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Minor Race Development Thread
Ironwatsas
On the topic of lore, I've got a ton of ideas about fluffing out the "minor" races. Those which are (more or less) original to PDS' canon or are otherwise vague enough for us to play with. I have some basic ideas and such, and I want to generally get others involvement in straightening things out for the purposes of canon development.

The "Big Three" so far have been the Vaygr, Hiigarans, and Taiidan. Their lore, modus operandi, fleet structure, history, etc are all well established. The same can for the most part be said of the Turanic Raiders, Bentusi, Kadeshi, and the Beast. This assumes all of the homeworld games are canon and their storylines correlate to events in PDS. There's a few though that are relatively important that need to be fleshed out.


Frrern Aggregate


The Frrern are, for our intents and purposes, replacing the Olessian/Elyssian/etc race from PDS classic. They are canonical to the Homeworld verse (via a brief mention in Cataclysm's manual) but are otherwise a blank slate to work with. The only others who have done any level of fluff development on them being Norsehound and Siber, both of whom have interesting ideas but I'd like to somewhat differentiate our version in a few areas.

What I've imagined so far is that the Frrern are a second-generation star empire, succeeding a nation known as the Sekhmet, which collapsed several thousand years prior to the "present day" (9615 GSY) due to general stagnation and internal political strife. The modern Frrern state eventually formed from the successor states of the Sekhmet empire as a loose confederation of (nominally) independent worlds, sub-planetary nation states, and smaller polities. The Frrern government gradually became more centralized and is currently quite authoritarian, with its client states' sovereignty effectively only existing on paper.

As a consequence of this, there are large numbers of nationalist and secessionist movements attempting to break away from the central Aggrigate government. Tensions have flared up into armed conflict now and again, but the martial and economic power of the Aggregate, as well as the propaganda exaggerated (but very real) threat of the increasingly aggressive Taiidan Empire have kept the state together. With the fall of the Empire, the Aggrigate has experienced a renewed wave of secessionist sentiment. The Frrern attempted to manufacture a new foe via it's propaganda machine, using the neighboring Yomi empire as a scapegoat (leading to an obvious cooling of relations, and a few frontier skirmishes, but nothing severe).

The Beast War was utterly devastating to the Aggrigate Navy, due to a combination of poorly adapted tactics and strategies, obsolete (at the time) equipment, communications breakdowns, and the poor ability of their leadership to properly appreciate the situation. Granted, this was understandable due to the esoteric and alien nature of the Beast, and was largely a problem for all the powers who fought it. Of course, the Frrern's greatest strategic error was attempting to use attritional strategies simply to delay the Beast and keep it from breaching it's own borders, which ultimately ended up doing nothing more than prolonging the conflict.

While the war severely depleted the Aggregate navy, many of the secessionist movements lost steam for some time afterwards due to a combination of aftershock over the truly alien foe they had just fought, and an accompanying surge of patriotism that the Aggrigate propaganda machine masterfully tapped into over the course of the conflict. This also provided impetus for the Aggrigate Navy to start with a largely clean slate, free to experiment with new technologies and tactics.

The Frrern were also, prior to, during, and immediately after the fall of the Taiidan Empire, a major clandestine supplier to the Vaygr crusades under the warlord Tural, and later Makaan, during their wars against the Imperialist Taiidan. Some technologies such as plasma lances and laser-plasma weapons, and certain types of missile guidance used by the invasion era Armada were directly back-engineered and adapted from technology of Frrern origin.

As with certain similar analogs in real life, this has now come back to bite them in the ass. The brunt of the Vaygr war effort was directed elsewhere, but in the chaos following Makaan's death, several overeager vaygr rearguard clans have invaded the far eastern frontiers of the Aggregate territories, believing them to be easy pickings, and in some cases allying with secessionist militias (though the latter are such a diverse bunch, with little unification). This suits the militarists in the Frrern government just fine, giving them something to use their re-built navy on, and hopefully tap into the same patriotism and martial fervor that they were able to during the Beast Crisis.

In addition to this, expansionist elements within the Frrern government and economic spheres are eagerly trying to direct the military to seize former Republican Taiidan worlds close to the nation's borders, taking advantage of the splintering Vaygr armada, and lack of Hiigaran or Galactic Council oversight to those particular areas. Mostly this would put them in conflict with the IVF and Ravinder Democratic Republic. As well, the Frrern are deploying expeditionary and research units to known sites of Progenitor relics and infrastructure, attempting to harvest whatever technology they can in order to maintain parity with the Hiigaran Republic's own efforts in this regard.


Culturally, I've seen them as a very militaristic, very secular (especially compared to the relatively spiritual Hiigarans, Vaygr, Bentusi, etc), and very politically dogmatic (akin to Soviet Russia or Nazi Germany), but to a generally less exploitative and totalitarian degree as the Imperialist Taiidan, and without a lot of the cultural baggage the Hiigarans and Vaygr have. They would be a multi-ethnic nation made up of Sekhmet Descendants, Diaspora of the ancient (pre-exile) Kushan, and various others. They don't particularly swing toward either the alignment of the Hiigarans or Vaygr, but are generally more prone to fighting the latter. They have no interest in a total war against the Hiigaran Republic (which they would surely lose) but limited conflicts between special operations fleets over such things as Progenitor Relics are certainly possible.


Yomi Empire


Yomi is an entirely original creation of mine originally for a previous storyline (loosely a revised series of many of my previous writings for PDS) expressed mostly as a few fanfictions and boardwars on the relic boards here and there, and some written material I've never published. They are largely based on the East Asian cultures of Earth (mostly Japan), with a distinct "anime" aesthetic. Of course, Tel and others toyed with this idea in the past, so I figured what the hell, let's run with it.

The Yomi are a Constitutional Monarchy and Parliamentary Republic, with a ruling Imperial household and and a semi-hereditary, semi-elected nobility and system of courts which function as a de-facto Parliament. It is not strictly a clear cut counterpart of any real-world power (including Pre and Post WWII japan, though it has some inevitable commonalities with both). The closest analog being Heian Japan, in terms of political structure. Edicts by the Sakura Throne or Imperial Household are considered supreme and legally binding in authority, but the day-to-day operation of the empire, and most of the political power, are in the hands of the Parliamentary Courts. Within the courts, the system is largely somewhat of a representative democracy, but how much those "representatives" represent themselves or their constituents varies.

The modern Yomi state is relatively young; around 1000 galactic standard years. It is distantly descended from the Aikoian peoples, a Progenitor offshoot (the progenitors were not a unified homogenous empire, more on that later) and from whom most of their cultural traits and traditions descend. The Aikoian civilization collapsed along with that of the rest of the galaxy at the time, and the survivors regressed to a pre-industrial state in a relatively isolated region of the galactic south-west. They eventually rediscovered lost technologies left by the Aikoians at a point when they were at roughly a medieval level of technological development otherwise, knowledge and study of these relics was hoarded by the intellectual classes and feudal lords of the day, and gradually redeveloped. This lead to an unusual case of a race with a 1500's mindset with (limited) access to interplanetary and eventually interstellar travel.

The proto-yomi states of this era were essentially small planetary or sub-planetary states, clans, and fiefdoms scattered across several worlds, with interstellar travel achieved via an unusually dense network of slipgates which may have been a relict of an Aikoian interplanetary travel network. These various polities were in near constant warfare, despite a shared cultural heritage and aesthetic. Chief among those was the animist spiritualism which formed the core of all of the Yomi's myriad religions (for all intents and purposes, can be considered derivatives of Ko-Shinto mixed with Progenitor Worship).

Among various other traditions, was the reverence for the Ten-no-Kumo, or "clouds of heaven", a large star-forming nebula existing adjacent to the Yomi worlds, and a prominent feature in the night sky of all of their inhabited planets. The Yomi of the day understood the processes of star formation to a degree, and equated this with their mythologies. It is said that within the center of the cloud lies the gateway to the realm of the old gods, and that the stars surrounding them are the "Daughters of Amaterasu", and considered divine. The inner portion of the Ten-no-Kumo are considered off limits to all, partly due to the deep reverence surrounding the region, and partly because of the sheer danger of travel in such a radioactive and chaotic nebula.

