The Taulron Empire; formally, The Empire Of Taulros And His Heirs
The Taulron are best understood as an armed camp that has managed to subdue, cow, and conquer enough of its neighbors that more refined states have had no choice but to take them seriously. Unmotivated colonizers, but splendid conquerors, and surprisingly adept negotiators, the spread of this avian race across the galaxy has most often taken the form of concerted settlement campaigns upon subjugated worlds. Until expanding to meet interstellar powers capable of meeting them head on, almost all ills of the militaristic state were responded to with conquest. It was only upon entering the great game of galactic politics that internal settlement and restructuring was undertaken, but the empire seemed to consider modernizing themselves to stand toe to toe with the great powers to be a challenge as glorious as any martial endeavor.
It was only with the coming of the Ashtar that they approached something resembling respectability, the warriors swearing up and down that they were truly over their conquering days. The fact that before the Ashtar arrived the Taulron had found themselves surrounded on all sides by regional rivals lent some legitimacy to this claim, and they were - to the shock of their foes - left alone. Said foes found their shock turning into rage when, as soon as the Ashtar had disappeared, the Taulron plunged into the Great War with gusto, conquering huge swathes of their neighborhood in the process.
Competition flows through the veins of the Taulron alongside their blood, and while this is often considered their greatest strength, it is of the greatest misery to xenohistorians. Taulron history before they spread across the galaxy, and therefore before there were non-Taulron witnesses to their deeds, is impossible. The field of history is as fractious and acrimonious as sports and warfare with rival epics, king lists, and chronicles all elevating some ancient and noble house over some other ancient and noble house. The official histories, as dictated by the Emperor, are broken down into formal eras, and it is considered the greatest accomplishment of a historian to 'prove' that a period of time was momentous enough in its own right to be considered one of them.
This has led to multiple contradictory accounts of almost every major event in Taulron history, and leaves academics with the very real possibility that the actual truth was either suppressed or simply forgotten for not properly glorifying the patrons of those writing the histories. What the histories generally agree upon however is that the Taulron have been a historically fractious race, divided into a constantly shifting patchwork of feudal lordships well into their industrial age. Additionally, it is known that the historical Taulron would be unable to recognize the word that now defines their people and government. It was not until the coming of their atomic age that this would change.
King Taulros of Jharya, known to history as Emperor Taulros the Great, was a warlord among warlords. A conqueror without peer, he subdued a full fourth of one the Taulron homeworld's continents before the age of thirty, and seemed poised to make a bid upon the remainder. His ambitions grew greatly upon the invention of primitive fission weapons and, being the only power with them as well as lacking many of the scruples that other races tend to have about such devices, was swiftly able to unite the world in a campaign that was as much slaughter and terror as diplomatic brinkmanship and weary resignation. Many a king threw down their crowns in those days, finding it an indignity less galling than the destruction of their peoples, and the savvy conqueror rewarded this wisdom by allowing them to keep not only their lives, but their power as well. Taulros' campaigns are enshrined in the imperial histories as the Era of Unification, and in dissident works as the Era of One Thousand Terrors, but the world was his and with it came the ability to reshape the destiny of a species.
It was a work of generations, but the deification of Taulros and the steady work done to create a unified national identity, one of course made to honor the great conqueror, eventually bore fruit. The age of squabbling kings had ended, and the time of a single people united under the heirs of Taulros had come. So was born the Taulron Empire, or at least, so the histories say.Era of Expansion
The creation of a faster-than-light drive by the Taulron is as mired in selective history, dramatizations, and object lies as any other part of their history before venturing out into the cosmos. What is generally known however is that the competitive energy of the people was turned onto this task, and as with all impossible problems that they had ever faced they simply refused to consider it to be impossible. What started as the greatest unsolved problem in physics became the greatest unsolved problem in engineering, and from there the path to the stars seemed effectively ordained.
