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The Huerdaen Star Empire

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Huerdae
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Founded: Feb 28, 2009
Iron Fist Socialists

The Huerdaen Star Empire

Postby Huerdae » Thu Sep 03, 2009 12:50 pm

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Factbook and Information Store


Table of Contents
1. Opening Post
a. Table of Contents
2. The Huerdaen Empire
a. The Government of the Huerdaen
b. Imperial Citizens
c. Imperial Residents
d. The Empire in Trade
e. The Empire at War

3. The Origins of the Empire
a. The Uprising
b. The Second Founding
c. The Wars
d. Memory of the Fathers
e. The Star Empire

4. The Imperial Arms of Huerdae
a. Technology
b. The Star Navy
c. The Imperial Shield
d. Levies and Support
e. Blood Corps
f. Assault Jaegers
g. Nogitsune
h. Stromreich Brigade
i. Kaskan Sohei
j. Mitokura Branch
k. Slaughter Cult
l. Commonwealth Marines
m. XenoHuman Raiders
n. Black Chevrons
o. Jarldom's Vikings
5. The Worlds of the Empire
a. Core Worlds of the Empire
b. The Burning Heart
c. The Strength of an Empire
d. Brothers and Sisters in the Stars
e. Additional Sectors of Note

6. Warships of the Star Navy
a. Bombers
b. Destroyers
c. Cruisers
d. Battleships
e. War Frigates
f. Dreadnoughts
g. Ghosts
h. Refineries
i. Landing Craft

7. Assault Craft and Vehicles of the Imperial Shield
a. Talon Gunship Chassis
b. Griffon Support-Gunship Chassis
c. Overlord Destroyer-Gunship Chassis
d. Roc Heavy Flight Chassis
e. Kodiac Light Chassis
f. Gorgon Light Support Chassis
g. Goliath Medium Chassis
h. Titan Heavy Chassis
i. AVIE Support Chassis
j. Talos Heavy Support Chassis
k. Strategic Assets

8. Famous Persons and Military Units
a. Famous Persons Of the Star Navy
b. Famous Persons Of the Imperial Shield
c. Famous Persons Of the Huerdaen Star Empire
d. Warships of Renown
e. Divisions of Glory
f. Special Forces of the Star Empire

9. Weapons of the Star Empire
a. Infantry Weapons of the Huerdaen Star Empire
b. Field Guns of the Huerdaen Star Empire
c. Specialized Infantry Weapons of the Huerdaen Star Empire
d. Naval Weapons of the Huerdaen Star Navy

10. Organization and Information
a. Ranks of the Imperial Shield
b. Markings of the Imperial Shield
c. Organization of the Imperial Shield
d. Ranks of the Star Navy
e. Organization of the Star Navy
f. Ranks of The Force and Supporting Levies
g. Ranks of Supporting Levies
h. Standards of Construction and Behavior

11. Logistics and Mundane
a. Logistics Model
b. Logistics Craft
c. Civilian Craft
d. Residence Craft
e. Common Mundane Devices and Objects
f. Buildings and Construction in the Star Empire
g. Common Food, Drink, or Cultural Objects
h. Colloquialisms

12. Force, Levy, and Militia Units at War
a. Aircraft and Patrol Craft of the Force
b. Armored Vehicles of the Forces
c. Special Ammunition of the Force
d. Aircraft of Militias and Levies
e. Armored Vehicles of Militias and Levies

13. Imperial Supplies, Equipment, and Core Systems
a. Imperial Equipment and Supplies
b. Imperial Fields and Shielding
c. Core Systems
d. Ordinance of the Star Empire
e. Pracownik Frontier Chassis
f. Ammunition Color Codes

14. The Imperial System of Law
a. The Imperial Force and its Duties and Limitations
b. The Imperial Gaze and its Duties and Limitations
c. The Imperial Code and its Duties and Limitations

15. Creatures and Living Things of the Star Empire
a. Nationalized Sentient Species and Cultures
b. Non-National Sentient Species
c. Pests

16. Unit Formations and Specializations in the Imperial Shield
a. Light Infantry Formations
b. Heavy Infantry Formations
c. Mechanized Infantry Formations
d. Armored Cavalry Formations
e. Highly Specialized Formations

17. Unit Formations and Specializations in the Imperial Star Navy
a. Combat Formations
b. Specialist Formations
c. Non-Doctrinal Formations

18. Imperial Commendations and Uniforms
a. Imperial Commendations
b. Imperial Duty Uniform
c. Imperial Dress Uniform

19. The Imperial Marine Navy
a. Defensive Fortifications
b. Submersible Combat Vessels
c. Amphibious Assault Vessels

20. Factions and Corporate Entities Within the Huerdaen Star Empire
a. Emperor's Party
b. National Party
c. Silvertouch Party
d. Bloodtide Party
e. Blackgate Party
f. Goldenheart Party
g. Ascendant Party
h. Followers of the Word
i. Seven Circles
j. Fiery Dawn
k. Major Commercial Organizations

l. Combat, Security, and Protection Organization Classifications
21. Discontinued or Legacy Information
a. Discontinued Levies
b. Discontinued Weapons
Last edited by Huerdae on Sun Jun 13, 2021 10:32 am, edited 91 times in total.
The Huerdaen Star Empire is an FT Nation.

Xiscapia wrote:It amused her for a time to wonder if the two fleets could not see each other, so she could imagine them blindly stabbing in the dark, like a game of tag, if tag was played with rocket launchers in pitch blackness.
[17:15] <Telros> OH HO HO, YOU THOUGHT HUE WAS OUT OF LUCK, DID YOU
[17:15] <Telros> KUKUKU, HE HAS REINFORCEMENTS
[17:15] <Telros> FOR TELROS IS REINFORCEMENTS MAN

Rezo wrote:If your battleship turrets have a smaller calibre than your penis is long, you're doing it wrong.

User avatar
Huerdae
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Posts: 1960
Founded: Feb 28, 2009
Iron Fist Socialists

Re: The Huerdaen Star Empire

Postby Huerdae » Thu Sep 03, 2009 12:50 pm

The Huerdaen Empire

The Empire is a collection of stars that were loosely based around the star system of Pantos, a two-planet star. The system also has a large number of asteroids in several different asteroid belts, giving the appearance of an almost garbage-dump of a solar system. However, the Huerdaen had made use of this congested space, and many of these asteroids were now mines, refineries, or production bases. The planet itself, Pantos Prime (or simply 'Pantos') held the seat of the Huerdaen government. It was a center of rather high industry, but also a center for military control and research. Asteroids with no discernible resources served as test beds and science facilities, while others served to house refineries, or military bases. Some were home to shipyards, and others to manufacturing plants.

The Huerdaen Empire wasted nothing. While powered by outdated nuclear fission reactors on all their planets, the Huerdaen made use of even the waste generated by these plants. Food was rationed, homes were provided. Medical care was assumed. It was the job of the residents to do what they needed to to survive, and further the survival of the Empire. Beyond that, they were given free reign into their lives. A job meant a small income for luxuries, but a certainty of a home, and certainty of food. It was an agreement from ages ago, and still served well in the often violently patriotic Huerdaen.

The people of the Empire are nationalistic, militant, and generally less than completely outgoing. A sternly controlled life and mandatory military training and reserve duties make the Empire a place that many would not wish to live, but a benevolent dictatorship and fanatical protection from the very government they support made it a place that was, if nothing else, safe. Public locations were constantly observed, any inter-planetary transmissions monitored, but otherwise, the government kept to itself in terms of the people of the Empire. It was a particular irony that a nation built and forced into near-tyranny by necessity could not only sustain itself, but do so well and with the support of it's people.

The Government of the Huerdaen

Throughout history, the very notion of an empire has been debated. It can be the thing that proves to be the very description of a time, or it can be the thing which reminds us of great glories and defeats. On Pantos, the Huerdaen Empire is the greatest and only empire ever to rise from the descendants of stranded colonists, and it holds true to the Huerdaen way. As many dictatorships are, it is built on power, control, and the ever-strong arm of the military under the command of empowered captains, admirals, and colonels. Infantry and warships find rest and supplies all across the empire, and a police force supplied and armed as soldiers keeps discipline across the breadth of the Empire. Imperial forces are raised by law and by volunteer, but it is the guiding hand of the Emperor who ultimately guides the fate of the Empire.

Built on the solid foundation that no one being is as wise as many, the Huerdaen Empire found that there can be no single man responsible properly for the well-being of all. Instead, it was the natural greed of humanity that provided that very solution. Lesser lords and ladies found themselves in power over growing areas, forced to band together in fives by imperial mandate and follow the direction of the most senior of these lords and ladies. It was built, much like the triangle so many found powerful, to scale perfectly with size. When a region became too large, it was broken apart, voted upon by those of equal standing to the current leader of that land. In each case, there was found to be the defendant, and four whose interests could coincide or conflict with that defendant. In this way, a national structure grew. A single member would be selected, standing for the 'neighboring'. Five neighboring clustered would stand for a neighborhood. In each neighborhood, the senior neighboring leader would be found to be the leader of the neighborhood. Five neighborhoods became a sector, and the pattern continued unbroken.

Voting can occur as often as once every six months, though it rarely is, and each leader is responsible for the levels at which they are a leader, with severely limited control of levels beneath that. They are forced to depend on their subordinantes to make their visions reality, lacking direct power of things beneath their station. At the peak of their influence, they were found to be nothing more than another vote amongst peers. This pattern continues to the height at which a Citizen Mayor was chosen, holding sway over a standardized 'city'. Citizen Mayors are the first level at which their duties are considered a political office, binding them by the Law of Truth. Local leadership is barely regulated, meaning that anything between the rank of Citizen Mayor to Planetary Governor can fluctuate wildly. Despite the strict regulation of many parts of the Empire, the way in which they lead themselves is often quite chaotic. Localized nations such as the Pankrees or Ataster have older traditions and structures in place, with the Pankrees leadership dominated by royal families, and Ataster leadership dominated by career politicians who lobby for influence in long-winded campaigns and debates. It is this open-handed approach to local leadership that keep most populaces in check, by simply permitting them to produce their own, locally-acceptable solutions to problems. For this reason, despite the fact that many nations were conquered and given no choice in membership into the Empire, general acceptance and support remains high.

When a resident chooses a position in government, they are no longer permitted to take a position in either justice or military, and permits them access to citizenship should they serve their people well. In these positions, policies are made that rule over larger jurisdictions, and requests are made of Citizen Mayors to meet requirements as passed down from above. At all levels of the government, the amount of direct power able to be applied is almost non-existent. Instead, policy is shaped, and enforced by their council of peers. If, for example, a Citizen Mayor cannot increase profit from his or her city, that Citizen Mayor must find another way in which the demand for funds may be met. At the end of their first term, a public vote is cast to determine if the Citizen Mayor deserves citizenship. Once decided, a new Citizen Mayor is elected, or the term extended. Once voted into citizenship, that status cannot be removed. It is rare, but not unheard of, for a Citizen Mayor to complete a term and not receive citizenship, but still be re-elected for another term. In that case, a re-vote regarding their citizenship is held at the completion of their next term, continuing until they no longer become elected, or receive citizenship.

Should they perform well in their role, the Citizen Mayor may be promoted to a Planetary Governor role. As noted previously, there may be any number of stations between Citizen Mayors and Planetary Governors. However, it the Planetary Governors who hold the highest 'Imperial' rank in the system. While some Planetary Governors may hold other titles, such as the Ataster President, Pankrees Daimyos, or the Ikittitl Matriarch, the Empire only recognizes them as a Planetary Governor. However, in their own home nations, they may find they have leaderhip over a series of other Planetary Governors in accordance with their prior national loyalties. Only the Ikittitl are limited, being permitted only a single Planetary Governor. Despite significant numbers under her jurisdiction, the Matriarch is the only Planetary Governor permitted from the Colonies. Because of this, Planetary Governors are seen as the ultimate power in the civilian government. Up to and including Imperial Succession.

The title of Emperor is reserved for the leader of the Star Empire, whether male or female, and can come from any of the member nations, including the Ikittitl Colonies and protectorate nations that may not even have their own Imperial-recognized Planetary Governors. At any time a resident who is not a part of the Judicial or Military branches may register to enter the line of succession. To be accepted, however, one of two things must occur. The sitting Emperor must approve the entrance, or a majority vote of the Planetary Governors must accept the registration. It is widely accepted that registrations to succession are refused without an invite or support of at least one Planetary Governor, however, a practice which has become tradition. While at one time registration to succession was common, this has become less so, focused heavily around the leadership of particularly successful planetary governments and sectors.

It is generally accepted that national leadership is included in the line of succession, including the Ikittitl Matriarch. Others of note are the sitting leader of the Pankrees Daimyos, the Shogun, as well as normally four of the Shogun's most trusted Daimyos. The Ataster President normally includes a pair of seats as well, meaning that it is accepted that all three Planetary Governors of the Ataster nation are included in the succession. The Planetary Governor of Mah'Lahn is traditionally a member of the succession as well, as well as the sitting Emperor's own immediate family, and does not need to be specifically stated. As such, every time a succession occurs, the pool widens until an Emperor is voted in. In the past, those who have served the Star Empire in a great capacity have been adopted into the Emperor's family, to enter them into the line of succession, though this can not be applied to those who served in the Military or Judicial branches of the Star Empire.

At all times an Emperor must have a designated heir, called the Imperator. As soon as they are named as a member of the succession, they must declare their own Imperator. The office of the Imperator is the only appointed position in the Empire, and is permitted to act in the Emperor's stead for a limited period of time every year. At any time, a new Imperator may be declared by any member in the succession, and should the sitting Emperor cease to be able to function, their Imperator immediately takes over, using skills from their time as the Imperator. As such, the appointed Imperator is generally voted into office due to being familiar with the duties and responsibilities, as well as the limits. At any time, there could be as few as ten members of the succession, of any race or origin, or as many as five hundred.

Members of either the Government, answering to Justice, or Justice, answering to the People, the penalty for corruption is death. It is seen as treason, a crime against the State to take power and use it against those who gave you that very position. It is the right of the people to bring death to their Justice, or to bring prosperity. It is the job of the Justice to insure that corruption does not spread at other levels, but any substantiated claims end in public execution. To the People of the Empire, it is both a necessary brutality and a source of protection. The Justices are in complete command of the police forces, from whom are chosen the Justices. Those who join the police are given the same considerations as the Justices, and protection against corruption at this level is served by the militias of the People, and the armies of the Government. In this way, no single force may grow strong enough to overpower the others.

The most visible part of the government is the military. While they maintain an appearance of raw power and strength, the militant forces of the Huerdaen Star Empire are entirely within the jurisdiction of the Force while within Huerdaen space. Controlled by government officials only, it is the most common path to citizenship. It bore the responsibility of defense of the nation at all costs, and instilled both discipline and pride in the people. The Star Empire protected it's people with the military, driving back pirates, bandits, and patrolling and expanding the known empire through both conquest and exploration. The most important job of the military is to ensure the order of the Empire. In a conflict between the People and Justice, the military is called in to provide a final determination. It is considered sheer power, and is expected to act as such. Mercy and forgiveness are not taught, but instead frowned upon. In this way, it keeps corruption from overcoming isolated locations in the Empire, and provides a hope to all who live within the boundaries. To those outside, it provides only fear.

Imperial Citizens

Citizens of the Empire are those who have served their nation in one way or another, and have thus earned the honor, respect, and just deserts of that service. Those who take any of the three paths of government become citizens, be it military career service, judicial service, or finding their place within the government to further the goals of themselves and their fellows. In many nations, citizenship is handed out far too freely, in the eyes of the Huerdaen - it is their belief that simply being born, or falling within the borders of a nation isn't enough to earn it's protection and rights. Instead, they believe that to earn the title of a citizen, you should be willing to sacrifice for your homeland, willing to give for those who you expect to give to you.

In this way, they make the distinction between Citizens and Residents. Those who have served their time among any of these branches of the Star Empire had earned the right to vote and help guide their own small part of the Star Empire, from how to fund their part of the war, to where to spend the surplus gains from the increase in trade generated by the incorporation of the Ataster peoples. They have additional rights that many would see as negligable, but are required to carry arms by law. In the eyes of the Star Empire, they are the first concern, and during evacuations, it is the citizens who are cared for first. They are seen as the very lifeblood of the Star Empire, the people who have spent their lives in support of the Empire. They're heroes in the loosest definition of the term, and are permitted free travel throughout the empire, should they find a vessel which will give them passage.

As such, most of those who move between planets are obliged to give passage whenever it is sought. The Star Empire sees the movement of it's citizens as a duty of it's own, and provides bonuses and preferential treatment to those who consistently transport citizens. It is this which makes some of the more populous areas within the empire able to support purely transport services, allowing the core of the Star Empire to live, learn, and experience things which those who do not serve simply have a hard time imagining.

Imperial Residents

Residents are those who have either chosen, or decided not to serve the Star Empire. The differences are few, but sometimes significant. They are not fed less or treated any differently in terms of law or punishment, but are more restricted in movement between stations or worlds. They must pay their own passage, making any interstellar travel rare for Residents of the Star Empire. They are seen as cowardly amongst the more elitist families of the Huerdaen, who often have thorough military histories of their own, but they are an integral part of the Empire, regardless of this mild prejudice.

Residents are still expected to serve their time in the levies, ready to defend their homes against outside threat or disaster should they be called upon. They are expected to remain armed, but most do not care for the larger weapons of the Huerdaen military. Surprisingly, they do have a large amount of freedom in the Empire, as well. The lack of a vote means that most Residents are found in areas where there are few others, or where they may find other ways in which to survive. Most frontier worlds or stations consist almost entirely of residents, as colonization is seen as an act that the Star Empire is expected to support - and as such, it once more pays for travel with the expectation that the resident remain for a period of five years.

Residents also make up the majority of shipping within the empire. Those who can afford ships are a separate matter from any other Residents, and among the empire, they're particularly wealthy. Freighters and merchantmen are the bones which hold the Star Empire together, and the dirty, thankless jobs of other nations is seen as something of particular respect among the Huerdaen people. Anyone who can run or own a ship reasonably is often given the title 'Captain' in civilian courts, and though it provides no legal protection or consideration, it is a blatant show of the respect given to such individuals, recognizing their contribution to the Star Empire.

The Empire in Trade

The Star Empire rarely trades, with most of it's resources comign from within the Empire itself, with the exception of food. As it is a nation built on asteroids, starbases, and starships, the ability to produce food is limited to the rare, eternally valuable planets which the Huerdaen have conquered in their expansions through the stars, but the protection of these planets is paramount. As such, the 'Domain' is violently protected, even from non-threats such as traders and freighters. Trade stations are built in the patrolled zones for purposes of handling incoming trade, and non-Huerdaen vessels are forced out of the Domain immediately upon being found, or forced to shut off sensors and boarded.

Such is the paranoia of the Huerdaen that they have threatened war with nations who have made simple mistakes and accidentally passed vessels into even recently expanded systems. As such, outside information on what occurs within the Huerdaen Star Empire is limited, and rumors are sometimes spread through the stars of mistreatment, horrors, and other terrifying occurences. This rumor is generally accepted among the Huerdaen with a knowing smile, knowledge that the Truth of their people would find it's way, by sword if it must.

Their main exports are mineral wealth, from raw materials to starships and, most often, completed weapons. The Star Empire has no shame in being seen as an arms dealer, and it freely makes deals to sell the majority of it's equipment to offworlders, with the rare examples of prototype of recently created weapons. They even sell their own destroyers, both new and used, to nearby nations so as to observe how such craft are used in other roles, and learn how their own vessels may benefit from additional upgrades or tactical changes.

The Empire at War

The Star Empire at war is a thing of nightmares and terror. From the merciless Grendels of the Shield to the nuclear hell of the Star Navy's weapons, the Huerdaen have no misunderstanding of the nature of war. It is a necessary evil, to keep their precious homeland from falling into stagnant decay, and to protect them from the lies and gluttony of those beyond. They have on many occasions forced enemies to their knees by mass destruction, seeing no reason to withhold fire from industry or shipping to cripple an enemy's ability to fight them.

Even cities are not outside their realm of conflict, and sometimes whole worlds are bombed into slag before the Empire's advance, simply to make the taking of later planets simpler. The Huerdaen make liberal use of nuclear weaponry, following the advent of technology which is able to effectively and cheaply clean up radiation from a world, allowing even the most blasted world to recover from a nuclear holocaust. They can clear the skies of ash, and despite their warlike nature, can transform a blasted hell into a once more thriving world in a surprisingly short time.

They also prefer to be on the offensive. When facing an enemy in operations away from their own home Domain, the Huerdaen are less aggressive, but will strike at vulnerable or exposed targets as soon as they see them. Their doctrine calls for the absolute use of force on any location where disadvantages may be exploited, and many wars end as the Huerdaen bleed their enemies dry as they try to defend planets and systems, left to chasing ghosts as the Huerdaen vessels take advantage of the advantage given by their drives. They make lightning strikes and blitzkreig assaults, arriving with no warning and seeking out their objectives with absolute devotion to their cause.

They show no mercy and no kindness to their enemy, or the citizens of their enemy, but once a world has surrendered, the people of that world are considered to be residents, and are treated with the same sort of fatherly care as the rest of the Empire. It is a strange contrast, to see how quickly the Huerdaen go from brutal conquerors to caring defenders within a matter of days, often before those within their care even realize that the war has ended.
Last edited by Huerdae on Wed May 30, 2018 12:04 pm, edited 9 times in total.
The Huerdaen Star Empire is an FT Nation.

Xiscapia wrote:It amused her for a time to wonder if the two fleets could not see each other, so she could imagine them blindly stabbing in the dark, like a game of tag, if tag was played with rocket launchers in pitch blackness.
[17:15] <Telros> OH HO HO, YOU THOUGHT HUE WAS OUT OF LUCK, DID YOU
[17:15] <Telros> KUKUKU, HE HAS REINFORCEMENTS
[17:15] <Telros> FOR TELROS IS REINFORCEMENTS MAN

Rezo wrote:If your battleship turrets have a smaller calibre than your penis is long, you're doing it wrong.

User avatar
Huerdae
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1960
Founded: Feb 28, 2009
Iron Fist Socialists

Re: The Huerdaen Star Empire

Postby Huerdae » Thu Sep 03, 2009 12:51 pm

The Origins of the Empire

The Star Empire of Huerdae, or, colloquially known, the Huerdaen Empire, is built from what had once been a small nation with it's capitol upon a single river, the river Huerdae. It is from this river that the Star Empire pulls it's name. In the early days of space travel, Pantos was targeted for colonization due to the fact that it fit Terran norms, but colony ships of the time could not reach the distance. It was a corporate group that funded the colony, building and equipping the largest-to-date colony ship to make the journey to the planet. Technology of the time had been limited to sub-light engines and cryosleep, and the technology for awakening a slumbering human from cryosleep was still mostly untested. But despite these obstacles, the company not only gained support for the operation, but thrived on it.

The ship was launched with great fanfare, and it's journey was heralded with great hope both for the technologies it contained and the expansion of the human race it symbolized. However, not all was well with the mission. Many points were not completely thought out, and many more were simply not even conceived of. During transit, the starship was controlled by a computer program designed to avoid dangerous obstacles, and one of those seemed to be the galactic center. The trip took nearly 700 years beyond what was expected, and instead of being matched to scientific advisers on the home-front when the ship finally reached its destination, it was met only with silence. During the time, despite the survival and thriving of the company that had funded the expedition, it's focus had changed. Technologies learned from their research into hydroponics, farming, and poor-condition agriculture had made them a giant in the fertilization and logistical agriculture industry. This focus overtook colonization with the successful landing and colonization of other, closer colonies, and the Pantos expedition was forgotten. Facilities were disabled, and simply, nobody was listening.

However, the ship had been listening. During it's journey, as long as the facilities remained intact, information, technology, and knowledge were transmitted slowly to the ship. Onboard systems allowed it to remain up-to-date, with onboard robotic components allowing it to recycle used and damaged systems. Only when the systems on the home front failed, did this information stop. By that time, massed libraries of data and information were stored upon the ship, a history of what the sleeping colonists had missed. To awaken the colonists, a "Mission Complete" signal had to be sent back home, and a response received. When the ship finally reached Pantos, however, no such response was received. The systems had been shut down for many years by that time. It wasn't until a cascading failure caused by an impact with the colony ship caused emergency protocols to be engaged. Each colonist in a safe sector of the vessel was awakened, while those in depressurized sections were left in cryosleep to keep them alive. Following predetermined orders, the colonists were then shuttled to the surface, most blissfully unaware of exactly what had occurred. For days the trips continued as the colony ship continued in its dangerously decaying orbit.

Nearly a million of the three million who were originally on board were on the planet's surface when the ship finally reached a critical stage, and the orbit decayed to the point that the shuttles could no longer continue. Below, colonists had been left with data stores of information, brought down little by little by the shuttles as the colonists moved, as well as supplies and equipment. The final day of the debarking was marked by a fireball in the sky, as the colony ship burned upon entering the atmosphere of a planet, something it was never designed to do. With the loss of their vessel, the colonists had no long-range communications, and almost all of the history of their homeworld was lost.

What they had, however, was technology, supplies, and a will to survive. They were clumped in several major areas, areas picked out to be most likely to sustain life. These spots, however, were located from afar, and turned out to be less than desirable in some cases. Three landed in reasonable locations, some marked by asteroid impacts, but otherwise lush valleys and verdant forests. One landed in the middle of a desert, and were forced to abandon the landing site. One landed on a plateau, but during landing the plateau collapsed, destroying the shuttle and killing all within. According to protocol, further landing attempts were aborted. Several attempted to land in the open sea where an island had once been, and had now been swallowed by the ocean. These shuttles remained until they were out of fuel, and the colonists within were forced to endure a forced landing within the water. Drifting for days, many died before the shuttles were washed up along a long shoreline.

The last of the shuttles landed in a mix of different environments, most of them as hospitable as they were dangerous. Each location had different advantages, and the only consistent thread between them was that they were isolated. Quickly, the shore-line groups were able to establish connections and trade, building a small nation from the semi-cities that grew from those locations. The three luckiest were quick to build not only cities, but nations, branching out together. Some of the others succumbed to disease or famine, and some thrived in their new environment.

But the desert colony was the one that was most surprising. The deserts of Pantos, unlike their homeworld, were thriving with life. Snake-like creatures, insects, and mighty walking giants roamed the deserts, at first terrorizing, then soon feeding the colonists. They drank the blood of their kills for water, until they came to the one thing which would save their lives. The river they called Huerdae. "Hope", it meant, to them. And it soon became a common word in the dialect. The desert made the people tough, and they build a city from the ground up. They were efficient, determined, and lived off of anything they could find. Soon, the city stretched all along the river's banks. Unlike the others, they did not have access to their shuttles, and this, in the end, is what set them apart.

By the time they had returned to their shuttles, they were hardy, resourceful, and strong. They soon were the farthest-reaching nation, and were the first to recover one of the other shuttles from the other landing groups. They discovered the plateau landing, and were able to move the shuttle back to harvest supplies as needed. Locating and capturing these shuttles became a top priority. And it quickly led to re-establishing communication between other landing groups. Within a hundred years, the colonists had returned to their previous level of technology and surpassed it, with the group at the river Huerdae making liberal use of the one resource they had over all others. Below the deserts were deposits of metals, driven below by geological changes, and while it disrupted the use of compasses, it also provided them with almost no end of materials. All groups had access to information, and one of those most used was cybernetics, a trend carried on through generations. The failure of computerized components during the landing made the colonists unwilling to trust unobserved computer systems for generations, and this led to the avoidance of AI research in favor of continued cybernetic work. Soon, every colonist was a cyborg.

But it was the Huerdaen colony that supplied the metals for that work. And with that influence, they gathered every shuttle they could locate, often at extreme cost, to their capital city. However, some did not wish to part with their shuttles, and the precious knowledge within. This led to a war that destroyed the nation of Huerdae, casting it into dark days of control by other nations, and a fragmentation that, thankfully, did not last.

The Uprising

The conquest of Helsearc, the Huerdaen capitol, was a devastating event, and was the beginning of a particularly vile ravaging of Huerdaen pride. It is a dark chapter in the expansion of a great empire, and brought about more than a small amount of discontent. It is the source of the Huerdaen motto of remembrance: "By the Blood of our Fathers, we live on", and it refers to the bloody rebellion that followed. The rape of Helsearc lasted for nearly ten years before the citizens again began to rise against the forces against them. The hard Huerdaen became harder, annoyed and upset with the lies and false promises that they had been fed for years, the new generation rose screaming curses and profanity at the police forces.

It started small at first, with an increasing number of weapons being found in houses and sweeps, as well as an increase in black market dealings being brought to light. But the people of Helsearc were but the heart of those who considered themselves the "People of the River", or Huerdaen. These acts of oppression were mixed with the corporate and financial rape of Helsearc, where the people were forced to bear the burden of a war which they lost. Taxation was extreme, and police enacted strict curfews. Violence was common, on the very day that Helsearc had surrendered, 9 years prior, the 'mayor' of Helsearc was killed by a sniper, sparking what is known as The Uprising in Huerdaen history.

The famous event is viewed with both pride and regret by the Huerdaen, as they value law and order, as well as truth. But the people who now call themselves Huerdaen value the sacrifices of those who came before. It is from these times that the bloody, hardened face of the Empire began to take shape. For both the insurgents and the oppressors, food was scarce, and there were confirmed reports of cannibalism to keep both sides fighting. It is said that the main street of Helsearc ran with the blood of insurgents in the days following the beginning of the uprising, as failed attempt after failed attempt was made to take the capitol building. The city had been quarantined into sectors, isolated by armored and fortified police buildings, which were forced to hold against the siege of the people they were expected to protect. Over time, each of these fell, one by one, until only the capitol remained. Seven years after the beginning of the uprising, the city of Helsearc had been regained. All around the city, oppressing regimes withdrew forces, unwilling to face the threat of the fearless, crazed Huerdaen rebels, giving them a small portion of their own territory back. But few nations recognized the reborn nation, and a series of bloody conflicts arose around the capitol, including one successful attempt by the Ursellin nation to capture Helsearc once more. Fortunately, the second capture of Helsearc was a massive mistake. Unable to hold it against the uprising that followed nearly a week after the capture of the city, Ursellin troops were slaughtered on their attempts to escape the city. With this defeat, they finally recognized the Huerdaen nation once more, giving them begrudging respect and another place on the world stage.

However, this uprising had taken it's toll. A whole generation and a half of Huerdaen had been killed in freeing their homeland, and the economy was crippled by the destruction. The coming years were wrought with famine, strife, and a series of failed regimes led by the many leaders of the rebellion as they vied for power. The Helsearc Republic rose and fell, as well as the Socialist State of Huerdae. Soon, the People's Republic of Pantos had risen and fallen within a week's time, and people were beginning to realize the folly of a nation built on a people with separate ideals and separate hopes. The people could not gather together under a single banner, and every attempt to regain control failed in blood and chaos.

This led the Ursellin to once more attempt to control Helsearc, and their forces were supplied to the People's Republic of Pantos with the promise of stabilizing the region. However, that promise was quickly brought to light as a lie as their forces began exacting vengeance against the Huerdaen people, slaughtering them and murdering whole families. It was these lies which drove "The Truthsayer" to power, a man who gave no name. Leading the rebellion behind a faceless mask, The Truthsayer told not a single lie to the people who followed him, it was said. They tore down the old regime, and enacted the Dictatorship of Huerdae, or the Huerdaen Dictatorship, once more taking the name of the river for themselves. Stability was maintained only through the hate of the Ursellin people, a people who had led the coalition against them in the prior fall of the Huerdaen Empire, and a people who now stood against them as they rebuilt themselves, spreading lies and false promises.

It was under the Truthsayer that the militia and forces of the Huerdaen Dictatorship were realized, organizing each into groups of five under the 'Rule of Five', a device of state which was to remind all that they were expected to care for the four nearest them. The people of Huerdae could not survive as they were, and drastic change was needed. Using the standing militias to his advantage, the Truthsayer led the forces of the Dictatorship to capture Ursellin. The capture of Ursellin was one of the brightest moments in Huerdaen history, though it was not known at the time. The people of Huerdae wished to rape the city as was done to them, but the Truthsayer forced them into obedience through sheer force of will. By the time of the Truthsayer's assassination four years later, Ursellin had proven to be able to stabilize the Huerdaen economy, and with general kindness and respect, the Ursellin soon considered themselves Huerdaen. A year after the Truthsayer's death, the nation was rechristened the Huerdaen Empire.

