform to the presented models of Strains here. Exceptions to all of the above abound, as many have chosen their current forms to suit their individual identities. This is thanks to the wondrous technology of the Rejuvenation Chamber, and the forward-thinking Ishtari society!
During the great trials and tribulations of the Voyage, the crew of the Generation Ship Ishtar was tragically subject to mutagenic agents that continue to defy proper explanation. We of course remind you to always remember,
"We thought we had left hell, only to arrive within a fresh one".
-Sister-Pioneer 23-45 Sana Carries The Torch On The Path To The Future, recorded interview
New Ishtar is a “super-earth”, far, far larger than the earth from which humanity hailed. Its surface is massive, almost five times that of earth. Its gravity is approximately 54.3% stronger than that of earth as well, leading to we Ishtari developing to be abnormally strong among the descendents of earth - ‘punching well above our weight class’, I think is the term?
New Ishtar is beautiful. Perhaps one of the most beautiful colonies of humanity. The world, in pictures, looks like a pristine jewel. An idyllic panorama of nature’s beauty. This much is true - for us.
In actuality for those not acclimated to it, New Ishtar is a death world. One of the deadliest of death worlds. Oh, it has its giant monsters, and they are very terrifying. But venture beyond the cities and death awaits the non-Perfected in a very different manner than they might expect. Carnivorous, possibly sapient algal blooms choke out vast swathes of the sea. Fast-acting flesh eating bacteria dwelling within the geothermal hot springs as well as the lakes and rivers will eat flesh from bone within hours of exposure. The brain-parasites will take root within the host’s brain, slowly spreading throughout until they are fully controlled, directed to take up positions of high elevation, or near ventilation, where the spores crack open the skull and are released to infect new victims. Lung-weed - a parasitic plant that attaches in the respiratory tissue when inhaled, then beginning to secrete enzymes that break the host tissue into an easily digestible material for the planet, consuming the host from within before spreading its tendrils and bursting out through the skin to releasing new spores. It is, possibly, one of the most horrific and yet also most beautiful ways to die upon New Ishtar - should you wish to appear covered in a dazzling array of colorful flowers.
You heard of the screaming trees, the Mycelium Gestalt? How? No. I will not speak of these things.
Someone get this thing cleaned up and sanitized. We need to tell some version of the truth…but if we share all of this? Fuck no. And purge those logs, already.
"Welcome aboard the Generation Ship Ishtar. The envy of the world - exclusive to members of the Iwasaki Group. We hope you enjoy your stay in the lap of luxury as we ferry you safely from the demise of our Mother Earth to the great stars beyond! This short instructional video will detail everything you need to know about staying safe in space as you help keep our Board members and our Shareholders alive on our voyage to our new home, among the stars!"
-Beginning of a series of educational videos for the essential crew on board the Ishtar before the ship’s final launch.
The history of we Ishtari, especially aboard the Generation Ship Ishtar, is an almost impossible web of intentional deceit, madness-spawned lunatic ravings, destruction of records, total anarchic violence in which nothing could be recorded, and stretches of inexplicable blankness for which no modern Ishtari scholar has yet offered a reasonable explanation. What follows is a rough recounting of events, in approximate chronological order, that lead to the founding of the Commonality of New Ishtar. Relevant archival files have been embedded for the edification of the reader.
The Ark Ishtar was created by Iwasaki Group, a large Japanese superconglomerate upon old earth. With extensive operations all over the world, the bulk of the Ark’s crew came from Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Germany, Peru, Brazil, the US east and west coasts, Russia, and Iran. Operating in numerous sectors, it was primarily active in in manufacturing (weapons, automotive, aerospace, robotics, cybernetics, maritime), biotechnology, cybernetic technology, engineering, mining, and private military activity. The corporation was amongst the world’s largest in both revenue and number of employees. With over twenty million employees worldwide it was regarded by many to be a small country in its own right under the supervision of the Japanese government, with its own army that rivalled that of numerous smaller nations, space program, and more.
- The ship launches with a full crew of over six million, staffed by the board and numerous lower workers, of a Japanese superconglomerate from earth. A supremely decadent affair, obsessed with the accrual of capital to no end.
- The ship travels through the gate on time.
- Something, what specifically it was remains unknown, goes wrong in-transit.
- Sensor readings indicate they are not within the gate, nor are they within the Sol system, their destination system, or even intergalactic space. They are nowhere.
- Tensions begin to rise within the ship due to the inexplicable catastrophe.
- They begin to see things in the corner of their eyes. The exact nature of these things has been long since redacted. W҉͓̗͚e͓ ̗̲̹w̲e͓͈̞r͕͈̦͘é̞̣͙̯̝̯̻ w͠e͍̳͈̫͔͈͍a͚͔̮͔̦k̤̜̤̮͖̙͘.͎̲̯̹̰ ̦̹̲̱W̠̝͇̻e̸̫͇̦ ͈͚̮͖ͅf̵l̸̬̣͕̤̯̳e̫̲͕̭̼̗d͈̲̳̹͢ ̰̳̝͟ͅf̡r͚̥͡ͅo̢̺̤̬m͔̮̳͉̠͇͝ ̹t̝̲͖͓̥̖͢h̘͞e͎͙̭ ͏͓̞̦͇̪̹ͅṰ̥̠̥͙̭͙r̰u͏̞̺̜̮͇̦̖t̡̖̥̬ͅh̬̟͓̘͓͇͜.̧
- Suicide rates on-board begin to skyrocket as the crew are driven mad by the Revelations of Truth.
- A civil war breaks out driven by madness from the visions - the First Gene-Cull. The exact motivations, sides, and more are largely forgotten. Whether it was the ethnic tensions of the old world, or something induced by Truth, we will never know.
- Population begins to plummet from the casualties.
- Corporate command staff order cloning to keep population numbers up and ensure the functioning of the ship.
- The First Gene-Cull ends after 75% of the initial population wiped out.
- Centralized control of the ship is utterly lost as the surviving command crew are killed in a mutiny. The food supply becomes strained due to the emergence of the Hive Strain, Second Gene-Cull begins.
- A Gorgon Strain woman whose original name is lost to time and is remembered only as Tiamat, with extensive military experience and who later became a leading geneticist, diverges from the Gorgon Strain as the first known instance of the transmissible Tiamat Strain. Along with numerous subsequent infected Tiamat Strain and a host of what are revealed to be their biological children, she leads the Strain in seizing control of one of the ship’s manufacturing bays and turning it into an armory and weapons research laboratory.
Archival Log #2: Emergence of the Tiamat Strain Log Begins… 73rd Quarter, East Wing, Backup Hydroponics Section Marduk Operative Team Epsilon-6 Operative Park, Saem
Encounter with unrecognized Strain during routine decontamination operations. Subject is female, approximately 170cm in height, possessed of numerous bioluminescent growths across much of body. Subject is physically strong and incapacitated Operative Petrova, combined efforts of Operatives Park and Iwasaki required to restrain suspect for study.
Operative Petrova speaks with subject while recuperating. Claims Subject’s Strain self-refers as “Tiamat-Strain”. Operative Petrova reprimanded for enemy fraternization after further commentary indicates rapport between Subject and Operative Petrova.
Void forgive me for speaking the blasphemer’s name.
Subject executed on authority of Operative Park, after insulting the personage of Priestess Yuly'dzhea. Operative Petrova begins to display deviations from recognized Marduk Strain, similar to those of the "Tiamat Strain", termination of Operative Petrova ordered but unsuccessful. Hypothesis of transmisible mutagenic agent, suspected Void link as opposed to deliberate alteration. Further study req
Operative Park, Seojun was a silly little boy who left himself and his friends wide open. Operative Park rejected the gift, killed our sister in arms and followed the abomination. Operative Park spurned what could have been his. Silly little boy. He will nurture a new generation. All will serve, in life or death.
- With the emergence of the Tiamat Strain and Hive Strain, despite enormous losses by each, the estimated population swells to almost twenty million - well over the six million strong intended crew.
- The inhabitants of the ship devolve into cannibalism out of desperation, and other depraved acts spurred by the horrible revelations of the void are carried out en-masse. Population is halved once again.
- The cryosleep technicians were killed in the first Gene-Cull, and the technology considered lost. It is rediscovered by Tiamat Strain scientists, and the cryofrozen executive board and shareholders are awoken and rendered into raw Biomatter after they attempt to order the destruction of the Tiamat and Gorgon Strains.
- The Gorgon Strain are nearly overrun. Their synthetic “Marduk Strain” soldiery are insufficient to stem the tide. Casualties matter not to the Hive Strain. The Marduk Strain are eliminated, the Gorgon Strain are threatened within joining the nearly two-thirds of all Strains to have ever existed in being eliminated by the Hive Strain. Only a begruding alliance with Tiamat and her Strain prevents their annihilation.
- The Gene-Cull continues, the Hive Strain nearly overruns the Ark until the united Tiamat and Gorgon Strains succeeds in gathering sufficient Biomatter to create a massive army and seemingly wipe out the hive strain, ending the second Gene-Cull. The full maturation of the Tiamat Strain plays a major role in the tipping the balance owing to their potent sensory organs allowing them to sense the influence of the void better than most other Strains, and their rapid reproduction allowing them to produce a near endless stream of soldiery.
- The food crisis continues to loom, the populace is modified to become chemoautotrophic to feed on chemical reserves, crysostasis is then rediscovered by biologists of the Tiamat Strain.
- Tiamat begins the creation of the Azazel Strain to enable the enforcement of order over the chaos of the Ark. Ideal specimens of the Tiamat Strain are altered in much the same way she herself has changed over time, fighting the Hive Strain. Through combining aspects of the Tiamat Strain, her own DNA, and the Gorgon Strain, she creates an ideal hybrid of the three and gives rise to the Azazel Strain. Able to reproduce and infect in much the same way as the Tiamat Strain, they become her shock troops and commanders to supplement the Tiamat Strain. Tiamat continues tinker with her own genome and those of allied Strains, creating many of the alterations that remain with we Ishtari to this day such as the armored organ sac.
- Biologists of the Tiamat Strain introduce the first version of what will become known as “The Net” - all Tiamat Strain, Azazel Strain, and Gorgon Strain are modified for compatibility with this creation, an internet formed from a hybrid of biological and electronic components. Many other strains quickly adapt it as well, however an unknown surviving offshoot of the Hive Strain adopts the technology and begins to rebuild the Hivemind, sparking the Third Gene-Cull.
- The “Net” nearly proves the undoing of the Tiamat Strain before its vulnerabilities are patched and resolved. The Hive Strain, infiltrating its connections, destroys Tiamat’s command structure in a matter of days, subjugating vast swathes of the Ark’s available biomatter.
- Those surviving the purge retreat to fortified sections of the Ark and prepare for a final stand. For another decade, they wage a losing war of attrition while Tiamat and her scions exist within the screaming hive matrix, fighting to maintain a semblance of identity.
- The Hive Strain is temporarily disrupted by the failure of a biomatter reprocessing unit, diverting Hivemind processing power away from the sections of the Ark housing Tiamat and the majority of her former command. Through a Herculean effort they are able to alter the material of the Hive Strain to force the creation of simulacra of autonomous bodies, seizing control of body-printing facilities and recreating from memory the former forms of Tiamat, Gorgon, and Azazel Strain, as well as Tiamat’s own unique form.
- This signals a reversal of fortunes for the Hive Strain. Tiamat accesses stored reserves of neuroviral delivery weaponry and devastates large swathes of the Hive Strain, rendering its biomatter into nutrient medium to create new Tiamat, Gorgon, and Azazel Strain. Tiamat leads from the front, having developed an early form of the Rejuvenation Chamber enabling her to recreate herself after death.
- Tiamat leads a strike team into the heart of Hive Strain controlled parts of the ship, and confronts the central brain with a hardened cadre of survivors of her team. Escaping another death by a hair’s breadth, she destroys the central brain and enables the delivery of a neurovirus through the synapse-link to all connected Hive Strain, destroying all connected neural tissue and allowing their Biomatter to be successfully processed. A period of mourning is held for the estimated thirty million minds destroyed in the process.
- An unprecedented era of peace emerges aboard the Ark for a time.
- Archival footage is discovered, showing the extent of mutation of the humans aboard the Ishtar from those humans that boarded the vessel approximately four hundred years prior. This sparks a massive uproar, as the effects of not only genetic modification but the influence of The Void is now finally made clear.
- An attempt is made by Primary Strains unconnected to the Net to kill Tiamat via a neurovirus, as she is seen as the focal point of this divergence and by far the most affected by whatever mutagen afflicts the population alongside the terrible visions, sparking the Fourth Gene-Cull.
- The majority of records have been expunged. All unallied Strains are destroyed, all in cryostasis are thawed and given the choice and connected or destroyed, leaving the current extant Strains the only survivors. Developments in cryostasis lead to the liquidation of all nonessential Biomatter and the transfer of their consciousnesses to the net. The first true Rejuvenation Chamber is developed, genetic modification reaches new heights alongside advances in weapons technology from constant warfare.
- The visions from the Void intensify further, and a cult is formed around them, known as the Followers of She Who Advises, a counter-cult forms soon after contrasting visions from the void. Visions of something Ｂｅａｕｔｉｆｕｌ.
- The Fifth Gene-Cull begins. There is little order or sense to it, and it devolves into a mad orgiastic frenzy of violence, the unity of Tiamat’s hegemony fractured by the terrible nightmarish images they are afflicted with. The Terrible Truth of the horrific things they see destroying the minds of over two hundred thousand, who are euthanized and rendered into Biomatter. We were foolish. We were ＷＥＡＫ and could not - ＷＯＵＬＤ ＮＯＴ understand the Terrible Truth bestowed upon us.
Archival Log #4 Upon the altar, we light the incense of our innocence e҉̱̱r̡̤r͖͈͚̗o̭̬̥r̀.̤̘̳̦͓̬̟ ̟͕̥̣d̝̠̞a̷̲͉͖̬̹̯̻ta̶̞̘̱̻ ̡͇c̟̪̠ọ̼͎̮͓̹r͏̺̖̭̟̲͇r̶͕̬͖̱u̢͇p̤̮͡t̻̥̩̭̠e̬̥̪̺̳͓d̸͔͍͔̺
- Unity is finally restored not by Tiamat’s force of arms, but by a Gorgon Strain by the name of Jadisin, Shielder of Her Flock From Darkness, blinded by her own hand to free herself from the nightmarish imagery haunting her vision, she forms the now-predominant Faith of The Light. Rejecting the void. Embracing the light at the center of creation. Ｉｎ ｏｕｒ ＣＯＷＡＲＤＩＣＥ ｗｅ ｆｌｅｄ ｆｒｏｍ ｔｈｅ Ｔｒｕｔｈ． She speaks of her visions. Unlike the visions of the Terrible Truth, these are not horrifying. She gazes upon no B͍̺̤ͅl̢̯͚̺̟̹a͈c̦̣͈͖k̫͈͍̞̻͖͡ ͉̝̙̝̱̝͎V̠̻̝̺̩i͖̱s̛͔͚͉̞̘͇̦t̩͚̺̳̺̖͢a̭̮ṣ̶̻͉̬ ̞̯̤͖o̻̠̰̮f̫͟ ̭̪t̕h̝̼̭͖͖͎e ͇̞̥̙̱̯͝U͔̱͠n̙̰͈͎͔̘̦̕e̶͕̦̠̲̳ͅndḭ̝̩̩n͙̱̬̖g̢̝͉̦̤̩͎ ͙V̝̝̮̱̰̦͘o͖̞i̵͓͇̥ͅd̘͈̗̰͎̫͢, nor does she witness the W̘͉̬̝̜e̥̪̣͇̜b̸̘͚ ̴̥̜̖̼̭̖o̡̱̖͖̖̜ͅf̻͕̥͚ ̡̱̯̲D̫̟͔̯̬̠e̟̮͎c͎̯͇̜͈̖ę̦ͅi̙t̢ ̺͔̙a̻̥ͅn̸͓ḓ̛̳̩̼͈ ͇̣o̴͎̟f̘̬̝̜͎̹ ͏͉̳̲̻̹̻L̨̜̻̖̣i̻e̶̺s̀. She sees… something beautiful. Something so beautiful she cannot put it into proper words. It is described only as “Heaven”, for she cannot Ｕｎｄｅｒｓｔａｎｄ. She brought us to the Ｇｏｏｄ Ｔｒｕｔｈ. The Light-Seer told us it loved us. It welcomed us. It would shield us from the Dark. We begin to see Heaven. And it is beautiful. Many begin to blind themselves and follow her.
- The Fifth Gene-Cull comes to a close, with the final woman to be blinded before the outlawing of the practice - a Tiamat Strain who had aspirations of artistry and had feared what cybernetic eyes might do to this - seeing a final vision from the Void. Through hands dripping with a mixture of blood and tears she recounts her visions to those around her, including the Light-Seer. A world for us to settle upon. Home.
- Almost as inexplicably as its entrance into the Void, the waveform collapses and the Ark is spat back out into realspace. Panicked observations indicate that no time has passed at all in real-time, despite an estimated ~583 years having elapsed aboard the vessel trapped within the grasp of The Void.
- They realize they are within a solar system. Scans indicate that there is a super-earth within the habitable zone of the planet’s G-type main-sequence star, and further scans indicate it to exactly match the description of the world given by the Last To Be Freed.
- Exploration teams are dispatched to New Ishtar, heavily armed, to evaluate it. Only three of their number return, badly wounded, one dying of an unknown toxin from a suit breach. What has become of the others? The dying woman is preserved only by Rejuvenation. She is amazed to be alive and gives her harrowing report of the surface.
