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  1. SHATTERED SUNS Year 10.427 AE The clouds part. ====-----<<>>-----==== _____________________________________________________________________________________________ Events THE REPUBLIC SHATTERS “The die is cast” With the Separationist Senators having abandoned the Senate on Kior-an earlier last year, tensions within the Republic have continued to mount exponentially, with numerous government and provincial fleets being brought up into a state of readiness. All across the Republic, a pseudo-cold war between the Separationists and the Republican wings of the government sets in. Both sides eye each other carefully, awaiting the other to make its move. It is spring, by Kaumai standards, when several large, Separationist controlled Republican Fleets, on the Stellarch Akamu’s orders, declare an end to the fuel crisis and cross into the Barons’ space, laying waste to their fleets in several sudden attacks before occupying both key hyperlanes, and several of their largest fuel producing worlds. By early summer, the whole Republic erupts in response to the invasion. The Grand Admiral Pepe declares Akamu and his Separationists to be enemies of the state, and orders them apprehended on charges of treason and sedition. In response, the Separationists, and many of their allies form a new provisional government to the south. Akamu’s Rebellion experiences a massive surge of support as northern and southern Stellarchs alike flock to his anti-merchant rhetoric. Perhaps the biggest boon to the Separationist movement is the swift establishment of military alliance with the far-flung EGPA, a Separationist goal long since stonewalled by the Republican and Constitutionalist elements of the Republican Senate. The largest confrontation of the year takes place over the ocean world of Oiam V, a major Republican Fleet Base, when a Separationist Fleet led by Akamu himself falls upon the system in a surprise attack. Spearheading the assault with his personal flagship, Bulwark, A Heavy Dreadnought, a huge amount of Republican supply and material are lost to Separationist cannon fire while the local command scrambles to evacuate the system. With over half of the fleet being either disabled or destroyed, the Republicans only barely manage to limp away from the Separationist onslaught. The onset of yet another Civil War also sees the Galactic Market’s fuel reserves and production plummet as the various Republican admirals and Stellarchs all rush to grab up as many stores as they can for the coming battles. [Fuel stores and production are affected] ==---<<>>---== HI’RAKS, THE EXALTED “And behold, he sat upon a pale horse.” From atop his Starcast Throne, the Mindbender once more orders his lieutenants out against his enemies, seeking to grab more space for himself and further crush any hope of a unified Empire. From the north, another Irik fleet falls down upon the Alamarii Mandate. This time headed by Hi’raks, the Exalted. Known for his brute strength and fanatic devotion to the Mindbender’s Crusade, Hi’raks’ fleet gained a particular reputation for glassing worlds during the days of the Collapse. The Lieutenant’s flagship, Resplendent Devotion, a large hulking Dreadnought, is equipped with a particularly fearsome array of glassing beams, said to be able to reduce entire worlds to ash in mere months. Reports from beyond the border indicate that this second wave is much larger than one that preceded it. While The Exalted has not yet actually moved against the Mandate’s territories, his fleet continues to swell in number with each passing cycle. Many speculate that the Warlord intends to enter through Fiirkev’s newly opened route, but the Irik’s angle of attack remains unknown to all but his own. ==---<<>>---== _____________________________________________________________________________________________ The Grand Duchy of Alamar The Dryden’s will need all the ships they can muster for the coming storm… Fal’s World Expected guests.. (Discord) Greater Altaire A single Battleship hull was recovered this year, discovered as a retrofitted mining vessel. Orteau Another year draws to a close. Kaitiaki Ora She dreams of a great fire that climbs the western roots of a large tree, spreading to every corner. Not a single leaf is spared. Vennendal The Elferings receive a message from an associate. (Discord) Castrillon Retribution is returned to fighting shape.
  2. SHATTERED SUNS Year 10.426 AE The hunt begins. ====-----<<>>-----==== _____________________________________________________________________________________________ Events THE AGE OF RECLAMATION “And so begins a new dawn for the Empire...” It happened on an ordinary day. A day so ordinary that it was, in fact, extraordinary. On this day, the tumultuous reality of life across the Galaxy settled. Death’s hand seemed far away and, across a thousand different worlds, there seemed to be a tiny droplet, the barest moment, of peace throughout the bloodstained and wartorn, broken and divided regions of the Old Empire. But it ended almost as quickly as it had started. For, on this day, that tiny moment of peace would be shattered, smashed by a declaration that was bound to change the very fate of the Universe, and all who presided within it. For those ignorant of the Psykic Arts, it felt as if some foreign, uncaring entity had hammered a vision into their head, as if some ancient magic had been cast that forced them to gaze upon this blinding sight, this man, atop an altar as white as a star in the distant night sky. The educated, however, understood this feeling, this vision. They knew that, by means of a Psykic cabal and the ancient altars known as the Mindpillars, that a commandment was being made to the Empire as a whole, in the manner of the Emperors of old, last used when Akoni had proclaimed himself as Emperor Rän-var XII. For atop that shining altar was a man. Tall, handsome, and obviously of the highest, oldest and finest breeding the Core had to offer. He had none of those strange mutations often found in the Mid or Outer Rim, nor was he possessed of the strange white skin so often found in the denizens of the Inner Rim, who loftily thought themselves the equal of those of true Imperial, true Core, blood. He was a man with a heavy, muscular frame, and a haughty, arrogant, regal bearing. He was clad not in the cloth of the nobility or the old upper classes, nor in the black and gold uniform of the Imperial Navy. No, he was dressed in the royal robes of the Imperial House, under a breastplate of gold and silver, engraved and inlaid with the crest of the House of Rän. He was dressed as a Crown Prince of the Empire, in the same fashion that the Emperor Rän-var had chosen, nearly two centuries ago, when he had announced his claim. The man stood proud upon his raised dias, and below him a crowd of soldiers stood, just as haughty and proud - loyal officers of the Imperial Navy and Army. To their fore stood a figure well known to all within the Empire - Grand Admiral Sorin himself. As the man spoke, his voice rang out across the stars, and reverberated throughout the minds of those who suffered this vision. “Sons, Daughters- Children of the Empire! For nigh on 60 years, the Enemy has held us back, divided and weak, while he squats upon our most sacred, hallowed lands! We curse ourselves with continuous and constant civil war, shackling our might with the same perfidious greed that rendered low the pinnacle of all civilisation. Across the endless stars, we bleed, and die and weaken by the day, as our greatest and foulest threat sits upon the Starcast Throne, laughing and mocking our folly all the while! But our dominance, our undisputed superiority, has reigned across the Universe for over five thousand years! We, humankind, are the Masters of Stars and Space, of Planets and Hyperlanes. We are the Masters of the Galaxy, and no Irik Warlord, no matter how barbaric, how savage, or how cruel, can stand in the face of the overwhelming might of the Empire! Let it be known to all, friend and foe alike, that we shall rise in an unstoppable tide, and sweep clean the Core of the rancid dregs of the Irik slave-race! I stand before you, brothers, sisters, kin, to issue this declaration unto you- I am Rakera, grandson of Rän-var, nephew of Rän-ji. I shall raise high the banner of the Empire, and beneath it I shall drive the invaders from our lands, and destroy every Irik, every drudge, that dares to cross my path! So rally, rally to me, Children of the Empire. Raise high your banners and flock to my own! Stand proud upon the decks of your warships and sail with me into everlasting honor, glory and victory! Upon an unstoppable, indefatigable wave of human might, we shall reclaim Kaumai, the Palace-Moon and the Starcast Throne! Our endeavors shall echo across a thousand centuries - so rise warriors, and rally to the call! Rally to the Imperial Standard! Rally to the House of Rän!” As Rakera finishes his final, thundering proclamation, the crowd of officers assembled before him unsheathe their swords in a simultaneous, ringing wave, and raise the ceremonial steel blades high, towards the ceiling, chanting in unison; “Glory to the Empire! Glory to the Heir!” ----------------- A Psykic wave sweeps across the Galaxy, as a vision appears in the minds of billions. At last, rejoice the common folk, an Heir has come forth to save the Empire from ruination. All now know that Lord Rakera, grandson of Rän-var, has pronounced his right to the Starcast Throne, and his intention to drive the Mind-bender from the Empire, once and for all. Already, Loyalists and supporters flock to his banner, chiefest amongst them the Lords Sorin and Kawhena, and many of the Loyalist Warlords of the South. Once more, the House of Rän rises to vanquish the Enemy, and to restore glory, honor and dignity to the Empire. ==---<<>>---== THE LORD OF A THOUSAND STARS “Where order once reigned there is only treachery and anarchy!” For decades, lawlessness and anarchy have ruled the Western Territories. Warlords and pirates constantly squabbling over derelict systems and worlds as the Fourth Empire wanes in strength and the alien scourge runs rampant beyond the old border. The year 10,426 AE, however, marks an end to this period of instability, so announces the Lord of a Thousand Stars, Tuakeo II In a rousing speech delivered to all his subjects. This year, the Imperial Fleet, under the command of Lord Kahu, moves against the House of Bones in a campaign to drive the largest of the local Irik incursions from the Empire, and to relieve the newly sworn vassal of the Empire, Lord Matareka. The opening months of the campaign have proven to be a great success for the Imperial fleet, crushing a small Irik border fleet and liberating a number of worlds on the frontier of the Houses’ dominion. News of these victories have spread far and wide, and though many celebrate at the destruction of the alien menace, many of the Emperor’s contemporaries see it as an opportunity to enrich themselves further. With the majority of the Fourth Empire’s ships on campaign, Lord Tahiwai has taken it upon himself to launch his own invasion of his former overlord, clashing with the Empire’s local forces several times throughout the year. ==---<<>>---== THE CRACKS SPREAD “Surely it would not come to this?!” The Republican senate once more enters a state of gridlock or even crisis as pressing matters regarding the import of oil and other materials from the Oil Barons and the ERTC cause tempers to flare and tensions to rise between the chamber’s various factions and interests. With several motions having been stopped by the combined influence of the Merchant and Republican blocs, numerous insults were traded ultimately culminating in a fully fledged brawl between senators. Reports from the Tanuvians record numerous injuries, and several of the Stellarch Akamu’s representatives killed on the Senate floor. Since the incident, many Separationist senators have since left the Republican capital of Kior-an. ==---<<>>---== DISASTER ON KERU V “He’s delusional, take him to the infirmary!” Unrest spreads through the galaxy like wildfire as mineral and raw material prices sky-rocket. Early in the year, disaster strikes the extensive mining and storage facilities of KERU V, one of the galaxy’s largest depots for shipping in the industry. Reports from the system state that a number of the stations’ reactors had melted down in a chain reaction, resulting in an explosion which eviscerated half of the system’s asteroid belt, as well as the vast majority of its storage facilities, and outbound shipments. In the fallout of the disaster, a huge part of the “Galactic Market’s” supply has been destroyed, and its production blunted. Even the most generous estimates figure that it will be years to replace the hardware lost in the accident. [The galactic supply of Raw Material is severely depleted] ==---<<>>---== THE WHEEL TURNS “Their eyes open, Seer!” “Even with sight they are no less blind, San’var” It washes over the galaxy like a great wave. For those who can see, their vision is sharpened. Among the hundreds of billions who cannot, a lucky few are granted the gift of sight. The year 10,426 AE sees the greatest discovery of psykics since the days of the Old Empire. In virtually every corner of the galaxy, one bearing gifts of the mind are discovered and pressed into the service of their master. The cause for this resurgence is unknown, but there are few who complain about its happening. [+1 T2 psykic for all nations] ==---<<>>---== _____________________________________________________________________________________________ Greater Altaire A pair of Battleship hulls are uncovered, one buried deep in one of the Stellarchy’s Ecumenopolises, another repurposed into a small space station for repair and refueling within a high-traffic asteroid belt. A year of searching has made it abundantly clear that these hulls are out there, it simply requires the Altaireans to look for them. Hyperboreia Many thanks are received from the 7th Chapter, who declares the funds will be put to good use. The chapter continues its war against the xenos and their sympathizers, frequently launching raids and sorties into Concordat space. The House of Dreams continues its sacred work. [Discord] Fal’s World The Ninth Moon Rises (eventually :neet:) [Discord] The Life Guard Pure disaster is only narrowly avoided by the Life Guard’s focus on counter-intelligence… [Discord] The Grand Duchy of Alamar Another year passes in Alamar, relatively safe from the troubles of the rest of the galaxy. Work begins on the replacement for the Stellarch’s flagship, lost in battle over the Labyrinth. Vennendal Beyond the borders of Vennendal, a slew of workers flock to some old battlefield in search of salvageable wrecks. Without the protection of the Vennendalic fleet, though, they are easy prey for pirates and irik alike. Roughly halfway through their survey, a fleet from the House of Storms falls upon them, destroying many of their ships (and their findings.) The location and intent of the irik fleet remains unknown. Despite the circumstances, the surveyors have confirmed the presence of atleast two salvageable dreadnought hulls. ERTC piracy, along with smaller blockades, continues to lay waste to Vennendalic imports and exports alike across the galaxy. [40,000 credits lost in pirate actions] Orteau Numerous reports flood into Orteau with the posting of such a large bounty. Though they vary wildly, many claim that Aokigahara’s personal fleet had been sighted moving east, and had fled into the Outer Rim/Republic Space following the raid on Orteau last year. House Matareka Matarekan surveyors pick apart the old battle site where a large and heavily militarized merchant fleet had clashed with the Irik some decades prior. The battlefield is strewn with countless wrecks, including some capital ships, but the work doesn't come cheap. [40,000 C to pay for surveying] 1 Heavy Dreadnought - 150 NP / 180,000 C / 30 M / 15 A / 20 T (1 turn) 3 Heavy Cruisers - 30,000 C / 10 NP / 5 M / 1 A (1 turn) (priced individually) A single battleship hull is uncovered in the scavenging efforts [7,500 C] There is no response to the non-aggression pact. LRSBs on the border detect an influx of Irik ships moving into the House of Sun’s border regions. TALANAR THE GLORIOUS The young and ambitious Emperor takes his uncle’s advice… Duchy of Castrillion With their request having been stonewalled by the Duke of Alamar last year, The Lord Regent is approached with a request from the Eastern Rim Trading Company. The Company is interested in purchasing a system or systems from the Mandate. Following this purchase, these systems would be converted into Mandate provinces with enough votes held by the company to be equivalent to the rank of Archon. As a member of the Mandate, these Company representatives would be able to offer many material benefits.
