Here's my completed NS, finally. Once I get the go-ahead to move it to the Characters tab I'll add a section for notable ships, characters, and whatnot that I'll add to as they appear.Urdji-Gelderruhê Nanlîkrin Eşîrsaya
Zev Sêyik Mez-Jemivan
Urdji-Human Confederated Tribes
The Third Great Fleet
The population of the Confederacy is estimated to be around 2.8 Billion. No actual data exists regarding species demographics, but the Urdji are clearly the majority population. Humans are estimated to make up anywhere from 30 to 40 percent of the total population based upon tribal contributions to the Mez-Jemivan. The Frekin people are a small minority in the Confederacy, and their tendency to living among Human tribes makes it hard to determine their actual number.
The refinery spires of Liveship Qurtel.Zev Nanlîk ûo Zev Eşîrsaya
The Confederacy and the Tribes
The Nanlîk, or Confederacy, is a loose collection of individual tribes which are as varied as they are numerous. Each and every tribe has its own fleet, and often (especially when it comes to human tribes) its own Liveship - a self-sustaining spacecraft capable of housing thousands or millions of permanent residents. The Nanlîk was established over two-hundred years ago, after the short Komellşer (ENG Rough: Unity Conflict). Prior to it's founding the Urdji tribes were united loosely under the rule of a high admiral, or Bilnd-Sûmangişt. The tribes still fought amongst each other, but the Bilnd-Sûmangişt commanded them in times of danger. The title of Bilnd-Sûmangişt still exists, and is currently held by Tadokoro Kagetaka of the Human Gekokujo tribe, but now acts as the Head-of-State of the Confederacy and Commander-in-Chief of the Ranger Corps and the small military operated by the Nanlîki Peshnia itself.
In the current state of the Nanlîk, the Nanlîki Peshnia (ENG: Confederate Council) acts primarily as a mere framework for inter-tribal diplomacy and cooperation. Each tribe sends representatives to the Council, the selection process and number of which are chosen by the tribe itself. Every tribal delegation to the Council is given a proportion of the vote based upon their measured contribution to the Confederacy and Great Fleet. Some tribes split their allotted votes between members of their delegation and allow them to vote separately, while others demand that their delegation reach a full consensus and vote in unison. Furthermore, each tribal fleet has it's own government which may be arranged in whatever way the fleet wishes.
The Nanlîki Peshnia does not have any significant legislative powers over individual tribal fleets. It may at times hold discussions regarding tribal legislative matters, but there is no legal precedent for the enforcement of the outcomes of those discussions. Most of the time they are merely a chance for the voices of the Confederacy to be heard. Despite this, the tribes tend to have very similar internal laws for a few reasons. One, cultural unity is heavily valued by the Confederacy. Two, when a contentious debate ends with the vast majority of the tribes on one side the remaining tribes will tend to fold after a month or two of saber-rattling and military grandstanding. Three, there are no laws against swordfighting on the council floor and delegations often make use of that fact.
Of what powers it does have, however, the choice of fleet movement is easily paramount. The Council alone has the right to choose which star system the Confederacy will make its home in. Given the immense hardships demanded by interstellar transit the choice to move to a new system is unsurprisingly rare, but when it is made all the tribes will inevitably go along with it. To refuse to follow the Great Fleet is to commit treason, and the other tribes can be counted on to take advantage of your tribe's newfound status as outcasts. No matter how cold relations between tribes may get, the unity of the Great Fleet remains paramount.
In recent years the Confederate Council has been steadily gaining power and influence over the tribes, in a clear bid to centralize the Great Fleet against potential outside threats. Since the end of the Komellşer the tribes have remained in a state of rather close cooperation, and major incidents between them are exceedingly rare. However, it remains to be seen if the Confederacy will succeed in centralization or if it will continue to be little more than a loose collection of tribes.
Two hunters pose with their kill in the Kêberghi Desert on Huāngxīng.Gelarri jiv Nanlîk
Peoples of the Confederacy
The Confederacy is extremely culturally diverse, having adopted a common tongue only a generation ago. It would be impossible to exhaustively document the myriad languages, cultures, religions, and races of the Confederacy in anything less than a multiple-volume encyclopedia. Its multispecies nature, however, does make it easy to broadly categorize the tribes of the Confederacy by the origin species of their particular culture. Urdji tribes, after all, are informed by an entirely different history and biology than Human tribes. There are three species which comprise the Confederacy (discounting, of course, artificial intelligences of all categories).
The Urdji are the most populous species within the Confederacy, solidly outnumbering their Human counterparts. They are visually nearly identical to Humans despite lacking any (as yet discovered) genetic similarities, and in some cases are only distinguishable by their diminutive stature. Urdji, in their natural state, have a pair of large, feathered wings large and powerful enough to propel them through the skies of Huāngxīng (and, given a similarly dense atmosphere, worlds with up to a 30% heavier gravitational pull). Contrary to popular human belief Urdji feathers are highly dissimilar to those found among Human-related avian creatures such as poultry and their infamous birds of prey. Urdji feathers are composed primarily of semi-crystalline cylindriform silk, and their hair is comprised of a similar silk-like material. Traditionally, the armor of an Urdji Ranger is woven from their own hair and feathers. Urdji skin tones are extremely limited compared to those of Humanity, and Urdji are found on a spectrum only from bronze to dark brown.
Many Urdji tribes practice the ritual of wing-cutting, a deliberate mutilation of an individual (generally at their coming-of-age) wherein their wings are surgically removed. As a nomadic people the origins of this custom are rather obvious, since many Urdji vessels simply do not have room for the wings of an adult. This practice, of course, has the side effect of making the long, pointed ears and short stature of the Urdji into their only noticeable differences from Humans. Some tribes - generally those of greater than average wealth - have ceased this ritual, as of course have those Urdji which have chosen to settle on Huāngxīng, but it remains a very common practice.
Urdji biology differs far more from Humanity than does their appearance. As most know their bones are hollow, but their bones are also formed primarily of keratin rather than collagen, and do not contain marrow. The functions that bone marrow performs in Human biology is instead handled by an organ nestled in the chest cavity directly beneath the heart known as the hei-val - survival rates of chest injuries among Urdji are roughly half that of those in Humans.
Culturally the Urdji are somewhat more homogenous than Humanity, owing to their longer spacefaring history. However, their generally more communal and intimate nature may also play a part. Urdji languages all share similar grammar and are generally full of cognates and loan-words. As a result the common language of the Confederacy draws almost exclusively from Urdji roots - roots which are thankfully not terribly foreign to Human pronunciation abilities.