For the stellar neighbors of the Taulron, the historical specifics of how the they came to achieve FTL travel was a secondary concern to what they did after acquiring it. The Taulron did not take to the stars as diplomats or as explorers or as merchants, but as conquerors eager to find new lands to claim and new treasures to loot. So began one of the few immutable eras in the imperial reckoning, the Era of Expansion. Rapidly spreading across their local star cluster, the Taulron established perfunctory outposts and listening stations around those stars which held little of consequence, established mining colonies on those worlds deemed worth the effort, and conquered and integrated all sentient life they came across.
In this era, the Taulron did not colonize worlds so much as establish garrisons upon them. What virgin planets were claimed by the warrior people were not the verdant garden worlds that most sentients would clamor for, but ones abjectly hostile to life. Settling upon a world that wasn't trying to kill you was, to them, simple not enough of a challenge to be worth the bother. Those conquered races of the empire, their military forces dispersed among the breadth of claimed territory to augment the Taulron themselves, found themselves permitted to migrate to the most prized of planets without complaint from imperial authorities. Though all also found that, when their settlements reached a suitable size, that a Taulron garrison would be dispatched to their worlds to keep the peace, collect the taxes, and provide the growing Taulron population somewhere they could actually thrive instead of merely survive.Era of Consolidation
It is said that all good things must come to an end, and for the Taulron this would prove true for their expansion period. After a few centuries of unrestricted conquest and growth, the burgeoning empire soon found itself attempting to annex peoples with friends that could stop the martial race dead in their tracks. Despite initial missteps and over extensions, the empire was able to establish an equilibrium where its mere presence did not offend any neighboring great powers enough to crush them while still remaining a potent force. This careful balancing act of strategic retreats, exploited victories, and shrewd diplomacy ultimately resulted in the formalization of the empire's borders with respect to its most powerful neighbors and their clients. Permitting the Taulron to live, instead of smothering the infant interstellar state in its cradle, is sometimes considered one of the greatest blunders in galactic history.
If the great powers hoped that the Taulron would sit idle, or collapse when their expansion stopped, they would find themselves sorely mistaken. The great interior of the empire was wild and unsettled, ripe for exploitation that the Taulron considered less glorious and less rewarding than continued expansion. With the borders effectively closed, and conquest off the table, the great energies of the people were turned to the exploitation and cultivation of this vast region of space. Entire star systems had been left with little more than a brief survey, for the next conquest was always a more pressing use of all materiel.
A great colonial boom followed, aided in no small part by the fact that a great number of Taulron of fighting age were no longer dying. Building power and influence, the Taulron were poised to either become a mighty influence in galactic affairs, or possibly just start a galactic war to see what they could get out of it.Lo Ashtar del Mishri
Surprising both contemporaries and many modern historians, the Taulron reacted to the sudden arrival of the Ashtar by doing nothing at all. They had, after all, already resolved themselves to a course of internal growth and development until they could take on greater powers who stymied their further expansion. As far as the Senate and the imperial court were concerned, the Ashtar simply changed the scale of their concerns. Instead of concentrating on internal stability to knock around regional powers, they now focused on finding some way to counter or equal mysterious, all powerful, godlike, beings that had seemingly appeared out of nowhere. The utter failure of any other power to make much of a dent in Ashtar military might vindicated this policy, and for a century the Taulron were exemplars of the peace.The Great War
Then the Ashtar went and vanished, and over eight generations of preparation were finally put to use. Some claim that it was the Taulron who fired the first shot of the Great War, aiming to take down one of the regional powers that been blocking their expansion before anyone else noticed what was happening. The fact is however that almost every expansionist power made a move like the Taulron as soon as they had confirmed that the Ashtar were well and truly gone, making precise dating as to the start of hostilities confusing at the very least.
Nonetheless, though the Taulron were swiftly victorious in their regional conflict, they found themselves dragged into a war of galactic scope as the direct result. Thrust upon the grandest of stages, they set out to acquit themselves well, with all the costs that such an endeavor entailed. And by almost all accounts, they succeeded.