  3. SHATTERED SUNS Year 10.425 AE The torch is lit. ====-----<<>>-----==== Events WESTWARD “Providence points to the West, San’var” “As you command, Seer.” With many colonial worlds having been isolated from the central government as a result of the following year of campaigns, the ire of the Heavenly Kingdom bares down upon the West. Lacking any significant sector defense fleets, and offered favorable terms, the West folds to Atu-an without a single shot being fired. A month later, the Heavenly Emperor, Hau-ti, decrees that the western worlds - largely abandoned following The Collapse, must be reclaimed. All are made aware, these worlds fall under the custodianship of the Heavenly Kingdom of Atu-an. The Emperor’s fascination with the vacant western territories is not exactly clear, but rumors speak of ancient relics and derelict marvels - long abandoned by the former Colonies that the Emperor wishes to restore. LEAVES IN THE WIND “The Mindbender has been allowed to fester for too long..” After the Mindbender’s show of force, much of the southern Empire’s warlords are thrown into a state of terror or confusion. Blood runs hot as the various successor-admirals scramble to find their bearings. Those close to the Pact’s border speculate the imminent arrival of a much, much larger second wave and begin to make ready preparations to drive back yet another Great Irik Crusade, in the event that their northern neighbors succumb to the horde. Further south, the warlords run rampant, and the year is characterized by an intense increase of skirmishes and minor scuffles along the border regions of the various domains and territories. Of these scuffles, the most significant is spearheaded by the Lord Taanga; Who, using a series of well calculated strikes, snatches more than a few of his neighbors' systems almost simultaneously. Reports indicate that the Admiral was able to accomplish this despite the ERTC providing his adversaries with both monetary and material funding. Among the sea of voices, though, one desire emerges, crystal clear. The Sons and Daughters of the Empire cry out for a unifier. No longer can they remain divided among themselves against the Star-Breaker and his legions. There must be an heir. There must be unity. THE PIRATE KING RETURNS “A pity we cannot dwell longer.. Orteau is beautiful this time of year.” While the Pact fends off the Irik incursion in far away systems, Aokigahara, The Dread Pirate, emerges from yet another brief absence. It is mid-summer on Orteau when his ships exit from hyperspace, descending onto the scantily defended capital of the Teniert domain. In his approach many of the numerous trade vessels in the busy system are set upon by Aokigahara while attempting to flee, and many more are simply destroyed in port. The Pirate King’s marauders fall upon the capital below, and more specifically, the monolithic Teniert keep, which extends all the way into the stratosphere. Their stay is not long, repelled from the surface by the sole Orteauan legion on the planet in short order. A fair amount of pilfering, though, was carried out - even while facing total casualties and several very valuable items have been confirmed as stolen; including a famous portrait of the late lord Ashweather Teniert’s grandfather. Most tragically, young Ashweather II Teniert is allegedly missing - captured directly from the Teniert Keep in the chaotic fighting against the brief pirate incursion. His fate, at present, remains unknown. Having been repelled from the surface, Aokigahara’s fleet does not dwell long, jumping into hyperspace much richer than they came. _____________________________________________________________________________________________ Greater Altaire The Stellarch dreams of six red banners, hanging still above a great archway, of a fine table with five legs and four plates, of a tall man with three eyes, two of which are closed, of an Emperor with one heart. Grand Duchy of Alamar Alamar receives a communication from the Eastern Rim Trading Company. They are willing to replace the lost Alamari Flagship for a mere 300,000 credits (WELL below market price), and a stipulation… Fal’s World “I see they’ve omitted the pork loin with lime jello” one attendee remarks amidst the slew of festivities United Vennendal After a great deal of deliberation within the Republican Senate, and more than a few backdoor dealings, the blockade on Vennendal is overturned, narrowly. Manhuera reports to Lord Elfering that the motion was undone at the price of more than a significant amount of his influence. An act he hopes his son-in-law will not soon forget… Withe blockade lifted, though, comes the onset of merchant raiders, pirates, and ERTC squadrons which still prowl the hyperlanes in hopes of damaging Vennendalic shipping. [35,000 credits lost] Orteau Disaster strikes Orteau! With the protection of its fleet so far away, The Pirate King is free to take as he pleases and plunder what he may. For much of the year, he runs rampant in Orteau’s space and even launches a raid against Keep Teniert itself (though it is almost instantly repelled by Teniert ground troops.) In the aftermath, though, it is apparent that young Ashweather II Teniert has been abducted by the pirates. No word has yet come from Aokigahara. [50,000 credits lost in pirate actions] Duchy of Castrillon With news of the Pact victory over Fiirkev having spread to much of the galaxy, even with the destruction of the Labyrinth considered, many Loyalists have been instilled with confidence regarding the Alamar Pact. The Lord Regent receives a communication late in the year from Grand Admiral Rakena, and Admiral Kailani soon after, both of which are interested in aligning with Pact.. Hyperboreia The torch is lit. The darkness of night fades. [Discord]
  4. SHATTERED SUNS Year 10.424 AE The Horn Sounds ====-----<<>>-----==== "The Senate gave me the great honor of commanding the efforts at Buath in a blatant attempt to rob the Emperor of his supporters - by trapping me here, doomed to spend the rest of my time as Stellarch in a ceaseless and wretched conflict with no end in sight - all the while knowing my honor would not allow me to defy their demands” -Excerpt from the Journal of Stellarch Nalani _____________________________________________________________________________________________ Events THE DRUMS BEAT “And behold, he sat upon a pale horse.” As the Alamarii war against the Warlord Eteroa rages, the forces of the Mindbender are once more spurred into action, capitalizing on the turmoil to their south. Erasmis orders one of his lieutenants, Fiirkev, to lead the effort against Eteroa’s realm. Known for his fleets’ speed and agility, Fiirkev’s ships burn hard across the border - overwhelming the tiny force left behind to defend it. Those unfortunate enough to be captured by the Fleetmaster are affixed to his flagship’s engines, slowly cooked and eventually incinerated in their EVA suits as he spools his drives. With the gates breached, Fiirkev sets his sights on the Labyrinth, determined to destroy anything that might stand in the way of his further conquests.. Fiirkev’s advance has, coincidentally, coincided with many other Irik movements throughout the galaxy. To the north, the IDI has reported significant clashes with the Red-Gold Concordat, and the House of Bones is reported to once more be on the move by Fourth Empire intelligence. DIVINE WINDS “Hear me, San’var, for I walk upon the very thread of destiny. Where I go, salvation follows.” With the Colonial capital in ruins, the momentum of Atu-an only continues to grow. As the year turns, the Heavenly Fleet continues its conquest northwards, coming to blows with the reorganized Colonial Fleet just across the border. Reinforced by the first wave of capital ships from their newly captured Driveyards - and ‘divine intervention’ as many have claimed, the Heavenly Fleet once more reigns victorious, dealing significant casualties to the Colonial Armada in the process, who is once more forced to retreat east. In the wake of yet another victory, a slew of planets have either surrendered, or have been outright conquered by the Heavenly Kingdom, effectively cutting the Colonies in half. To the west, continued border skirmishes against the USSC have tipped in favor of Atu-an, and several planets which had previously been contested by the two powers are occupied by the forces of Heaven while Communist fleets and assets are pulled from the region en masse. _____________________________________________________________________________________________ The Grand Duchy of Alamar The Dryden’s anticipate the coming of a storm, one which they intend to weather. Greater Altaire Another batch of contractors pick through Altaire’s westernmost and only un-scavenged major battlefield. The work is carried out without much issue, locating a number of valuable hulls that could be repurposed, along with many more that could not. A report is on Admiral Fratenelli’s desk by the years’ end. 2 BB - 125,000 C / 100 NP / 15 M / 5 T (2 turns) (priced individually) 8 DD - 5,000 C / 2 NP / 0 M (1 turn) (priced individually) The Kaitiaki Ora Spiders move across webs. A hand reaches out from the dark. (Discord) Fal’s World Compliance with ERTC directives proves to be a massive boon for Fal’s world. The Company is more than willing to toss pennies to the disparaged imperials in exchange for the enforcement of their blockade, and as such, a huge amount of wealth flows into the system. United Vennendal With Vennendal’s almost total victory over the local ERTC forces, the sector has largely gone quiet. Reports from the north, however, indicate that Universal Security scrambles - in fear of invasion themselves. Several defense fleets have been activated, and their facilities to the north have ramped up production in order to combat and potential incursions. Salvage teams pick through the battlefield on the border. Among the wreckage is many Irik and Imperial ships, the majority of which have been rendered totally unusable. 1 BB - 125,000 C / 90 NP / 10 M / 5 T (2 turns) 3 CA - 30,000 C / 15 NP / 9 M / 1 A (priced individually) Duchy of Castrillon Not long after the fall of Labyrinth, the Castrillonian Fleet’s sensors and communication arrays are in a flurry. Fiirkev, a prominent Irik warlord and lieutenant of Erasmis has overran Eteroa’s border defenses and now burns hard for the Labyrinth, dead set on the facilities’ destruction. Orteau Another year passes in Orteau. House Matareka Unfortunately for House Matareka, many of the Irik across the border share the Lord Matareka’s sentiments. A report from the House of Bones’ space indicates a large battle fleet on the move east. Furthermore, panic spreads across the eastern border as a number of Irik raiding vessels appear from the House of Suns laying waste to a large convoy before retreating back across the border. [25,000 lost in goods and assets.] House Matareka’s message receives mixed signals from the rest of the galaxy. Many are far from pleased to learn of the survival of the Traitor’s house but they would rather that Imperials cling onto their worlds rather than the Irik. APOLOGIES FOR THE SHORT POST. I AM OUT OF ACTION.
  5. SHATTERED SUNS Year 10.423 AE Night Falls ====-----<<>>-----==== “Gaze.” The Mindbender swung the captain’s body around as if it were weightless. “Gaze. Your House. Your Ships. Your Baron. No More.” The Palace burned, Kaumai burned, the World burned, the Galaxy burned. Above him, he could see the Imperial Ships in orbit succumb to fire, engulfed in inferno as they were overwhelmed or forced to retreat. “Know me. I did this.” The creature turned the captain, forcing him to look into its four eyes. There was a sharp pain in his mind, so much pain- and fear. He tried to scream. Then there was nothing. _____________________________________________________________________________________________ Events THE FALL OF NAHKI “A monument to your glory, Lord!” “A monument to those who would resist Heaven, San’var.” As the Colonial Garrison of Nahki stretches its resistance into a third year, the Heavenly Emperor grows ever more impatient with every passing cycle. Finally, the Emperor assumes direct command over the siege of Mo’an-tal. In a surprising turn of events, the whole of the Atuan army is withdrawn from the mega-city, allowing the defenders much needed breathing space. That is, until the Heavenly fleet enters positions in orbit, and over the next three days, the whole of the colonial capital is systematically and indiscriminately glassed. Where once stood one of the Galaxy’s largest cities is now nothing more than a glorified pile of rubble- a tomb for millions. Of those who survived the glassing and subsequently surrendered to the Atuan forces, few have actually been taken into custody, with most being executed on the spot. With Nahki having fallen, The Heavenly Emperor has declared that the rest of the Colonies will soon follow. The Heavenly fleet does not dwell long over Nahki’s surface, already preparing for its next foray into Colonial space. THE CLOUDS BREAK “Since when do we allow women in the Senate!?” After more than a year of politiking, internal disorganization, and other shenanigans, the Republic’s elections finally conclude, and a beam of stability shines through the ever gathering clouds. The elections see the widely popular Grand Admiral Pepe re-elected to the position of Tanu Kavan, Senator Nikau of Badab elected to the position of Kavan Te (After securing the votes of the Separationists), and Oh’ran, the Merchant representative, elected as Kavan He-Ai. The elections have seen the Republican position within the Senate weakened considerably, losing three votes to Badab, Ushen, and the Separationists respectively; a change of landscape which only narrowly allows them to hold a plurality rather than the slight majority they once had. THE COMING OF SAN’KLAU “HO HO HO!” A tale as old as humanity itself, it is said that once every thousand years the legendary San’klau visits every one of the Empire’s worlds from deep space- delivering presents to all the patriotic and xeno-hating boys and girls. For those on the naughty list, who have consorted with traitors and non-humans, they can expect only rotten peas under their pillows. In preparation for this historic event, patriotic and xeno-hating boys and girls all across the galaxy rush to spit on Matareka’s name and curse the Star-Breaker Erasmis, going to bed so full of excitement for the presents that will surely await them in the morning.. _____________________________________________________________________________________________ Altaire More contractors pick apart the battle site west of the one surveyed last year. This system appears to contain much less wreckage, either whittled away by scavengers over the year or simply filled with much less activity during the war between Altaire and the FWA. Nevertheless, they locate a handful of useful hulls. 1 BB - 125,000 C / 100 NP / 15 M / 5 T (2 turns) 1 CVE - 20,000 C / 10 NP / 5 M / 1 A (1 turn) 5 DD - 5,000 C / 2 NP / 0 M (1 turn) (priced individually) Stilicho does not receive any actual artifacts, but he does receive more than a few leads talking about a shipwreck within Altaire’s space which is always a hive of activity for folks interested in that line of work. Some even say the late Tarau Naei had an interest in the site - before his mysterious disappearance! WAR! (Discord) San’Klau delivers presents to all the good boys and girls! (+100,000 C) Fal’s World Spiders spin webs in the shadows. San’Klau delivers presents to all the good boys and girls! (+100,000 C) United Vennendal The Invasion of ERTC space begins. As the Vennendalische fleets cross into foreigns space, they stumble into a lightly defended industrial system. The handful of ERTC ships in the system manage to slip away before the Vennendalic fleet can properly stop them, but the planet, devoid of any real defenses or defenders, is quickly surrendered to the Vennendalic invaders. As the invasion begins, the ERTC declares blockade against Vennendal, and offers substantial bounties to any and all who are willing to prey on Vennendalic shipping. With this declaration comes widespread blockade from much of the Republic. A major exception to this is the Grand Admiral Manhuera, who states that he will simply not blockade his son-in-law’s domain. (+50% cost to buy goods) Furthermore, Vennendal receives word that Universal Security has allegedly been contracted to intervene. San’Klau delivers presents to all the good boys and girls! (+100,000 C) Grand Duchy of Alamar The Starbreaker inches ever closer, and the Dryden’s pray his warfleets never set their domains within their sights. San’Klau delivers presents to all the good boys and girls! (+100,000 C) Orteau The Teniert’s will it and so it is done. Contractors swarm to the Graveyard, eagerly drawing up lists of what could and possibly couldn’t be salvaged from the endless wrecks. The results of this surveying is indeed uplifting, despite the fact is a widely acknowledged opinion that it would be impossible to restore Heaven’s Hammer. Despite the sheer amount of contractors, there is still more than enough wreckage to pick through and potentially locate more usable hulls. -1 HBB - 200,000 C / 1 HP / 25 M / 10 A / 20 T (1 turn) -2 BB - 140,000 C / 150 NP / 15 M / 5 T (2 turns) (priced individually) -1 CV - 125,000 C / 125 NP / 15 M / 5 T (2 turns) San’Klau delivers presents to all the good boys and girls! (+100,000 C) Rewi San’Klau delivers presents to all the good boys and girls! (+100,000 C) The Kaitiaki Ora The Stealth ship goes dark, and does not return from USSC space. San’Klau delivers presents to all the good boys and girls! (+100,000 C) Ushen The Barons accept (DISCORD) San’Klau delivers presents to all the good boys and girls! (+100,000 C) Castrillon San’Klau delivers presents to all the good boys and girls! (+100,000 C) Badab The Dominion receives a horrifying communique from the Pirate King, Aokigahara, namely a video of a man that the Department of Defense will easily recognize being forced to pull out his own organs as hot irons are pressed into his back before he is vented into space. San’Klau delivers presents to all the good boys and girls! (+100,000 C) MERRY CHRISTMAS TO EVERYONE!
  6. SHATTERED SUNS Year 10.422 AE The light of dusk fades away. ====-----<<>>-----==== “Hear me now, Ancestors, from where I sit, beneath this ancient, hallowed temple. I shall return to the seat of our line, bearing with me Imperial banner and naked blade. The day shall come, in answer to my call, that Imperial men, both proud and tall, shall rally one and all. Beneath our banner, bold, righteous and determined, we shall drive the Foe from our lands, and from the Starcast Throne. At the height of that dias, I shall plant my standard and raise the noble cry; Revenge for Ran-ji!” _____________________________________________________________________________________________ Events THE SIEGE OF NAHKI “The people will sing songs of your glory, Lord. They will praise your name.” “Is that so, San-var?” [Atuan Infantry battle in the streets of Mo’an-tal against Colonial forces] Atu-an’s war against the Colonial Remnants continues. With much of the capital world having been captured in the fighting last year, Colonial forces have regrouped around the worlds’ largest city Mo’an-tal. Since the Atuan’s first assault against the city late last year, the fighting has only intensified to levels not seen since The Collapse. Mo’an-tal’s defenders fiercely hold the city against the invaders, forcing Atuan command to pay dearly for each foot of ground. Operations on the ground have continued with mounting losses as the Atuans battle their way through the massive city. In light of the siege’s intensity, the Heavenly Emperor has authorized the deployment of three more legions to the planets surface, in order to crush the Colonials once and for all. Perhaps the only hope for the defenders are the Ground to Orbit arrays, which have successfully kept the skies clear of any meaningful Atuan air support. Still, resources and manpower continue to dwindle, but the colonials hold regardless - praying for relief. Across the rest of Nahki, Atuan rule is further cemented as hundreds of administrators are flown in from off-world, various infrastructure projects begin, and most importantly, the Atuan military cracks down on insurgent activity tenfold. ====-----<<>>-----==== A TRAIL OF CHAOS "It was a shame to lose so many slaves, but you must admit! They made excellent candles! The best I've ever seen!" [Aokigahar’s fleet descends on the mining colony] The Pirate King’s fleet burns east, falling upon a small mining colony as it does. With the local Warlord, Artorian, having his fleet on the other side of the territory, Aokigahara falls upon it without mercy, or fear of reprisal. Over the course of two weeks every inch of the colony is torched and looted, with widespread atrocities being reported by the survivors. Before the Pirate King’s fleet departs, Aokigahara orders the city glassed, which it is in short order. Reports from Artorian’s government estimate as many as half a billion citizens were killed in the glassing. _____________________________________________________________________________________________ Fal’s World Long forgotten. United Vennendal There is much to be done. The Grand Duchy of Alamar Another year passes. Another year of the Hui-Ariki’s machinations. The House of Rewi The Order of the Crescent accepts the opportunity to better and more easily communicate with its neighbors. The Rewi diplomats are received and given permanent accommodations within a small temple on the Crescent’s Homeworld. Greater Altaire The team contracted to investigate Altaire’s easternmost battlefield has an extensive report on the Admiralty’s desk by the end of the year. The system was the site of a larger than average fleet engagement, and thus is littered with scattered wrecks. The crews locate a single Dreadnought hull which could be salvaged as well as a pair of Armored Cruisers. BB - 125,000 C / 100 NP / 15 M / 5 T (2 turns) CA - 30,000 C /15 NP / 5 M / 1 A (1 turn) House Matareka By the year’s end Mokihi’s flagship, Redemption, arrives at the site of the anomaly. Frequently reported by passing freighters and mining ships, it consists of a large, ruined, space liner which had apparently crashed on the surface of a nearby moon during the Collapse. Surprisingly, scans indicate that the ship appears to be almost untouched by scavengers - an oddity to be sure. EVAs have been prepped, awaiting Mohiki’s word. [Discord] The Dominion A man chooses. A slave obeys. Orteau A pupil with a promising future. The Hekeati A response eventually filters back, facilitated by a Republican psykic. Lord Taera is more than willing to face the Sample, if only he could actually reach Loyalist space! An Ambassador is accepted. Lord Rata is more than willing to work with any true loyalists, assuming they do not intend to interfere with any of Lord Rata’s Restoration Efforts. The ERTC is willing to construct a Dreadnought for the low price of 750,000 credits. Construction, of course, will take 3 years. Price, the ERTC representative says, is dependent on the market value of the required resources. The Stealth Ship counts a relatively small border fleet consisting of mostly cruisers and light ships. The world is much more well defended, equipped with Ground-to-Orbit batteries as well as Hyperspace Interdictors and an Orbital Defense Platform. Castrillon A light show exclusive to Castrillon. Dominion of Badab Initiating Security Check… Security Check in Progress… Security Check Completed. Ushen The black gold of Ushen floods the markets and fuels the galaxy.