The event which would lead to the formation of the modern Yomi republic was directly related to this. For reasons unknown, a fleet of T-MAT vessels entered the nebula. Several space-based temples and shrines were present along the cloud's borders, and these detected the incoming alien fleet. The Yomi attempted communication, but were ignored. The exact cause or instigator of the war to follow is not clear (records from the era are fragmentary and difficult to verify, in part due to the conflict), but the clans of the Yomi were faced with their first conflict with an outside power. Realizing the threat posed by the aliens, the majority of the desperate fiefdoms attempted to unify and confront the T-MAT. At first, the T-MAT completely ignored the relatively primitive yomi vessels, but after substantial damage to one of their harvesting vessels (the only credible 'victory' of the war), the T-MAT retaliated en-masse, dispassionately stomping out any resistance.

The proto-yomi clans fought bravely (and suicidally), but the technological disparity was so unimaginably severe that the Yomi were unable to harm even the smallest T-MAT vessels, and their worlds were soon under siege. In desperation, the leadership of the Fox clan sent a series of dispatches and communication probes to the frontiers of their space, desperately seeking aid from any other alien races. As fortune would have it, a Bentusi vessel received the distress call and intervened. The T-MAT ceased their offensive, stopping short of destroying the Yomi entirely.

As a direct result of this, the Fox clan gained effective control over the surviving fiefdoms and quickly moved to unify the survivors under their own nobility, establishing their throne on the world of Yamatai. This was to be the birth of the Yomi Empire. While some over-miliatiristic clans resisted, most of them had lost their fleets and armies during the war with the T-MAT, and the Fox-clan was quickly able to impose it's control and establish trade relations with the Bentusi. From that point, the Yomi developed rapidly and aggressively, putting their militaristic past behind them and entering into a golden age of peace and prosperity.

Yomi's closest neighbors are the Far-western kingdoms of the Nalthoran Republic, the Frrern Aggrigate, and the Great Wastelands inhabited by Turanic Raiders; the latter of whom have been the primary military threat to the Empire since it's formal establishment, and the bulk of it's military experience in the modern era comes from commerce protection and campaigns against the raiders. The Yomi have long been considered "favored clients" of the Bentusi, and were quickly offered a seat on the Galactic Council; one of the quickest races to have ever achieved this.

Of course, this had far-reaching implications in galactic politics. Many viewed the Yomi as impotent upstarts, or as little more than pawns in what had long been perceived as a lingering desire by the Bentusi and "Unbound" races to manipulate and control the politics of the younger nations. This lead to a pronounced rivalry between the Yomi and the Frrern Aggrigate and, more importantly, the Taiidan Empire. For it's part, the Yomi largely turned the other cheek (having neither the desire nor means to fight either party), and established close and mutually beneficial relations with the Nalthoran Republic. The relative close proximity between the two nations and the similar circumstances of their addition to the council lead to an enduring friendship and extensive interstellar trade between the two, as well as frequent joint operations both against Turanic Raiders and on the Galactic Council's behalf.

The Taiidan Empire began to move it's military umbrella close to both Yomi and Nalthor in the run-up to what would become the Homeworld War, as the result of the increasingly mad policies of Emperor Riesstiu IV the second, ostensibly to "enforce it's economic interests" and combat raiders, although it was by this point an open secret of the Empire's patronage over the Turanics. Yomi had evolved into a substantial economic power but possessed only a small navy; no match for that of the Taiidan Empire.

The Yomi Self Defense Force underwent a major reorganization around this period and began investing in various advanced and unorthodox technologies, many of which were based in part on Bentusi creations, in an effort to levy it's economic and scientific might against the juggernaut of the Taiidan, and create numerous force multipliers. Extensive development of Artificial Intelligence, Drones, Cloaking and Stealth technology was made, with perhaps the most esoteric product of this process being the C-Suit program.

While many nations have done some level of experimentation or design theory on spaceborn mecha, the Cybersuit, or C-Suits used by the YSDF were among the few deployed operationally. The program began as an attempt to back-engineer the neural interfaces used by the Bentusi to interface with their ships, but Yomi science's grasp of the technology was relatively primitive. It was nigh-impossible for a pilot using the back-engineered linking systems to control a conventionally designed fighter ship, and any further advances would require extensive surgical implantation of cybernetics: something that, culturally (and politically), the Yomi people could never accept. While the program was about to be scrapped, scientists at the Ikari Technological institute came up with an ingenious, if unorthodox, solution; simply use a humanoid vehicle instead of a traditional fighter.

Using what were at first, essentially scaled-up spacesuits and construction vehicles, the C-Suit program was largely successful. While the dreams of both the Yomi media and more whimsical military strategists envisioned these vessels making conventional strike-craft obsolete, their high per-unit cost, high maintenance, and the realities of space combat are such that C-Suits are used primarily as tactical special operations craft; a role that they excel at.

The Yomi and Taiidan empires never actually fought an open war; The return of the Kushan Mothership and death of Emperor Riesstiu lead to the collapse and withdraw of the Taiidani Fleet. The YSDF fought alongside other galactic council races as peacekeepers in the "Bandit Kingdoms" which formed out of the ashes of the Taiidan Empire, as well as the emboldened turanic raiders. When the Beast War came, the YSDF fared better than most due to it's use of Unmanned Drones and Artificial Intelligence, but there was a reluctance among the YSDF General staff to confront the Beast (not wanting to risk lives, or the subversion of high technology). As the situation on the frontier deteriorated, their hand was forced.

Since the end of the Beast War, the Yomi Military has somewhat stagnated, as research and development money has been invested elsewhere, and the lack of a clear and present threat to the Empire beyond occasional pirate raids has made major military expansion politically unpalatable. While some incremental upgrades and doctrinal changes have been made, most of the ships and equipment in use as of 9615 GSY are largely identical to those used a century ago. Despite this, the YSDF remains technologically on par, and in some cases (Artificial Intelligence, Networking, and Stealth technology) superior to the Hiigaran Navy.

There are however, signs of trouble on the horizon. While Yomi has not since it's unification been a military aggressive or expansionist power, dwindling mineral resource yields and a stagnating economy (with the fall of the Bentusi and Taiidan Republic, two of their most profitable trade partners) have lead to an overall push by some of the Yomi megacorporations to annex poorly or ungoverned areas, and increase military spending. Several political scandals within the Courts and Imperial Household, including a power shift towards the rather erratic political faction controlled by Lady Tamamo, one of the incumbent Emperor's courtesans, have hinted that there may be drastic changed in Yomi's military and foreign policies in the near future.


Fluff aside, in plain terms Yomi has a few major things going for it. Beyond the obvious animu aesthetic, it is largely, militarily, based on a modern-day naval power such as South Korea, Singapore, or (obviously) the JMSDF; a relatively technologically advanced military, but with limited offensive capabilities and extensive use of force multipliers. If you look at the Homeworld universe with some of it's other inspirations, it's heavily based on Judeo-Christian myths and tale. For Yomi's case, I'd like to mix it up a bit and throw elements of Japanese Mythology in instead. This is in contrast to the idea for the Frrern; Yomi are a very superstitious and spiritualist people, with substantial emphasis on tradition and symbolism, which is why they don't consider such things as Humanoid Mecha absurd within their frame of reference.

They're more of an economic power (with a major export economy, and with Hiigara and it's allies as a main trading partner) than a military one, and their territories lie on the far end of the galaxy from the Vaygr front-lines. Their most likely vectors of conflict with the other races are against the Frrern (with whom they have a de-facto cold war), Turanic Raiders, or possibly in support of the Nalthorans or Galactic Council in some capacity. There are also a few Progenitor/Aikoian relics still active here and there.

That being said, their armed forces are the equal of their contemporaries in terms of fighting ability. Nearly all of their capital ships use a central Artificial Intelligence to process data and control the ship's systems, with a small skeleton crew (dozens to a few hundred) and some marines aboard to perform decision making tasks, interpret orders, and have final trigger-pull ability. The AI is capable of operating the ship all by itself, but rarely does. Humans still have better abstract decision making and illogical reasoning than even the best AI. One quirk of the Yomi condition is that their AIs tend to have an exclusively female persona, and accompanying holographic avatar which can be freely interacted with. This is both an obvious morale booster to the crew, but it also makes communication with the ship very easy. Yomi AIs are advanced to the point where a conversation can be held with them as casually as any human, and they are fully capable of self expression and, to a degree, emotion. This also serves as a check (one of several)to keep the AI from deciding to kill all humans or otherwise go rogue. They can also identify mundane hacking or tampering attempts, and enact security protocols.