The Gelderruhê, or Humans, are a much more culturally diverse species than the Urdji. Upon their traversal of the Gateway and arrival in Haven, they were already split between countless different tribes of vastly differing cultures. Unlike the Urdji ones, Human languages often have next to nothing in common with each other and the few cognates that do exist tend to be universally shared across all of them - a result of the period of globalization that preceded the mass extinction which forced them from their homeworld. In a stark comparison to the Urdji, the Humans have (bizarrely) waged a number of wars in their past for entirely cultural reasons.
Some universal similarities do exist between the Human cultures, however. It is a well-trodden stereotype that Humans are fiercely independent and notoriously rowdy, and that stereotype is not at all unfounded. With a few notable exceptions the Human tribes are prone to rather colorful disagreements both internal and external. Humans are also wildly overrepresented in Confederate crime statistics, accounting for a whopping 84% of perpetrators of criminal acts. In some Human tribes piracy is considered to be an entirely legitimate occupation, and even most Human mythical figures (the heroes of their "tall tales") are described as having been infamous pirates.
Although some more xenophobic Urdji would disagree, these characteristics and predispositions are not in fact genetic or otherwise evidence of mankind's "inferiority". It is widely thought by Urdji and Human historians alike that the Human tribes of today are the descendants of outcasts and exiles, and that they violently usurped the Gateway from whatever Human group was originally meant to traverse it. Human oral histories tend to state the same, although there is not a single instance where said oral histories ever express any remorse for whoever it was that they stole the Gateway from.
Though not as culturally influential as the Urdji, Humanity holds great sway over the overall society of the Confederacy. The current Bilnd-Sûmangişt, the Confederacy's Head-of-State, is Human and the Ranger Corps is majority Human as well. Human tribes tend to contribute more to the Confederate Council per capita than Urdji tribes, and Human tribes operate the majority of the mining facilities throughout the Haven system. Despite their "quirks" (a rather generous descriptor, for certain) Humans are respected and integral members of the Confederacy.
The Frekin are descendants to the D'jim, the mortal enemies of the Urdji for thousands upon thousands of years. During the Komellşer between the Urdji-Human Alliance and the D'jim, uprisings amongst the D'jim ranks led to the formation of new D'jim tribes aligned with the Alliance. These tribes would come to take the name of Frekin, a Human-derived term with unclear origins. The name is generally thought to either be a reference to ancient Human mythology, describing a divine beast with some similarities to the Frekin in appearance, or a term meaning roughly "Liberated peoples". Some linguists consider the latter origin to be an interpretation applied after the fact, with the word itself having no actual relation to the Human languages in which it could take such a connotation.
Biologically, the Frekin are close cousins of the Urdji. The two species are capable of producing offspring which, although not fertile, are perfectly viable and suffer little in the way of health defects. Visually, the Frekin are immediately distinguishable by way of their extremely pale skin, lack of natural wings, and large, haired ears situated on the top of their heads rather than on the side. Inconclusive evidence of genetic modification can be found in the Frekin genome, and it is theorized that their lack of wings in particular may have been an intentional change. Their ears, though very sensitive to sound, are absurdly impractical in terms of their mechanical connection to the brain - to the point that injuries to the ear canal carry with them very real danger of brain damage.
D'jim society prior to and during the Komellşer was - bizarrely - somewhat eusocial, despite the D'jim/Frekin species lacking any biological disposition towards eusociality. Though it obviously did not match the formal definition of such a society, as all D'jim were entirely capable of breeding and they lacked the pseudo-matriarchal structure commonly associated with eusociality, there is simply no better way to describe it. The uprisings during the Komellşer which led to the creation of the Frekin culture were generally a rebellion of the worker castes against the breeding caste, usually brought about by the introduction of complex language to said worker castes. Following these uprisings the eusocial structure of D'jim society was replaced with either anarchy or the rule of a strongman - further solidifying the notion that the D'jim are not naturally predisposed to eusociality.
These D'jim rebels came to work closely with the Urdji and Humans, and the first D'jim tribal fleet to rebel (the L1 Fleet) became a valuable ally against the D'jim in the Komellşer. An entirely new language was birthed by this cooperation, as D'jim worker castes were asonant. This language was a mixture of (primarily) the rudimentary D'jim upper caste language and a number of Human languages such as English, Chinese, and Korean - it was in this language that they first earned the name "Frekin". After the Komellşer had come to a close the new Frekin people were in a precarious state, as many among the Urdji still saw them as nothing more than remnants of the D'jim that ought to be wiped out. The Frekin, as a result, found themselves forming close ties with Human tribes and today are most often found living amongst the Humans.
Lacking an extensive cultural background, the Frekin for the most part have integrated with the cultures of the tribes in which they reside. Most Frekin will have either Human names or be named "pragmatically" (more often than not meaning names that translate as "Second Boy", "Short Kid", etc.) in their shared language. The Frekin language itself is not nearly as popular as it was just after the Komellşer, having been largely replaced by the Confederate Common Language and Human tribal tongues, but it is still used every so often by merchants and trans-tribal Frekin organizations. The Humans tend to consider themselves and the Frekin close and sometimes refer to the Frekin as "domesticated" - a term that, though it carries somewhat problematic connotations, is applied by them in a very respectful and friendly manner. To Humans the Frekin are "like talking dogs".
A Ranger task force engages D'jim warships, ~170 years before the Komellşer.Drîko'jer Urdji
History of the Urdji
The Urdji people have been nomads for all of recorded history. Only a few, rare artifacts from the prehistory of their kind offer any evidence that they were once planetbound. Those artifacts have never painted a pretty picture. Black and white photographs preserved over thousands of years in hard vacuum show flak bursting in the sky of a long-forgotten world and bombs falling down from orbit. For all of recorded history the Urdji have been locked in conflict with what is assumed to be the same enemy their distant ancestors fought on their homeworld - the D'jim.
Given how fragmented Urdji records are, and how much their historians have traditionally relied on stories and myth, none can firmly say how long the Urdji and their D'jim adversaries have been traversing the stars. Taking into account the fact that most of the spacefaring history of both peoples took place at relativistic speeds it is impossible to say just how long ago they first came into contact. Fringe theorists suggest that they may well be among the oldest intelligent species in the galaxy owing to time dilation.
Regardless of the uncertainty of their civilization's age, the events surrounding the creation of the First and Second Mez-Jemivan have been well-preserved through oral tradition. The First Mez-Jemivan is known to have been founded in the most ancient of times, coinciding with the Urdji discovery of antimatter propulsion. Relativistic travel enabled the Urdji tribes to band together for the first time since their expulsion from their homeworld, and the First Mez-Jemivan remained unified until the Battle of Xwînboya where the Bilnd-Sûmangişt Leşkgemmar fell in battle against the D'jim during an attempt to steal valuable water from a D'jim colony world. The Urdji scattered once again after this defeat, but the Leşkgemmar tribe was created (or possibly renamed - no firm records exist of it's founding) in his honor.