The simple fact is that as far as the Taulron were concerned, they had won the Great War. Quashing their regional rivals, opening up avenues for further expansion, and earning victory upon the field more often than not, they were a leading force at the Madrigasa talks and in the forging of the Treaty of Detente. To hear a hardliner put it, the Taulron did not agree to stop fighting because they were tired of war, the Taulron agreed to stop fighting so that they could take a moment to take stock of what they had gained. Such talk of course ignores the massive expenditures in manpower and wealth the war took in order to reach such a happy state but only a fool ignores the fact that glory can oft be worth more than gold. Seemingly paradoxically, it was the Taulron who pressed for the harshest naval restrictions when negotiating Detente, often arguing against their own self interest. When pressed to explain himself, the lead Taulron envoy explained that he was endeavoring to give the other powers a sporting chance.The Modern Day
Far more surprisingly, the Taulron seemed to have actually meant what they said at the Detente talks. They kept scrupulously to the terms of the treaty, eschewing the gimmicks and workarounds popping up across the galaxy, and actually seemed to not have secret shipyards working on illegal vessels. This was of little comfort to most of their neighbors however, because even willingly tying one hand behind their back by following the terms of the treaty, the Taulron were still one of the largest naval powers.
Then the Ashtar message came through, and ruined everything all over again. With the promise of Ashtar treasure removing any semblance of restraint, the Taulron duly rushed to Agdemnar to claim it before anyone else could. It was in the ensuing battle that they realized how severely outclassed their treaty-compliant and Great War-era warships were, and though they were not foolish enough to believe that anyone followed the treaty as closely as they had the surprise reveal of secretly constructed dreadnoughts would prove to be an insult too far. Declaring the treaty in abeyance until all signatories were once more complying with its term, the Taulron embarked upon a massive building campaign to make up for the lost decades.
Homeworld of the Taulron, Yaratilsh is a world that has endured countless centuries of warfare both large and small. Battlegrounds and graveyards litter its surface, and at the bottom of its seas rest countless vessels from long forgotten wars. The greatest scars were fortunately its last, the atomic bombings of Taulros leaving irradiated wastelands for decades. Surprisingly, despite this history of conflict, the planet avoided the worst effects of industrial pollution, a feat many outside observers chalk up to the fact that the Taulron died too swiftly to have globe effecting industry.
Upon the establishment of their interstellar empire, the wealth of worlds was carted home and work on restoring their shattered home. Monuments were raised, memorials established, and palaces built and the treasures of vanquished nations were raised into places of honor. Modern Yaratilsh is an expanse of cosmopolitan cities, vibrant universities, restored forests, expansive training grounds, and massive orbital fortresses.
Here is found the Imperial Palace, the Council of Kings, the Senate, and all other organs of state. It is the beating heart of a multispecies empire, and the fruits of empire are well savored here.Najinon
The Taulron do not put all of their eggs in one basket - a phrase with much more emotional urgency for egglaying species - and the security of their empire is no different. The grandest fleet yards in the empire orbit the colony world of Najinon, a planet that has the curious distinction of being one of the few that were actively colonized due to its importance. Nestled in a star system rich in heavy metals, the mining industry that fueled the initial settlement swiftly transformed into heavy construction. It is from the seemingly endless mines of Nanjinon and the asteroids towed into its orbit that the materials of war are harvested, and it is from the vast shipyards dotted throughout the void that the Imperial Navy sails from.Chamavas and the Amsivarran Republic
The second greatest world in the empire and often considered its cultural capital, Chamavas was conquered, not settled. The capital of the first interstellar power the Taulron encountered, the Amsivarran Republic, both world and civilization were swiftly integrated into the empire after a war that was more ritual than bloodshed. Due to the ease of victory, with no fighting taking place on Chamavas itself, the world is a reminder of an older, more genteel, civilization that gave itself over to the warlike Taulron. It is considered with pride by most, and with some trepidation by the keen, for the greatest lawyers, bankers, and politicians all seem to either come from Chamavas, or are connected to those who have.