The AI functions both as a member of the crew (for all practical purposes), and is subservient to the ship's captain, and is officially part of the chain of command. The AI also functions as the ship's data recorders and black box: the entire AI module is designed to be ejected if the ship is destroyed. This preserves the AI's personality as well as all pertinent information. In the event of a chassis' destruction, the AI is generally installed into a new ship. This allows the Artificial Intelligences to gain many decades of battle experience, providing a substantial edge for the crew. They are highly resistant to mundane hacking and tampering attempts; in cases where Yomi vessels have been infected by the Beast, the AI has usually retained some degree of control over the ship for some time afterwards (usually long enough to download it's logs and scuttle the ship), but there have been a few cases of Rogue AIs as the result of Beast infection. As well, the Artificial Intelligences within Progenitor Keepers are more advanced and capable than those of the Yomi by an order of magnitude, and are capable of completely shutting down or subtly corrupting them.

Smaller craft are a mix of manned and unmanned platforms, with simpler craft such as fighter drones and ion cannon frigates being the former. These vessels typically have limited, non-anthropomorphic AI systems of correspondingly restricted capability, and are usually slaved to manned platforms or capital ship AIs during combined operations.


Beyond these two, we still need to review the:

Federation of Cush
Nalthoran Kingdom
Itaar Assembly:
Levii Conglomerate:
Progenitors:
T-MAT:
and P3:

I have ideas for most of them but the first four have some stuff written about them (not even all by me!) so I want to revisit that of course.
 
Ironwatsas
The Western Races: Old and Young

The region known as the Great Wastelands is, as it's name suggests, a desolate and war-torn region lying between the inner rim and the western spiral arm of the Galaxy. While once a core region of the Progenitor Empire, most of the habitable planets in the region were devastated during the civil war that brought them down. This lead to an overall lower density of inhabited worlds, but left a number of useful technological artifacts from the Progenitor era strewn about. This lead to the rise of a few of the better-known civilizations of ancient times.

The Old Tobari Empire: The direct ancestors to what are currently the Turanic Kingdoms are the Tobari; an Empire which existed from the earliest days of the Galactic Council era to the year 6566 GSY. It was, at it's height of power, the largest and most powerful post-Progenitor era empire ever to exist in the western expanse of the Galaxy. The worlds which would eventually become the Tobari had achieved at various times independent spaceflight, and a basic level of Interstellar travel using Slipgates or Relativistic ships using Nuclear Pulse Propulsion. When the Bentusi discovered the first Hyperspace Core, and began trading this technology with the other Races, the Tobari had impetus to unify and form a combined government.

Originally a democratic federation composed of it's constituent worlds and polities, over time the Tobari ossified into a constitutional monarchy, with a reigning elected Chancellor and parliamentary system. While at varying periods, the Tobari would waver from legitimate democracy, to a cronyist authoritarian state with a thin veneer or a proper republic, and back again, it never achieved the same level of political homogeneity as the late Taiidan Empire.

Initial relations with the Galactic Community were very positive, however as time went on, the Tobari began to resent the 'Unbound' races such as the Bentusi, perceiving them (perhaps legitimately) as manipulative, hoarding their technological discoveries while manipulating the 'lesser' races under the guise of 'peacekeepers'. The Bentusi had indeed put a number of restrictions on Tobari expansion and military research, which were seen by them as a direct meddling in their national affairs and an insult to their sovereignty. Indeed, the Tobari were not alone in this sentiment, and slowly the 'younger' races began to draw plans against the Unbound.

Among other actions to weaken the Bentusi's power base, was the Tobari's contact with the Nalthoran species, and their rapid chaperoning of them into the Galactic Council. The Tobari also sponsored Nalthoran expansionism to worlds more comfortable for their biology, sewing the seeds of the latter's modern day exclaves and trade routes. All of this benefited the Tobari, giving an alternative to the Outer-Limb trade routes then dominated by the Bentusi, and helping to build the Tobari's power base.

Eventually, a galaxy-spanning series of wars and political unrest, caused in part by the actions of the Tobari and their allies severely limited the political powers of the Unbound, several went into seclusion, while the Bentusi largely agreed to remove themselves from direct involvement with other governments, unless absolutely necessary. However, these actions left a bad taste in the mouths of the inner-council races, which are widely believed (but never officially acknowledged) to have contributed to Council Inaction during the events which culminated in the Tobari Empire's fragmentation. This sentiment was further tempered by the Tobari's support of the old Hiigaran Empire during their war against the Taiidan and Bentusi, in the 6th Millennium GSY.

The Tobari slowly became more and more diplomatically isolated following the collapse of the Hiigarans. Even their former allies, the Nalthorans, had begun to distance themselves from the Tobari. In response, the empire began to become more isolationist and insular, as their political and economic dominance began to erode, and as the rival Taiidan Empire began to gain more and more influence. The Tobari began to expand to other regions of the galaxy, slowly moving to the largely unexplored Northwest fringes of the Galaxy, intending to set up frontier resource colonies to give themselves more of an economic edge.

Unfortunately, this act is most likely what provoked their downfall.



The Migou: What the Tobari encountered was a truly alien race, referred to as the Migou by the Bentusi; a species characterized by incredibly advanced biotechnology and cybernetics, and extreme xenophobia and aggression. They immediately began a war of annihilation against the Tobari (and just about any other race in their path) in the mid 6550's.

Very little is known about them, due to their refusal to communicate, naked hostility, and alien nature. Due to their near universal surgical modification, it is impossible to know what they originally looked like, as all observed members of their species were heavily augmented with biological and cybernetic enhancements. What little is known from necropsies of dead Migou warriors indicate a their biology has traits in common to both Arthropods, Insects, and Fungi, but is not a direct analog if either. Most information beyond what has been readily observed is largely conjectural, but some things of their history and technology are known.

Archeological evidence indicates the Migou existed as early as the Progenitor era, and are known to have warred with them as well. The Progenitors easily repelled these attacks but, for unknown reasons, stopped short of wiping them out. After the fall of the Progenitors, hyperspace travel was disrupted for several thousand years. The surviving Migou were left in isolation, until their first contact with the Tobari. All of their worlds are located in a relatively large cluster on the northwestern rim of the galaxy: telescopic observation indicates these worlds are heavily engineered and fortified with megalith-scale defensive structures. They have not colonized any worlds outside of their core planets, even in territories firmly under their control, although they appear to have wiped out anything they encountered, including civilizations with only bronze-age levels of technology.

Overall, their level of technology is estimated to be about 50 to 100 years ahead of the modern (10th Millenium) Galactic powers, but far behind even the then-contemporary unbound races or progenitors. This technological disparity, combined with the sheer scale and ferocity of their invasion (and, perhaps most infamously, lack of Galactic Council support) is what lead to the Tobari's eventual defeat.

The initial War between the Tobari Empire and Migou lasted ten years. Neither side had far-jumper technology, so the war was fought as one of attrition and manuver on solar-system scales. Migou strategy and battle tactics were often inscrutable or irrational, and characterized by, in many cases, ceaselessly throwing re-inforcements into comparatively minor engagements forcing the Tobari to respond in kind or (more commonly) sacrifice a small objective to keep their forces intact. However, there are several cases where the Migou showed intense tactical accumen, lulling the enemy into a false sense of security with what would first appear acts of colossal military incompetence, only to find that this was part of a grand diversion. The Migou focused exclusively on countervalue strategies: attacking planets and major population centers with intent to destroy industry and cause mass casualties. This combination of tactics allowed the Tobari to maintain their war effort far longer than had the Migou used different strategies.

Ultimately though, the Migou had far superior industrial production, via psuedo von-Neumann architecture across it's industrial sector, and large amounts of mobile infrastructure. After a seeming lull in hostilities lasting almost seven months, during which the Tobari began to rebuild and prepare a reconquest, the Migou attacked again, with overwhelming force. This time, they concentrated first on utterly destroying the Tobari Military, which was achieved within ten weeks. They then attacked the Tobari capitol world of Adar, bombarding it with nuclear weapons into a radioactive wasteland. The Imperial government effectively collapsed, and panic swept through the rest of the worlds as the Migou rapidly began the systematic destruction of any remaining Tobari population centers and resistance groups.