The Second Mez-Jemivan was formed millennia later when the Urdji tribes began to face increasing hostilities from D'jim nomad fleets. As a response to the reappearance of their mortal foes the tribes were once again bound together and travelled as one fleet. The D'jim nomads only ever engaged the Second Mez-Jemivan in a few pitched battles, and preferred instead to raid and harass the Urdji tribes. This state of on-and-off conflict lasted for multiple more millennia... until the Komellşer began and the current, Third Mez-Jemivan was formed.
Lincoln tribe battlecruisers Emperor Norton and Eminent Domain engage Mugunghwa tribe raiders during the Human Middle Age.Drîko'jer Gelderruhê
History of Humanity
The Humans, or Gelderruhê as they are known in the Urdji language, were not at first unified. When their tribal fleets came through the Gate into the Haven system, and arrived at their "promised land" that was the planet of Huāngxīng to find a desolate world shrouded in ash, they promptly flew off in different directions to lay claim to nearby resource-rich asteroids. Little is known of the pre-exodus history of the Human tribes, besides the fact that most were already nomads in their home system, but it is clear that their traversal through the Gate was the result of nothing more than an alliance of necessity. The oral histories of Human tribes imply that they were supposed to be left behind to die with their homeworld, and had to force their way through the Gate.
Humanity spent a century hopping from one rock to the next, and shoving railguns down the throats of any other humans that also happened to want that next rock. This time, known as the Middle Age, was one of great feuds between tribes. Some rivalries carried over from the other side of the Gate while others fizzled out, replaced by more practical hatreds. Famously the Gekokujo and Qiushi tribes were allied throughout the Middle Age despite their constant conflicts on the other side of the gate. Meanwhile, the Mugunghwa tribe formed from two other warring tribes out of necessity when the Lincoln tribe forcibly migrated into their respective territories.
The century of conflict that was the Middle Age ended with the Aldrin Encounter. A Lincoln tribe survey ship, the Aldrin, detected anomalous infrared readings in deep space while searching for geological activity on a moon of one of the system's gas giants. It re-oriented itself to give its sensors a better view of the anomaly, and that afternoon the crew of the Aldrin had their conclusion. The anomaly was a collection of immense drive plumes, presumed to be from either fusion or antimatter drives, from a fleet of starships. And their destination was obvious - they were slowing down to enter the Haven system.
The tribal fleets of humanity convened above Huāngxīng, the planet they had once hoped to call home, to discuss this new threat. Data gathered by the Aldrin and other vessels made it clear that the alien fleet was both far larger than all the human tribes combined and decelerating from relativistic speeds. In fear of this overwhelmingly powerful and technologically superior alien force the tribes declared an end to their feuds and banded into a united front to protect themselves.
Some tribes initially refused to put aside their differences, but they too would relent. Because a year after the meeting above Huāngxīng, the drive plumes of the approaching fleet began to burn more than twice as bright. A second wave, larger than the first, was incoming.
Urdji Rangers of the Qurtel tribe assault a D'jim outpost on the surface of Huāngxīng, supported by human aircraft.Drîko jiv Nanlîk
History of the Confederacy
First contact between the Human and Urdji peoples occurred in the Oort Cloud of the Haven system. An Urdji ranger frigate, the Balû-Jer, approached a human task force led by the battleship Zheng He. The Balû-Jer transmitted a number of basic mathematical equations, as well as some complex and esoteric formulae. In response the Zheng He responded with a similar sequence of basic equations, a burst of lincos greetings, and an encoding of the pulsar map for Sol. The human task force was thrown into a short panic when a massive fluctuation in energy readings came from the Balû-Jer, and a warning shot was almost fired before it was realized that the Balû-Jer had actually just deactivated its defense systems.
An audible radio transmission from the Balû-Jer was sent to the rest of the Urdji Mez-Jemivan and also picked up by the human task force. Early translation efforts would later reveal that the content of the message was:
"Balû-Jer to command. I can't believe I'm saying this, but they didn't open fire. We're receiving some attempts at mathematical communication... some sort of a symbol or talisman... I'll be damned, I think that's a starmap. Surviving this suicide mission means we're exempt from all future straw drawings, right? I won't let you go back on your word. Balû-Jer out."
In the following months more Urdji ships arrived in the system, and more human ships were deployed to meet them. Both fleets more or less kept their distance, but as the Urdji ships continued to slow down into stellar orbit the midway point between the fleets moved further and further into the inner system. Tensions were high throughout the contact process, with Urdji and human ships regularly facing off in silence near areas the humans considered to be more sensitive, but hostilities thankfully never broke out. After half a year of extensive work on behalf of Urdji and human scientists and linguists the two species finally pieced together a basic model of each other's languages. The clunky, math-based Lincos had proven useful, however, and continued to be used for more complex conversation.
Of course, that which the Urdji said to the humans did not at all help alleviate the latter's fears of war. The humans finally learned that the second set of drive plumes - now less than a year away from Haven - were not Urdji. They were D'jim. The Urdji Mez-Jemivan had diverted course to Haven after their own survey vessels had detected the immense anomaly that was the Gateway, and with the velocity lost in their course correction the bulk of the D'jim nomad fleet had been given a chance to engage the Mez-Jemivan in a pitched battle. They had chosen to take the opportunity, and the Urdji ensured humanity that the D'jim would not differentiate between the two peoples.
Though somewhat skeptical of the Urdji, unwilling to fully trust the word of a people regarding their mortal enemy for all of history, humanity figured that they had little choice but to help the Urdji. Although the D'jim may not turn out to be the feral, inhuman monsters the Urdji claimed nobody had any reason to assume that they wouldn't either. The Urdji were also more than willing to share their advanced technology (and their abundant foodstuffs) with humanity, and treated them as an equal ally. Why would they expect the D'jim to do the same?
The next six months were a mad dash by both the Urdji and humans to prepare for war. Human civilian vessels were fitted with as much weaponry as they could hold, hastily-designed frigates were rushed into production, and existing human warships were upfitted with Urdji technology where applicable. In particular, Urdji shield technology was a great boon to human warships which had previously universally relied on CIWS defenses against incoming fire.