The Second Founding

The rechristening of the Huerdaen Empire is known as the Second Founding. It is the period in which the Huerdaen Empire found itself and reinvented it's image. With the death of the Truthsayer, the Huerdaen were struck that such a man could lead a nation, and soon, 'truth' became a core concept of the national leadership. Lies were looked upon with disfavor, and soon became taboo. A minor system of honor formed during this time, where your word became how you were seen. A liar was little more than a beggar, and a man who could be trusted to keep his word through even the worst became a valuable man to have around. Men and women of all ages began to refer to "The Word" in an expression meaning the truth.

But never was the Empire at peace. Sons died at war daily, as powers around the world threw their efforts against the fledgling nation, soon seeing those of Ursellin as Huerdaen as well. This combined assault on the two city-nations pushed them together until they had become as one, their people like brothers and sisters. Together, they staved off the assaults until an uneasy truce fell upon them, leaving the nation in a moment of peace it had not known for nearly 100 years. Here, the end of the Second Founding is quoted, but few recognize such a thing.

Instead, most see this as one of the most terrible times in Huerdaen history. The Word became something vile and twisted, as the government soon learned the value of money, corruption, and lies. It became a slogan of power, but one that had lost the pure meaning of before. Gangs and graft began to run the streets of Helsearc, and men and women turned to technology and advances to give them their vices, and advantages over the police who tried to rule them. Genetic modification and deviancy was common, but isolated. Genetic modification was common enough that the face of humanity in Helsearc was twisted, mutated, and excessive within several years. The only limiting factor being that many of the users of genetic modification died, and almost all were sterile. Those which were not often suffered from low survival rates, miscarriages, and quite often, maternal death. This 'geneticists' plague was soon out of control.

However, it was the technologies of old, and the economists of Ursellin who supplied the answer. Seeing their fellows facing deviancy and ultimate death, the Ursellin enacted laws over themselves, forcing the sterilization of any genetically modified individual. This caused outrage in the streets, but the police were able to control it, as it was much less violent than the Helsearc-born revolutionaries. Instead, Ursellin thrived on trade and industry, which is what allowed them to move with the audacity they did within a month. At that time, the people of Ursellin invaded Helsearc. Not as Ursellin natives, but as Huerdaen. Proud, strong, and determined, they fought in the streets, their armored vehicles and soldiers fought against genetic freaks and deviants. Deaths were common across both sides, but the deviants were fighting on their home turf. Soon, their deviancy was growing, deaths from excessive modifications were common, and the population of Helsearc itself was dropping drastically. It was a war neither side could afford.

It was the entrance of a corporation which permitted finally turned the stages of the conflict. With the Ursellin military bogged down in street fighting, they were being overwhelmed by superior forces. Stronger, faster, and tougher, the Helsearc deviants were overrunning position after position. The introduction of the first cybernetic soldiers stemmed the tide at the brink of failure, however. Bulky, armored, and slow, the soldiers proved to be a match for the deviants only through tenacity. Gathered without governmental permission, they were quickly disbanded from corporate service and hired into the Ursellin military to save the failing campaign, but paved the way for future liberties. It was the risky investments and deployment of these soldiers which later would provide the reasoning behind the legalization of Corporate Militias to assist in the protection of the people. As the conflict turned, and the minds of the Ursellin people turned to metal and augmentation, they skipped over genetic modification, making it dangerously illegal. In time, the subjugation of Helsearc had been completed, and the people of Huerdae were once more united. Genetic augmentations became illegal across the Empire, and sterilization of those currently augmented was strictly enacted. Soon, two thirds of the population of Helsearc could no longer breed.

It was then that the modifications which had been so successful in the field of war were suddenly released to the populace, but tightly controlled. The reasoning for this was for the continued survival of the market. Carefully controlled releases permitted there to be a perpetually high demand for cybernetic augmentations, allowing the company to control demand carefully, and to fund itself nearly completely on the proceeds of those augmentations. But this strict policy, this violation of human rights soon drew the attention of the other nations, and again, the Huerdaen were forced to unite in war.

The Wars

But this time, the wars were different. Despite the perceived righteousness of the invading nations, their soldiers were untested against the might of a cybernetically augmented soldier, and countless thousands died in slaughter early in the war. The early victories turned into an all-out offensive against almost every nearby nation across the globe. One by one, the nations fell. First, Galavas to the blitzkrieg of Ursellin armor, then the mountainous city of Dosthonos and the swamplands of Viridar fell to the fanatic infantry of Helsearc. These victories were swift and purposeful, driving other invading nations to become immediately desperate, seeing three allies fall in the first month of what would be the longest continued string of wars in Huerdaen history.

Four generations of the people of the Pantos colony died during the wars as the Huerdaen Empire became over and over the target of crusade-style assaults upon it's borders. Religious fervor drove the now-archaic followers of the corrupted Word against the grizzled warrior-people of Helsearc, and were met by men and women with weapons and tools in hand. Civilians defending their homes rushed out to meet the fanatic crusaders that hurled themselves and their mindless loyalty against the city's skyscrapers and homes, only to be butchered like cattle by the superior cybernetic populace.

In four months, even the great Speaker of the Word was forced from his pure white robes, as the temples in Polnogi were destroyed, marking the end of the last religious-led nation in Huerdaen history. It was at this time that the Huerdaen adopted the black they now bear, marking themselves as pure without the lies of the corrupted Word. Belief without thought was destructive, corrupt, and grew nothing but failure. Black and white became the symbols of the war. Reason, facing faith. In the end, faith had fallen, and white became rare and sparing in Huerdaen culture. Finally, peace was reached, and the people of Huerdae began again to stagnate once more. Genetics once more hit the stage, but this time, it was the people of Helsearc who put an end to it.

Unwilling to go through the rigors of those dangers once more, the people of Helsearc refused to put themselves at the whim of shoddily modified super-men. A law was passed buying out the entirety of the Huerdaen cybernetics research, development, and implementation process, throwing the city hugely into debt. But the purpose was clear. Soon, every member of Helsearc had an unrivaled level of augmentation, and when the genetic gangs arrived once more, they were decimated, destroyed. This government monopolization on the very state of it's people soon spread, along with the new Helsearc motto that stagnation was death.

With this in mind, the Huerdaen people rose, this time to go to war for the sole purpose of war. Unwilling to fall apart and into deviance or self-destruction in peace, the Huerdaen threw themselves willingly into the grinder, conquering nations at a carefully measured rate, until finally, the last great power of Pantos had fallen, and the Huerdaen Empire now spanned the entirety of the globe.

Memory of the Fathers

It was now impossible to conquer, and stagnation became a constant fear. Many attempts were made to thwart such a fate, including controlled wars, testing beds which failed utterly. Overpopulation became a problem, and food became scarce. The once mineral-rich world of Pantos was being slowly mined for the augmentations of it's people, but it was once more an ideal that saved them. When again the cry went up for war, for people to hurl themselves pointlessly to death, the people responded. The entire city of Polnogi was burned, as the once-faithful used their own destruction to remind others what a blind faith could lead them to. Millions died in the fires, and soon, the outlook of the Huerdaen people was changed.

The understanding became that conquest was not the only manner of expansion, and their eyes turned toward the stars. The Pantos system had been chosen because it held two planets which could be possibly colonized, though one was limited by a lack of food, unable to support a thriving civilization, it had been thrown out. Now, however, with resources dwindling, and expansion required, the planet became a prime target. Again, the people moved with a singular purpose, with each great city-state building a ship with which to ferry those who dared brave the journey between planets.

It was a colossal failure. Of the many ships, most failed before they ever reached the planet's surface, with two never surviving exit from the atmosphere. The increased weight and size of the Huerdaen people due to their enhancements had become a problem, forcing the ships to be overly large, and unwieldy. Resources were wasted, and only two cities were able to land vessels upon the nearby planet. Soon, only one of the colonies remained, barely surviving, and ever-short on food. It became the goal of the people to continue the colony at all costs. Men and women were chosen to be packed tightly, to provide a workforce. The small and skinny, those who could work hard with little upkeep, were chosen to make the journey, year after year.

It became fashionable to be short, and thin. The fat and the slow became known as 'bloated', and 'homeworlders', an insult which implied they could never escape the planet's atmosphere, even on a ship. Several generations of constant influx and constant death passed, and the Huerdaen people learned from their colony. The practice of burying the dead was given up in favor of burning them for energy and heat, recovering the precious metals of the augmentations they bore. The people of Pantos gradually grew smaller, leading to the current trend of the Huerdaen today, standing at an average height of 5'4". But finally, the shipments of workers slowed. The mines were profitable, the fields were large enough that their half-dead crops could, finally, feed the colony. Pantos 5 was a success.

But the toll was enormous. Through war, starvation, mishap, and colonization, the population of Pantos was a quarter what it once was. The cities had grown desolate, and despite their success, the Pantos expedition on the whole was on the brink of failure. Aftershocks of the genetic deviance were still being felt, as much of the population was facing sterility, and breeding became a wide concern. It was years before the last footholds of genetics had been purged from the Huerdaen people. In those times, families were rare, and women were even more rare. Men without families were called the Fathers of the nation, men who were expected to fight, to colonize, to farm, and ultimately, to die for the nation. The sheer brutality, and the understanding of that death, led to an almost cult-like respect for the men who embraced those values, and they became infamous, exploring and seeking out new worlds to the end of their lives, setting out on suicidal missions to explore nearby stars in sub-light vessels.

But this mad cult, would prove to be the saving grace of the Pantos expedition. One such "Father" stumbled across a stable, persistent wormhole in the system, allowing them to travel immediately from one side of the solar system to the other. For years, the Fathers examined it, while slowly, their numbers lessened. Expeditions were made, data was collected. Attempts were made to catalog it, recreate it...and finally, only when it was collapsed as a ships reactor went critical, did the understanding dawn upon them.

With this technology, the Huerdaen began to create short-range wormhole drives, which they referred to as worldgates, soon, only Gates. They were used first to travel between the two colonize, Pantos III, and Pantos V. But with increased reactor power from incoming technologies, their reach increased. Ships were known to build up energies along their hulls from these jumps, but no reasonable way of shedding those energies could be found, as nothing could pull them away safely, without impact with other mass.

It was only when a drive and power source were created that could carry them a system over, did they come across a solution. Mass itself was simply the answer, and friction could pull away the particles as well as any force. The landing of an FTL shuttle displayed a marvelous show of light and color that covered the sky, but when it was completed, the planet was unharmed, and the ship was free of the strange, poorly understood particles. The practice of low-orbit 'Dragging' became common, and stellar ships became common, allowing the Huerdaen to finally colonize another star system, at which point, they were finally renamed the "Star Empire of Huerdae", never truly forgetting their roots along the small, desert river of their homeland.

The Star Empire

Once the Huerdaen reached the star, they began a period of unbelievable expansion, overrunning all nearby. From the tranquil and advanced Pankrees to the ordered chaos of the Ikittitl, the Huerdaen overran all before them. With every new expansion, they found more terrible foes, but the first and foremost, which never has left their side, has been the hunger which drove them to the stars in the first place. Even with the amazing farming abilities of the Ikittitl, the Huerdaen expanded far too quickly. Their mining stations dotted systems with no habitable planets, consuming food and producing endless streams of warships for the people to continue their expansion. Planet after planet fell to them, but only one in fifty was even remotely colonizable, let alone capable of maintaining agriculture upon it.

Death was ever constant for the Star Empire, from it's birth, to it's childhood years in its own system, and now without boundary. Starships faded into history in their dozens, lost to the void and forgotten. Those that were found had been ravaged by pirates, or smashed into unknown worlds. This constant death moved from the simple acceptance from the war and colonization to expected during the growing of the Star Empire. But there was a time of prosperity on the horizon, and during that prosperity, death became ever more common. Whole colonies starved, and it was determined that the Huerdaen had need of another war, both for resources, and for nationalism. That war came in the form of pirates, the many who found safe haven in the many lost parts of space were hunted down like dogs, with hundreds of warships scouring systems for a single squadron of enemies.

The vigor with which the Huerdaen approached this conflict was so great that even now, pirates are rare in Huerdaen space. This is the only war that continues despite other concerns, and under no circumstances do the Huerdaen fight alongside lowlife, non-national pirates. They side with any force, even their enemies, to eliminate a pirate force, and in several cases this has caused them to make first contact with a race, though during most of these, the meeting ended in either disaster or further conflict. It was because of these meetings that executive power was given to commanding officers, and that the Law of Truth was enacted over both Captains and their Executive Officers. It was also when the full extent of the Law of Truth was realized.

Never before had the Huerdaen forced their own hand in the case of prisoners, in how they were treated. But an attempt to save a ship which was surrendered to the Huerdaen ended in disaster, as the Captain's threat caused that she first be executed for attempting to leave the prisoners alive, and then, shortly after, that her second in command execute every prisoner. The news spread like wildfire, and it soon became policy to hold Captains to their word for both good or ill. Such was the weight placed upon this, that many Huerdaen refused promotions to a Captain's rank, for fear of the harsh truth of the law.

But in time, even that fell aside as the Star Empire once more came under fire from it's old nemesis, hunger. Starvation became rife once more, but this time, it was put to an end by the presence of other species, and the first ally of the Huerdaen. The Rethast Militocracy, whose arrogance and aggression against the Ataster set the pace for the Modern Star Empire.
Last edited by Huerdae on Sun Sep 04, 2011 6:05 pm, edited 10 times in total.
The Huerdaen Star Empire is an FT Nation.

Xiscapia wrote:It amused her for a time to wonder if the two fleets could not see each other, so she could imagine them blindly stabbing in the dark, like a game of tag, if tag was played with rocket launchers in pitch blackness.
[17:15] <Telros> OH HO HO, YOU THOUGHT HUE WAS OUT OF LUCK, DID YOU
[17:15] <Telros> KUKUKU, HE HAS REINFORCEMENTS
[17:15] <Telros> FOR TELROS IS REINFORCEMENTS MAN

Rezo wrote:If your battleship turrets have a smaller calibre than your penis is long, you're doing it wrong.

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Re: The Huerdaen Star Empire

Postby Huerdae » Thu Sep 03, 2009 12:51 pm

The Imperial Arms of Huerdae
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The Huerdaen Star Empire holds a strong military tradition, broken into three separate branches, each having it's own organization and logistical support, in addition to depending upon one another to keep a properly balanced fighting force in effect. The military is well known for being both a professional army, and a popular path to citizenship. Nationalism, pride, and the promise for glory and a well-paying job make the Huerdaen soldiers at war a proud and dangerous force.

Their military, like the nation itself, is built on carefully segmented groupings, though at war such organization is often strained to the limit. At war, the Huerdaen again organize by-five, with a sergeant taking responsibility for himself and his four fellows. Each sergeant is then commanded by a Junior Lieutenant, in charge of his own squad and four other sergeants. The order of battle progresses upward in this way through to the officer core, with officers in charge of hundreds, or even thousands of men. Unlike many militaries, however, there is no possibility for advancement outside of combat situations. The Arms long ago learned that a soldier must earn the respect of his or her fellows to be able to lead them effectively in combat, and this is a fact that can not be realized if those officers are inserted above soldiers who have fought and died together, only to receive an officer who has never seen the business end of a weapon.

This leads to a strong level of companionship amongst the Arms, where everyone understands that to reach even the rank of JLT a soldier has faced and killed foes in battle, be it at the guns of a battleship's broadside, or in the mud many miles below. This is reflected in the understanding of the common soldier that they will sometimes be called upon to do things that no sane being would ever wish to attempt, and in the equal understanding of their officers that this trust and determination is given with an understanding that such acts will only be called upon at the worst of times. No member of the Huerdaen Arms is expected to throw their lives away for the Star Empire, but such acts of heroism and martyrdom are received with the highest honors of the Empire, and invariably those who succeed are honored by their fellows and the unit they are in. Almost every unit in the Arms bears the names of those who have given their lives in heroic action upon their banners, and it is the unit, the men that hero fought with, who are rewarded for their comrade's bravery. The Huerdaen Arms are held together by the comrades in arms, and this is portrayed in their manner of battle.

It is the belief of the Huerdaen that the first and foremost duty of the nation is to it's people, both those bearing arms and those not, and above and beyond the acts of other nations, the Huerdaen strive to improve their way of life for those of all walks of life. Their methods are sometimes seen as brutal and unrelenting at war, unforgiving of the enemy for the purpose of saving their own kind.

Technology

The best known piece of Huerdaen technology is their powerful singularity reactor. It is a device that powers almost all ships that go to war, storing matter in it's super-compressed state and harvesting the energy that bleeds off of it, able to draw mass and convert it directly to energy. This provides a near-complete casualty rate at any point that a Huerdaen reactor goes critical, as well as an extremely efficient energy source. These reactors are sustained with painfully precise calculations and monitoring, but mistakes have been known to happen. Among the Huerdaen Arms, it is widely regarded as the worst possible fate to be killed when a reactor goes super-critical, as there is not even a corpse to burn in honor of the sacrifice. Often, pyres are built on nearby planets and left to burn for days on end, in honor of the fallen.

The Arms are also recognizable by their reliance on projectile weaponry. As missile weaponry became common elsewhere in the galaxy, it was overstepped by projectile physics on Pantos, where a rail-driver armed tank destroyer could outrange a cruiser bearing long-range missiles. Huerdaen are utterly dependent upon cannons and rail driver technology. Their weapons are generally accepted to be some of the best examples of long-lasting and durable examples of rail driver technology in their sector of the galaxy, with even some infantry-style low capacity pistols that are able to punch into the heart of unshielded tanks. While still short of being able to build a proper assault rifle with the technology, infantry field guns that use early energy technology are becoming more and more common, sheathing a rail driver round in an energy barrier to allow it to do significantly increased damage to enemy shielding, or pierce it entirely.

Most recognizable, however, is their willing use of nuclear weaponry to increase their combat effectiveness. The predominance of tactical-grade nuclear warheads fired from artillery emplacements or dropped from supporting craft make fortification against the Huerdaen Arms a painful and often unhealthy prospect. Bombardment can be performed from a quarter-world away, depending on the relevant gravity and how long a round must hang in orbit before falling again to strike it's target. While rocket weaponry is used in a supporting role, they almost always consist of dumb-fired warheads, used to perform high-explosive strafing runs over enemy positions, or to permit spaceborn "bombers" the ability to use their high speed to their advantage without having to await the dumb-drop of bombs. Rockets can be released quickly, and reloaded quickly, allowing more sorties to be flown by small craft in a shorter period of time, for large amounts of damage.

The mixture of these two weapons marks the Star Navy's most famous weapon. Almost every vessel in the Star Navy carries a heavy spinal-mounted cannon which is capable of projecting fire at extreme ranges. At smaller sizes, these cannons are enough to give them a significant firepower advantage over sometimes larger vessels, ripping through enemy hull with rounds fired at unreasonable speeds. most famous of these small hunter-killer style vessles are the Rage-Class Destroyers, where they make use of an autoloading multi-barreled spinal weapon that consumes the center of the vessel, rotating and firing centerline rounds from both above and below the centerplane at the same time. This weapon is capable of firing rounds at up to 240 rounds per minute, releasing two rounds per second from each firing barrel. This firepower, however, was nothing compared to the capital-ship size spinal weaponry that was used to spread fear through the enemies of the Empire.

By creating a round that would split upon impact with a shield or armor plating, the Huerdaen created a shotgun-like effect that would scatter across the outer armor or into the vulnerable inner hull of an enemy ship. For some time, this was a particularly effective weapon. However, more recent cruisers and larger warships have begun to display an upgraded version of this weapon, using these same Scatter-dart weapons tipped with nuclear warheads. Depending on the size of the weapon, these rounds can carry between five to twenty nuclear warheads. The high speed and low profile of the weapons makes them hard to intercept and destroy, while even a direct hit often could simply scatter the round and allow the darts to continue freely to their targets, impacting across a wider area. With the generally accepted rate of fire of 60 rounds per minute, larger fleets of warships have shown that they are quite capable of creating a deadly nuclear firestorm that has now enveloped and consumed enemy after enemy, allowing them to finally find their way onto the galactic stage as a rising power.

Recent upgrades in energy weapon upgrades have produced a close-range killer in a disruptor rifle that has made a more and more popular showing among the infantry mounted upon warships in defensive or boarding roles. Capable of tearing through almost any substance, the weapons proved to be both adaptable and deadly, allowing troops to cut through armored bulkheads to produce additional breaches to attack an enemy point from multiple locations at once. This technology has also been seen in use on a small number of War Frigates, namely the I.M.S. Angel Of Death.

Additionally, the Huerdaen Star Empire finds that battle damage is not only a fact of life when at war, but a thing to be embraced. Both the Star Navy and the Shield incorporate excessive amounts of modular components, from earlier generations allowing weapon mountings and armor plating to be quickly removed and replaced, to newer generations allowing almost anything other than the frame to be removed, replaced, and incorporated in short order. Aboard the stalwart Harbinger-Class battleship that is becoming a mainstay of the Star Navy, even some sections of the frame have been built to be able to be removed and replaced to allow the ship to not only continue service in war, but be refit quickly and easily when new upgrades have arrived. This determination to create a logistically small and technologically capable Star Navy has paid off in effectiveness in combat, as well as the pride of those who serve.

The Star Navy
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The Huerdaen Star Navy is the most well-known face of the Huerdaen Star Empire, and the very thing that gives it the power it wields. Respected by friend and foe alike, its captains and colonels lead their ships with bravery, able to make decisions on policy and dictate terms to their foes for surrender. Outside the jurisdiction of the civilian government or on planets at war, these esteemed individuals decide the course of the conflict, acting as leader, governor, and father all in the area. They are expected to be both benevolent to those who they protect and lead, and unforgiving to their foes. It is this no-mercy attitude toward the enemies of the Empire that often earns it a distasteful view from it's neighbors, but it has yet to bring undue attention to the growing Empire.

The Huerdaen Star Navy built it's navy around the time-tested and true ideology of the broadside battleship, a vessel capable of placing a withering amount of fire to specific areas, with limited defensive batteries to the other sectors of the ship. This configuration is best displayed in the design of the Juggernaught-Class Battleship, where a full six decks of fast-firing broadside guns are mounted on either side of the vessel. While these make up the core of the Huerdaen capitol ships, they are far from the largest. Battleships generally range between 800m to 1000m meters in length, But their small size is often misleading. They pack fire power matched rarely by enemy vessels. Larger, and more dangerous still are the War Frigates, reaching from 1.2km to 1.6km in length, and most often acting as the center for battlefleet operations across an entire sector of combat. It is these behemoths that act as the center for a Huerdaen Battlefleet, but they are significantly fewer in number than the deadly battleships. They are, however, enough to devastate most ships twice their size with powerful, coordinated fire from weapons that make lesser vessels wither and fail.

Battleships are most often supported by four cruisers, each with a group of four destroyers to assist in a hunter-killer role. The Huerdaen employ no fighter squadrons across their vessels. Instead, they have limited groups of rocket-bearing heavy 'bombers' that carry fast-firing antimatter rockets used to strafe across an enemy vessel. It was long ago determined that an enemy could be defeated by eliminating the core of his fleet, and to that end, much of the Star Navy is built to eliminate vessels of Cruiser, Battleship, or Heavy Cruiser classification. Cruisers, acting in support roles, are armed to create a web of fire to keep fighters away from their own Capitol ships, but the Star Navy is a firm believer in the doctrine that a good offense is the best defense.

This may be partially due to the surprisingly limited shielding technology of the Empire. While this was recently and significantly boosted by the capture and incorporation of several vessels from the Ataster Empire, shielding aboard most Huerdaen vessels remains woefully underpowered compared to much of what they face. As such, the sturdy armor of the vessels is often scored from war, with many vessels seeing refit and upgrade many times during their fighting career because of damage sustained. This does, however, allow the Star Navy to keep it's vessels at a state of near-cutting edge technology, quickly advancing with the times and keeping their vessels at a deadly status of readiness against any would-be enemies.

The key to Imperial might, however, is the surprising number of vessels and the ever-mysterious Ghosts. The Industrial capacity of the Empire is nearly disproportionate to the size of the Empire itself, with many mining colonies and star-born refineries allowing the Star Empire to produce a warship at a staggering rate. It is because of this, as well as the Huerdaen doctrinal preference to capturing an enemy ship rather than destroying it that make the Huerdaen Star Navy both deadly and capable, especially in extended wars of attrition.

While it excels in the stars, the Star Navy is not an isolated part of the Arm, and is often called upon to provide fire support to ground divisions waging war. Most often this support comes in the form of bombardment or troop movements, both of which the heavy warships are designed to be capable of. They remain on-station to support their ground-based brethren, and are often the ones that turn a battle from defeat to close victory, eliminating enemy strongholds in support of the fast and hard blitzkrieg-style tactics of the Shield.

The Imperial Shield
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The Imperial Shield incorporates the planet-side elements of the Arm. Sea-going naval vessels, armored units, and infantry are common items of production around the empire, as fortress worlds are constantly garrisoned around the perimeter of the Empire. Imperial space is considered to be ever-expanding, with incursions in almost all directions resulting in a slowly growing population, and a constant need of men and materiel. The Shield is a professional army, drilling almost constantly and holding rigorous training standards that include and embrace, rather than fear, the death of it's members. The Shield is particularly knowledgeable of the horrors of war, and strives to make that horror as real and understood as possible to it's members, so that they can not only realize it and think with clarity, but use that horror and terror against their enemies.

The bulk of the Shield lies in armored or mechanized infantry regiments, moving quickly from engagements in armored half-track style vehicles and supported almost certainly by armored divisions for fire support, made up primarily by Gravedigger, Goliath, and Tonka armored vehicles. Capable of a wide array of variants to fit the changing demands of the battlefield, the Imperial Shield is a capable foe in almost any situation.

Because of this, however, and the difficulties of supplying such a highly mobile force, the Shield rarely can engage in the fabled wars of attrition that the Star Navy specializes in. Instead, they most often act in a highly blitzkrieg-style warfare, racing across the land in a great wall of armored might, supported by a number of specialized units. Artillery is common, often focused on enemy strategic targets, or with pinpoint accuracy in support of tactical action. The Shield acts very quickly and effectively at eliminating enemy supply lines.

For aerial support, the Shield employs VTOL gunships evolved from older helicopter craft, allowing them to remain with the main force and support with rockets and guns without being forced to inaccurately strafe over a wide area. It allows units to be supported directly by their aircraft, and leaves the high-yield ordinance to support from the Star Navy and their bombers and heavy bombers. Naval units are composed mostly of submersibles. Naval forces, however, are decidedly the weakest part of the Shield, and often are deployed only in a defensive role, with offensive groups only deployed to hunt particularly evasive enemies that hide upon the open waters.

The Shield's infantryman has a surprising array of weaponry available for use, from the standard-issue gear including powered armor, enhanced cybernetics over even those used in other branches of the military, and a 12.7mm "Maedar" assault rifle with a standard loadout of armor-piercing rounds. Additionally, all members of both the Shield and the Star Navy are supplied with the trusted, reliable "Siren" sidearm. This weapon has gained a small degree of infamy, as well as a large degree of support throughout the Shield for being unbreakable, and powerful. The weapon is a rail driver, capable of punching through many surfaces, including unshielded tanks and enemy infantry in a single round. Unfortunately, the large size of the round necessitates that only three rounds may be fired before the weapon must be reloaded, but a carefully used weapon can terrorize enemy units, and for this reason, as well as the rather disturbing tendency for the internal organs to be 'dragged' behind the round after it passes through the body for quite some distance, the special forces Grendels favor this weapon above all others, sometimes modifying their weapons to increase the magazine size to as many as eight rounds. The weapon's distinctive whine is often referred to as "The Siren's Song" as it fires, since many foes assume that the sound of the round is actually the capacitor's charging, and that the weapon is not yet ready to fire. Last common weapon is the "Sauron" sniper rifle, employing a rail driver format and a semi-automatic firing mode that allow it to be effective at extreme ranges. Most dangerous, however, is the fact that the rounds for this weapon are 'sheathed' in energy, allowing them to bypass most shielding.

Additional equipment available includes an under-slung 40mm shotgun/grenade launcher, a dual purpose weapon that has become quite favored amongst the infantry who often see urban conflict, due to the adaptability of the add-on and the fact that the weapon can fire high-explosive, incendiary, or other specialized ammunition as required, giving the Maedar unforeseen adaptability in both breaching operations and house-to-house fighting. A recent addition to the arsenal is the "Medusa" Disruptor carbine, despite it's short range. It has found a home specifically aboard the Star Navy's warships, where it is used in the tight and enclosed spaces where a long range is not required, and it's extremely brutal firepower can be put to the best use. While it often replaces the previous favorite of the 'Akki' shotgun aboard vessels, the Akki's ability to fire solid slugs or even small grenades and anti-tank rounds keeps it a common sight among ground forces. A "Dragon" flamethrower is available, but rarely used, and shoulder-mounted ordinance is rare. Most common field support brought by the Shield is in the form of vehicle-mounted weaponry or the uncommon field guns mounted on heavy, wheeled chassis, used to mount either the "Hephaestus" 60mm autocannon, or the "Zeus" 3-inch Anti-Tank Laser (ATL). All forces are also equipped with a curved blade sheathed in energy, for use against foes that prefer such forms of conflict, and a combat knife. Additional support is available for the differing Huerdaen formations in the depending on their need, from the deployable Barca appearing from an unexpected sector to provide sudden heavy support against an unsuspecting foe, or the Watchman walkers that toughen up the already stalwart heavy infantry formations.

Levies and Support

Surprisingly, the Shield does not operate on Huerdaen soil unless absolutely required, as that job is left to militias, levies, and the police units in the area. The widespread nature of the Star Empire means that no world can be safe without being able to defend itself, and for this reason, every base, world, and establishment must be able to supply and train a specific number of full-time garrison soldiers. These 'Levies' can be moved to support nearby worlds and establishments more quickly than the Star Navy or Shield can react, as they are controlled on a much lower level, and they act as the first line of defense for the Star Empire. In comparison to the Shield, the Levies are viewed as the true guardians of the Empire. Where the Shield defends the Star Empire from failing by allowing it to expand and grow constantly, the Levies are the framework that holds the Star Empire together against any outside attack.

The Levies, while respected, are supplied by the individual colonies, and are where most of the variation in weaponry and supplies is seen. A highly industrialized mining base could supply it's forces with powered armor, where an agricultural world would be forced to use more commonly available equipment, including body armor or flak vests. Weaponry seen is anything from the Hephaestus or Zeus field guns to simply Maedar and Siren infantry weapons, common all throughout the Star Empire. These units, however, are often found with other, more unique weaponry, including hunting weaponry, laser cutters, and other unorthodox tools. They use a devastating array of explosives and chemical weaponry from the myriad industries in the Star Empire, and while they do not engage in guerrilla warfare, they are known for ambushes and holding actions.

The Levies, however, are not able to support themselves, and invariably consist only of infantry. As such, all military manufacturers are required to not only offer, but supply their equipment to the holdings of the Star Empire. This law at first was hated, but it soon began to be embraced, allowing small, "corporate" militias to appear, allowing heavily armed support for local militias and holdings. Quite often, this appears in the forms of light vehicle support, static artillery weaponry, and even, at times, the positioning of more dedicated field guns, including the 'The Big Twenty-Five', an anti-ship weapon capable of firing massive rounds to counter orbital bombardments or even firing on approaching enemy groups with nuclear capabilities. Armored cars mounting the Hephaestus or other heavy weaponry are not unknown.

Additionally, police forces are supplied vehicles and equipment in excess of what even these corporate forces have available to them. Armored vehicles and tanks are available in small numbers, as well as limited numbers of "Watchman" fire support walkers, a war machine designed to move about city streets with impunity. The police are surprisingly effective, and are the shock troops of Imperial defense. Armored in a lesser version of the Shield's powered armor, they are quicker and lighter, but more heavily armed, often wielding the "Hades" multi-barreled gun. This makes them particularly effective in defenses and they act as the core defense against invaders, using their devastating weaponry from a shoulder-fired position. They have limited anti-tank weaponry, leaving most of those capabilities to corporate militias, but always exact a deadly toll on enemy infantry and aircraft. They serve as the first line of defense, manning anti-aircraft and defensive batteries around the many cities and bases of the Huerdaen domain, and make it their job to lessen the numbers of the enemies even before they set their feet upon Huerdaen soil.