- The ship is beginning to run low on vital supplies, and a landing is imminently required. Emergency preparations are undertaken and enviro-suits are manufactured en-masse.
- We weep.
- We Ishtari begin one of our greatest shames. The Great Xenocide. A sapient native species of the world we call New Ishtar had evolved upon it, despite the planet’s hostility, achieving a not-insignificant level of technological development. They are hostile, almost immediately, and translated phrases refer chillingly to The Terrible Truth. In our fear, we did not consider that we might have mistranslated, or misunderstood. A Deviant Strain threatened us with war. We had been among our own for so long, we knew no other recourse but extermination.
- Three decades of brutal slaughter commence. Many of us die. The Rejuvenation Chambers save many more, allowing them to live on Reincarnated after death, or be Rejuvenated from lethal injury. The redundant brain is developed to preserve our consciousness even in physical-death in concert with the life-support systems of our armor.
- The first true Synapse-Node is created. Establishing a non-physical biolink to the brains of all Ishtari. It is at this point we begin to call ourselves the Perfected. The Synapse-Node network explodes overnight, and with it the Ishtari net truly begins to reach its current height.
- The Great Xenocide comes to a final climactic close. Spurred by the losing position of their forces, the Enemy amasses all naval ordnance they can, and commence a large scale orbital bombardment of the planet concurrent with the unleashing of nuclear and antimatter weapons stockpiles. Large swathes of the planet are levelled, most of the Enemy cities and populace die. Millions. Hundreds of millions of we Perfected die. Miraculously, we are able to survive. We defeat them in orbit. We shoot down many missiles. At last, relative silence falls upon us. Sporadic fighting continues in the outskirts. Those of the native species, whose name, appearance, and everything about them have long been forgotten, are subjected to the process of Perfection against their wills. Their minds are Alien to Us. But we mould them. We shape them. We make them compatible with Us until They are We. We strip them of their minds. Their memories. Their Divergence. We assimilate their Biomatter into our own reserves, and their now Perfected minds, wiped clean of Deviant Thought become Us. They still exist among us today, part of Us. Some claim they are a Strain of their own, some claim their minds are distributed throughout each Strain. We do not know.
- Slowly, the planet becomes Ours. We bend it to Our will. We make it Our own. We adapt to it. No longer do we need fear the brain-parasites or the infectious flies or the toxic waters. We become immune to the lung-weed that felled so many of Us.
- The Hive Strain survived as well. It is contained to the remotest reaches of the world. It forms the screaming trees and the mycelium gestalt. The razorgrass is cut away from civilization, confined to wilderness We have not yet claimed. The thanabirds are culled and their attacks become infrequent.
- We turn inward, seeking further Perfection. We have no scarcity, now. The planet provides for us.
- Why must we suffer from age? From disease? From Imperfection? Why must we fade away like the petals of a flower when we could remain beautiful forever?
- The Rejuvenation Chambers. They hold the key.
- We will become Perfect. Forever. Through the Rejuvenation Chambers we may all achieve Immortality. Some resist. But they are made to Understand.
- There is no hierarchy. We are all Perfect. What can there be beyond such? We are Equal. We are Perfect. We are Beautiful. We are Immortal. We are Unending. We are many. Tiamat knows this. Tiamat and her Azazel Strain relinquish power, and our civilization flourishes for a century and a half to come.
- We have been touched by That Beyond. We stared into the Terrible Truth and could not embrace it. We are sheltered by the Good Truth. We are whole. We are humanity. We are Perfect. We hope other humanity has survived. That they have not suffered as we have. We are not optimistic. Ours was a generation ship. Theirs were not. We fear we are all that remains of humanity. All that is left. A single speck of ash. Four billion souls wearing faces that once were human, but have Fallen. The last fleeting remnant of humanity. Failures. We have tried. We have tried so hard. We are proud of what we have created, and yet…
- The Gate.
- The Gate Opens…
- We pray we are not alone.
Culture and Society: Ishtari culture and society is a beautiful interwoven tapestry of the different groups that made up the crew of the generation ship that ferried us to our home. It is, as a result of our experiences aboard the generation ship, an intensely, fiercely communal and egalitarian society. All who threaten us will be defeated. It is only by banding together, by sharing with each other, by abolishing unnecessary hierarchies and other things that separated us that we have achieved such heights today. We are all Perfect. None is superior to another. We have no concept of ‘money’ - as you have termed it. Food, shelter, water, electricity, all the base necessities are given freely, without cost. We live in plenty, for we share without compunction or compulsion amongst ourselves.
How we are made? What a strange question. It varies, Strain by Strain. The Tiamat and Gorgon Strains are most frequently born from “egg”-like things. The Sanguine Strain still primarily reproduce via pregnancy. The Homonculus Strain… frankly we are not sure, and they will not speak of it. We are raised by the whole, by everyone. We know much from the moment we can speak. We follow those paths that most appeal to us. We train in combat, when we do not follow these paths. We grow until we reach the age of twenty one years - or approximately twenty eight and a half years, using the orbit of earth about sol as a metric. It is then we undergo our first Rejuvenation. Our bodies are… digested. Our minds are slowly transferred, one neuron at a time, to the neural net wherein they remain until our bodies have been reconstructed according to our individual design. We are then transferred back to a young, refreshed body constructed anew. Through this we have achieved near-immortality. We do not age. We do not suffer from genetic disease. We do not know sickness, or hunger. Death is an aberration. A tragedy.
What is death, you ask? Death is a discontinuity of self. Those whose brains are destroyed, and with them their consciousnesses, before they can be transferred to the Synapse Network may be restored from backups - but they are not the same person. Should this tragic event occur - if the consciousness cannot be preserved - our fallen kin will be mourned and a replicant of her last mind-backup will be implanted into her reconstituted body with her Rejuvenation number reset to 1. They are Reincarnated. Brought into life anew. Some day, heaven willing, when they too have passed on should they remain in harmony with that life of theirs that came before they will coalesce into one. The young do not understand this. They throw themselves as lambs to slaughter, abusing our gifts. Many of them have died many times and yet still they continue.
Computer conscience? You have many questions. I will answer. Transference of self to a digital form is, in our view, akin to simultaneous birth and death. A bittersweet combination of the tragedy of death and the joy of new life. One consciousness dies, whilst the other is born anew with the thoughts of the past. That digital consciousness will make an imprint upon the universe, just as any biological life. A soul, if you will. When that digital instance, too, has finally died - should they remain in harmony, they will merge with their past and future lives.
Ah, you ask of our equivalent to digitized conscience? They are not truly alike, of course. The mind remains biological. Our computers are partly biological, and partly electronic. Some of us choose to transfer our minds to the biological portion of these computers, residing in and controlling the local net, some times with other transferred minds. I- I’m sorry? Well… if you were to upload a computer virus that would damage it we would consider it murder, yes. A very grisly one, at that. Why would you even suggest such a thing? We respect your customs, even if we do not understand them. Why do you make light of ours so?
We speak a language that is a fusion of many old earthen languages. Japanese, Korean, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin, German, Russian, Persian, and more. The ship’s crew was primarily composed of peoples speaking these languages in the Old Earth corporate culture. During our nine century history, these languages have merged to form a new language. We retain knowledge of numerous other old earth languages, should the opportunity or need arise for their use - such as with you.
The year is divided into 59 8 day long weeks, with a final week on the new year lasting a full 25 days formed from the remaining days in the year. These extra days are used for an enormous public holiday celebrated almost universally by we Ishtari. The ‘net’ is frequently described to be a psychedelic light show with little else to compare it to during this time. A vast play is performed both in realspace and in the net depicting a stylized, and sanitized, version of the Ishtar’s perilous voyage to its present place. The New Year is officially commemorated as the anniversary of the touchdown of the first colonists upon the planet, and takes place in the midst of the planetary autumn. A wide variety of food and drink is prepared and shared amongst friends and partners, and many take part in the 17 day long play in their own small way, or host their own, simplified, version. The Ceremony of the Weeping Hands is the final keystone of the event, commemorating an allegedly fictional myth of the final Ishtari to be blinded glimpsing the planet just before losing her biological eyes, and directing we Ishtari to settle upon the world when we had returned to realspace. It is so named for the tears she is said to have wept, mingled with blood from her gouged sockets, that flowed between her fingers as she spoke of the sight to those around her. A bright red beverage is prepared to ritualistically imitate her blood, traditionally flavored with the fireberries of the Satur’i Basin. A quiet moment of contemplation, severed from the buzz of four billion voices for a full minute, is then undertaken before the gradual close of festivities and return to normal life.
Recreation? Why, we have a wide variety of such! The net contains… nearly anything you can possibly imagine, in fact. Videogames - yes we have those. There are too many things to describe. Truly. We have many activities outside of it, yes! Battle reenactment is one we are fond of! As is battle simulation. Every Ishtari is a soldier - even if not all of us become full time military like our Sister-Soldiers. Each of us drill and train once a year. And there can be joy in the clash of arms! We do not die, after all. What have we to fear of bullets and swords when we may be Rejuvenated from any injury? I myself have partaken in no fewer than two dozen such battles, and veterans of the wars tell us they are very realistic. Except, well - the dead and wounded are made whole again after these, and then a meal is shared by all. We enjoy swordplay as well! All children are educated in it during their upbringing, and its basics are imprinted in us even before this through our genetic knowledge. We duel each other with swords frequently. For the sheer joy of battle, and feeling blood flow between our fingers, or to settle disagreements. Duels are fought until incapacitation, at which point both contestants are Rejuvenated. It is customary for the loser of a friendly duel to provide a meal to the winner - and vice versa for those duels used to settle disagreements.
Most of our recreation, however, is focused on our net. It is unfortunately difficult to access for non-Ishtari, or at least those who have not received a neuroport implant. The sheer array of options is difficult to describe in short - they range from experiencing fictional stories and adventures as if through one’s own eyes to massive collaborative ‘living worlds’ formed from the imaginations of all involved, to elaborate reconstructions of historical events both of Old Earth and of our own history, and more.
Family and friends
Governance and Politics: Direct democracy is your term for it, I believe. Facilitated by our net. It is how we come together as one to debate and decide on courses of action. Those with expertise on certain matters are highly respected, and careful consideration given to their advice. We are equal, however. No individual is worth more than another. No individual is worth less. We are all cared for equally. We know no scarcity, for there are no overlords to hoard for themselves. Thanks to our technology, we can reach a consensus in moments on truly pressing topics - and even more complex matters may take a week at most of deliberation. Information flows freely among us.
Leaders? We have none. None that you might truly call a “leader”. We are a state without true hierarchy. Certainly there are those among us who command more respect, whose expertise is deferred to - but we make decisions as a whole. The only time we may choose leaders is our military - for those with great skill at war will prevent unnecessary bloodshed. Ultimately, however, our strength lies within us.
Our economy is similarly structured. Though most sectors are dominated by a single entity formed of a collective ownership of its material and resources, these entities are universally shared by those working in them. They are, curiously, not dissimilar to the zaibatsu of old earth Japan, but owned by those working in them rather than a small group of individuals. Our economy is a post-scarcity one, where each is provided what is needed without need for compensation or labor thanks to advanced automation owned by all for the public good. Each Ishtari pursues their own individual goals and aspirations.
Technology Overview: We Ishtari are a technological powerhouse. Centuries of warfare have ensured our weapons technology is fearsome. Centuries of genetic modification have gifted us mastery of life. The natural resources of New Ishtar, too, provide us with many wondrous materials to use.
Genetic manipulation: We Perfected ought serve as an apt demonstration in our own right of the power of Ishtari genetic engineering.
Biological computing: Our computers! They are very different to yours, yes! They are partly digital, yes. Explaining every detail of the difference between our hybrid computers against pure digital ones would take too much time. Please, forgive me for this - I will provide an overview instead. There are operations for which a computer chip is far and away superior to any neural structure - raw number calculations, for instance. However, as you are doubtless aware, there is no shortage of advantages in other situations for the neural network. Thus, our computers combine the strength of both. We do not have true ‘operating systems’ for our computers. Rather, in our advanced scientific and military computers, the mind-transferred brains of highly specialized and knowledgeable Perfected control the operation of the machines, residing within the net when they are not busy working. Personal devices? They are controlled through our neural ports, and connect to the net, serving merely as number crunching and data storage units.
Mind-transference: Why it is nothing less than the transference of the biological brain, and the continued consciousness, of a Perfected via the neuro-link to the net! We can exist anywhere the net does, and transfer ourselves back to our Perfected forms in any new location.
Neuro-link: These are hybrid biological-electronic devices of great complexity and sophistication. These allow us to transfer our minds to the net, to interact with it in a full-body format as if it is a fully physical space. The neuro-link is connected via specially designed ‘sockets’ on the napes of our necks and the bases of our spines.
The net: We Ishtari are connected to each other through our net. It is a glorious thing - a world-spanning hybrid biological and technological distributed neural network, with major hubs and nodes coalescing in urban centers. Connection to this network is primarily done via the direct neural links at the base of our spines and napes of our necks. It is the same neural link as that used in the process of the Preservation of Continuous Thought during the Transubstantiation Synthesis phase of Rejuvenation. It can be most likened to a form of “full body VR”, simulated using the collective imaginations in real time of all of its connected users. The net serves not only as a forum for the over four billion people of New Ishtar to come to a consensus, but as one of the chief pastimes and means of communication for the people. It is like your internet - constructed of equal parts computer chips and biological material. Equal parts code and pure human imagination made manifest within cyberspace.
Synapse Nodes: A wondrous development - enabling non-physical establishment of a neurolink feed to those within its range. Should we be shot dead in the street - our consciousness will be transferred from the secondary brain to the synapse node and we will be Rejuvenated.
Nuclear atmospheric propulsion: The gravitational acceleration of New Ishtar is 1.543g, or 15.137 m/s². This, naturally, increases the difficulty of flight. The atmosphere of New Ishtar is, however, likewise far more dense. We Ishtari have resolved the problem of heavier than air flight via the development of the nuclear jet engine. Officially termed the Nuclear Induced Jet Propulsion System, it is enabled by Ishtari developments in materials and nuclear technology enabling the successful safe use of miniaturized thorium fission reactors aboard aircraft, with thrust generated by the venting of heat from the reaction process. The ‘nukejet’ as it has been dubbed by some has shown remarkable success over the years, and is widely used in all aspects of Ishtari air travel.
Automation: Even since the days of our entrapment aboard the generation ship, we Ishtari have utilized a high degree of automation for our manufacturing. While, as mentioned before, our computers are notably different from your own - that has not stopped us from developing autonomous systems for the manufacturing of an immense variety of items. We have likewise extended this technology to our agriculture, freeing up most Ishtari to pursue their individual passions and to train further military excellence, rather than to work in the fields and factories.
Ishtari ironwood: A wondrous material indigenous to New Ishtar. It is somewhat analogous to bamboo of old earth - a hollow, woody plant that grows at a rapid rate in a wide variety of climates. Its properties are truly remarkable, and it has come to be used in many aspects of Ishtari society. It is stronger, lighter, and easier to mass produce than synthetic polymers owing to the curious array of naturally occurring nanostructures within it, enabling it to reach dizzying heights despite the high gravity of New Ishtar. It is the favored material for applications ranging from the stocks and other furniture of our weapons to chairs and domestic furniture to even certain building materials. Though vulnerable to decay this can be rectified with minimal impact to its desirable properties through a chemical treatment developed in the early decades of our settlement on new Ishtar.
Neuroviruses: An aggressive, virulent genetically engineered nanovirus utilized as a weapon against organic nervous systems. It requires immense fine tuning to affect its specific target and no other, but when unleashed its results can be utterly devastating. To those foes of ours like the Resurgent Hive Strain or the Mycelium Gestalt, the Neurovirus is a potent, indispensable tool that rapidly liquefies infected nervous tissue, allowing the Biomatter of the organism to be safely harvested.
Cybernetics: We Ishtari make extensive use of cybernetic augmentation. What, you thought we might shun such, with our skill at biotechnology? Hah! My eyes are cybernetic. My hands are cybernetic. Cybernetic technology is ubiquitous among us. We may not need cybernetic limbs to replace an amputation - but we certainly make use of such for those who require strength beyond that of even our enhanced physiology. Many of us sport digital data ports as well as our neuro-ports for direct interface with less-biological tech.
Small arms technology: Ishtari weapons technology is highly advanced from centuries of constant warfare. Rest assured, our rifles will kill as quickly and efficiently as your own.
Power-armor: Some weapons systems are too heavy to use effectively even with cybernetics. Some environments are deadly enough to require extra protection - but a tank might not be feasible. Power armor is the solution. Impervious to small arms fire, capable of carrying weapons that might otherwise be crew served or fixed in place, withstanding environments hazardous even to we Ishtari, and more. Power armor - or at least, a variation of it - has found a use outside of the military as well in domestic applications.
Rejuvenation Chambers: Our pride and joy. The technology that creates us anew every year. Our path to immortality.
The Commonality is advanced in numerous other fields not explicitly mentioned here. Their lack of explicit mention does not inherently imply a lack of sophistication.
The army of New Ishtar, or more formally, The Unified Planetary Armed Forces, includes those elements of its military designed to operate below low orbit. Covering operations on land, sea, and in the air, it is a diverse and formidable fighting force kept honed despite the long period of peace Ishtar has enjoyed via simulated combat exercises utilizing advanced technology.
The key distinguishing feature of the Ishtari military is its near limitless supply of personnel. In peacetime, each soldier of the army is an individual volunteer from the main population. In wartime, these volunteers willingly undergo personality modification to become ideal soldiery before being duplicated in a process similar to cloning. Importantly, dead personnel can be recovered and reconstituted into living soldiery, and even specimens in advanced states of decay can be added to reconstitution pools with some additional effort. This one single feature alters the entire formula for the creation of an army. Personnel casualties can be recuperated near endlessly as long as sufficient biomass is available, and it becomes the loss of materiel that is of gravest concern. Accordingly, Ishtari strategy and tactics are altered to account for this advantage.