With the arrival of the first elements of the D'jim fleet, the Komellşer - the Unification War - began. D'jim warships effortlessly swept aside a human task force sent to oppose them, and in the months that followed the D'jim fleet scored victory after victory against the humans and Urdji. Eventually the war settled into a collection of battles of attrition in Haven's asteroid belt, and later fronts opened up on the inhospitable surface of Huāngxīng as the civilians of some Urdji and human tribes fled planetside in the hopes of escaping the frontline meatgrinder.
The guerilla skirmishes on Huāngxīng were the first clear insights the tribes ever got into just who and what the D'jim really were. To the surprise of the Urdji and Humans, the D'jim were found to be furless humanoids which bore a striking resemblance to both species. More shocking, however, was the fact that they did not appear to have a complex language. Attempts to communicate with captured D'jim soldiers rarely bore fruit, and they also proved unable to grasp complex mathematics. With the war in a bloody stalemate, investigations into D'jim biology and society (or, by some hypotheses, lack thereof) were granted significant support. Through a number of audacious operations, including boarding and capturing a D'jim liveship, a working model of their social structure was put together. And it didn't make much sense at all.
The D'jim displayed strong eusocial tendencies, having clearly-defined castes and a separate breeding caste. At the same time, however, there did not appear to be any genetic predisposition to this - the lower castes were not sterile, and at times seemed to be rewarded with the right of mating with a member of the breeding caste. A sophisticated language was identified among certain castes as well, and physiological and mental studies did not reveal any actual differences between members of the castes. Captured D'jim who had not been terminated were isolated according to caste with scientific personnel, and attempts were made to translate their existing language and develop a language to communicate with the lower castes.
There was no doubt that this could be beneficial to the war effort, but to the Urdji it had turned out to be a priority in and of itself. Genetic sequencing of the D'jim had revealed a disturbing truth - they shared a great number of genetic markers with the Urdji, and the two species could even interbreed (although they would be unable to produce fertile offspring). The two species were obviously related, and almost certainly evolved on the same planet. It was even theorized that they had only become two distinct species after leaving their shared homeworld.
The bloody stalemate continued for multiple years before finally being broken by an offensive operation by the Humans and Urdji to wrest full control of Huāngxīng's gravity well. A number of Human tribes abandoned their holdings in the belt to put the full force of their fleets behind the operation - which ultimately resulted in the capture of Huāngxīng's moon, control of Huāngxīng's orbital space, and the negotiated surrender of a large D'jim fleet moored at the strategically vital L1 point. The loss of the D'jim's ability to contest Huāngxīng's gravity well was one thing, but the surrender of a D'jim force vastly outweighed all other consequences of the campaign.
The surrender did more than just prove that the D'jim were capable of conceiving of defeat without death. It had been negotiated by a small number of lower-caste D'jim soldiers which had killed and eaten all but one of the fleet's breeding caste leaders, and forced the survivor to send a message to a nearby Ranger fleet at gunpoint. Said message didn't include any actual indication of surrender (and indeed translated to little more than slurs interspersed with whimpers, screams, and beatings) but the Rangers got the idea. An awkward dialogue was opened with the barely-vocal leader of the fleet's "revolution", whom perhaps unsurprisingly happened to have been previously abducted and experimented on by human neuroscientists, and a very basic surrender was negotiated.
With the surrender of the L1 Fleet, the Urdji and Humans were able to perform socialization experiments on D'jim who were significantly less likely to try to kill them. Indeed, the D'jim of the L1 Fleet were quite docile following the consumption of their upper-caste rulers. Progress was made in teaching lower-caste D'jim language, and in time the L1 D'jim had formed some semblance of a society. D'jim volunteers from L1 even started to step up for service on Urdji and Human ships, and some even tried to repeat the L1 uprising by infiltrating enemy liveships.
Urdji and Human theories regarding the D'jim were challenged again and again by the L1 fleet D'jim and the uprisings they went on to inspire. It was made clear that there was absolutely no concrete dividing line between the castes, and that the entire D'jim social system was merely a cultural construction. It was entirely possible to "tame" D'jim separated from their ruling caste, and indeed effective communication was only possible with such individuals. This did mesh with studies done earlier with the war - lower caste individuals isolated from upper castes hadn't experienced any ill effects, and sometimes were observed to develop their own social structures in absence of predefined rulers.
In the last years of the war the D'jim armada collapsed under the weight of allied offensives and internal strife. Scattered engagements with D'jim holdouts did not end until years after demobilization began, but the war is considered by historians to have been effectively over well before then - by which time it is estimated that ~90% of the D'jim population had been exterminated.
The few D'jim that had not died in the war found themselves facing an uncertain future. At the time it seemed possible that the Urdji and Humans would turn on each other, and the surviving D'jim were stuck somewhere in-between the two civilizations while themselves lacking a defined culture or hierarchy. They were seen as outsiders by both Urdji and Humanity, and the idea of simply "finishing what was started" and killing them off was acceptable to bring up in polite conversation. While some D'jim advocated uniting into a single fleet, strong enough to stand up to any one Urdji or Human tribe, most ships chose to offer their services to the more tolerant tribes - most of which were Human. Soon enough D'jim were serving on Human ships, bowing to Human chieftains, and giving their children Human names. It was there that they forged their new identity as the "Frekin" (a name of unknown origin, but presumed to have been taken from ancient Human mythology).
Thankfully, the fears of Urdji-Human conflict fizzled out with the last D'jim holdouts. "Third Mez-Jemivan", once a colloquial term, was now being used in a more formal capacity to describe the new order of things. Huāngxīng's battered surface had become a melting pot of sorts of the different cultures, and many Human tribes were now following the words of the Bilnd-Sûmangişt while Urdji tribes learned from the wisdom of long-dead Human admirals. Settlement efforts on Huāngxīng kept both peoples within the Haven system, and soon efforts were being made by the tribes to make the irradiated ruin of a planet more hospitable. Those efforts bore promising fruits and before long the idea of unification came to the forefront of interspecies discourse.
Just over 200 Human-Years ago, the Urdji and Human tribes formally unified into the Urdji-Gelderruhê Nanlîkrin Eşîrsaya - the Confederacy. Since then the two peoples have very much nearly become one. A new, common language is used throughout the Confederacy and most have become almost blind to one's species. Every generation the distinction between Human and Urdji tribes wanes yet further, and in modern times even interspecies marriages are widely accepted. It remains to be seen if the traditionally nomadic tribes that comprise the Confederacy will forever remain settled in the Haven system, or if they will eventually leave it in search of greener pastures, but what is certain is that they will remain one, unified nation.