Blood Corps
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A particularly rare element among the Imperial Shield are the Blood Corps, a group raised from among the Red Eye population of the Star Empire. While the Red Eyes do not often engage in ground combat, the Corpsmen are found aboard Red Eye vessels quite often. Using adapted armor from the days of the Rethast Militocracy, they are armored in a deep red hardened carapace that covers their chest, shoulders, and thighs. Beneath that is a pressure suit including a helmet and breather mask, but they are not truly armored infantry. They use a wide range of weapons, but rarely use the massive field guns of the Shield, as they are seen as bulky and unwieldy aboard a starship. Instead, they keep to much lighter equipment, using a large number of grenades and land mines, as well as a large number of 'Akki' shoulder guns.

Due to their race, the corpsmen are dangerously resilient. Their hardened hides can even afford them a significant lifespan in the vacuum of space, allowing them to fight in hazardous conditions as long as their breathing apparatus is not damaged. The color of their armor, unlike that of the Huerdaen, is designed to blend into the red lighting aboard ships, making them more difficult to differentiate from other objects aboard ship, and are where they earned their name. Corpsmen are also often poorly supplied, but sheer brutality in the form of makeshift melee weapons and ad-hoc weapon systems make them just as deadly as any force, and give them an advantage when cut off, unlike their Huerdaen brethren. Some members of the Shield joke that the corpsmen are better armed after they have been cut off for a week, when they begin making use of their natural ability and creativity.

The ranks of the corpsmen are mostly male, though a special ranking has been afforded to females, as they have fallen into a specific role in the Blood Corps. Acting as emotional leaders and commisaars, the highest ranking female is often referred to as the 'Matron' of a unit, and it is her responsibility to be sure that the unit follows Huerdaen protocols in how they act. This includes more mundane matters such as the pursuit of truth, and simply the reminding of Red Eye forces that they are, after all, not to die needlessly. The prevalent mentality of Red Eye males is that they are expendable and not to give ground, and it was found that without a Matron to keep the units in check, they would grind themselves against an enemy until they were utterly annihilated.

With a Matron available on the field, these units show an amount of restraint when needed, though in the attack they seem to release their otherwise suppressed emotions and participate in needlessly brutal acts, often without any gain at all. The rank of matron is informal only, but Red Eye units often denote their Matrons by marking her in their own blood or the blood of slain enemies when it is available, and her screeches can often be heard over the gunfire, reminding the males of what they fight to protect. Corpsmen are issued with a powered hatchet, with which they have been known to cook, dig, kill, and gut with.

Assault Jaegers
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The assault Jaegers are drawn from the Vires tribe of Telrosians, a group that is now commonly known as 'tribals' among the Star Empire. Always one of the more warlike clans, they were quick to join up with the Dread Empire when the Tribal Union was drawn into war, and now supply many levies to the Star Empire for it's efforts. These units are known as Assault Jaegers, or AJax units. They're lightly equipped, wearing only power-assisted armor instead of full powered armor, but always outfit with a full drop setup, including an accompanying Icarus assault craft. Capable of atmospheric or spatial flight, the AJax specialize in quick landings in support of larger operations, sometimes operating without support of their own for days or even a week at a time. They are hardened, well-trained, and have access to a number of Huerdaen-supplied kits. These kits are mixed among AJax, who deploy by platoon:

Standard

Standard-kit for AJax includes extra ammo pouches and the highly accurate Myrmidon battle rifle. They carry a set of four grenades, and are capable of attacking and defeating almost any infantry unit. They're vulnerable to enemy vehicles, but have access to a specialty pack for squads consisting entirely of standard-kit AJax, which increases their running speed to allow them to move at speeds unreasonable for normal infantry, without the danger of displaying their position via jump pack. This allows them to run at the speed of most medium armor, allowing them to create confusion as to the actual location and abilities of their unit.

Assault

Armed with the Hellfire sub-machine gun, assault-kit AJax carry equipment for quick movement, specializing in urban or dense environments. They are outfit with twice the regular number of grenades, and a modification to their armor is available to permit them to include jump-packs. If jump-packs are supplied, this is often supplied to a dedicated squad of assault-kit AJax, allowing them to work together as a group to achieve objectives. In addition, they carry a single anti-tank grenade, though this has proven of limited effectiveness against heavier enemy armor.

Sniper

Using the time-honored Huerdaen Sauron sniper rifle, the sniper-kit is the most individual of AJax soldiers. Equipped with a radio, and often paired with a single standard-kit jaeger for spotting, the sniper supports with the massive weapon and sometimes is able to perform a lesser anti-vehicle role. Sometimes available for veterans is a Huerdaen-made stealth system to supply to the sniper and his spotter, allowing them to evade scanning by enemy overwatch systems, though they must conceal themselves from visual notice as normal.

Demolition

The last kit is the Demolition kit, one which few jaegers specialize in. Making use of the common Banshee rail weapon, demolition-kit jaegers are limited on the amount of ammo they are capable of carrying. Instead, they carry a pack of Aspis explosives, which are highly stable until set, using a remote detonator. This servers as the only option a jaeger unit has against heavy enemy armor other than capturing the vehicle, but can be used to burn holes in the sides of armored vehicles if used sparingly, allowing them the option of capturing their own support. They are able to carry a brace of mines or other detonators, giving them an all-around support role for the jaeger unit.

Jaegers have distinguished themselves as individually brave and capable, though they do not effectively cross-train for all situations, they are able to use, to a lesser extent, equipment from each kit. This makes them a particularly dangerous enemy to face, being highly mobile, skilled, and equipped for long term combat operations with no support. Their entrance can sometimes go undetected, and often is missed as the enemy attempts to counter a larger offensive nearby, allowing them to turn the tide in their favor. Respected by the Huerdaen, they often are seen as distant by their Shield allies, though they have shown in many instances a willingness and hardiness that many Huerdaen have dubbed this distance 'The Cold', and simply permit this distance to remain.

Nogitsune
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Following the Ternion War, the Huerdaen Star Empire shamelessly campaigned for, and gained, rights and holdings in what is known as the "Home Galaxy". This permitted them access to many technologies and trade that they otherwise had a difficult time garnering. In addition, it gave them access to Xiscapian mercenaries who were both experienced in their trade, and willing to work for a consistent wage. They provided a rather surprising advantage to the Huerdaen empire in the form of pathfinders, scouts, snipers, and harassing troops. Armed with a contract to provide Huerdaen cybernetics and training for five years in return for five years of promised combat, the Huerdaen were able to raise several companies of 'Nogitsune', or Dread Kitsune. These units are provided with full Huerdaen cybernetics, as well as the Grendel's ability to avoid scanning, and a Xiscapian active camouflage suite, they are very difficult to track and kill. Rarely supported, they are entirely an infantry unit, without even dropship or gunship support that would give away their position. Many arm themselves with the Huerdaen Sauron sniper rifle, or the Tribal Myrmidon battle rifle from the Huerdaen armories. Others arm themselves with native Xiscapian weapons, such as the K.I.L.L., IMP-4, Deathspeed, AXES, or any number of grenades, heavy weapons, or explosives. In addition, they are issued with a wakizashi of a modified Huerdaen design, with a smoked-out blade and the golden chevrons of the Star Empire. The handle of this weapon is curved slightly at the end, much like the Slayer Blades of the Star Empire, allowing it to more easily be used in a reversed grip. The meaning of this blade is significant, however, and to the Nogitsune, it is a gift upon entering a second family - that of the Huerdaen. Those that carry this blade are welcome in the Star Empire as part of the Arm, and it is widely recognized that the Nogitsune are dependable and trustworthy fighters - titles not lightly given by the Huerdaen.

They specialize in scouting, harassment, and tactical operations behind enemy lines, giving the Huerdaen their only real "Special Operations" group. Normally deployed as more of an area denial unit, they often haunt mountainsides, forests, or other areas where their natural advantages are even more likely to provide them that killing edge. Enemy commanders, logistics, and morale are often their primary targets, as silent strikes and ghostly raids destroy everything of value to the enemy, piling corpses and banners and burning them together. They take what they need from the land around them or their enemies to survive, and have proven particularly adept at avoiding detection and casualties while in combat areas. They are particularly capable of acting unsupported, though if tasked to operate alongside a major assault, they are a capable light infantry unit. While originally a unit almost completely of Kitsune, the availability of service within the Nogitsune has begun to draw other, non-Kitsune Xiscapians to the units. Humans remain quite rare, but Escans and Xenans have found their own roles within the units, with Escans fitting in among the Kitsune well, and Xenans using their flexible and survival skills to the advantage of the unit. They often stick in close groups, as the changes endured by the furred species, even humans, causes them to stand out, and they gather together instinctively in brotherhood, further reinforcing the family feelings among the Nogitsune. Kitsune especially stand out, due to the milky color that takes over their eyes, an effect that doesn't touch the other races. The introduction of the Barca has allowed some units to deploy heavier weaponry, but it has achieved only minimal acceptance in Nogitsune units.

Stromreich Brigade
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Owing their name to the Tocrowkian name for the Huerdaen Star Empire, the Stromreich Brigade is a mixed levy unit from a border system sharing allegiance to both the Tocrowkian Reich and the Huerdaen Star Empire. However, due to its placement in the Delta Quadrant, it owes almost all of its defense to the Huerdaen Star Empire, which is the reason that the Stromreich Brigade exists. That protection comes at a cost, and while the outer rings of uninhabitable planets and asteroid belts belong to the Huerdaen and their mining stations, the arable planet of the system is settled by Tocrowkian frontiersmen. Were the system placed anywhere else but the sole hub between the two empires, there is no doubt it would have fallen into ruin shortly after its conception. However, due to the trade profits, the system maintains a healthy trading starport on the planet where the two cultures mix, allowing Huerdaen exports to reach the hands of the Tocrowkians, and vice versa.

The Stromreich Brigade is raised from the hearty men and women who live in that inhospitable land, a mix of Huerdaen prospectors and Tocrowkian frontiersmen that make for a rather foul-smelling mix of toughened and brave individuals. The unit is listed as a 'Light Mechanized Unit' in which the frontiersmen modified their Huerdaen bikes to allow them to fight from them, using the agility, speed, and durability to allow them to quickly cross terrain when needed, as well as push gaps or in any way act as light infantry support, often dismounting and staging ambushes against enemy units with their lower-caliber, high accuracy rifles. Huerdaen Prospectors are often found among the Brigadiers as well, mounting in Tonka halftracks and using their knowledge of high explosives to act as demolition crews or heavy infantry in support of the frontiersmen. They're each equally disgusting to more mainstream members of both empires, with habits that are often frowned upon, and often uncouth or uncontrolled parties. Many Huerdaen officers have referred to the Brigadiers as 'Brigands', due to their tendency to take what they need to live from what is around them, even allied units or civilian population, as well as their tendency to race off across open terrain, often under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Despite this, the unit is tenacious, and particularly skilled at concealing their vehicles. Including the Prospector's ability to bring field guns to a battle, it allows the Stromreich Brigade to be a powerful, if sometimes uncontrollable, force capable of countering almost any enemy. They also use large bowie knives, useful in almost all ways in the wilder lands from which they are raised.

Kaskan Sohei
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Faced with leaving a species to die on a world being overrun, or saving them for limited gain, the Huerdaen were forced to attempt to create a use for the technologically backward species. The response to that need for a 'use' was the Kaskan Sohei, a roughly-translated understanding of how the Kaskans themselves view those chosen to serve in war. Still somewhat obsessed with their view of the cybernetic Huerdaen as gods, the Kaskans have taken an almost religious view of service to their 'father' nation. Taking up the Prometheus and gaining Huerdaen citizenship gains them great respect among their peers, despite the forced relocation of the people. As a result, the Sohei are, though often disorganized, very individually brave and resourceful, sometimes operating alone even after many of their fellows have been wiped out. However, they remain technologically backwards, often scattering before a unified force or vehicle, making them worthless in any main combat role. In addition to the Prometheus, the Kaskans use a small knife made of a bone similar in construction to the Pankrees Slayer blades. This practice was gained from the Slayer order itself, which has taken to training some of the Kaskans, though to very limited extents. Due to the difficulty in recovering all the members of Kaskan deployments, most worlds on which Kaskans are deployed end up supporting Kaskan colonies shortly after, as the Sohei gather and build anew, creating new tribes. The Huerdaen, due to the otherwise small number of Kaskans, support this practice, allowing them to breed and spread as they succeed or fail in different environments. Of particular note is their ability to remain perfectly still for hours, or sometimes even days, while preparing a position, and their ability to survive toxins that most races would be instantly slain by. This resilience allows Kaskans to lay traps for the unwary, lacking technological components that would otherwise give them away, while surviving the painful lessons that often accompany the discovery of new poisons in hostile environments.

Mitokura Branch Corporate Militia
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The Mitokura Branch is owned by a number of key figures from the Mitokura family, a group that once controlled a significant percentage of the industrial might of the old Kisian nation. When Kisia fell into disarray during the civil war and uprising, the Mitokura family saw the writing on the wall and carefully prepared for and executed a withdrawal from the doomed nation, resettling themselves onto the world Rensou IV, a small, habitable moon in an otherwise uninhabitable system. Supported by Mah'Lahn Armories and established as a corporate colony, they set up an industrial base taking advantage of the nine planets in the system to help establish themselves as a valuable part of the Mah'Lahn Armories corporation.

The almost-immediate profit earned them the right to maintain a generally seperate and unique corporate militia, which serves as a dedicated heavy infantry force. Armed primarily with the Maedar and making use of a prodigious number of mortars, they are implacable and deadly. They are armored in Golem armor, though officers have been known to use more effective and complex types of armor systems, up to and including Kratos armor. They are all equipped with a wide array of grenades and making use of a power-essenced Kisian sword, they are adept assault infantry, particularly capable at clearing structures or in close-quarter fighting.

While they don't have significant armored support, they have been known to make use of the Arashi and other militia units, as well as hiring specialists from other areas or nearby mercenaries to supplement their forces, making them even more adaptable than most. Significantly more economic freedom is enjoyed by the Mitokura Branch units than any other levy serving with the Imperial Shield, and this means that they often have more weapons owned by individual soldiers than comparable units. Their equipment is often very well maintained, and officers in particular are well known to have very high quality modifications to armor or weapons that make them noteworthy even if alone or few in number.

Slaughter Cult
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Registered as the Arah-Kowla Military Lending corporate militia, the Slaughter Cult is a series of downtrodden, poorly equipped thugs who are sometimes hired out as mercenaries by the Imperial Shield. Though their combat capabilities are limited, they have been known to serve in manual labor roles to some effect. Only rarely are they pressed into a military role, and those instances invariably end in high body counts among the Cult. The most common military deployments of the Slaughter Cult are to frontier worlds where the terms of the corporate militia may be extended in exchange for return trip fees. Due to contractual protections on militia activities and mercenary acts, the slaughter cult often also ends up performing bounty hunter work, asset recovery, and other activities of ill-repute. This has earned them an almost universal reputation as thugs and uncaring off-worlders. This is furthered by the A-K's practice of assigning militiamen to locations as far from their desired home as possible, making them more willing to commit violence on the local population.

Commonwealth Marines
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Until recently unwilling to serve with the Shield, the Commonwealth Marines are the largest formation in the Star Empire to make use of energy weapons almost exclusively. Supported by their own variant of the Goliath, officially recorded as the Jannisary-Variant, that mounts a refurbished Zeus AT energy weapon, the Marines are the odd ones out. They use the old Zeus field guns as AT weapons still, and have introduced the new Brimstone plasma blast mortar as an indirect fire weapon. Deploying out of their Trundholm dropships and using the Cataphract motorized vehicle to quickly redeploy, the Marines are as proud as they are bitter. Many saw the incorporation of the Commonwealth into the Star Empire as a betrayal, and many stubbornly resist many of the policies of the Empire. Only the inability of the Commonwealth colonies to operate the Marines as a corporate militia led them to finally be incorporated as a levy. Almost all of their operating equipment is old or refurbished, but this only serves to embitter them further, causing the unit to function as a stubborn, if only moderately provisioned, light infantry group.

XenoHuman Raiders
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Born of the rather aggressive Huerdaen policy of making small gains whenever they can, the XenoHuman Raiders are another unit that gains significantly by joining. By drawing from the large numbers of XenoHuman soldiers and selecting the best, the Star Empire is able to select the most qualified applicants to serve in the Raiders. Augmented with prosthetic arms, followed by augmented leg and spine structure, Raiders become fast, versatile, and unpredictable. Gifted with the ability to use energy fields to catch airflows, the Raiders are often dropped on the enemy with their full kit, allowing them to appear out of nowhere and strike with the same strength of any fully provisioned infantry unit. Specializing in shock tactics and unexpected strikes, Raiders are known to use their Heavy Augment arms to conceal surprises such as additional weapons or shielding to make them difficult to predict.

While standard armament is the XenoHuman 'Primarch', most squad support weapons for sniping, anti-tank duties, and even suppression, are Huerdaen made. This means that Raider deployments often make use of specialized weapons such as the Sauron, Akki, Vasily, or Nereid. Particularly skilled Raiders may even gain access to the devastating Hades cannon. Following their tour with the Star Empire, Raiders are returned to their home nation for a tour of duty there, serving in very similar roles, though often specializing in strikes against Todular tomb complexes, which has earned them a reputation for disciplined, effective, and quick work even in hostile or alien environments.

Black Chevrons
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Nearing the end of the Iron God Campaign, the Star Empire was in search of additional levies to justify their losses in a galaxy in which they gained comparatively little for the cost. What they found was that their efforts during the fighting endeared them to a number of local nations, most notably the Confederation of Allied States. This, in addition to the fact that the CAS had a need for blooded, disciplined troops but was disdainful of mercenary service, began the rise of the Black Chevrons. Officially a volunteer Levy, the Black Chevrons none-the-less serve a dual purpose. They maintain existing relations between the HSE and the CAS, as well as providing a way for each nation to fill their needs. From the Confederate side, members who have served in the Black Chevrons become part of a knighthood signified by a black steel chain, a purposeful similarity to the golden chain used by the Imperial Shield.

This mirrors a mutual respect between the groups, where members of the Imperial Arm consider Black Chevron veterans to be one of their own, and have been involved in several incidents in which sometimes-violent action was taken in the defense of their companions, far from CAS space. This respect is not lightly earned, however, as Black Chevrons are well known to be in the thick of the fighting, serving as a CQC unit in most deployments. Their size, impressive reach, armor, and stamina make them ideal for this purpose, and their wide assortment of skills and equipment make them a truly difficult enemy to predict and counter. Backed by the indomitable Shield, they have proven a particularly lethal combined unit, and their post-conflict revelry is rumored to rival even that of the notorious Blood Corps.

Jarldom's Vikings
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When the Jarldom became a member nation, they began supplying levies as a primary source of income, even as their numbers swelled with other races immigrating to the Jarldom. What was originally a purely Kadrian levy has now grown to include almost every race, though Kadrians still are the majority. Fighting on their own, the vikings found that they were most effective split into two groups. Organized in paired regiments.

The 'Huscarls' bear close-quarters weapons, grenades, and their distinctive shields. They're a shock unit, using either the traditional Kadrian-homegrown hardlight shield, or a Huerdaen adapted shield that incorporates a layered Aegis barrier over a larger black steel body. While larger, the Huerdaen shield is also heavier, meaning it is more difficult to use larger weapons. As such, many Kadrians stick to the hardlight shield, despite its less resilient capabilities. This allows them to carry full size weapons, or even mighty two-handed axes for melee purposes, while those using the Huerdaen shield tend toward smaller, rapid-fire weapons which are easier to suppress an enemy with. Huscarls make use of the Gokstad-Class skimmer as a transport for both insertion and extraction purposes.

The 'Valkyries' make use of a unique flight pack that allows them to skim overtop of obstacles and difficult terrain, and are armed with long range rifles and anti-armor weapons. Valkyries use a Gokstad-Class skimmer as a heavy weapons platform, mounting full-size armaments on it to provide support for the rifle formation. While fast and quiet, they are vulnerable to enemy heavy weapons, and must stop and stabilize prior to firing, leaving the vikings still somewhat vulnerable to enemy heavy armor concentrations. It is for this reason that some viking units are seen supported by Huerdaen gunship variants, though they're often held in reserve due to their high engine noise, coming in only after battle has been joined.
Last edited by Huerdae on Thu Nov 14, 2019 12:28 pm, edited 58 times in total.
The Huerdaen Star Empire is an FT Nation.

Xiscapia wrote:It amused her for a time to wonder if the two fleets could not see each other, so she could imagine them blindly stabbing in the dark, like a game of tag, if tag was played with rocket launchers in pitch blackness.
[17:15] <Telros> OH HO HO, YOU THOUGHT HUE WAS OUT OF LUCK, DID YOU
[17:15] <Telros> KUKUKU, HE HAS REINFORCEMENTS
[17:15] <Telros> FOR TELROS IS REINFORCEMENTS MAN

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Huerdae
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Re: The Huerdaen Star Empire

Postby Huerdae » Thu Sep 03, 2009 12:51 pm

The Worlds of the Empire

The Huerdaen Star Empire is built upon numerous systems, many of which most other nations wouldn't bother to concern themselves with. Some bear no planets for habitation, some have limited resources, and some are simply stars, floating alone in the endless abyss of space. Originally, the Empire spread with the same vigor that was present in all walks of Huerdaen life. It spread when it needed to, absorbing that which it could and overcoming obstacles in its own peculiar way. As time went on, however, the worlds of the Star Empire began to fit into varying categories which since have been recognized and made more efficient in the roles they play.

Core Worlds of the Empire

The Core Worlds refer to the many homeworlds or other key locations in the Star Empire. With so few planets actually colonized, the Star Empire finds itself leaning very heavily on those few it does. These places act as centers of leadership, population, and strength for the Empire and are guarded fanatically. Each is able to muster massive resources as both fighting force and production, making them terrifying to behold in defense. Many are fortified, or garrisoned with ISN forces at the system fringes, and the loss of even one of these can be crippling to the Star Empire. As yet, the Empire has not had to feel such pain, but the future is uncertain, and war is an ever-constant danger for the Huerdaen.

The Burning Heart

The Burning Heart of the empire consists of the capitals of the many nations which make up the Imperial Domain. Starting from Pantos, the Huerdaen empire spread outward from its humble origins, bringing with it the culture, thoughts, and people to spread throughout the quadrant. As they spread, the Huerdaen did not suppress the peoples they overcame, instead allowing them to maintain their own culture and often, systems of government. There was little need to change, as long as those who lived there supported the empire, and while many things changed, many stayed the same. Each world is rich with the culture of its people, and holds a special place in their hearts, even though many descendants have never even seen their world of origin.

Pantos - Huerdaen Homeworld

Pantos was once a world that was perfect for the human body. With bright blue skies and every form of terrain to be imagined. Wind and water cut beauty into the landscape, and when the landers arrived, the people of Pantos were filled with hope. But that hope did not last. War and the fires of industry tore into the beautiful landscape. Smoke and fumes were belched into the sky from the foundries and forges which built the Huerdaen weapons of war. For centuries now, the Huerdaen have not been able to live for extended periods exposed upon the surface. In many places, the air coats the lungs of those caught outside and unprotected in a harsh black film, slowly choking them and burning their flesh. Great black storms rage across what were once rolling plains, pelting the ground with destructive acid rain. Most of the land has been reduced to desert, with the notable exception of a small ring around the north pole, where a plateau and the favorable conditions of a moon's orbit have kept the area able to support life. Still, the place does not survive unscathed. Most of the wildlife remains carnivorous, with toxic meat that can no longer feat the Huerdaen who live there. The last remaining forest exists in this 'Ring of Life', and it is sparse and dangerous, little more of a graveyard of the greatest forest that once existed upon Pantos. Still, the few isolated lakes near the cold pole provide fresh water during the spring season, and there is even a few months of the year where the forest blooms. Elsewhere, little grows but the carefully seeded algae that the Huerdaen use to recover their planet slowly from it's death. Able to absorb huge amounts of toxins, it is allowed to grow, and in time, it dies from the poison, though not before slowly growing and expanding. It is this first step which they hope will allow them to regain their home. This algae also provides several chemicals for use in the still-functioning foundries upon the surface.

The people of Pantos live in squad, modular homes built atop the older cities, replacing those that fail with an ever-increasing pile of small, black boxes. The growth of these cities is akin to a cancer, building around the massive nuclear reactors which power them, the cities are self-contained fortresses and homes, built identical to their starbases above. Forced to maximize efficient use of space, these massive hives are visible from space, like a growing anthill of the small, industrial people. Across the surface, defenses and smokestacks provide grim reminders of the nature of the people living within, and the width of these cities attests to their will to survive. Spanning sometimes hundreds of kilometers, they are a solid morass, like a fungal growth that slowly will overcome the surface of the world. In and around these, the world moves. Great starships settle atop the cities themselves, lifting freight, people, and all manner of goods from all corners of the empire. Here, in this most dismal of places, the Huerdaen take pride.

Beneath the dismal surface of their world, the people thrive. Living in tight quarters, they nonetheless have built a stunning civilization. Throngs move about their daily business, parties spill out from meager living quarters into the streets, welcoming any who happen by. Freedoms for the populace are surprisingly high, and the hands-off form of government which the general populace enjoys leads many to lives which the dark and dour appearance hides. With those they are comfortable with, Huerdaen are shown to be accepting, open, and as always, truthful. This, as well as the present, but inhibiting anti-crime system, allow the people to be rather friendly. Huerdaen parties are often wild, incorporating music, drink, and many times, gambling or pranks. Sometimes, these parties can be 'adopted' by new hosts, and a rolling party is created, with the longest lasting nearly twelve days without a break, and covering much of Ulodien during it's existence.

This is, however, matched with the knowledge of mortality, as well. The sheer size of the cities often means that punishment and execution are common, with both being held publicly. This is often the cause of a party ceasing, as the Force tightly controls the areas around these events. Even darker still are the crimes which may go unpunished. Machine shops are often centers of crime, as common oils and grease in Huerdaen engines, when applied topically, can create a euphoric feel, and this causes many addicts among those who work there. This creates a need, and many others partake for mental reasons. While the society as a whole accepts death as a matter of life, many others cannot do so, and will find other chemical means to find peace. Most common among them are the 'Greasers', while less common are 'shooters', who make use of the costly magnetic metal to inject into their system and disrupt their cybernetics, creating an otherworldly feel that can last for days, or even weeks. While the Huerdaen society is tightly controlled, these things persist simply by being easy to access, as they are present in everyday life.

Olosia - Pankrees Homeworld

While not substantiated by any existing information, the standing theory of the origins of the Pankrees are not so different from the origins of the Huerdaen. Much like the Huerdaen, they are known to have come from other places, but the exact origin is unknown. Unlike the Huerdaen, however, they were supplied far differently, and their target planet was chosen with much different goals in mind. Olosia is a world which was rife with life, well before the Pankrees landed upon it. A lush jungle world with a particularly unsteady orbit, the world's temperatures could vary as much as 20 degrees celcius in 12 hours. With a short, 18-hour day, this created a very interesting style of life for the Pankrees. Additionally, the world bore very little mineral wealth, and much of their lives came to revolve around that which could be created from the live that appeared atop the world.

Much of the southern hemisphere of the planet is swamp due to the geosynchronous orbit of the moon almost perfectly over the southern pole, and while most of it reaches no deeper than a few meters, there are trenches that can be hundreds of meters deep, or even thousands. This lack of resources, as well as the inherent danger of the terrain, made the development of hover-vehicles a must. The closeness of the trees in many places forced the Pankrees to make small, single-seat vehicles known as speeder-bikes. This preference remains to this day, and the lack of solid ground causes many Pankrees to still live upon the swamp in the traditional way, though many more now live in Huerdaen-like cities closer to the north pole, where the common direct sunlight causes the land to be much drier. Here, the culture of the Pankrees has been infected by Huerdaen values, making a strange mix of cultures. First and foremost is the closeness of life, but the true Pankrees culture resides much further south, in the swamp-cities.

Still, the northern hemisphere holds some remnants of Pankrees culture. Great twisting spires rise out of the cancerous growths of the Huerdaen cities, made of a white marble-like stone that is formed from the heat, the Pankrees refused to topple the mighty constructs. While they once served as homes, and there were many more, the smallest of the spires have been consumed within the Huerdaen modular complexes, leaving only the greatest spires to reach up toward the skies. These were once the halls of the mightiest of Pankrees, but now they serve as control towers, trade stations, and defensive positions. These were the greatest of Pankrees cities, and while the Pankrees nation 'fell', it was truly only these cities which were conquered.

In the south, the history of the Pankrees was far different. Forced to a semi-nomadic lifestyle, the Pankrees took to building safe-houses for themselves and their families, or wandering in clans. They were utterly opposed to the closeness of the Huerdaen lifestyle, and while there may be four or five Huerdaen in a single home, most Pankrees leave their parents homes while they are still adolescent, making their own homes from the trees around them. Mud fills everything, and while they live atop the swamp safely, they are prey to the industrialized north. But it is from these people that the Slayer Caste was originally pulled. However, years of genetic manipulation and inbreeding, as well as final Huerdaen intervention, caused the Slayers to be both impressive physical specimens, capable of immense speed and reactions, and sterile. Somewhere within the swamps are the breeding facilities the Slayers use to 'breed' their own kind, mixing genetic strands from existing Slayers to create the next generation, attempting to forge the perfect fighter for the task. Each generation makes use of different advantages of its predecessors, sometimes becoming far more deadly, and sometimes becoming far less deadly. Some, such as the 'Mendriat' generation, have grown in infamy due to their skill and surprisingly long life, though only the one known as 'Kel' still lives from the original crop.

Unlike the Huerdaen, Pankrees culture focuses heavily upon respect and distance, teaching that individual achievement is the way to success. As such, they are more often found alone, and the wild parties of Pantos are nowhere to be found. Instead of cramped homes filled with reminders and work, the Pankrees often have sparse possessions, leaving open walls and areas in their homes, as well as spending much of their time out of doors, contemplating. Meditation is common amongst the Pankrees, and while those who have moved off the home world often still suffer from the Huerdaen tendency toward agoraphobia, Olosian Pankrees often find themselves with acute cases of claustrophobia. Celebrations are few, and invariably celebrate simpler things than the rush of life, focusing upon art and other such pursuits. Of the Empire, only Olosia contains a college of Art, and it maintains many observatories. While the stars are now mapped, and there is little to be gained, they still serve as places of contemplation to many.

However, their world is still ruled by the caste system of old, and even the youngest Slayer is met with respect and wariness. Clans still exist within the Pankrees, and many times wars have risen, casting clans against each other until Force units are deployed to cease hostile actions. Most often, these wars occur deep in the swamps, forcing all who take part to suffer massive casualties, quite often from local wildlife or equipment malfunction. While 'Greasers' and 'Shooters' are not common here, there are stories of dens deep in the swamps that make use of local wildlife for temporary peace of mind. Evidence of these gatherings exists, though the nomadic nature of the people make it nearly impossible to stomp out, and very few raids of these locations have been successful in any sense.

Aivall - Ikittitl Homeworld

A rocky and mountainous world, Aivall is surprisingly fertile despite its appearance. Instead of growing atop the world, however, most of the agriculture is done below ground by the industrious insects. Harvesting mushrooms, molds, and anything that grows, they are able to feed vast populations on almost nothing. Initially, they also farmed the surface, but this has become dangerous following the nuclear bombardments they sustained while at war with the Huerdaen. Even after much of the fallout has cleared, the surface is still unwelcoming to living beings, and only a few Huerdaen-held facilities operate atop the hard rock. Rising from the landscape are mountainous hives, pushed up stone and dirt that shows the presence of the Ikittitl Colonies. These were once built into starships, and launched as dreadnoughts for war, but development of such things has been forbidden, under threat of extermination. Still, in recent years, there have been two disappearances of hives, and the Ikittitl threat in the stars is seen as an old terror that may soon be remembered.

Ataster - Ataster Homeworld

Captured not long ago by the Huerdaen, Ataster fell without firing a shot in its own defense. Careful advance and a clear message through force allowed the Ataster to protect most of their lives, and allowed the Huerdaen to maintain almost all of the existing infrastructure. Resistance to the initial occupation was minimal, and overall the Ataster quickly integrated into the Star Empire. The land itself is fertile, with great white and silver structures reaching into the sky in beautiful works of art, while Huerdaen structures cluster about the base of them like a growing cancer, slowly enveloping them. As a fertile planet, it was farmed extensively, and fields large enough to be seen from orbit stretch across the surface, viciously protected by the Huerdaen. Despite the Huerdaen settling, it is still a particularly beautiful world, and several major landmarks were purposefully left untouched by the new administration. The capital building, a great circular forum that signified learning and enlightenment to the people, was left completely untouched, with the Huerdaen leaving nearly half a kilometer around the structure as a buffer zone. It still functions as the reigning seat of power today, as the Governor of Ataster rules from the seat, and many still hold it up as their capital, as the Ataster still see themselves seperate from the Star Empire in many ways. The few who serve in the Imperial Arm are almost always in the Star Navy, as their size keeps them out of infantry and tank units, and leaves them only in support roles. Many have found their callings as medical staff aboard ISN ships, however.