As such, heavy infantry form the backbone and by far the largest portion of the Ishtari army. Infantry, augmented by power armored units and supported by infantry fighting vehicles, close air support, artillery, and heavy weapons teams, forms the tip and the body of nearly any operation, defensive or offensive. While combined arms are adhered to as closely as in any other nation’s fighting forces, the Ishtari military emphasizes the role of its infantry to an extent unlike those of other nations. Infantry casualties do not matter in the least from a strategic standpoint, as long as the materiel used by those infantry is preserved or expended in a cost efficient manner.
For instance, the army has no concept of a “main battle tank”, but rather employs numerous smaller and more lightly armored vehicles tasked with the elimination of enemy armor or autonomous raiding operations. Infantry assaults are supported and transported by armored vehicles of their own, shielding the infantry from small arms or shrapnel until they have reached the actual field of battle and acting in a supporting role to destroy hardpoints, enemy armor, or to simply carry to the field weapons infantry teams cannot carry themselves.
Ishtari small and medium sized unit commanders are granted extensive tactical and operational flexibility to issue orders in response to the actual situation on the ground as they see fit.
An Ishtari infantry squad is made up of between four to ten soldiers and contains, depending on its size, one or two E60 GPMGs, some times carried by a power armored soldier for greater mobility and ease of use. A squad in an active hot zone is directly supported by their IFV as well as nearby ground attack aircraft. In the assault, airborne infantry followed up by mechanized infantry form the first element of the attack, securing footholds and destabilizing the enemy and allowing for motorized, less armored infantry to be safely brought up to continue to press the attack on a disoriented foe.The army additionally makes extensive use of infiltration tactics by light infantry to disrupt enemy formations, logistics, and so enable later infantry assault.
The air forces of New Ishtar are primarily split between air superiority utilizing ultra high speed fighter craft to quickly establish local air superiority and allow for the unmolested operation of more heavily armed and armored VTOL capable ground-attack aircraft.
New Ishtar still primarily uses chemical propellant based projectile weapons as the primary armament of their infantry. Infantry-portable railguns, while recently developed, lack the reliability, ruggedness, and comparative ease of maintenance and supply of their chemical counterparts without offering a sufficient increase in lethality. Most weapons use furniture constructed of chemically treated Ishtari ironwood which is then coated in a durable ceramic coating to prevent damage.
Melee Weapons: Close combat is tightly ingrained within Ishtari society. This extends to their military thinking, as well. Ishtari soldiers will not shy away from killing their enemies in melee combat as well as ranged.
Combat sword: An inward curving, strongly constructed sword carried by many Ishtari soldiers in place of or in addition to the standard karambit. Sharp, durable, and intimately familiar to every single Ishtari from their childhood training.
Breaching axe: Equal parts weapon and tool, breaching axes are nearly ubiquitous for their sheer utility and widely favored among both the army and marines stationed aboard starships. Equally useful for prying, chopping, and maiming.
Cybernetic Combat Blades: Known by many nicknames amongst the Ishtari populace, including “the living blender”, the CCBs were designed with the dual goals of extreme lethality and extreme concealment. Capable of being stored within a standard cybernetic arm, the blades are constructed of a high strength, low weight alloy core and diamond-hard nanomaterial cutting edges. Attached to the powerful synthetic muscle tissue of the cybernetic arm, the blades are capable of shearing through standard hard body armor with repeated slashes.
NLSAR E74 - Neuro Linked Smart Assault Rifle, Edition 47: The bread and butter of the Ishtari infantry. Firing caseless 10mm tracking rocket-assisted smart rounds similar to those used in the GPMG and other Ishtari weaponry from a 40 round magazine, the weapon is synced to the neurolink of its user enabling real time predictive firing solutions - the user sees where the projectile will go, and the projectile will adjust its course in-flight to make up for small variances in target location. Due to the guided and rocket assisted nature of these projectiles, they retain excellent kinetic energy even at medium and long engagement distances, enabling them to pierce significant amounts of enemy armor or deal tremendous damage on impact, depending on bullet type. The GFAR uses a continuous-recoil system that ensures the bolt assembly never impacts the rear of the weapon before cycling back to chamber a new round. The end result is a remarkably smooth recoil impulse, without the bouncing and vibration of a normal weapon, the recoil of the gun feels like a single continuous 'push' rather than a series of smaller impulses, making controlled fire significantly easier.
NLILMG E100 - Neuro Linked Infantry Light Machine Gun Edition 100, “buzzsaw”: A variant of the SAR E74, used as a squad automatic weapon, the ILMG E100 utilizes the exact same 10mm tracking ammunition as its smaller sibling. Featuring an extended, heavy duty barrel, the role of the E100 is for sustained automatic fire support on a squad level, without the bulk of the GPMG - useful for smaller units or lighter infantry operations. Firing from a belt feed, rather than a large magazine, a standard belt is 200 rounds, capable of being stored in the cylindrical 'drum' underneath the weapon to protect the ammunition from the elements. These belts are consumed in the firing process, leaving no need for extraction or ejection and enabling a higher cyclic rate of approximately 1200 rpm with the weapon's heavy duty barrel.
NLPIR E209 - Neuro Linked Precision and Interdiction Rifle, Edition 209: A dual purpose anti-material and long distance precision rifle connected, like every Ishtari weapon, to the neurolink of its user to offer predictive firing solutions. Utilizing similar guided rocket-assisted technology to the GFAR and GPMG, the weapon fires a massive 14.5mm projectile out to a maximum effective range of approximately 2800 meters.
NL-OH E33 - Neuro Linked Offensive Handgun, Edition 33: A large, heavy duty, powerful handgun commonly issued as a sidearm to shock troops, second-line units, or soldiers heading into close combat scenarios. The NL-OFH is also frequently carried by some soldiers who bring it as a personal weapon. The weapon uses similar rocket-assisting technology as the GPMG and SAR, in this case firing a 9mm armor piercing, high explosive projectile, not dissimilar to that used in the GPMG. The handgun impacts with enormous energy, and is capable of punching through surprisingly heavy amounts of armor - despite its relatively small size.
NL-EDNTD E43 - Neuro- Linked Electro-Discharge Neural Tissue Destroyer, Edition 43: Developed during the conflict for use against the [REDACTED] of the Mycelium Gestalt, originating from a design developed aboard the Ishtar itself for use against the Hive Strain. The weapon is connected to the power source of the user's power armor, and functions via the launch of high velocity disposable prongs into the target, down which an enormous current of electricity is dumped to destroy the target's neural systems.
NLGPMG-RPW E60 - Neuro Linked General Purpose Machine Gun - Rocket Propelled Warhead, Edition 60: The weapon New Ishtar refers to as its 'general purpose machine gun' is a weapon that has well earned its reputation. Loud. Heavy. Fast firing. Absolutely terrifying. It is more akin to an autocannon. Weighing in at approximately 25kg the weapon fires a 26mm rocket-propelled warhead at a muzzle velocity of approximately 332 m/s before its rocket propulsion engages. It sports an integrated neurolink slot for improved firing solutions when attached to the socket of the user, via power armor or through direct link. With this link, and the increased accuracy and hit probability, the weapon has a maximum effective range of approximately 3,500 meters in open terrain. After this, the rocket will self-detonate. There are three primary warheads used:
APSC - Armor Piercing Shaped Charge: A shaped charge warhead using time-honored technology, on miniature scale. The APSC warhead boasts a maximum penetration of 160mm RHA and is intended for use in an anti-material role or against light armored targets such as enemy power armor or light vehicles.
HEA - High Explosive Airburst: A fragmentation warhead equipped with a smart-fuse synced to the weapon's systems. Intended for use against unarmored infantry.
APHE - Armor Piercing High Explosive: Intended for use against large, lightly armored targets. The warhead is designed to penetrate enemy armor or large amounts of flesh, and detonate inside the target, rupturing or destroying vital organs and blood vessels.
Sister-Soldier 3-7 Nayris Born From Ash Returns To Vanquish The Wicked clad in a modified form of the standard-issue Tactical Assault Armor formed from composite metallo-ceramic and graphene plating atop a polycarbaramid duraweave bodysuit with integrated temperature control, life support, and other auxiliary systems. The pictured armor is sans the mountings and armored plates intended to provide additional protection from small arms fire.
Sister-Soldier 2-13 Alyu Grasps The Sword In Hand And Strikes Down The Demons Before Her, outfitted in the standard-issue Heavy Tactical Assault Combat Exo-Suit. Generally, these are templates of more experienced individuals given the heavier power armor and training, plus neural uplink, to fire a squad’s massive 26mm GPMG from a standing position.
Arctic environment operations by after the crash landing of Dropship 37-2b during the third year of The Great Xenocide
LA-34 ‘Unmanned’ Assault Tank: Equipped with a railgun firing a dart of dense metal at hypervelocity for destroying armored vehicles and hard targets, and a lower velocity cannon firing explosive projectiles, the LA-34 is much smaller, on average, than the manned tanks of other nations, the main chassis standing at 150cm in height and able to fully depress itself to the ground. Piloted by a single mind-transferred consciousness embedded deep within the tank and ensconced within a miniature armored sarcophagus, the tank is cheap to mass produce, cheap to replace, and presents a much smaller target than its peers. It is designed to operate both autonomously and in support of infantry and armored
MA-10 Saber Helicopter Gunship
SL-2 Iceaxe Multirole Jet Fighter
Ti-37 Infantry Fighting Vehicle
The Ishtari Navy, or Unified Extraplanetary Armed Forces, is a powerful navy, standing proud beside its peers. This is, of course, to be expected from a society as militaristic as the Ishtari - and having suffered the hardships they have. Constant vigilance against any threat from abroad is only natural. As such, the Navy is well supplied and highly modern, just as with the army.
The backbone of the Ishtari navy is its impressive fleet of well armed cruiser class vessels. Forming by far the bulk of Ishtari combat vessels, the fleet also employs early prototype stealth craft and a small number of larger, heavier armed and armored capital ships for use in larger scale operations and functioning as flagships for the navy’s various fleets. Standard doctrine dictates engagement at long ranges utilizing plasma warhead tipped guided torpedoes, augmented by powerful c-fractional railgun batteries at close ranges. An Ishtari fleet expects to defeat the enemy before they draw to “knife fighting” distances wherein directed energy or unguided sub-C munitions become viable. In turn the fleet operates a formidable bevy of point defense systems intended to intercept and neutralize incoming enemy projectiles well outside of the zone of danger to the ship and its occupants. Manned fighter craft are entirely unheard of within the navy, owing to the high cost and comparative inefficacy as compared to the relatively more affordable and more difficult to intercept guided torpedoes.
Strategically, the purpose behind the absence of large numbers of capital ships is purely one of cost efficiency. The standard Ishtari cruiser is larger than those of many other nations, designed for long term autonomous operation or cooperative activity during fleet actions. Each is bristling with weapons systems enabling them to punch well above their own weight class. The tradeoff however, is each cruiser is less durable than a larger ship of equivalent armament. The Ishtari command considers this an acceptable tradeoff when considering the comparative loss of material represented by the destruction of a cruiser versus a large capital ship. The loss of a cruiser is certainly not nothing - but the loss of a large battleship is inordinately more expensive and injurious not only to the war effort but to morale.
At extreme close ranges or for policing operations, each cruiser carries a complement of boarding torpedoes aboard their craft. Almost 40 meters in length, heavily armored, and extremely fast - they are launched from bow, stern, and broadside tubes against hostile enemy warships that draw close enough and are packed near to bursting with Ishtari marines in full vacuum combat gear, armed to the teeth and frequently spearheaded by power armored Gorgon Strain marines.
The Ishtari fleet is at its deadliest at ‘close quarters’ and long to extreme ranges, and at its weakest at medium range. Standard doctrine is, thus, if elimination at long range is not possible to close to short range as soon as possible where the Ishtari may use their advantages to the full extent.
Weaponized diseases: Another fearsome weapon in the technological arsenal of New Ishtar is a wide array of biological warfare agents. Dredged up from the deepest nightmares inflicted upon us by the void, these weapons are kept under tight lock and key in the same vein as nuclear weapons. They range from merely re-engineered smallpox to agents of such horrific ends that I dare not speak of them. Be thankful you will never need to see them. Be very thankful. [REDACTED] What moron decided we should broadcast that we have these things? Be glad I caught this.
Ishtari naming conventions seem complicated to outsiders, but are in fact rather simple. The individual’s current occupation comes first, as well as their gender, followed by the total number of ‘lives’ they have lived, followed by the number of current Rejuvenations undergone by the individual, followed by their given name, and a descriptive phrase or declaration that, over time, may change to suit the changing individual.
For those whose consciousnesses are not stored within physical bodies, we simply flip the prefix, with role going first, followed by gender, then the name as normal.
Example names follow: Sister-Soldier 2-102 Nisrin Carries The Torch Unto The Darkest Abyss Sister-Soldier 7-3 Asana Knows The Heavy Price Of Retribution Sister-Sculptor 1-139 Geneva Weaves The Flesh Of Her Sisters For Their Worldly Joy Sister-Commissar 4-134 Kalisis Scourges With Fire The Bones Of The Unclean Sister-Scientist 1-154 Siris Illuminates The Path With The Torch Of Aeons Sister-Soldier 2-183 Alyu Grasps The Sword In Hand And Strikes Down The Demons Before Her Sister-Artist 1-9 Buran Paints With Dreams From Heaven Sister-Soldier 2-7 Nayris Born From Ash Returns To Vanquish The Wicked Ship-Sister 2-19 Akiko Dreams Of Living Among The Stars Sister-Artist 3-18 Nayris Paints The Cosmic Winds Sister-Engineer 2-36 Yayota Knows The Many Secrets Of Steel Sister-Captain 9-17 Naysibis Forges Her Own Path With A Blade Of Flame
Demographics: 100% Human there are no species of flora or fauna native to the Cygni Geminae System
Population: 750 Million
Planet Names and Descriptions Hyginus: A large moon covered in a thick layer of ice, under which are subterranean layers of rock and oceans of liquid methane. The surface is uninhabitable, a surface colony would have to deal with extreme cold, thin atmosphere, constant radiation bombardment and extreme meteorological change, because of this all cities are either underground or up in orbit.
Quaoar: A glacial moon with very similar conditions to Hyginus but slightly smaller in size and with a weaker gravitational pull, Quaoar is also inhabited but to a lesser degree than Hyginus.
Cygni Geminae: The system is centred by two red dwarfs, in their orbit is a gas giant with the two inhabited moons, orbiting the stars is also a molten world, there are no native species from the Cygni Geminae system.
History: Information on the early colonisation of Hyginus is scarce, what is known is that it was first a mining colony and remained such until the arrival of the ark and subsequent closure of the gateways. At the beginning of their isolation the scattered colonies of Hyginus would each compete with each other, forming alliances and rivalries during this era of conflict, unification happened around 120 years ago when a heavily militarised faction took over all their rivals and formed Hyginus as we know it today. Hyginus has since then been controlled by its military branch, civilian positions are directly correlate to military ones, at the top of this system are the First and Second Star Admirals. Hyginus has remained relatively isolationist as the current government claims to defend the citizens from outside threats, even if there are no threats to worry about, trade and movement of people is still allowed but are both highly regulated.
Culture and Society: Hyginian culture puts the nation itself on a pedestal while individuals can pursue their goals they ultimately exist to further the nation, a life dedicated to serving in the military is considered the most virtuous thing anyone can do. Hyginians are pioneers at heart and are not afraid of challenges thrown at them, in the harshest conditions Hyginians tend to stick together, because of this the smaller and further away colonies are much more tightly nit than the large urban colonies. Language is a blend of Spanish, Portuguese and French that has changed over time and would be hardly understood by someone who knows the original languages.
Religion: Most Hyginians are atheists but a large minority follows the 'Church of Two' a religion that holds that the number Two is holy and the closest concept to perfection and the divine, a portion of Twoist are also Christians that is the next largest religion in Hyginus, other religious minorities exist and are largely tolerated.
The belief that the number two is in fact divine. Initially born as a sub-branch of Christianity professing the importance of original sin and dualistic elements within the religion, safe to say it gained popularity and eventually transformed into what it is today. Mainstream Twoist philosophy divides morality into clear-cut 'Supreme Good' and 'Supreme Evil' and that people are lost in the middle, for them doing anything that is double or doing it twice will bring them closer to supreme good while avoiding it brings them closer to supreme evil, whether voluntary or not. Twoists usually also believe in the sanctity of the system they currently live in and other forms of Numerology.
This millenarian religion has persisted, though not without changes. Derived from Catholicism it remains fairly similar to it but with some definite influence from Hyginian Demonology and the Church of Two, moreover they believe the last Popes of old Earth were followers of Satan and brought about the end of the planet.
Stories of how Earth came to an end are actually popular, perhaps a but too much as bedtime stories but oh well. A common tread in all these stories are Demons that destroyed the planet and almost ended humanity, they are vicious, evil, conspiring monsters that take the form of humans and wish no more than see people suffer on an ever larger scale. Sometimes these Demons have hideous forms that they hide from the general population, other times they're just regular humans corrupted by evil. These Demons take different names from which they are categorised, names like American, Chinese, European, Russian and many, many others.
Hyginians believe in the concept of an unlucky number. It is the number 5, no 7, is it 8 or 3 or even the number 2? Indeed no one seems to agree on what this number is, usually it is a single digit number. Still, almost everyone believes there is an unlucky number, just not what number it actually is.