A joint military expedition surveys overgrown ruins on Huāngxīng left behind by the long-dead natives.Huāngxīng - Zev Sokkestî
Huāngxīng - The Broken Promise
Huāngxīng is a word of many names - every Human tribe has it's own word for the desolate planet. It's common name comes from the Qiushi tribe, and was adopted by the Urdji tribes after first contact. It is believed that prior to the Human exodus the planet had only been observed from afar, and the immense physical distance between the Haven system and Sol made it impossible to ascertain the current state of the world. When the Human tribes transited the gateway, they found a charred and radioactive wasteland. In the century it took for the light of Haven to reach Sol, Huāngxīng had given rise to a technological civilization - and that civilization had promptly ended itself in nuclear flame. Had the gateway been opened mere years prior, the Human tribes would have arrived to find a thriving civilization on the cusp of interplanetary travel.
There was not a single survivor of the nuclear holocaust. Only three bodies were recovered and preserved - all found on the surface of Huāngxīng's first moon, helmets removed and vacuum suits half-removed, alien words haphazardly carved into the rock beneath the regolith. They had chosen to mummify their bodies in the vacuum of space, probably in the hopes that some more advanced race would arrive and be capable of resurrecting or cloning them. Unfortunately, all the Humans could do was freeze the bodies more properly and put them on display, an eternal reminder that mankind had very nearly suffered the same fate.
Prior to the Komellşer Huāngxīng was largely ignored by humanity, with settlements only lasting a few years at most before being abandoned. Most expeditions to the planet's surface were only intended to scavenge through the ruins, or study the dying, irradiated biosphere. Artwork and trinkets from Huāngxīng were a sought-after luxury in the Human Middle Age. With the onset of the Komellşer came a great increase in activities planetside, as Urdji and Human tribes tried to escape the war by making landfall and the D'jim invested heavily into water gathering operations (Haven's sole gas giant being under Urdji-Human control, the D'jim had to use ice and water to produce fusion fuel). By war's end the planet had become sparsely populated by war refugees and semi-permanent military emplacements, and both Urdji and Human tribes began taking steps to repair the planet's devastated biosphere.
After two centuries of work, Huāngxīng has become somewhat habitable. Large swaths of the planet, primarily less valuable areas like deserts and tundra, remain irradiated and lifeless. The temperate and tropical zones, however, are now home to thriving communities. The former population centers of the long-dead natives are still considered unsafe for habitation, but expeditions into them are undertaken on a regular basis for archeological and scientific purposes, as well as simple scavenging. With only two exceptions (the port cities of Anchorage and Kani) communities on the surface are small, rural settlements which rarely exceed a thousand inhabitants. The previous civilization's roads are still in use, having been patched up by settlers. Despite these roads, however, the famous Terran Horse is a favorite transportation method.
Though Huāngxīng itself is rather isolated from the population centers of the belt, it's orbital space is a cornerstone of the Confederate economy. It's moon, Vulcan, is home to the Haven system's largest shipbuilding, arms, and machinery guilds. The stations of electronic, chemical, and biological concerns dot Huāngxīng's orbit, exploiting both the zero-g environment and Huāngxīng's own unique resources. Though the planet is far from the center of the Confederacy, more guilds move from the belt to Huāngxīng every year to exploit lower shipping expenses and better access to the cutting-edge of their respective industries. It is not hard to imagine the planet one day becoming the crown jewel of the Confederacy.
An ill-maintained atmospheric radiation scrubber wall on Huāngxīng being inspected by a repair crew.Haeşik jiv Nanlîk
Technology of the Confederacy
Cooperation between the Urdji and Human peoples has brought about a diverse array of technologies and scientific advancements previously unknown to both species. The Urdji, in their millenia of travel, have refined and perfected the sciences which kept the nomad fleet breathing, fed, and safe. So often faced with resource shortages, harsh conditions, and strict time constraints Urdji engineers have a long tradition of malleable, outside-the-box thinking and willingness to take immense risks for the sake of survival. The result is a vibrant (if somewhat mad) scientific community with no shortage of risk-takers and daredevils.
The Humans, by contrast, contribute much less in the way of the practical sciences. The Urdji had thousands of years to perfect their engineering - the Humans arrived a few centuries ago in stolen ships. What the Human sciences do provide, however, is a great wealth of physical, mathematic, and theoretical knowledge. It was their extensive understanding of quantum physics that allowed the creation of the Haven system's real-time communications network. Modern quantum computers and AI systems also draw heavily from Human physical knowledge.The Confederacy is not especially advanced in the field of genetic engineering. You cannot order a designer child, or create a new species from scratch in a test tube. Any genetically modified organism is the result of years of trial and error experimentation, and as a result genetic modification of sentients is quite rare, expensive, and limited in scope. It is possible to, for example, modify oneself with a mutation to increase stamina, bone density, or muscle mass, but it is not possible for an Urdji child to be engineered to be born without wings. As most existing augmentations were developed from genetic disorders already present in the population, there are also a number of potential drawbacks. Still, Rangers undergo relatively extensive modification, and life-extension treatment through gene therapy is commonplace.
Most major fruits of Confederate biotech are the result of good old, hands-on genetic engineering - the selective breeding over countless generations to produce the perfect specimen. The Urdji, throughout their travels, have forcibly bred a number of species into existence to serve their needs and solve their problems. The staple crops of the Urdji are all believed to be the result of extensive genetic manipulation and breeding.
On the planet of Huāngxīng genetic modification is an incredibly important part of daily life. The overwhelming majority of the planet's flora and fauna have been heavily modified, either in an effort to make them better suit colonization or restore mutated populations to an approximation of their original form. Species imported to the planet have also undergone modification so as not to threaten the native ecosystem (or what remains of it). Most of the sentient population, too, still carries genes implanted into first-generation colonists to protect them from the planet's harsh environment.
Though genetic modification technogy is both fairly advanced and commonplace, it should be noted that it is far from a prestigious, high-tech industry. Only the wealthiest of liveship dwellers purchase their augmentations in gilded stores - most of those who carry genetic modifications either purchased them from local gene-artisans or just did it themselves (to varying degrees of success). There is little activity on the industry's cutting edge, with the majority of augmentations taking the form of well-understood, minor tweaks in the genetic code that have been understood for generations.The advent of Human quantum computing and telecommunications was a game-changer for Urdji society. For the first time the tribes could communicate with each other instantaneously, without worrying about light lag. Quantum-based artificial intelligence constructs have come to take over much of the burden of the liveships' managerial overhead. Even on the small scale, Human quantum and digital computers revolutionized Urdji manufacturing, commerce, and entertainment. Prior to contact with Humanity the Urdji lacked anything even approaching a "modern computer", utilizing highly specialized, purpose-built devices - and even then only for those tasks that absolutely required them.