During this phase of the War, the Migou abducted huge numbers of Tobari citizens who had been trapped behind enemy lines. It was unknown at first why they had suddenly began to take prisoners, since they had previously killed every living thing. It was suspected that they were being used for some sort of scientific experimentation and aggressive augmentation; a theory that turned out to be frighteningly accurate.



The Kassi: During the last phases of the Tobari-Migou war, the aliens began using genetic stock from captured Tobari civilians, and conducting extensive surgical and genetic modification to them, in order to create a new generation of shock troops, better adapted to fighting in Humanoid-centric environments. The result was what would eventually become known as the Kassi, a slave-race of heavily mutated and bio-engineered humanoids, built essentially as expendable biological shock troops.

Starting with the basic human body plan, the Migou heavily re-configured the musculature for combat-specific purposes. Fingers and fingernails were mutated into claws. Spinal vertebrae were extended into opposable spikes. Leg and Arm muscles were enhanced to allow for far greater agility, and cognitive faculties were substantially modified to make the troops unquestioningly loyal and fully dependent on their masters' whims. This was combined with heavy cybernetic augmentation, to provide protection against battlefield hazards and enhance survivability. During the final phases of organized Tobari resistance, these proto-Kassi soldiers were used extensively.

The Migou began adapting the Kassi genome to produce different specialist types, and gradually giving them more autonomy as time went on, while ensuring they remained brainwashed and loyal to their masters. Most infantry-grade Kassi warriors were exclusively female, or deliberately underdeveloped to resemble children. This is believed to have been a conscious effort on the Migou's part to play on the human's psyche: to sew shock and horror, and destroy morale. Yet other Kassi warrior forms went the opposite direction, resembling heavily mutated, monstrous abominations, typically deployed into civilian regions to further sew panic. The reasons for the change in strategy from systematic, seemingly dispassionate annihilation to deliberate tactics of terror and demoralization, even at the point of near victory, are entirely unknown. However, this did finally set in motion the chain of events that would be the Migou's downfall.

The Galactic Council had been watching events unfolding in the Tobari region from afar, but had only provided token support in the form of resources and humanitarian support. The reasons for this, as asserted by later Turanic Clans, were a conscious withholding of direct military support to allow the Tobari Government to collapse, as a sort of 'payback' for their role in the slow fall from grace of the Unbound. The Council's "Official" reasoning was that the Migou had not yet attacked any other nations, and that the Bentusi had adopted a 'non-interventionist' clause following the defeat of the Hiigaran Empire, and that the Tobari had been one of the strongest voices promoting a non-interventionist council. It was only after the mass destruction of civilian population centers, and the appearance of the Kassi, that the Council was essentially forced to intervene.

Migou victory over the Tobari was short-lived. A combined force of Council races, including the largest offensive deployment of T-MAT and P3 vessels ever recorded, with substantial aid from expeditionary fleets from the Nalthoran Kingdom and Taiidan Empire, and logistical support from the Bentusi, launched an intervention against the Migou. An initial sweep by the T-MAT wiped out the largest concentrations of Migou military forces, while the P3 attacked major resource zones. Bentus itself used it's far jumper capabilities to deposit Taiidani expeditionary forces deep behind enemy lines to disrupt the main Migou factories and industrial plants. Nalthoran forces opened up a second front to distract the Migou rearguard forces, while using it's vast Merchant fleet to rush humanitarian aid into the embattered Tobari worlds. In a matter of weeks, the Migou and their Kassi thralls were pushed out of the core territories of the Empire, but as they began to be pushed back towards their homeworlds, their resistance suddenly grew far more fierce, giving even the Council races pause.

It was now that the Bentusi intervened directly. In a daring joint raid, the Bentusi and Taiidani special forces attacked a Migou biological laboratory involved in producing the Kassi soldiers for the war effort. With their superior technology and knowledge, the Bentusi managed to upload a standing directive into the newly produced Kassi, enabling them to resist their masters; essentially restoring some degree of their humanity. This was combined with a self-propigating DNA template that would replicate itself in the Migou bio-labs, causing a widespread revolt of the Kassi slaves under Migou control. The result was that the majority of the Kassi became aware of their predicament, and their rebellions tied down large numbers of Migou forces and command and control assets, essentially paralyzing them. This was immediately followed up by a united offensive by the Council Races, breaking the Migou defensive line and pushing them back to their fortified homeworlds.

It was at this point, that the Galactic Council had a tough decision to make; weather or not to annihilate the Migou wholesale. One of the founding tenants of the council, and one which endures to this day, is that the ultimate crime of any civilization is the crime of genocide. Despite the fact that the Migou showed every intention of fighting to the death, the debates within the council reached an impasse. Eventually, the Bentusi purposed an interim solution. They would use the Kassi, who were quickly rallying together under the Council's banner, and attempt to organize them into a 'buffer state' which would both allow their freedom, but also act as a check on a resurgent Migou expansion. Ultimately, the Council agreed.

A final military campaign was waged which destroyed all of the Migou's serviceable space infrastructure, ships, and launch systems, and isolated them on their planets. The Kassi had, by this point, sided wholly with the Galactic Council, and were attempting to organize themselves into a psuedo-nation state or unified command hierarchy. However, the sheer scale and thoroughness of the Migou's brainwashing and genetic engineering, and the militaristic predisposition precluded any sort of traditional government. Many decades of experimenting would be needed to restore the Kassi to viable members of the Galactic Community.

Kassi society was henceforth divided between two paradigms and strictly segregated from one another. The Warrior Cult; which functioned as the de-jure military force, was forged out of the military biomorph Kassi created by the Migou, and those templates descended from them. Deliberate genetic re-engineering after their emancipation lead to the formation of a matriarchal caste system, based on the different classes of bio-modification and psychology of a given subspecies (E.G. more violent or mindless 'berzerker' types were controlled by more intelligent 'coordinators'). While the majority of Migou biotechnology was far too alien for the Kassi, or any of the council races, to readily replicate or control, the Warrior Cult managed to develop it's own fleet and space infrastructure based on "off the shelf" technologies recycled from the Tobari or provided by the Galactic Council. The Warrior Cult was soon able to supplement and replace the Council's peacekeeping forces.

The second sector of Kassiite society, which formed some time later, were simply known as 'The Civil Ones'; demilitarized biomods intended to be closer to the human baseline. This was intended to form a more amicable 'civilian' population which would be separate from the martial Warrior Cult, and eventually be able to construct a normalized nation-state and eventually join the Galactic Council. However, even from the start, there were problems. The unimaginable extent of Migou bio-modification meant that Kassi psychology and sociology is dramatically different from that of baseline humans. Furthermore, the extent of the bio modification itself could not be easily reversed, so most "demilitarized" Kassi individuals still retain a number of physical and mental characteristics, such as unnatural skin colors (purple, green, or blue), clawed hands, spinal spikes, and a generally very lithe and wiry appearance.

Sufficient progress, however, has been made in gene-manipulation to return the nonmilitary Kassiites to an acceptable level where they can both reproduce naturally and operate independently of the Warrior Cult. Most Kassi civilians live nomadic lives as extended family groups aboard small fleets of ships, with each individual fleet being entirely self sufficient. Family groups will trade and rendezvous with each other, but otherwise exist in a state of nominal anarchy. These groups are widely dispersed throughout the northwestern corner of the galaxy, and conflict or competition between groups is very rare (due in part to the vestiges of a biological "IFF" system implanted in the military Kassi).

