Happy to work on history with anyone- loving everything so far!
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You will have to remember that the legitimacy of the Rankovs stem from their appointment to the Exarchate BY the Empire. Before they were only one of the many houses of Virezhir, and not even one of the largest ones. Over time they built up their power internally, but you've still got prestigious houses with links to their predecessors.
And just as the Rankovs are trying to loosen the Imperial yoke, some of their vassals wish to do the same for them.
So that's my faction idea. The plot arcs I have in mind for them mostly deal with internal power struggles among nobles and fighting threats on the "frontier". So, what do you guys think? Does it fit with the setting?
@FlaggThat works too!
Either way I'm happy.
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Sure, though in lieu of handwavium maybe Cognition Engines brute force a sort of 'bridge' to see into the void. The Cognition Engine would then be needed immediately in order to stabilize the 'bridge' but due to the nature of machine learning only some of the time would the Engine arrive at an optimal solution before the bridge destabilizes and destroys it. Thus making Cognition Engines would be very expensive as you'd have no guarantee you'd get any functional machines out of a given batch and each machine would be quite the investment just to lose the vast majority of them to chance. AI, being sapient, had a sort of affinity for the void that made the process far less dangerous.
So a Vacare is just the far cheaper and less costly option. Those who manufacture Cognition Engines do so explicitly to avoid relying on Vacare and accept the random nature of the manufacturing process and the cost of losing so many expensive VI machines. Just a thought, mostly had because I couldn't think of a name for whatever unobtanium we would have needed haha.
Ok let's narrow down what we can agree on for sure atm, so we have the idea we want hyperlanes in some fashion for the interesting narrative it can bring? Also, we agree that the space wizards are needed for FTL, though AI once was able to do the same thing, however, since the machine wars those have been booted to the wayside. Oh, and the inability to use FTL in a gravity well of a star.
Anything else for sure?
As for more theory crafting, I'd think normally even a powerful vacare cannot allow an anything too large to slip into the lane. Buty perhaps a specific mutation among them or perhaps a school of practice allows them to become strong enough to work wither others of their like to allow them to transport fleets. You know, with FTL so far seeming to be so difficult this might create an interesting side effect in where outright space battles may seem too be too risky (possibly getting precious navigators killed, or worse captured.) thus alternate forms of combat probably could occur, a greater focus on information or ground warfare. Just a thought.
Kind of reminds me of Supreme Commander.
Maybe vacare (our space wizards) can only travel FTL in small ships or simply step through them? I.e. they couldn't transport an entire Ramada but they could easily evacuate their liege Lord if necessary.
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I also agree if sorcerers can bypass hyperlanes and entire systems (thus Imperial checkposts) entirely why would not everyone use them? I like the idea that only sorcerers can 'SEE' these lanes in the first place as weaker links into the void that allow FTL travel into an through them. Thus explaining how the lanes were discovered.
@Flagg's idea is cool too! Though there'd have to be some reason why everyone doesn't just use sorcerers if they aren't burdened by the limits of hyperlanes.