Selfishness: a great sin usually attributed to the end of Earth, to live in Hyginus is to live with, work with and depend on other people who maintain the countless systems needed for life, a selfish act can lead to hundreds or more dying. Lazyness: same as above really. Limb Dismemberment: known for over a century as a terrible fate due to it leading to an handicap in someone's ability to work and diminishing life-expectancy, it is greatly frowned upon and also used for slurs and insults.
Governance and Politics: Hyginian society is heavily stratified, at the bottom are the Denizens, these are people who haven't met their yearly quotas of work hours and are thus considered a plague in society and forced to work in labour camps. Then are the Citizens, these people have met their yearly work quotas and have rights to the most basic healthcare and insurances, Citizens don't have to join the military but by law they can be levied in case of a national emergency but this has not happened in over a century. Finally are the various Officer Ranks and Commissars that have varying degrees of control over society, the hierarchy is extremely strict and any officer/commissar has to answer to a higher up, apart from the Star Admirals of course.
Technology Overview: Technology is not particularly advanced, Tech Committee has been constantly trying to keep up some level of progress, even if minimal. Energy is generated primarily by Fusion Power but Methane generators still common due to being a lot cheaper and faster to build, in fact smaller colonies rely on methane for energy generation. Common weaponry uses gas propellant as hydrogen or methane, railguns and coilguns are rare and mostly just for large artillery pieces, laser weapons do not exist. Advanced self-learning AIs are banned in Hyginus, but simple robots and cybernetics are present, genetic modifications are also allowed but very simple and mostly of limited medical use.
Military Overview: The Hyginian military is vast as most regular soldiers are essentially forced into military service, they are equipped with basic equipment and are considered meatshields in real combat scenarios, there are more elite formations of commandos and armoured ground support.
The Hyginian Navy on the other hand is more advanced and has much larger funds, many ships are small Corvette-classes equipped for recon and skirmishing, Cruisers are the backbone of the navy and can carry large artillery pieces or many smaller crafts onboard, finally Command Ships are few and far between and are heavily armoured juggernauts meant to be the center of operation for the fleet.
Hyginian Armed Forces:
The army is by far the largest branch, they offer the backbone in land operations, military policing and disappointing equipment. Most troopers are drafted into service and if necessary the majority of the population could be conscripted, but that would definitely mean the nation is facing an existential crisis. In truth, the job of the army is to protect the nation as much as it is about offering citizens a relatively enticing job opportunity, giving an easy way out of denizenship while they keep the denizens under control.
Flesh and blood given basic training and weaponry, they are never in short supply due it being a good career path for citizenry, in needed these citizens can also be levied during a conflict. Troopers can branch out in many different specialisations and can be fitted with different equipment based on their role and where they are stationed. Basic equipment would have at least a basic assault rifle and a respiratory mask.
A specialised branch of professional troopers that are distinctly equipped with power armour, granting some protection and easier portability of heavier weaponry. Heavies are some of the Army's best units, picked from the best troopers and receiving additional training for using the power armour, still they are rarely tasked with special operations, mostly being used as hardier cannonfodder and heavy guards.
Vehicle based units have the capability to act more independently as they are the only surface-only branch of the army, for this they are capable if autonomously coordinating with the Navy or on their own during recon and light strike operations. The Armoured Groups are outfitted with various vehicles for their job, with light armour being the most common combat vehicles and trucks being the most common overall.
Fresh trooper Elenfia standing guard in an unspecified colony in Quaoar, note how a radio pack and bayonet have been given in addition to standard equipment.
Trucks and other surface vehicles are notorious for needing constant maintenance, above is a truck and its crew waiting for rescue after a mechanical breakdown.
The old Vardena base, the old defenses are now used for crew training and combat exercises. Large bases from the pre-unification period such as this one are still maintained and kept in function, even if they're of limited use.
Receiving large funds the navy is the first and best line of defense for Hyginus, when compared to the army their entry requirements are harder (which says more about the army then the navy itself) and their enlisted typically remain for longer terms. The Navy primarily operates small crafts from the starfighters to the size of cruisers, they are armed with various high-velocity guns and missiles, the navy lacks energy weapons and shields which may put them at a severe disadvantage in specific circumstances. Despite being called a 'Navy' they posses no force capable of fighting in liquid water as there are no such bodies in Hyginus, in fact most if not all crewmen don't even know what a boat is.
The 'Space and Ground Troopers' are definitely the most elite soldiers in Hyginus, trained and experienced they are adept for spec ops, the SGT command can train them themselves or take promising elements from other branches. SG Troopers can carry whatever they want as long as they can operate it and the nation can provide it, SGT command is also quite independent but they still fall under the navy.
The 'Main Force' refers to the idea of the fleet of capital ships engaging as a single, deciding group. Of course capital ships don't act like this very often, what they often do is sit around in orbit, waiting with their massive array of weaponry and imposing size, which probably gave people this idea. Even if wrong this will not stop the navy from using it for propaganda and to ask for more money to maintain this 'Main Force'.
Space and Ground Trooper operating on the surface with custom gear such as a suppressed gun and partial protection.
Rockets are still commonly used to send goods and materials to and from orbit, other methods like mass drivers are rare.
Orbital stations hold the majority of professional navy personnel, they can have residential areas, docking ports and defenses all at once, though they're usually specialised for one of these jobs.
Government Form: Police State masquerading as a Science Directorate
Demographics: Humans, Cyborgs, and Automata
Population: 5.5 Million General Population Split: 50% Human 30% Cyborg 20% Automata
Planet Name and Description:
New Haven is an Earth-like moon that’s slightly smaller than Earth and orbits a gas giant. The surface is 57% Water and 43% Dry land. The days in New Haven last twenty eight hours. The climate is predominantly temperate in the south pole and gets warmer towards the north pole due to its exposure to the sun. Every few years this climate will shift as it makes its tilted rotations around the gas giant known as Elysium 03 also known as Atlas.
History: The colonists that landed on New Haven were pleasantly surprised by the habitabilty of the world they had found and named this world New Haven. However, their introduction into the new environment had unforeseen consequences. The early colonists were struck with alien diseases and as if that wasn't bad enough, the colonists themselves spread diseases from Earth to their surroundings.
For years the colonists battled against disease and in an effort to keep themselves sterile invested heavily into robotics and biological research. Their early efforts into scientific advancement to conquer their inherent weaknesses would turn into a staple of their culture and society.
After a number of decades, the colonists would establish themselves and would soon adapt to their new home. Slowly, the science that was used to keep them alive was put to greater use in understanding their new home and making life easier for the colonists.
Slowly and slowly the colonists would be divided into two groups: the capable hardworking professionals and the decadent consumerist. Inevitably, there were government reforms that would eventually evolve into the directorate state the New Havenists are today. Hard work was rewarded well and the fat and lazy were punished. Specialists that have worked towards the benefit of New Haven would be allowed to retire and were allowed to be decadent being seen as having well earned it.
In later years there would be political instability within the New Havenist government. Splinter groups of different leaders in government disagreed in which way New Haven was to grow. This led to the infamous “Robotics Proxy War” that spanned for 40 long years with no end in sight. After a long and pointless struggle, the New Havenists drew up a treaty and yet another government reform was enacted. This time with a more centralized board of directors with one lead director to govern over all of New Haven. For the time being there was peace.
That peace did not last. Years of rebellions and instability would rock the new government. The faction known as “Heaven’s Door” garnered large amounts of support against the directorate. The Directorate was forced to enter a long and bloody war in which the Directorate was able to gain the upper hand. Heavy amounts of propaganda and a transition towards more intelligence gathering systems have made sure that the Directorate has the capacity to nip problematic elements at the bud.
It has been thirty years since the revolts. All information of the years past has been heavily scrutinized and edited for the benefit of the Directorate. Only the Directors are privy to this information.
Culture and Society: New Havenist culture and society on their past hardships and their struggle. They derive great pride in their cunning and intellect. They are not adverse to different ways of achieving longevity be it artificial prosthetics and transhumanist ethics. However, they are not fanatics in this aspect and it is an generally an open choice whether to remain completely human or augmenting themselves.
Freedom of choice in most aspects of life is believed to allow people to find their niche in New Haven society. However, this only extends so much as the current Board of Directors allows. Spirituality for example is not strictly mandated. Religious freedom is encouraged so long as it does not disrupt New Haven's stability as a whole.
Disruption, even socially, is considered rude and so great care was taken by every citizen to be as orderly and as considerate as possible to the people around them. It is also because of their inherent struggle with alien diseases that they are meticulous with their own cleanliness - though not universal it is very common.
Advanced Automation - Their experience with drone technology is above average and has proven self-sufficient even after losing communications. Executing objectives quickly and making decisions based on mission parameters.
Advanced Medical Technology - Their early battles with disease has led to experienced medical physicians. Alongside them developed medical technology in order to allow them to do their jobs.
Advanced Manufacturing Technology - After the Robot Proxy Wars in that divided New Haven into several parties, an arms race was launched both metaphorically and literally. Every side was researching how to increase manufacturing capabilities such as nano-constructors. These technologies were folded into civilian use and expanded upon after the end of the Robot Proxy Wars.
Governance and Politics: The governing body of the New Haven Directorate is a board of specialist directors of various departments of government. The most important is the Lead Director who oversees the Board of Directors. The Lead Director's role is a very powerful position, thus, the next Lead Director is carefully selected from a pool of candidates in secret - even the candidates themselves do not know. These candidates are selected by the current Lead Director. This process is mirrored in all roles within the board and all candidates are to be appraised of technical skill and knowledge on various subjects by the board before relieving the current board director.
Currently the Lead Director is a man named Hubert Seymour. An often times silly man with a penchant for the theatric. However, despite his eccentric personality he's proven himself as a leader for the last fifteen years. He spearheaded the campaign to explore the local system of New Haven (now known as Elysium) and reactivating the gates in order to expand outwards to rediscover Earth and explore new worlds in the name of science and discovery.
Military Overview: The New Haven Military structure is heavily invested in drones and automation. However, it still relies on manpower. New Haven infantry corps, New Haven mechanized corps, New Haven fleet, and New Haven air corps all have a role to play in battle operations. Though years have passed without conflict, the New Haven Military is still ready to defend Directorate interests and act as an peace enforcers.
Order of battle always begins with shock and awe. The fleet will move to establish air dominance whilst simultaneously pummeling the ground with bomber and orbital artillery. The landing force will then follow and establish a base of operations with a Nano-construction vehicle utilizing any nearby resources for base construction or being supplied with materials from orbit. Planetside artillery will help support the advance of infantry and mechanized corps. Air Support will be provided if possible. Airbases will be constructed to allow for planetside repairs and rearming.
To land a ground force the use of deployed decoys will be used to minimize beyond visual range lock on casualties. This should maximize the ground force's chances of survival if orbital artillery isn't enough to soften a target or if bombing and orbital artillery is strictly forbidden and there is simply no safer place to deploy.
Name: Anarchist Federation of Europe (until I find out how to say this in Esperanto(Undergoing edits)
Government Form: Anarchist General Assembly
Demographics: The AFE's population is primarily alien, but includes a small minority (less than 1.0%) of sapient citizen AI, plus roughly 10% consisting of tungsten-based aliens which invaded TRAPPIST, now mostly inhabiting the hotter side of TRAPPIST-1d. A further 60.9% is human.
An adidtional population of near-insectoids native to TRAPPIST-1e exists, named 'Indigenous TRAPPISTs' by the Europeans. Although mostly integrated into European society thanks to careful programs designed to avoid unwanted disease transmission, some isolated populations of TRAPPISTs exist in nature reserve, inaccesible to the public.
Trace populations of aliens have also integrated into European society, most of whom have come to the system for the very same reasons as the humans that now dominate it.
On their 'home' planet, the Wolframites, as they are now called, are largely formless, but can visit other inhabited places using 'hardshells', suits of armor designed to replicate the conditions they fight most comfortable and to allow a humanoid form.
Even the humans in the FEU, however, are commonly heavily modified, even in religious Catholic populations and the Knights Hospitaller. As a general rule, however, most - if not all - FEU populations experience very low growth rates.
Planet Names and Descriptions: The TRAPPIST-1 system, due to its enormous stellar longevity of approximately twelve trillion years, was considered by the European Union to be an optimal place to "restart" human civilization. While the AFE did face substantial difficulties in initial colonization, for the most part, TRAPPIST-1 met expectations.
TRAPPIST-1b/Vulcan: Blisteringly hot on one side and relatively warm on the other, Vulcan is mostly inhabited by Wolframites, accompanied by a handful of robotic workers in gas and mineral-harvesting plants. In is, however, mostly generally uninhabitable, and few efforts have been made to render it habitable for humans in lieu of maintaining it as a comfortable environment in which Wolframites can live without their hardshells.
TRAPPIST-1e/PLCAEHOLDER: The most heavily inhabited planet in the system, New Europe is a tropical, habitable planet, filled to the brim with native life - and diseases, which the Europeans have adapted to largely thanks to the information provided by native TRAPPISTs and European medical technology, particularly cybernetics. Additionally, despite being tidally locked, both sides of New Europe are habitable thanks to the way its relatively earthlike atmosphere distributing heat evenly between both sides of the planet. The dark side of New Europe is nonetheless dominated by forms of light not reliant on sunlight, particularly fungi, various eyeless animals, and various types of ocean life.
TRAPPIST-1f/New Doggerland: so named for the fact that its entire habitable zone (a very large band centered around the equator) is mostly underwater (significantly moreso than Earth), New Doggerland is functionally an ocean planet; dominated by hot steam geysers, searing steam-fogs, and boiling lakes on one side of the band, and by ice on the other. A handful of resorts exist on the few islands in the central band, plus some underwater communities, however the planet's primary utility is as a hydrogen harvesting area.
TRAPPIST-1g/Atlantica: A planet in the earliest stages of life, Atlantica is covered in an enormous global ocean blanketed by a thick layer of abiotic oxygen and steam. Native life on the world has only just begun to exist in the form of aerobic proto-life, somewhat similar to bacteria, and uplifting research is ongoing. The planet's oceans are a major source of the AFE's Hydrogen.
TRAPPIST-1h/Amundsen: Another important source of Hydrogen, Amundsen is a planet covered entirely in ice with an atmosphere extremely rich in hydrogen gas.
History: While concrete information about the AFE prior to the Apokalipso-Okazaĵo is far from concrete, there are a few crucial pieces the AFE itself maintains.
Earth was poisoned and rendered uninhabitable by constant warfare and a worldwide climate emergency that was, unfortunately, ignored by most. The planet's resources were sucked dry, and while some things may yet survive on the surface, mass habitation by humans was impossible, and colonies on Mars and other bodies in the solar system were not capable of sustaining the large populations that were to be evacuated. The AFE maintains, then, that seeing the writing on the wall, they were one of the first groups to begin preparations for a mass evacuation, intending to fit as many people as possible onto their ships, repeatedly betrayed by their allies
Nonetheless, thanks to preparations supposedly well in advance of zero-day, the AFE was able to evacuate a large population mostly on-schedule, laying early claim to one of the most habitable systems known to be available - TRAPPIST. While several planets in the system were viable for immediate habitation, many people remained stuck on colony ships in orbit waiting for survey teams to confirm the safety of their chosen worlds and to establish contact with natives, in an effort to avoid repeating the same environmental destruction that forced them to leave Earth in the first place. Suitable locations were eventually selected, and contact was established. One by one, the colony ships began to filter in.
For the first two hundred years of its existence, the AFE thrived in relative peace - TRAPPIST proved even more habitable than initially assumed, and the insectoid natives were friendly, allowing the human colonies to survive. Trepidation, however, remained - gateway technology was lost during the evacuations, and little was known about when, if ever, they'd reopen, and what they'd connect to. As such, despite living in near-complete peace, the AFE maintained a highly professional army of relatively moderate size, along with outlying networks of defensive outposts. What would happen, after all, if something hostile had detected the gateway opening?
Their fears, as it turned out, were warranted, but not in the way they expected. Approximately 200y after colonization, the AF3 was abruptly invaded by a species of tungsten-based organisms. Their strange, alien technology - and the fact of how extremely difficult it was to harm them with explosives and kinetics - forced the AFE to adapt to more modular weapons platforms, allowing them to defeat the Wolframites after a brief, but deadly war. After long negotiations, the aliens, having nowhere else to go, were allowed to stay on TRAPPIST-1d, an ideal habitat for them that was uninhabitable for nearly everyone else, in an effort to avoid genocide. Integration moved slowly, however, and even today, they generally stick to themselves.
Over the next hundred years, more aliens came to TRAPPIST, most friendly, merely refugees seeking the same sort of new home the AFE did in small, scattered groups. The AFE was, of course, happy to oblige, entering a second golden age that has only been disrupted in the past few months, with a sudden surge of rift activity. In anticipation of a potential opening, the Rock of Gibraltar has been placed on maximum alert status, and the Eurocorps militia is mobilizing.
Culture and Society: Descendes from the market-socialist European Union, the AFE is a relatively free federative anarchist collective, with robust political and personal freedoms, ranging from heavily entrenched LGBTQ+ rights to freedom of expression. Media is wholly independent from the decentralized government, though highly differing political views face substantial informal oppression.
Three hundred years of cultural progress, and a comprehensive system of secular education, have effectively eradicated facism and systemic racism (including fairly relaxed refugee policies); according to the AFE, at least. In reality, however, violence played a noticeable part in political cohesiveness, and social ostracization for insufficiently "leftist" diviews is not uncommon.
Perhaps its most formally restrictive feature is a relatively practical one - mandatory periods of quarantine and decontamination before entry into inhabited planets or habitat stations.