  7. SHATTERED SUNS Year 10.421 AE The light of dusk fades away. ====-----<<>>-----==== “They’re closing in around us now. The transports are gone, broken as they tried to escape. I know you will never hear this, but I love you, my darling wife. I curse the day I left you, and I curse this day that I must leave you forever. They’re at the bunker doors. The screams get ever louder. We are going to die in this forsaken place. How I wish I had never set foot on Buath. How I wish I could go ho- [TRANSMISSION ENDED]” -The last recorded transmission from the surface of Buath. _____________________________________________________________________________________________ Events THE SIEGE OF NAHKI “Am I not generous, San’var?” “Without equal, my Lord.” [Atuan Infantry advance under fire on C.R.A positions] Far to the west, The Heavenly Kingdom of Atu-an continues its divinely-ordained war against the Colonial Reorganization Authority. In space, the Colonial Navy has been sent into a full rout, forced to abandon the void above the former Colonial capital of Nahki. As the banners of Heaven itself march upon the system, much of the remaining Colonial government flees north into more secure space - leaving the planet’s garrison to hold the world alone. News from the former Colonies suggests that the Atuans have made great progress, having accepted the surrender of several of the largest colonial formations on the planet. The last of Nahki’s resistance is centered around the expansive mega-city of Mo’an-tal, where the remaining Colonial armies have dug in heavily. BLESSED IS THE LINE OF THE EMPEROR RUR-VAI ===----<>----=== THE COMING OF AN HEIR “Do not delay, Admiral, for we have little time to lose.” [The Starcast Throne, in the Imperial Observatory.] From the furthest reaches of civilized space comes a message which slowly but surely filters through to every remaining psykic in the galaxy, “An heir proclaims himself.” The man in question is the Lord Taera, a matriarchal second cousin of the late Emperor Rän-ji. Stationed in the Outer Rim during the Civil War, Taera’s fleets were unable to reach Loyalist lines before Erasmis’ invasion had already penetrated to the core. Since then, they have been wedged between their two foes, only barely scrounging by. With this announcement is a call to aid directed to the Loyalist south, and a plea to the Republic requesting safe passage south - how the Republic will respond to such a request remains to be seen. ===----<>----=== THE PIRATE KING “Let them despair!” [The destruction of the ERTCV Sifter against Aokigahara’s fleet] Chaos continues to engulf the galaxy, and the illustrious Pirate King runs forever rampant among the Eastern Galaxy’s trade routes. 10,421 proves to be an eventful year for Aokigahara’s fleet, though, as the Horseman, Aokigahara’s flagship aswell as its supporting vessels fall upon an ERTC Treasure Fleet returning from the Far Rim. Unknowingly having walked into a pirate ambush, the ERTC escorts were quickly picked apart and destroyed, with the primary escort, ERTCV Sifter, being destroyed in the opening stages of the battle. The entire contents of the ERTC convoy has apparently since been destroyed or otherwise lost to the pirates. Aokigahara’s marauding continues to burn east through Loyalist space. ===----<>----=== GATHERING CLOUDS “500 credits per shipment? What do the Barons need 400 credits for! 300 credits is unbelievable! The Westerners don’t have the gall to ask for 200 credits for fuel..” [The Republic Senate] As another set of terms comes to an end, the clouds of the Republican Senate begin to gather as a host of interests prepare to compete for the trio of newly vacant positions: Tanu Kavan, Kavan Te, and Kavan He-ai and upset the long established rule of the hugely popular Grand Admiral Pepe. While the various factions of the Senate return to their constant scheming, trouble brews on the Republic’s horizon.. The Oil Barons continue to hold the Republic at their mercy through their near total domination of the Outer Rim’s fuel reserves, many within the Senate cry for a response. Indeed, the idea would be attractive to many more if the Republic’s finances were not almost completely sustained by ERTC and Universal loans, huge partners of the Oil Barons. Further still, reports filter in from the border of Admiral Akamu’s efforts to refurbish and salvage Civil War naval vessels en masse, a development which has many of the provincial governors on edge. _____________________________________________________________________________________________ "Ran-ji lies dead. Man is scattered. The Empire burns. Those who remain shall burn with it.."
  8. SHATTERED SUNS The year is 10,420 AE - The Empire Burns ==-----<>-----== "When Empires fall, they fall in fire, and in blood, but, while the Sun may set on a civilisation's greatness, an Empire’s legacy will live on, in the shadows of its dusk. Although the Third Empire, the absolute pinnacle of human might and society, crumbled into nothingness, in the hidden corners of that ruination, lingered the beliefs and convictions that had served as its foundations. Though the Empire's territories have devolved into a teeming mass of Stellarchs and warlords, there remains a single, all encompassing belief - the supremacy of mankind. Man is the Master of the Galaxy, and though we have suffered through the Second Schism, Man will inevitably rise once more, to vanquish our foes, and to reclaim our rightful place amongst the stars." -The last public speech of the Tanu Kavan, Panayiotou The Fall of the Third Empire was the tragedy of a generation - a collapse brought about by the vicious infighting of the Republicans and the Loyalists, perpetrated by the ambitions of the Emperor, Rän-ji XVI, his loyal hound, Lord Teniert of Orteau, and the resistance of the Republican Tanu Kavan, Lord Panayiotou, along with the treacherous sedition planned by the likes of the Stellarch Tuakeo, who plotted to seize the Starcast Throne for himself. In the ensuing Civil War, the Galaxy was ripped asunder, divided between the two Imperial camps, or among the various rebels and traitors scattered mostly throughout the western portions of space. As the Third Empire found itself crushed beneath the weight of a war that pitted brother against brother, the age-old enemy struck. Erasmis, the Mind-Bender, a fearsome Irik Warlord, sallied forth from the Irearchy, laying waste to all before him. Moving decisively, he captured Kaumai and, with his own hand, ended the lives of the Emperor and his direct heir. From this onslaught Lord Matareka, the infirm Lord Teniert’s replacement, and the only leadership remaining to the Loyalist government - whose name has become forever synonymous with treachery - abandoned his post in that dark hour, to save his own hide, condemning the Empire to its miserable fate. After millenia of waiting, time has finally come full circle - the Empire is dead, and in its place dwells a thousand bickering Warlords, squabbling over the remains of their once mighty nation. The Second Schism has come, and former Imperial territories must now contend not only with their own infighting, but also with the constant and savage raids of Irik Warchiefs, and all the while Erasmis, the Mind-Bender, rules the Core with his ironclad fist, from atop the Starcast Throne in the Imperial Observatory. But though the Third Empire has shattered, the might of mankind has not faded - while the great military hardware of the Old Empire is rare now, broken, lost or abandoned over the five, bitter decades since the Fall, mankind still possesses the means to protect himself and his remaining territories. For all the squabbling of the Warlords, they still share one, common foe, one focus of their unified hatred - the Irik - and all remember the values and ideals upon which the Empire was constructed. For the Third Empire fell by fire, by greed, by treachery - but just as the Third Empire fell, so too will mankind rise once more to domination of the Universe - By the sword. ==---<>---== NPCs Emperor Ran-ji XVI -- Murdered by Erasmis, The Mindbender on Kaumai Crown Prince, Ran-lir XII -- Murdered by Erasmis, The Mindbender, on Kaumai Empress Raa -- Presumed Dead, at the hands of Erasmis, The Mindbender. Grand Admiral Roko -- Murdered by Erasmis, The Mindbender, above Buath. Grand Admiral Nalani -- Killed in heroic action during the defense of Kaumai. Arero Rumari -- Murdered by Irik under the command of Erasmis, The Mindbender, during the sack of Kaumai. Grand Admiral Sorin -- Active Warlord in the Inner Rim Grand Admiral Rakena -- Active Warlord in the Inner Rim Admiral Otikoro -- Active Warlord in Deep Space Admiral Rata -- Killed in action against Republican forces. Admiral Kawhena -- Active Warlord in the Inner Rim Grand Admiral Pepe -- Active Republican Governor Grand Admiral Manhuera -- Active Republican Governor Grand Admiral Rahn -- Killed in action against Loyalist forces. Stellarch U’ilanni -- Succumbed to age. Tanu Kavan Panayiotou -- Assassinated leaving the Republican Senate. Admiral Rona -- Killed in action against Irik forces above The Ring. Arakatera -- Killed in action during the First Siege of Orteau. General Corvin – Killed in action during the First Siege of Orteau. Admiral Avivira -- Killed in action against FWA forces. Admiral Netana -- Committed suicide shortly after surrendering his armies to FWA forces. Emperor Tuakeo I -- Succumbed to age Kauri Arapai -- Leads the PLF on Kaumai and in the Core. Star Marshal Radavan Jelavic -- Defected to the USSC following the downfall of the FWA. OWTC CEO, Tamatoa -- Murdered under mysterious circumstances. ==---<>---== “The Emperor is dead. The Palace-Moon burns. I send now this final message unto the Void. The Imperial Guard will follow the Emperor on his path with all the honor and glory it can muster. Glory to the Emperor! Glory to the Empire!” -Unknown Officer of the Imperial Guard, on open channels, following the Sack of Kaumai The State of the Northern Marches “Have them dig a pit, then line them up on the edge of it.” -Colonel Ikaika, in the aftermath of an Irik raid The Northern Sectors of the Galaxy, the old Imperial Marches, have all but fallen to the might of the Irik foe. Though Badab, Tso and a smattering of fractured Loyalist Warlords continue to bitterly resist the march of Irik warbands, the North is a bitter wasteland, fallen almost completely to the enemy. The silver lining, however, is the enemy is now as bitterly divided as the many states of man, as Irik Warlords now savagely turn upon each other, seeking to avenge age-old slights, to seize slaves, resources and territories, or to prove to all the might and honour of their Houses. This constant infighting is all that has prevented the last bastions of Imperial space in the North from being overrun, and it is all that has allowed the shattered remnants of House Matareka, led by the last of that line, Mohiki, to persist in these troubled times. Though Matareka is ostracised and hated still, the shattered remnants of Lord Roko’s fleet had no option but to flee to their space, and House Matareka represents one of the most significant resistances to Irik domination. Erasmis, threatened north and south, savagely continues to defend his territory from would-be challengers to his legendary status, dividing his attention, and ultimately keeping many territories in the Core and the Republic safe from his brutality. The State of the Western Galaxy “It seems that the Lord of a Thousand Stars is as weak as the masters of the Old Empire….” -Unknown Altairean Officer Peace is a rare commodity in this new Galaxy, and this is no less true in the vast tracts of Western Space, where the traitor Tuakeo birthed his Fourth Empire. Though the Fourth Empire lives on, its founder has long since perished, after a short, age-related illness. While his son, Tuakeo II now rules this state, he is weak and this new Empire has quickly become underrun with sedition and treachery. Politics are dominated by the abnormal men of Matene, led by Tanalar the Glorious, Tuakeo’s uncle. The weakness of the Fourth Empire’s government has become all too apparent in recent years. Many of the great Stellarchies that flocked to Tuakeo’s cause when he began his sedition have abandoned the crumbling Empire, as Tanalar indulges in extreme hedonism and endorses his personal sycophants. In the southern stretches of the Fourth Empire, almost all of the old territory is gone, divided now between bickering Warlords, whose only difference from the Warlords of the East is a significantly more self-serving character. Most notable of these warlords is the province of Altaire, which has achieved great relevance through the nearly wholesale destruction of the Free Workers’ Alliance, leading them to status as a regional power. Altaire betrayed Tuakeo even more swiftly than it betrayed Ran-ji, and now it enjoys the fruits of its treasons. In the Northern areas of Western space, Hyperboreia, triumphant over Irik invasion, continues to build its might in preparation for the coming Great Crusade. Meanwhile, the Interplanetary Defensive Initiative consolidates their hold over their space, and continues to expand their industry and military power, in a bid to defend their own peculiar brand of liberal rule. Also hidden away, with little territory but carefully consolidated military might, is Lord Otikoro. Otikoro’s Imperial Reclamation Fleet is ever prepared to do what is necessary to revitalise the failing Empire, and return a rightful heir to the Starcast Throne. The State of the Free Colonies "All we've built... gone.." The period of independence, stability, and prosperity enjoyed by the Free Colonies proved to be fleeting. The tide of war and chaos which would engulf the whole of the galaxy did not spare the isolated state beyond the Empire’s western borders. As Erasmis sacked the Palace-Moon of Kaumai, the Colonies’ Penal Worlds rose up in glorious revolution. This would only trigger a downward spiral as the Empire’s chaos overflowed into Colonial space. Altairean battlefleets pursuing FWA forces would come to blows with the Colonials countless times - only further toppling the power of the already scrambling government. The northern sectors of Colonial space is now dominated by the Directorate, a super conglomeration of industrialists and other corporate interests seeking to protect their own interests which separated from the Colonial government when it became apparent that they would be unable to control the situation. To their east lies the Tarvek Confederacy, a collection of mining worlds where the Colonial Government employed Kall slaves in vast quantities. Since triggering the events which would collapse their oppressing governments, the Kall have seized a frightening amount of space. Little is known of what lies beyond their borders, but rumors spread of human slavery. In the south a near constant state of warfare is present, facilitated by the rapidly expanding Heavenly Kingdom of Atu-an, who wages war on all fronts against the remnants of the Colonial Government, The Colonial Reorganisation Authority, and the newly established United Socialist Star Communes. The State of the Eastern Galaxy “Keep firing! Keep those guns firing! Fire until the barrels melt in your very hands! Fire until every one of them is dead! Fire! Fire! Fire! But do NOT let them leave this field alive!” -Kauri Arapai, the third year of the Siege of Kaumai For fifty years, the Eastern Sectors of the Galaxy have burned, saddled beneath the enormous weight of a hundred squabbling states, across a thousand squabbling systems. Peace is an alien concept here, where warfleets have freely roamed, and countless worlds have fallen victim to the horrors of planetary siege. In the Mid Rim the Republic, the last unified authority from the days of the Third Empire, rules over a vast (though massively reduced) territory that grows more unruly with each passing year. The Senate finds itself as divided as ever, between Constitutionalists and Republicans, and a rapidly growing faction of Separationists - military governors who look ever more fondly to the possibility of military control of the State. The Republic increasingly relies on the strength of Grand Admirals Pepe and Manhuera to prop up the central government, as the peripheries continue to push towards their own destinies. Further, the Republic finds itself ever more in debt to the many mercantile factions that always held influence over the affairs of the Imperial State. The Eastern Rim Trading Company holds up the Republican treasury, supplying seemingly endless credit for the fading state. The ERTC is not without their own goals, however, and their representatives are hard at work securing rights amongst the many fractured Loyalist remnants, who now control the space lanes in the sectors south of the Core. Although the Republic is becoming increasingly split by ideological differences, and the realities of mercantilist influence, at least they have survived as a united state. In the South, the Admirals of the Imperial Navy took full advantage of the chaos resulting in the Fall of the Third Empire, and seized much territory for themselves, by means of their fleets. The Southern Sectors of the Eastern Galaxy are particularly divided, as dozens of formerly Loyalist officers bicker and squabble over whatever shreds of territory are left to claim. Only the ever present eye of the Star-Breaker, Erasmis, and the careful diplomacy of the major warlords have prevented the region from descending into total chaos. Peace in the south has been maintained by the plotting of Grand Admiral Sorin - who occupied much of Orteau, following the Fall - and his allies, Grand Admiral Rakena and Admiral Kawhena. This triple agreement has convinced the other, more bellicose, warlords - Lords Taanga, Keretene and Rata - to reign in their horns, and to bide their time. Perhaps it is well that it is so, for bordering both the weakened Republic and the fractured Loyalists are the hyper-nationalists of the Eastern Galactic Provisional Authority, who seek to extend their influence across the entire Empire, and to reunify the shattered Empire in the image of their own brutal military dictatorship. And finally, the Core…. The Core burns, under the fire of war. Planets lie ruined, beneath the smouldering bodies of billions. Irik warfleets, under the rule of Erasmis and his minions, patrol the inky void. On planetary surfaces, tens of millions of bold Planetary Liberation Front volunteers battle viciously to repulse the Braves of the Mind-Bender. Worlds crack under the savagery of Irik orbital bombardment. Erasmis glasses what he cannot hold, with the exception of one point, the Center of the Universe. Kaumai. Against the hordes of Erasmis, Kaumai stands. Against the atrocities of Irik Braves, Kaumai holds. For fifty years, the PLF have fought on the surface of the industrialised city-world capital of the Third Empire, fighting by day and night under the very eyes of the Star-Breaker himself, who watches the explosions from atop the Starcast Throne in the Imperial Observatory, drinking from the skull of the Emperor, with the bones of the Empire’s heir lying, forgotten and shattered, at the base of the steps. Every day, he watches with impotent fury as mankind continues to resist the might of his Warriors. He watches in desperation, eager to finally end the siege, and gain control of the planet’s vast resources. But the Siege of Kaumai can only end when the last bullet is fired. When every drop of water and every morsel of food is gone. When the last battlecry is screamed, When the last man is dead. Only then will Kaumai fall. ==---<>---== "Thick, inky