Despite their relatively primitive society, which resembled terrestrial hunter-gatherers, the Kassi possess adequate technology and the knowledge to maintain it to survive and thrive in deep space. Each family group usually has a number of ships and drones at it's disposal. A typical family group's fleet can break down like this:

  1. A carrier-sized 'Botanical Cruiser' which functions as a home ship: Usually with three or four biodomes for food production, living space, shuttle and drone servicing docks, and command & control equipment for other ships.
  2. A combined refinery/production ship, equipped with onboard PDAs and robotic resource collectors, providing manufactured goods for the flotilla.
  3. Mining, Construction, & Repair drones to maintain the rest of the fleet.
  4. Self-propelled barges to hold surplus supplies and goods, or hazardous materials safely away from the homeship, and act as remote freighters.
  5. Generator Vessel/Probe tender (usually combined in one ship) which deploys solar or fusion generators to provide auxiliary power to the flotilla. Often deploys solar collector probes remotely and beams the power back via microwave beams.
  6. Defense Armature, which is functionally similar to a support frigate, carrying a number of fighter drones (or rarely, larger ships), meant to defend against pirate attacks.
  7. A few dozen combat drones for defense.
  8. Several shuttles for moving around the flotilla.
  9. Various communications probes.


Some larger groups may have multiple such vessels, and the exact compositions vary. As time goes on, the general trend has been for some Kassi family groups to cluster together and construct trade stations, or even attempt planetary colonization (although the latter typically requires contracting to foreign construction & terraforming firms).

The closest thing to a central government the Kassi has is the central command nexus of the Warrior Cult, which conducts most of the foreign relations and acts as the de-facto representative of their species to the Galactic Council as a whole. While not yet meeting the criteria of a Council member race, the Kassi have amicable relations to the Council and are predicted to eventually seek to join once their civilization achieves a more stable government. However, due to their fundamentally alien nature, the Warrior Cult is highly unpredictable; there have been a number of unprovoked attacks by their vessels against foreigners, although many have been a chalked up to mistaken identity as Raiders (more on that below) or overzealous fleet commanders.

The Warrior cult, to this day, continues to guard the former Migou worlds, to prevent their resurgence. Low-intensity conflict continues, as the Migou will periodically experience a resurgence, striking out from hidden bases. On sixteen occasions since the end of the war, the Migou have breached the Kassi's containment perimeter, necessitating an outside intervention of some kind. Currently, the Migou are considered 'contained', although current events elsewhere in the galaxy have dramatically reduced the ability of the Galactic Council to communicate with and support the Kassi. This has had two major consequences....

The fall of the Bentusi has removed their oversight from the Kassi's development, as well as removed the primary enforcing party of council law. The Kassi have been rumored to have begun rapidly developing previously forbidden technologies, such as unrestricted military Von Neumann machines. The second is that the Bentusi were one of the only races willing or able to communicate with the Kassi (the only other being the Nalthorans), as most others consider them due to their nature and isolation to be at best; a pariah, or at worst; a genetic abomination. Kassi actions have become increasingly unpredictable as of late, perhaps as a result of the sudden loss of guidance. It is unclear how much the Bentusi "guided" the Kassi, as they "controlled" them...



The Turanic Raiders: The circumstances described above lead to the effective collapse of the Tobari Empire. Continuity-of-government plans were partially successful in preserving a core leadership, however most of the frontier worlds were either unwilling or unable to support the Galactic Council backed initiative to restore the Tobari Goverment: The popular perception in the former Tobari worlds, one which still influences the behavior of the modern Turanic Raiders to this day, is one that the Council was, directly or indirectly, responsible for the fall of the Empire, citing either inaction or active involvement; the situation with the Kassi largely reaffirmed this to many former Tobari citizens.

Attempts by the council to ameliorate the general hostility, provide aid, or restore governmental services were met with various degrees of hostility or outright violence; indeed the Council had shot itself in the foot with it's inaction (although due to the prior behavior of the Tobari Government, including restricting of information on the Migou threat, and reluctance to call for aid, the blame cannot entirely be placed on them). After a half-century of attempting to rebuild the Tobari, the council ultimately gave up; the few governments they put in place gradually foundered and failed, and lawlessness and warlordism began to settle in. The entire affair is considered the greatest failure of the Galactic Council during the tenure of it's existance.

The various post-Tobari states began to diverge and evolve seperately, leading to a cycle of instability which would continue largely to the present day. It is from these endless brushfire wars, warlords, and failed states that the modern Turanic Raiders would eventually rise. Despite the interval of time between the Fall of the empire and the first recorded appearance of Organized Raiders in the Turan sector, the Turanics remain unambiguously hostile to the Council and most of the other races of the galaxy. However, in the case of the piratical clans, old grudges have largely given way to pragmatism.

Modern Raider clans are known for working as mercenaries when paid, and taking what they want or need when not paid. While only a fairly small fraction of the Turanic Peoples are actively involved in Piracy, the actions of the piratical raiders and general disorganization of the Turanic Kingdoms has precluded any nation-building or diplomatic normalization between them and the galaxy at large.



(More to come soon)
 
mrWHO
Wow! Western part of the Galaxy is now one fucked up place. And I thought Vaygr reaches were bad, but comparing to this they seem pleasant and civilised, almost paradise.

I love the T-Mat part in Migou conflict - even if this is only few lines they seem to be like "Huh? Someone more twisted than us? Whatever <rolling them over with their Starfishes-of-death>"


BTW I hope that once you finish the minor races we could contact Norsehound to update HW2 galaxy map with the new additions.
 
Ironwatsas
I plan to do that. I actually talked to him a while ago. I may make a rough draft of the new galaxy when I get some free time. I'll need to find a high quality version of the old one though for reference.

I wouldn't even classify the Great Wastelands as "western" part of the galaxy, rather it's more "Mid Rim", between the galactic core and spiral arm. Further out, you have Kharak, the Nalthoran Territories, and way to the south, Yomi. The extreme northwest is the Kassi/Migou active zone, and their territories largely overlap.

The Turanic Kingdoms control a huge swathe of territory, but are far more disorganized and petty than the Vaygr, so it's unlikely they can easily be unified under a single leader or government without something truly dramatic taking place.

One thing most Turanics do have is a shared technological base. There are a number of nominally independent outlaw arms dealers and shipwrites supplying most of their space infrastructure and ships; this is the source of the most common Raider designs (the most prominent name circling around is of a man operating under the pseudonym 'The Gunbringer'Wink, who has connections both within the Turanic Sphere of influence, and with a number of the less scrupulous elements of the Levii Conglomerate (and, allegedly, with the Imperialist Taiidan).

The Current Situation: The Migou are still a persistent threat, taking advantage of any lapse in containment to break past the Kassi blockade and attempt to set up a base elsewhere. The Kassi themselves are likewise prevented from large-scale expansion, besides resource acquisition, since they are essentially forced to dedicate almost all of their military forces to securing Migou space.

The Turanic Raiders and Kassi have no love for each other. Raiders will occasionally target isolated Kassi families on the fringes of their territory, but in most cases they avoid the region: The Warrior Cult and 'Civilian' Kassi may be formally separate, but the Cult will act in Civilian interests against any perceived threat. They have been known to launch ferocious invasions into Raider Space in response to any Raider clans which have overstepped their boundary. Understandably, this means the Northwest Turanic march kingdoms are the most heavily fortified in Raider space.

Turanic Raider (capitol R) clans are widely scattered, both around the periphery of the Great Wastelands, and with some groups in the Levii conglomerate and, more recently, in the hinterlands between the Taiidan Republic and Frrern Aggrigate. They have largely been expatriated from the Galactic Core and northern regions by the Hiigaran Navy and Cush Federation, and had never expanded into the Far East.

A number of affiliated Wokou clans (Turanic-allied Yomi expatriates, using Raider equipment and ships) operate in and around Yomi space, being the primary military threat to the YSDF.

Additionally, a number of Raider clans are located near Nalthoran space, preying on shipping between Nalthor, the Yomi territories, and the wider galaxy at large. These clans have made little real penetration into Metropolitan Nalthoran space, where they have been held at bay by the Kihnjahal. Because of the intense rivalry between the Kihnjahal and Raiders, these border regions are extremely well armed (second only to the Kassigrad buffer zone), and running battles between Raider and Kihnjahal forces are an almost daily occurrence.


Fleet Dynamics:

The Tobari fleet was, in it's heyday, one of the best equipped and advanced outside of the unbound powers. At it's zenith it possessed (admittedly primitive) GUT drive technology, ultra-velocity mass-drivers, and miniaturized ion cannons which could be mounted on ships as small as modern Corvettes. It's ship designs were quite exotic, but in terms of setup were comparable to a modern fleet in organization.