During the centuries of dominance within the region that they enjoyed however, the Republic flourished, colonizing, conquering, and joining with a host of lesser powers for mutual protection. With the coming of the Taulron, the Amsivarran Senate called the war off after enough battles to realize that they were outmatched by the newcomers, and made the decision to do to themselves what they had convinced so many to do. The instrument of surrender from the Amsivarran Republic to the Taulron Empire requested that in the name of everlasting peace between their peoples, that the Emperor formally annex the Republic and protect its citizens. The Taulron, shocked at the windfall, not only agreed but ordered their Senate to relocate to Yaratilsh, forming the core of the modern Senate. This was as practical as it was generous, giving the Emperor a new body with which to govern his unexpectedly massively enlarged empire. It also had the incidental effect of giving the nascent Empire the closest thing to a representative body it ever had.
It is sometimes a surprise to outsiders, but the name 'Taulron' does not refer to the species that founded the empire. A political distinguisher, it applies to all who live within the empire's bounds.Yaratelmsh
The founding race of the Taulron Empire, they are a minority within their own borders. The last census pegged them at approximately twenty percent of the total population, but they are firmly placed within positions of power. An avian species, they descend from a biological lineage of septapods, having not only pairs of arms, legs, and wings, but also a single prehensile tail. Feathered, warmblooded, and egglaying, they exhibit an exceptional amount of sexual dimorphism. Males are ostentatious, with extremely oversized wingspans and elongated limbs that constantly strain their bodies, while females tend towards far more compact forms that - contrary to many species - make them preferred for military service.Merlovians
The second great race of the Empire, and by population the greatest race at twenty-five percent, the Merlovians are sometimes erroneously described as a warrior species akin to their Yaratelmsh conquerors. In truth, the Merlovians are best described as a race keen on building an empire, rather than the mess of winning one. Legalistic and fastidious, they make excellent administrators and lawyers, and find themselves working within the imperial apparatus at all levels. Indeed, every position of note has been or is currently filled by a Merlovian - save for the imperial throne itself. An amphibious race, they are blessed with not only the ability to live equally well on both land and sea but also a robustness in constitution that permits them to settle worlds most would consider impossible. Though most still live as a politically distinct group within the worlds that once comprised the Amsivarran Republic, they are found throughout the empire, with a culturally cosmopolitan population on the throne world.Hateri
A former constituent race of the Amsivarran Republic, the marsupial Hateri make up perhaps five percent of the empire's population and cared little about the technical change in rulership from the Merlovians to the Yaratelmsh. Nocturnal and solitary by nature, they petitioned the Republic for entrance shortly after first contact, and were pleased that the standards of that custodianship were continued by the Taulron. The most notable facet of the Hateri, and the thing that makes them worthy of consideration, is their formidable psychic abilities. Their ingrained solitary behavior developed as a result of unconstrained telepathy, and trained corps of Hateri psintegrae are recognized as one of the greatest intelligence assets an imperial commander could have.Kovan
Formerly the heads of an interstellar trading consortium known as the Illusian League, the Kovan were added into the empire centuries ago, but never really integrated. Spacefaring and nomadic, the reptilian Kovan are few in number among the worlds of the empire, and instead make their homes aboard their own ships as well as upon the uncountable array of space stations dotting the empire. Any sort of formal census of their numbers is impossible, but they are estimated to number approximately ten percent of the population. Hailing from a world that was rapidly becoming unsuitable for the coldblooded species, the decision to emigrate en mase to space was made in the distant past, after realizing that maintaining appropriate environments on their home world would present essentially the same challenge as creating them aboard space going vessels. Though sometimes looked down upon, savvy administrators have ensured that Kovan trainees in the Navy find themselves as pilots, and the most time critical shipments are often handled by Kovan captains.Other Races
Not every species within the empire is considered worthy of particular note. The population of the Taulron Empire consists of a medley of conquered peoples, technologically undeveloped natives, refugees, and a small but growing number of immigrants from elsewhere in the galaxy. Many of these races were incorporated with the Amsivarran Republic and the Illusian League, and are more or less entirely integrated, ignored by imperial officials not due to prejudice but rather the simple fact that there aren't very many of them. Others are not even aware that they are subjects of the Emperor, or that the empire even exists, for a not insignificant number of worlds with burgeoning sentient life lay within the borders. The greatest influx of new peoples in living memory however was in the aftermath of the Great War. The populaces of conquered worlds as well as a chaotic stream of refugees trying to go anywhere but where they were combined to create a massive demographic shift, placing the population of the "core empire" consisting of the Yaratelmsh and the species of the old Amsivarran Republic into the minority for the first time in history.