darkness hung over our lines, almost as if we crouched in a trench in the Void, far far above our heads. It was hard to see, but we knew they were out there. We could hear them. You learned to hear Irik when they tried to creep. They're quiet, despite their size, but it's the soft jingling of the armour that gives it away. Their War-Chief, some savage creature that called itself 'Vrallok' had overrun a position a month before with this kind of night attack, crawling up to our trenches and slaughtering all within. But that company had only been boys, barely off of the Crucible. We were a different kettle of fish - most of us had seen at least one tour on Vaka or Buath, some of the older NCOs had seen tours on Vaka and Buath, and our Colonel, Iron Hohepa, had served a dozen tours between the two. We waited as they crept close. We had no heavy artillery, but we didn't need it. They got closer and closer. Well within our theoretical effective range, though any veteran will tell you the rounds simply ricochet off if that's when you open fire. Finally, they were where we wanted them. Our lines lit up, waves upon waves of golden traces splitting the air with an ear splitting roar. Nothing could have lived on that field, once we opened up on it. In the morning, when the darkness finally lifted, we walked across that field, covered in groaning, twitching, screaming Irik carcasses, and we sent every one of the reeking bastards straight to hell." -Officer of the 72nd Legion, Accounts of the Outer Core Campaigns The Factions The IX Chapter Based in the Core, the 9th Chapter are the fruits of a Hyperborean plot to infiltrate the Loyalist Systems during the Civil War. Arriving too late to participate in the fighting itself, these extremists were isolated by the onset of Erasmis’ campaign and the Imperial collapse that followed. Capitalizing off public hysteria and general pandemonium following the Collapse the chapter performed mass conversions across a handful of Core Worlds. Now firmly in power, the Chapter continues its ideological crusade against the Xeno menace, purging frequently and where it can. The Chapter likewise harbors an intense dislike of the Loyalists for their alliance with the Irik during the war, which they believe led to the Empire’s Collapse. The Chapter’s military is constructed largely of retrofitted Civilian ships, and outdated or salvaged Imperial hardware. Despite lacking high-tier equipment and training, the Chapter’s soldiers are fanatically loyal to the cause, fighting to the last without question. Life on Chapter Worlds is highly structured, adhering to a strict religious code imported from Hyperborea. The Chapter lacks any grand ambitions of statehood, instead seeking only to eradicate Xenos and Xeno Sympathizers wherever they are. These actions are often carried out in irregular or undercover manners whenever possible. Terrorism is frequently employed by the Chapter. The VII Chapter Holed up in former Kiritauan space, the 7th Chapter are the remnants of a Hyperborean Crusade originally bound for Buath, but trapped in Kiritau due to the outbreak of the Civil War. When the Empire began to undergo its collapse, these religious extremists became truly lost. However the invading alien hordes provided ample opportunity to carry out their mission. In the 50 years since the Collapse these Ordermen have taken full advantage of the situation, establishing a sizable dominion over a number of worlds in Kiritau space. Life on Chapter Worlds are highly structured, adhering to a strict religious code imported from Hyperborea. The 7th Chapter is much more organized then their Core based counterparts. Their dominion is a full fledged state, one which frequently wars with neighboring bodies, notably the Red-Gold Concordat, The House of Bones, and the 4th Empire. The 7th’s Chapter military is composed of a healthy mix of retrofitted Civilian ships, domestically produced warships, and salvaged Imperial hardware. Like all Chapter personnel, their fighters are fanatically loyal and will obey orders or fight to the last without question. Order of the Crescent The Order of the Crescent is a mysterious religious order present within the Outer Rim. After the Empire’s collapse, the Order’s home system was abandoned or forgotten about Republican and Loyalist forces. In the power vacuum, the Order assumed the role of the system’s military arm, pressing a number of civilian vessels into service. Since the Order began policing the system, and those nearby, piracy in the area has rapidly fallen off. The skirmishes that do erupt usually end badly for the aggressors. The secret to the Order’s success is not exactly known, but the most outrageous of sailor’s rumors speak of psychic warriors capable of obscenely powerful feats. The Order has no official foreign policy, or even government, but typically it remains removed from the affairs of the rest of the galaxy. Simply protecting its pocket of space. The Reef A short lived, yet ambitious, criminal enterprise turned sprawling empire. The infamous Bichir’s original offensive during the closing days of the Civil War captured huge swathes of Republican Space and essentially wiped out the OWTC, his largest rival. Unfortunately, Bichir’s newly won space was space that the Syndicate could never feasibly govern, let alone hold against even weary and battered Imperial forces. Ransoms and treaties were quickly arranged between the Crimelord and the Republic, and much of the Shore was ceded back into Republican hands. The act served to remind the Imperials what lurked beneath, and that the Syndicate was ever present and ever willing to throw its weight where it needed to be. Nonetheless, Bichir was now master of a comfortable chunk of space, wholly independent. In the years after the Collapse the Shore has continued to exist as it always has, just now much less in the shadows. The Syndicate directs smuggling and piracy all across the southeastern galaxy, employing The House of Ghosts as its primary muscle as well as a substantial number of other aliens and human mercenaries. No Rivals exist for the Syndicate to best, but it has become apparently clear that the legendary Bichir is aging. It is no secret that the infamous Crimelord will soon pass, no doubt leaving a shattered empire in his wake. The Red-Gold Concordat Inhabiting the Border Regions of the former Imperial domain, The Concordat is a union of the Irik House of Blood and an Imperial Star-Garrison. Originally brokered by a particularly greedy and corrupt Commander, the tenuous alliance has gradually shifted into a unified force in the years since the Empire’s collapse. The Concordat rules it’s worlds with an iron fist through a muddled and almost feudal bureaucracy of military command meshed with Irik honour-structure. Far from the most organized of the galaxy’s factions, much of the Concordat’s local rulers pursue a policy of absolute profit, sucking as much money and resources as possible from the populace, most of who live in absolute poverty or slavery-like conditions. The Concordat’s culture is equally harsh. Punishments are cruel and handed out leniently. Populations are routinely culled of members viewed to be unfit for labor or duty. Talk of rebellion, or anything against the Concordat’s ideals for that matter is usually met with lethal force. During its founding, The Imperial Commander Lar-si had nearly half a world glassed for an attempted uprising, and whole cities frequently obliterated at little more than a drop of a pen. In terms of geopolitical goals, the Concordat leadership has become enthralled with Irik culture. Simply put, they seek to gain martial dominance over as many “Houses” Irik or otherwise as possible, ideally building Baron Korvak’s (The House of Blood’s Leader) prophized Empire of the Strong from the carcass of Human space. Eastern Rim Trading Company Originally specializing in shipping and industrial production during the days of the empire the ERTC was forced to rapidly adapt as the Imperial Government collapsed around it. Initially, a healthy agreement was struck with the burgeoning Republic, but the discovery of Far Rim hyper lanes quickly and exponentially grew the power, influence, and wealth of the Company beyond that which could be provided by the Republic. The ERTC has since grown to administer a plethora of worlds and facilities across the Far Rim, pioneering the exploration and colonization of this new frontier. In this sense, they essentially hold a monopoly on travel and trade to this new sector of space, eagerly policing and taxing the long hyperlanes which run into them. This profit alone has allowed the ERTC to become one of the richest and most influential entities in the post-Imperial Galaxy. Without the protection and stability afforded by the Empire, the company has been forced to militarize. The Imperial Collapse left more than a few unemployed soldiers and officers, all of which were eagerly snapped up and signed onto the Company’s payroll. This, along with the “consolidation” (annexation) of Kohatu Driveyard’s largest installations has led to the Company becoming one of the most professional, well equipped, and largest militaries in the Galaxy. Despite the immense power wielded by the Company, it is spread thin and without direct connection. Even with its newfound status, the ERTC still finds itself heavily involved with business in the rest of the galaxy, taking on arms contracts with constantly feuding warlords, and supplying large quantities of food and material wherever it is needed. For the most part, the ERTC acts impartially, and strictly in its own self interest, which is obviously to increase profits. Universal Security Originally owner of an Imperial-granted monopoly of the shipping industry, Universal Shipping’s business model soon began to break down as Imperial infrastructure crumbled around it and the demand for its services likewise plummeted. In need of cash flow to maintain their operations, Universal has since rebranded itself, converting a large portion of its gigantic merchant fleet into full fledged warships. In a galaxy full of war and turmoil, Universal Security now operates in a niche of its own - guns for hire! Any ambitious Warlord or pirate with enough coin or credit to his name can have his own private fleet, and with it, carve out his kingdom. Universal Security’s fleet personnel is largely sourced from the Outer Rim and trained by a cadre of ex-republican officers. Universal specializes in ships of the Cruiser designation and lower, lacking any significant amount of sufficiently sized hulls or frames to mount dreadnought equivalent armament. In addition to mercenary work, Universal still maintains a strong grip on the shipping and transport industry, and is capable of moving goods or people across the galaxy quickly and efficiently. The Interplanetary Defense Initiative (IDI) Occupying the northern mid-rim, the IDI is a coalition of former Imperial Worlds either abandoned by the Loyalists or too far flung to be assisted by the Republic. The IDI in practice is a federal government which has the primary goal of maintaining the security and prosperity of its member worlds. Surprisingly, it is one of the most coordinated and centralized bodies in the Post-Imperial galaxy. IDI worlds are largely spared from the rampant chaos, warlordism, and violence prevalent throughout much of the rest of the galaxy and as such are some of the galaxy’s most developed. On these worlds the IDI’s rule is ever-present, but far less intrusive than in its contemporaries. Compared to the rule of the Old Empire, it is vastly more liberal. The core of the IDI Battlefleet, also known as the IDF (Interplanetary Defense Fleet), is composed of ancient Imperial Battleships brought up from deep storage and a pair of barely-serviceable dreadnoughts salvaged from a Civil War battlefield. The rest of IDI ships are lighter vessels saved or captured from the empire, or even retrofitted civilian ships, notably the IDS Crater, a civilian super-freighter turned carrier. Though the IDI’s hardware is exceptionally lacking compared to their imperial predecessors, the professionalism and coordination of the organization is its primary strength and has been the primary reason for the IDI’s success against all manners of threats. Many IDI circles see themselves as the most worthy successor to both the Republic and Empire. In recent years, the Initiative has made a number of strides to secure more worlds, and more importantly, more ships. Ever expanding, there are many who would like to see the IDI rebuild the Empire in its own image. The Eastern Galactic Provisional Authority Originally born from fractured Republican states and deserting Republican and Loyalist admirals alike in the southern Outer Rim, the Eastern Galactic Provisional Authority is a Military Junta dedicated to the restoration of Man’s former dominion over the stars. Rule over their current domain is carried out by military Despots, usually high ranking or influential members of the various officer cliques, appointed by the Provisional Government. The central government itself is dominated by a single party, the Galactic Restoration Movement, a hyper-nationalist organization of ex-imperial officers. Since the establishment of the Provisional Authority, massive drives have been undertaken to increase Industrial output, and in recent years ship-building efforts have grown thrice fold. Life on Provisional worlds is civilized, but notably more rigid and intrusive than the far off rule of Kaumai. The Eastern Galactic Provisional Authority presents a unique challenge for the many squabbling warlords and divided interests of the Outer Rim, being one of the only large, industrial, and unified states in possession of a capable fleet. Though largely untested in battle apart from minor border clashes with the Republic and Imperial Warlords, the resolve of the EGPA has never been stronger, and they boast one of the strongest militaries on paper. Rumors spread of preparations for the Authority’s campaigns to restore Order to Man’s divided domain. The Union of Socialist Star Communes (USSC) A scattered cluster of rebellious Industrial, Mining, and Refinery worlds which broke away from the Free Colonies not long after the Imperial Collapse. The amalgamation of uprisings which would lead to the USSC was initially organized and launched by Communists fleeing from the FWA in the wake of Altaire’s invasion of their space. Since their revolution, USSC worlds have been pressured hard by their neighbors, and many of their movements have been successfully snuffed out. The remaining coalition of USSC planets, though, have undergone almost suicidally destructive wartime measures to ensure their survival. At present, the USSC is embroiled in an undeclared conflict against its neighbors. No major engagements have yet occurred in space, but several Atuan legions are actively involved in a number of ground-invasions against exposed Communist worlds. The geopolitical aim of the USSC is to secure the rights of the Proletariat across the galaxy, and destroy the long since ingrained institutions of capitalism and the nobility. The Free Workers’ Assembly (FWA) The FWA has existed for some 70 years now, splitting from the Free Colonies only a short time before the beginning of the Civil War. During this period, the FWA had experienced a great string of successes, repelling Imperial efforts to retake their provinces and expanding their influence into the neighboring K-Land. After the outbreak of the Civil War and the formation of the Fourth Empire, the FWA was forced into its first major conflict with the Altairean battlefleet, which launched a punitive campaign to wipe out the state before it could spread further. The war against Altaire proved to be disastrous for the FWA, which suffered defeat after defeat, losing world after world to the Imperial menace, even as emergency wartime measures were implemented. (The letter is the first letter of your first name). The only saving grace proved to be the overextension of Altairean fleets and armies, which were eventually forced to withdraw from FWA held deep space, scorching everything they could not carry as they left. The war against Altaire left the FWA hideously weak, exposed, and without much of its former industrial or agricultural capabilities. Into the modern era, the FWA is but a shell of its former self, what remains of the state having been slowly picked away by its neighbors while its internal politics stagnate due to political infighting. The Planetary Liberation Front Originally founded by the late populist Senator, Arapai, as a militant workers’ rights movement, the PLF has since evolved into a fearsome band of Imperial Resurrectionist Freedom Fighters. The PLF operates throughout all of the Irik-occupied Core Worlds, and savagely resists Irik rule, by means of open confrontation or terrorism. Though they are forced, on many worlds, to resort to guerilla warfare, on the Old Capital of Kaumai - a massively industrial city planet, where once the very air was choked with toxic smog - the PLF stands in open warfare against the Irik, Erasmis. While the PLF have no military fleets, the territories they hold on Kaumai are capable of immense military production, and their operatives across the Core are incredibly well equipped with armor, small arms and artillery, making them an incredibly potent force in the battles for control of surface worlds. With hundreds of millions of members, the PLF is a terrifyingly powerful thorn in the side of Irik rule, and their resistance continues to spread throughout the Core. Aokigahara Though the galaxy has undergone a period of intense instability and change, one thing remains constant, The Pirate King. Since his meteoric rise during the decline of the Third Empire, Aokigahara has only found more and more success as the political state continued to deteriorate. As Aokigahara’s power has grown, so too has the severity of his insanity. The now aged Pirate King is a far cry from the discharged officer seeking to take his revenge. Aokigahara now views himself as a harbinger of the Apocalypse itself. From his infamous flagship, the Horseman, the Pirate King sows death and destruction wherever he sails. No mercy is shown to those who resist. Though Aokigahara’s fleet has experienced a substantial amount of defections since the collapse of the Third Empire, it still remains widespread and active, preying on whatever lanes lack adequate security or patrols. Colonial Reorganization Authority In the days leading up to the Collapse, much of the Free Colonies corporate allies began to desert in droves as both the Empire and the Colonial regime to its west began to break down. In the days that followed, the Colonial government was forced to flee from the capital and retreat into the mining and industrial systems which make up the bulk of the country’s interior. Since then, the remnants of the Colonial government have waged a scattered war on all fronts against the successor states which litter the region. Though in possession of a sizable portion of the fleet, they have been pressed hard on all fronts and steadily lost ground. The most fearsome of the Authority’s numerous foes is the newly spawned Heavenly Kingdom of Atu-an, which, in a surprising turn of events, has managed to capture vast swathes of Colonial space, with their warfleets showing no signs of stopping anytime soon. The Directorate After the collapse of the Third Empire, and later the Free Colonies, much of the galaxy’s merchant and industrial operations were placed into an extremely precarious situation. In danger of being destroyed or otherwise subjugated by the