During the course of the Migou war, the Tobari overproduced a number of their ships, and stowed many in secret locations, with intent to be used by 'stay behind' forces or irregulars to take advantage of the Migou's seemingly tenuous supply lines. Many of these caches have yet to be discovered, meaning one can still find Tobari-era ships which are virtually brand new. These vessels are occasionally re-activated and used by Raider clans, who greatly prize them. They are typically the centerpiece of any given Warlord's inventory, often used as a personal yacht.

Because guided missile technology of that era was not as extensively used or developed as it is in the modern day, large inventories of CIWS were not commonly used. Most Tobari ships, therefore, had most of their weapons either fixed forward or in ball-turrets, and were designed for engagements in the front quarter. While they tend to have impressive performance for their day, against modern warships, barring a major refit, they wouldn't be particularly spectacular against a fleet equipped with large amounts of missile ships. ECM and EW technologies of the era are similarly outdated.

The Migou's fleet, meanwhile, is far more difficult to categorize. Their design philosophies are completely different, so it is difficult to make sense of their ship classes according to conventional wisdom (E.G. fighter, corvette, frigate, etc). Generally their ships are categorized by size to the nearest conventional equivelient.

For example, Migou 'fighters' are generally similar in size and performance to what is generally considered to be a Corvette. Their designs tend to resemble biotechnology from the other side; They are constructed primarily from mechanical technology (save for control systems), but have a distinct crustacean or arthropod appearance. This typically includes multiple 6DOF "arms" which function as transversible weapon pods. Conventionally designed turrets are rare, although omnidirectional DEWs similar to the Somtaaw Helix Bundle are common on larger craft.

Migou weapons technology consists primarily of directed energy weapons, and primitive radial energy field warfare systems, hard kinetics are rare, and guided missiles only seen for specialized occasions. Small craft tend to be equipped with electromagnetic repulsor fields, plasma cannons, or laser weapons. Larger ships usually mount a number of Ion Cannons in fixed, forward facing mounts, although some are equipped with Helix-Bundle style beam splitters. Gravity Beam weapons have also been seen. Active CIWS are rare; most Migou ships use directional energy shielding or electromagnetic plasma weaponry to defuse incoming missiles.

A rough breakdown of common Migou starships is as follows.

  1. Pods Ships: Equivalent, roughly, to fighters. They almost always consist of small, roughly spherical craft, with maneuvering thrusters pointing in all directions (there is no strict 'front' to the craft). They are usually armed with an energy field which fires in a sphere from emitters mounted on the ship (although some have been observed to be directional). These small podships are highly expendable, often deployed in the hundreds, and used for suicide attacks. Their short weapon range makes them fairly easy prey for modern (V)CIWS or fighter missiles, although their maneuverability and omnidirectional attack makes them dangerous in a close-in knife fight. They usually have dynamic link equipment and grabber arms mounted, to allow them to connect together to form...
  2. Cluster Ships: When a number of pod ships connect together, they are capable of pooling their energy emitters and power generation to launch much larger attacks. Clusters as large as Frigates have been seen. Typically these ships fire their energy blasts directionally, rather than spherically (as only the ships on the 'surface' of the cluster can fire, and because they often have irregular shapes). Clusters, as a general rule, sacrifice maneuverability and safety of distribution for firepower against a single target; a group of pods will typically swarm together around a target, link together, concentrate and fire an energy burst, and then detach and fly off. This process leaves them vulnerable, though, to missile strikes or explosives.
  3. Fighters: What are considered to be Migou 'fighters' are often the size of Corvettes. These ships, mostly, have a hull design which resembles a crab or a spider, with numerous 'arms' containing various direct-fire weaponry (usually plasma cannons) or thrusters. Most Migou fighter craft have a very newtonian attack style, perfering lateral or vertical maneuvers while keeping the front facing the target and circling around it. Field observations indicate their ships tend to have excellent turning and maneuvering capabilities, but poor acceleration in a single direction (although their are exceptions). They typically have very strong armor, but few if any active defense systems.
  4. Frigates: The Migou use Frigate-sized ships mainly as anti-strikecraft support ships, attached to fighter squadrons (Pods/Clusters and Capitol ships are generally deployed seperately). They are typically scorpion or lobster shaped in appearance, with a large number of vectored thrusters on the 'tail' and their main weapons located in 'claws' on large arms. A few designs however use 2 or 4 point Helix Bundled ion cannons, although these are somewhat larger and mostly used as point defense for capital ships.
  5. Capital Ships: There appears to be little distinction in Migou design between Destroyers, Cruisers, and Battleships: Simply being larger or smaller versions of each other. Nearly all of them are designed with as many Ion Cannons or Gravity Effect Weapons in the forward quarter as are possible, with a large number of thruster pods to maneuver and turn the ship. A few of the larger classes also feature cruise missile launchers or Pod launch bays, providing organic self defense. The missile systems are mainly designed for bombardment of planets. Again, nearly all firepower is forward facing, although a few of their ships have fast-tracking plasma cannons or beams for defense. Most Migou capital craft have a rounded-off, lumpy appearance, with crustecean-type qualities (the distinctive 'lobster tail' and thrusters mounted in 'legs'. Their weapons are usually mounted in round 'blisters' coming out of the hull.
  6. Field Ships: These appear to be tactical support platfroms, equivelient in size to Frigates at the smallest, to Cruisers at the largest; essentially they are massive energy emmitters, with designs which can generate gravity wells, repulsor fields, defense shields, feedback fields, etc, in an area around themselves. They are also used as both mobile power generators, feeding energy to nearby friendlies, or as tugboats, using gravity beams to push or pull ships (friendly or hostile) around the battlefield. They may also function as Command and Control ships, though this is unclear. They are generally the first target in a given engagement. They tend to be shorter in transverse length than combat capital ships, and have multiple arrays or spherical emmitters across their hull, as well as large radiator systems or heat exchangers to vent off waste heat. Their high IR and energy output makes them very easy to pick out based on sensor data.
  7. Hive Ships: As their name suggests ,they tend to function as carriers, motherships, or command ships. They are typically the only Migou vessels with extensive point defenses, designed for fighter protection, and tend to remain behind the main battle line. Most however, have a number of Ion Cannons for fire support of other friendlies, or self protection from intruding capital ships. They are generally equivalent to the carriers of other races. The most common model appears similar to the half-shell of a crab on top, with various weapon arrays on it's "back", with the underside being primarily hangar and launch bays, with thruster 'legs' attached along the port and starboard sides.
  8. Other Ships: The Migou also have a number of platforms, resource collectors, probes, and other support craft equivalent to most other races, although somewhat different in size and appearance. For instance, Migou resource collectors will typically use kamikaze tactics when encountered, so commanders should be wary.


In any case, the Migou armada, in the current day and age, is heavily outnumbered by the Kassi Warrior Cult (in terms of starships, it is estimated the disparity is > 10/1, but this is unknown). The Strategic situation is primarily low intensity interception of Migou construction ships (attempting to construct new bases), with occasional high-intensity battles (when the they succeed in constructing a new base or fleet) or breakout past the quarantine zone. While the Migou, to some extent, have adapted to guerrilla warfare, they still fight with a high-level of aggression, and will always attempt to win a decisive battle.

While their battle strategies are often wasteful and dependent on establishing local superiority, what keeps them going is their tenacity. Every time they are thought contained, a new base or unknown frontier world pops up, and the conflict heats up again in an unanticipated area. It is entirely possible that the Migou hid bases beyond the galactic rim, with reserves of starships and resources, from which these attacks originate. No one really knows for sure.

Kassi and Turanic fleet dynamics will be established soon.
 
mrWHO
Is Migou one of the races that were lured by Jakuul to weaken Progenitors during their fall? This would explain why Progenitors fought them, but did not prioritetize their expermination till Progenitor fall.

That's why I think Migou core worlds were heavyli fortified as they expected Progenior advanc that never came. On Migou all modern races are still Progenitors that's why they attacked them.
 
Ironwatsas
The Migou are tangential to Jakuul's plans; they've hated the Progenitors since as long as the two have existed, well before Jakuul ever made himself apparent. Well, less 'Hatred' and more 'Genetic/Instinctually Patterned predisposition for violence against things not themselves'. The ongoing Kassi-Migou war is beginning to turn up some increasingly anomalous things however; there is a possibility that the Migou are sitting on something just as dangerous (if not moreso) than Jakuul. Essentially, they have the most dangerous agenda of any of the galaxy's races should they succeed in their plans, but considering how marginalized they have become through constant military pressure (and the fact that Jakuul would sic the T-MAT on them again if they did something catastrophic) they are unlikely to succeed.