It is impossible to place to say what the life of the "average" imperial citizen consists of. Taulron colonies, Republic territories, and conquered planets all have wildly different standards and ways of living. For the most part, the empire has made no efforts to suppress existing cultures, or mold them to create a singular national identity. What societal merging has occurred has been almost entirely accidental, focused on Yaratilsh and the worlds of the old Republic.
Inasmuch as any one imperial culture can be said to exist, it is found on Yaratilsh, with Taulron enclaves on conquered worlds consciously imitating the throne world. The average middle-class citizen on Yaratilsh is an administrator or magistrate in the imperial government, an employee in one of the empire's conglomerates. Their poorer brethren tend to subsist on cash welfare or labor on the great restoration projects that still cover the world's surface. Within enclaves of "proper" Taulron society, almost all non-"native" inhabitants are employed in the colonial administration.
However, even within core territories of the Taulron, there is no real standard culture, because there was never a single culture on Yaratilsh. The conquests of Taulros the Great did not result in a unified planetary society, and his successors maintained this hands off approach. Though the culture particulars of Jharya, the principality that Taulros originally led, were obviously elevated, and the loose fitting robes common to that jungle-filled and humid realm are still official court dress, there was little to no standardization.
A single religious faith does
exist within the empire however, a fact owing more to sheer luck than anything else. Zealous monotheism had miraculously never reached prominence on Yaratilsh, or within any of the constituent worlds of the Amsivarran Republic, resulting in the adoption and identification of foreign gods. The Merlovian sky god Oinas is considered one and the same as the Jharyan Parlos, and therefore both are the patron deity of Taulros and the imperial line. The state of faith within the core worlds has been on a decline for centuries however, and while there is an official imperial cult, its only command is that good and true citizens earnestly wish for the health and happiness of their Emperor. Interestingly, this adaptability extends even to international relations, with the Taulron explicitly comparing themselves to states in the histories of other species they meet - the most famous being the comparison drawn between themselves and the Roman Empire of Earth.
Industrialization of any kind is disliked by the Yaratelmsh, even mass farming estates being a rarity. Individual accomplishment being prized as it is, it has long been considered unseemly to have mass-production of any kind. Taulros' father, King Najinos for whom Najinon is named in honor of, scandalized the entire planet by creating state factories to churn out weapons and vehicles for his armies, a scandal that turned into terror when he and his son started winning
. Still, there is far more pride in crafting a work of art than stamping out as many items as possible, and the modern Taulron economy follows. Quality control measures are far higher within factories and dockyards than most would consider to be sane, to the point that a secondary economy exists in the trade, salvage, and in some cases completion of castoffs that a chief engineer decided were unworthy of his name.
Far from focusing entirely on war materiel however, almost anything of substance can be bought from Taulron merchants. An accomplished vineyard is considered as laudable as a factory making tanks for the military. Volume trading is almost impossible however, as exports tend to stay at a minimum due to the simple fact that the empire requires most of what it makes for itself. Volume imports
have shown great success on the other hand, for the obsessive perfectionism of the Yaratelmsh does not extend to their conquered citizens.
Officially, the Taulron Empire is an authoritarian monarchy under the sole control of an autocratic emperor. In reality, the empire is a horrible mess of conflicting power bases, ancient rights, and autonomous worlds.
Paradoxically, it is on the throne world that the Emperor's power is at its lowest. The conquests of Taulros were unable to create a unitary state, with rival kings instead willingly or unwilling swearing fealty. This led to the Council of Kings, the highest governing body of Yaratilsh. Though the Emperor is sovereign over Jharya and those lands it annexed, the other kings have that right over their own realms. As such, all governance of Yaratilsh as a whole from planetary building policies to imperial taxation must be passed through the Council, an incredibly fractious assembly of crowned kings who are not keen on giving up their rights.