nearest warlord with a fleet, the galaxy's largest corporations formed the Directorate, a massive conglomeration of corporate interests and facilities which spans much of the galaxy. The Directorate is helmed by a single Director, who is elected by the board of CEOs and serves for a period of 5 years. The galaxy’s markets and trade lanes are dominated by the Directorate’s presence, and all of its business and interests are fiercely guarded by its own private military force. Any Warlord foolish enough to cross or otherwise scorn the Directorate is often completely shut out from galactic trade and marketplaces, making it an exceedingly rare occurrence at best. The only other corporate body powerful enough to challenge the Directorate is the Easter Rim Trading Company, which has grown hideously rich in the last thirty years of its exploitation and monopolization of the newly discovered Far Rim. The Heavenly Kingdom of Atu-an Throughout much of the galaxy, a strong belief regarding the strength and divinity of the Imperial Line exists. There are many of those who revere those of Imperial blood as mortal incarnations of gods, the emperor even more so. It is not uncommon to find a temple or cult dedicated to the worship of a long dead emperor deep in the Outer Rim. Though this sentiment has largely receded in the last millenia, especially within the Core and Inner Rim, it remains prevalent across the galaxy, even in sectors of space not directly controlled by the Empire. While the Free Colonies crumbled and burned, The Emperor Rūr-vai appeared to Hau-ti, a simple spice farmer, in a dream. Rūr-vai ordered the man to discard his belongings and flee to the nearest spaceport. A command which the poor farmer obediently complied with. Miraculously, Hau-ti fled as a Colonial dropship descended on his village, slaughtering it to a man and torching the rest. Since that day, Hau-ti obeyed the Emperor Rūr-vai’s spirit to the letter, a decision which quickly catapulted him into command of a militia, then a garrison, then a whole planet. Before long, whole systems flocked to the Heavenly banner of Hau-ti. Throughout his meteoric rise, Hau-ti’s claims have only become more and more outrageous. As of the current date, he claims to be a long lost direct descendant of the Emperor Rūr-vai and the one true heir to the Starcast Throne. These claims are validated, he says, by the spirit of Rūr-vai, who appears to him frequently. As outlandish as his rule might be, the Heavenly Emperor Hau-ti offers security and relative freedom in a galaxy filled with chaos and strife, thus, his domain has grown to encompass a large part of the former Free Colonies. Despite this, it is racked with corruption and deceit - for the Emperor is far to focused on his divine purpose to stoop to the commoners' level. While the Emperor himself may not rule particularly harshly, the local commanders and magistrates of his Heavenly Kingdom certainly do. In possession of formerly colonial Driveyards, the Heavenly Kingdom’s fleet is composed of top of the line warships. This is only offset by the fact that the fleet lacks any professional training of any sort. The Oil Barons A collective of the former Empire’s largest and most influential fuel producers. During the Lawlessness of the Collapse and the instability of the Republic that these businessmen had sided with, the various Barons took it upon themselves to claim direct control of the vast Fuel Belt. In command of a significant portion of the Galaxy’s fuel production, these men have grown exorbitantly more wealthy than they already were during the days of the Empire. They maintain a tenuous agreement with the Republic - which ensures that their vast amount of worlds are well supplied on the stipulation that these Barons remain independent - and that the Republic pays their rates. Though these Baronies have a significant fleet in their possession, mostly supplied by Universal Security and the ERTC, their position becomes more precarious with every passing year as many within the Republic become more and more disgruntled at bowing to the Barons beyond the Border. ----ALIEN FACTIONS----- The House of Bones Following the splintering of the Irearchy, the Irik House of Bones began an invasion of the Empire’s western territories. Initially overrunning The Ring and its defenders, the House of Bones burned deep into the fertile territories of Kiritau, as well as across the eastern borders of Tuakeo’s Fourth Empire. Initially catching the dominions of Man off-balance, the House of Bones experienced great success, and pillaged and laid waste to many worlds. Combined efforts from Fourth Empire Fleets and Loyalist Remnants based from Kiritau would see the Empire of Bones recede massively, but not before it had scarred a significant portion of the former Empire’s breadbasket. The name of the House itself is derived from the gruesome slaughter they left in their wake. The Irik Braves of this House were diabolical enough to adorn their weapons, armor, and ships with skulls and bones of their countless human victims. In the modern Galaxy, the House of Bones continues its frequent and sporadic warfare against both its human neighbors to the South and West, as well as their alien neighbors to the north. The Irik chiefs which rule over this domain have little in the way of lofty ambitions. They fight only to enrich themselves further - or when honor compels them too. The House of Summer Perhaps the least warlike of all the Irik Houses, the House of Summer initially entered the Empire’s borders like many other Irik houses, by accompanying the legendary Erasmis during his Great Crusade against Man. Soon after the sack of Kaumai, however,The House would abandon the Crusade and instead push west from the Core, seeking greener pastures. The large and nomadic Home-Fleets of this particular House would come to blows with Republic forces more than a few times during the course of their migration, but passage into the Outer Rim was eventually brokered nonetheless. (Mainly due to the exhaustion and depletion of Republican Fleets rather than any willingness to work with Irik). Since their migration, the House of Summer has further dispersed into the Outer Rim, aligning themselves with the few willing entities that would even consider such a prospect, Including the notorious Bichir and his Shore. These Irik have since become influential and far traveling traders in these regions. When not in their primary line of work, they often work as miners, scavengers, explorers, or mercenaries. In this regard, the House has taken a notable interest in the newly discovered Far Rim Hyperlanes. Yet still, the House of Summer possesses a considerable War Fleet, one which would prove to be a powerful force to anyone rich enough to buy their loyalty. The House of Summer adheres to a notably different Honor-structure than the rest of the Irik houses, viewing uncontested combat such as raiding and piracy as inherently dishonorable and unfair. The House of Summer disregards all subtly in declaring who it will attack and when. It holds a significant dislike for the other Irik houses, which they believe tarnish their own upstanding reputation. The House seeks co-existence with Humanity, much preferring to trade and work within its borders. The House of Suns Fearsome and Bloodthirsty, the House of Suns initially entered the Empire’s borders like so many Irik, by riding the coattails of the Mindbender’s Crusade against Man. Composing the Fleet’s rear guard, however, the House of Suns would never reach the Palace-Moon and its untold riches. Soon after crossing the border, the Suns would desert the Warfleet, instead falling upon the Realm of the Stellarch Nalani. Here the House of Suns would fight several long campaigns against Loyalist forces ultimately resulting in them winning dominion over a significant chunk of the Stellarchy. Since their victory, the House of Suns has ruled their conquered human worlds benevolently, by Irik standards. Real governance of the world is mostly non-existent, and those who dwell on the surface are expected to pay hefty tithes to the House of Suns which rules from their Starships in the skies above. When unrest does arise, the point of interest is either glassed from orbit or descended upon by an array of Braves - whichever the local Irik leader is more in the mood for. Beyond their own borders, the House of Suns harbors an intense rivalry and hatred for the now Legendary House of Winds. They oppose them at every opportunity, and warfare between the two houses is frequent to state it lightly. The House of Suns’ Baron, Eraxis, once a loyal lieutenant of the Mindbender, desires nothing more than to destroy Erasmis and assume his House’s position of the most powerful of the Irik, a feat which they are not far from achieving. Though - as is known to every Irik, while the Mindbender lives, the dominance of the House of Winds is absolute, and none can stand before Erasmis. The House of Void The western most of the Irik House, the House of Void dwells just on the edge of the formerly Imperial Space, its western expansion halted by the Hyperborean Order during the Collapse. The House of Void is strange, even by Irik customs. An intense fascination with psykers, deep space, and religion dwells in the mind of every Void Irik, and they stop at nothing to pursue their morbid curiosities about the secrets of reality. Despite being conventionally stone-walled by the Order’s mighty defenses, the House of Void has been able raid and plunder Hyperborean space and beyond through the frequent use of Stealth Drives, a nasty signature of this particular Irik house. Word has spread of these most curious aliens experimenting with alternate FTL methods - allegedly, Void psykics have unlocked the potential to bend the Universe itself, allowing instant travel between two points. The House of Storms The Irik’s crimes against humanity and numerous and despicable; the House of Storms embodies them all. Among the most powerful of the lesser Irik Houses still aligned with the Mindbender’s House of Winds, the House of Storms are Erasmis’ favored and most trusted lieutenant. Their Warfleet is significant, and their warriors are powerful and without mercy. Where the House of Storms goes, only destruction and devastation follows. Of the raiding, warring, and pirating carried out in the Core and Inner Rim, the House of Storms facilitates a vast majority of it. No other Irik house is quite as bloodthirsty, nor hates Humanity quite as much. Unlike other Irik houses, the House of Storms cares little for treasure; they seek only the glory of their enemies' destruction, and their own triumphs. Worlds unfortunate enough to come under House of Storms rule are often enslaved, slaughtered, or outright glassed by long and withering orbital bombardments. The House of Storms’ Baron, Ilikis, is fiercely loyal to who he views as the true Ruler of all Irik, Erasmis, The Mindbender. He, and by extension, his house, is ready and willing to obey every one of the mighty Star-Breakers commands at a moment's notice. The House of Winds When the brigades of the War-Chief sallied forth unto war, the great Irik war-hosts were unified in purpose, and under the command of Erasmis, the Irik sacked the Capital Moon of Kaumai, and tore a bloody swathe across the northern regions of the shattered Galaxy. This unity did not last long, for Irik are divisive creatures, and many tribes swiftly sought their own personal glory, breaking away with their warriors in an attempt to carve out their own territories amidst the stars. Still, the Mind-Bender, the Star-Breaker, the Monarch-Slayer, is the greatest of the Irik warlords, and still rules from high upon the Starcast Throne, gazing upon his handiwork from the Imperial Observatory. The House of Winds remains the most powerful of the Irik territories established throughout the Galaxy - with his fleets and warriors, Erasmis has enslaved much of the Old Imperial Core, and continues to launch raids and offensives into Imperial-held territories. His control of the Starcast Throne denies any would-be unifier any real sense of legitimacy, and it is his ever present presence that forces many of the Southern Warlords to maintain a vague, uneasy kind of truce, maintained only by their hatred of the Star-Breaker. Still, for all of this Irik’s power - and he shows yet no sign of succumbing to old age - his territories are undermined by the constant interference of the Planetary Liberation Front, which has devolved somewhat from its working class, populist and socialist roots, and presents more of a unified resistance to continued Irik occupation. For fifty years of brutal, ceaseless conflict, Erasmis has unsuccessfully thrown his Braves into the Siege of Kaumai, which has become a battle of absolutely cataclysmic proportions. The House of Ghosts A small and relatively minor house composed of exiled Iriks. The House of Ghosts seeks refuge with the Crimelord, Bichir, whom they serve faithfully as his syndicate’s enforcers. The House of Ghosts is much smaller compared to their Irik contemporaries, and lack any sort of fleet to speak of. Most of the House of Ghost’s members are permanently damaged in some way or another, this encompasses anything from birth defects to lost limbs, or psychological damage. Most of these injuries originate from lost duels or challenges, which compel the Irik into exile to begin with. Though the House’s loyalty lies with Bichir, it is technically controlled by the Warchief Varix, an exile from the House of Winds who once attempted to unseat Erasmis from his rule. For his failure, Varix was deprived of three of his arms and cast into Exile, never to lead again. Luckily, Varix was taken in by Bichir, who had limbs restored with cybernetic replacements in exchange for he and his followers' loyalty. The House of Banners Similar to the House of Summer, the House of Banners began a long migration through the territories of the former eastern empire and into the Outer Rim following the sacking of Kaumai. Unlike the House of Summer, though, The House of Banner’s warfleets tore a bloody swathe through the galaxy, raiding and pillaging as they went. A decade after the Empire’s collapse, upon the discovery of new Hyperlanes into the Far Rim, the House of Banners began yet another migration into these new and uncharted sectors of space. Since then, they have established a budding kingdom on the very edge of known space. Unlike other Irik Houses, the House of Banners prioritizes order and hierarchy above all else. They are not as prejudiced against Human or other aliens either. This has led to Banner Worlds being ruled by a rigid and orderly feudal structure which has integrated existing Human elements. The upper echelons of this structure are dominated by the Irik Warchiefs and their lieutenants, followed by a mix of integrated Human officials and Irik braves. The lower classes are composed of the numerous human lower-classes, and the dregs of Irik society. The Urh-Tûn Confederacy Though a cataclysmic event for humanity, the Collapse of the Empire has presented many long-oppressed Alien races a chance for independence, and the Kall are no exception. As the Irik war-fleets flooded from the cramped worlds of the Irearchy into the Realms of Man, the Kall assembled their remaining worlds into the Urh-Tûn Confederacy, or literally “The Free Kall Confederacy.” Kall worlds are heavily industrialized monoliths spewing out great quantities of Raw Material and Alloys. Furthermore, the Kall are noted to be masters of defense, and planets typically host an array of defensive stations in orbit, planetary shields, and an incredibly complex network of defenses on the surface. There is little contact between the Confederacy and Imperial Successor states, due to not only the plentiful Irik which make travel into Irearchy space troublesome, but also because of the resentment the Kall hold against man for his millenia of oppression and genocide. Still, many of the Human states which inhabit the border regions consider the confederacy to the a circumstantial ally at worst because of its frequent warring with the Irik. Geopolitically, the Confederacy is an expansionist machine, currently embroiled in a now decades long series of conflicts to absorb more of Irearchy space into its domain. Expansion is its foremost concern, and it will pursue any measures necessary to secure the continued independence and longevity of the Kall’s Homeworlds. The Târvek Confederacy The Târvek Confederacy occupies the eastern reaches of the Former Free Colonies. During the Collapse, which inevitably spilled over from the Empire, sizable populations of Kall slave-miners launched a revolt against their human masters. Racked by too much chaos to properly respond, the uprising was able to capture more than a handful of military hardware along with half a dozen Kall penal-worlds. Since then, the confederacy has been in a hard fought struggle to retain its independence, staving off more than a few attempts by Colonial forces to recapture the worlds. The rulers of the confederacy are exceptionally cruel. Since winning their freedom, the Human population has been enslaved and forced to work in the very same mining operations that they had thrust upon the Kall. Obviously, they hold a strong dislike for humanity, and no typically quarter is given to human foes. Geopolitically, the Confederacy has a single goal: Survive. ----IMPERIAL REMNANTS---- The Imperial Reclamation Fleet With the large-scale collapse of the Loyalist war effort in the face of Erasmis’ sacking of Kaumai Lord Otikoro, unable to confront the Irik Warlord himself, was forced to withdraw from the Core and into Deep Space with what men and material he could salvage in an effort to preserve the remnants of his forces, A substantial fleet and a single, shattered legion. Though technically a deserter, Otikoro vowed to avenge the fallen Empire, a sentiment shared by many of his subordinates. Following the Collapse, the Fleet captured a large former Imperial driveyard in addition to several nearby facilities. From this base of operations Otikoro has coordinated several sustained Loyalist operations against both the Republic and Aliens alike. Though his power and influence has grown in the last decades, Otikoro’s fleet still pales before anything of the old empire, both in terms of training and hardware. Despite his men’s motivation, much of their equipment is seriously outdated or damaged, and their training is lackluster on account of the Warlord being forced to supplement his ranks with Outer Rim recruits. Otikoro is nominally in control of several planets, but little official government actually exists. The Warlord runs a strictly military operation, overseeing only necessary operations on the surface such as resource extraction and recruiting. Military presence on these planets is light, as the Reclamation Fleet’s manpower is stretched dangerously thin already. Little is spared for common policing. As such, these planets have become a hive of black market activity where a select few of Otikoro’s more corrupt officers are brave enough to sell off additional ammunition, fuel, and weaponry stores. Despite the Fleet’s many issues, it remains one of the more potent military forces in the post-empire galaxy, and its commander, the now aged Otikoro, yearns to launch his Great Reclamation. The Vaka Star-Garrison When the Third Empire collapsed and the Irik fleets descended on the Empire, Loyalists and Republicans alike were too embroiled in the fighting to pay much mind to the far flung salt world of Vaka and its garrison. With no fleets and no psykics, they were stranded, forced to cling to