---

There are other, more benign aliens out there though, who are somewhat more relevant to the politics of the day.

The Nalthor: Nubian Kingdom & Kihnjahal

The Nalthoran species is probably the only Non-homonid race with normalized relations with the rest of the galaxy (able to easily communicate, similar culture/psychology, comparable technology, etc). Their appearance is vaguely insectoid at first glance, however their biology is not easily classified by terrestrial biology. They have varying amphibian, insectoid, mammalian, and avian characteristics, but do not taxonomically conform to any of those definitions. Their appearance is that of stocky bipeds, with a beetle-like torso and body, a triangular head, and very thin arms and legs (covenant drones from Halo are a decent analogy, but far from identical).

The Nalthoran homeworld (known in their tongue as Xi'kathra'xau'ui: The Mother World, but informally referred to as Nalthora by most humanoids. It is a somewhat resource-poor, tropical, humid, swampy-type world orbiting a single type G star. It is orbited by a sparse ring system of dust and asteroids, shepherded by it's two moons (Xe'kios'asaha, with a mean radius of 1400 km, and the much smaller Dac'sen'aka, of radius 345 km). The atmosphere is similar to humanoid norms, but with a substantially higher content of ammonia and other trace gases, and has a mean temperature of 293.8K. Nalthorans can survive on humanoid worlds without assisted breathing, although they will become drowsy and tend to want to sleep without special air additives. Similarly, humans would find that Nalthoran atmospheric composition slightly singes their lungs, and long term exposure can cause respiratory problems. Most habitats or ships that expect large numbers of both species will use a 'neutral mix' of atmosphere, relatively comfortable for both species.

The reason the Nalthor are so amicable to humanoids and even capable of speech and have such similar psychology is no accident. In ancient times, the Progenitors discovered the Nalthor, and found their species to be remarkably similar to their own ancestors. At this point, the Nalthor were at a roughly Simian level of evolution, and thus the Progenitors began a scientific programme of uplifting them to their level. Things were going along well, when the Progenitor civil war broke out. The research staff were forced to abandon their project, but used their remaining resources to hastily scatter various technology caches and information records across the Nalthoran homeworld, so that when they finally developed advanced civilization, they would have a head start. The Researchers then manned their ships and went on into history.

Over the next several tens of thousands of years, the Nalthor gradually evolved and developed, and indeed discovered the various bits and pieces of Progenitor Artifacts, but it took them quite some time to fully decipher their meaning, or develop to a point where the Progenitor technology would be at all useful. Many of the artifacts were destroyed by pre-industrial wars, natural disasters, or the passage of time. Probably the most vital artifacts left by the Progenitors were only found when the Nalthor achieved space flight. Located inside an asteroid vault at a Lagrangian point between Nalthora and Dac'sen'aka, was a technology cache which included both a short jump Hyperspace Drive and the power systems necessary to operate it, as well as various translation algorithms. While this was a hyperspace core of inferior power to the great cores used by the Bentusi and Hiigarans, it gave the Nalthor a significant head start when they began encountering other spacefaring empires.

However, there was a substantial societal and religious upheaval following the revelation of Progenitor involvement in their kind's evolution. While nearly all of the Nalthor peoples had interpreted the various progenitor artifacts as having 'divine' origin, different sects of belief and schools of thought differed as to their interpretations of the Progenitors' nature and intentions. Tensions were high between the ancient warrior hives, scientific intelligentsia, and various religious denominations. Eventually these disparate theories ossified into two basic schools of thought, those who subscribed to the traditionalist 'Progenitors as Gods' theories, and those more scientifically minded who agreed to the 'Progenitors as Aliens' theory. This divide is the original basis between the split between the Metropolitan Nalthorans and the Kihnjahal.

The Defining event that would shape the modern Nalthoran species was first contact with the Tobari Empire; by this point, the Nalthor had begun exploring and establishing bases in a small number of star systems close to their home world, but had found no evidence of intelligent life aside from the Progenitor Derelicts on their home planet. The initial contact was peaceful, between a Nalthoran explorer ship and a Tobari mineral surveyor. Diplomatic relations between the two races were soon established. However, many of the more traditionalist Nalthoran hives viewed the alien Tobari with unease, wisely believing them to have an agenda.

They were right. The Tobari saw an opportunity to undermine the power base of the Unbound, specifically the Bentusi, by fostering the development and growth of the Nalthor as allies, and assist them in establishing a trade network. As time went on, the Nalthorans became more involved in galactic affairs and began to distance themselves from the Tobari. They began signing treaties and establishing numerous exclaves across the galaxy, typically colonizing swampy, high-ammonia atmosphere worlds which are comfortable for their species, but unwanted by anyone else. Among these worlds was the planet Tiishalon, in orbit of which a vast trading port was constructed on the borders of the Taiidan Empire, which would become known as the legendary Port of Nalthor. These worlds became major trading hubs on the doorsteps of the great empires of the day, which allowed the Nalthorans to achieve great wealth, although not without their share of hardship and conflict.

During this period, the Nalthorans began to take in large numbers of humans under their administration. These included worlds annexed from collapsing empires or transferred to their control as part of political agreements. When the Tobari Empire collapsed, several of their frontier worlds came under Nalthoran control. Other human populations voluntarily emigrated, establishing their own colonies under Nalthoran administration. This created numerous problems, both administrative and practical, as a result of the differing needs, wants, and politics of the two species. Ultimately Human settlements were administratively segregated from Nalthoran ones, and human representatives were admitted to the Xaka'iim parliament. Due to different environmental preferances, most Nalthoran and Human areas are separated for practical purposes (often on entirely different planets), and shared areas require special amenities like breathing masks and, especially, bathrooms.

The acceptance of large numbers of Humans into the Nalthoran political and social structure eventually began to lead to political unrest, especially among the more conservative or extremist Kihnjahal clans, who saw this as nothing less than a gradual subversion of the Nalthorans' independence. Eventually, this began to lead to discrimination, political violence, and armed conflict between Kihnjahal clans and Humans. To make matters worse, many Nalthoran political leaders of the era had Kihnjahal sympathies, and many military administrators were unwilling to allow humans into the Royal Navy (doing so would require substantial alteration in ship design to accommodate both races).

Matters came to a head in 8592 GSY during what would become known as the Khenaniji Day War, where an alliance of fanatical Kihnjahal clans, lead by a mad clanlord known as X'inazana the Fierce, launched a massive attack during the National Holiday. It was intended that the Kihnjahal fleets would de-orbit a number of rockships in a series of suicide attacks against several Nalthoran worlds, targeting major human population centers as well as the Nalthoran queen. The rest of the fleet would escort and attack space infrastructure and other targets before the Royal Navy could respond.

The attacks were to be precisely timed to happen all at once, but due to a series of unforseen circumstances, several minor attackers arrived sooner than scheduled. Strict comm silence meant that they were to attack immediately. The worlds of Qan'Xiradan and Nenana were hit first, city-sized rockships jumped into orbit and de-orbited themselves over their major population centers. The damage on these worlds was utterly devastation. Millions were killed in the initial bombardment. Thousands more as the escorting ships began attacking civilian shipping in orbit.

Fortunately, the delay in the main offensives, combined with intelligence acquired beforehand hinting at some kind of attack, meant that the Nalthoran Royal Navy and Constabulary Force were able to rapidly mobilize. The Main fleet was intercepted in orbit of Nalthora by the Household Guard division of the NRN. Hyperspace Inhibitors were deployed in an attempt to put as much distance between the rockships and their targets as possible. The NRN concentrated all fire on the rockships, but many of their ships were damaged or destroyed by the Kihnjahal fleet. Only a single rockship, possibly piloted by X'inazana himself, breached the blockade. Battle damage meant that it missed it's intended target; the Royal Palace, and instead landed in the ocean. However, it still caused a catastrophic tsunami, wiping out many coastal settlements.