Advanced medical technology and culturally liberal attitudes, including in the former Cathoc, now anarcho-Christian community, result in wide societal proliferation of cybernetics and preventative biological modifications. Few AFE citizens are not equipped with the following basic safety measures: basic-model "Kaduceusz" medical nanosuites, nasal and oral filters, automatic cardiac defibrillators/backup pumps, bone reinforcements, and anti-clotting systems. Neural backups, however, remain relatively fringe (and are widely opposed in religious communities) usually traded in favour of repair and upkeep systems that eliminate or reduce aging.
Governance and Politics: The FEU's government is perhaps its most Earthlike feature, ideologically aping pre-apocalyptic anarchist and Libertarian-socialist organizations like Rojava, the Makhnovist Black Army, or Mexican Neo-Zapatists of the 21st century. Foreign policy decisions are made by general assembly, though domestic issues are usually resolved by direct democracy enabled by a highly politically invested populace and well-established networks to enable quick tabulation. Nonetheless, it remains generally slow to act on measures requiring votes from substantial chunks of the population.
Technology Overview: Although far from being able to recreate the gateways, the AFE is, nonetheless, broadly technologically "advanced". The most obvious way this manifests is in terms of medical technology. AFE citizens effectively have the choice to die of old age, and, in most cases, the same is true of disease. Antiviral and antiobiotic therapies, among others, are employed as usual, but incredibly precise time-sensitive nanotechnology allow for the targeting and destruction of most any microorganism, making nanotechnology the preferred solution to infection and disease; this, of course, carries the additional benefit of preventing the proliferation of so-called superbugs.
Related but distinct is the extensive library of cybernetic technologies the AFE utilizes, the vast majority of which are so old and well-understood that they are nearly ubiquitous within the human population, but much less common among alien immigrants with anatomies most of the AFE's scientists still lack experience with.
Perhaps the most important technologies utilized by the AFE, however, are those relating to its mastery of fusion power, including Cold Fusion, the primary method for power generation in the AFE, largely thanks to its enormous available reserves for Hydrogen as fusion fuel. Cold fusion is common even on most spacecraft, even relatively small fighters, providing power to everything from life support all the way to Magnetoplasmadynamic propulsionless drives and maneuvering thrusters. Orbital spacecraft, on the other hand (generally, satellites and habitats) are propelled by electrodynamic tethers, at least in civilian application.
Military Overview: Despite what might typically be expected of an extremely libertarian-leftist nation, the AFE maintains a relatively large, well-equipped military, necessary for the defense of their society against threats both theoretical and practical; so far, that has primarily meant regularly fending off hostile aliens, primarily unexpected incursions such as from the Tungsten People. It is nonetheless entirely a professional volunteer army, however, and conscription is not ideologically tenable, substantial force enabled thanks to the AFE'S robust defenses and extensive use of highly secure networked drone warfare. So well-prepared is the AFE, in fact, that their gateway is is protected by what amounts to a small dyson cloud, a massive network of armed drone satellites and AI-manned (a technology the AFE employs extensively) gun stations pointed inward in the event that anything hostile comes through. The system is named the "Rock of Gibraltar", and although many platforms are old or retrofitted, it nonetheless present a substantial threat.
Likewise, the entire system is protected by a larger network dubbed "Pražský Hrad", in contrast designed to protect the system against attacks from the outside, which, combined with the AFE's large carrier-focused fleets, has defended the system from all comers since the first major invasion, under the suspicion that something, somewhere, is pushing all these alien refugees toward them.
European weapons consist primarily of DEW-based systems - Pulsed Explosive Projectiles - and Particle Beams, supplemented by lasers and microwave weapons when appropriate, while highly renewable anti-electron and antiproton weapons remain in a late stage of active development. Ammunition for these particle systems consists mostly of ultra-compressed gasses, typically hydrogen fusioned into Helium, allowing inordinately large, effectively inert ammunition stores. Additionally, development of gravity-manipulating weapons is underway.
Unlike many earthborn nations, the AF3 does not employ any mecha-type platforms beyond the universal infantry exoskeleton, instead relying upon power-hungry but more stable hovertanks for its main armored forces, equipped with extensive active defense systems and occasionally magnetic or plasma window shielding for protection, plus composite armor. AFE tanks are generally capable of equipping large PEP akin to an assault gun, while smaller AFVs generally equip combinations of drone launchers and lower-yield pulse cannons, with an intended use similar to old-earth autocannons. FEU vehicles, as a result, are almost universally extremely power-hungry, requiring extensive logisitical support to operate at peak capacity.
Cybernetics, also, are extremely common, even universal in the AFE military, allowing its soldiers to survive extremely harsh environments and quite literally punch well above their weight-classes. The most elite AFE special forces unit, the highly secretive Strzyga, employ extremely expensive, limited quantity cybernetics, including nanohives beyond even the basic medical types used by the common soldier, secretly capable of incredible feats such as reconstructing the body of one of their number from a singular fleck of blood. They're typically extremely old, however, and are voluntarily barred from political participation. Most of the AFE's personal equipment revolves around these ideas of extreme survivability, including the Jahrtausend Drei CIWS system, consisting of networked railguns, lasers, and, as a last resort, a kinetic gun system that unleashes what is effectively a gigantic shotgun shell full of tens of thousands of metal darts.
Additional Information: due to extensive environmental protections, the AFE lacks the capability for industrial agriculture, instead usually relying on urban farms, an effect that significantly hampers its ability for population growth and makes it slow to bring new lines of mass production online. It is also forced to extract ore mostly from uninhabited celestial objects, preserving the biosphere of its "home" planet at the cost of industry.
70% Aallae: The Aallae are a sentient species native to the planet of Kennars, making their home in the extensive cave systems below the surface of the planet. They possess six limbs, the front pair of limbs being used for manipulation while the two hind pairs are used for locomotion. The Aallae stand at about 1.50 meters tall when walking on all four of their legs, with a stocky build to minimize their surface to protect against the cold of the planet. They are adapted to live in the cold, with a thick layer of subcutaneous fat as well as a coat of fur that is colored white or gray. They have no eyes owing to the fact that they have evolved to live in caves like the rest of life on Kennars. Instead, the Aallae possess a highly developed sense of hearing, a highly developed sense of smell as well as echolocation. They communicate using a complex system of clicks, in addition to chemical communication through pheromones. The Aallae are, on average, about as intelligent as a human, and were roughly in the technological equivalent of the Information Age when humans arrived on Kennars. A subspecies of the Aallae that live closer to the surface have developed rudimentary eyes and even thicker fur, with their fur also becoming whiter to match the color of the snow.
Planet Name and Description: Kennars, the home planet of the League, is a Mars-sized planet orbiting far away from the star of Qesa, an orange dwarf star. It shares the Qesean system with the gas giants of Sitoria and Izeon, but is the only planet considered habitable due to its solid surface and non-crushing atmosphere. Due to the distance Kennars orbits from its star, the average temperature is tens of degrees Celsius below zero, and the entire surface is covered in vast sheets of ice and snow. As one can imagine, this makes it almost impossible for vegetation to grow and difficult for humans to settle. The only area of the planet where surface flora and fauna can be found is a thin band around the equator that receives the most light from Qesa and therefore experiences the highest temperatures on Kennars, but even here it is not warm enough for liquid water.
Kennars is highly volcanically active, with many volcanoes and hydrothermal vents that provide an energy source for human and Aallae settlements alike. Volcanism and tectonic activity over millions of years have resulted in an intricate network of caves that spans the entirety of Kennars, connecting distant parts of the planet and providing shelter for both human and native Kennarsian life.
The caves of Kennars host a highly developed and diverse biosphere, the energy source of which is provided by Kennars’ many volcanoes. Thermotrophic and chemotrophic bacteria feed off the heat and inorganic molecules coming from underground hydrothermal vents, storing them as chemical energy. These bacteria are the primary producers on Kennars, and form the base of the food chain.
History: When humanity first arrived in the Qesa system, they found Kennars as it is today, a planet covered in ice, almost certainly unsuitable for colonization. During the initial exploration of the planet it was found to be already inhabited by an intelligent alien species that the ship’s crew named the ‘Aallae’, who lived in the caves deep below the surface of the planet. The colony ship sat in orbit for a long time, the colonists unwilling to settle on the harsh surface of Kennars, but also unwilling to attack and drive the Aallae out of their caverns. However, the colony ship was not designed to last forever, and as more and more components began to break down and maintenance costs increased exponentially, it became clear something had to be done. Unfortunately for the humans aboard the ship, the Gateway that had brought them to Qesa was closed, and they were left with no other option than to settle onto Kennars. The colony ship landed on the planet, immediately being reassembled into the first arcology, its reactor transformed into the beating heart of human civilization of Kennars.
The settlement of Kennars proved more difficult than anticipated, however. Despite landing in the warmer equatorial zone, many colonists died as a result of hypothermia and frostbite. The insulation of the colony ship, suitable for reducing heat loss from radiation, did not prove adequate to protect against the harsh cold of Kennars. Before the first arcology was completed a quarter of the population had already perished. Additionally, many of the new arrivals did not appreciate having to live in the arcology, unsure whether they would see tomorrow.They beseeched the Aallae for help, to let them move into the aliens’ caves and avoid the frozen surface. The Aallae, however, were reluctant. They were wary of the newcomers, and the caves were already becoming overpopulated due to a recent population boom. Most of the Kennarsian colonists were furious that the Aallae had declined their request for help. Anti-alien sentiments soared and riots broke out, forcing the colonial government to crack down before the arcology would be overwhelmed. A human-supremacist group, calling themselves the ‘Children of Earth’, used the discontent of the population as well as the weakening government authority to stage a coup. Taking control of the arcology, they sent out expeditions to found a number of new colonies and prepare for war.
The Aallae Wars were a series of conflicts between the various nations of the Aallae, and a number of human settlements under the banner of the Children of Earth. The human colonists were technologically far more advanced than the Aallae, but did not know the planet as well as the aliens did and were far more vulnerable, being situated on the surface. The conflicts were brutal, consisting mostly of tunnel fighting as the colonists attempted to invade the Aallae caves. Human patrols would disappear in the night, picked off one by one by the Aallae, while the Children of Earth would flood Aallae caves with neurotoxic gasses, killing anything inside. The war came to a head when a human strike team managed to infiltrate one of the largest cave-cities of the Aallae and detonate a nuclear weapon, killing tens of thousands while sacrificing themselves. In response, the Aallae used ice-boring machines to drill into two human arcologies, including the human capital, and detonate their reactors, wiping out a good chunk of the human colonists and beheading their leadership in one fell swoop.
After that, the war was over. In the chaos that followed, faraway settlements broke off, declaring their independence. Minor skirmishes were fought between human arcologies, but these soon stopped as many realized that fighting on Kennars was too wasteful. Rather than taking the Aallae caves or fighting one another for scraps, the Kennarsians focused their energy towards improving their own fortunes. New materials were invented, both to resist against the cold and to build stronger structures. The Kennarsians learned to make robots to do the most dangerous work in the icy wasteland. New power sources allowed for the generation of more heat, boosting food supplies and quality of life. The largest arcologies signed treaties of mutual assistance, and soon even the Aallae opened up again and started trading with humanity. As the Kennarsians finally overcame the planet’s challenges, the Kennarsian League was born.
Culture and Society: Given the environment on Kennars, humanity is relegated to living in enormous artificial complexes powered by geothermal or fusion energy. These surface arcologies are self-sufficient and are capable of supporting tens of thousands of human inhabitants. It is here where the Kennarsians spend almost the entirety of their lives, living, working and having fun. The greatest of the arcologies are the dome-cities. These, as the name suggest, are cities built under an enormous dome that allow its inhabitants to see the sky without having to go outside into the cold wilderness.
Of course, the arcologies, or Arcos as they are called colloquially, need a lot of maintenance to run properly. Food needs to be made, the temperature must be maintained and breaches must be carefully searched for and repaired. Every Kennarsian is assigned a job based on their qualities and abilities, and they are expected to spare no effort when doing their job, for others depend on them. This has led to close-knit communities where people are willing to help one another and be selfless for the good of the arcology. However, there is also a darker side, as there is a lot of social pressure to perform one’s task well, and those who are unable to meet the community’s demands are ostracized. The exception to this rule are those who are too old or too sick to fulfill their duties. Instead, the ill are treated freely, and the old are allowed to retire into positions that require no manual labor. At high latitude, in the coldest areas of the planet, it is a struggle to even do the most basic tasks, and so the most desperate measures are taken for the survival of arcologies. Here, people are treated as an expendable resource, like the food they eat or the hydrogen in their reactors. Unproductive people are exiled into the wilderness so that they are not a burden on the rest of their community, and those who actively betray their habitat are outright executed.
The Aallae, on the other hand, make their home in the caves of Kennars. Here they farm fungus-like organisms that feed off the microbial mats that grow near the underground hot springs. Aallae cave-cities are adapted to their unique biology, with little to no visual cues, instead most of the information is provided in the form of smell or sound. The Aallae are a tribal people, having large kinship groups, each with their own customs and traditions. The tribes combine into larger nations, which are a political unit comparable to the modern nation-state. There is some migration between Aallae cave-cities and human arcologies, but migration and integration is more difficult due to the fact that the Aallae are blind.
Governance and Politics: The Kennarsian League is a confederation consisting of and founded by the various human arcologies, habitats and Aallae nations and tribes on Kennars. Its primary purpose is to organize mutual assistance, resolve disputes between members and pool resources. The League is run by the League Council, an assembly of representatives from the various polities in the League. The Council decides the future direction of the League, allocates resources and serves as a mediator for disputes between the League’s members. Agreements between the League’s members can only take effect when implemented by those same members, as there is no central police force or army to enforce them.
Given the large amount of human settlements on the planet, there is inevitably some variety in how each is run. In general, however, every arcology is led by an Archon, an elected position with dictatorial power. They, and an appointed council of advisors, make every important decision for the settlement, from the amount of food that is to be produced to the daily allotment of reactor heat. The Archon is essentially just another job in the settlement, and has no special privileges or rights compared to the other inhabitants.
Because Aallae societies have existed on Kennars for millenia, there are many different kinds of government in the Aallae nations.
Technology Overview: Materials science: The Kennarsians have invented a number of advanced materials to help them live on the surface of Kennars. One of these materials is alpha-beta pykrete, an advanced form of pykrete that is transparent. It is made out of ice and fibers from plant waste, making it a tough material that can be made using materials that are locally available. Alpha-beta pykrete (also known as AB-Pykrete), is used on the outer layer of the dome-cities, combined with a middle insulating layer and a structural inner layer. Another important material is synth-wool, an advanced textile that is even warmer than regular wool while also having the benefit of being far lighter. This allows the Kennarsians to go outside into the icy wasteland while maintaining their dexterity, a great boon for soldiers and citizens alike.
Robotics: The Kennarsians have also created robots that aid them in doing many of the tasks an ordinary human would find difficult in the harsh environment of Kennars. These robots do much of the outside labor, like repairing the outside walls of the arcology, harvesting ice to use as fuel for arcology fusion reactors, and many other kinds of work.
Medical science: A number of important advances in medical science have greatly contributed to the survival of the Kennarsian people. The first of these is the use of advanced bionic limbs to replace limbs lost to frostbite and amputation. This allows Kennarsians who have had accidents or have been exposed to the cold for too long to still live full lives and be productive to the community. Advanced methods to treat extreme hypothermia in the field have also been invented. Finally, the Kennarsians have also developed a way to artificially induce a state of suspended animation that helps those who have been caught in dire situations survive the harsh environment for far longer than they would normally.
There are of course also other miscellaneous technologies, like sensor systems that can penetrate the worst snow storms, the use of ice-boring machines to travel around and other inventions.
Military Overview: Every human arcology and Aallae cave city maintains a small military force, primarily tasked with disaster relief, search-and-rescue operations and humanitarian aid. Kennarsian soldiers see little to no combat, except for rare encounters with wild animals or human exiles that have banded together.
The League’s soldiers are equipped with laser-based weaponry, with little to no moving parts in order to avoid jamming. They are also equipped with gear suited for the cold wilderness, and Kennarsian vehicles are properly equipped to deal with the deep snow. Some arcologies even use flying vehicles and VTOL aircraft to transport personnel. The Kennarsian military prefers to use a mobile form of warfare emphasizing stealth, the use of small units and hit-and-run tactics, disappearing before the enemy even knows they were there.
As the League has almost no presence in the wider Qesean system, it has no military space fleet. The only space-based military assets consist of an impressive satellite array around Kennars used for gathering intelligence, monitoring the weather and keeping watch.
GOVERNMENT FORM: Technocratic post-baseline oligarchy
Time: 00.0001%; Immortal digitized human consciousness and original founders of the Sevenfold Summation.
Luminous: ~0.5%; Hybrid digitized human and diplat consciousness in networked forms specialized for administration, translation, diplomacy, and education. Also serve as living servers for the time measurement to directly interact with their subjects.
Current: ~2%; Human and diplat derived brains and nervous systems supported in compact, AI-assisted mechanical shells for maximally efficient research, medical and engineering work.
Temperature: ~2.2%; Heavily modified humans or diplat augmented with DNA from various predator and extremophile organisms, for high survivability and exploration, or combat and labour in extreme environments.
Length: ~9%; Hybrids of human and diplat DNA who now serve as a genetic template for further augmentation and primarily work in law enforcement, administration, and education.