Recent conflicts, however, turned sour for the beautiful world, as a Scythian fleet managed to do significant damage to Ataster in an attempt to glass the world. This was after attempts to invade the world were violently repulsed by Ataster and Imperial Shield regular army units, forcing a rapid withdrawal. A widespread rebuilding effort has begun, with resources being brought in from all over the empire to avert disaster and ecological collapse. The Huerdaen genetics sciences, long out of the limelight, have once more been brought forward to assist in the endeavor, racing against time as they try to fill in gaps created by the damage to the world before the entire system collapses. Communes and terraforming sites spring up seemingly overnight as the Empire fights to reverse the damage and rebuild the world to its original glory.

Rethan - Red Eye Homeworld

After it was nearly destroyed and abandoned by the militocracy, the pre-pathogenic Rethast were surprisingly willing to return to it. Initially placed in a Huerdaen station orbiting their world, they made multiple forays to the surface, trying to stabilize the planet. While the crust is not entirely stable at this time, there has been a single colony build on the largest of tectonic plates, from which the species continues to grow. Due to conditions, animal and plant life are slow to respond, but Huerdaen terraforming efforts are helping in this matter drastically, accelerating the process. This has unfortunate side-effects, however, as a number of large predators have begun to develop from local creatures following the introduction of docile creatures form other worlds. One in particular was a rather small creature, but provided ample food, has shown it can grow to great length. A snake-like nocturnal creature, it has been known to take shelter in the sewage systems of the artificial cities of the Rethast, hunting both the colonists and docile creatures alike. Ironically, under Huerdaen control, the planet is somewhat more hospitable to most creatures than it previously was.

The station remains in geo-synchronous orbit over this colony, acting as the main home for all Red Eyes in the Star Empire, though the species is quick to spread through it more base forms of entertainment and revelry.

Su'Kauma - Kaskan Core World

Su'Kauma is known as the 'Land of Walking Lakes', and is actually only one half of a rather interesting solar anomaly. One of two worlds orbiting a single small sun, the system is peculiar only in the way those two worlds orbit. They share an orbital path around the sun, also linked into orbits of each other at the same time. Su'Kauma is the smaller of these two worlds, often being referred to as the Su'Kauma moon, but is the more habitable of the two, as well. Su'Kauma is a jungle world where full eighty percent of the surface is covered in wetlands, and only the polar regions rise above this strange water table. The planet has very few features upon its surface, due to the odd forces it endures. Only the poles rise above this in habitable plateaus, and here are based one of the only Huerdaen tourist resorts in the Star Empire.

The reason for this tourism is due to the sister-world that orbits with Su'Kauma, creating tides as high as ten meters, with an average elevation variation of only five meters. The abundance of water in the atmosphere and upon the surface, taking into account the massive tidal forces, mean that whole lakes 'walk' across the surface of the world, pulled by the gravitational forces of the sister-world, Lai'Kauma. Due to a massive 'wobble' in the planetary axis, these lakes traverse the entirety of the world's surface, causing erosion of the soft, fertile soil and reshaping the face of the world on an almost weekly basis. Mixed with a light blue sun, the simple act of observing the world at night is surreal, but it also makes the world one of few Huerdaen worlds that has an atmosphere and humidity capable of maintaining the Kaskan skinks. The abundance of local animals create an excellent food source, and they adapted well to the strange environment. Almost immediately after being introduced, their population exploded, and they are found in many places across the surface of the world, despite the radical differences from their own world.

This, mixed with the fact that Kaskans living on this world more quickly adapt to technological advances, means that many consider this world their new 'homeworld'. Huerdaen tourism pushes this, making these Kaskans some of the most advanced in the Star Empire. The sister world, Lai'Kauma, is a large tundra world with an unstable core, causing repeated earthquakes and volcanoes to shatter the frigid ground. The planet itself is significantly larger than Su'Kauma, but the unstable core does not have the same density of the smaller world, meaning that very little atmosphere remains with the larger world. Some mining operations have been attempted on Lai'Kauma, but the lack of stable ground makes these difficult, and only a single station-based operation exists with a reasonable profit. It serves, however, as another layer to an already interesting world. The ice surface, uninhibited by an atmosphere, often reflects the blue sun, creating a glowing sapphire 'moon' that dominates part of the sky. In the rare eclipses, however, the deep lava streams can be seen below the icy surface like blood-filled veins, giving rise to the Kaskan legends of the horrors on the rare 'Blood Moon'.

Haven - Union Capital System

Not the most pleasant home, Haven was simply 'acceptable' when it was founded by the first refugees struggling to survive. It's location, however, made it an ideal location for other refugees from the many wars, and as the settlement grew, so too, did everything around it. With the oldest permanent structure in the system less than 30 years old, Haven is a story of rapid growth, wild ambition, and hope. What started as a place to escape horror quickly became a home for a growing number of people with wide ranges of skills fleeing for any number of conflicts and terrors.

It has built up now into a massive trade center, with two seperate trade hubs on the outskirts of the system, as well as primary holdings for almost all major Huerdaen corporations dealing with outside entities. It continues to grow, acting as a major port in many operations in and around the local Delta polities.

Val'Kallaan

As the new home to the Heldenhammer Jarldom, Val'Kallaan is a cold world noteworthy for its particularly active core and frequent tectonic movements. Accurately described in one corporate report as being the world with 'the most irritated bowels this side of the galactic core', it is a dangerous home, but can offer great reward to those who are careful. Using their land speeder technology, the Jarldom has learned to navigate across lakes and river, both frozen and lava, with equal ease. Careful monitoring of the world's movements and changes allowed them to isolate regions of relative stability and make use of the abundant agricultural and mineral wealth of the world, drawing in dozens of immigrant species. This, alongside permits to construct using the new higher-ceiling modules, has allowed them to thrive in the new space and keep up with the quickly growing population.

The Strength of an Empire

The mightiest forges, foundries, and shipyards of the Star Empire, the 'Strength' comes from their ability to mold and shape metal. From the deep factories of Mah'Lahn to the distant Starforge of Praxis, the Star Empire builds its machines of war. Very few of these places remain, due to the Huerdaen disposition to keep much of their precious industry spread across the stars on their massive factory ships, but their value is undeniable. Filled to the brim with workers, engineers, and corporations, these places are constantly burning and churning out further machines and monsters of war and trade.

Mah'Lahn

Buried in darkness and filth, Mah'Lahn is none-the-less one of the most successful colonies of the Huerdaen Star Empire. One of the first settled systems, Mah'Lahn has served as a poster child for galactic expansion ever since. Despite hostile environments, the Huerdaen continued to delve deeper into the planet, and as they did so, the byproducts of their work fueled the collapse of the world above them. Almost the entire ozone of the planet has burned away, leaving an unprotected surface to the planet that can blind or burn any who are exposed to it directly. Mines and factories lay below that churn out the weapons of war of the Huerdaen, and the foundries of Mah'Lahn are famed for turning out the mighty Xuan-Wu, as well as producing almost 8% of the armored chassis in use today, greater than any other single world. Almost all armored divisions owe themselves to Mah'Lahn, with second only in Praxis, and followed by Pantos at just over half the production of that. The planet is massive, nearly inexhaustible, but the hazards have driven the people so far below that they are even more pale than most in the empire. Half-insulting slang refers to them as 'ghosts', 'specters', or 'wraiths', a title which many hate, and some revel in. They are keen on armored warfare, and because of this many divisions from Mah'Lahn have a tendency to handle tactical decisions internally, sometimes despite orders, earning them a reputation for unexpected, and sometimes unwanted, efficiency and bloodthirstiness.

Beyond the planet, rings and rings of asteroids hint at long-forgotten battles, with many artifacts turning up that indicate there may very well have been other worlds in the system at one time, destroyed by weapons of unknown power. The Huerdaen, for their part, ignore these warnings and forge on, building and mining with abandon. Fire, steel, and sweat are exported from Mah'Lahn in equal measure, and it is one of the few worlds that still runs its heavy foundries, despite most of the move to push industrial capacity into the great Factory-ships. They remain second only to Praxis in output of the warships of the ISN, making Mah'Lahn a key part of the empire, and its industrial heart.

Starforge Praxis

Fought over, lost, and eventually regained, the facilities at the Praxis System are more widely known as Starforge Praxis. Able to produce monstrous ships with unsettling ease, this system was quick to overtake Pantos as the second most powerful producer of weapons, and its shipyards bypassed the ground-based Mah'Lahn in short order. It is the only facility able to construct the massive Legionnaires, and has been refit to permit the construction of Dreadnoughts, should that dire time come to pass. Starforge Praxis is a series of stations of differing make and use, from the standard Huerdaen growths, to the strangely crystalline work of the Rethast, still lingering in the system, and still in use. Even older still are the constructions of the prior owners. The largest and most impressive, however, is Praxis Starbase itself. Run as a system control center for the entire Praxis star system, Praxis Starbase also functions as the headquarters for the sector, making it a major system for many reasons. The station itself is massive, by Huerdaen standards, and now reaching past 15 kilometers in height, almost twice its original specifications. Built in a cylindrical form, it has a radius of nearly 5 kilometers, making it the largest Huerdaen-made facility in existence. Still, some of the foundries present in the system rival even this great size. It is a place of wonders and monstrous, intimidating machinery, truly a marvel of technology. Starforge Praxis now produces approximately 9.5% of all ISN warships, outstripping even Mah'Lahn by almost 3%. No other shipyard comes within even 5% of the grand facility, and discounting Mah'Lahn, the production capacity at Praxis could not be matched by less than six other shipyards.

Ironically, many of the facilities the Huerdaen are so proud of are not their own. Originally built by TRIAD enterprises, the Huerdaen inherited them from a nation that collapsed and fell into the Imperial fold, allowing the Star Empire to make use of the facilities at a whim. It is an odd distinction that the Huerdaen make no attempt to conceal this fact, seeing the system as rightfully earned spoils, and using it without regret or apology. They have, however, continued to expand, slowly swallowing the original construction behind black steel, armor plating, and additional defensive measures.

Brothers and Sisters in the Stars

The Huerdaen Star Empire is built from the ruins of nations conquered, but not fully destroyed. These others are encouraged to maintain their identities to an extent, and are referred to by the vague terms of 'Brothers and Sisters' in the stars. They are valued by the Star Empire because they often bring specialties which are otherwise lost to the Huerdaen, from the melee abilities of the Pankrees Slayers to the sheer industry of the Ikittitl colonies. Even the crazed 'Red Eye' Rethast have found their place amongst the warfleets of the Huerdaen, earning the right to live among the Huerdaen as they wish.

The Pankrees Nation

The first nation to truly retain it's identity within the Huerdaen Star Empire, the Pankrees were another human colony nearby, that had managed to settle, expand, and secure a small system only a short distance from the Huerdaen homeland. They were a caste-based system of living, from the greatest leader to the most base peasant, and quickly came to odds with the 'chaotic' Huerdaen. At that time, neither nation had any particularly effective FTL drive, and both used massive cannon which could only be used to fire a few shots before being forced to flee. No shielding or protection was available, and only the most base of targeting systems had shown any promise. Years were spent in war with the Pankrees, where fleets would fight for minutes, and travel for months.

It was a disgusting campaign of patience and planning. Only the advent of the Gate drive turned the tide. With it, Huerdaen vessels were able to move directly to the Pankrees homeland and strike at them, instantly. Reinforcements were thrown into a nearly-endless ground assault that lasted for decades of fighting. It was during that time that the very basics of Huerdaen technology were introduced. The Pankrees were the first to create effective energy weapons, using them to blast apart the aggressive Huerdaen, and the Huerdaen responded by creating shields which would block laser weaponry cold. However, this was countered by the Pankrees Slayers creating a form of martial combat that involved swords of metal and energy, able to slice clean through these early shields, and using massive autocannons to break apart Huerdaen lines. Huerdaen gunships faced Pankrees heavy walkers, and the battle quickly escalated. Flak jackets became body armor, which then evolved into powered armor. The Huerdaen rifles became larger, firing ever more solid rounds, and both sides ground each other in a long war of attrition.

But in the end, it was the Huerdaen people who proved stronger, their ability to fight on enemy ground instead of their own winning out over their Pankrees foes. It was this which caused the Huerdaen to begin looking to the stars in conquest, and to stamp out the Slayer caste which had for so long stymied them in ruin and death on the surface of the now-blasted world. Despite inter-breeding, Pankrees age more slowly than their Huerdaen counterparts, and generally have a much lower stamina for strenuous action. There is no known explanation for this.

The Ikittitl Colonies

The Ikittitl were far less simple. Led by their aggressive, rebellious 'Wingers', the Ikittitl soon stumbled over Huerdaen colonies in the void. A remarkable insect race, they are generally docile, except when incited by a Winger. Wingers bring about a restlessness with a pheromone they secrete which makes the Ikittitl workers and soldiers less content in their roles, causing them to rise up aggressively and violently. Amongst their own kind, this caused great wars between colonies, wars which bred further advancements and achievements as Wingers fought against each other desperately for dominance. When this came to meeting the Huerdaen, they met it with the same enthusiasm they faced each other. Slow, lumbering craft that were heavily armed and armored carried forces toward the lightly armored and armed Huerdaen warships. Early conflicts were disastrous, as Hueraden weaponry could not penetrate Ikittitl armor. Soon, ships were being refit with massive weapons that ran the length of the hull simply to damage the armored monstrosities. Despite the Ikittitl lack of shielding, they still devastated the Huerdaen defenders. It wasn't until ground combat turned in the favor of the Huerdaen that a single reasonable option was found to combat this effective foe.

On the previously Pankrees colony of "Star's End" (Later bombed to glass in the war by the Ikittitl) a Pankrees Slayer family that had been in hiding revealed itself, cutting through the heavily armored, slow bulk of the Ikittitl force. Soon, the Pankrees natives found themselves surged forward by the advantage, a victory that the Huerdaen were quick to capitalize on. Within weeks, the Slayer caste was re-instated among the Pankrees populace, permitting the culture to re-invent itself into the Huerdaen nation. The blades which were given to Huerdaen Infantry changed from their sabre-like build to a far more Slayer-esque reversed grip that allowed them to follow the leadership of these strange, almost mystical warriors. Such was the effect on the conflict that it showed the Huerdaen the value of diversity.

But more, it allowed them to strike back at the foe. Using their ships as ramming weapons, the Huerdaen began to board enemy warships, using their powered armor to protect them from the void. It was the first time the Huerdaen encountered a foe in an environment lacking atmosphere, and they were terrified to find that the Ikittitl did not require the massive suits the Huerdaen bore. They were, however, particularly dumb and slow in certain areas of the ship. By striking these areas, the Huerdaen quickly overran the much smaller Ikittitl navy, and only after many years of rebellion and purging of Ikittitl colonies with Helhammer rounds, did the current pacts come into being. The Huerdaen would respect the sovereign rights of the Ikittitl people, at the price of food harvested. The state of their own homeworld was now so dire that they were unable to support their population, and only the help of these strange, industrious insects permitted them to live. With doctrine requiring the massive spinals of the Huerdaen now on all ships, for fear of another Ikittitl insurgence, the stage was set for the modern Huerdaen to reach the stars.

Most Ikittitl now encountered are workers or soldiers, who are both docile, despite the name of the latter. Because of this, the Ikittitl have adopted the name 'Civvies' among most Huerdaen, simply because of their willingness to work, and a general pacifism that has stemmed from allowing them to conflict almost entirely with themselves. Workers are smaller, capable of constructing, and standing a measly 2'6" in height and bearing four arms and four legs. Soldiers are much larger and tougher, often used to mine or survive in more adverse conditions, such as the vacuum of space. Ironically, the workers are much stronger, capable of lifting many times their weight, while the Soldiers are able to lock their joints, allowing them to hold, fire, and withstand heavy weapons with their 5'8", six-legged and four-armed frames. Wingers are between the two, bearing four legs and two arms. There are queens as well, monstrous eight-legged creatures that are nearly 20' in length and barely able to support their own weight. They have only a pair of mandibles, and rarely leave their nests. They are both slaves, born only to breed, and great leaders, though their exact influence with the colonies remains unknown.

The Red Eye Scourge

Once allies of the Huerdaen, the Rethast blasted their own world into little more than magma and molten slag, the first of many acts which would set these people apart from other Huerdaen 'Brothers and Sisters'. They're brutal, and following their own destruction, showed a particularly violent streak that came from a lack of organized authority over their people. They became feral, undergoing orgies to increase their numbers, even as they slaughtered themselves. This lasted for several weeks before the Huerdaen were forced to put an end to it, establishing a small number of 'Captains' among the Rethast. These were purely military leaders, as the Rethast showed no desire to perform any other function but wage war or construct. Two were chosen to be the 'Captains' of industry among the Rethast, being in charge of building the warships which they would use in war, when unleashed upon a foe.

As their numbers grew, so too did their desire to wage war. They began to take actions outside of Huerdaen control, engaging blindly with enemy pirate forces, and often winning through sheer audacity. Following every victory, great callous orgies were performed among the crew, a practice which leaves the Rethast vessels smelling of this strange practice. It is, however, quite effective in replenishing their numbers, and keeps the population growing despite their losses. More disturbing, however, was the 'link' that the Rethast, soon termed 'Red Eyes' by the Major Ju'Niic, developed with their warships. They seemed to take on additional personality characteristics, able to react as if they were more solidly linked to the ship systems than they truly were. This is not fully understood by Huerdaen research, but it is assumed to be linked in part to the stories of Rethast 'psykers' and other supernatural phenomena, which the Huerdaen are quick to brush aside as impossibilities of the imagination, despite relevant data provided by the deceased Grendel -=CLASSIFIED=- and the Ataster Captain Silvoya.

It was soon found that some Huerdaen captains held the will to be able to control these wild creatures, and those with the proper ability to express that will were given commands over their battle groups, most notable being Major Ju'Niic, following the taming of Predator.

The Kaskan Tribals

Following the 'Glass Jungle' incident, the Huerdaen found themselves with a large number of Kaskan 'skinks', a name which was given by those who pulled them from that world. Unable to communicate, first interactions were confused and dangerous, and several of the skinks were openly dangerous. It was at this time that the Huerdaen earned the Kaskan's belief that they were at least partially divine. Unfortunately, the need for large amounts of water to maintain a Kaskan in good health meant that the skinks soon found themselves again in danger of destruction. Only the Pankrees Nation's generous offer to share their own, jungle-like homeworld saved the species. Despite this, several hurdles were faced. Initial introduction to the world were met with rampant expansion by the Kaskans, and several whole groups fled into the wilderness, many turning up dead at the hands of unknown or unexpected predators. The Pankrees have made no attempt to 'reclaim' lost tribes of Kaskans who have survived, instead leaving them to live freely in the wilderness and create their own culture, causing many points of contention between themselves and the Huerdaen in other parts of the empire.

On average, Kaskans stand between 4'6" and 5', but are much more heavily built than human counterparts. They have a wide variety of colors, and it is known that as many as one in three has the ability to change their scale coloring at will, though they revert to a 'resting' shade when asleep or if startled. Those unable to control their coloring are still noted to change colors, though it is instead linked to emotional responses. Eyes are a gold, red, or bronze and can see well even in low light. Their sense of smell is exceptional, but hearing is underdeveloped. Most Kaskans have two color sets to their scales, referred to as 'primary' and 'secondary', though many have markings which remain regardless of any other scale coloring changes that may occur, purposeful or otherwise. Their natural 'speaking' is limited to a bark-like sound that was used as a warning, and is known to cause others to lift the call when in groups, possibly as a way to warn off predators.

The Pankrees Slayer caste has taken particular interest in the Kaskan skinks who remained, however, acting as mentors, guides, and teachers to the elders of the tribes, allowing the existing hierarchy to remain and filter through the generations slowly, leaving the elderly as wise leaders and scribes, interacting with the Slayers, while the younger remained the warriors. Unlike most species, the Kaskans do not have static genders, with male and female being merely different periods of a Kaskan's life, with a cyclical period of approximately four and a half months, including a two-week period in which Kaskans are infertile and incapable of being considered either male or female. The use of spawning pools cause the species to recover its numbers quickly, spawning as many as thirty or forty times in a yearly cycle. This easily offsets the 30-40 year lifespan of the Kaskans, and their quick maturation period of seven years caused their numbers to swell quickly under Pankrees guidance. Limitations on their population exist only in available food, as they are unable to subsist off of standard Huerdaen 'slop' rations, and natural predators, which are still a significant concern for even those tribes that remain close to Slayer installations. Despite this, they maintain a level of skill in both hunting and trapping that makes them particularly capable even alone in a hostile environment.

The Slayer Caste is also responsible for the creation of the Kaskan sign language, which allows them to communicate with more modern races, as their vocal capabilities do not allow them to speak basic. While many understand basic, most cannot respond. Those Kaskan who have learned this language, as well as the reading and writing that quickly followed with it, have become figures of note, and filter the teachings of the Slayer Caste to their people in the form of shamans and prophets. The Huerdaen have protested this viewpoint to no avail.

The Sikissa Hunters

The Sikissa are a small race, standing on average four feet, ten inches in height. They're similar in appearances to humans, but with a slighter build, and slightly less angular features. Their eyes are on average 15% larger than those of a human, and their mouths contain teeth designed for tearing flesh, as they are inherently carnivores. Their bone structure is superficially similar, but beneath the flesh, there are a number of significant differences. Their rib cage is a series of overlapping plates, allowing slightly less nimble movement of the torso, but providing significantly more protection to internal organs. Their arm structure is similarly different, with the upper and lower arm each containing three bones that grow around each other in a triple-helix, with tendons holding them together and allowing them to tense into a strong cord-like structure to avoid breaks. Similarly, the leg structure is the same design, and permits a level of rotation that would break a human limb, though individually these bones are less durable.

The hair atop their head grows long naturally, and straight, including many vibrant colors, presumably at one time to attract mates. Their muscles are invariably lean, and they have an almost cat-like precision to their movements, able to easily balance at a run across particularly thin surfaces. At a distance, they look little different from a human young adult or large child. They have a natural night vision that allows them to see without issue in low-light situations, and their hearing is exceptional. Their voices are naturally soft, and due to the lack of development of an adam's apple, both men and women of the species have a higher average voice pitch than humans, akin to those of a human child. This is a trait they are aware of and use to their advantage against those who are not familiar with their species.

However, their lifespans rarely extend past the age of 30, due to the high stress their body is put under, and they are particularly vulnerable to injury. In certain conditions, increased stress can cause heart failure, meaning that mortality rates among the Sikissa are particularly high. They give birth in small groups of 2-to-4 children that are birthed live, all the same gender, though otherwise unique. Their hands are actually slightly weaker, with thin bones that break easily, designed more to enhance mobility than fighting. If engaged in melee, they use kicks and bites to incapacitate or eliminate a foe. They are quick and dexterous, and often carry knives which they are particularly adept with, able to slip them into cracks or creases in enemy armor.

Prior to the Gate War, their homeworld was overrun in a local sector conflict, leaving them fleeing en masse. Plagued by pirates and other dangers, they lost most of their number to this journey, though enough to sustain the species arrived safely in the Star Empire. Of particular note among these first refugees was the vicious Sia Inall Sikissa, an ISN flag officer who took part in the Fringe Campaign against the Setulan Exiles and separatist states. Their numbers are slowly increasing, but their physiology has a large number of limitations, making them singularly incompatible with ground combat or service in the Shield. Because of this, they are found instead often among ISN crews, or serving in other public service roles, particularly the various intelligence groups employed by the Empire.

The Ataster Republic

Once a brilliant light of freedom in the darkness of the Star Empire, the Scythian war hurt the Ataster people badly. A grim acknowledgement of what happened has been unavoidable, but the support of the Empire has helped with their recovery. Never truly spreading far from Ataster, the destruction wrought on their homeworld was devastating on the Ataster culture. Despite this, they power forward, using the gathered wealth from their times of prosperity to bring in experts and specialists to rebuild without care for the debts they incur. It is this single-minded determination that drives them today.

A peaceful people, their culture shifts now, endangering their traditional values, and internal struggles in the Republic mean that the future may yet remain bright for these brave people, or it could take a dark, ominous turn.

The Babylonian Commonwealth

Poor, the Babylonians incorporated into the Empire for protection and for survival. While never able to fully regain their prior nation, and suffering a slow and hard growth period, they continue to stubbornly refuse to give up. Each and every day brings new challenges in the Commonwealth, as their primary systems are only partially habitable, but they became a poster child of the Star Empire quickly, and many contribute to their continued survival. Exporting little more than the Commonwealth Marines, they're a proud people who refuse to simply take without giving something in return.

It is this enduring pride that keeps them seperate from other nations, and which has earned them the respect of their neighbors, even through the troubled times they constantly endure.

The United Peoples of Haven

Once a series of refugees who settled a system near the Star Empire, the Union has grown exponentially since then. Constant influx of refugees from the dozens of wars across Delta have swollen their population, and new systems join the nation on an almost yearly basis. The Union is made up of people from all across Delta and often as far as Gamme or other quadrants, sometimes gathering up into small communes, and sometimes spreading out into the growing, mixed cities in a morass of peoples and cultures. Aided by the Silver Lace, thousands of languages are spoken daily, and peoples that were in no way connected before now live shoulder to shoulder, protected by the umbrella of Huerdaen might.

Defining the Union is difficult, except to say that it is a wild clash of peoples, making it a place of variety and life in an already varied Empire. While most in the Union desire a peaceful life, it has proven to be a center of commerce near the southwest border of the Empire that fuels trade with outside nations. It is this wealth streaming through Haven that allows the Union to continue to grow, incorporating even the old Bavinese worlds of Foer and Alstania and starting them on the final road to recovery. Unlike most other member nations, the Union has grown all throughout the Empire, becoming a disjointed symbol of unity and prosperity with no clear boundaries.

The Heldenhammer Jarldom

Following the collapse of the Kadrian state, a number of clans split off from what remained of the civilization, heading off to find their fates across the galaxy. The Heldenhammer clan, previously a significant power in the military. Their experience, fighting skill, and tenacity made them particularly valuable to the Star Empire, and they were supplied with the cold world of Val'Kallaan. Under the leadership of Rikke Heldenhammer, the current matriarch of the clan, they gathered together their assets and began to rebuild, primarily funding it by hiring out as mercenaries. As their reputation grew, they were able to provide more troops for greater pay, until such time as they established themselves as able to protect both their sector of space with their remaining Kadrian fleet assets, and became the Heldenhammer Jarldom, a member nation of the Star Empire.

Additional Sectors of Note

The Red Abyss

Following the bombardment of Ataster, and the burning of almost 65% of the planet's surface, the Huerdaen Star Empire responded with a fervor that has not been seen in decades. Their fleet strength mustered with a united will, and struck back at their attackers with such force that they were able to overwhelm the defenses of their foes, destroying shipyards and logistical points. From that point, they began the systemic destruction of the MCRN colonies and military facilities. Worlds were given time to evacuate as the the MCRN fleets fell into disarray, and refugees counted in the billions began to flee the area. Whole worlds were set aflame as the Huerdaen fleet lit the atmospheres on fire in such a manner that would cause the world to burn for decades, even as the people fled before them.

This set the stage for the Red Abyss, as worlds were left on fire, and the worlds abandoned to the Karax plague were soon also overrun. Had this been all, the area could have been reclaimed, but unknown forces caused significant dimensional anomalies in the area of space, forcing the Huerdaen to withdraw to avoid casualties. Instead, listening posts were created to observe the area and keep it under check. It is known that many attempt to study the area, but less than 10 percent make the return trip, often speaking of horrors and unknown dangers in the zone. The areas near the Red Abyss are under an eternal watch now, but the lack of information and the high mortality rate within left it as little more than a place of rumors and wild speculation, a reputation that has been bought with millions of corpses.

The Imperial Road

The construction of the Imperial Road was a major endeavor, the cost of which was as massive as the scope. The idea itself was ambitious, including a heavily secured and enforced path through the Star Empire from the primary Huerdaen hub in the Cheztop system to the Vipran hub in the Titus Verge, controlling the Vipran end. The road stretches out inside the Star Empire, reaching all major sectors, and connects into the Vipran Four Corners network, allowing secure transit all across the galaxy. The Huerdaen end is controlled through a series of Ferry ships, massive haulers designed for the sole purpose of jumping from Cyno point to Cyno point while carrying myriad lesser ships on board. Because it uses the Huerdaen drive, it is instant, making it a particularly safe form of transit. This also means that only hub locations must be protected, and allows for significant presence to keep hostilities from breaking out. The ferries, for their part, may only transit using this system or with sublight engines, making them generally safe. Permissions to disembark ships from the ferry are strictly enforced, and local authorities must green-light any departures, under threat of destruction. Because of the high security measures associated with the Vipran Imperium and Huerdaen Star Empire, piracy near the Imperial Road is considered tantamount to suicide. Warships guard the hubs in such numbers that any operation is easily identified and crushed with the force that the two empires have earned their reputations for. These safeguards, both against each other's actions and those of foreign or non-aligned entities drive up the cost of using the Road almost to the point of it being useless. However, trade does travel the path when safety takes a priority over cost. At this time, usage of the road is limited only to the two empires and their aligned nations, with movement strictly monitored and controlled.
Last edited by Huerdae on Thu Nov 14, 2019 12:25 pm, edited 32 times in total.
The Huerdaen Star Empire is an FT Nation.

Xiscapia wrote:It amused her for a time to wonder if the two fleets could not see each other, so she could imagine them blindly stabbing in the dark, like a game of tag, if tag was played with rocket launchers in pitch blackness.
[17:15] <Telros> OH HO HO, YOU THOUGHT HUE WAS OUT OF LUCK, DID YOU
[17:15] <Telros> KUKUKU, HE HAS REINFORCEMENTS
[17:15] <Telros> FOR TELROS IS REINFORCEMENTS MAN

Rezo wrote:If your battleship turrets have a smaller calibre than your penis is long, you're doing it wrong.

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Re: The Huerdaen Star Empire

Postby Huerdae » Thu Sep 03, 2009 11:09 pm

Warships of the Star Navy

The Huerdaen ISN following Niko'Dohsa's Naval Reforms abandons the Imperial Shield's success with it's Rule of Five, instead, it adopts a system more akin to the modular construction used in Huerdaen bases, with a series of components that can be built into operational forces. It maintains the interchangability of modules for ease of repairs and logistics, but the deployment configuration has changed drastically. For this reason, Huerdaen construction of cruisers has drastically increased, causing a significant change in the makeup of naval formations. Spinals are still standardized at 1m for destroyers, 2.5m for cruisers, and 3.5m for Battleships. Similarly, reactor space scales per ship size, with some notable exceptions able to house a secondary reactor to provide additional power should the up-and-coming energy weapons be desired. Armor plating is standardized across all hulls, and hangar bays are designed to be able to be simply stacked in-depth into the ship, with each 'hangar' providing care and assistance for one flight of bombers. Defensive batteries and offensive weapons can be removed and repaired in whole sections across the hull. Internal components include hangars, reactor, EWAR, C&C, and the distrusted Kiith fabricator modules. External components include launch bays, spinals, gun batteries, improved armoring, and the rare Aegis array.

Bombers

The Huerdaen Bomber classes are not truly bombers, as much as they are fighter craft designed for close support of other vessels. Unlike the fighters of other nations, they do not carry guided ordinance. Instead, they carry a limited supply of rockets, which they release at close range to the target, reminiscent of dive bombers of old.

Devastator-Class Bomber

The most common bomber class among the Star Navy, the Devastator-Class is an older design, but dependable. They are designed solely for strafe-style assaults on enemy capital ships or fortifications, and cannot effectively engage enemy fighter squadrons. They are dependent solely upon the cover of the carrying vessel. They are wide vessels, effectively a flying wing of 10 meters across with a long string of engines along the rear side. They are armed with six standard weapons hardpoints, most often used to mount quickly-replaced rocket pods to allow them to 'burst' damage against enemy warships, though some in atmospheric theaters have been known to replace some or all mounts with the venerable Hephaestus autocannon. They are capable of atmospheric flight, and are often used in support of their gunship cousins. Recent upgrades include the addition of two massive boosters. Generally considered too large for a craft this size, they're capable of accelerating the bomber at excessive speeds, forcing the craft to now incorporate a significant inertial stabilizer suite. However, this allows the Devastator to 'dive' over great distances at its target, with little or no warning, and very little time to react.