The Khenaniji Day attacks were a gut-punch to the Nalthorans, and lead to the longest and bloodiest military conflict in it's history. The initial campaign was a brief, violent series of fleet battles between the Royal Navy and militant Kihnjahal forces. Due to the former's technological and logistical superiority, however, the battles were mostly one-sided. Most of the clans responsible for the attacks were utterly destroyed, but low-intensity guerilla warfare would continue for another 200 years.

In modern times, the Nalthor are once again at relative peace. The majority of Kihnjahal coexist peacefully with the Nubian throne, though the occasional flare-up in tensions or renegade tribe can sour relations. Humans in Nalthoran society (and vice versa) are an accepted fact of life, and aside from particularly virulent fringe groups, few racial tensions remain. However, the legacy of the Khenaniji War and events that preceded and followed it are not forgotten. It was this event which put a check on Nalthoran expansion: No new exclaves have been acquired since then (though expansion to existing ones through regular terraforming and station construction continue).

The Nalthorans were among the races who forsaw the Kushan's return from exile, and they were among the Galactic Council intervention forces whom helped secure the home world after the Taiidan Emperor's death. After this, they would become a staunch ally to and trade partner of the Hiigaran Federation. The Tiishalon System and Port of Nalthor were both occupied by the Vaygr during their invasion, and several Nalthoran colonial units are currently fighting alongside the HGN. Due to the long distance between the Nalthoran core worlds and the war in the east, the NRN have not yet been able to mobilize a reaction force.

Nubian Kingdom:

The Nubian Dynasty is the reigning political body. In day-to-day parlance, the terms "Nalthor" and "Nubia" are often used interchangeably. The Dynasty has continually ruled for the past 2500 years, though it has continually evolved from a traditional 'hive clan' towards a more conventional Parlimentary Republic. The 'high queen' is the spiritual and ceremonial leader of the state, but most official power lies in the Xaka'iim, or Parlimentary councils. The Nalthoran foreign exclaves are, essentially, semi-independent colonies with their own military force and local government, but who answer to the Queen and the Xaka'iim.

In modern times, Humans and Nalthorans have equal standing within the empire, and the Nubian Royal Military is an entirely integrated force, with both species contributing. Typically, NRN starships have crews entirely of one species or the other, to simplify life support requirements, but are designed to be converted between the two relatively quickly. Ships with mixed crews require special (and often costly) arrangements to accommodate both. This has been an ongoing challenge for the fleet.

Because of the vast distances between the various exclaves of the Kingdom, Nalthoran ships, both military and civil, are designed for extremely long-term voyages and self sufficiency. They are generally over-engineered and have high levels of systems redundancy. Critical systems are intended for ease of repair. This also means that Nalthoran merchantmen are usually built to the standards of a warship, and able to be readily converted into such (See: J5 type Passenger Liner). This allows them to stave off Pirate attacks and rapidly be converted to merchant marine or fighting militia use in an emergency.

Technologically, the NRN is comparable to their galactic contemporaries, such as the HGN. As the Nalthorans frequently act as the go-between for the Yomi and Hiigara, they have their share of technologies common to both sides. Powerplant systems and module architecture are often based on Hiigaran Designs, while computer technology and neural interface systems are derived from Yomi models. This, combined with their native talent for engineering, means that the NRN is more than capable of holding it's own.

Battle doctrine typically places emphasis on small groups of capital ships with organic fighter support. Midsized ships such as Frigates are used as wolfpacks attached to a command ship (which functions to maintain the frigates in deep space) or to patrol large swathes of territory. Combined arms tactics emphasize using their ships' high endurance to wear down an enemy's supply lines and rear area assets, until local superiority can be fully achieved, before launching a decisive crushing blow. This is similar to (and likely adapted from) the Yomi's "Decisive Battle" school of thought.


Kihnjahal:

Almost the polar opposite of the Nubian Kingdom. The Kihnjahal are not really a single entity, but a blanket term used to describe the many, many individual clans, polities, tribes, and local governments not formally aligned to Nubia. They range in scale from self-governing space cities and sub-planetary nation states, to large clans which may control several systems. Only a few dozen have anything more than a single star system under their control.

The term 'Kihnjahal' is considered a politically loaded word. It's literal translation is "Fallen Warriors", but it can also be transliterated as "Old Soldiers" or "Old Guard". Essentially, it is used to emphasize the Kihnjahal's highly conservative (often backward) nature, and militaristic warrior culture. The Kihnjahal for the most part do not use the term themselves, and many find it pejorative, typically identifying with the name of whatever group or polity they inhabit.

Because of the huge variety of clans, and lack of any form of unification, the Kihnjahal are difficult to fully classify under one banner. They do however, have a few commonalities. One shared trait is that the clans, with few exceptions, live a strict code of honor. Interpretation of this code, and the strictness of adherence to it, varies from group to group, but in among other things it emphasizes fitness, self-reliance, clan heritage, and a sense of camaraderie between Nalthorans. In times of crisis, such as invasion or natural disaster, the Kihnjahal clans will unite with each other and even with the Nubians and foreign powers to face the threat. This ethos was formally codified only after the Khenaniji War.

Another commonality is a shared culture, resembling (to various degrees of accuracy) truly ancient traditions predating the development of space travel and interaction with non-Nalthoran cultures. This is expressed both in social customs as well as in art. Kihnjahal ships are usually painted with fantastic symbols and murals, symbolic of their crew or their tribe's achievements. Another common art form are great bas reliefs and sculptures carved into asteroids or cliffsides on planets, depicting great heroes or clan histories. Usually this is done impressionistic, through symbols and shapes instead of portraits.

While the Kihnjahal opinions on the Nubians and most other Nalthorans vary, nearly all clans have a deep (and entirely mutual) animosity toward the Turanic Raiders. The two are bitter enemies, and battles between the two are a daily occurrence on the frontiers, and can be likened to great bar brawls in space. While the Turanics see this mostly as a petty turf war, the Kihnjahal view their conflict against the raiders both as a rite of passage (for young warriors or clans to gain prestige through battle), and as a duty to protect the rest of the Nalthor from Turanic Aggression (any booty they happen to recover from the raiders is a welcome bonus). The Nubians, of course, don't mind this. They are more than happy to use the Kihnjahal as a buffer between themselves and the Raiders.

While the Raiders have some level of standardization of basic shiptypes, the Kihnjahal fleets are usually as rag-tag as can be, using everything from converted merchantmen, decommissioned Nalthoran warships, and even hollowed out asteroids fitted with engines. The latter are perhaps what the Kihnjahal are best known for; the great Rockships are mobile asteroid bases, with very limited mobility (they primarily only use their thrusters to alter their natural orbits), serving both a civil role as cityships, and a military one as mobile bases. Tactically, a Rockship would hyperspace into the middle of a battle zone and support it's attendant fleet, relying on it's inherent durability to resist most weapons the Turanic Raiders would possess. This however, requires the Kihnjahal to fully commit to battle, so such tactics are a risky move.

As a historical footnote; the Kihnjahal were the first outside power on the scene after the burning of Kharak. The fleet of clan Redclaw was operating deep in the Great Wastelands when they received news of the Taiidani attack. Driven by their Honor Code, they attempted to locate Kharak and, if possible, the Taiidan Fleet responsible for the attack (not realizing it had already been destroyed by the Kushan). After several weeks of following Taiidani and Turanic scout ships, they managed to arrive at Kharak, and immediately began searching for survivors. Probes were sent to the surface of Kharak, to search for any survivors in deep mine shafts or bunkers, but atmospheric pressure had already dropped to a leathally low level. No trace of any survivors was found.

Clan Redclaw notified the Nubian Government of Kharak's location, and then solemnly stood watch over the dead world, protecting it from any Turanic or Taiidan interlopers. Eventually, ships of the Nalthoran Navy, Private rescue services, and the local Galactic Council representatives arrived on the scene and conducted another search for survivors. When the Taiidan eventually sent a fleet in to secure the system, the combined force opposed them, leading to a tense standoff. The Taiidan were poised to attack, but the orders to do so never reached them. Shortly thereafter, the Emperor was killed, and the Empire fragmented. Clan Redclaw continued to stand vigil over Kharak until the Hiigarans could mount a return expedition, and ceremonially relieve them, the clan then went back to their war against the Turanics.
 
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