The colonies settled by the Taulron after reaching out to space however are under the direct control of the Emperor, and a vast colonial apparatus of professional bureaucrats was established to handle them. These colonies are considered the personal property of the Emperor, in the same fashion as Jharya, and formed the legal precedent for how conquered and otherwise annexed worlds are to be handled. The Kings of Yaratilsh were constrained entirely to Yaratilsh, and the power of the imperial state grew with each settlement established.
With the unexpected and sudden acquisition of the Amsivarran Republic, the burgeoning administration was instantly overwhelmed at the task ahead of them, and Emperor Ponnios the Wise realized something must be done. The Republic would retain its internal administrative stucture, headed by its Senate, and the model expanded to all worlds added to the empire by conquest or treaty. The Senate was then moved to Yaratilsh itself and, in an act that granted political representation to the entirety of the Taulron while at the same time providing a counterbalance to the Merlovian Senators, all
worlds elect representatives to the modern Imperial Senate. Today, the Senate has the right to propose any and all legislation necessary for the administration of all imperial properties, with only the non-imperial possessions on Yaratilsh exempt from its authority. While the Emperor must approve of all Senatorial acts, most mundane acts of government are simply approved of without a second thought. Importantly, while an Emperor has the legal authority to declare whatever laws he wishes, most make a habit of presenting their legislation to the Senate for approval.
Of course, the Emperors very rarely draft their own legislation, with that and the control of the imperial administration instead being handled by his Chancellor and their Secretaries. Though the imperial bureaucracy has waxed and waned through the centuries, the office of Imperial Chancellor has remained essentially unchanged as the chief civil executive. Second only to the Emperor, the Chancellor is the master of all day to day government affairs and is rightly considered the shining end to a glorious career in imperial service.
Importantly, the Chancellor and his Secretaries have no direct authority over the imperial military. Such control would make the office an Emperor in all but name, and was deemed dangerous to the stability of both the empire as a whole, and the life of the reigning Emperor in particular. Instead, the head of the military apparatus is the Grand Marshal, almost always a career officer and usually one from the Navy. The military is a law unto itself, making appropriation requests directly to the Emperor and Senate without regard to the Chancellor.
Technological development in the empire is, kindly speaking, lopsided. Though conquest and trade have ensured that certain minimums are meant in all fields, the preferences of the Taulron are extreme in what R&D they fund, but what does have their favor is often head and shoulders above that of their neighbors.
Even the basic physics of the power plants aboard imperial vessels are a state secret, but what is known is that they are as powerful as they are volatile. Though some consider their ships to be glass cannons, their current power plants make them more akin to flying bombs. Complementing this is their obsession with faster and faster engines, in both realspace and faster-than-light travel. It's likely that the feats of mobility that characterize Taulron warfare would be impossible without the energetic power plants aboard their ships.
In defense technologies, bulk armor is almost entirely eschewed, deemed unneeded weight. Instead, powerful shield generators demand yet more powerful power plants, further tilting the empire to untried and dangerous technologies. This focus on keeping weight down as much as possible extends to weapons technologies, the Taulron view any weapon that requires ammunition as unsuitable for their needs, and instead have perfected lasers and plasma throwers, once more taxing their power plants. Incidentally, this technology has found civilian use in mining lasers.
This emphasis on mobility extends to their ground forces, and mobile power armor that enhances or provides flight capability are some of the finest feats of engineering within the empire. Though painfully light weight by the standards of most frontline units, it permits incredibly fast movement and the utilization of the last triumph of Taulron technology: stealth fields.
Politically contentious even within the Empire, the existence of working stealth technology is a state secret in its own right, and few working examples have been produced. The underlying principles of the fields results in power requirements increasing exponentially with mass, and what units have been equipped with them tend towards light infantry and scout ships.