Annihilator-Class Heavy Bomber

The Annihilator-Class is the big brother to the Devastator, the Annihilator has eight hardpoints, with increased module spacing for each to allow either a increased ammunition or increased weapon size, allowing the Annihilator to mount weapons as would normally be seen on tanks or other heavier vehicles. In addition, a turret mounting on the rear with two hardpoints allows it to protect itself, where the Devastator is completely vulnerable. In addition, it is capable of fitting a lower-body mounting to be able to deploy heavy ordinance, such as the Annihilator Device or Angel's Tear. It is larger than the Devastator, at 25m across, and unfortunately significantly slower.

Destroyers

Destroyers make up the bulk of Huerdaen light vessels. Distinguished by the lack of any bomber support, they serve a support roles to the main combat fleet. The Destroyers of the Star Navy each fill particular roles, though the most common are the Rage- and Anger-Class destroyers, dedicated to the destruction of enemy light vessels such as carriers, missile frigates, and transports. They have the capability to dock only a very small number of dropships for personnel and equipment transfer between vessels. Their small size mean that only a single company of Shield Infantry are stationed on any destroyer at a time.

Rage-Class Hunter-Killer Destroyer

The Rage-Class bears a small crew, only approximately fifty crew in total. It is one of the fastest of the Huerdaen destroyers, but with the New-Model changes has actually increased in size. Given a Cruiser-sized 2.5m spinal mount, the vessel is otherwise weaponless. Most common is the old rotary cannon that got the ship its name. It has limited EWAR capabilities due to its small size, making it vulnerable to enemy light craft, but mid-sized warships often find themselves the target of its oversized armaments. The Rage-Class's tendency to operate as a group makes this ship particularly deadly against other light or medium vessels, though large vessels often have the ability to withstand its assault long enough to destroy the otherwise light craft. The Rage-Class Destroyer is a Strike Destroyer.

Anger-Class Bomber Destroyer

The Anger-Class is the largest of the destroyers, bearing a standard destroyer spinal that looks unfortunately small against its hull. In addition, it is notable by it's distinctive hammerhead design, where the six large hardpoints are stored. Historically used for torpedo-like antimatter warheads, the Anger-class is now able to mount a variety of other large weapons in the location, giving it impressive forward firepower. In addition, the previous four turrets that covered the rear quarter remain as before. As a much larger craft than the Rage-Class, it is capable of housing either a second reactor for use of energy weapons or shielding, or a rather comprehensive EWAR suite to protect it from larger enemy warships. Lacking the maneuverability of the smaller Rage-Class, the Anger-Class's increased weapon load make it more dangerous against enemy capital or sub-capital warships, while being vulnerable to other ships of its own size, or small strike craft. The Anger-Class Destroyer is a Strike Destroyer.

Terror-Class Reconnaissance Destroyer

The Terror-Class is one of the most versatile destroyers fielded by the Star Navy. The ship has six turreted hardpoints across the length of the vessel, but additional module space internally allows it to perform most roles that were previously taken by both the Terror-Class and Torment-Class. The modularization of the fleet means that now the Terror-Class can be outfit for either role to the same effectiveness, serving as a recon ship or an EWAR vessel, while still not sacrificing space for the spinal hardpoint. They are fast, easily double the speed of an Anger-class vessel, and are often used on patrols through space claimed by the Star Empire. It is a measly 150 meters in length, making it the second smallest of the Huerdaen Destroyers. The Terror-Class Destroyer is a Recon Destroyer.

Striker-Class Predator Destroyer

The only destroyer with a singularity reactor, the Striker-Class still mounts the Huerdaen spinal hardpoint beneath its nose, but the weapon is rarely used. The ship mounts a series of articulated turret mounts for mid-sized weapons set up in a design to harden the ship against enemy light or strike craft. They're just as fast as any destroyer, but they're most effective against smaller targets, able to cleave through enemy fighter swarms with ease. Unlike the rest of the fleet, the Striker was not completely modularized. Instead, it still carries along its belly the Annihilator Device. Fighting like dive-bombers, the Striker-Class can release an un-propelled Annihilator Device that is designed to slip through enemy shields and detonate it's antimatter charge directly against the hull. The weapon is an impressive yield, but cannot be contained within the ships armor, leaving the Strikers as volatile, but deadly, pack-hunters. It also bears the Huerdaen variant of the Rethast inertialess drive, though it can be used for only a few moments at a time. The Striker-Class Destroyer is a Strike Destroyer.

Nug-Class Maintenance Tender

A smaller version of the Caridin, the Nug is a destroyer-sized tender built to maintain smaller groups of ships. Often deployed to assist patrol groups in repairs, it is quick and nimble, with a coupling on the belly to allow it to 'carry' a module through FTL for use away from established bases. In this way they can be deployed a fair distance with a specialized module in short order. It carries only a single tending arm deployed from the left side of the craft, offsetting the 'bridge' of the limited ship to the right side. Generally regarded as one of the ugliest craft the Huerdaen have ever built, it is none-the-less effective. Designed to be able to maneuver in very small spaces, Nugs are sometimes used within larger ships such as battleships to help complete repairs where the Caridin may have a more difficult time utilizing its more capable arms. Unlike the Caridin, it is completely unarmed, making the Nug much more rare as there are few times it is a better choice than the Caridin, though its ability to make multiple, long range Gates means it is a valuable quick-response tool. The Nug-Class Destroyer is not a combat warship, and exists in the logistics train.

Garm-Class Protected Destroyer Leader

Weighing in 450 meters in length, with an average width and height of 300 meters and 200 meters respectively, the Garm-Class is more than twice the overall volume of the other destroyers it is deployed alongside. Developed alongside the Galactic Republic of Alexzonya and originally considered for a cruiser role, it was built around the cruiser standard 2.5m spinal railgun. This weapon was then equipped with a five-round rotary loading chamber capable of feeding the spinal all of its rounds in less than two seconds. Following this, however, it requires approximately thirty seconds to reload, and cannot be fired on a partial cylinder load. Equipped with the Alexzonyan-made DALA, the Distributed Aperture Laser Array, the Garm is able to put power directly from its Huerdaen singularity core into the emitters built across the hull surface, allowing it full point defense coverage with surprising reach. Though it does not linger like Huerdaen flak, it is capable of being used offensively as well, giving the Garm an edge over comparable craft. The huge power output from the reactor also allows the vessel to incorporate both the Huerdaen 'Gate' drive, and the Alexzonyan Slipspace drive, meaning that the vessel is capable of very quickly repositioning across long distances, while still maintaining its local lightning-fast response time.

Kinetic secondary weapons are available along the dorsal section of the ship, stacked to allow concentrated forward firing, but the primary armament remains the spinal, and these secondaries are generally of use against comparably sized warships. The Garm, though, continues to hold other surprises. The reactor core section of the ship, as well as spinal chamber, are protected by Aegis barriers, while the turret array, engine cluster, and internal citadel areas are reinforced by the Alexzonyan Reactive Energy Shield system, allowing them to fire past the reactive hard shields. All of these exist in addition to the standard Hamaya shielding. Once the enemy succeeds in bypassing these defenses, the ship is armored in SCAR plating and built to Huerdaen standards of redundancy and isolation, making even significant breach something that the ship can endure in combat with standard damage control teams.

The garrison on the vessel is a full Field Regiment, including all ground combat equipment, and deployable from a bay residing behind the spinal loading chamber. While this chamber is without gravity, as is common with Huerdaen warships, Loading and unloading can be performed from jetties built into the bay which can extend and service several ships at once, allowing quick loading and deploying of craft from the rear-facing door. All this together allows the ISN to deploy the patrol groups without their cruiser support, meaning that logistic strain on basic patrols, as well as fast-response groups, is significantly reduced. That alongside the improved heavy response gained by keeping the battleship and all four cruiser escorts together allows the HSE to respond much more quickly to outside threats, modifying defensive doctrine quite favorably.

In addition, like most larger ships, the singularity core can be manipulated to permit direct manipulation of gravitational fields, normally used to conceal the ship against gravitic sensors, though it can also be used to help the ship change direction or increase its velocity. This use of the Huerdaen Singularity reactor's artificial gravity well provides it with a capability beyond that of smaller, lesser craft. The Garm-Class Destroyer is a Strike Destroyer, but is limited to a single craft per strike group.

Cruisers

Cruisers are the mainstay of the Huerdaen fleet. Where Battleships lend the muscle, and Destroyers lend the speed, it is the Cruisers which do almost all of the fighting. With the most variants and the most varied duties, it is the cruisers which define the purpose of a battlegroup, giving it either a combat or specialist distinction. These ships are powerful for their size, resilient, and serve in all lines of duty, from escort to assault, strategic to tactical. They are the hardest working ships in the Star Navy, and their crews know it, making them proud, determined, and deadly in all aspects of war. Huerdaen cruisers often act as ad-hoc transports, and carry most of the forces of the Shield to conflict. Each carries a battle regiment of Shield Infantry, with the exception of a Succubus-Class Cruiser, which carries an additional field regiment to make it a more effective vessel when assaulting enemy warships.

Deathwing-Class Escort Cruiser

The Deathwing-Class Cruisers are one of the oldest designs of the Huerdaen fleet. An all-around tough ship, it has a fair number of internal modules available, as well as the ability to mount a battleship-level spinal weapon. While it lacks the width to be able to function as a carrier, it is a key cornerstone of any Battle Group. Once again it was one of the first models to be moved to the new standardized design, allowing almost any component to be replaced with a newer model that soon became the standard across the Star Navy, and even after decades of services and many refits and redesigns, the Deathwing remains one of the most common Escort Cruisers in the Star Navy.

Deathbringer-Class Tactical Cruiser

Wider and slightly longer than the Deathwing-Class, the Deathbringer-Class has, by contrast, a downsized spinal mount, on par with those of destroyers. Instead, however, it has a large series of internal modules, making it an excellent design for use as an EWAR ship or any number of other functions. External weapon mounts are sized enough that the lack of a spinal is often countered by increased defensive weapon size, giving the smaller armaments of the Deathbringer unexpected punch. The large number of internal modules also has proven to make the ship a capable energy weapon cruiser, as additional reactors can provide the power needed for the power-hungry weapons. Like the Deathwing, the Deathbringer is a common Escort Cruiser that is a common sight in the Star Empire and beyond.

Succubus-Class Flak Assault Cruiser

With a standard cruiser spinal, and large support modules available for all external mountings, the Succubus-Class is capable flak cruiser, able to keep up sustained fire on almost all sectors. Its history has shown the value of these weapons, and current modularization allows captains to 'balance' their ship's loadout for their deployments, instead of relying completely on other cruisers for slugfests against other cruisers. With a shallow, wide, and long shape to the hull, the Succubus has limited internal module space, but it does have the increased power routing available along the ship's "belly" to allow it to make use of gravitic grapples and tractor beams that would give it the chance to pin and board an enemy craft. Matched with other options such as short range EMP bursts designed to fry defensive systems and a greatly increased Shield garrison, the Succubus can be a pivotal part of any escort group, and now has the teeth to operate as a respected Escort Cruiser, watching over allied warships with a significant success rate.

Erinyes-Class Bombardier Cruiser

The Erinyes is particularly different from most other Huerdaen cruisers in that while it carries a cruiser spinal, it does not contain much room for external weapons. Instead, their primary mounting is a series of six bombard cannons that are so large they are mounted along one side of the craft, and the recoil of firing drives rear of the weapon and its recoil compensator out the far side of the craft. It is a design that permits only minimal modification, as the internals are almost completely consumed by the mechanisms of the weapon. The majority of the ship does not even have artificial gravity applied, instead only the very 'top' two decks of the ship, where the limited crew live, have this luxury available. The rest of the vessel is dominated by the massive guns. Still, the Erinyes is a craft with a singular and effective purpose to the Star Navy, and has earned its place despite these limitations. Indeed, this has only enticed the crews to be more stalwart in their operation of the vessels, making a point of simply ignoring the events going on around them, forging forward with a purpose to their firing position, and then doing their duty until either they, or their target, is destroyed. The Erinyes is a Doctrine Warship, appearing in either Artillery or Support Groups.

Wyvern-Class Cruiser-Carrier

The largest of the cruiser class, the Wyvern has a long series of decks that allow modules to run straight through the vessel. This allows the Wyvern to fill its internal bays with bombers and bomber craft, actually increasing its complement over versions prior to the New-Model Wyvern. With six decks nearly 750 meters long each capable of being allocated to bomber and heavy bomber wings. The rear has small 'stub' wings on either side to allow for some amount of dedicated defense, and the upper deck bears a standard cruiser spinal, but by far the strength of the craft is its quickly deployed strike craft. Alternatively, the large number of internal modules allow the ship to be retrofit similar to a Deathbringer-Class crusier, though this is often seen as a massive waste of a very capable ship. Its nose, as well, sloping upward to a tip just below the barrel of the spinal, give it the appearance of a strange mix of ancient earth naval warship, and old strike fighter with its swept-forward stub wings. This is a Doctrine Warship, present in Assault or Carrier Groups.

Reissewolf-Class Marauder Cruiser

The Reissewolf is the first class of ship built with no intention of open warfare and fleet engagements. Instead, it maintains a much lower profile - and one that does not match existing Huerdaen designs. Bearing only two divisions of Shield, the ship is nonetheless slightly over 100m longer than a standard cruiser class, weighing in solidly between the cruiser and battleship designs. However, due to the purpose of the vessel, there was no doubt that it was a cruiser design. It carries a standard Huerdaen spinal, but supplements the forward firepower package with dual hardpoints capable of fitting the massive Annihilator Device in a rocket-strike format. Unlike most Huerdaen warships, it has almost no outer hardpoints, limited instead to a large reactor and immense internal module capabilities. The design makes it a powerful warship and commerce raider, especially with the ability to add ship-tender modules to arm and repair supporting warships. Of note is the fact that the design of the HFDF system and several of the EWAR systems required complete integration into the hull, meaning that the ship has only limited modularity. While it is an ISN warship, it is never deployed in a combat formation, and instead is deployed as part of a logistics and supply unit attached to strategic operations groups.

Caridin-Class Artificer Cruiser

The true value behind the New-Model Huerdaen fleet has been its ability to repair battle damage quickly and bring ships up to full readiness in as short a time period as possible. The Caridin is the key to that. Built as a mobile shipyard and ship tender, it carries four tending arms, which are mounted on 'belts' in the middle of the ship. Capable of rotating a full 360 degrees around the vessel, they allow the Caridin to directly pull modules from one ship on one side to place them on another. The tending arms are completely articulated, and with full support staff they are able to remove or install a module completely in one hour's time. Armed with only a token spinal that is a limited-ammunition destroyer-scale spinal weapon, the Caridin is virtually defenseless, and is not deployed with battle groups. Instead, it is part of a growing Logistical Unit that is deployed behind the battle groups, with one Caridin for every battle group deployed. Their own vessels are ironically not modular, as they are not expected to engage in combat, though the tending arms can be removed and replaced if needed. Like the Nug, the Caridin is not a combat warship, and exists only in the logistics train.

Black Saracen-Class Battlegroup Cruiser

Named after the Sobornost Republic's Saracen-Class, the Black Saracen is the Star Navy's attempt to adopt a new combat style and give themselves a new type of escort ship. With the Black Saracen, cruisers are no longer limited to passive defense roles, and can instead take on a more offensive role. The success of the Black Saracen made the old Avenger-Class completely redundant, causing it to leave production and use following the Niko'Dohsa Naval Reforms. First models were modified Sobornost Republic Saracen-Class vessels, though later versions were built up following Huerdaen standards. They have only comparatively weak full-coverage defenses of most Huerdaen cruisers, but maintain a standard cruiser spinal and include a pair of heavily armored turrets along the starboard and port midsections of the ship, which give it a 45 degree forward cone of fire. Their true value, however, comes from the link modules that allow them to boost the shields of nearby allied vessels, or making use of a hybridized cynosural field along with the Huerdaen Gate drive, they're able to Gate allied warships along with them, sometimes as many as three or four, though this jump requires massive amounts of power and is limited in 'safe' range to as little as a few dozen hundred thousand light years. It is, however, particularly resistant to most FTLi systems, allowing it to sometimes 'punch through' a fleet's tactical defenses against such an attack. Because of the increased power requirements, this ship is one of the largest cruisers, incorporating a significant amount of internal module space, and is both wider and taller than most other Huerdaen cruisers, as well as being nearly 50 meters longer than its closest counterpart. In addition, the Black Saracen bears SCAR plating, making even a heavily damaged cruiser quick to return to service. Despite its support role, the Black Saracen is an Escort Cruiser.

Battleships

Where the Cruiser is the workhorse of the Star Navy, the Battleship is the strong right arm. Battle groups are built around these battleships, compensating for vulnerabilities and accenting their strengths. They are the hard center of the Huerdaen Star Empire, purposefully built to deal and receive damage in massive amounts. They are the epitome of Huerdaen pride, symbolizing strength in any skirmish, and creating a strong, resilient heart which lends strength and inspires greatness in other ships nearby, acting as lesser command ships in charge of the formations and movements during battle. The sheer size of the battleship hulls require a massive reactor, which allow the Huerdaen to make use of the singularity powering their ship. At times, they can increase their straight-line accelleration by manipulating the singulary to create a 'dragging' effect to have the warship 'fall' forward. This, however, decreases the power available to shields and other high-power systems, so it is used sparingly in combat, often by aggressive captains, or those prone to taking risks. It can be used to the opposite effect in regards to enemy craft, as well. All battleships can be present in Command or Doctrin Groups. If a battleship appears in a Doctrin group, it is classed as a Heavy, Assault, or Echelon groups.

Juggernaught-Class Broadside Battleship

The Juggernaught is the single best-known battleship among the Huerdaen Star Empire. Built to carry nine decks of side-firing hardpoints along each side, supplemented by a pair of cruiser-sized spinal mount modules, the Juggernaught is a force to be reckoned with. It was designed to make projectile strikes against enemy forces, and has limited internal modules for reactors, making it an unlikely subject for energy weapons or strike craft. Recent modularization has seen captains completely eliminate strike craft complements for the addition of a second, cruiser-sized reactor to power dorsal and ventral Aegis shields to protect the more vulnerable sections of the ship, where the spinal and broadside arrays are unable to provide an offensive counter. The standard Shield complement aboard a Juggernaught is two battle regiments, as there is very little internal area for Shield garrison. This is often supplemented by a standard levy supporting unit.

Harbinger-Class Command Battleship

Once the symbol of the empire, then scrapped, and once more rebuilt, the Harbinger has survived the ages with more battles led by this ship than some nations can boast. Mounting a full-sized battleship spinal with supporting infrastructure for specialized rounds, the Harbinger is a deadly tool. Carrying almost twice the internal module area of a Juggernaught, it is a far more adaptable beast, capable of full fields of fire, a partial carrier role, or even a second battleship reactor to truly toughen the beast against enemy fire. It is the only battleship capable of firing special munitions from its spinal, making it a valuable asset to the Star Empire. It carries three battle regiments and a standard complement of supporting levy for that number as a ship's garrison.

Grond-Class Armored Battleship

The Grond-Class Armored Battleship was created from a design first captured from a pirate nation, then updated following the capture and incorporation of Ataster shield technologies. Originally designed the original pirate faction's ideals, the ship has a pointed, predatory 'beak' at the front which flows back into an almost chitinous apperance of layered armor. This design allows only a limited set of hardpoints on a pair of external 'bolts' that stick off the rear of the ship, providing fire to protect it against smaller craft. Those bolts also mounts two forward facing heavy hardpoints each, allowing some of the most devastating Huerdaen weapons to be placed there. It also incorporates a standard battleship spinal that pokes out beneath the ship's 'beak', but has very limited internal space large enough to handle a strike craft bay. Once using massive turrets, it was found that significant gains could be made by locking the weapons into a forward firing arc, giving it the ability to run additional reactors side-by-side within the armored hide. This mitigates losses of speed due to reactor yield into shields, though some opt to run dedicated reactors for the shield systems, to truly leverage the mighty beast's toughness. Some smaller enemy ships have proven incapable of overcoming the Grond's shielding in this way, though many Grond captains instead opt for more tactical designs for their vessels, staying away from the stereotypical 'battering ram' design for the vessel in favor of increased firepower. Due to internal limitations, the Grond is garrisoned only by a single battle regiment and three field regiments, with standard supporting levies.

Devi-Class/Deva-Class Stand-Off Battleship

Built out of a great innovation of the Star Empire, the Deva/Devi-Class are warships based around the stolen or purchased Kiith technology, which they use to input and produce guided munitions. Unable to properly disable and learn from the Kiith technology itself, the Huerdaen are able only to 'trick' the IFF system and allow them to use it. This gives them their first stand-off range warship, but at prohibitively massive cost. The Devi/Deva-Class requires massive reactor power, limiting the internal bays available to strike craft, and the standard battleship spinal is available, though the limited maneuverability of the ship due to reactor cost by Kiith technology makes it difficult to engage with against faster-moving targets. Many Devi/Deva captains rarely use their spinal weapon, instead using it to support ground operations after orbital control has been obtained. Like the Erinyes, the Devi/Deva is partially locked into its configuration, with a peaked 'spine of sensors and communications gear capable of interacting with Kiith technology on both the ventral and dorsal sections of the ship. To either side of both of these are a long series of missile tubes, giving it four 'batteries' of warhead launchers along its sloped hull. Most captains still opt for the starboard and port Aegis arrays to protect the ship from return fire at range, though this severely limits defensive fire options. It is a peculiarity in the ISN by the fact that the requirement of an active VI to properly operate the fabber means that the ships are sometimes referred to as the male 'Deva' class, due to the gender of the attending VI.

Damaged Devi/Deva battleships are sometimes refit with ship tender modules to act as a logistical unit until proper repairs can be completed, making use of their fabbers for ammunition and module construction. Unlike other battleships, the Devi/Deva battleships may also appear in Artillery Doctrine battle groups.

War Frigates

The War Frigate is a mighty beast of war, acting as the flagship of almost every Huerdaen battle fleet. They are strong, hard warships built on solid principles and invariably taking charge of the battlefield upon their arrival. They are the face of the fleet, creatures of war and death that stare into the hearts of their foes before crushing them and pushing them aside, nothing more than shattered remnants of what they one were. Each War Frigate bears a command center for fleet operations, apart from the command bridge, allowing it to control a whole theatre of operation, and the loss of one of these great vessels can devastate Huerdaen coordination and operations for some time. Their role as command ships mandate that each class of War Frigate is designed to carry a complete field army in its garrison. War Frigates only appear in Fleet Command squadrons.

Blackstone-Class Heavy War Frigate

Much like the Grond-Class battleship, the Blackstone-Class is designed with survivability in mind. With changes to the New-Model fleet, the Blackstone gained significant point defense capabilities as hardpoints were added across the vessel. Having proven too slow for successful ramming in any regard, the reinforcements over the 'prow' of the ship were decreased, allowing a standard battleship spinal to be placed just under the nose. It has prodigal internal module capabilities, relegating it to more of command role than the heavier-armed Night Mother, and the addition of additional armor hardpoints supports that. On the ventral sections, hardpoints often linked into communications gear are given additional support infrastructure to allow it to command in real-time operations outside its own solar system, making it a capable and deadly beast, even when it is not present in the battle. It is also capable of carrying a large amount of strike craft, or being rigged with some limited amount of ship tending gear when logistical components are lacking or destroyed by enemy action. The large amount of internal module space dedicated to power distribution allows it to easily field energy weapons, as well.

Night Mother-Class Demolisher War Frigate

The Night Mother was designed to be the devastating warship that could counter all who stand before it. Wide and powerful, it carries four battleship spinal mounts, with a horizontal-only traverse turret just under the front armor plating capable of mounting two cruiser-sized spinal weapons. It also carries twelve heavy bombard hardpoints capable of mounting the Erinyes bombard cannon along the belly, or being removed for impressive strike craft support. Large turrets with supporting arrays of smaller defensive hardpoints allow the ship to easily complete full fields of fire, as well as anti-ship duties at any angle. Limited internal space due to the support infrastructure for the many massive cannons make it far more vulnerable than the Blackstone, and far less capable in a command role. None can doubt, however, its capabilties in taking down an enemy vessel, and though it has limited options for energy weapons, it has shown great value in War Fleets, where Blackstone War Frigates may take over the command and control role, leaving the Night Mother to actively take part in the combat and focus their module build on a more direct role.

Dreadknight-Class Vanguard War Frigate

Designed from the ground up to take advantage of SCAR plating and the most recent advances in Huerdaen technology, the Dreadknight is the largest of the War Frigates, continuing a slow creep toward larger vessel that could withstand increasing amounts of damage. The Dreadknight is the first command-scale ship that bears SCAR plating, as well as bearing protection on dorsal, ventral, port, and starboard approaches using massive Aegis shields to supplement the already significant shielding. Because of the coverage provided by these devices, the Dreadknight has limited anti-strike craft capabilities, instead focusing on a series of massive anti-ship turrets. Designed to fire between the gaps in the Aegis barriers, and supported by the Dreadknight's spinal weapon, this makes the class the most heavily armed vessel in the ISN. However, the size of the Aegis barriers and diminished number of point defense weapons means the Dreadknight is vulnerable to enemy strike craft, who are capable of slipping between the Aegis barriers and Hamaya shielding to attack the vessel. In addition, the rear is not protected by an Aegis barrier as this was invariably destroyed by the vessel's drives, and became a liability. Dreadknights also include a two field armies of Shield as a garrison, making it the best defended ship short of a full size Dreadnought, and capable of beginning an assault almost on its own, including landing operations.

Dreadnoughts

Dreadnoughts are the symbol of absolute might within the Huerdaen Star Empire. While they're not the largest ships among the stars, they're the largest Huerdaen warship, and they are the ultimate in firepower, resilience, battlefield control. Each is designed to a specific purpose, most often for a specific campaign, and following the campaign, they are relegated to homeland defense, patrolling Huerdaen systems like silent, ominous guardians, ready for the next time they are called upon to destroy.

I.M.S. Spirit of Man

Built for the war against the Pankrees, the Spirit of Man was lost in an FTL malfunction following an ambush including more than five warfleets of enemy ships. Having devastated the opposition, the 2.8 kilometer dreadnought attempted to retreat, having suffered heavy damage and suffering from multiple enemy boarding actions. While still under Huerdaen control, it was listed as lost for almost two centuries, before once more being located, still burning. The Star Empire currently is attempting to regain control of the ancient ship, as it has served as a mighty symbol of the strength of their nation for some time. To recover it could bring new life to the Star Empire.

Ghosts

The Ghosts are the most unassuming, terrible vessels ever conceived by the Star Navy. Built around the understanding of war as a practice in deception and mobility, the Ghosts act as a tiny guardian angel or guide to the fleet as a whole. Their capabilities are widely varied, and they serve as force multipliers, allowing whole fleets to partake in actions that they otherwise would be completely incapable of doing. They are a tool available to the Star Navy that are as powerful as they are vulnerable, but their value, even with that vulnerability, cannot be denied.

Ghost-Class

Disrupting enemy communications and targeting, as well as rendering enemy missiles harmless are some of the duties of the Ghosts. They can make whole fleets simply fade out of sight, or turn a small skirmish force into a dozen fleets, filling the skies like flies. They are both tiny and great, and they are the hidden guardians of the Empire. Weaponless and poorly armored, they stand fearless before death, and through their efforts, the Star Empire prevails. However, the technology and cost associated with these craft make them prohibitively rare, and they are deployed in only the most deadly of environments. They are extremely small for interstellar craft, reaching only 40 meters in length, and are crewed by two specialists. The Ghost serves as both the eyes of the fleet, able to locate foes through even the worse electronic warfare, and the fog of war itself, able to confuse or disrupt an entire fleet with their powerful systems.

Spectre-Class

Built out of the marriage of the changing Huerdaen fleet doctrine and the newly-acquired technologies of the Sobornost Republic, the Spectre-Class is less of a guardian angel, as the Ghost is, and more of a first strike weapon. First concieved following the destruction of the trade hub known as Illis in regards to a need to counter a large-scale first-strike action, or allow their own, SolCom concieved the Spectre well beyond what they were capable of. However, following formal relations with the Sobornost Republic and the technology trades that occured from that meeting, the Spectre became a reality. Able to move quickly, and bearing an oversized powerplant for its size, the Spectre is not as small, nor as difficult to locate. However, it is capable of deploying a modified cynosural field that allows Huerdaen ships to Gate to the location with greatly decreased energy costs, increasing the strategic capabilities of the Star Navy considerably. It is also outfitted with the same, highly sensitive sensor suite used on the Ghost, though without the need for considerations for stealth use. This makes it an extremely capable scout and a dangerously capable first-strike option for the Star Empire.

Refineries

Refineries are built from the knowledge learned from the Ikittitl colonies in the long war between these peoples. Modeled after the ships of the Ikittitl themselves, the refineries keep the empire moving at war and at peace. Crewed now by Huerdaen, only a single Ikittitl refinery still exists in the Star Empire, which now rests within the very heart of the Ikittitl homelands, deployed only when the bug-like creatures find the need to expand on their own. Among the Huerdaen, this ship is known as the Stoneking, and it is treated with as much respect as their own refineries, being a relic from the war between the two peoples, and a craft which has killed more Huerdaen than any other single vessel in the history of the empire.

Calypso-Class Harvester Refinery

The Calypso-Class Refineries are nearly 8 km long, and easily the largest ships in the Huerdaen Star Navy. Despite their massive size, they're not warships. Instead, they're an integral part of the Huerdaen economy, moving constantly between the nearly-endless outposts and mining stations across the domain. They serve to refine and break down the many resources gathered by these posts. Due to the large number of resources available, the Huerdaen quickly found that it was more efficient to refit each of them with a massive drydock that ran along the belly of the ship. It was large enough to service a dreadnought, and it was also where the first dreadnought was created. This is not a warship, and though it is heavily armored and bears massive turreted weapons, it is built only to withstand an assault until it escapes. However, anyone who sees the massive craft as an easy target will pay dearly. The Calypso bears eight turrets, each with a pair of guns. These guns are identical to those used in Huerdaen battleships, and are capable of massive amounts of damage. This is the main armament of the beasts, and they carry very little else, though some have been modified for limited point-defense capabilities, this is rare.

Colossus-Class Factory Refinery

The Colossus-Class Refineries are the smaller versions, weighting in at only 6,580 m long, but they are generally seen as the more important of the Huerdaen refinery craft. While all Refineries are important, the Colossus is built specifically to produce, often linking with a Calypso-class and building as the Calypso offloads directly into the factory chambers. There are few of these ships, but they supply the majority of Huerdaen warships, capable of building as many as four war frigates at one time, or one of the deadly dreadnoughts. They are heavily armored and armed, though not quite to the same level as the Calypso-class, and when found, are sometimes known to deploy partially-constructed ships to cover their escape, though such vessels sometimes are still quite combat-worthy.

Landing Craft

Landing craft have always been where the majority of Shield casualties are sustained. Be it from anti-orbital fire or lower-yield anti-aircraft fire, the Huerdaen landing craft are a vulnerability in the assault that sends shivers down the spine of every member of the Shield. While many have fought aboard stations or ships, it is widely considered that you are not 'blooded' until you have participated in a landing on hostile soil. The truth of the matter is that regardless of training or equipment, the Shield is at the mercy of the few brave pilots who try to deposit their forces upon the ground until a beachhead has been created. After that time, the Shield excells at what it does, but until that time, it must depend upon it's own specialized equipment and the unbelievably heavy armor and shielding of the landing craft it employs.

Drekkar-Class Assault Lander

The Drekkar-Class is the most adaptable landing craft, with significant rearward thrust to allow it surprising atmospheric capability for a Huerdaen vessel, as well as the characteristic tank-like armor and shielding. It is designed for quick insertions, often into hostile territory, and survival on exit. The heavy powerplants allow it to power EWar gear that make it viable for undetected troop deployments, though most direct the power to shielding for increased longevity in combat. The Drekkar is recognizable in the Huerdaen fleet as a raider, something so far out of doctrine that it is generally seen as a gimmick, though it takes part in every major landing. With its ability to deploy a full division and their supplies, it is often used to insert forward units ahead of the main army, with the ship itself acting as an impromptu base until discovered.