their wind-blasted fortifications and hope that relief would eventually arrive. It never did. and the Vaka Star-Garrison remained. When Erasmis, the Mindbender, ordered the world, which is Holy to all Irik, retaken he sent countless waves of his Braves against the now stranded defenders, only to be repulsed one after another and sent limping back to their wretched master. The Vaka legions were subject to an onslaught that would last twenty years as first the House of Winds would attempt to seize their Holy World, and then the House of Storms, and finally the House of Suns. Each siege more terrible than the last, the Vakan Legions held their ground, fighting to the last for an Empire that no longer existed despite horrific casualties and brutal conditions. What remains are probably the most veteran and battle hardened Legions in the galaxy, still stranded on their rock, the Vaka Star-Garrison holds its ground without fail, unyielding. The only information available to the Garrison is learned through interrogation of the Irik prisoners they managed to capture. The Vaka system is wholly out of the way and Solar anomalies make space-travel in the system highly dangerous. The Garrison is commanded by General Maitai, a now ancient commander who has been stationed on Vaka without ever leaving the planet for the last 100 years. The Republic Since its victory over the Loyalist war effort in the Civil War, the new galactic republic has stagnated at best, or begun to recede at worst. Occupying a significant portion of the Eastern Outer and Mid Rims, it boasts one of the galaxy’s most competent and numerous militaries - assuming it could ever be spurred into action against its enemies. In the years following the Civil War, Panayiotou continued his leadership of the Republic, introducing economic and military reforms that rebuilt the crippled state’s power base. However, in his tenth year of power, rising factionalism and ever increasing Irik militarism caused the beginnings of major political divisions in the Senate. Ultimately, this resulted in Panayiotou being assassinated, when he was shot leaving the Senate. This vacuum of power resulted in the election of the Stellarch U’Iliani as Tanu Kavan. For U’Iliani’s short term, which lasted until the end of his life, he began a series of military reforms that would see devolved, regional authority being given to military governors on the Republic’s peripheries, in an attempt to create a more fluid and dynamic response, with which to react against would-be invaders. U’Iliani’s death triggered the first of many crises - specifically on how succession to the post of Stellarch functioned. The Senate ratified that the post of Stellarch was appointed by the Senate, and held for a term of no more than 6 years. Following this legislation, the Senate began an evaluation of Stellarchies, converting many found at the heart of the Republic into regions under the direct authority of the Senate itself. As more and more distance began to separate military governors on the Republic’s peripheries and the heart of the Republic, at Kior-an, these local officials began to become more and more disenfranchised with the central authorities of the Republic, and have slowly begun to resemble the warlords found in the southern or western stretches of the Galaxy. As these warlords continue to rise on the Republic’s fringes, increasingly ignoring the Senate’s decrees, the Senate increasingly looks towards Grand Admiral Pepe and Grand Admiral Manhuera (raised from Admiral to Grand Admiral following his victory at the Battle of ____) to uphold their power and prop up the failing state. In more recent years, Pepe and Manhuera both have been forced to personally lead expeditions to the outer reaches of Republican space, to arrest and remove from power the most uppity of these divided, would-be dictators. But, despite the many differences of each individual Warlord, many still uphold true Imperial values, and a unifier is likely to find much traction amongst these bitter old soldiers… The Republic’s politics are divided into three main camps, - The Constitutionalists: Want to see the Emperor restored as a constitutional Monarch, whose power is granted by the Senate. Composed of the more “moderate” Republicans, or those who are so often accused of being ‘Imperial Sympathizers’ by their peers. (~20%) (I) - The Republicans: Want to see the Senate’s rule restored to the whole of the galaxy, but without the reinstatement of the Emperor. The bulk of the Republic’s governors and admiralty fall into this category. (~50%) (II) - The Separationists: Would rather develop their own Republic in the Far and Outer Rims, avoiding the chaos and constant warfare of the Core and Inner Rim. This party is largely made up of the military governors on the edges of republic space and their various cliques. Despite their name, the Separationists' ideal state is far more centralized and authoritarian than the current version of the Republic. (~30%) (III) Republic territories are divided into two main categories, Provinces and Territories. Provinces are under the direct control of what remains of the Republic’s federal government. Territories are military zones typically ruled by generals or admirals appointed by the central government. Republican Provinces --Pepe (II) (7 votes) The most influential man in the Republic’s politics, an immensely popular war hero, and the commander of the Republic’s largest warfleet - including his own personal flagship, one of the galaxy’s last Super Dreadnoughts. --Manhuera (II) (5 votes) Pepe’s second in command, Manhuera achieved widespread popularity after his fleet successfully defeated Battlefleet Reclamation during the Civil War. Manhuera is one of the leading figures of the Republican movement. --Kahurangi (I) (2 votes) An avid Constitutionalist, Kahurangi yearns for the glory days of the Empire - and its many luxuries. --Iolana (I) (4 votes) A man of his word, Iolana joined the republican movement out of his respect for the late stellarch U’ilanni, despite his many loyalist connections and sympathies. --Fetu (II) (2 votes) A newcomer to the political scene, Fetu is an ambitious, thought slightly incompetent politican. --Keuta (II) (1 votes) A true waste of oxygen elevated to his status through his father’s influence in the Republican war effort. Keuta is a follower, and lives entirely in Pepe’s shadow. --Oh’ran (5 votes) An industrialist elected to the position of Stellarch through an intense amount of lobbying and back-door deals. Oh’ran represents the interests of both the ERTC and Universal Shipping within the Republican Senate. Republican Territories --Taito (III) (3 votes) A fat and exceptionally greedy and twisted admiral, Taito is a power-hungry warmonger who wishes for nothing more to rule with an iron fist, which he does - when he can get away with it. --Kiri (III) (2 votes) The least influential of the Separationist senators, Kiri is still one of the Republic’s youngest and most capable commanders with a particular reputation for offense. --Akamu (III) (4 votes) The leader of the Separationist movement, ambitious, ruthless, and cunning, Akamu has amassed a huge following among the Territories’ officer cadres, and his fleet’s strength is rivaled only by those of Pepe and Manhuera. The Southern Imperial Warlords The Southern Imperial Warlords refers to all independent Admirals, Generals and Stellarchs in the last truly Imperial stretches of the Galaxy. These are the aristocrats and officers who fought in the civil war, primarily for the Loyalists, who still adhere largely to true Imperial values - hatred for the Alien menace, loyalty to the Emperor and the strict belief in the absolute supremacy of man. Still, without the presence of a unifying figurehead, these warlords have largely resorted to infighting, battling for control of meager territories, resources and infrastructure. Full-scale conflict, however, has largely been prevented by the constant presence of Erasmis, who hungrily awaits further division of the Old Imperials, so that he may complete his victory. Regardless, it is almost certain that these Warlords would gladly throw their lot behind a true successor to the Starcast Throne. Major Warlords: The major Warlords are the Grand Admirals and lesser Admirals who, in the final days of the Third Empire, used their significant military authority to carve out their own successor kingdoms in the untouched regions of Imperial space. Most of these Warlords gained their power by ousting civilian Stellarchs, and seizing control of their regional forces. The major Warlords are, to a man, proud officers of the Old Imperial Navy, and their forces are operated with a degree of skill and professionalism not typically found within the Galaxy today. In the South, peace is largely maintained by careful diplomacy, primarily between the three most powerful of the major Warlords - Lords Sorin, Rakena and Kawhena. --Lord Taanga Bloodthirsty and vengeful, upon hearing of the defeat above Kaumai, Taanga reportedly flew into a fit of rage so violent that he destroyed much of his personal quarters in the process, ranting and raving about what had been stolen from him as he did. In the days following the death of the Emperor, he grew increasingly spiteful of the Empire’s nobility - blaming them and their incompetence for the Empire’s defeats against the Republic and Aliens alike. Since then, he has only become increasingly radical and as some might say - delusional. Lord Taanga is an avid believer of, “All men are equal under the Crown'' and is an enthusiastic supporter of ‘Monarcho-Syndicalism’ a theoretical system of government designed by himself where the galaxy would be organized into a series of Workers’ Unions subject to the authority of an all encompassing Directorate of Elected Magistrates. Outside of this structure would exist the Emperor’s authority, who as the most powerful protector of the people would be authorized to intervene only when the DEM had overstepped its limits while also functioning as a unifying figure for all mankind. All of this stated, Taanga’s ideas have been heavily influenced by the ideology of the Great Purge. He has expanded upon it, believing that Humanity cannot reach its destined and inevitable Golden Age until not only all Xeno-life has been extinguished, but all Xeno collaborators and sympathizers as well as those otherwise ‘influenced’ by Xeno actions have as well. Ideology aside, Taanga commands one of the most powerful fleets in the galaxy - and he is dead set on rebuilding the Empire as he envisions it should be. Only because of Sorin’s politics is he kept in check. Though many of Taanga’s underlings have become more convinced of his ideology - a majority follow the man purely out of respect for his skill, bravery, and honor, qualities he exhibited frequently during the rule of the Empire. --Lord Rata One of the Empire’s finest commanders - Rata was especially caught off balance by the Collapse and forced to retreat into the South Western reaches of space. Initially in a precarious position, Rata was soon able to consolidate much of the smaller and less influential warlords in his general vicinity and catapult himself into being one of the strongest Warlords, militarily speaking. Rata’s immense influence in Imperial politics, though, stems mostly from his control over the sole hyper lanes into the western galaxy, through which significant amounts of the east’s food supply is imported. --Lord Sorin The Imperial Navy, in the days of Rän-ji, was commanded by a legendary collection of Grand Admirals, famed for their talent and skill. Of the Loyalist two who remain, Sorin is the better - a, by now, ancient man whose skill on the field of battle still causes terror amongst his opponents. It was upon Sorin’s flagship, the 6 centuries old Super Dreadnought, Majestic, that the traitor, Lord Matareka, finally found his bitter end. Lord Sorin, a conciliatory man, carefully built his power around reconciling with isolated and deserting Republicans and Loyalists, allowing him access to an enormous degree of military power, founded not upon the undisciplined need for militarism found within the remnants of the Empire, but rather upon the expert professionalism so prized by the Imperial Navy. --Lord Rakena Lord Rakena was the youngest Grand Admiral to be appointed in the history of the Imperial Navy. Though inexperienced at the time, fifty years of conflict have honed his abilities and his talent, leaving him second only to Lord Sorin in skill. With access to considerable forces, and with a huge emphasis on professionalism and proper military hardware, Rakena is a fearsome foe, and one of the cornerstones of the post-Imperial geopolitical landscape. --Lord Kawhena One of the Imperial Navy’s Rear-Admirals during the last days of the Third Empire, Lord Kawhena rose to prominence during the Civil War, where he received extensive honors and promotions after serving with distinction. A calm, cold and considered kind of man, Kawhena has become one of the primary arbitrators of power in the post-Collapse geopolitical landscape of the Loyalist Warlords, and his alliance with Lord Rakena and Sorin continue to serve as the foundation stone of continued peace amongst the warlords. --Lord Keretene A massive and imposing man, Keretene is a fierce loyalist, a die-hard Absolutist, and unwilling to compromise. Since the dissolution of the Empire, he has sought only to violently enforce his will upon the various weaker warlords which surround him. Only through Lord Sorin’s will has Keretene been kept in check, but still he festers, awaiting the proper moment. Keretene is famously savage and brutish, with a great love of extreme violence. Though not unintelligent, many have often wondered why the Admiral did not seek a career amidst the legions, where his size, strength and character would have been well suited. Minor Warlords: Many of the Southern Warlords were simple captains and commodores, in the infancy of their careers, who used their command of their ships or small divisions to gain control of minor territories. With their limited resources and military hardware, most of these minor dictators tend to find themselves within the spheres of the more powerful Warlords, for the purpose of protection. --Ahako (A) An Absolutist, Ahako is one of the few minor warlords in command of a Dreadnought. Ahako rules his worlds benevolently, emulating the former Empire - at least how he pictures it in his head. --Kaili (N) A now ancient commander, during the days of the Empire Kaili served well and honorably, but with little distinction. After the collapse, the man held to his post - assuming temporary authority over the nearby worlds until he was relieved of said post. He has since created several local and democratic bodies which have assumed the role of planetary governance while he oversees the maintenance of his fleet, which continue to defend and police the same tracts of space they did during Imperial rule. Kaili is a traditionalist obsessed with honor, duty, and loyalty, but largely unbothered by the Empire’s overall politics, so long as a man he can respect is running the show. --Taksor (A) A deeply religious and soft spoken man, those who know Taksor will testify that the man “isn’t all quite there” so to speak. During the Battle of Kaumai, when defeat became inevitable, Taksor’s fleet was able to exit the battle, but not before pilfering the Palace moon of any objects “of spiritual significance”. Now, Taksor controls a mere handful of worlds which he rules like a Theocracy centered around the worship of the Crown Prince, Ran-lir, which he claims to have survived the Sack. Taksor is an Absolutist, but is not likely to find common ground with any heir but his fabled Prince. --Eteroa (A) An Absolutist with a massive and all encompassing ego. Those who know the now-Warlord Eteroa claim that he believes he is the Emperor’s gift to all creation - a fact Eteroa himself is not likely to deny. Eteroa sees himself as the most competent and capable of all the Warlords and believes he alone should head efforts to carry out the Imperial Restoration. --Anaru (M) A loyal member of the Imperial before the Collapse, Anaru raced to establish his control over the outer rim soon after the collapse of the Loyalist war effort. Just as greedy as any other warlord, he frequently clashes with Kaili and Torba over control of their worlds. --Kanu (M) Before the Civil War Kanu commanded a small an anti-piracy task force. After the Collapse, the Commodore experienced a change of heart and began to exorbitantly tax and pirate the very same lanes he originally protected. Kanu is a moderate at heart, but has become detached from the concept of Imperial Restoration - more interested in further enriching himself. --Kailani (A) A distant relative of the Grand Admiral Nalani, Kailani was able to withdraw from the Battle of Kaumai with most of his fleet intact. Since then, he has staged his resistance against Erasmis from the nearby sectors, striking at the Irik wherever and whenever possible. Like his much more popular relative, Kailani is a dedicated Absolutist. --Artorian Keretene’s closest ally in the post-Empire political landscape, Artorian commanded a host of Legions engaged in a variety of operations against Republic forces before the Collapse. Since then, he has built a close relationship with the like-minded Keretene. Serving as the Admiral’s right hand man, he has been delegated a number of systems to rule and govern in Keretene’s stead. --Orum (M) An average man, as far as Warlords go. Orum always aspired to be a Stellarch during the days of the Empire, an accomplishment he was easily able to achieve after organizing a mutiny against his commanding officer following the Collapse. Orum styles himself after a Stellarch of old, ruling fair and justly - as if he were appointed by the Emperor. --Veras (A) A relatively minor and insignificant Admiral. Veras only retains his territories because of the close relationship he shares with the Grand Admiral Sorin, who’s own might forces any would-be aggressor to rethink their ambitions. --Mo-ti (N) Originally having defected from the Free Colonies, Mo-ti’s command was separated from his commanding officer, Lord Rata, not long after the Collapse. Since then he has been holding his ground while his troops and fleets slowly deteriorate. Though he cares little for politics, Mo-ti is well known for his loyalty. The Western Imperial Warlords The Western Imperial Warlords refer to all now independent Admirals, Generals, Commanders, and Stellarchs which control tracts of the broken Fourth Empire as well as the stretches of formerly republican western space. Traitors and slimeballs by nature, these Warlords were quick to turn on their Lord of a Thousand Stars as soon as his Empire showed signs of failing. Despite their traitorous tendencies and poor reputations, these men are still Imperials and Monarchists at heart, believing in the infallibility of the Royal Bloodline, of which many are extremely distantly related to. Without any clear unifying figure, these Warlords have been left to their own devices, squabbling and battling among themselves for whatever tracts of space seem most profitable at the time. --Topia A rather boring and uninteresting man, Topia commands respect through his rank alone and mostly seeks power - however possible. Topia views all those who have no connection to the Imperial line as inferior. --Lord Tahiwai A cold and calculated man, Tahiwai is easily the most skilled and powerful of the post-4E warlords. More xenophobic than most, Tahiwai is reported to frequently have Irik prisoners unmasked and