Though the commander-in-chief of the military is officially the Emperor, practicality has long demanded that an official be put in charge of such an awe inspiring responsibility, leading to the creation of the Grand Marshal. Beneath the Grand Marshal are the Field Marshal and the Star Marshal, masters of the Imperial Army and Imperial Star Navy. Placed within the Imperial Army and under the direction of the Field Marshal are the Air Marshal and High Admiral, in charge of the obsoleted remnants of the Imperial Air Force and Imperial Navy both serving more or less entirely as garrison elements on long settled worlds. Similarly, but far more importantly, the Master of Marines reports to the Star Marshal, placing the Imperial Marine Corps firmly under the auspices of the Navy.
Incidentally, while the Imperial Star Navy and the Imperial Navy are officially separate entities, the sea-going Imperial Navy is now essentially a yacht club for the elite, and the Star Navy tends to be referred to simply as "the Navy" as a result.
Official doctrine has the Imperial Navy open battle at a time and place of their choosing with rapid attacks, ideally taking the enemy unawares. Appearing unexpectedly and striking hard, the Navy attempts to disengage and make good their retreat as soon as the element of surprise is lost and the enemy line of battle is formed. This results in wars fought as much in the enemy's mind as upon the field of battle, as traditional militaries are frustrated at the lack of a stand up battle.
When forced to confront strongholds, both the Army and Navy attempt to infiltrate in elements before the start of battle proper to sow havoc and weaken defensive positions. Combined with targeted assassinations and feints, the goal is to simply never have a fair fight. On the other extreme, when the Taulron are forced to defend a fixed position they favor entrenched and immobile assets. While regular forces harry an invasion force for as long as possible, fortifications on the target are continuously built. For defensive strongpoints that are expected to come under threat, the Taulron finally make use of munitions, saving energy for shield generators.
The one type of engagement that the Taulron attempt to avoid at all costs is the boarding action. Boarding is completely at odds with all established doctrine, as well as simple physiology. The Imperial Marine Corps is made almost entirely of client species, and wasn't even established until the Republic was annexed.
The Taulron Imperial Star Navy
Dreadnoughts: The pride of the fleet, Taulron dreadnoughts are among the fastest ever built, built to keep pace with their battleships. Designed near the end of the war as a game changer, the Vainglorious
class was essentially a frame built around a directed energy cannon. The empire created and lost an absurd amount of these behemoths, foes in the Great War obviously prioritizing the destruction of these flying guns. During the Detente years, the empire kept to the treaty, ending construction of new dreadnoughts, but constantly revising designs for a successor class. The Imperious
class went into production as soon as the message was transmitted, but so far has yet to roll off the lines.
Battleships: Interestingly, the Taulron had to make little modification to their battleships after the Treaty of Detente. Many have considered this proof that they weighed the treaty towards their own ends, but the fact of the matter is that their primary warfighters already were glass cannons. The primary difference between the Bellicose
class of the Great War and the Vigilant
class of the Detente are that the latter are actually sturdier, a less powerful main armament permitting more power to the shields. Entering into service after the fall of Detente is the Vindictive
class built from the ground up to be consorts of dreadnoughts, equipped with far weaker weaponry than the Imperious
, but possessing a similar effective range.
Battlecruisers: No type of warship has evolved more in recent decades for the Taulron than the battlecruiser. Originally designed as consorts to battleships, the Courageous
class fought in the Great War in that mode, deploying directly alongside the Bellicose
to screen the larger vessel and provide additional fire upon primary targets. With the Treaty of Detente restricting their main battery, and the rise of the dreadnoughts, battlecruisers were relegated as flagships for cruiser squadrons. The Joyous
class carried guns scarcely more powerful than those of the ships it led into battle, but critically served as the testbed for experimental 3C systems that found themselves implemented on the Imperious
. With the treaty lapsed, the Taulron were finally able to complete the evolution of the battlecruiser with the Dauntless
Designed to act independently or in concert with their sister ships, the Dauntless
class is a revolution in Taulron military philosophy: a ship designed to actually stand and fight. Equipped a slimmed down power plant, the Dauntless
is unable to both travel at full speed and fight at full strength. Instead, it is intended to separate from the main fleet body and quickly travel to the enemy's flank, and engage their forces. With the enemy distracted, the main fleet can then pounce, ideally creating enough havoc in the process that if the battlecruisers need to withdraw they can survive the weakening of their shields this would require.