Argo-Class Lander

The Argo is a heavy transport, used to ferry down heavy equipment, vehicles, and supplies in consistent, speedy deployments or supply runs. It is heavily armored, but relatively unarmed, capable of only protecting itself on approach. Despite this, it is designed for speedy delivery of soldiers or equipment with a high carrying capacity, making it ideal for post-beachhead reinforcing or supply distribution. The presence of Argo craft are the surest sign that the Huerdaen have secured their landing zone, and these are often used in a civilian role to deploy things such as hab-units or as simple, private freighters. Their FTL drives are large for their size, giving them a large range. It is not designed for combat drops, though has been used for such with modifications such as stealth suites, for large scale pre-emptive strikes. Fully loaded, the Argo can carry equivalent forces and supplies for a full battle regiment.

Conqueror-Class Heavy Lander

The Conqueror is used in massed assaults upon enemy planets and massive space stations, is not deployed from other carrier ships, instead being loaded and equipped prior to launching the assault from bases within the Star Empire. They bear their own FTL drives, and are far more heavily armored than any other ship of comparable size. It is, however, not at all armed except with defensive guns, and requires heavy cover fire when descending. Due to it's weight and size, it is nearly impossible to make a quick descent, forcing the Conqueror to descend following orbital supremacy being obtained, though the heavy defenses allow it to be employed for the massive blitz attacks of the Huerdaen. Each Conqueror is capable of carrying an entire Battle Army within it's hold, including support weapons and equipment, making the landing of even a single Conqueror a significant gain, or the loss a significant setback.

Beachhead-Class Deployable Fortification

The Beachhead is a craft with a singular purpose in design. It consists of a heavily armored fore-section that was originally built to withstand a drop from orbit, when the craft did not bear it's own propulsion system, they were carried beneath the thick wings of early Conqueror craft. However, this proved inefficient, and the design was soon updated to include propulsion of their own, as well as heavy Ataster shielding. This allows them to forcibly breach orbital defenses and dive to the surface of the planet, containing a platoon of Infantry and a heavy anti-orbital weapon, allowing the Huerdaen to 'flank' orbital defense systems. This cannon is mounted on the 'tail' of the vessel, and after it has fully deployed, is capable of firing on nearby planetary forces as well with devastating results, though the size makes it slow to traverse. It also has been known to be used against unshielded warships and stations to assist in disrupting enemy defenses during desperate attacks.

'Lotus Blossom' Faster-Than-Light Transit Carrier

Designed specifically for the Deaths Head lander, the Lotus Blossom is an entirely unmanned FTL craft. With extremely heavy forward shielding and armor, it is designed to transit to orbit over a drop zone, align itself, and begin descent. It contains bulging armor plates that make it look like a sickly worm when stowed for transit, with armor plates covering the forward sections of the ten Deaths Heads it is able to carry to the combat zone. Once it has bypassed the upper atmosphere, the Lotus Blossom 'blooms', unfolding its arms to deploy the Deaths Heads in a circular pattern. Jettisoning its armored plates, it uses these to protect its cargo as it pushes them away toward their landing zones. While opening, the structure is designed to break up and burn, creating what many have described as a beautiful, short-lived blooming of a flaming flower as the armor plates break away and temporarily create the beautiful artwork. Each Lotus Blossom is designed only for only a single landing, after which it is unrecoverable, and the FTL drive burns is left in a decaying orbit to burn up if not recovered.

'Deaths Head' Armored Combat Landing Pod

A fairly unique craft designed by the Huerdaen, the Death's Head is a lander designed to either latch onto host craft and join them in FTL transit to the target location, or attach to the Lotus Blossom FTL carrier. Without its own FTL drive, the Deaths Head is particularly small, measuring only approximately 150 meters long. The vessel is completely armored, and all of the meager power is pushed into either the the inertial dampeners or engines until impact. On approach the craft is wreathed in flame, like a flaming skull plummeting to the ground, and causing catastrophic damage near the impact site. Once it slams into the ground, it then begins to unfold, opening each of twenty-five levels stacked vertically, with armor plates folding over each. It carries a full Field Regiment to the surface with a Division held on each of the levels, with a ramp on each of five sides, allowing a single company to deploy out each side. The central core is a small pentastar, through which units may traverse between areas to deploy if their own ramp is either blocked or damaged. As the vessel unfolds, it pushes each prior level outward, while the 'tail' of the craft lowers toward the ground, folding outward so that the 'belly' of the craft flattens out with the ground, and the armored plates expand to provide a multi-layered, dome-like covering over the deploying troops. Once deployed, It is immobile and is not armed, though it is shielded, and has no recovery function. In this way it creates an armored canopy for deploying troops, enabling a Field Regiment to deploy quickly into a protected zone in less than ten minutes.

'Harpy' Armored Rapid Lander

Designed to facilitate the rapid deployment, redeployment, and retreival of troops, the Harpy is a sizeable craft for a lander, with significant forward and bottom armoring, as well as a massive carry capacity. Its primary drive is a series of boosters, resilient against enemy fire, but meaning that actual touchdown is sometimes difficult in uneven terrain. It has the ability to carry up to two IMN ships suspended beneath its hull for deployment into marine environments or redeployment between areas, as well as a significant amount of supplies both in the hold and suspended beneath.

It is capable of holding and deploying a field regiment, and has sufficient armor and active defenses to take part during initial assaults. However, unlike most landers, the Harpy tends to remain near the planet during invasions, either based on the ground or protected in orbit. This allows for quick redeployment of troops, to outflank or change the battlefield in the favor of the Huerdaen. In this way, they can maintain a mobility advantage on a macro scale, permitting large scale redeployments with little to no warning, followed by quick deployment and the rapid assaults that characterize the Imperial Shield at war.
Last edited by Huerdae on Sun Jan 26, 2020 10:22 pm, edited 56 times in total.
The Huerdaen Star Empire is an FT Nation.

Xiscapia wrote:It amused her for a time to wonder if the two fleets could not see each other, so she could imagine them blindly stabbing in the dark, like a game of tag, if tag was played with rocket launchers in pitch blackness.
[17:15] <Telros> OH HO HO, YOU THOUGHT HUE WAS OUT OF LUCK, DID YOU
[17:15] <Telros> KUKUKU, HE HAS REINFORCEMENTS
[17:15] <Telros> FOR TELROS IS REINFORCEMENTS MAN

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Huerdae
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Re: The Huerdaen Star Empire

Postby Huerdae » Thu Sep 03, 2009 11:10 pm

Assault Craft and Vehicles of the Imperial Shield

The Imperial Shield is a heavily mechanized force, making use of massive armored and mechanized brigades to support massed infantry brought into battle on the backs of roaring vehicles. Conflict with the Shield is often characterized by heavy bombardment, close support between infantry and armor, with lightning blitzes against vulnerable targets. Blistering artillery can sometimes give way to oncoming armor with little or no warning, and the sheer shock value of the Huerdaen armored blitz is often enough to break through enemy lines.

Talon Gunship Chassis

What had always been the mainstay of Huerdaen gunships proved to be one of the hardest vehicles to modify. It filled a niche role that was both required, and had little overlap with other roles. This kept it from being easily redesigned or its role being expanded. Despite that, it was pivotal that it be available to units that required it. Unlike most other gunships, very little of the Talon is changed between variants, limited to the side wing stubs. A newly upgraded ECM suite was added as well, to increase the survivability of the craft. A trio of Hephaestus guns are mounted on the nose in a rotary mount capable of loading multiple types of ammunition on demand to allow it to engage multiple targets in quick succession. In addition, the high-powered thrust pods still make the same distinctive shriek when operating at high capacity.

Talon-Variant

The Talon-Variant survived with almost no modifications from its prior version. Newer targeting systems notwithstanding, it is nearly identical with fast-firing rocket pods on wing stubs kept close to the hull to maintain the low profile. The high speed and maneuverability were even slightly increased in the new variant, despite the addition of slightly larger rocket pods over the prior version. It is also capable of swapping out the tank-killing anti-matter shaped warheads with bunker- and fortification-busting nuclear blast warheads to allow it to properly support a wide variety of actions, though this significantly reduces the number of armaments it can carry into combat.

Kage-Variant

The Kage-Variant is often seen as the natural evolution of the quick-as-lightning Talon. Made slightly lighter by lacking heavy munitions on stub wings, it instead boasts a pair of blisters that include a pair of target painters, one on each side for use alongside the Yokai-Variant tank destroyers or artillery support, allowing long-range support to increase significantly in accuracy. The blisters also include a large number of periphal sensors to allow the Kage to make a target zone of an entire geographical area. A greatly increased ECM suite is also used to avoid detection, allowing the Kage-Variant to flit undetected along the outskirts of a conflict, eliminating key targets and allowing supported units to overcome otherwise insurmountable odds. This is made even more effective by the fact that the lighter weight allows the thrust pods to run at minimal output, a mode which decreases noise output so significantly it has quickly become a favorite for almost all formations, not just light infantry.

Ronin-Variant

The Ronin-Variant is a surprising divergence from other Talon chassis vehicles in its expectation to remain in an area after a kill. Designed with all three hardpoints carrying only Forgefire rail-assist cannons, and outright replacing the gunner position with an enhanced ECM suite, it is a uniquely skilled hunter-killer of armor. Even extremely heavy vehicles find it a significant threat due to its ability to strike from directly above and inflict direct, clean hits on a target. Other gunships also find it particularly lethal, as a well-armored craft finds itself with no protection from the lethal impact from a Forgefire cannon. The ECM in particular serves as a capable weapon, allowing it to get close and confirm the kill before streaking away with the same frantic speed that so characterizes the Talon chassis.

Griffon Support-Gunship Chassis

Firmly in the middle between the Talon and Overlord in terms of base fuselage size, the Griffon has the highest takeoff weight capability of any of the three. At the cost of a higher maximum speed, the Griffon's six thrust pods are more akin to those on the lumbering Roc than those of the high-speed Talon. This allows the monster to act in a variety of support roles, carrying massive amounts through a combat zone near the front lines. It bears only three hardpoints, one massive hardpoint on either side of the fuselage, and a nose-mount designed for close support. Along the belly is a large storage bay to support the different variants.

Griffon-Variant

Like the 'Phalanxship' of the older-model Imperial Shield, the Griffon-Variant is a gunship specializing in anti-air capability. With expansive flak batteries on either side of the Griffon, including a 105mm railgun firing flak rounds at the fore, the Griffon does not lack for firepower against an airborne enemy. With the entirety of the belly-bay filled with ammunition, it has the capability to provide mobile, effective support against enemy aircraft for an extended period of time, while maintaining the capability to fly at extremely low altitudes.

Pegasus-Variant

Arguably, the Pegasus makes use of the advantages of the Griffon-Chassis more than any others. Using the belly-hold as a fully-stocked internal med-bay for wounded and injured, the side mounts incorporate heavy-lift gear for the recovery of tanks and other vehicles, or even other badly damaged gunships out of the sky. Swooping in on thrusters added to the heavy-lift modules, it snatches the target and quickly leaves the area. Armed only with the nose-turret Hades gun, it does not linger in combat. It can also carry crates and equipment to isolated points on a battlefield, dropping them to resupply beleaguered units.

Rhea-Variant

Like the Pegasus, the Rhea is armed only with the nose gun, though in this case that weapon is a Hephaestus weapon to decrease the ammo usage of the vessel itself. The belly section of the craft is used to contain ammunition and other supplies for active combat vessels in the area, including fuel if required for allied aircraft. Designed to be able to dock any manner of allied gunship along its side in a universal docking array, it can re-arm and resupply as many as four allied gunships at one time, most often with their tail pointed skyward. It can also dock a friendly aircraft along the belly if it has no other craft attached, though this is often used only as a last resort, as it is dangerous to 'catch' such craft out of the air.

Hippogriff-Variant-A (Foreign)

Designed by the Galactic Republic of Alexzonya as a rapid-redeployment and light fire support vehicle, the Hippogriff is a modification of the Pegasus-variant Griffon chassis. It retains the added thruster packs to increase maximum safe descent speed and allow for greater maneuvering power in avoidance and when taking off under full load. Unlike the Pegasus, whose side hardpoints vehicle mounts are intended to spirit damaged tanks away, the Hippogriff is built to carry Kodiac light chassis vehicles into battle, with one mounted to each side. The belly storage bay, used in the Pegasus as a medical bay, is used in the Hippogriff for pure troop carriage. Lastly, the 40mm nose cannon from the Pegasus is replaced with the 60mm Hephaestus autocannon from the Rhea-variant, to improve performance against enemy armor and fortified positions. While rarely seen in Imperial Shield deployments, the Hippogriff does appear in a variety of locations, and quite often has been adopted by Corporate Militia and Civilian Militia units.

Wyvern-Variant-A (Foreign)

Designed by the Galactic Republic of Alexzonya as a close air support and anti-tank gunship, the Wyvern is a modification of the Griffon-variant Griffon chassis.The concept of the Wyvern is similar to the Griffon and it’s 105mm Pikeman guns, but instead of enemy aircraft, it’s enemy tanks and grounds targets that the Wyvern seeks to destroy. It replaces the 105mm Pikeman guns on the Griffon with the 105mm gun system from the Goliath. In like manner, the dual 40mm Spearhead flak gun mounts from the Griffon are replaced by 40mm Hades cannons for suppressing and scything down enemy personnel. The gun systems on the Wvyern can be cued and targeted using the target designation systems on the Kodiac-chassis Kodiac and Oni variants. Unlike the Griffon, the Wyvern mounts is cannons only on the left side, with the right side fuselage space used for additional ammunition. The belly storage bay is also used for ammunition, as with the Griffon. As with the Hippogriff-variant, the 40mm Hades nose gun from the Griffon is replaced by a 60mm Hephaestus autocannon. Though effective, the Wyvern has found little adoption in the Star Empire mostly due to the large number of other support options available. However, many frontier worlds maintain a Wyvern-Variant as a deterrent to armored assault by raiders or other competing entities, as the weapon systems are easily capable of making any sort of hostile action economically unfeasible.


Overlord Destroyer-Gunship Chassis

Unlike the quick and nimble Talon, the Overlord carries almost as much armor as it carries weaponry. With six thrust pods protected within armored sockets on the hull of the craft, the Overlord can match a Talon's speed at a sprint, but it suffers from significantly decreased maneuverability and acceleration. Unlike the Talon, the Overlord follows the modular ideals that the Shield is moving to, with the entire belly of the craft able to be swapped out, giving it a particularly large number of combat options. As well, the stub-wings can be completely removed to provide a wide assortment of armaments. It is the first aircraft that the Shield has produced that follows the New-Model modular standards, setting it apart from other aircraft. Weapon mountings are numerous, including a pair on each side of the cockpit in a fixed forward-firing position under the control of the pilot, and modular sections along the belly, then again along the long sides of the craft, which are normally under the control of the gunner.

Overlord-Variant

Essentially a larger, much better armored and armed Talon gunship, the Overlord Variant is the direct descendant of the Blackbird's success. With a pair of Hephaestus guns on each side of the cockpit, standing directly before it is no pleasant matter. However, this is not the primary armament. The stub wings carry a full set of two rocket pods per wing, with increased payloads and flight times, allowing it to engage at a greater distance and hit harder. It can also replace these for a much lower amount of bunker-busting nuclear-tipped warheads. This allows the Overlord a much greater versatility in combat, and added to the increased survivability, it often can spend some significant amount of time in the combat zone. The belly section of this variant is armed with a nose-mounted dual-Hephaestus gun on a limited-range turret mount. This allows the nose gun to fire in a 90 degree cone forward to target specific enemy threats and eliminate them during a strike.

Emperor-Variant

The Emperor takes the idea of the Overlord and turns it up yet again. Keeping the same loadout of four Hephaestus guns at the cockpit mounts, the stub-wings are modified to mount a pair of Forgefire cannons, one on each side to make this into a dedicated armor-killer. These are linked together to fire on the same target, and the ends of the stub wings are tipped in a vertical stabilizer, to help control the effects of the recoil produced by firing the large guns while in flight and giving it a distinctive profile in the attack. Because this decreases the number of weapons available on the stub wings, the Emperor carries a series of rockets along the belly on either side in armored compartments that stick out from the hull, giving it a wider profile than its cousins. This also hardens it against most attacks, and while it decreases the amount of fire that can be deployed, and the firing ports are not large enough for the bunker-busting nuclear rockets, it can reload multiple times, keeping the Emperor on station for longer periods of time than other variants. The nose is also armed with a larger, dual-mount Hades guns for fire suppression around the target with a full 360 degree rotation in a downward arc.

Revenant-Variant

A relative black sheep in the Huerdaen arsenal, the Revenant-Variant is a dedicated SEAD craft designed to support the other variants in combat. With a sophisticated EWar suite situated around the cockpit and taking up a hardpoint on either side, it has decreased forward-firing capability that has been mitigated slightly by the change of Hephaestus cannons to Hades guns, though prolonged fire has been known to sometimes shroud peripheral vision of the pilot. The belly of the Revenant carries a series of six Hades guns in high-speed independent mounts able to be targeted independently or automatically in active point-defense roles. Normally, these are left operating slaved to the EWar system to protect the craft from incoming fire, with four able to cover a forward arc, and two covering the rear. These are mounted on the sides of the belly, with the deep 'gut' of the Revenant used to store the large amounts of ammo required. The stub-wings have been completely removed, and replaced with a pair of 105mm railguns firing dedicated rounds used to burst above the target and rain bomblets and shrapnel above the target. Acting outside of direct line-of-sight, the Revenant becomes a dangerous and wily foe for enemy air defense, using the extremely long range of the railguns and its EWar suite to harass a large area of the battlefield without giving away its exact location. The nose mount has been used to assist in the targeting of the defensive weapons, providing a full-coverage point defense system for both the Revenant and nearby allied aircraft against incoming munitions.

Roc Heavy Flight Chassis

The Roc is the single most common landing craft in the Star Empire. It is surprisingly small, and able to deploy an armed and armored platoon of Infantry in a VTOL role. It isn't particularly fast, but most missions the Roc performs consist of descent from orbit. It is carried aloft by four sets of three linked thrust pods, and has a pilot of one. The Roc is one of the most recognizable signs of the Star Empire, in use by both the ISN and the Shield. It is very heavily armored, shielded, and can lose a whole cluster of thrust pods without going down. It can continue to perform a successful crash landing on as few as one thrust pod in each cluster, though it is incapable of remaining aloft with less than six working pods from at least three points. This, along with the fact that the heavy duty pods are reinforced and have multiple redundancies, make it seem nigh-immortal when facing small arms or light anti-aircraft fire, and many who have faced it from the ground consider the act of firing on a descending Roc to be a waste of time without significant firepower, as it merely gives away their position. The Shield consider the bird 'The Immortal Warbird', because of its tendency to survive, even when its passengers may not. The Roc chassis maintains the cockpit and thrust pod setup, though the entire belly bay can be removed and changed, allowing the variants to be swapped between faster than any other vehicle.

Roc-Variant

The first, most famous, most common, and most recognizable variant, the Roc has served the Star Navy and the Shield for as long as anyone other than Lady Victory can remember. It is built to safely shuttle its passengers to the ground, even if it may not always make the return trip. To that end, it is heavy, durable, and implacable. It does not have the speed of the dropships of other nations, and it no longer bears the drop pods that were so rarely used by earlier variants, but what it loses in that it makes up for in durability and carrying capacity. Able to carry a full platoon with a support weapon, the Roc-Variant is everything that could be expected. Impervious to small arms fire, it has the ability to shrug off many larger weapons as well, due to the heavy shielding and heavier armor. Sheltering a reactor core at the center of the top of the vessel, it is as far from harm as possible, through a strike along the top of the craft is more effective, it is still a very difficult target. The defensive capabilities have been increased, with two additional Hephaestus guns being added, to allow all four corners of the troop bay to fire the massive guns on approach, though the nose gun has been removed. In addition, the doors of the dropship can open to either side or the rear, or all at once, allowing the team to decide the safest exit from the vessel. The doors still open from the bottom up, following the Shield practice of firing down on the enemy as they open during descent, and allowing them to assist in clearing a landing zone prior to stepping out into it.

Blackbird-Variant

Taking advantage of the heavy takeoff weight of the Roc chassis, the Blackbird is everything that could be expected from the Huerdaen when given orders to merely arm it well enough to destroy everything in front of it. The Blackbird-Variant is designed as a blunt instrument. Most often employed to annihilate a specific area, it has the capability of taking up a position, and slowly creeping a nearly-endless wall of rockets across position after position. Instead of a massive troop bay, the Blackbird has a large complement of ammunition, which can be chain-loaded into eight distinct hard points. These can be either the Talon rocket pods, to the larger, destructive fortification-clearing pods used on the Overlord-Variant gunships. The hardpoints are set up with four on either side of the cockpit like the old Blackbird, though instead of stacking them 2-by-2, they are now four-by-one, making the vessel wider, without the large frontal profile. This makes it a more dangerous attack craft, though it is more vulnerable to attacks from directly above or below. The design of the Blackbird is also such that the ammo is now carried in armored internal bays, instead of exposed rocket pods like before, and the loading process most closely mimics that of the Hephaestus guns with rockets being loaded in sequence before being rotated into position and fired. While this slows down the overall rate of fire of the Blackbird from before, it also means it can more accurately aim a barrage, and uses less of its seemingly endless munitions to eliminate the same target. This, in turn, makes the presence of a Blackbird a significant threat, as the as it is not uncommon that two of the launchers are readied to use the nuclear bunker-busters that are becoming more common, allowing it to become a flying, armored battering ram for lighter units to break through heavy defenses.

Shinsengumi-Variant

The final variant was found to be one of the tools that soon became commonplace around the empire. Designed for airborn recon, the Shinsengumi-Variant is classed as an Airborn Warning And Control System, or AWACS. Designed to loiter at extremely high altitudes with an advanced sensor suite, it functions in a multitude of roles. Able to link in with the target identifiers of new Shield units, it permits an even wider array of accurate fire over an area, though it cannot seed any area, it can uplink and bounce the signal for vehicles and craft that do not have line of sight, also functioning to assist in the targeting of other units that don't have a compatible system, like many artillery units or airborn assault craft. Because of these capabilities, the Shinsengumi has been outfit to conceal itself from enemy eyes. Though this requires it move at greatly decreased speeds. Because of this, and the extended loiter time, there is a tiny, two-bunk room attached to the cockpit by the belly, to permit a secondary crew for multi-day missions. The entirety of the rest of the belly section is built to incorporate ECM, command and control, high-resolution scanning, and other intelligence equipment, permitting it to have a huge sight range, even from the edge of the atmosphere. Because of its high cruising altitude, it is often more effective for a Shinsengumi-Variant to attempt to evade enemy fire by escaping into orbit.

Tonka Halftrack Chassis

Ages old, the Tonka halftrack has permeated Huerdaen culture to such an extent that to decommission it, even at the time of widespread standardization, was simply unthinkable. Instead, it has been adapted to fit the roles required of it, now built with a highly modular and adaptable vehicle. Much of its purpose has been relegated away from the front lines in increasing numbers, however. It is a reliable design, using a tried and true sloped forward armor, supported on two, high-durability wheels used for steering. The extended rear of the vehicle is supported on a pair of massive, thick treads that allow the vehicle to move easily across almost any terrain. It has a single weapon mount, immediately above and behind the driver's cab. It is larger than the Kodiac, similar to a railcraft engine in size, giving it a significant presence on the battlefield, made more significant by its resilience against small arms and autocannons. Even suffering significant damage and failures, the vehicle is known to power onward, defying defeat and death. It is powered by a low-power fission reactor, capable of running for almost a decade without maintenance.

Tonka-Variant

Once the most common Huerdaen vehicle on the battlefield, the Shield has found itself simply impossible to abandon the durable, dependable machine. Faster on roads than the Kodiac Light Chassis, the Tonka is the very image of reliability. It carries a full platoon of Imperial Shield, and can also tow a single field gun into the fray. At slower speeds, Heavy Infantry units have been known to man this field gun, firing on the move, though this has a marked impact on accuracy, it often has the desired effect of suppressing enemy forces. It is particularly useful with the rotating-mount Hephaestus gun.

Atlas-Variant

One of the thankless duties of the Tonka has always been as part of the logistical train. Ferrying supplies, forces, and ammunition to the front is an often ignored, but pivotal job, and the Tonka fits the bill exactly where needed. Quick, durable, and able to cross most terrain types, it is easily one of the most common vehicles in any Huerdaen base. Able to be refit for combat should the need arise, it serves a double-role as reserves and supply train. Even without conversion to a Minos-Variant, the Atlas maintains the standard forward-mount Hephaestus gun, and can serve as a stopgap if an enemy appears to be attempting a breakthrough.

Minos-Variant

A rather interesting vehicle, the Minos-Variant was stolen almost directly from the 130th Panzer Lehr division. Their success in using the Tonka halftrack as a mobile weapons platform has permitted the Tonka a particular role in post-standardized Imperial Shield. A weapon mounting was crafted to the rear compartment, allowing the mounting of any field gun to this vehicle. This is limited by the fact that the Huerdaen cannot point this gun directly forward with the exception of the Thor mortar, but in cramped urban environments, such as that experienced in the Battle of Sojent-Ra and battles against the Vipran Imperium, this variant is found to be particularly useful. Able to move quickly between streets and over rubble, it has found a place in urban warfare that pays tribute to the adaptability of the vehicle. Coupled with the prodigious ammo supply and a constant feed to the mounted weapon, it has proven a mobile, persistent weapon against any foe, and one on which the Heavy Infantry of the Imperial Shield have come to trust and depend on.

Kodiac Light Chassis

Combat with the Exile units in the Fringe Campaign in the Home Galaxy taught the Imperial Shield that the lightly armored Gravedigger simply lacked the firepower to take on the heavies Furies that it was put up against. Against their first heavy armor enemy, the Gravedigger-variant performed, at best, mediocre. Mechanized units found themselves without effective support as well, with the Gatecrasher lacking armor or reliable firepower against the Exile foe. Of all of them, only the Kodiac-variant performed up to expectations. Because of that, as well as the relative vulnerability of Mechanized units against armored foes, the Gravedigger chassis and all variants underwent significant redevelopment. While the focus on speed and maneuverability remained paramount, the forward hull sloping was significantly increased and the hull gun was completely removed. This allowed the space to be used for ammunition, armor, and other equipment. The side 'wings' used to protect infantry from small arms fire were kept, though they no longer concealed doors to the vehicle. Instead, they can be fitted with equipment lockers or defensive equipment for the vehicle, such as additional smoke launchers or ECM gear, and have been outfit with full articulation so that they can be used in more situations. This brought it more in line with the successful Kodiac-Variant, and prompted a chassis rename to suit the new developments.

Kodiac-Variant

With few changes from the prior Kodiac-Variant, the Kodiac's new slightly larger size allows it to accommodate a full command and ECM gear suite as well as sporting the additional armor and protection available on the new model. Behind the wing plates, it is outfit to mount Aegis projectors to allow it to provide itself with significant, adaptive coverage that could protect from top, side, or frontal attacks depending on the configuration, which could be changed while on the move. The turret is nearly identical, mounting the same pair of Hades cannons following the same capability of ejecting spent casings up and away from the vehicle to confuse enemy targeting and protect the vehicle. However, it includes a newly-added, independently-rotated target painter to allow it to spot targets for the new Yokai-Variant destroyer mounted between the Hades cannons. Shielding capabilities have also been increased in a suite almost identical to the ones used in the Goliath-Variant medium tank, making it the most durable Kodiac Chassis vehicle.

Oni-Variant

By most estimates capable of operating as a light tank, the Oni is a far cry from its predecessor, the Gatecrasher. No longer designed to slam into the target and disgorge troops, it is armed for war and armored against most enemy fire. Bearing a turret mount with Hephaestus gun, its offensive capabilities don't stop there. The cupola has a remote/manual Akki normally used with HE ammunition for clearing nearby structures, and it also includes an auto-tracking Hades in a close-range anti-missile system. The final item in the turret is a buried target painter, that can identify heavily armored targets for supporting fire to eliminate, namely fire from the Talos or Yokai. In addition, rounds fired from the Oni are often fitted with a blasting collar around the tip of the round that bursts upon impact, this releases a spray of the super-heated, highly magnetic fluids across the target location, often interfering with local sensors and blinding the target. Infantry disembark from an armored rear door, and the vehicle can carry up to two full squads. Under the deploying wings, the vehicle can conceal either additional ammunition, or defensive ECM equipment, making it well-liked by the troops using it.

Yokai-Variant

A spiritual successor to the Gravedigger, the Yokai fills the same role with different goals in mind. No longer determined to fire on the move, it is built around a much more powerful primary armament. Making use of the 'wing' bays to help conceal it against enemy identification, it carries a long-barreled version of the 120mm railgun used by the Gravedigger, with improved ballistics and ammunition. Making use of the technology in the Sauron rifle on a macro scale, it is capable of punching through almost any ground-based vehicle shielding, depending on sheer impact power to annihilate the enemy before it. The gun's increased recoil means it can no longer reasonably fire on the move, but it does have another significant advantage over its ancestor. Using a suite of controls in the hull, it is able to locate targets identified by friendly units, sight in, and fire in record time over extreme distances. Unfortunately, the weight of the turret and weapon significantly decrease the speed of the vehicle, making it nowhere near as nimble as its predecessor. Despite this shortcoming, effectiveness in combat is well above that of the Gravedigger in recent engagements, effectively taking over the role of the antiquated model.

Gorgon Light Support Chassis

With the rebuilding of the Goliath Chassis, it was determined that the armor and powerplant output of the chassis was wasted on a number of support units. Because of this, the Gorgon Light Support Chassis was constructed, almost completely using parts matching the Kodiac-Chassis. With the realization that the greatest vulnerability of many support units was their open-topped nature due to the limitations of the Goliath, the Gorgon was built to overcome these limitations. Making use of the lighter weight due to less armor, the Gorgon is faster, but still capable of carrying a significant load of ammunition. In addition, it was designed to be able to make use of the towable 'cart' available to the Tonka chassis vehicles to increase ammo capacity without having to store it internally. This made Gorgon-chassis squadrons more mobile and less dependent on resupply than their predecessors. All have limited anti-missile systems, as well as a single Aegis barrier powered by a battery array similar to that in use on the Goliath-variant and directed straight up, to protect from inbound aircraft or counter-battery while moving. In addition, all Gorgon-Chassis variants are NBC sealed, greatly increasing their viability. It is crewed by three, a commander, gunner, and driver. The chassis is equipped merely with a single Maedar hull gun controlled by the driver. Gorgon Chassis vehicles are primarily seen in support of mechanized and armored units, though engineering units have been known to employ them as well.

Whirlwind-Variant

The success of the Whirlwind was twofold, in anti-aircraft capability and anti-missile capabilties, but it was quickly found that the 40mm spearhead was incapable of long-range fire. To overcome this, the switch to the Gorgon-chassis came with a number of upgrades. While the Whirlwind retained two 40mm Spearheads, it obtained a pair of 60mm Forgefire cannons mounted lower on the turret, to produce a greater ranged umbrella of AA fire. While incapable of anti-missile fire, the increased individual capabilities of units allowed the Whirlwind-variant to focus less on this role, and more on airspace denial. The Forgefire is armed almost completely with a heavy flak round that allows it to sustain a lethal wall of bomblets while engaging enemy targets, while independently targeted Spearhead weapons mounted on either side of the turret provide protective fire or an exclusion zone where enemy craft can no longer operate.

Gorgon-Variant

The only vehicle which didn't experience significant changes, the Gorgon still uses the 105mm Pikeman rail weapon to project anti-air artillery. The greatest difference comes from the increased ballistics and targeting of the weapon, allowing it to target enemy craft beginning their descent into the atmosphere, before many defensive systems come online. The high elevation capabilities of the Gorgon make this significantly more lethal, as a large area can be covered by a series of these vehicles. The Gorgon variant is also capable of firing on the move accurately, taking advantage of greatly increased stability of its upgraded turret, and has inherited the double-feed loader from the old Cyclops to allow it a greatly increased rate of fire over prior versions.

Wasp-Variant

While only a small upgrade from the bumblebee, slow updates have proven enough to warrant renaming of the Bumblebee to the Wasp-Variant. It maintains a 120mm artillery-mount weapon, but improvements in loading and targeting allow it to more accurately and quickly barrage an area and move on. While it is able to mimic the same drop patterns and timing of the Kraken, it is only able to do so with three rounds instead of eight, and must do so at a limited range, meaning that in a defensive role the Wasp-Variant is far superior to the Bumblebee, though its capabilities are almost identical in support of offensive actions. Despite this, it is able to more quickly reposition and fire, and includes a turret capable of a 90 degree arc, allowing greater accuracy against moving targets, and a greater ability to bring the gun to bear.