The state of Artificial Intelligence in the Confederacy teeters on the edge of the singularity. Cutting-edge AIs, especially those used as shipboard operations assistants by the Rangers, can already pass the Turing test with flying colors. Having been designed to function in any possible situation, these intelligences certainly appear to be AGIs. Indeed, many suggest that they may already be conscious. While advanced, AI technology is not exactly widespread - even basic situational intelligences are nigh unheard of in many Urdji tribes. Even the most impoverished Human tribes, on the other hand, make extensive use of AI and machine learning algorithms.
Research into the field of AI is heavily focused on the creation of human-level AGIs, rather than situational intelligences with direct practical uses. Having the assistance of a conscious, creative being tied directly to a computer system (be it that of a starship or of a factory) is considered profoundly valuable. Countless man-hours have gone into the design of "useless" AI systems to effectively recreate emotions, irrationality, and the many idiosyncrasies of intelligent life as we know it in the pursuit of a true AGI. A human-level or greater intelligence lacking those traits, it is widely believed, would more or less represent a speciation event and a permanent split in the evolutionary paths of organic and synthetic life. The scientific community generally agrees that such an event would not favor the organic.Room-temperature superconductors are unsurprisingly an integral part of Confederate infrastructure. The Urdji had been using them for most of their recorded history prior to contact with Humanity, and it was one of the first technologies they would share with the Human tribes. The manufacture of these superconductors had become relatively mundane for the Urdji, and in the modern Confederacy they are used to their fullest extent. Starship drives, power systems, and computers all make use of a variety of superconducting alloys and metamaterials.
Biologically-derived materials have always been common among the Urdji tribes, and remain in heavy use in the Confederacy as artificial materials have yet to quite match them. The semi-crystalline cylindriform silk that forms Urdji hair and feathers is traditionally used by Rangers to weave armor and clothing, but in the current era synthetic cultivation of this material in laboratory environments has enabled widespread use. Even starships tend to make use of it in their armor.
In the field of metallurgy, highly complex alloys are a tradition of sorts among Urdji tribes. With Human manufacturing technology allowing for greater precision in alloy production, these once rare materials have become overwhelmingly common. Starship armor tends to be a composite of dozens of separate alloys, augmented with silk, aerogels, and other unconventional materials.There is very little energy in the Confederacy that is not generated in fusion reactors. Helium-3 is one of the most vital commodities for any tribe, and in the Human Middle Age wars were quite often fought over helium-3 deposits. Urdji civilization, of course, has subsisted on fusion power for thousands of years. Reactor designs in the modern day are extremely diverse, with Urjdi and Human engineers feeding off of each others' ideas to produce new, experimental reactors. Traditionally the Urdji have used gargantuan magnetic confinement reactors to power their starships, while humans tended to use inertial confinement reactors instead - primarily due to a lack of practical superconductors. In the centuries following contact both reactor concepts have seen great leaps in output and efficiency.
In the field of propulsion, direct fusion drives are overwhelmingly the most common form of starship engine. Magnetoplasma engines are common in smaller craft, and larger vessels sometimes use them as secondary drives. Traditional chemical rocket engines do still exist, but are rarely seen in applications outside of maneuvering thrusters.
A Ranger scout cruiser in dock above Huāngxīng after an expedition to Haven's Oort Cloud.Zev Nanlîki Leşkkrî
The Confederate Military
The Confederacy is not the most stable of nations. Inter-tribal feuds are commonplace, and the many tribes of the Confederacy operate their own independent militaries to protect their interests. Nothing which one could reasonably describe as a war has broken out in a little over a century, but tribal fleets are commonly used to intimidate rivals and put "a little extra weight" on proposals to the Confederate Council. Beyond their political roles, the tribal fleets are commonly deployed against pirates (or as privateers, depending on the tribe's inclinations).
Though the majority of military power is centered in tribal fleets, the Confederacy does have a standing military. The Ranger Corps answers only to the Confederate Council, and exists to serve as the Confederacy's vanguard against alien threats. The Ranger Corps is the only official military outfit besides the Leşkgemmar Commandos to operate formal ground forces, but said forces consist only of a handful of special operations teams (which lack the training and equipment to reasonably be considered as such) and armed planetary survey teams. If you see a soldier on the surface of Huāngxīng they are almost certainly just a militiaman or a member of some vigilante posse.The Naval arm of the Ranger Corps is the best equipped and best trained interplanetary combat outfit in the entire Haven system. The right hand of the Council, it serves the interests of civilized space as a whole. Though it's primary purpose is to act as a vanguard against unknown threats, it does undertake a great number of exploration and peacekeeping missions from the star of Haven all the way to the Oort Cloud. The starships of the Ranger Corps are always the golden standard by which others are measured, each class representing the very cutting edge of Confederate technology. Some Ranger units are designated experimental squadrons, where prototype vessels and technologies are tested in the field.
Tyr'Irê Class Frigate
The Tyr'Irê (lit. Spearbearer) Frigate is the smallest warship in service with the Ranger Corps. Unlike many ships of its class, which are deployed as light patrol vessels, the Tyr'Irê is designed to operate in hunter-killer packs to take down significantly larger warships. As the Ranger Corps does not perform patrol duties near planets and ports it has little need for designated coastal craft, which led to the current usage of it's most common frigate as something akin to a torpedo boat. Tyr'Irê frigates rely on their small complement of missiles and their spinal railgun to take down their prey, and in the realm of defenses they have only their twin laser CIWS turrets and two quadruple coilguns (which are regarded as more of a last resort weapon than anything else).
Energia Class Destroyer
Notable for being the only standardized class of Ranger warships given a name in a human language, the Energia also happens to be notable for lacking a defined role. This is not the product of a genius modular design, but rather the result of the failure of it's main weapon from a practical standpoint. Armed with a spinal plasma lance siphoning directly from the fusion drive core, the Energia was intended to provide capital-class firepower on a destroyer's size and budget without the issues inherent with torpedo armaments. Unfortunately, this weapon has proved to be an abject failure as at full power output it becomes dangerously unreliable. As a result it has ended up having less stopping power than the spinal railguns it was meant to replace. The only saving grace of the Energia class - and the reason it has become the favored destroyer of the Corps - is it's well-rounded and simple design. With a solid complement of missiles, reliable if low-range coilguns, and a formidable electronic warfare suite the Energia is well-suited to most any situation. Even the infamously "useless" plasma lance has found a niche use case thanks to its accuracy at long range.