Cruisers: Where battlecruisers and then battleships were designed as consorts of more powerful vessels, the cruiser has long been used as escort. Equipped with point defense weapons and a short range main battery, the cruisers from the Great War to the present have little changed. From the Watchful
, to the Nimble
, to the modern Prescient
, cruisers have served to slap down any vessel arrogant enough to close with their betters. Their speed, size, and firepower also make them the archetypal independent command, and the Prescient
still serves in that capacity.
Destroyers: Destroyers are typically considered the least lucky type of ship in the Imperial Navy, defined as being the largest vessel that cannot survive a direct hit from a battleship's main battery. Too fragile to properly escort larger warships, and still too slow to run circles around battlefleets, the destroyer exists in an awkward position. The Taulron have traditionally used their destroyers as long range artillery platforms, a glass cannon among a fleet of glass cannons. The new Braggart
class is designed to sit behind the main battlefleet and bombard targets of opportunity, but like its predecessors, the Lonesome
and the Curious
having fought in living memory, is most at home in anti-piracy operations.
Frigates: An incredibly small, and incredibly fast, ship type, Taulron frigates can not only outpace enemy fleets but can dive in and out of them far too quickly for only the luckiest and lightest of strikes to land against them. The Exceptional
class of the Great War earned fame as squadrons performed daring strikes deep into enemy lines. The Tremulous
of the Detente was far less lucky, defeating only pirates. As the fires of war rise anew, the Heedless
class is simply a direct upgrade of the Exceptional
, the designers clearly hoping that it shall win equal glory.
Corvettes: Smaller than even frigates, corvettes have historically been used only for internal policing and pirate duty, even raids of opposing frigates being met with frigates. A new class wasn't even designed during the days of the Detente, the venerable Placid
class serving for half a century with habitual upgrades plying the space lanes. A few years before the message however, a piece of news was announced to very little fanfare. The Placid
was being replaced by the new Cautious
, something that very few people cared about. Recently however, rumors have begun to swirl that the Cautious
is a testbed for the equally rumored Taulron stealth fields, and that it was being used for troop insertions.
Strike craft: The Taulron hate strike craft. Too small to host FTL drives, strike craft are anathema to their entire fleet doctrine. Waiting for such craft to return to their carriers has long been considered an unacceptable waste of time, one that could mean the difference between life and death. However, they form a lynchpin of Taulron static defense, and swarms of fighters and bombers can be found waiting to defend planets and space stations throughout the empire. Such is the disdain for these craft however that the Navy refused their ownership, operating instead as the most visible sign that the venerable Imperial Air Force still exists.
Mobility has always been king to the Taulron, and their armies have adhere to this without flaw. Almost every single element in an imperial army is capable not just of rapid movement, but of flight. Both armor and artillery is kept to a minimum, neither having much of an intellectual heritage in imperial military history. Walls and fortifications mean little to a species with the gift of flight, and the sort of heavy weaponry and heavy armor characterized by siege warfare simply never developed. The planet was united before the invention of energy shields, and the war with the Amsivarran Republic ended without much in the way of ground fighting. Even after the Great War, sieges are far from the Imperial Army's strength, and during the conflict the Taulron focused on bypassing strongholds as often as possible.
His Imperial Majesty's Starship Taulros the Great
According to all official records, the Taulros the Great
is simply an enhanced Imperious
class dreadnought with untested technology, requiring constant renovations. The hyperdreadnought is five times larger than an Imperious
and mounts enough weaponry to destroy a fleet. Keen eyed engineers soon realized that it was still undergunned for its sheer size, even with its shields at full power. The true danger of the Taulron hyperdreadnought is not in its guns, but instead the fact that it outputs enough energy to maintain a stealth field despite its sheer mass. While imperial intelligence has revealed whispers of similar projects being enacted by the other great powers, and that the Taulros the Great
would be hideously weak compared to them, construction has continued without alteration.