Goliath Medium Chassis

The single most common chassis in combat formations, the Goliath makes up the bulk of the HSE's armored might. Previously a wildcard chassis, the goliath went through a short, but decisive rebuild following input from allied nations regarding its capabilities. Dropping it down from a jack-of-all trades chassis to a well-armored, well-armed, highly-mobile medium armored vehicle, it became significantly more capable in its chosen roles, not the least of which was the Goliath-Variant's increased ammo capacity allowing it to become more viable against infantry and other targets. It is still powered by a durable, long-lasting nuclear powerplant linked to a series of electric motors, and bears a hull-mounted Hephaestus gun for combat situations. Shielding has been increased to a heavier shield, and the sloped sides of the turret as well as the vehicle's armored flanks have been given armored 'schurzen' to add protection from most basic anti-armor weapons. This, as well as a standard anti-missile system sunken into the forward hull make the vehicles significantly more durable against enemy fire, while maintaining the low, small profile that earned it such a vicious reputation. It continues to run on four crew, with the commander and gunner in the turret, while the driver and engineer/hull gunner remain in the hull. It also comes with standard equipment of smoke launchers capable of confusing sensors and most known imaging systems. Attention was paid to making sure that the Goliath shares many parts, including road wheels and electrical drive motors, with the Kodiac and Gorgon Chassis, to limit logistical complications.

Goliath-Variant

A Glyptar is available on a commander's cupola mount for an anti-infantry role, but the very meat of the tank lays in the 105mm rail gun that is nestled tightly in the turret. Huerdaen railgun technology makes this weapon capable of piercing almost any armor in the field, despite the deceptively small bore, and a full array of newly-improved high explosive munitions allow it to engage soft or infantry targets with equal lethality. The rear of the turret was lengthened to supply room for additional ammo for the crew to make use of, allowing greater staying power in combat, and even more adaptability to the powerful variant. Aegis barrier projectors on either side of the turret and powered by a battery system allow the projection of sloped shielding to deflect rounds needlessly high. While this means that no additional load is placed on the reactor and the vehicle can continue operating at full performance, the barriers only last approximately five minutes before they must be shut down and the batteries recharged. While this makes the Goliath almost impervious to fire from those angles while active, it does mean that in an ambush situation the goliath can be vulnerable despite its many advantages. Regardless, this significantly increases its survival in breakthrough actions and has made it a truly devastating tank once it has pierced enemy defensive lines.

Nemesis-Variant Mk II

Once designed to conceal itself in the ranks of Goliath-Variants, the Nemesis has evolved further in to the Nemesis II, serving a dual purpose. While prior versions proved effective, it was clear that the chassis was not living up to its full potential. A single Hades weapon was not sufficient, and most crews quickly abandoned use of the Nemesis for vehicles such as the Cyclops, that were capable of engaging the enemy at more appropriate distances. Because of this, the two vehicles were merged, with the Nemesis II forming using a short-length 120mm rail barrel for use against fortifications and emplacements or buildings, while the incendiary projector was relegated to a quick-traverse location on the commander's cupola, using a remote control system. This allowed it to point almost completely verticle at enemies in high rise structures, and the tank to engage more types of opponents. While the sophisticated loading system of the Cyclops was no longer available, it was determined that the Goliath-Variant's loader could be used almost completely to replace it, allowing the Nemesis II to sustain a reasonable, if not as blistering, rate of fire as the older model. It also decreased logistical strain, making the Nemesis II immediately more acceptable to most commanders.

Bakemono-Variant

The only new variant to be constructed, the Bakemono is an up-gunned variant of the Goliath, fulfilling a much more dedicated anti-armor role than the prior versions. Following in the footsteps of the well-known Warmaiden, destroyed during the Fringe Campaign, it makes use of the Yokai's 120mm rail weapon as well as energy sheathing. What was once a particularly deadly tank-killer is now supported by a heavily-armed battle tank with a dedicated tank-killing weapon. While it has a 120mm HE round available for targeting infantry, most crews only bring a handful of the rounds, as the increased munition size makes it more viable to depend on the more capable Goliath-variant or Nemesis-variant and serve as supporting fire against enemy armor. The Bakemono is capable of linking to targets similar to Yokai-variants, making it even more viable in a battlefield role. In addition, a new round was specially designed for the vehicle, sheltering a low-yield nuclear device inside the center of the penetrator, it detonates within the target vehicle, creating a clean kill on over 95% of penetrating hits. This, as well as the increased number of combat tanks in use with armored formations makes the Shield significantly more deadly against almost every enemy they face.

Titan Heavy Chassis

The Titan Heavy Chassis is as intimidating as it is massive. Built with endurance and firepower in mind, the Titan carries nearly three times the armor of the smaller Goliath, but moves significantly at little more than half the speed. In addition, it is able to carry a massively increased amount of weapons and ammunition, with dual-Hephaestus side sponson mounts as well as a heavily reinforced turret ring. The hull incorporates a dual-gun forward-facing Hephaestus nestled deep in the armor, and the wide tracks are prohibitively heavy and hard to repair. For this reason, the armor over them reaches down almost to the ground, causing it to suffer over soft or cluttered terrain. However, even immobilizing a Titan Chassis is no mean feat, let alone destroying it, as even the rear carries significant armor against enemy weapons. It also includes a heavy shield generator, and anti-missile systems mounted on the hull to either side of the turret to deflect most incoming munitions and increase survivability of the vehicle. Besides their size, Titan-Chassis vehicles are distinctive for their long, thin turrets that bear extremely heavy armoring. Mounting a pair of massive reactors in the rear of the vehicle, it has ample power for shielding, weapons, and the multiple engines that pull the beast forward.

Titan-Variant

Bearing a massive 155mm gun that runs almost the length of the turret, and out past the forward sloping of the armor, the Titan-Variant is built for the purpose of flattening all that stands before it. Able to engage multiple targets at once and fire on the move without sacrificing accuracy, the Titan is truly a force to behold on the battlefield. Atop the turret, a shrouded dual-Hephaestus position is mounted for the commander for additional firepower, though this is often controlled from within. It is slow and ponderous, but fearless in battle, often leading the charge against enemy positions. The mighty 155mm rail cannon is able to engage even the toughest enemy targets, and carries enough ammo to engage in extended conflict. It is known for fighting through grueling combats, and many Titan-Variant tanks return home marked by the ordeal, but surviving. It is one of the toughest tanks the Huerdaen have ever created, and remains in service almost unchanged from per-standardized models.

Sentinel-Variant

A completely new variant built on the Titan chassis, the Sentinel is designed to increase the survivability of its brothers and sisters on the field, making an already implacable foe almost unstoppable. The long rear of the turret mounts two dual-gun Hades weapons, geared for anti-missile or low level anti-aircraft usage to protect Titan formations, storing massive amounts of ammo in the rear of the turret to permit extended use. In addition, the Sentinel mounts an area shield built by the Confederacy of Allied States in the Home Galaxy, making the shielding and passive protective measures of the already capable Titan-Chassis significantly more durable, as well as all allied units in the area, allowing them to become all but unstoppable. A projector embedded low in the top of the turret also allows the Sentinel to make use of the same technology in use on the Black Saracen cruiser in a much smaller scale, allowing the tank to bolster the shields of a nearby allied unit when they begin failing. This device makes mounting a cupola gun impossible and leaves only the forward section of the turret available for a primary armament. Unable to fit a weapon sized for the Titan chassis, Huerdaen engineers instead opted to mount three 105mm railguns in a rotary setup, able to be loaded together and kept spinning at high RPM, the Sentinel cannon is able to fire bursts of three 105mm rail rounds into a target less than a meter across. This has earned the vehicle significant firepower, albiet through unconventional means.

Blackguard-Variant

Using the Titan Chassis as a heavier firebase, the Blackguard-Variant was quickly adopted for engaging large numbers of enemy battle tanks. Mounting two seperate 120mm railguns that can be independently targeted against different targets, the Blackguard is a vehicle capable of engaging large numbers of enemies in a variety of forms at the same time. It is capable of taking part in extremely long range engagements, and the turret has greatly increased frontal armor, especially in the forward armor plate that juts out between the weapons where the gunners sit. It also makes use of an increased power output for an additional shield generator, giving it yet more survivability in adverse conditions than its fellow vehicles. It bears the same shrouded dual-Hephaestus position used on the Titan-Variant controlled from within the turret for the commander.

AVIE Support Chassis

The AVIE Support Chassis, standing for Armored Vehicle: Imperial Engineers, had already earned its place after limited time in the field. It was adaptable, powerful, toughened against most attacks. It was for this reason that Huerdaen engineers brought their heads together to find a way to modify the tank quickly and easily into its own variants. To this purpose, they succeeded, creating a tank where the entire front armor and upper section of the vehicle could be removed and replaced, leaving only a weakened seam at the lower front of the vehicle, often covered by assisting equipment. It maintains the four-track design from the original AVIE, using two massive tracks on either side that allow it to cross any terrain, and dig its way even through marshes or soft ground. It is often covered in dirt or mud from these expeditions, and as such has earned the name "Dirty" AVIE from its engineer crews.

AVIE-Variant

Based off the most effective design, the AVIE-Variant is a dual purpose demolitions tanks and minelayer. Using a Petard mortar on the forward hull plate, and a minelaying rig that is built over the top and rear of the chassis, it is capable of changing the very face of the battlefield in short order, clearing enemy fortifications, or barring their passage with a wall of deadly exposives in short order. The Petard mortar was particularly useful against enemies in fortifications, able to blow open entire trench systems or hillside redoubts with little trouble. However, due to the way the mortar is reloaded, it must be done manually, greatly slowing the rate of fire of the weapon. Despite this, it remains the very poster child of "Dirty" AVIE's success in war.

Ganesha-Variant

Known as the great 'Remover of Obstacles', the Ganesha-Variant is a multi-purpose roadlayer, bridgelayer, and minesweeper. Across the wide top of the vehicle, a massive bridge construction is carried, which uses the AVIE variant itself as the ramp up to it. It is capable of permitting even the massive Titan Chassis tanks to cross a 20 meter span, though this can sometimes be extended by the Ganesha-Variant driving forward into the shallows, with only the rear still on solid ground, and using the roadlaying equipment in the rear to permit heavier tanks to near it. That roadlaying equipment consists of a steel roll of chain, bound together at one-meter intervals with a solid steel rod for tracks to grip to allow other vehicles a path over soft terrain. Wide enough for any Huerdaen standardized chassis to cross, it has proven invaluable in moving armored units anywhere on a battlefield, and outflanking numerous opponents. Additionally, the Ganesha-Variant bears a mine-sweeping dozer blade at its front, of thick blades that dig into the soil as it powers its way forward, digging up, flipping, and rolling mines before it. It can also use this frontal attachment to assist in demolishing and clearing buildings or roadblocks, making it almost impossible to stop.

Anubis-Variant

Designed to help recover destroyed chassis from the field, the Anubis-Variant soon found use once more in combat. Despite the weakened seam at the lower front, the Anubis-Variant still serves as a mobile platform for other vehicles crossing difficult terrain. Its wide tracks and reinforced frame allow other thanks to 'piggy-back' along, held in place by a massive grapple that is used to drag wrecks onto the sloped rear plating. Unlike the Ganesha-Variant, it is not entirely unarmed, bearing a forward-facing autocannon to protect itself from enemy infantry, but it is far from a combat vehicle. It is, however, capable of recovering an undamaged turret from a destroyed chassis in the field, sometimes under enemy fire. This practice has become known as 'beheading' a tank, and has been used to bring damaged friendly tanks to full combat status, though it is a dangerous and difficult process to complete.

Talos Heavy Support Chassis

Despite misgivings at over-complicating the Imperial Shield again, and breaking the standardization that was only recently completed, it was found that there simply were some roles not yet covered that needed attention. While rare, the Talos chassis is specialized, heavily armored, and ultimately deadly. Fitted with as much armor as any Titan Chassis vehicle, as well as heavy shielding, the Talos chassis vehicles are turretless models designed to withstand the massive stresses of super-heavy weaponry firing. Slow like their Titan brethren and bearing equally massive tracks, they are smaller due to the lack of turret or sponsons, making them easier to conceal. Their massive weapons make them often a more strategic asset than tactical, and ensure that they are almost always found behind the lines of the Imperial Shield. The crews of these monstrosities are often veterans of other vehicles, and require advanced training before being deployed. Talos chassis vehicles do not bear defensive weapons, but rarely are they close enough to require such a precaution. Together with the vehicle's weapons and capabilities, this makes even a single Talos chassis vehicle a terrifying opponnent, and its loss a devastating blow to the Imperial Shield.

Talos-Variant

The primary variant, and the one which truly was most needed by the Shield, was the Talos variant. Armed with a mighty 155mm railgun, the Talos is built with as low a profile as possible to allow it to conceal itself out of sight of its prey. Protected by Grendel-style scanning inhibitors, the Talos is vulnerable to direct visual sighting, but otherwise almost impossible to detect until it has fired. Due to the size of the vehicle, however, either firing the gun or moving the Talos causes this system to fail, forcing it to be exposed to enemy fire until it can again conceal itself. Built to destroy enemy super-heavy units or punch through fortified shielding, the Talos can fire at extreme ranges, and stands at a surprisingly low 3.5 meters in height. Due to the range needed to fire, advanced scopes derived from Xiscapian targeting used on the Desecrator field gun are put in place on the chassis itself, making it an almost unbelievably accurate weapon even at ranges measured in hundreds or thousands of kilometers. Due to this capability, it is a terror rarely seen by its prey, and the Talos is seen as the greatest direct-fire anti-tank asset of the Shield in massive conflicts, such as those seen on Sojent-Ra.

Eris-Variant

A unit that was derived from the Blood Corps and their fascination with rocket barrages, the Eris-Variant is an artillery piece that is capable of firing massed rocket barrages at a single target in a matter of seconds. Standing at just over 4 meters in height with the rocket racks 'packed' for transportation, the Eris is neither small, nor unassuming. Its effects, however, have earned it no small reputation for destruction fitting its name. Such is its destructive power that the individual rockets used have earned their own name, that of 'Makhai'. Due to the chemical propellant used, however, it is actually the shortest-ranged Talos chassis vehicle, making it vulnerable to counter-attack. The Makhai rockets, however, have become a tool that is nearly indispensable as each are able to deploy up to a dozen standardized 105mm warheads over the target area. This heavy saturation barrage is often used to clear enemy strongholds immediately prior to an offensive. Even with the high number of warheads, some crews opt to mix in nuclear warheads in the barrage, to give it additional heavy hitting power against even the mightiest of targets.

Kraken-Variant

Probably the most complex of the Talos chassis vehicles, the Kraken is also one of the most terrifying. Carrying a massive 155mm railgun upon its back, it performs a mixed role of anti-aircraft artillery, self-propelled gun, and anti-orbital defense. The Kraken earned its name for the 8-round magazine used in conjunction with the massive piece, as well as its extreme range. Capable of firing from one continent to another, the Kraken is arguably the most terrifying artillery piece in the Imperial Shield arsenal. Even more devastating is the Kraken's firing computer, allowing it to track starships, or even aircraft with the mighty weapon. In addition is the ability to actively change angle and muzzle velocity on the fly such that all eight rounds will land on their target accurately, and within seconds of the initial impact. Some spread is expected due to the rocking of the vehicle itself during firing, though this can be limited to as little as a two meter spread between impacts even at a range of thousands of kilometers. Depending on the round, however, a larger spread may be desired by the operators. At full velocity, the weapon is capable of engaging orbital craft or battle stations though this is not its primary function. Luckily for its victims, the size and mounting of the Kraken requires that it dig braces into the surface it rests upon around the vehicle to keep the weapon from flipping during firing. Unfortunately for their targets, a complete 360 degree rotational mounting makes the Kraken able to compete in a massive operational theater with little or no warning.

Strategic Assets

Imperial Strategic Assets are vehicles or equipment which can be used to change the face of an engagement. Most notably the 'Xuan-Wu' Theater Shield, they are able to protect, project force, or change the landscape in such a way that the Huerdaen are able to maintain an advantage, either by destruction or disabling an enemy weapon or tactic, or simply enabling one of their own. These are often massive, powerful tools that are rare on a battlefield, but their presence always heralds changes in the very face of war.

Xuan Wu-Class Theater Shield

The Xuan Wu or 'Turtle' Shield is the largest of Huerdaen ground vehicles by orders of magnitude. Shaped in a great cross, it contacts the ground at five points with a dual-set of tracks, and is built in a way reminiscient of early gunpowder-age star forts. The massive vehicle stands nearly thirty meters into the air, with the great armored sides sloped inward to allow the massive weaponry mounted on the inside corners to fire down at threats almost directly beneath it. These four turrets are ball turrets, bearing weapons identical to the 120mm rail gun used on the Titan heavy tanks. The vehicle moves at a ponderous 7 kph maximum speed, making it ultimately worthless in either attack or defense, if not for the massive theater shield it is able to project. The device is a variation of the Aegis shield, making orbital or anti-orbital fire nearly useless except during massive bombardments that can sometimes last for days. It is this which allows the Huerdaen to wage their ground campaigns.

While mobile, the vehicle is vulnerable, as it is otherwise entirely unshielded, but when it stops, it is able to deploy four, smaller Aegis defenses in an 'umbrella' to protect against low-level airstrikes. However, this leaves the vehicle vulnerable as it cannot protect the lower 10 meters from ground assault. A dedicated assault of ground forces is capable of attacking the vehicle even when this is active, which is the purpose of the heavy armor across the vessel's sides. At the ends of the out-reaching cross's arms are flak batteries and defensive guns designed to point down and inward under the cover of this umbrella, allowing the vehicle to protect itself from this assault, but if it is isolated or faced with a determined assault, the vehicle can be destroyed or even captured, giving the enemy a massive advantage. Even so, however, the Xuan Wu is a great fortress of a vehicle, and should not be taken lightly, as its many defenses can devastate attacking forces that are unprepared for its might.
Last edited by Huerdae on Sat Aug 01, 2020 9:04 pm, edited 70 times in total.
The Huerdaen Star Empire is an FT Nation.

Xiscapia wrote:It amused her for a time to wonder if the two fleets could not see each other, so she could imagine them blindly stabbing in the dark, like a game of tag, if tag was played with rocket launchers in pitch blackness.
[17:15] <Telros> OH HO HO, YOU THOUGHT HUE WAS OUT OF LUCK, DID YOU
[17:15] <Telros> KUKUKU, HE HAS REINFORCEMENTS
[17:15] <Telros> FOR TELROS IS REINFORCEMENTS MAN

Rezo wrote:If your battleship turrets have a smaller calibre than your penis is long, you're doing it wrong.

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Re: The Huerdaen Star Empire

Postby Huerdae » Thu Sep 03, 2009 11:10 pm

Famous Persons and Military Units

Famous Persons Of the Star Navy

Commodore Sal'Suveen

Known as a hero and a genius, Sal'Suveen is a quick-thinking young man who often finds himself in command of officers who have much greater experience in combat. This often creates a large amount of trouble for the young man as he is forced not only to successfully maneuver an army to combat his foes, but also overcome a large amount of disrespect from older officers who are less appreciative of his 'new' tactics. He is something of an eccentric commander, using forces in ways that they were not designed for, often to great effect, but he is eternally aware of eyes upon his results that wait for a significant failure to compromise his position. He is the youngest, and most junior, member of SolCom, and has made history of being the first Commodore to be given the position. Many say he will also be the first to be removed from that position.

Major Ju'Niic

Colonel Mah'Ahrrir

Captain Yifaya Liyak

Captain Liyak is credited with being responsible for the opening shots fired in the war with Bavin and their Hermes allies in the solar system Sojent-Ra, previously of the Kiith Federation. His actions were reckless and rash, and it is now generally accepted that his promotion from captaining destroyer-class vessels to cruiser-class vessels may have been premature. Regardless of these misgivings, the man has an impressive list of accomplishments. With a single vessel, he is particularly adept at engaging and neutralizing enemy warships at minimal danger to himself. He began his career in the Star Navy as a bomber pilot, and quickly moved to a squadron command position when he reached the rank of Senior Lieutenant. His first tour aboard a warship was not until he became the highest-ranking officer aboard the vessel following a conflict with local system pirates.

Following that engagement, when he showed particular skill with an Anger-Class destroyer, he was transferred from his bomber wing to command of the I.M.S. Stormcloud, where he served with distinction. Serving under then-Colonel Sal'Suveen, he is credited with nearly a half-dozen superior warship kills in the Stormcloud until it's destruction shortly before the deployment of War Fleet Massacre to the Kiith Landgrab. Where the conflict with the Bavinese cruiser Daring signified the beginnings of his more noticable career, a mix of both victory and defeat in equal parts.

Famous Persons Of the Imperial Shield

Commodore Kol'Bodulli

General Shyoku Masako

General Masako is widely regarded as one of the most patriotic members of SolCom, and has earned a reputation for respect from all members of the Star Empire. She is Pankrees by birth, and of the Slayer caste, a fact which heavily influences her tactics and attitude. She is cool, and gentle when she speaks, but her words are as heavily calculated as any politician's. Sometimes referred to as the 'Crescent Witch', she heavily uses her charisma to influence those around her, including her forces. Her banner is carried at the head of armies under her control, inspiring forces and calming their nerves. Her heavy use of air support and lightning-fast harassment disrupt enemy forces to the point of near-immobility, where she often applies force to shatter them without mercy. She also stands out among other Huerdaen, and is known to spend a large amount of time on her homeworld. This oddity has given her tanned skin that set her apart from other Huerdaen even more than her short, red hair already does.

General Heinrich Kemmler

General Kemmler is well known as a solidly 'Huerdaen' soldier. He favors the heavy guns of artillery, and the rumbling of tracks as if they were the very things which made him get out of bed in the morning. He is aggressive, proud, and almost always wears his uniform, glad to be seen as an icon of his people. His tactics, while not always the most cost-effective, are quite often successful, and he is known for ending wars far ahead of expectations. He uses overwhelming force and constant attacks to wear down his enemies, breaking apart their cover and forcing them to fall back repeatedly. He is unyielding and, despite appearances, rather clever in his use of small-scale unit tactics, often observing the battlefield from the front prior to determining where he would like to attack. This makes him something of a 'Corporal in Gold Braid', where his soldiers are used to seeing the man, and have become accustomed to approaching him and speaking with him. Many who serve under him swear that he is the image of a Huerdaen soldier - proud, strong, and willing to lay down his life for the Empire. He also makes heavy use of mercenary companies and offworlder levies on large-scale assaults, preserving the lives of his men and allowing them to remain fresh and exploit enemy weaknesses when they appear.

Captain Victoria "Lady Victory" Athens

Victoria Athens was a young woman born just before the Second Founding, whose parents were adamant about the advantages of genetic modification as the unrivaled future of the Huerdaen people. At birth, she was modified to have better sight, hearing, and reaction to any others among the city, as her parents were leaders among the people, taking advantage of the Word and the corruption it brought. Before she was a young adult, she had also been given a large number of additional advantages, from the ability to regenerate lost limbs, a body resistant to poison or illness, as well as the ability to recreate harmful substances which her body has neutralized. This ability became particularly useful during the riots, as the young girl learned quickly to spit the acids that were spilled across the streets during the worst of the rioting.

Before the end of the riots, both her parents were dead, and she used much of their fortune to bring herself eternal youth, freezing her features at an age of just under 18. By this time, she was one of the leaders of the rioting populace, but was one of the first to surrender to the Ursellin cybernetics when they were fielded, as she could see that her own people simply could not match the augmentations they were put up against. For her actions, many of her previous followers tried to kill her, setting the groundwork for her future as she saw the insanity and madness that genetics work instilled in so many.

The cost of her surrender was high, however, as many genetic modifications are passed down through children. When she surrendered, she was surgically made incapable of ever bearing children, and though the surgeons could not remove her ability to produce eggs, they could cut them off from any chance of fertilization. This surgery forced her to expell the eggs at least once a year by slicing into her own body, but over time, she used her fortune to make this somewhat less dangerous.

When the genetics rioted a second time, Victoria was found upon the side of the cybernetics, gaining the trust of fellow Genetics and then leading forces to eradicate them. Bonuses she earned for her acts made her even more rich, and her record of never losing a single conflict during the time caused many to refer to her simply as 'Victory', which was quickly changed to 'Lady Victory' by the staff she employed in her estate, far from the edges of Helsearc. From that point on, she fought valiantly in wars, keeping the fight away from the family of staff that she had adopted as her own legacy, teaching generations upon generations of Huerdaen what she knew, and turning many into great heroes of the empire.

The current generation of Lady Victory's students includes the gentle Mah'Ahrrir The Red, who spent his entire young life learning from the woman, and even was known to have a sexual relationship with the woman. Over time, Victoria paid for the standard Huerdaen upgrades, making her very similar to most of the Huerdaen, but there is always an uneasiness around the Huerdaen 'immortal', a woman who has seen almost as many wars as the empire itself. She moves from unit to unit in the Shield, and many claim that she is seeking an end to her life, though this is a question that cannot be answered by any outside the Ahrrir family, who serve on the Athens estate.

Junior Lieutenant Mishyoukai Aika

One of the Slayer Caste of the Pankrees, Mishyoukai is of normal height for Huerdaen, and her darker hair keeps her from being too clearly kept apart from the others as well. A skilled swordswoman, she is also an accomplished markswoman and sniper, but her skills are not extraordinary. She avoided undue notice until having been recovered from an unidentified vessel that appeared to have been part of a larger whole. This was particularly jarring, due to the circumstances of her return - it was almost 14 months after her disappearance from an active combat zone, where she had been listed as MIA, presumed dead. Her explanation and data recovered showed extended time without consciousness, long gaps in logs, but also extreme circumstances. How she arrived on the ship is unknown, but her survival instincts were well-regarded and served to keep her reasonably stable. Significant mental trauma was experienced due to being alone for such a long time following, during the trip from the ship (which has never been found) to where she was picked up on the outskirts of the Huerdaen Star Empire, almost on the complete opposite side.

Several months of intensive care followed, after which she was re-deployed to the Glass Jungle incident as an asset in case of unexpected circumstances. This proved wise, as she again maintained an unforeseen ability to survive, contracting and overcoming the mutated Rethast Pathogen and enduring a year-long decontamination procedure. Following this event, however, her loyalty to the Star Empire is in question due to actions during that procedure, and significant concerns have been raised regarding her mental stability. Her tour of duty expired and she elected not to renew for an additional tour. As such, she has been discharged with Citizenship, though the Imperial Shield notes her movements with great interest, and some watch her with great concern.

Famous Persons Of the Huerdaen Star Empire

Emperor Vlais'Nakado

-Slain-

Imperator Niko'Dohsa

Daughter to Vlais'Nakado - Soon to be Emperor.

The Solar Command

Referred to as SolCom colloquially, the Solar Command is the ruling body of the Star Empire's military forces. It consists of five of the highest ranking members of both the Shield and the Star Navy who determine the running of the great monstrosity of the HSE's armed forces. The members are, in order of seniority, Admiral Ala'Kitahn, Admiral Do'Lomas, General Masako, Emperor Vlais'Nakado, and Commodore Sal'Suveen. The membership of SolCom always contains at least one member from each the Shield and the Star Navy, though there is no enforcement keeping these equal. Current membership holds only General Masako as a member of the the Shield, though there are some who say that her ability to influence the decisions of SolCom far exceeds that of any other than the Emperor himself.

Jadis "Jad'Suveen" Chaste, Princess of the Reich

The daughter of Commodore Sal'Suveen and Stewardess Amelie Chaste, Jad'Suveen is well-respected, and generally considered a child of the Star Empire. Her title the "Princess of the Reich" is earned partially through her lineage, and partially through the Tocrowkian name for the Star Empire, 'Stromreich', or River Nation. In the Star System Bludheim, where the Tocrowkian Reich and Huerdaen Star Empire overlap in a single system, she is generally called 'Princess' and is a common face to those who reside there, earning their general respect for her sharp mind and understanding of the trials they go through. Several even openly follow her as their leader, though no official position has been assumed.

The system is also the clandestine meeting place of her parents during and following the Gate War, making it as close to a home as the girl has ever had. Trapped between the two empires, she is part of two very different worlds, and a great danger and possible blessing to both. Her fate is carefully watched by those in the Star Empire, as they know quite acutely that her fate may guide the fate of the Star Empire in years to come.

Notorious Lords of the Red-Eyes

Captain Dar'Kreiger

Captain Zoliak

Matron Deo'Niic

Respected Veterans of the AJax

Major Michael Keldan

Warships of Renown

I.M.S. Angel of Death

The warship under the command of Major Ju'Niic, the Angel is a Blackstone-Class War Frigate which served during the end-times of the Ataster Campaign. It was aboard this vessel that the first diplomatic contact was made with the remnants of TRIAD Enterprises, now renamed the Morningstar Coalition, and the Ataster Empire. It is also the only War Frigate armed with energy weaponry, bearing a number of disruptor cannons in the broadside and forward batteries of the vessel. It serves as the prototype for incorporating beam weaponry on Huerdaen warships in a more consistent role.

The Sister-Ships I.M.S. Hellion and I.M.S. Warrior

I.M.S. Predator

I.M.S. Bahamut

A modified Grond-Class Battleship, the Bahamut was a testbed for larger-scale usage of the Aegis Shield technology. The shield is limited to a static arc along the forward hull and is projected in front of the shielding over the rest of the ship, forcing it to take damage before the rest of the defenses are hit. The addition of a second reactor forced the vessel to lower it's garrison to a measly three companies of Shield to defend it, and increasing the crew size to compensate. It is a new-model, and has not yet seen combat, but many of high rank in the Star Navy watch the vessel with high hopes.

Divisions of Glory

1-0th Helsearc Garrison, 'Dread Guard'

Originally founded as the 1st Army, 1st Regiment Helsearc during the retaking of Ulodien and the crusades of the Truthsayer, the Dread Guard wore the color of black even before the fall of the Followers of the Word and the Royal leadership of the Huerdaen. They bear no iconography of their own, and many paint over the golden chevrons of the Star Empire with solid black. During the many following re-organizations of the armed forces of the Huerdaen nation, the Dread Guard were stripped of their title as the 1st Regiment, and though they never disbanded, 'garrison' units were phased out of existence. At this time, the Dread Guard took on the title of the 0th Garrison, basing themselves still in the capital, and operating as a corporate militia owned by the city of Helsearc itself in one of the more interesting loopholes in the organization of the Arm, Force, and Militia distinctions. Since that time other 'Garrison' units have been created, but none with the distinction of the Dread Guard, though the 2-5th Mah'Lahn Garrison, the Mah'Lahn Elite is worthy of mention.

Operating on nearly the same principles as the Imperial Shield, the Dread Guard hire out solely to Imperial interests, and do not exactly follow the conventions of proper Shield units. Equipped identically, it is difficult to determine the difference between them and a Shield unit at first, though it can quickly become apparent. Dread Guard do not mark officers or specialists in their unit, bearing distinctive dread black with no variation. In addition, the divisions are mixed units of Heavy Infantry and Armored, with the first and second Companies armed as Heavy Infantry, third and fourth armed as Armored units, and the 5th is a Heavy Armored unit, composed completely of Titan and Talos-chassis heavy and super-heavy vehicles. This mix makes the Dread Guard a unit uniquely capable of attack actions, earning the black flag universal respect among Huerdaen units, despite their status as a 'Militia'. Indeed, there are many who consider the Dread Guard a unit of Shield, due to the fact that the Shield's contracts with them consistently include logistical support, rations, and transport, just like any other Shield unit would expect to receive.

2-5th Mah'Lahn Garrison, 'Mah'Lahn Elite'

On the surface of a factory planet where armored and mechanized units are extremely common, the Elite are a unit composed completely of Light Infantry. Using their specialist companies for dedicated Talon squadrons and massed sniper and marksmen deployements, the Elite are built on a similar model as the Dread Guard, though the System Governor of Mah'Lahn uses taxes from the system to maintain the unit, as well as the other 9 regiments that make up the 1st and 2nd Mah'Lahn garrison armies. The unit maintains a particularly large number of Talon gunships, Roc dropships, and even a bomber wing which is attached as the 2-5-5th for heavy artillery support. Because of the rarity of this type of unit out of Mah'Lahn, recruitment into the unit is reserved for those who already pass stringent requirements. In addition, there is an additional training regimen that is forced upon those who make the waiting list, and often slots are few and far between. This means that some members of the 2-5th never actually deploy with the unit, instead remaining in the training camp until their deployment is over.