Referred to by Human tribes as a Light Cruiser, the Reshjemi is the poster boy of the Ranger Corps. It was built from the ground-up to be the backbone of the Ranger Corps and it's primary long-range expeditionary vessel. Sporting an oversized propulsion section and extensive hydroponics facilties the Reshjemi can (on paper) fly to Haven's closest neighboring star and back without resupply. It's central hangar is, in standard configuration, equipped with two planetary landing craft, one prospecting vessel, a short-range crew shuttle, and a small flight of six fighter craft. The Reshjemi's immense range and high degree of operative independence lends itself well to outer-system patrols, and Reshjemi Cruisers are often home to marine platoons deployed to conduct anti-piracy activities in the Haven system's Belt. Though somewhat lacking in broadside firepower, the Reshjemi carries an adequate missile armament and sports an unusually high-caliber spinal railgun. It may not be the be-all-end-all of space combat like a battleship, but it is often more than enough to make any pirate squadron turn tail.
The Zetjemi Cruiser is the Reshjemi's bigger, stronger brother. Generally referred to as a Heavy Cruiser by the Humans, the Zetjemi is a dedicated combat vessel that - like the Frigates and Destroyers of the Ranger Corps - cannot operate independently at interstellar ranges. It's extensive missile complement and impressive spinal railgun give it enough punch to be sensibly classified as a capital ship, and in battle it will often fulfill just that role. Unlike traditional Ranger battleships it lacks an armament of high-caliber turreted railguns, a deficiency which is (hopefully) easily countered by it's missile systems.
The Chinvat is the largest combat vessel operated by the Ranger Corps. A fairly rare sight in the Haven system, it represents the absolute height of Confederate technology and industrial strength. It was one of the first of the current-generation warships to enter the design phase, and is a true fusion of Human and Urdji thought. Four triple-gun turrets provide it with impressive broadside firepower, while it's spinal railgun is the most powerful of any dedicated combat vessel in Confederate space. Five hangars hold just over a hundred fighters and lancers, four picket boats, a small complement of landing craft, and either two frigate sized warships or a flight of ancillary craft. The Chinvat is, functionally, more or less a liveship - able to support its entire crew complement indefinitely and subsist on its own throughout generational interstellar journeys. In times of war it can act as a forward staging ground for an entire task force.The Ranger Corps is home to the only genuinely competent and formidable ground forces in the entire Confederacy. Every member of the Ranger Corps is trained (at least briefly) in the full gravity of Huāngxīng, and even your average spacer is issued with a standard sidearm. Though most Rangers only ever serve aboard starships, the Corps has multiple ground warfare and spec-ops units. Most of these draw from the heritage of the Ranger Corps as a scouting force for the Great Fleet, where Rangers were required to survey the surfaces of alien worlds both for valuable resources and hostile alien life.
The marines of the Ranger Corps are well equipped compared to their tribal counterparts, with standardized arms, uniforms, and armor throughout the Corps. Various guilds on the moon of Vulcan are contracted to produce equipment specifically for Ranger marines, including some light vehicles like ATVs and transport trucks. Armored vehicles, however, are still merely improvised. Though small and far from a truly professional modern army, the Ranger marines are easily the most powerful land force in the Confederacy.
Pictured below is a Ranger in the deserts of Huāngxīng, surveying native ruins.Human tribal navies are particularly standardized when compared to their Urdji equivalents. Many Human tribes share ship classes and systems, and all Human vessels have remarkably similar silhouettes. This is no surprise - the Human tribes all drew from the same small sample size of technology and doctrine. Though the Human tribes do have a somewhat deserved reputation for piracy, they do all claim long and storied naval traditions - going back, of course, to the waters of their long-lost homeworld. Human designs tend to be quite romantic in form, sacrificing at times sensibility for displays of "glory" and "heritage" that the Urdji simply paint onto their vessels like sane sapients.
Mishima Class Light Cruiser, Tribe Gekokujo
The Mishima class of Light Cruisers are one of the Gekokujo tribe's favorite "goods acquisition" vessels. They are built to quickly approach "enemy combatants", engage them, take their "payment", and return to the liveships as fast as possible. Derisively known as the Raider Class to the Lincoln Tribe, the Mishima Light Cruiser is one of the most fearsome silhouettes to see in Haven's outer planets. An armament of twelve small but practical railguns gives the ship firepower capable of overwhelming anything short of a Ranger Cruiser, and it's hot-burning drives let it run from anything it can't overwhelm. In extreme-range combat it has only its spinal railgun to rely upon, armed with a paltry array of missiles and only two low-complement torpedo tubes. Excellent CIWS weapons coverage, however, keeps it safe in it's charge towards or escape from the enemy.
Lushan Class Heavy Cruiser, Tribe Quishi
The Lushan class has long been the backbone of the Quishi tribe's standing Navy. An aging design, it is now being largely replaced with Urdji-Human hybrid designs among the Quishi's own fleets, but it remains in heavy use by the Mugunghwa tribe. In fact, retired Lushan class ships are often immediately flown over to Mugunghwa tribal space and rechristened before they can even be officially stricken from the Quishi registry. Thanks to their history as one of the last warships to be designed prior to Human-Urdji contact the Lushan class is an excellent example of Middle Age Human ship design. It's boxy design is typical of early Human vessels, and the Lushan class is visibly not unlike the warships once flown in man's own home system. The Lushan's simple construction and usage of mass-produced parts, as well as its incredibly long service life, makes it a practical and economical choice for just about anyone to operate. Even the Ranger Corps makes use of Lushan cruisers in coastal patrol roles in the Belt.
O'Malley Class Battleship, Tribe Europa
The O'Malley battleship is an excellent expression of the Europa tribe's cultural obsession with "glory". Able to match a Ranger Corps Chinvat battleship one-on-one, the O'Malley is the last thing any pirate in the rim wants to see on their sensors. Thankfully they probably won't see it on their sensors because the Europa tribe only operates two. Some say the O'Malley's immense power is the sole reason the Europa tribe is actually considered a proper tribe, others say they'd be much better off if they just built cruisers like sane people (and they probably would). However the Europan's strange sense of pride led them to build two of the most powerful battleships in Human history instead. The O'Malley is no doubt a formidable vessel, owing to its quick speed and outstanding firepower, but in an all-out war it is next to useless without support craft - support craft the Europa tribe does not have to spare. The hydrogen-guzzling drives of the two battleships keep them in their berths in times of all but the highest tensions.