starved to death for the mere crime of existing. He seeks only to exterminate as many aliens as possible, and seize as much power for himself as he can in the process. Tahiwai views all those who have no connection to the Imperial line as inferior. --Hakopa A zealous, bitter, and universally despised man, Hakopa would’ve been snuffed out and executed years ago if not for the incredible strength of his worlds’ defenses. Hakopa views all those who have no connection to the Imperial line as inferior. --Ekara As slimy and corrupt as ever, Ekara deserted the Fourth Empire as soon as it became convenient for him. He enjoys a close relationship with the criminal underworld and the Directorate, in which his connections run deep. Ekara is heavily involved in the arms and smuggling businesses, and particular to bribes. --Torba A minor commander who deserted at first opportunity, Torba seeks personal power and has a particular hatred for Ekara. Torba views all those who have no connection to the Imperial Line as inferior. The Fourth Empire In the days following the total collapse of the Empire, Tuakeo’s rogue state to the west would serve as one of the sole bastions of large scale, organized Human might. Perhaps because of its treacherous roots, though, it was not meant to last. Soon after a series of brief campaigns into Kiritau, Communist, and Colonial space, the Empire would find itself wholly overextended. Colonial counter attacks, coupled with the Irik invasion would prove to be more than enough to send the short-lived state down the path of decline. Before long, the Empire’s hold on its outer territories were crumbling at best, and out right destroyed at worst, such as in the case of the Irik invasion of the eastern territories. Desertion and betrayal soon became commonplace as admirals, garrisons, and provincial governments began to defect one by one, motivated by little else besides their ruler’s own sense of self-preservation or greed. While southern sections of the former Empire largely remained intact, staving off communist offensives, the northern territories had begun to rapidly recede.. By the current year, only a small fraction of the Empire remains intact, clinging onto what core territories they can still reasonably defend while attempting limited campaigns to reconquer vital industrial hubs when possible. The current Emperor Tuakeo II, is a cautious and passive ruler and many whisper of his now total abandonment of his father’s ambitions to claim the Starcast Throne, but the Empire’s rhetoric still states otherwise. Strangely, the territories of the Fourth Empire have become wholly distinct from those of the former Empire in their fifty years of separation. Few among their ruling class or even general populace wish for a return of Eastern Rule, and see themselves as citizens of a completely new body, rather than a continuation of an old one. Geopolitically, the Fourth Empire seeks only to retain what control it still has. Its Industrial capabilities are by now crippled, and what remains of its fleets are but a fraction of its former glory - spread thin across the ever encroaching frontier. Despite the Empire’s sorry state, speculation of an Imperial revival is not unheard of, if only a few key areas are recaptured.. Application Discord (If I don't have it already): Nation Name: A brief description of National/Provincial History & Culture: Notable Characters: Unique Military Units (Two): National Idea (nothing strictly mechanical): A letter:
  9. Holy Sechsian Empire “The Regent reaches his hand out to the East.” - - - “In Hieoromar’s name, Amen.” The Blessed Regent’s eyes flicked open. He realized how cold he was, knelt here in the snow within the ruins of an abandoned church. He rose, brushing the snow from the shoulders of his heavy coat as he first looked to the icon of the immortal Hieoromar positioned near the altar at the rear of the church, and then to the sky through the large hole in the roof. Night had already fallen. The Regent felt a connection to his place, the holiest of places, where the true Bophanov line had worshipped in the years after their exile. He knew he would before his shuttle had even touched down. The visions had shown him this place. Hieoromar himself steered his path. He ran his hand along the pew’s railing, gathering a handful of the deposited snow into his gloved hand, letting it filter through his fingers until they were empty. The path remains clear. The path remains clear. He could not have this place rebuilt. He could not have it touched. Only the Prince’s most faithful could know. Only him. Only the Blessed Regent. As he turned toward the decaying church’s exit, he felt a strangeness enter the air. His stomach rose. His arms and legs tingled. This moment - He had foreseen it! Prophecy! A wave of sensation overcame the Regent’s mind, a vision from the Immortal himself! Visions of brilliant light. Roaring crowds. A hand reaching to the heavens. The Regent’s mind grew fuzzy. Before him laid a hundred springs, steam rising from their surface, and then there was black. His eyes peeled open and revealed a great number of his escort huddled around their dear Regent. Their voices held confusion, fear, panic. “Peace, friends.” Khrebtov commanded in a low tone, a grin gripped his face. “The Immortal has bestowed us with further wisdom. Come.” The Shturmoviki pulled him to his feet. The Blessed Regent gave a final glance to the ruined chapel. He would return. “There is much to be done.” Actions: -Two more cities are established throughout the Blessed Regent’s realm. Lucky citizens are notified of their relocation opportunity, and rushed into the nearest box car to arrive on time! [60,000 C + 20 M] -The Trade Depot of Levogorod is expanded upon, as is the one in Bophanovopol [37,500 C + 6 M] -4 Naval Yards are constructed in Bophanovopol [30,000 C + 12 M] -6 Military Factories spring up across the realm [30,000 C + 6 M] -2 Material Industries are slated for construction in Radonezh [15,000 C] -A payment is made [10,000 C] [1/4] -A substantial order is placed in Aardensveld’s ship yards [74,400 C] -1 Unit (3) of Coal is imported from Lannion, to be used at a later date. [Repayment due next turn] -The Guard receives their ‘bribes’ [10,000 C] [See Channel] [MOD] 24 TP
  10. Holy Sechsian Empire “The Regent’s guidance lights our path.” - - - Beyond the Empire’s eastern border. 02:35, 11.ABP.2895PE. Winter. The fire roared, reaching high into the night sky. Airship engines thundered above, whining as the BVT/90 class assault transport wheeled to face the scene, its engines humming as the craft slowly lowered to the ground, landing gear sinking into the wet dirt. Machinery groaned as one of the numerous bay doors slid open, revealing a party of half a dozen men. The smell of smoke and the blazing light of the fire were the first to assail Nikolai Sidorov’s senses. The man’s nostrils flared for half a second as he adjusted to the unexpected stench. He looked to the left, then to the right, then he exited the craft. Some twenty Shturmovik stood waiting, illuminated by the burning village all around them; four times as many prisoners were huddled in the muck beside them, hands on their heads. “The village has been swept and secured, Komandarm. This is all of them.” The lead soldier reported, gesturing to the mass of prisoners with his rifle. Sidorov raised a single, gray, bushy eyebrow, examining the huddled mass before looking back to the man, “And Aralov’s men?” “Killed or captured. We brought who we could in for questioning. As directed.” “Excellent work, Captain, our work here is done.” He looked to the rest of the village, “Torch it. Dispose of these collaborators. Then load up.” The Captain nodded and raised his hand to the BVT/90’s cockpit. A mere moment of stillness was suddenly shattered by the chattering of machine guns as the transport’s armament erupted onto the mob. Sidorov watched as they crumpled and fell as if an invisible wave were washing over them. After some ten seconds the guns fell silent. “See to it that there aren’t any survivors.” ------------- “A report, Your Excellency.” The Blessed Regent of All-Sechsia’s hands clenched into fists. His eyes shot open. He could not believe them. Standing before him was an open door to his office, and within that door frame was a man, some insolent fool of a man. Khrebtov struggled to compose himself; his lips curled into a tight, forced, smile. Interrupted - Interrupted in the most pivotal of hours. He was on the precipice of uncovering another of the Prince’s mysteries… so close.. so close. But in the presence of another, Hieoromar’s visions dissipate as swiftly as they appear. The man should’ve knocked. They must knock. He had made this very clear. “Bring it to me.” The Regent sharply commanded, shattering the room’s tension. The man, clearly just a messenger, hurriedly rushed towards his superior’s desk, and deposited the manila folder into the Regent’s hand. Khrebtov continued to glare at the now red-faced man, a conspirator, no doubt. Look how he cracked in the mere presence of a man of such status, how he avoided the Regent’s all-seeing gaze, how the sweat gathered on his face. Khrebtov delighted in the fear of Sechsia’s enemies. Then, suddenly, the Regent’s smile faded, “Leave me.” “Of course, Y-Your Excellency.” The man nearly sprinted out of the room. The Blessed Regent would allow him to live perhaps a day more - that was mercy enough. Perhaps... News from the East. The collaborators in disarray. The Regent placed the folder onto his desk, pondering. There is much to be done. Actions: -The glorious capital of Levogorod is expanded thricefold. Similarly, the industrial hub of Bophanovopol receives sizable investment from the Blessed Regent. [3 Cities, 90,000 C + 30 M] -Three luxury districts are constructed in Levogorod. [30,000 C + 3 M] -The war-infrastructure of the Empire is greatly bolstered. [30,000 C + 3 M] -5 Naval Production is sourced from abroad. [2 TP] -- A single Light Cruiser is commissioned. [15,000 C] -- Four destroyers are commissioned. [15,000 C] -2,568 Shekels are saved. -A team of researchers, escorted by Shturmoviki, are dispatched to explore the ruins of the Orbital Defense facility. [MOD] -A team of researchers, escorted by Shturmoviki, are dispatched to explore the ruins of the old spaceport. [MOD] 24 TP
  11. Holy Sechsian Empire “The rays of dawn fall upon a new age.” - - - Khrebtov tightly clutched the Vitriol medallion around his neck, his thumb tracing across the Bophanov coat-of-arms hewn from the raw deposit of the metal. The Blessed Regent’s jaw tightened as he forced his eyelids shut, purple and blue creeping from the edge of his sight. He inhaled sharply, holding the frigid air within him for a brief moment, before letting out an exacerbated breath. Beads of sweat formed on his temple. The path remains clear. The path remains clear. His chin raised slightly into the air and his lips tightened as he looked to his minister of propaganda. The man unfurled a document and began to speak over the intercom. “Attention, dear citizens! By decree of His Excellency, Alexander Khrebtov, By the Grace of Hieoromar, Blessed Regent of All-Sechisa, Custodian of the Northern Shore, and Keeper of the Immortal’s Destiny, the Hieoromaric Standard Calendar is ruled to be unpatriotic, sacreligious, and indicative to treasonous behaviors. As such, it’s use and possession is hereby and forevermore banned, to be replaced by the newly conceived Bophanov Calendar, venerating the birth of our prophesied Prince and Savior, Alexei, the true Tsar of All-Sechsia! All citizens will be allowed a period of no more than 48 hours to dispose of any and all copies of the foul Hieoromaric Calendar. Continued use of the calendar beyond said period will be punished accordingly. Please report to the nearest government station for additional information, and a single copy of the Bophanov Calendar, provided at the expense of the Blessed Regent himself. Hieoromar bless the Regent! Hieoromar bless the Prince! Hieoromar bless Sechsia!” Khrebtov continued to glare at the man, the inflection of his voice as he said ‘Regent’ didn’t sit right with him. There was malice, deceit, conspiracy - all hidden beneath a veil of normalcy! Did the man think him a fool, that he, of all people, would not see? He would have to be done away with. The Regent could not have such men - such conspirators in his employ. If there was one there would surely be others! Aralov's spies! The Regent could not - would not jeopardize the Immortal’s designs. Designs that did not include someone as insignificant as a mere official such as this. He clutched the medallion once more, the muscles in his neck tensing as he did. The path remains clear. The path remains clear. The path remains clear... Hieoromar willing, the concept of the years and the ages themselves would soon fade away and be forgotten within the whole Empire. Another one of the false Church’s false “truths” forever cleared from the pages of history. A great accomplishment indeed. A step forward on the path. The year was 11.ABP.2895PE, 11 years after the birth of the prince Alexei, 2895 years post-exile of the true Bophanov line. The Regent watched the official leave the room before averting his eyes out the window and onto the skyline of Levogorod. There was much to be done. ---- Actions (Subject to change if my math is wrong): -A massive drive to bolster the Empire’s material industry begins in preparation for the coming efforts, all across the realm, the harvesting of Sechsia’s material wealth grows tenfold! [24 Material Industry] [180,000 C] -950 Shekels are saved for future use. -Operation Candle begins. Spies and informants are quietly filtered into the traitor Aralov’s domain in an attempt to locate both the Warlord, and his bases of operation beyond the Empire’s borders. [10,000 C] [MOD] -Project Fume begins. [Research] [MOD] [See PMs]
  12. Holy Sechsian Empire “The Rays of Dawn fall upon a New Age” - - - Culture: Though the Holy Empire is home to dozens of smaller groups and peoples, the Realm is dominated by the Sechsians, the largest and most widespread of these peoples. Sechsians trace their origin back to the Adjudicator's Great Purge, of which their ancestors counted themselves among the lucky few who survived. In the years that followed they would be elevated as rulers, instituting the Most Holy & Blessed House of Bophanov to preside over the sprawling tundra in the Hieoromars’ name. The people of Sechsia are a backwards one. Characterized by a slow adoption of ideas and technologies, and a strict adherence to tradition and faith (largely enforced by decree of the Tsar), the modern age has not been kind to the people of Sechsia. The average Sech peasant (some two thirds of the population) lives in a state of squalor compared to the rest of the Continent. Still, within ignorance there is bliss, a fact that Sechsian rulers take full advantage of. Though much of the populace is destitute and impoverished, many do not know of what they are missing out on, and persist on the simple pleasures found in faith and tradition.. The Sechsian Church An offshoot of the Church of Hieoromar which separated near the beginning of the 3rd Age. The Sechsian Church venerates the Most Holy & Blessed House of Bophanov to a divine status just below that of Hieoromar himself, who they believe to still be alive and immortal, guiding man from the heavens; they reject the lesser authorities of the “Holy” See and their many “Truths,” and proclaim the Bophanov’s divinely ordained purpose to bring about a new Age of Enlightenment in which the faithful will abandon their dying planet and join the Immortal above, under the guidance of the Most Holy & Blessed House of Bohpanov, of course. The authority of the Sechsian Church in the Empire has long been unquestioned (Publicly at least), and remains a powerful force within the Empire under the Blessed Regent’s rule. History: The Sechsian Realm is vast and sprawling, covering the northern reaches of the continent and its many resources. Since the Hieoromars’ Great Purge, this domain has been entrusted to the rule of the Most Blessed & Holy House of Bophanov which has ruled the Empire consistently, though with varying levels of success, for the better part of the last 8,000 years. The 19th century has been a period of near constant turmoil, unrest, or warfare for the Empire, a series of events which the Empire has only narrowly avoided complete destruction through. Stemming from the onset of the Industrial Revolution, the historically backwards Sechsia was quickly outpaced by many of their neighbors, both in terms of industrialization, and technology. Sensing weakness, tensions would ultimately boil over with Sarradon culminating in the outbreak of war between the two powers. Technologically outmatched and prey to a decadent officer corp, Sechsian forces would be defeated several times over and sent reeling back through the mountains, pursued by the Sarradonic the whole way. Subject to a humiliating peace treaty, the Empire was forced to pay heavy reparations and allow Sarradonic occupation forces to remain in several border regions. The loss of the war against Sarradon would ultimately prove to be the spark which erupted the Sechsian tinderbox. Revolutionary and collectivist elements in several Sechsian cities would spring at the opportunity to strike the Realm when it was at its weakest, preaching the destruction of Tsar and Church as they did. Even in this most dire of circumstances, the Tsar was betrayed by those whom he believed he could trust! The defeated tsarist armies would splinter even further under orders from generals who abandoned their posts, all vying for slices of the Realm in the wake of its destruction. This period of chaos and warlordism would persist for nearly a decade during which the remnants of Imperial forces were largely stamped out and defeated by the combined pressures of the military warlords and revolutionary fronts. During the chaos, the Imperial family, Tsar included was captured and executed by fascist paramilitary forces in their flight from the capital. The Civil War would ultimately be ended by the now-Regent Alexander Khrebtov when his Shturmoviki stormed the Imperial Capital, unseating a now-nameless pretender. Rallying surviving monarchist elements around his control of the Capital, Khrebtov would retake the country gradually over the course of several brutal military campaigns The Empire was whole once more, but the Most Blessed & Holy House of Bohpanov was nowhere to be found. In such an absence, Khrebtov crowned himself Blessed Regent of All-Sechsia, vowing that Alexei, the long lost prophesized TRUE heir heir to the house of Bophanov, would soon be restored to the Imperial Throne. Since his ascension, Khrebtov has taken hold of the Empire with an Iron-Fist, restoring the authority of the waning Sechsian Church and purging those he deemed guilty of ‘treasonous behaviors’ as he drags the country into the modern era through harsh policies of forced industrialization, adamant that Sechsia’s humiliating defeat against Sarradon would be its last. His Excellency, Alexander Khrebtov, By the Grace of Hieoromar, Blessed Regent of All-Sechisa, Custodian of the Northern Shore, Keeper of the Immortal’s Destiny An eccentric and deeply religious man, as well as an avid monarchist, Alexander Khrebtov was known mostly for his leadership of the Razud Krilo, a hyper-religious arm of the Imperial Army of the belief that the true Bophanov line had been replaced in a Holy See conspiracy several hundred years prior, and that the failures of the Empire were due to this fact. In the war against Sarradon he commanded the 5th Army of Ovesk. Following the end of the war, and the collapse of Imperial Authority, Khrebtov organized the defense of Ovesk against Collectivist Revolutionaries, rallying the now veteran and battle hardened 5th Army against the besiegers and ultimately defeating them. Khrebtov’s holdout would prove to be one of the final bastion of Imperial authority. The Regent claims that in this hour, upon hearing of the death of the false Tsar at the hands of the fascists, Khrebtov was blessed with a vision from Hieoromar himself which ordered him to march on the Imperial Capital and restore the TRUE House of Bophanov, whos name is Alexei. Now, The Empire is whole once more. His search for Prince Alexei continues. The Immortal guides us from the heavens. There is much to be done. Unique Units: Shturmoviki [Infantry]: Hardened veterans of Sechsia’s Civil War, the Shturmoviki are the Blessed Regent’s most loyal and capable soldiers. Armed with an increased amount of support equipment, they serve with fanatic zeal as the Empire’s shock troops. Regent-class Super Dreadnought [SUPER Dreadnought]: The newest ship of the Blessed Regent’s naval armaments program. The Regent-class Super Dreadnought is a ship built simply to be physically larger than any other contemporary vessel, sporting monolithic cannons and massively increased armor. Though the Regent-class’ speed falls closer to the rear of the pack as far as Dreadnoughts go, it is designed to outperform any other ship in terms of size, range, armament, and armor. M/1890 Howitzer [Howitzer]: With the prevalence of airships in modern warfare, the Blessed Regent has ordered an increased number of purpose-built anti-ship guns built and employed. The M/1890 is a long-ranged cannon designed primarily to knock heavy airships out of the sky. It has a secondary function of ground bombardment, as most Howitzers do. BVT/90 Transport [Transport][Size 10]: A smaller and more nimble class of transport airship equipped with light armor and heavy compliments of machine guns and light cannons. The BVT is specialized for clearing LZs and rapidly deploying large amounts of troops and equipment. National Idea: The Land of Plenty: Cities have an additional 2,500,000 pop Points of Interest: The Regent's Seat: Since the ascension of The Blessed Regent of All-Sechsia, many facets of the government have been transferred to the Bol'shya Tserkov, a massive Cathedral complex within the Holy City and Imperial Capital of Levogord. The complex now serves as both the seat of the Blessed Regent's government, and the Sechsian Church. Nation Traits: Military: Army Focus Economy: Industrial Giant Society: Efficient Bureaucracy Resource Deficiency: Vitriol Army Doctrine: Massed Warfare Naval Doctrine: Capital Ships Economic Focus: Heavy Industry