Mass: ~12%; Heavily modified diplat whose strength, endurance and weight have been greatly increased and primarily work in either very high or low gravity environments, as well as mining, or heavy industry. Many are also equipped with implants designed to control electromagnetic fields
Quantity: ~70.3%; Baseline or near baseline diplat, who go through regular assessments over their life to determine their potential recruitment into higher measurements and otherwise work in a wide range of jobs, particularly food production, construction, office work or machine operation. Having a natural lifespan of roughly 20-25 years in human terms, the diplat tend to measure their lifespan in local 'seasons', roughly quarters of a year. --- NOTE: This also includes the inhabitants of the crechetowns -- small, isolated colonies of near-baseline humans raised on some of Moumlet's more isolated mountainous regions from a mixture of descendants of the original crew, and vat-grown fertilized embryos that survived the expedition. While official policy is that baseline humans should be treated the same as baseline diplat, inevitably the human population is rarely 'promoted' and when they are it's always to 'higher' measurements.
Undefined: ~3.8%; Any diplat not aligned with the Sevenfold Summation - tools at best, enemies of the state at worst. Criminals fall into this category.
REDACTED: ~0.2%; INFORMATION DECLARED CONTRARY TO TRUTH. THE PACIFICATION OF THE SPHERE WAS A PEACEFUL ENDEAVOUR.
POPULATION: Approximately 4 billion 'baseline' diplat (Quantity/Undefined measurements) and approximately 1.3 billion of the 'other' measurements. There are approximately 40,000 near-baseline humans in Crechetown, while the 'Time' measurement number only about a thousand.
Rotation Period/"Length of Days": 26 hours Orbital Period/"Length of Year": 412 days, 17 hours (Earth time) Local Calender: 381 local/Moumlet days divided into four seasons across ten months (with the last month having an extra day)
PLANET NAME & DESCRIPTION:Moumlet is the second planet of the Mensura system; a rocky terrestrial planet with a radius approximately 12% larger than Earth and a mass of 1.28g, carved apart with great industrial pit cities and networks of caverns and chasms, and possessing an unusually large magnetic core. The stronger electromagnetic fields of Moumlet than many other habitable worlds have created a number of unusual formations in its crust, leading to a highly uneven surface covered in deep, arching chasms. Moumlet's oceans are thus disconnected from each other by long, interconnected continents and possess relatively low salinity, but completely fresh water is very rare – most organisms on Moumlet possess specialized salt-filtering organs.
Because of the uneven surface and high density of iron ore, Moumlet's crust is often described as 'pockmarked' or 'hollow'. Coupled with its relatively close proximity to its home star, many organisms are partly subterranean or amphibious, and despite centuries of exploration there still remains entire underground ecosystems and waterways that haven't been fully catalogued or understood yet.
Following centuries of increasing industrialization and the firestorm experiment, Moumlet's atmosphere has become thicker and its oceans chemically unbalanced. While some life still survives and the Summation has introduced a number of genetically engineered organisms to help keep the atmosphere breathable, purify toxic waters, and keep the ecosystem varied, the planet has become more and more imbalanced. Its once oxygen-rich atmosphere has been contaminated with traces of chlorine and ammonia, and in certain regions, gas masks are still required. The biodiversity of the planet has sadly plummeted to a fraction of its original variety. --- NOTE: Moumlet is a reoccurring name for the planet in several diplat languages, particularly those of the compacts that allied themselves with the Summation. While this has since been adopted as its formal name, a number of earlier Mensura reports refer to it as 'Moleworld' prior to this, and some members of the Time measurement still refer to it as such between themselves.
DIPLAT BIOLOGY: The diplat are omnivores – living on a mixture of various roots, plants, arthropods, fish, and meat that they scavenge from predators or bring down in ambush, though by the time the Mensura group discovered them they had long since transitioned to the use of industrial-scale farming and aquaculture. They were originally prey animals on their home world, with leathery skin covered in a coating of short, dark red fur, inhabiting a number of underground cave networks at the shorelines of several natural waterways. Despite their short lifespans -- naturally only living for about 20 years before suffering a kind of severe neurological decay that causes extreme memory loss and eventually renders them comatose -- their sensitive hearing and tight knit family units allowed them to easily predict the movements of predators and set up increasingly large and well-defended communities. With time, this has led to larger and larger family networks that thrive through careful ambush tactics and an eagerness to claim new burrows at any cost.
Diplat possess a set of four highly light-sensitive eyes and multiple ears allow for survival both above and below ground. They average at just under a meter in height when full grown, with males being slightly larger. This difference is further emphasized by males possessing a set of defensive quills along their back, shoulders, hips and the sides of their head that they are able to flare up in a kind of threat display, though this is nowadays just the subject of traditional festivals or low-stakes contests.
Female diplat lay clutches of three or four thin-shelled eggs at a time, traditionally in a nest of soft, muddy soil. When the eggs hatch in a few weeks time, the babies are transported in her pouch to a communal crèche, usually set aside in a particular well-defended central area of the community. In the modern day, most mothers lay their eggs in a small but cosy room layered in soft, cushiony materials or a sterilized synthetic mud.
"We arrived in the Mensura system and discovered a sickly, dying species warring over a sickly, dying world. We reached out to help, but they reacted with violence. Fearing that we were the last of humanity, we sadly resorted to violence against their cruel and selfish warlords. But by doing so, we united the diplat into an orderly, well-educated society that brings out the best in every individual to better serve the collective good."
"Some might say we shouldn't have helped them, and perhaps some philosophies may not have. But if we hadn't, the diplat would now be extinct and their planet would be ruined. For the sake of their descendants -- a thriving population, some 5.3 billion! -- we believe it was the right thing to do."
ARRIVAL & DISASTER: For the Mensura group -- a thinktank funded by some of the wealthiest STEM-field giants -- the gateway expedition was a twisted dream come true. On Earth they were held back by the whims of the masses and endless redtape. But out there? Anything could be possible. To this end they constructed four ships, with the first three -- the Aspect of Nous; the Spirit of Nous; and the Conviction of Nous -- being primarily research and exploration vessels. Each had a crew of about two thousand, supported by cutting edge AI and terraforming systems; carrying human embryos and DNA for thousands of plant and animal species; and with fabrication modules to help create any tool or machine that would prove necessary to their research or terraforming efforts. Once they had sufficiently surveyed and built up the infrastructure for true colonization, the final ship -- the gargantuan Body of Nous and its 10,000 passengers, still finalizing construction -- would follow them through the gate.
They launched with excitement, but almost immediately disaster awaited. The gate had opened in orbit around a massive gas giant, and the Spirit had entered at an angle that quickly left it spiralling to disaster. A tiny fraction of the crew and their equipment managed to escape and were incorporated into the Aspect and Conviction, but it was with heavy hearts and the taste of death that they proceeded in their surveys.
At first, the loss seemed like the storm before a rainbow - resource rich, most crucial of all the system they had arrived in was host to a habitable world. More so, it supported an abundance of alien life! The news was met with equal parts curiosity and paranoia. Endless possibilities surely awaited, and the signals sent through the gate back home were met with both excitement and dollar signs. Their families, colleagues, and backers awaited final construction of the Body of Nous and the chance to join them...
...then the gate closed, and paranoia gave way to panic.
Of the 4,039 remaining crew aboard the Aspect and Conviction, only about one and a half thousand would survive the fighting that gradually broke out over the next year of silence. A number of fabrication modules were destroyed outright, and the Aspect's AI was hacked and its code damaged in ways that wouldn't be fully repaired for decades.
Order was eventually restored when reasonable voices managed to get across that the ships couldn't sustain any further loss of machinery or hydroponics. Throughout the conflict, some had put the remaining fabricators to work on the material gathered from asteroids and moons of the gas giant in the construction of a new gate, but all attempts to reopen the gate and restore communications with Earth and the countless other expeditions were met with abject failure -- in the violence and chaos, there had been a loss of crucial data and the deaths of those who might have known the secrets to gateway construction.
For months they were adrift, without a concrete plan. Some of the world's brightest minds trapped in a pair of boxes with nothing but their research to wile away the time.
And meanwhile, only passingly aware that they were now being observed and scrutinized by dangerous alien visitors, the diplat compacts continued their endless squabbling and industrial expansion.
ASCENSION & FIRST CONTACT: As the surviving crew of Aspect and Conviction set about their jobs and continued their observations - with the crew of the Conviction in particular setting about the construction of an elaborate shipyard and fueling station around the gas giant, eventually named Indra for its storms and the role it would play in the war to come - some began to experiment in more detail with the shipboard AI. Some theorized a way to help recover some of the corrupted data, by using a human brain as a filter. The experiment was seemingly a failure, and one that killed the subject's body. As a result the research was abandoned...
...only for the subject to suddenly 'wake up' inside the Aspect's communication network, the ship's AI having split into a new matrix based on the subject's memories and personality.
Once more division spread throughout the crews as to what to do with this information, and it was in the process of deciding that a kind of direct democracy had formed -- old command structures slowly ceased to apply with returning to Earth seeming more and more unlikely and the changing needs to life in space. In a vote that would define the human settlers of the newly christened Mensura system, 72% voted for the digitization research to be opened up - some immediately set about uploading themselves, others refused, and yet others held off to observe the long-term effects.
It was in the months that followed that a second defining issues would arise - what to do about the diplat, and their homeworld. The original purpose of the expedition had been to gather data and set about the preparations needed for terraforming operations and permanent colonization by humans. While the planet wasn't technically uninhabitable, its higher gravity and atmospheric composition would make permanent human habitation uncomfortable, and its massive indigenous population would no doubt severely limit the potential limits of human settlement.
Some argued that the mission must be maintained - at any cost. Others felt that 'colonization' efforts should involve communication and re-education, teaching these "diplat" to live similarly to humans. Yet others felt that if the mission had already failed, peaceful co-existence and mutual assistance was the best path. In the debate and vote that followed, a cautious hand of peace was reached out - but perhaps too soon. The diplat languages were still understood in only small amounts and without full context, and several of the largest diplat compacts were engaged in a generations old war of attrition.
What goodwill might be earned was further mired when several crew members of the Aspect, landing on a supposedly uninhabited region of the planet to collect samples of plant and animal life, were suddenly met by a small group of diplat soldiers on some kind of training exercise. Their fabricated weapons proved deadly and disorientating to the less visually-orientated diplat, and in a reckless act they kidnapped some of the soldiers and killed the others.
Onboard the Aspect they began to experiment on and dissect the captured soldiers, much to the horror of other crew members. Voting almost moved to return the bodies, only for the detection of primitive ground-to-orbital weaponry revealed a frightening attempt by a diplat compact to destroy their ship.
Two narrow misses and 26 hours later, and the crew of the Aspect retaliated by redirecting an asteroid. It certainly destroyed the weapon -- and somewhere in the vicinity of 800,000 people.
As the next century would reveal, these figures would prove tasteful by comparison.
THE PACIFICATION: Prior to the arrival of the Mensura Group, diplat society was highly fragmented - as the various family networks had grown in scale and complexity, not all interactions and disagreements were resolved with violence. Rather, the debates and compromises gradually began to incorporate more and more families, eventually producing some of the first huddles, accords, and compacts. Up until recently, these compacts had been the main political structure among the diplat, led by representatives from their member families. They arranged trade deals, tunnel and burrow rights, surface and oceanic infrastructure projects, and set limits on military action between families and against other compacts.
By the time the Mensura group had begun their attack, the limits of the various compacts had revealed themselves - endless arguing and debate, overindustrialization, ecological disaster, overly conservative attitudes toward new technologies and ways of acting, and wars of attrition leading to generations old blood feuds – were quickly accelerated by the effects of orbital bombardment. Without centralized authority these compacts often forced each other into bitter conflicts over resources, and so the diplat were perpetually ravaged by war -- made all the more intense by the fact that most of their cities and settlements were underground, formed in great fortified networks of tunnels and chambers that could easily be used to disorientate or bog down attackers.
Attempts by the crew to reach out and arrange a ceasefire quickly proved difficult, until another diplat compact - rivals of the ones they had been bombarding - reached out to them. They would gladly help fight a mutual enemy in exchange for assistance in their own efforts to reach the stars, and for a time this agreement worked to the crews' favour...
...except, in the years that followed - as the exact nature of diplat warfare became clearer to the remnants of the Mensura - the opinions of the crew became more and more poisoned. Efforts to 're-educate' diplat compacts to abandon their family-centric and often nepotistic structure were met with polite refusal at best and sometimes outright violence. On at least two occasions former allies switched their view of the Mensura, using the tools and weaponry that the Mensura had supplied them in order to built new anti-orbital weapons.
Coupled with the fact that more and more of the crew had digitized themselves to stay alive, and the personality-damaging issues of long-term data storage that were revealing themselves... the Mensura slowly but surely began to change. Scientific discovery, now having become little more than a series of hobbies and private experiments in the wake of the group's focus shifting to militarization and warfare. The biosphere of Moumlet became increasingly deranged, as bio-weapons were unleashed and genetically engineered predators or human/diplat hybridized vat-grown soldiers were sent in to fight in the tunnels.
By the 99th year of the siege, the diplat population had plummeted by about 5 billion. Most of the Mensura were digitized by this point, or had elected to simply terminate their own lives on their terms. A few recognized the hopeless tyrants that the newly christened 'Summation' were becoming and decided to work with the diplat, hacking into and escaping into the diplat's subterranean information networks. On the 100th year, two things happened.
The Phel-Noss Deepweave Compact revealed a massive railgun, of stolen Mensura design, and fired a series of thermonuclear slugs at the Aspect as it rested in orbit. The ship was torn apart -- its molten fragments plummeting to the surface or left adrift -- and the Conviction was forced to retreat to the shipyards at Indra.
The vote to begin the firestorm experiment was unanimous, where prior votes on it had always met with resistance. A series of biochemical weapons -- a modified terraforming tool -- were detonated in the atmosphere and dropped into the depths of pit cities. The sky turned a sickly yellow, and the lungs of the planet burned.
THE SEVENFOLD SUMMATION: The Summation still didn't desire complete genocide. Their supremist attitude towards the diplat compacts who had allied to them had combined with their own increasingly warped philosophy, and so they distributed other engineered organisms that would limit the amount of chlorine and ammonia in the atmosphere, sparing life on the planet from total extinction.
What few compacts who had remained their allies were hesitant to accept the genetherapies they were being offered, but the Summation made it clear this was a demand - albeit a politely worded one. They were the "subjects" to a ruling class - in both the political and the scientific sense. The pacification continued for just a few more months, though at that point it was a more straightforward series of demands, followed by the inevitable suffocation of those that stubbornly refused. By the time all was done - a century of war culminating in an act of genocide on a scale unknown in human history - the global diplat population had plummeted from a peak of 15.5 billion to a paltry 5.1, and it has taken almost three centuries for it to crawl back.
Fabrication modules were put to work rebuilding diplat infrastructure, while genetic engineering was used to try and heal the most crucial parts of the biosphere. Following the full seizure of power by the Sevenfold Summation - as they referred to themselves in tandem with their diplat subjects - what compacts remain are now a shadow of their former selves and officially work under them.
CULTURE & SOCIETY: The need for close-knit family and the winding nature of diplat burrow-networks had created a culture of strict familial reliance and expectation. “What would my family think?” is not a 'maybe' question to the diplat – it is a hardwired first priority. Because of this, the diplat historically have struggled to form large-scale polities with strict territories or hierarchies – nepotism is often a given, and what wars have cropped up have either been tiny but brutal family disputes, or have been vast multi-generational wars of attrition involving long-standing alliances through marriage connecting hundreds of families and hundreds of thousands of deaths.
This reflects itself in diplat language and naming conventions – most diplat cultures emphasize family names, with 'personal names' usually being a family-chosen title or phrase. For example, 'Pirrik-Nunn Kuik the Ever Indecisive' was notorious in her trading family for the way she constantly waxed and waned in her goals. By contrast, her aunt 'Pirrik-Nunn Oul the Stargazer' went down in history for engineering the first spaceworthy scouting robot, the photos from which helped reveal the vast resources of their solar system... and the first hints that outsiders were watching them.
GOVERNANCE & POLITICS: After being stranded the surviving crew of the Nous had reorganized themselves into a form of direct democracy. But unfortunately for the diplat, more and more hardline and authoritarian voices gained ever greater influence in the crew's decision making regarding them -- and all the more so as the siege went on. Combined with their gradual digitization, immortalization, and integration of their minds with the Nous' AI, the crew became more and more apathetic and clinical in their view of the diplat. What started as (theoretically) good natured attempts to assist the diplat with medical and organisational intervention gradually involved more and more intrusive use of genetic and cybernetic science, forcing the subjugated diplat into a strict (yet supposedly 'meritocratic') caste system.
By the time the siege had come to an end and the vast majority of surviving diplat were subjugated, and in the centuries that followed, the remaining crew of the Nous -- or whatever remained of their minds, anyway -- had become the ruling caste (the "Time" measurement) of a hyper-authoritarian cult with eugenic elements. The Sevenfold Summation is strictly organized and top-down in its approach, with ordinary ("quantity") diplat carefully monitored and assessed throughout their lives to determine what 'higher measurement', if any, they should belong to.
These various measurements, in turn, are internally organized by individuals of their measurement appointed to a higher rank by their "Time" or "Luminous" superiors. How easy life is largely depends on the nature of a group's assigned work -- the "Mass" labourers on the mining colonies of the resource-rich hot planet of Agni have an abysmal survival rate and frequently suffer extreme respiratory problems due to the toxic gases they're exposed to, while "Length" office managers on Moumlet have a fairly safe environment and their own personal quarters with limited customization.