Enterprise Class Fleet Carrier, Tribe Lincoln
Form over function put into physical form and molded into the shape of a spacecraft, the Enterprise Carriers are the Lincoln tribe's pride, joy, and recruiting poster stars. Modeled after the naval carriers of old Earth the flat-topped Enterprise Carriers do actually have some advantages over their more conventional brethren with side-opening hangar bays. The rail catapults on the decks give craft launched from an Enterprise class significantly more range, and the large aft decks make for rapid recovery of even damaged craft. The Enterprise carriers are designed to, much like Ranger battleships, operate indefinitely at interstellar range - a rarity among the Human tribes. As such they tend to act as mobile shipyards and staging grounds for Lincoln tribal fleets, which has made them invaluable for force projection and intimidation. Dedicated carriers are a uniquely Human concept, but the niche successes of the Enterprise Carriers do present an argument for their adoption by the Rangers and Urdji tribes.Human marines are, unlike their Urdji counterparts, a true force to be reckoned with in space. The natural strength and resilience of humans gives them an innate advantage in the close-quarters combat that occurs aboard warships, and their possession of actual quality firearms makes them semi-effective at range. Human militia are, while not all that better equipped than Urdji ones, much more used to the general concept of ranged ground combat and would handily come out ahead in a head-on engagement.
Unlike the Urdji, Human tribes still have particular cultural reverence for those skilled in hand-to-hand combat. This, combined with their natural advantages, causes them to win just about every sanctioned duel. Council floor duels have actually started being more regulated due to this, and Urdji tribes are legally entitled to be represented by a Human Ranger "champion" in place of one of their own. The mere fact that this concession has to be made, however, tends to cause Urdji tribes to back down from such duels.
Pictured below is a Europa tribe marine. The ornate dress and weaponry is typical of Europan warriors.Urdji tribal navies are far more varied in design than their Human counterparts, and as such it is hard to give an effective cross-section of Urdji design philosophy and doctrine. Indeed, many Urdji tribal navies are comprised largely of civilian vessels in the first place. However, the greatest of Urdji tribes do operate proper, dedicated warships. For the sake of brevity, only vessels of Leşkgemmar make have been included.
Light Cruiser Işken-ji-Neva
The Işken-ji-Neva was a warship with a storied history. First launched some 795 Human years ago, the ship served with the Urdji Ranger Corps until contact with Humanity. In that time it was credited with a total of nineteen ship-to-ship combat victories, and in the Komellşer it served with distinction in the Belt Campaigns. It is an example of the quintessential Urdji warship, with it's offensive capabilities centered entirely around it's spinal railgun. Two smaller railguns protected it against shorter range enemies, while an extensive laser CIWS system shielded it from D'jim lancers and munitions. The vessel served with distinction until the Third Battle of Vulcan, where it's engines were struck by a D'jim torpedo. The vessel is now a museum ship in orbit of Vulcan, with it's propulsion and weapons systems having been stripped and recycled.
Heavy Cruiser Lewxekar
The Lewxekar is an unremarkable example of the bread-and-butter of tribe Leşkgemmar's navy. It is a relatively new ship by Urdji standards, having been launched at the tail end of the Komellşer. It has only seen combat in Haven's Oort Cloud against D'jim remnants, and is currently part of tribe Leşkgemmar's delegation fleet stationed in orbit of Huāngxīng. Armed with four long-range turreted railguns in addition to its spinal armament, heavy cruisers like the Lewxekar often serve as the flagship of small squadrons or in the battle line of task forces. Like many larger Urdji warships it has a large armament of secondary guns and CIWS emplacements covering its fore section.
Systems Vessel Stûteyr
Not quite cruisers, not quite fleet tenders, Systems Vessels like the Stûteyr are the workhorses of any Urdji tribal fleet. Though capable of (and deployed in) frontline combat, the role of Systems Vessels is to support other warships though logistical services, command-and-control functions, electronic warfare, and as backline craft in battle. The Stûteyr itself sports a total of five equally-sized railguns, four in turrets and the fifth mounted spinally, which it uses to take potshots at enemy vessels while performing its primary duties. The Stûteyr is one of the older ships in the Leşkgemmar navy, and nobody is quite certain of just when it was built. Most educated guesses place it at two to three thousand years old.
The Hişkleng is the newest Battleship in the Leşkgemmar navy, having been built a mere thirty years ago. It incorporates a great many advancements made in recent years, but still adheres to traditional Urdji engineering practices. It is a quintessential Urdji Battleship, with an immense spinal railgun paired with a secondary and tertiary turreted armament. In keeping with recent technological advances the Hişkleng places more emphasis on missile armament than on CIWS weaponry, and unlike many older vessels which often used their CIWS to protect entire task forces it's own CIWS armament is intended to protect itself and only itself. Though often criticized by Human naval designers, the Secondary-Tertiary turret arrangement of its long-range railguns is a traditional feature among Urdji Battleships and appreciated as providing a degree of versatility to the railgun armament. It may force the ship to sacrifice extreme-range firepower, but it does ensure it is always able to provide adequate fire to multiple targets at multiple ranges.
As the dedicated Carrier is a uniquely Human vessel, the Fleetship is a uniquely Urdji vessel. Built for combat over the great distances and timescales one finds in the void between stars, Fleetships like the Teyrjixen are an unmatched force in open space. Carrying facilities for supplying an entire military campaign and indefinite survival in interstellar space, Fleetships are more moving fortress cities than they are warships. Their spinal railguns, longer than those of any other class of ship, are capable of greater devastation at greater range than any other weapons system in the Confederacy. Torpedoes and torch missiles are carried in utterly mind-boggling numbers aboard most Fleetships and act as their secondary armament alongside much smaller turreted railguns (which, themselves, are equivalent to the spinal railguns of most Heavy Cruisers). Rows of CIWS emplacements and tertiary railguns line the hulls of Fleetships, but a Fleetship being used effectively will never need to make use of them.The Urdji are famous and renowned for not knowing how to fight on their feet. Despite a long history of marines defending Urdji warships and storming D'jim ones the Urdji simply are not built for ground combat. The marines of Urdji tribes are in their element, however, in microgravity environments where their weakness and frailness is less of a factor. Most Urdji warriors fight primarily with melee weapons, simple electromagnetic shotguns, and increasingly Human-derived revolvers and handguns. Less conventional weapons, such as crossbows and pikes, are not at all uncommon.
Urdji living "planetside" on Huāngxīng are notorious for their "MacGyver" approach to weaponry and combat. Planetside militias very often employ handmade firearms and flying infantry simply dropping grenades, flechettes, and even rocks onto their enemies. These militias have also taken quite a liking to the Terran Horse, and Urdji warriors riding horseback holding six-shooters is an entirely normal sight in the untamed, rural lands of Huāngxīng.
Pictured below is a collection of weapons used by a tribal militia on Huāngxīng. Note the extensive usage of wooden furniture, still considered a luxury by most in the Confederacy.
Where do you get your pictures from?