  13. AGE OF RUIN “Kempennenische Cuirassiers begin their charge at the Battle of Windsor Locks.” Summer, 3251 After the Departure As news of the Coalition War begins to spread far and wide, the Sultanate of Kaph makes it known that all who oppose Einzner and the Kempennenische menace will be supported materially by the Sultanate. The Tyrant’s reign, they assert, must come to an end once and for all. This news is accompanied by the arrival of a small fleet from beyond the Great Sea, apparently making port in the Commonwealth. Not to be undone by their rivals, The Concordat makes a similar pledge, promising both men and material to any who support Kempennen in the war. Apologies for the short MP lads, been a busy week and Sky is not here!! ---------- Konigreich Arktis-Munzenberg The turning back of several Church missions originating from Westmark causes a great deal of trouble for Munzenberg when they are inquired as to the reasoning for such hostile behavior by Iuridc diplomats. They demand the country be opened to the Church, and it is the citizenry’s decision to accept the teachings of the Outsiders, not the Monarchy! It is still spring and the Munzenbergian engineers do not complete their work until the very end of summer. Tsardom of Ligmagrad Lands to the south fall to the Tsar, peacefully, or otherwise… As the Tsardom grows, so too does the presence of Westerveld on the border, watching… Union of the Vistula Defeat at Arnau! A lost battle, but the war rages on. Talks with Westerveld open, despite the previous animosity between the two nations. Many refugees carry Vogelist thought abroad, but many more stay within Mittleland, for if the Revolution cannot succeed here, how would it spring up anywhere else? Any opposition to Vogelist rule in Sudveld soon fades as the Union begins to assert full control over the province. Along with this new control comes mass recruitment drives which do rally large amount of supporters and fresh bodies for the Vogelist army. It is clear, however, that Mittelland is becoming strained by the conflict… (-10% all production for 2 turns, +20,000 Conscripts) Westmark Republik The Republik has won a great victory, but there is little time to rest on their laurels, the war in Mittleland rages! Vrena Principality Over the course of the spring, the vast wastes of A7 are gradually integrated into the Principality. It is clear that this is a lawless and alien land. The rains burn, horses often refuse to travel further west, and soldiers stationed in the region for more than a few weeks are overcome with terrible illnesses and afflictions, no matter where you are - the men claim, it feels as if you are being watched.. Yashida Bakufu Westerveld is hesitant to trade the edge their Iron Roads provide, however, seeing as the Broken Coast was fast approaching technological parity in the field, they offer to modernize the Shogunate’s infrastructure for a sum of 20,000 Vozin. Konigreich Zunderland Another season passes.. Kawahkwara Shogunate The criminals find that the vault cannot be accessed peacefully, as the Thinking Metal Soldiers viciously exterminate the intruders. War grips the Shogunate.
  14. AGE OF RUIN “The Coalition (The Commonwealth, Westmark, Procteland, Pith and the Kawahara Shogunate) issue a declaration of war against Kempennen, intent on removing Josef von Einzner from power…” Spring, 3251 After the Departure At long last, after a Winter harsh and cold, Spring returns to the Broken Coast. The worst of the snows melt, but the growing season of 3251 is icy and frigid. Though there is little snow, and the Spring rains are comparatively light this year, the air is frosty, and the last vestiges of Winter’s breath still clings to the trees and the grass. The grass grows slowly, the trees bud late and the flowers bloom with great lethargy. Livestock remains hungry, and it is a poor start to the farming year. (-1 manpower per province this turn) War rages in what was once Middenland, as the new “Vogelist'' movement seeks to gain traction by force. The country is shattered, and each of the new territories seek to crush the others, even as other, greater dangers rear their ugly heads. Arnau’s Black Guard, in an attempt to break the back of Sudveld, launches a swift invasion in the dying days of Winter, and it seems Middenlander is now destined to spill the blood of Middenlander. Further north, General Klein, leader of the Military Reconstruction of the Confederation, leads his army in a winter offensive against elements of the Mittelandische monarchy based from the capital of Mittelheim in a bid to seize the city and the legitimacy that comes with it. Though he triumphs in a small field engagement some distance west of the capital, he is unable to defeat the Royal Army in earnest, laying siege to the capital in late winter. Furthermore, there are reports of several thousand mercenaries flocking to Klein’s army from Iurd. In Westerveld, the people rejoice as an alliance is signed with the Wesmark Republik, following the country’s acceptance of the Church as the sole religious authority. But despite this progress with their neighbours, Westerveld looks bitterly over the border, where the heathen nation of Soglasigrad runs rampant, and even goes so far as to threaten the sanctity of the Church. Rumour abounds, that Kommandant-General Goen’s Commando has been stationed near the contested territory. Perhaps the most shocking news this year, is the declaration of war leveled against Kempennen by the Maritime Commonwealth, the Kingdom of Pith, the Kawahara Shogunate, the Westmark Republik and the Kingdom of Procteland. Despite this startling, unwarranted aggression, Einzner wastes no time with foolish skirmishes or loitering - he musters his armies to war, intent on crushing those who would dare oppose Kempennen. ---------- Here's forty vozins on the drum For those who volunteer to come, To 'list and fight the foe today Over the hills and far away [Chorus] O'er the hills and o'er the Main Through Arktis, Westerveld and Zlane, Einzner commands and we obey Over the hills and far away. When duty calls me I must go To stand and face another foe But part of me will always stray Over the hills and far away [Chorus] If I should fall to rise no more As many comrades did before Then ask the pipes and drums to play Over the hills and far away [Chorus] Then fall in lads behind the drum With colours blazing like the sun Along the road to come what may Over the hills and far away [Chorus] Through smoke and fire And shot and shell And to the very walls of hell But we shall stand and we shall stay Over the hills and far away [Chorus] -A Kempennen marching song ---------- Vrena Principality II Corps marches north and prepares for the inevitable conflict with Church crusaders, come spring. Their preparation is aided greatly by the Rovfagel, which does indeed locate a concentration of Church forces within a complex of Outsider ruins (Discord) Discussions regarding the opening of channels between the Principality and the Concordat can be had.. Yashida Bakufu The winter is bitter and cold, more than a few men are lost to desertion, disease, or the elements as the Yashida struggle to bring forth adequate amounts of supplies during the winter months. Still, the siege drags on. It is in the height of this winter that Hiroto is approached with an offer from the Jizuru Daimyo. He will submit to the Shogun’s authority on the condition he remains in power, and only a fourth of his province’s bounty is taxed each season. Konigreich Arktis-Münzenberg Two kingdoms become one! The nation looks on with great anticipation - and fear, as war breaks out just beyond the border! United Communes of Arnau As the Black Army begins to march south into Sudveld, reports soon arrive of the arrival of an army from the Freeholder’s Republic. Apparently the bushmen do not consider the war to be over quite yet, and the force responsible for Arnau’s disaster at Jamesvale has the crossed the border into lands held by the Communes! Good luck. The Vogelist message begins to spread across all of the former Confederacy, though it is viciously stamped out and persecuted throughout most of it. With such popularity, many of the common folk flock to join the revolution! (+15,000 green medium infantry) Konigreich Zunderland The force dispatched to the outlying regions to the west (C2) is repulsed by a sizable Church presence in the area. Apparently the expedition is undertaking a number of excavations of Outsider ruins. Klandestan does not respond to the Zunderlands offer of diplomatic channels. A sophisticated device capable of instantly delivering “messages” will be available to the Zunderlandische by the Spring of 3252, assuming they continue to financially invest in the project. Sugondasigrad Absolutely nothing happens in the tsar’s lands as a harsh winter settles over the plains. Reports arrive, the Church remains active in the region they were previously discovered in, proselytizing to the masses and establishing a small “church” which more closely resembles a fort as they do. Westmark Republic The faithful rejoice as the Church is formally recognized as the sole religious authority within the Republic. By mid winter, Priests and Clerics have already begun to arrive in the hundreds, spreading the good word to the masses! Less notably, areas in which Church presence is high sees a sharp decline in accursed populations. Praise the Outsiders! Kawahara Shogunate The last remnants of ungoverned lands in the north are claimed for the Shogun. The search parties discover an Outsider facility of steel and rock deep within the mountains. Its purpose is unknown, and the entrances to the facility all appear to be guarded by a varying number of Thinking metal soldiers, all of which bear a “B” insignia. The Coomerwealth And so a Coalition is formed, and war erupts with Kempennen! As the continent heats up and armies are mustered, the Commonwealth receives word that the ever fat and wealthy Oligarchs of Iurd have mobilized both their fleet and army, entering the conflict on Kempennen’s side.
  15. AGE OF RUIN “Westerveld builds the iron road…” Summer, 3250 After the Departure https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzNN1Pl_JlA The days pass, one week turns to the next, and the months go by in their steady, constant march. The last of the flowers blossom, and soon no impatient buds can be seen on the branches of the trees. Spring came, and now it has departed, as Summer once again begins anew… Jozsef von Einzner, master of Kempennen, does not sit idle in his newly won peace. The Potentate, known fondly to his men as the “Marshal Forwards”, knows well the internecine reality of his country and does not intend to fall prey to the ambitions of Kempennen’s less than loyal Governors-General. As Spring flows into Summer, it becomes well known that, not only is Einzner maintaining his Corps, he is raising a new reserve cavalry corps, to be commanded by his brother-in-law, the infamous Marshal Ranulf Foehrkolb. A particularly daring expedition of the Church ventures into Klandestan, where the small force seeks to steal an artifact supposedly in the possession of the Grand Sorcerer. The group is never seen again. Westerveld attracts enormous crowds of labourers, all of them eager for work, as the iron road is slowly, mile by mile, laid across the endless plains. Behind the ever advancing work camp, a portable town of brothels, saloons and casinos rolls, a sinful enterprise that has been nicknamed “Hell on Wheels”. Yashida Bakufu Yashida’s bold and very plain statement does not go unnoticed by the Jizuru Clan. Soon after the Yashida army begins its exercises, so too does the Jizuru army. During a routine scouting mission cavalry from the two armies mistakenly stumble into one another and briefly exchange gunfire and sabre before the Yashida are thrown back. Mere hours after the event, the Jizuru publicly stated that the Yashida were the primary perpetrators and initiated the skirmish. There is little evidence to corroborate claims for either side. Westerveld agrees to a non-aggression pact between the two powers. Konigreich Munzenberg The kingdom’s troops scramble to their positions, digging in and posting up where ordered. The spring months are quiet.. The Kingdom of Arktis, surrounded by larger and potentially hostile powers on all sides, extends an offer of alliance and potentially royal marriage to Munzenberg. These are trying times afterall, and two like-minded powers should stand together. Konigreich Zunderland Zunderland’s troops find the western most region (E1) to be sparsely populated. The Kingdom easily asserts its claim over the region, driving off the handful of squalid settlers and accursed who do choose to resist. The southern area (E5) proves to be more troublesome, and the Kingdom’s meager scouting party is driven back across the bridge by a large band of organized tribesmen. Sugondasigrad The Tsar’s horsemen ride east across the sparsely populated grasslands. They encounter a number of small fledgeling settlements, most of which outright surrender or are willingly absorbed. By spring’s end, the plains are largely pacified and in the process of being settled. Further east, scouts report that Westerveld patrols and outriders keep a keen eye on the Tsar’s activity in his newly claimed territories. The engineers begin work on their own locomotive, but have yet to make any significant progress. The Kawahara Shogunate The First Expeditionary Corp finds success, securing and pacifying the more northern areas of the planned expansion by late spring. In the south, the Second Expeditionary Corp soon realizes it is stretched beyond its limit. The local inhabitants, tribal accursed who are widely known as Scarci, fearlessly and viciously resist the attempted settling. They exist in both large numbers, and are well organized, but reports from the men have led the staff to believe that they “are not all there.” Many of the men report they behave more like animals than men. The Felsen Reich Unexpected seismic activity results in what many could only speculate to be the total extinction of the Felsen people. Perhaps several pockets remain buried and isolated? No one knows, even less care... The Commonwealth Westerveld jealously guards their engine’s workings, rejecting the offer. Envoys from the far off Concordat, always eager to establish another foothold in the region, accept the invitation and arrive in New Prospect in early summer, eager to discuss whatever it is the commonwealth may have in store. The Church also accepts this offer. Within weeks of the invitation, a boatful of holy clerics and priests, dressed in their heavy robes of lead arrive on the Commonwealth’s shores. While construction begins, they take to the streets and begin preaching the good word to the masses about the many tenets of the faith. Their ideas are not foreign to the people of the Commonwealth, or the Broken Coast as whole, and it doesn't take long for a strong following to rapidly begin to spring up wherever their hallowed feet trod.. While the Commonwealth attracts several independent scientists and engineers, there are few nations of note who send anything of even meager value to the very blatant attempt at espionage - the whole affair is even a little embarrassing for the country as a whole! The sports contests draw more attention, and competitors flock to New Prospect from far and wide to participate. (-1 Prestige) There are few refugees from Kempennen, but no one of note. The Kingdom of Procteland Any resistance to the Iron Legion’s thrust into the east (F23) is quickly stamped out beneath a tidal wave of iron boots over the course of the spring months. While all is quiet on the home front, intelligence units note an increase in patrols from both Pith and Kempennen. Westmark Republik The Sultanate accepts the Republik’s offer. An ambassador arrives by early summer. Treaties are signed. Eidgenossenschaft Middenland Army high command receives an urgent scouting report from the border! (Discord) The military strikes hard and fast into the lawless "Bush." The land here is wild, and teaming with outlaws and Ruiners, neither of which are too keen on being absorbed by the state to their east. By the end of spring, perhaps a 1/3 of the woodland has been "occupied" but it is clear that retaining a presence in the area will begin to grow costly. Mujahideen The brave soldiers of the Mujahideen mount an expedition north (E5 & E6) in order to spread the One True God’s (Allah) light. These brave fighters experience unusually high levels of resistance in both of these provinces, and only manage to dislodge the local inhabitants from the more mountainous areas by the end of spring. Vyacheslav Confederacy The confederacy’s expansion south is unimpeded, and they swiftly begin to fortify their new holdings.
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