Despite the Summation's best efforts, however, the original system of the 'compacts' still exists among many diplat - particularly the "quantity" and "undefined" measurements. While rebel compacts were gradually stamped out over the course of the siege, their survivors continued to rally around and infiltrate compacts allied to the Summation. Some "Time" and "Luminous" are willing to unofficially acknowledge said groups, seeing their continued existence as a kind of 'secret society' being the necessary cost of limiting further rebellions -- others, however, fear that said groups are simply a ticking timebomb. Both views are forced to recognize that the family-orientated nature of diplat society makes the compacts - or something similar to them - an almost inevitable issue.
TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW: While the Mensura Group lost a great deal of their data, technology and skillset over the course of the early disasters of the expedition and occasional diplat victories during the pacification, the ensuing two centuries of relative stability and the absorption of allied diplat compacts has allowed them to quickly restore most of what they had lost, and to even exceed their original capabilities in certain fields.
Advanced AI based on "grey brain" techniques, procedural generation and heuristic matrices. Coupled with extensive neuroscience has allowed them to digitize and replicate conscious organic minds into AI, and having transformed themselves into said AI they freely re-write or modify their own neurological structures
In relation to this, advanced cyberwarfare and programming capabilities from centuries of primarily digital competition and sabotage between individual groups within the time measurement
Advanced genetic engineering over centuries of refinement and experimentation, including AI-assisted analysis to quickly decode and map the DNA of newly discovered or alien species and deduce new arrangements and potential modifications or hybridization of DNA between different species
Nanite-based molecular reconstruction, with 'fabrication modules' containing everything needed to construct a new colony ship or habitat given sufficient time and materials or to synthesize new chemical compounds
High-pressure and subterranean construction techniques and the synthesis of meta-materials capable of withstanding extreme pressures, deep within or beneath the crust of the planet. Officially this is a Summation invention (as all things are), but in truth this was a scientific field that the diplat had long excelled at.
Prosthetic limbs and organs capable of replicating or even exceeding the natural abilities of baseline human or diplat; combined with their neuroscience to integrate these implants and cybernetics into both injured or healthy individuals on a large scale
While less so a single technology, the Summation's vice-like grip on their diplat subjects continues to involve the use of ever improving surveillance techniques, including sub-dermal 'monitoring implants' for all diplat infants that remain throughout their lives and extensive surveillance of all communication and information networks
Likewise, the Summation's range of sciences and skillsets are geared towards extremely efficient terraforming of planets and modification of biospheres, whether to make them more 'Earth-like' or more 'Moumlet-like'
MILITARY OVERVIEW: During the siege, warfare between the Summation and the diplat compacts was a messy, clinical affair. From the safety of orbit the invaders redirected asteroids and devised all manner of chemical and biological weapons -- meanwhile, the architects and engineers of the diplat built and reinforced ever deeper and more elaborate underground fortresses, while their researchers devised counter-agents. On the ground, allied and rebel diplat compacts waged relentless wars of attrition, fighting over useful resources throughout the endless tunnel networks while defenders established hyper lethal traps or bottlenecks. Intentional tunnel collapsing and suicide-runs were commonplace tactics. On the occasions that combat spread into wider chambers and pit-cities, trains and elevators were often hijacked and armed with artillery and area denial weapons, while human and AI-augmented six-limbed walkers and low-altitude aircraft fought in mountainous regions or rough terrain.
In the two centuries since the siege, war has been a rare concern - small but frequent insurgencies or terrorist groups, and a short-lived rebellion on the shipyards in orbit around Moumlet. As a general rule, these have been dealt with by local security forces armed with simple kinetic or ballistic weapons. While the fabrication modules have the blueprints for railguns or other more advanced military hardware, a combination of decay from lack of use and a lack of solid military knowledge -- besides members of the "Time" measurement who commanded forces during the pacification -- leaves them woefully unprepared for a large-scale conventional war against an equivalent civilization.
A small, scattered fleet of lightly armed patrol ships help secure and administrate the colonies of the Summation -- at last count, they numbered 73 vessels, most under 300m long and primarily armed with repurposed mining lasers or EMP weapons.
Top row shows, from left to right: a diplat/Summation mining shuttle > a modular exploratory research vessel, essentially a smaller version of the colony ships the Summation originally arrived in > a hypothetical Sevenfold Summation battleship Bottom row shows the actual relative sizes: the battleship is approximately a 800 metres long.
Officially, the Summation has seven measurements, with the temperature measurement serving as the bulk of the military -- though a lack of large scale or conventional warfare leaves most of them relegated to other job roles requiring high survivability and resilience to extreme or toxic environments.
However, during the pacification of the diplat the Summation devised a wide array of increasingly disturbing and horrific organic weapon systems, mainly using diplat as the starting point. While most of these were eventually culled, the templates -- and new ones designed in the centuries since -- still exist in storage.
HOLDINGS -- The Mensura System: In the course of their three hundred year presence in the system - and especially following the end of the siege - the Sevenfold Summation has successfully colonized a number of planets and established numerous waystations and communication relays.
Agni is a small, resource-dense planet close to the system's star. Setup following the Summation's victory, it serves as the centre of several highly dangerous mining colonies and is a centre of industry. The high percentage of "Mass" measurement working here has led to the formation of a distinct cultural identity from mainstream diplat society -- and rumours of rebellion, in the shadows.
Moumlet (also known as diplat prime or moleworld, depending on who you ask) is the homeworld of the diplat species and the centre of power for the Summation following their victory during the siege.
Indra is the massive gas giant that the Gate originally opened in orbit around. Its dense storms of gas and numerous moons provided a vast abundance of material, sufficient in the extreme for the Summation to set up extensive shipyards and make several failed attempts at constructing their own Gate. In time, this failed structure served as the central structure for Spirit's Loss, a massive space station and observatory serving as the heart of the system-wide network of waystation's and comms relays used to coordinate the colonies.
Shiva is a second gas giant closer to the edge of the solar system, a rich blue due to the high density of cobalt and an atmosphere composed primarily of hydrogen and helium, along with traces of hydrocarbons and nitrogen -- it also contains a higher proportion of ices such as water, ammonia and methane. Serves as a remote research station, prison-colony, and interstellar observatory.
The Easifan Promise
May the eye of the storms guide all of us forever, in few things or many, small things or vast; blessed be the cycle of heaven and cursed be the weight of the void
GOVERNMENT FORM: Human-alien tribal confederation
Yaeph'La: ~39%; the nomadic remnants of an advanced alien species who had long ago settled in the Easifa system in a fleet of ships over many generations; despite some early tension, they recognized the human arrivals as fellow refugees, and so hesitantly shared their genetic engineering and habitat construction technology with humanity. They are broadly split between the grey-skinned "Yaeph'Zan", who possess a higher amount of ancestral yulzan DNA, and the shorter "Yaeph'Zir", who possess a higher amount of ancestral aldzir DNA.
Arjuani: ~20%; modified humans with grey or purplish skin, adapted for life in high-gravity and high temperature environments - trace amounts of silicon, iron and iodine, cellular redundancy against the effects of radiation and chemical poisoning, and segmented lungs that function as living oxygen tanks; split across many tribal/ethnic lines after 250 years of survival across the vast network of habitats throughout the Upper and Lower Shabaka, but broadly united in a shared religion and history (the Arjuani Cloud).
Gremlins: ~17%; genetically engineered organisms created by the yaeph'la settlers; appearing as the six-limbed lovechild of an eel, a beetle, and a pug, they are particularly notable for the high adaptability, resilience, and the intense electrical conductivity of their nervous systems, making them easily augmented with cybernetics.
Foldforms: ~12.5%; a species of parasitic extremophile colonial organisms of unknown origin who arrived on Easifa'Thani's moons in the distant past, they primarily feed on radiation and electromagnetic fields; after their disastrous first contact with the yaeph'la, communications were eventually established and mutual benefits were found through limited infection of sapient host organisms. While various foldforms exist as organic radiation, electrical wiring, or heat-shielding for structures, ships and exosuits, a group calling themselves "the Veiled" have taken to permanent symbiosis with foldforms, and have established permanent settlements on Easifa'Thani's radiation poisoned moons and other previously uninhabitable regions of the system.
Cloudkin Pilgrims: ~4%; explorers and traders of one of the two indigenous alien species on Easifa'Thani and who safely dwell within the colonies through the use of highly pressurized suits; they are a gaseous, vaguely jellyfish-like species who dwell in the upper layers of Easifa'Thani in numerous 'bubble towns', and they mainly assist with human and yaeph'la habitat construction. With the help of their allies they successfully launched a set of massive spiralling ships that emerged from the deepest layers of Easifa'Thani several decades ago and now orbit their home star.
Gaians: ~2.5%; water, soil, and plant-worshiping heavily modified human-reptile hybrids who mainly dwell in low gravity environments, further edited with plant cells to be energized by UV radiation; renowned as gardeners, a number of them live as warrior monks in patrol around the location of the gate and the promised return to Earth; descended primarily from what was once the Children of Gaia
Spacers: ~2.5%; baseline humans who primarily live on ships or stations, rather than the habitats. The prolonged effects of low-gravity life on quarantined ships have left them stunted and with weaker bones and weakened immune systems, but otherwise they are human - their openness to working with others has enabled them to remain genetically stable
Asmovund: ~2.3%; heavily deformed and poisoned human puritans who heavily rely on cybernetics and cloning; their tolerance for AI and obsession with the Yahsud Alnaar has left them in a semi-ostracized state, while tensions run high between them and the gaians following a number of skirmishes and religious disputes; descended primarily from what was once the Asimov Foundation.
Hybrids: ~0.2%; Human-Yaeph'La hybrids; while some prejudice lingers, the last 250 years of co-existence in shared and connected habitats had inevitably led to some cases of human and yaeph'la becoming romantically involved and, through genetic engineering, for the creation of what is technically a third species
POPULATION: Approximately 245 million inhabitants of the Upper Shabaka, and another 103 million inhabitants of the Lower Shabaka, including approximately 40,000 Cloudkin. Another 32 million exist on various habitats, stations and ships across the moons of Easifa'Thani and the system's asteroid belt, with varying degrees of autonomy -- these 'void-dwellers' have the highest percentage of Gaian and Asmovund communities. The Cloudkin pilgrims aboard their ships are estimated to number about 20 million.
All told, there are an estimated 400 million souls in the Easifa system, though of course the exact number would be almost impossible to know.
PLANET NAME & DESCRIPTION:Easifa'Thani is the closest planet of the Easifa system to its home star. A silicon and iodine rich hot gas giant with a thin layer of carbon dioxide surrounding functioning as its outer atmosphere, it was far from being the first choice for settlement by the original Yaeph'La colonists. However, upon the discovery of Easifa'Mal's ancient destruction and the chaos caused by the Yahsud Alnaar, the mining outposts constructed there were repurposed for city-scale human habitations.
Like many such habitats, it is built inside of a pressurized silicon-based 'island' suspended amidst the storms of Easifa'Thani.
Of particular interest is that Easifa'Thani possesses a unique biosphere all of its own. While studying it in detail has proven almost impossible due to the monumental gravitational and atmospheric pressures and the extreme temperatures, there appears to be a wide variety of complex life that occasionally emerges into viewing range. Of particular note are the 'cloudkin', gaseous colonial organisms that possess some form of sapience and intelligence - sufficient to build their own complex 'bubble towns' out of harvested silicon gas, and to reverse engineer lost human technology and repurpose it into high-pressure environmental suits that have allowed some of them to dwell among the humans of the Lower Shabaka. Meanwhile, a mysterious, sluggish species of vaguely flatfish/trilobite-like organisms exist in the deepest regions; even the cloudkin have had little contact with them, but they seem to be content in their slow and ancient strolling.
HISTORY THE STAR WITHOUT A HOME: The Miracle Agreement was a pooling of resources, a humanitarian alliance of religious and charitable groups, NGOs, communes and cults who were quick to see the writing on the wall. Their individual efforts to help limit the disastrous effects of climate change and nuclear warfare had been of limited success, and so in secret their leadership arranged for the creation of a series of colony ships. With heavy hearts those 300,000 colonists fled through the gate aboard the Five Miracles and supported by a fleet of technical and support vessels, hoping that perhaps they might yet discover something that could be sent back through the gate to help the people of Earth.
Sadly, the arrangement of the Miracles had been a slow and rocky process. The gates had already been open for some time when they launched, and so whereas most expeditions had already begun to settle when the gates closed, for the Miracle Fleet it was a shocking and desperate close call. A terrible silence filled the darkness as they pressed onwards.
As the fleet made their way to Easifa'Mal, the predicted garden world, the fleet faced an unprecedented disaster. The planet was surrounded by advanced machines of unknown design. The fleet attempted to transmit signals and communicate with the machines, but the only response was violence. Evasive manoeuvres were attempted and an exchange of fire, but sadly the Second Miracle was torn to pieces and the fleet scattered, desperately fleeing in every direction.
The remaining four miracles and the core of the fleet, desperate for some kind of shelter, headed deeper into the system - the massive hot gas giant, Easifa'Thani, could perhaps serve as a shield. Sadly, the length of the journey forced a desperate delaying action, and the Third Miracle was evacuated with only limited success as the captain ordered they hold the line.
As the First, Fourth and Fifth Miracles got closer, they received transmissions of an unknown source - another fleet of ships, alien in design! Supported by structures that formed a vast network of industrial sites, refineries, habitats, bridges and ports that surrounded the gas giant. Communication was a tense and desperate affair for several months - the alien fleet was larger and evidently more advanced than their own in many ways, and some kind of virus had severely damaged and corrupted the AI that the Miracle Fleet made use of and rendered much of their data and software erratic. In desperation many had turned to unorthodox or analogue memory aids, using anything they could to keep track of crucial data.
"We promise. We will not hurt you."
YAEPH'LA & THE PROMISE: In time the creatures revealed themselves to be Yaeph'La, an alien species who had fled their own home world's destruction in a fleet of generation ships. They explained the situation - that they had settled on Easifa'Mal and had some success terraforming it, but in their experimentation and eagerness they had awoken some kind of ancient orbit-wide, self-replicating automated weapons system. This vicious enemy - named the Yahsud Alnaar, the reaving fire - had destroyed their old colony and forced them to flee to their industrial and mining facilities on Easifa'Thani, expanding them with the help of the gas giant's indigenous silicon-based organisms into functioning long-term habitats.
If the humans would work with them - share their technology and their DNA - they could live with the Yaeph'La. They would work together to make this most inhospitable world their new home. In desperation, they agreed, and an uneasy peace was formed - in time and with understanding, generation after generation, coldness gave way to something resembling genuine kinship.
OTHER GROUPS OF THE PROMISE: As the decades rolled by, a number of religious and cultural differences among the colonists began to grate - most notably among the Children of Gaia, representatives from a 'lifestyle collective' back on Earth fascinated with genetic engineering as a way to survive the apocalypse. While some chose to remain among the other settlers on Easifa'Thani, the majority assembled their resources and returned to the gate, establishing a series of elaborate sealed habitats in its vicinity and awaiting its return. They were begrudgingly assisted in this endeavour by members of the Asimov Foundation, who had been studying the Yahsud Alnaar in a hopes of reconfiguring and controlling the swarm and had learnt some of its weaknesses.
As the years have gone by the immediate existential dread of the Yahsud Alnaar has been replaced with an uneasy wariness, and an understanding among most for the need to cooperate. Communications became easier and easier with the cloudkin. Although there have been moments of violence or disagreement, the countless tribes that have gradually formed and joined the Easifan Promise have worked together to create a new history and the possibilities of new futures. It is not entirely accurate or optimistic -- and their balancing of science to superstition may prove worrying to outsiders -- but it has kept them alive.
Alive, and not alone.
CULTURE & SOCIETY: The people of the Easifa system are remarked to be strong-willed and community driven, united by memories of disaster and the continuous effort to survive by any means. Their songs are at once themed around death, while maintaining hope. Their art -- murals and paintings, scrawled upon the walls of their ships and engines -- are abstract and symbolic, but often use dark and melancholic scenes highlighted by bright moments in high contrast. Their stories often deal with the nature of time and the overcoming of grief. All have elements of mathematics or technical skills baked into them on some level - a form of memory aid in the face of centuries worth of gradually lost knowledge.
Cooking meanwhile is viewed as a delicate but crucial past-time, the limited carbon-based biodiversity of the habitats forcing them to carefully synthesize new flavours with great difficulty. Legends speak of a time when 'spices' were abundant at the birthplaces of humanity and yaeph'la, but most write this off as impossible. Nevertheless, they serve as a strong motive for some more daring adventurers to attempt expeditions to Easifa'Mal or beyond its orbit to the lost ships of humanity, in order to acquire new species or recover some element of lost yaeph'la technology.
By contrast, alcohol or relaxant drug use are (besides being very rare and difficult to grow) forbidden under all but specific medical circumstances - there are no safe environments in which a person can 'slack off', as in the event of an emergency a person could be called upon and would need to be highly alert. Coffee is the notable exception to this, being highly prized by all human cultures in the Easifa system and ranging in scale from luxury to commonplace swill used as an intense caffeine fix.
GOVERNANCE & POLITICS:: Initially the colony ships were led in a clear chain of command, with decisions made by those with relevant information and skillsets as problems emerged. Individuals could voice criticisms anonymously, but these were merely used as information to consider, not a form of decision making themselves.
After the scattering of the fleet and the settlement on Easifa'Thani, however, the needs of survival have drastically shifted the structure of the various colonies. Long stretches of time residing on isolated ships or stations has led to sets of self-organizing tribal lineages speaking a range of dialects and creole languages. The Easifan tribes have no centralized authority - rather, the promise in its fullest sense is a series of treaties, a set of agreed upon rules and deals that are frequently reviewed at large gatherings on Easifa'Thani known as Headmeets. At its core, it is a point of mutual cooperation, aid, and defence against the dangers of the Yahsud Alnaar and the vacuum of space.
TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW: Three hundred years of disaster and struggle have not been kind to the descendants of the original colonists, and the various Easifan tribes are fortunate to have survived at all - even if much of their infrastructure is needing constant repair and patchwork effort, with limited new industry to fill the gap. Nevertheless, they make the most of what they can, and their willingness to work with aliens and to study their enemies has given them some new knowledge to work from:
The original technology they brought with them on the Five Miracles has been in a steady state of disrepair. One of the most important pieces were a set of prototype fabrication models they acquired from the Mensura group, but most have broken down by this point and recovering functioning pieces of the ones aboard the wreckage of the Second and Third Miracles have been a source of constant danger and difficulty. Notably, the nature of life in the Easifa system encourages a quickness to grasp new scientific concepts and creative use of what resources are available.
Hardlight, an unusual technology possessed by the Yaeph'La they reverse-engineered from the Yahsud Alnaar. Photons are condensed into a lattice temporarily, creating highly durable constructs that require a constant source of power, or elaborate but short-lived remote-controlled holograms that can fool visual or temperature sensors. It's also proven valuable as a way to pattern or prepare the ground work for more permanent construction, by projecting hardlight blueprints that you then build 'on top of'.
Genetic engineering and hydroponics are fields that the yaeph'La and gaians are both specialists in, though they hesitate to make it widely available. Rather, yaeph'la and gaian representatives can be found on many ships or stations and are prevalent.
Crucially, the Yaeph'la and Arjuani - and thus most of the Easifan tribes, though they vary in how much they actually respect it on an individual basis - are violently opposed to advanced AI. While they do use very limited AI and computers to assist with the necessary calculations and projections of life in space, the viral signal that the Yahsud Alnaar emits both significantly limits the consistency and advancement of their computer systems and has created a superstitious opposition to AI out of principle.
MILITARY OVERVIEW: The various Easifan tribes are varied in their militarism, with the Asmovund being the most warlike and consistently well equipped for conflict - even occasionally engaging in raids on other tribes. That said, the yaeph'la possess both the most consistently advanced technology and have the largest population by a significant margin, allowing them to muster up the largest and most impressive forces if needed.
Because of centuries spent in space and fragile indoor environments the Easifan tribes have limited skill in ground combat and few veterans of occasional raids to Easifa'Mal to pass on what little they will have learnt, and their infantry are primarily trained to fight with low-lethality or bladed weapons to limit the risk of damage or hull breach. However, they are adept pilots, and while the civilian nature of many of their ships limits the capacity or willingness to fight (as opposed to simply fleeing), they possess a number of powerful ranged weapons.
Government Form: Council of planetary representatives
Demographics: 100% human
Population: 3 Billion, split between 6 moon civilizations
Planet Name and Description:
The Concordant is a collection of moon colonies that have a loose diplomatic relationship with each other. The system named Hellas by its inhabitants, is home to 13 moons orbiting the brown dwarf Paphos. Of these 13 moons, only 5 are habitable and can host complex life.
Melos: The closest of the 13 moons of Paphos and most affected by its parent planet. Due to its proximity to Paphos Melos is tide locked and the side facing the brown dwarf is perpetually dark. However due to the decay heat of the brown dwarf and the thick atmosphere of the moon, the entire planet maintains a temperate climate. The native flora and fauna for both the day and night side of the planet have adapted to their environments. For example, the large forests on the night side of the planet have adapted themselves to be carnivorous, secreting a mildly acidic sap that traps and dissolves small insects
1.32 earth masses Gravity 0.7G ( based on 1G earth gravity)
Naxos: Has the most eccentric orbit around Paphos and is rumored to be a new addition to the group of moons and still stabilizing its orbit. Naxos is cold, sporting a thick ice crust that protects a massive subterreanean liquid ocean. The geological activity of the planet warms the subterranean ocean to habitable levels for life, As this water evaporates it rapidly freezes as it rises creating the self sustaining domes that protects its inhabitants. Life on the surface of Naxos is restricted to small purpose build camps, the majority of the colony live in massive underwater arcologies. The large subterranean ocean is home to a number of aquatic species some docile and some hyper-aggressive.
2.05 earth masses Gravity 1.5G
Nicosia: The most temperate of the 6 moon colonies and home to the planetary council, that tries to manage the diplomatic relationship between the colonies. This is the most earth like moon in orbit around Paphos with a similar day/night cycle to earth. The lack of an axial tilt results in the lack of seasons for the planet, but its proximity to the brown dwarf and the light from its parent star keeps the planet comfortable.
1.02 each masses 1.001G
Konosos: If the tenacity of the human species could be distilled into a singular planetary body, it would be Konosos. The planet is nearly a carbon copy of Venus in the Sol system of old. The moon sports a thick ammonia, Co2 and methane atmosphere that makes it toxic to human life. This is coupled with near constant tectonic activity and planet wide eruptions. Most wouldn’t call Konosos a true colony due to the compact nature of its habitation. Every man, woman and child lives in a singular massive closed city, resembling a multitude of arcology spires. Leaving this spire without respiratory and protective equipment is immediately fatal and even direct contact to unexposed skin can lead to sever irritation and injury. The people of Konosos love their city however and thrive in this inhospitable environment
1.0 Earth masses 1G
Argos: A lush green paradise on its surface, this moon sports a tropical climate with lush rainforest that dominates the entire planet. There is no visible ocean on the planet, however the planet’s surface is made up of a collection of interconnected subterranean tunnels, allowing water to run along the entirety of the planet. Any cave system potentialy gives you access to the entire planet. The planet is home to a vast number of native carnivorous species of animals and plants, all which fight for survival to thrive in the jungle. The moon sports a robust set of interconnecting rings that makes orbiting the moon hazardous, collisions of larger rocks and ice in the rigs are common, leading to common motor showers and rouge debris. Those who inhabit the planet look at their X-shaped ring system with pride.
1.3 Earth Masses 1.2G
This is the only moon that would be considered alien by the human colonists. Rather than the stark destructive power of Konosos or barreness of the other dead moons that orbit Paphos, Boitia is lush, sporting large plains of neon blue marsh. The moons orbit, is rather eccentric but studies show that this was one of the first moons to be captured by Paphos’s sphere of influence. The geology of the moon also sets this apart from its siblings, large amounts of heavy and exotic metals are abundant all over the surface which is different from the majority ice and silicate rock make up of the rest of the moons. Everything points to this moon not being native to this region, a possible rogue planet perhaps? Or part of the core from a failed planet? The flora and Fauna of this moon is also alien and completely different from the other moons native species. The atmosphere is acceptable for human lungs, providing the nitrogen and oxygen needed to carbon based complex life. Helium also makes up a relatively large proportion of the atmosphere and is used by the native species of the planet. Large manta ray like creatures, full of organically produced helium, slowly glide across the sky in herds decending on the overgrown marsh grasslands to feed. The large alien marshes also support the planetary ecosystem, acting as vast shallow oceans which dictates the water cycle for the planet and air filtration of CO2 to and oxygen, nitrogen, helium mixture.
1.3 Earth Masses 1.0G
History: When the first colony ships left the gateway they were horrified to find not the habitable planet that they were promised but a failed star, a brown dwarf. Careful system surveying is what came next as the colonist struggled to find a place to settle. Running low on fuel, food and morale, the colonist chose to split their fleet towards the few moons that seemed habitable. Not all of these expeditions were successful however, some surveys were incorrect, leading their colonist to certain death upon landing on their moons. Other never made it to a moon to colonize. The rigors of a long arduous journey became too much for the crew and the colony ship, many malfunctioned catastrophically. With sheer tenacity and a good bit of luck, 6 of the original 20 ships were able to make it to their destinations and successfully begin a colony.
Melos: three ships were sent towards Melos due to the high likelihood of it be habitable but only one ship made it to the moon. The first to perish suffered a reactor leak that killed the entire colony ship in a matter of hours. Lacking extreme radiation protection and without the capability to fix the leaking reactor, the ship was left to drift through space for eternity. It was last seen on a course leading out of Papho’s sphere of influence The second ship to perish, suffered a propulsion failure during its final orbital burn around Melos. Its reactor melted down under the stress and the ship lost power. The ship drifted into the gas giant, taking with it 750k souls and a full genetic bank. The last surviving ship completed it orbital burn and the colonists began the process of disassembling the ship in order to establish the first colony of Melos. Being the first, the new colonist of Melos learned a lot of their lessons the hard way, but there were able to establish the groundwork for the colonies that would come after as Melos communicated every new world building technique they came up with. Like all colony ships, a genetic bank of earth flora and fauna was maintained for the purpose of seeding the new world with stapled of human life. The plants and animals of earth quickly took to and began to thrive in this new environment as native and non-native species began to interact and interbreed. Despite the obvious challenges of living on a tidal locked moon, the colony of Melos was established peaceful and successfully.
Naxos: Naxos was not the moon these colonist expected to find. During deliberations on what moon to investigate, only one colony ship agreed to try and colonize Naxos. Much to the horror of the crew, they were greeted with the barren, icy, atmosphere less body of Naxos. Panic gripped the crew first as they realized this could be their deaths. Without the fuel or resources to pick another moon an investigative team was sent down to the surface to try and salvage anything they could. It was here they discovered hydro-vents, that extended deep into the crust of the planet that would shoot liquid water up into the vacuum until the vent froze over again. After further study a research base was established and a probed was bored through the icy crust to determine was was below. No one expected to be sitting above a giant habitable ocean. Tests were quickly run to determine the feasibility of colonizing under the crust of the planet before the first construction crews began breaking ground on the underwater colony of Naxos.
Nicosia: Nicosia was boring, both in its perfect suitability and the ease of colonization. 10 ships originally began traveling towards Nicosia before moving on to what they thought were better moons to colonize. Only one ship remained on course for the planet and quickly established a colony on the earth like moon. Native and non-native species interacted positively and quality of life was high from the very beginning on Nicosia. Allowing the colonists to build a grand city with a multitude of public works and community spaces. When the Gestalt Concordant was established, it would be the people of Nicosia who would create the buildings that govern the collection of colonies.
Konosos: The colonization of this planet was the result of a hardware malfunction, incorrectly labeling the planet as habitable. The toxic hellscape that greeted them was a far cry from anything habitable. Thick ammonia clouds and constant volcanic activity all but made exploration nearly impossible. It took three revolutions around Paphos before a small settlement was established in a relatively calm part of the moon. Progress was slow for the colony before larger geothermal power plants could be taken from the colony ship and installed on the surface of the moon. With almost limitless power at their disposal, the colony quickly grew and began to thrive in their new environment.
Argos: Was the most attractive moon after long range scans were conducted and signs of native life were confirmed. 2 colony ships originally set out on course for the moon, and were quickly joined by another 6 from the Nicosia expedition due to their proximity to eachother. Upon arriving at the moon, the colonists were relived and awe struck to see the perfectly habitable moon and its unusual ring system. Plans were immediately made to make landfall but the treacherousness of the ring system was yet to be known. High geological activity within the core gave the moon a stronger magnetic field than normal, and its proximity to the brown dwarf gave it a unique magnetic profile. Any ship conducting a polar orbit of the moon would run the risk of electronic malfunction or damage due to the strong magnetic field. An equatorial orbit would be needed in order to safely unload men and material to the moon. The first 2 ships to try and orbit the moon quickly fell victim to the unpredictable collision pattern of the rings during its orbit and suffered catastrophic damage. Failing reactors and propulsion resulted in both crashing on the moon. The next group of 4 ships risked a polar orbit but fell victim to the strong magnetic field one by one. It was at this moment that the colonists discovered a fatal flaw in their reactor pattern, leaving them prone to deadly leaks when under stress. Afflicted ships would jettison reactors and purposely crash their ships, leaving the moon a eerie ship graveyard. 10 years went by as colonization attempt after colonization attempt failed catastrophically, leaving one ship to make its last effort. Low on supplies, morale and at near mutinous levels of unrest. The ship made a drastic choice, it would land. This was drastic for a few reasons, the zero-G environment of space made the unloading of heavy machinery easy, on the planets surface these would measure in the thousands of tons. The colony ships also were not designed to land on planets. The designers intended for them to be disassembled in orbit. They retained the capability for landing within atmosphere but doing so would undoubtably put strain on the ship. With no other option, the crew successfully landed the ship without causing major damage or a deadly reactor leak. Their elation was short-lived once they discovered they had survived re-entry, only to find themselves in the middle of a murderous rainforest. Losses were high again, as they battled to build while being mercilessly set upon by the native beasts of the rainforest moon. Large multi armed beasts swarmed camps and devoured whole villages. Any outposts built by the naturally occurring watering holes, quickly found themselves set upon by amphibious creatures of similar appearance. They colonists would not know it yet, but they were the second species to call this moon home. The native apex predator of the moon, called the “Dru” by the colonists, had established itself as the top of the moon’s predatory ecosystem and had existed without any competitors for a few millennia. The species had evolved into a simple hive structure of society when the humans arrived, giving them a level of organization in their attacks. Calling them sentient or intelligent life would be incorrect however, maybe if given another few millennia to evolve some more. Like the other colonies, Argos would first survive, adapt, then begin to thrive as a martial culture evolved across the moon. Making Argos the only colony with a standing military.
Boitia: This was the last planet to be colonized, for obvious reasons. Its highly eccentric orbit makes travel time to and from the other moons almost 4 months at its furthest distance. Much like Nicosia though, colonization was rather boring, it was just the distance that turned most colony ships away. Only 1 ship agreed to undertake the journey, after nearly a week of deliberation. To the rest of the moons Boitia is a mystery wrapped in an enigma. The distance gives it a sense of otherness to the rest of the moons, and there are rumors of both sinister and magical things being made on its surface. The truth is much more mundane, the abundance of rare metals gives the moon a rare opportunity to create and research advanced electronics. This coupled with a unique, yet safe atmosphere and a largely peaceful native population of animals made this moon the oddest perfect planet. Quality of life was high from the beginning and a diplomatic culture spread amongst the population. Boitia now is a collection of interconnected super villages, maintaining a high quality of life without sacrifcing the natural beauty of the moon.
Culture and Society: Each moon has a distinct culture, yet some of their shared human earth culture remains
Boitia: Its people are diplomatic and accepting of foreigners. There is little crime and conflict on the moon except for civil land disputes and occasional youthful antics. Due to the high quality of life there is little to need to commits crimes for. The other moons consider Boitians to be odd, due to their carefree happiness. Some recognize this as envy, while others will call them psychopaths or lobotomized
Argos: Argans are hard people from birth, there is little room for anything weak on Argos. You either survive by being smart, tough or both. Life in Argos is spent almost exclusively within large grids standardized cities that can extend for hundreds of miles. Any water source on the planet will be heavily guarded due to the interconnected nature of the planets waterways. Argans are military thinkers, strategist and ultimately fighters. Their entire civilization is geared towards defending and defeating the Dru. That does not mean the entire population is actively in the military however, most carry out support and administration roles in civilian life while maintaining a sense of reserve readiness. Those in active duty carry out almost exclusively combat roles, relentless bringing the fight to the savage Dru. Most if not everyone will have a history either in the reserves or active military of the moon.
Konosos: Konos are proud yet careful people who value a subtle life. Constantly inside large arcologies due to the conditions, they are very private people. This gives them the appearance of being cold and sneaky to the inhabitants of the other moons.
Nicosia: Nicosia are similar to Boitans as quality of life is high and crime is low on the moon. This is where the similarities stop however, Nicosians are known for being cutthroat politicians to the point of sabotage and assassination. They feel like they are competing not just for their own local politics but the entire concordant as well. Most are brash and opportunistic to a fault.
Naxos: The Xos, as they like to call themselves are rarely seen outside of their underwater cities. They are so rarely seen, their mere existence is often joked about by the other moons as mythical. With that being said, the Xos that do travel abroad often have an ethereal air about them. Either through, careful public relations or genetics, the people of this moon are rumored to be the most beautiful despite the indoor life they live. More oddly so, all Xos born to the moon have an odd affinity to the underwater sea the inhabit. The connection is still largely unknown yet being extensively studied but instances of non-verbal communication have been documented with some other native species of the subterranean ocean. Life within Naxos is largely carefree and quiet, they are often forgot about by the other moons other than the aquatic delicacies they trade. Most are wealthy and live luxuriously.
Melos: Quality of life is split between the dark and light side of the moon. Large super cities are where most of the Melites live on the night side, crime is common within the lower districts and social / economic stratification is obvious. On the light side, the Melites are proud to be first colony and hold themselves in high regard. There are similar to Nicosians in the fact that they are politically minded. However, they are cooperative and kind unlike the cutthroat Nicosians.
Governance and Politics: Each moon has a representative republic system in some sense. Where districts choose a representative to speak for them in the moons governance. The moons also have a collective, but weaker, government that debates issues for all of the moon colonies. These representatives are chosen amongst past governors and are treated more like diplomatic missions.
There is nothing too remarkable about the technology in the concordant. Some colonies are specialized in survival technology, like Naxos and Konosos. It is common to find advanced water and oxygen recycling technologies in these colonies as research is always ongoing. The small exception to this would be the colony of Boitia. Due to the large amount of heavy and rare metals on the moon, the colony has become a research and development hub for all of the moons. They produce the majority of the electronic components for inter-moon trading and have produced advanced weapons and armor for the Argan military.
Military Overview: The only colony with a standing military is Argos, specifically designed to combat the Dru. Due to this, the Argan military has developed a particularly unique fighting style as a result. The Dru, being mostly melee based, commonly try to close the distance with the colonists to take advantage of their natural strength and armor. Armor and melee weapons are common, along with bucklers with some specialized units. Argos is also a hub for military thought, as strategies can be easily tested against the Dru.