Between the incessant training, the high requirements for recruits, the increased funding due to corporate militia status, and the backing of one of the most profitable and powerful star systems in the Star Empire, the 2-5th 'Elite' are known for their skill at arms. As a light infantry unit, they are without equal, and as a skirmish detachment operating outside the normal lines of battle, they are without equal. Their emblem is a single golden wing across a field of black.

1-5-4th Blood Corps, 'Glory'

The 5-4th Glory is one of the few Red Eye units that maintains its old refusal to incorporate female soldiers. This was a matter of pride and principals which the Huerdaen decided was best not to suppress - often the strangest customs ended with the greatest rewards, such as the Pankrees slayer caste. What was not expected, however, was the sheer brutality of the unit that was created. Without the leadership of the Matrons, the 5-4th soon earned a reputation for stalwart defense and devastatingly effective, if costly, tactics. They are known to lay traps in defense, including low-yield several kiloton nuclear weapons and excessive use of land mines and field guns. They have also developed a higher-yield shell for use in the Thor assault mortar, allowing them to deploy a nuclear arsenal against advancing units at almost any range. This shell, however, is known to leak radiation and has been deemed unsafe for use in the Shield - a fact which the 5-4th blatantly ignore.

More terrifying, however, is Glory in assault. Fearless and unwavering, the unit is unwilling to fail to perform its objectives, and has been known to deploy small skirmishing squads ahead of the main attack force armed with nuclear charges which they set and use to breach enemy fortifications. These are death squads, made entirely of volunteers who give up the red of the Blood Corps for the dread black of the Star Empire, martyring themselves without fear. They cloak themselves under heavy cloth, and wear a full breather mask to cover their faces, to remove all identity. They become simply avatars of the war which they fight, and are remembered by name only among the unit members, who commit each and every name to memory. These squads are not wasted in mindless terrorist actions, however, as the charges are immediately followed by a massed infantry assault under the dust cloud and radiation, led by the banner of the old Rethast Militocracy. During these assaults they leave their field guns and support personnel behind, believing that they must achieve total victory, or die to a man, and not once permitting their valued flag to ever touch the ground. Between these assaults, they care for their banner and wrap it in the banners and markings of conquered divisions, allowing it to always bask in the victory of the union between the two states. Following every victory, they anoint it once again in the blood of their slaughtered enemies, offering a sacrifice of corpses to their highest ideal.

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Special Forces of the Star Empire

While the Huerdaen Infantry are some of the best supplied forces, they are far from capable of excelling in any and all combat. Their training focuses on fast, hard-hitting maneuvers that leave them far less effective when isolated or in an extended engagement against heavily-fortified enemies. For that reason, the Star Empire has created a small number of special forces groups that fit different roles within the war effort. From the elusive and terrifying Grendels to the bloodthirsty Devil-Kin, each unit finds a place in war.

Huerdaen Grendels

The first and most terrifying of the Special Forces of the Star Empire, the Grendels are deployed in groups of three, unarmored and barely armed. They have access to the most devastating weapons in the Huerdaen arsenal, but few choose to make use of this access, preferring the ability to blend in over the ability to destroy. Their training lies with mechanical and chemical explosives, as well as psychological profiling. They are trained to kill and destroy, causing fear and creating havoc amongst their victims prior to an assault, to weaken the enemy's resolve and, more importantly, destroy infrastructure and fortifications. The release of Grendels can be a distraction or a prelude to an assault, but in every case, it is a cause for serious concern, as they are capable, deadly, and their cybernetics incorporate stealthing technology that make them nigh-invisible to almost all scanning technologies.

Red Eye Devil-Kin

The Devil-Kin are a group of what many would call crazed lunatics. Made entirely of female Rethast, the Devil-Kin are armed with the volatile Hellfire SMG, as well as an unreasonable number of grenades. They're armored in the same hardened carapace armor of the Red Eye Corpsmen, but have gained a particularly vile reputation. Initially categorized as commando troops, the Devil-Kin were soon re-classified as an assault unit following their actions in training. Psychological requirements surprisingly mandated that the Huerdaen must raise Devil-Kin forces only from the females of the Red Eye species, leading to a number of particularly creative nicknames. This is due to the cold indifference to death of the males of the species, while the females tended toward a highly volatile emotional complex which could be channeled to perform the duties required of them. They are augmented beyond the level of normal Red Eyes in leg and structural cybernetics as well to increase their survivability and shock value in combat. They have been known to modify 'Talon' gunships assigned to their units so that they may ride them into the fray under fire, and these 'special' units have been nicknamed 'Hellions' in official files, though the exact modifications differ greatly from unit to unit. They Devil-Kin are known for their high casualty rate, often suffering near-total casualties before giving up an assault. This has earned them a reputation as suicide squads, a reputation which the Devil-Kin are proud to maintain.

Force Polizei

There are times when even the heavy firepower of the Force is not enough to face and destroy an entrenched enemy. For all their equipment, the Force is not designed to face organized enemies. They are instead best at facing enemies which are disorganized and numerous. For an organized foe, the Polizei are called. Trained for assault with the only goal being elimination of an enemy threat, the Polizei are equipped to be the best fighters in the Force. They are picked from the most experienced of the Force, and trained in counter-terrorism, bomb defusal, VIP protection, and assault tactics. If an enemy warrants the Polizei, they no longer have the option of avoiding civilian casualties. As such, there are no preparations made for hostage situations, they simply plan assaults. Their armor is lighter and tougher than that used by the shield, but far more expensive. For these reasons, they are used sparingly, but a unit of Polizei are forces to be reckoned with, even for a trained military foe. Their assault is well known, and their no-prisoners attitude applies to anyone holding a weapon, sitting, or standing. Their tendency to simply bypass those laying on the ground covering their head has caused Huerdaen familiar with this group to simply assume that position in hopes of surviving, both innocent and enemy alike. They have access to special weapon systems, including an infantry-pack that provides power for an arm-mounted Aegis shield, as well as fuel for a single-hand controlled Incendiary thrower. Standard weapons include the devastating Medusa disruptor, as well as the Akki shotgun, favoring firepower over rate of fire.
Last edited by Huerdae on Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:47 pm, edited 33 times in total.
The Huerdaen Star Empire is an FT Nation.

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[17:15] <Telros> KUKUKU, HE HAS REINFORCEMENTS
[17:15] <Telros> FOR TELROS IS REINFORCEMENTS MAN

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Re: The Huerdaen Star Empire

Postby Huerdae » Thu Sep 03, 2009 11:10 pm

Weapons of the Star Empire

The Huerdaen Star Empire is a highly militant nation, and have spent decades making and perfecting their weapons. From the standard infantry weapons that have been forged in endless wars and built to face down any foe, to the heavy field guns that have survived countless tests of their iron will against enemies without number. The Huerdaen weaponry is a mark of pride for the Star Empire, able to cover every threat, from the mightiest warship to the most isolated soldier. Their mastery of projectile and rail driver weaponry makes the Star Empire a particularly dangerous foe, as they are both rugged and powerful.

Infantry Weapons of the Huerdaen Star Empire

The infantry weapons of the Star Empire are the lifeblood of war and defense. They're easily available to citizens of the empire, from the relatively common Maedar rifles and Akki shoulder guns to the prohibitively expensive Sauron or Medusa rifles. The Siren weapons available to such a degree that they are even heavily exported to nearby nations for those who are capable of using the weapons. The common availability of these weapons means that conflict with or near Huerdaen civilians can quickly escalate.

'Maedar' (Ausf B) Combat Rifle

The new version of the Maedar uses a slightly longer, 12.7mm by 120mm round, still fired with a chemical propellant. However, it uses this primarily as the first stage ignition, using instead a rail-assist system to reach it's full velocity. This permits the deadly weapons even greater penetration, though the battery pack in the magazine does slightly increase magazine size, meaning that ammo weight is still slightly increased. In addition, instead of using the old 12.7x120mm AP rounds, the Maedar is now issued with 12.7x120mm HCS (Huerdaen Combat Standard) rounds, which are an armor-piercing bullet with a detonating second stage following penetration. The weapon retains its legendary durability, as well as the dual magazine feeds that allow for continuous fire, even while reloading. The Cerberus attachment is effectively standard issue, with a bipod mount built in such a way that it does not interfere with the use of the underbarrel launcher. This allows supported fire in a full auto configuration without sacrificing usefulness or adaptability. Like before, a 'Maedar Ranger' with semi-auto fire and an extended barrel for longer-range engagements is available, and a 'Maedar Bruiser' with a shortened barrel and enhanced recoil compensating stock for close-in engagements has also been made available. All types are able to make use of a smaller magazine for easy carrying, and have adopted a short-lived whine when a new magazine is inserted due to the battery discharging into the capacitor system. Due to its many advantages and impressive firepower, the 'Bruiser' variant has become almost synonymous with violent gang warfare in Delta, and shows no sign of losing that particular market.

'Myrmidon' Battle Rifle

With increasing acceptance across the Shield and their levies, the Myrmidon is a particularly very versatile weapon. As a super high-velocity weapon, it is able to reach lethal force with the surprisingly small 5mm round, though this is not surprisingly a foreign design. Instead, it is a meshing of cultures between the tribals and imperials that occurred at the creation of Assault Jaeger units, providing a highly accurate, high firepower weapon that would conserve ammo, and allow a large amount to be carried. This was done by using a semi-automatic fire mode, with a round that had a solid core to penetrate armor, with a softer outer jacket and tail that would allow it to bend and deform upon impact to increase damage that creates a unique and devastating wound as the outer shell peels off in soft targets such as flesh. It is, unfortunately, unable to fire any special munitions due to the small round size, and is universally outfit with a standard 4x scope.

'Phoenix' Automatic Pistol

A smaller version of the Hellfire SMG, the Phoenix is the Ataster response to a much more 'ergonomic' pistol option other than the Siren. Used almost completely in the civilian sector, the Phoenix is a simpler, semi-automatic weapon designed for simple personal defense. Incapable of firing the hyper-velocity rounds of the Myrmidon without destroying itself, it is has been found lacking in combat against most armored targets. While it is too small for most weapon modifications, some skilled weaponsmiths have been known to add a secondary barrel, allowing it a heavier barrel to manage the firing of a single Hyper-Velocity round, or a single shot railgun option. Both of these require extensive reworking of the original frame, however, and are particularly rare. More common adaptations include permitting fully-automatic fire of a high-velocity, non-military slug, and increased ammo capacity.

'Nereid' Heavy Repeating Rifle

Based off the Myrmidon, the Nereid is an attempt to mitigate some of the disadvantages of its semi-automatic predecessor. Sacrificing the light weight and ease of use of the Myrmidon, the Nereid is a much more robust weapon. With the barrel reinforced and increased in thickness by almost 300%, it has the expected appearance of a hybridized Huerdaen/Telrosian weapon. Integrated with the dual-magazine feed setup used on the Maedar, the Nereid is designed for what the Myrmidon could never do - fully automatic fire of hyper-velocity 5mm rounds. The barrel of the Myrmidon proved it could not handle the heat buildup, and would warp or jam if any attempt was made to fire the weapon too quickly. The Hellfire SMG will often tear itself apart if it is used for any extended period using the Myrmidon's hyper-velocity rounds. As such, the Nereid was designed from the ground up for this purpose. Reinforced and blocky, it comes standard with a supporting bipod, which can be removed and replaced with a cerberus, though this is common only among the power-armored Imperial Shield, as unarmored firing generally requires a firing brace for extended accuracy. It is capable of firing all 5mm ammunition types, but due to the increased weight most applications stick completely to the hyper-velocity rounds it was designed for.

'Siren' Rail Weapon

The Siren is one of the most adaptable weapons available. Once a pistol, the weapon is now sold as a receiver with a wide degree of modifications available that permit it to function as a sidearm, rifle, or carbine. This weapon made the Star Empire feared for its stopping power, and it has only grown in acceptance with recent updates. The recognizable Siren's Song is known across the Delta Quadrant as an indicator of Huerdaen rail driver, and that recognition has only increased its notoriety. Exports of this weapon are common, though most purchase the rifle and carbine versions as the pistol variant is difficult for unaugmented users to fire accurately. Regardless of these things, the Siren is a terror to behold, able to shatter bodies with a single hit, and it has been known to cause as much fear as it does death, as there is little other than armored vehicles that can weather a hit from this mighty weapon without taking some manner of damage. These capabilities, the ease at which munitions can be created, and the small size of the disassembled components make it a favorite among several organized crime groups. Modifications are easily manufactured by those with access to a machine shop, meaning a single Siren can be changed in form many times for many purposes. Even the weapon's grip can be replaced, leaving it cheap, easy to acquire, and highly adaptable. These features mean that many after-market options have become available that reach beyond the original concept of the Siren, with the only true limitation being an incompatibility with fully automatic fire. Common variants are a snub-barreled 'Banshee' that uses the five-round magazine and shoulder stock for CQC, or the long-barreled 'Screech', which many nations are acting to heavily restrict because of its use as a sniping weapon, recognizable by its rifle-style grip, shoulder stock, and scope. Despite these efforts, the fact that the Siren is a modular device means that many elements have taken to constructing their own peripherals to suit their needs, including the printing of additional ammo out of magnetic materials, though the Huerdaen-based factory rounds are accepted to be of higher quality at range due to a specialized coating designed to burn off evenly across the round and maintain a predictable flight path.

'Akki' Shoulder Gun

The Akki is the natural evolution of the hand cannon and shotgun line of thought. Gifted with a larger bore than the shotguns of old, the Akki has adopted the versatility of the weapon, along with the huge bore of the hand cannon. Weighing in as a 40mm monster, the Akki has a nearly-endless assortment of ammunition options, from simple canister or slug loads, to sophisticated anti-vehicle loadouts like the 'Gauntlet' or high-explosives for infantry support. With these wide capabilities, the Akki is accepted across all walks of life in the Star Empire, and is generally seen in foreign militaries as a combination grenade launcher/shotgun. This weapon incorporates a small, three-round secondary magazine to allow the weapon to be fired in a quick burst should an emergency arise, though this magazine must be reloaded separately. Not including this magazine, it carries 12 rounds in internal storage concealed along the bottom of the weapon, which must be loaded a single round at a time.

'Puppy' Universal Launcher

Based on the Akki and Cerberus, the Puppy is a single-shot variant that is considered 'cute' and is often the butt-end of jokes. It is, however, no less lethal. Capable of firing the same 40mm loads the other weapons can use, it is recognizable by its pistol grip, though some models have added a short stock for recoil compensation, or a second grip for steadying aim. It is noteworthy for the fact that it contains no magazine, and each shot must be manually loaded into the chamber. Many Shield infantry have taken to carrying a puppy at the small of their back where the slayer blade used to reside for the purpose of having an anti-personnel load on hand.

'Sauron' Sniper Rifle

This rifle is a weapon of particular notoriety amongst the Huerdaen. It is a rifled rail driver, capable of being used only by heavily augmented cyborgs. Only the most dedicated marksmen are provided this weapon. It is, however, deadly-accurate to almost any target that can be seen. The round moves at such a high velocity that even a near miss can often devastate a target, though obviously true pride comes from a direct impact. The weapon is highly protected, as the round is 'sheathed' in energy to allow it to pierce through almost any infantry shield, and some light vehicle shielding. This permits Huerdaen snipers to eliminate drivers of enemy vehicles without warning, and make tactical strikes in the middle of combat. It is a true danger on the battlefield, and is capable of punching through most light armored vehicles, or sometimes eliminating vulnerable components on medium vehicles such as tracks or vision slits. Recent advances have permitted the energy sheathing to protect the round from normal friction heat, making the weapon both more accurate and eliminating the telltale streak of fire from most Huerdaen rail weapons, concealing the shooter and drastically increasing survivability of Huerdaen specialists in active combat. This weapon never gained notoriety outside the Star Empire because it is one of the few restricted weapons produced by Huerdaen manufacturers, making it both an extreme rarity, and a deadly-effective tool on any battlefield.

'Hellfire' Incendiary Sub-Machine Gun

The Hellfire is a 5mm SMG that was once used in older conflicts prior to the use of powered armor. They were capable of a stunning rate of fire and had a magazine that input ammo into the side of the weapon, making the actual act of holding and aiming the weapon somewhat awkward, though reloading was surprisingly quick, taking less than half the time of most weapons even in the current battlefield environment. For this reason, and the abundance of ammo amongst the civilian population, this weapon was resurrected as a wartime creation for use by the Devil-Kin in their assaults, and upgraded to use an incendiary round that adopted the same 'Hellfire' name as the weapon that fired it. For the reasons stated above, the Devil-Kin and other users rarely aim, trusting instead to the high rate of fire to keep their enemies down as they rush toward enemy positions firing from the hip. It is a small, light weapon that can easily be carried without any significant increase in weight, making it a favorite for unarmored forces or those who expect to go long periods without resupply. A number of Grendels have also come to favor this weapon, though still in limited quantities.

'Hades' Multi-Barreled Infantry Cannon

The 'Hades' cannon is a three-barreled 40mm rotary cannon in use by the Force. It is most often mounted on the 'Watchman' walker, but some squad gunners have upgraded their powered armor to permit them to use the weapon as well. The recoil is huge, but the firepower of the weapon is greater than any other infantry weapon available to the Huerdaen with the exception of the field guns. It has access to the same ammunition as an Akki shoulder-gun, making it a disgustingly powerful and adaptable tool on the battlefield. In addition, it can fire nearly 2400 RPM, with infantry-carried variants often limited to 600 RPM for ammo conservation. This high rate of fire makes the weapon devastating against light targets such as enemy walkers, infantry, or light vehicles.

'Prometheus' Tek-Bow

Built for the barbaric and tribal Kaskan skinks, the Prometheus is the Pankrees answer to the great divide that the Huerdaen encountered when saving the Kaskans during the 'Glass Jungle' event. The lack of understanding of modern weapons, and indeed, an almost universal fear of them, caused them to be incapable of training with the devices. In response, the Pankrees created a hybrid rail-driver/short bow that would project high-penetration darts at targets. This creation, as well as several quickly-created offshoot ammunitions in accordance with Huerdaen standardization, allowed the Kaskans to serve in levies as high-value skirmishers in several environments. The bow is able to fire high-explosive, armor-piercing, or 'canister' rounds, giving the otherwise harmless-looking Kaskans a rather wicked bite. The weapon's design also incorporates super-fast cooling, causing only momentary spikes in heat to give away their position. Rare ammunition is also available allowing the Kaskans to effectively disable vehicles, though these are kept for only the greatest of the Kaskan marksmen, who have proven themselves adept at using the Prometheus bow.

'Scorpion' Combat Sub-Machine Gun

The Scorpion is Kai'Kitalli's attempt to meet the Galactic Republic of Alexzonya's (GRA) request for an PDW capable of firing the 5mm Hyper-Velocity Telrosian ammunition. It is a surprisingly small design, making use of a top-mounted magazine stacked five wide with a maximum capacity of 125 rounds, which desposit into a feeding chamber prior to entering the breach. Any pull of the trigger will completely empty this feeding chamber, meaning that no less than five rounds can be fired at any time. This allows the weapon to maintain a very high rate of fire from the wide magazine facing without causing jams. This makes the weapon slightly wider than most with a bullpup configuration to account for the rear loading mechanism. This design means that the muzzle of the weapon is directly above the forward grip, which incorporates the handle and trigger mechanisms. A raised sight is designed so that when shouldered, the user rests their cheek on the top of the magazine for optimal aim, or on top of their hand on top of the magazine.

This design is incorporated such that a quick-load scenario includes lowering the weapon as the magazine is ejected and driving the new magazine into place as the weapon is raised, using the action to press the weapon back into a 'ready' position against the shoulder. Adaptive rails are available along the upper edge of the weapon and either side of the barrel for standard attachments. In addition, a carry handle goes from the iron sights to the magazine guiderail at the back, which also helps to prevent warping after extended firing or heavy usage. Because of reinforced firing structure, recoil management, and other internal mechanisms, the weapon weighs twice that of the Hellfire SMG, with the weight centered toward the rear of the weapon. It is recommended to fire with the off-hand resting on top of the magazine to help account for weapon recoil.

'Arachnid' Combat Pistol

With increased external pressure and desire for a capable sidearm following the success of the Scorpion SMG, the Arachnid was suddenly released by KKI to the export market. Using many similar components, the Arachnid is a semi-automatic pistol designed for use with the same 5mm Telrosian Hyper-Velocity ammunition. Reinforced over other pistol designs like the Phoenix, the Arachnid is an almost fifty percent increase in carry weight, with a twenty-round double stack magazine in the grip. Still light by Huerdaen standards, it is a capable fallback, and provides an economical alternative to weapons such as the Puppy or Scorpion. By design, it is unable to be converted for full automatic fire, but at semi-automatic use, it can be maintained for a reasonable amount of time in a warzone. Like all pistols, it lacks the accuracy of a rifle, but the small size and dependable construction speak volumes of the care and effort put into its development, along with an intention to begin advertising the weapon to foreign markets such as the GRA and NEGL at the same time as domestic markets.

'Glyptar' Heavy Combat Repeating Rifle

The enduring successes of the Maedar and Hephaestus have been all that have kept Mah'Lahn Armories from losing their previously untouchable market share. This, along with the up-and-coming successes of the previously minor THI and KKI, has pushed MLA to develop a new weapon to shore up their market. Making use of the advances gained with the new Maedar Ausf B and learning from KKI's success with the Nereid, MLA took a rather unique approach to fill the gap in Huerdaen weapons between rifles and cannons. Development of the Glyptar required increased rate of fire, armor penetration, accuracy, and sustained fire. Ideally it was designed for use among armored infantry, but the end product diverged from the initial concept slightly. MLA determined the most efficient and rugged design would be to start with the already-venerable systems in use by the Maedar Ausf B, mounting two of the receivers side-by-side in a linked setup, concealed under a shroud that kept the majority of contaminants out of the system. This, along with a greatly extended barrel and rail-assist module massively increase the size of the weapon, but also greatly increase round velocity and penetration. Fitting in between small arms and a field gun, the Glyptar is carried much like a Hades when used by infantry, with modular and easily swapped trigger and carry handle assembly that allows it to be fired from the hip, mounted on a tripod as a heavy machine gun, or integrated into an existing vehicle mount. The design also incorporated the ability to mount a mirrored Glyptar immediately below it, allowing up to four barrels to be firing in a linked setup when used on a vehicle mount, to increase the rate of fire even further. Each Glyptar has a feed system that includes ammunition for both barrels and a power system, and can be attached to a backpack, field gun, or vehicle magazine with a simple and easily swapped adapter. With the full assembly and without any trigger attachments, the Glyptar reaches a massive 1700mm in length, almost all of it rail-assisted launch barrel. This creates a massive increase in muzzle velocity over other rail-assisted weapons in the Huerdaen arsenal, as well as accuracy. The shroud also contains cooling systems to allow the weapon to be fired for an extended period without pause, and the tripod mount setup allows it to be used entirely by unaugmented militaries. Already the Glyptar is finding a home in small militia units and some export markets, where the interchangable nature of the Maedar and Glyptar decreases the operating cost significantly. However, it has yet to be determined if this new weapon will find a home in the Imperial Shield itself.

Field Guns of the Huerdaen Star Empire

Field guns are the hard stop of the Shield, used to solidify claims on territory or provide heavy firepower where the infantry weaponry is found lacking. From the common Hephaestus gun to the uncommon Nebel, Huerdaen field guns can fill either a specialized role or simply augment the already impressive firepower of Shield and Levy forces.

'Hephaestus' 60mm Mounted Autocannon

Easily the most common field gun, the Hephaestus is the support weapon of choice of the Huerdaen. Mounted often on a four-wheeled chassis that can be towed behind medium or light vehicles. More slowly, it can be wheeled into position by infantry, though in both cases, it must be braced to fire. It is capable of reaching a rate of fire of approximately 60 rounds per minute, but there is a nearly endless number of specialized munitions available to the weapons, from the standard HE rounds to armor-piercing, flak, flechette, canister, and the exceedingly rare burst rounds. It is a rugged design, and has been known to be removed from a destroyed mount and dug in to a breastworks position during extended campaigns. It is fired from a seated position behind the gun, allowing the user to sight down the barrel.

'Forgefire' 60mm Cannon Variant

While the Vasily and Desecrator fill an anti-vehicle and anti-tank role admirably, the loss of the Zues became a hindrance to the Imperial Shield by making its anti-vehicle weapons rare. During the extended campaigns during both battles of Foer and the Battle of Sojent-Ra, losses in anti-armor weapons were devastating to operational effectiveness of Heavy Infantry units. It was only during the Second Battle of Foer that a stopgap was realized. Modifying the basic Hephaestus with a magnetically accelerated barrel from a Desecrator, they were able to increase the kinetic energy of the round significantly. Unfortunately, this caused significant tumbling of the basic armor-piercing rounds. Even so, the increased power of the round made the modification quite sought after, and a modification kit was quickly developed by Mah'Lahn Armories. This was soon followed by a specialized, hyper-velocity round specifically designed for the modified cannon that would not tumble, and was able to accelerate to a higher speed, as well as increase accuracy considerably. While this round is still slightly more accurate than the standard armor-piercing round used in the basic Hephaestus, the specialized nature means it is almost always used solely with the Forgefire variant, as the modification was called. Realizing the specialized role of the weapon, the Forgefire also has a lower profile, working off a similar chassis as used for the Zues with only half the vertical profile and a nearly identical horizontal profile to the Hephaestus. Unlike rounds fired from the Desecrator, the Forgefire has only limited burn-off on the outer skin of the round, making locating the weapon much more difficult by enemy forces, as it does not leave a smoking trail leading directly to the firing position. Additional munitions that have found a place with the Forgefire is a nuclear-tipped round, used against heavily shielded targets, and a canister round. However, the primary round remains the hyper-velocity armor-piercing round, to make the greatest use of the weapon's advantages over its unmodified brethren.

'Desecrator' Infantry Support Cannon

The Desecrator is the only international project that the Star Empire ever participated in. Built with the similarly-minded Kitsune empire of Xiscapia, the Desecrator is a heavy field gun built for a four-man crew. It is a Huerdaen rail cannon built around the same time-tested principles as the Goliath's 105mm cannon, even bearing the same bore for interchangeable ammo. It is fitted with two weapon feeds, each capable of holding a three-shot magazine. Due to a shorter barrel than the Goliath's cannon, the Desecrator is known to have a 'flamethrower' effect when fired, charring or lighting fires on exposed surfaces with the plasma that burns off the round due to the friction generated while firing. However, the weapon has a secondary fire mode as well. New technology becoming available has allowed the 105mm cannon to fire at reduced velocity, and a carefully prepared mounting system allows the Desecrator to switch from the standard direct-fire mode, to a longer-ranged, indirect-fire howitzer mode. In this mode, it can make use of any 105mm round as normal, including a number of specialized Xiscapian rounds created for the purpose. This weapon is sighted as any Huerdaen field gun, with direct-fire telescopic sights, but also has been upgraded to integrate a Xiscapian overlay, allowing the weapon to be fired with high accuracy in its howitzer mode. While not a complex weapon to use, the dual fire modes make this weapon either clumsy, for an inexperienced crew, or a highly deadly tool in an experienced crew's hands. Due to this, the HSE has begun considering this a 'Specialist' field gun, and offers additional training for crews who request the weapon.

'Thor' Assault Mortar

Once hated by the Shield who used it, recent advances have increased the usefulness of the weapon significantly. Still including the 5-round autoloader, the weapon can fire in a single burst with an unpredictable spread, or fire individual rounds. This multi-mode firing pattern allows the weapon to be more adaptable than those available to many other nations. The small size has proven to be as much a benefit as a hindrance, as it allows the weapon to be moved easily by a squad, while its 85mm bore allows it reliable firepower in several forms. Because of this, its adaptability has earned it grudging respect from many light infantry units that have limited access to heavier artillery weapons. It can be set up ahead of time with a loaded magazine and linked into a network to provide automated, dependable fire support without sacrificing manpower to arm and fire the weapon. It has a full 360 degree rotational capability, but it is limited to the 5-shot magazine until reloaded manually. Despite this, the Thor is an effective infantry tool, providing timely support in an area or attack at minimal cost, or in large numbers providing a withering hail of fire that comes with little warning and is over as soon as it began. Some Light Infantry units are known to set up mortar farms, as the Thor is extremely common in many units, simply leaving them emplaced in an operational zone to provide fire support when needed. The weapon and munitions are cheap and common enough that simply leaving them abandoned on the field is of little consequence to the Imperial Shield, who invariably have a surplus of both the launcher and ammunition.

'Fenrir' Bastion Mortar

The larger version of the reliable 'Thor', the 120mm Fenrir is equipped with a three-round magazine. However, these rounds are more than twice the length of the smaller Thor rounds, allowing a massively increased payload capacity, as well as the capability to deploy specialized munitions such as bomblets, incendiaries, or mines. This, along with the greatly increased range, means that while it is not easily abandoned or deployed unattended, it is a particularly valuable asset for infantry groups at the platoon and company levels. In addition, a universal mounting system allows the Fenrir to be mounted to a vehicle without specialized tools or equipment in a matter of minutes, meaning that the Fenrir can very quickly change roles during combat to suit the changing environment. Their extended range also makes them in high demand, especially among Heavy Infantry units that can afford to dig in, supply, and manage several in an area over a long period of time. Their sizeable payload and ability to use even the mighty Earthshaker round mean that the Fenrir is capable of doing significant damage even to fortified defensive positions or vehicles.

'Expat' Air Suppression System

While not taken directly from the Exile 'Zuzi', the Expat has very clear roots in the enemy weapon. Able to be packed into a crate that can be easily stowed on any Imperial Shield transport vehicle, the Expat is a mounted 20mm railgun in a three-barreled rotary mount with a linked targeting system that allows it to take fire orders from any centralized command system, such as those in use in the Kodiac-Variant, a Roc dropship, or any command structure module. Alternatively, should this system be jammed, it can be manually controlled by a single crewman, though this is significantly less accurate. Its final control mode includes an automatic defense setup which causes it to fire on any object in a desired altitude range following a certain vehicle profile, both set at the time of automatic target activation. It has an automatic loader that can be attached to any munitions system for increased ammo capacity. This system is also available to be quad-mounted on the back of a Minos-Variant for increased mobility. The Expat is also capable of functioning in an anti-missile role. Unlike most support weapons, the Expat is not assigned to any one squad, and is instead attached by command as an upgrade to the vehicles supporting the infantry element, allowing them to be more easily allocated and re-allocated as required.

'Outlaw' Air Suppression System

Much like the Expat, the Outlaw was designed to provide infantry units their own local anti-air weapon system. Linked in to the command system, this 105mm railgun serves as the final blow in the Air Suppression System. Set up on a specialized field gun chassis and requiring to be towed into position, the Outlaw can be linked into the ASS or fired manually, but cannot activate a solitary auto-firing solution due to the range and firepower of the weapon making it more likely to cause friendly fire casualties. The Outlaw is almost always deployed as part of the Command platoon. Like the Expat, it is an unmanned weapon system, and is not assigned to any one squad. It is is common for a Command Platoon to have multiple Outlaws available to them to deploy across their operating area.

550mm 'Jurisdiction' Heavy Strategic Cannon

The 550mm Jurisdiction was a co-developed project between the Huerdaen Star Empire and the Fenvaria Republic to fill the role of a strategic support weapon. Designed to be a dual-purpose weapon capable of indirect fire as well as direct fire, it is an artillery piece first and foremost. Designed to be able to be deployed from a dedicated firebase module on a Huerdaen base, or deployed from multiple logistics vehicles into a stationary position projected by Aegis barriers, it barely retains its classification as a field gun. The rounds fired from this weapon are massive, with the most common being a modular, four-stage round which releases its payload in sections, so that a single shot can cause wide areas destruction with a series of different capabilities. These stages can be in any order of high explosives, thermite incendiaries, nuclear, armor-piercing bomblets, high explosive bomblets, or even IR smoke capable of causing severe burns on exposed flesh.

Alternatively, it can fire a standard single stage round with any of the above, though the cheapest and most popular is the Fenvaria-produced semi-thermobaric high explosive round capable of causing catastrophic damage in an area several hundreds of meters across. Using the basic principles of a thermobaric weapon, it has been modified so that the limitations for high altitude or other low-oxygen conditions are significantly mitigated, making it both extremely dependable in any conditions, and highly effective.

Direct-fire ammunition has been produced by the Star Empire, including a massive armor-piercing round referred to as the Colossus-Killer, which is an energy-sheathed weapon with a second-stage explosive designed to pulse a shockwave out perpendicular to the impact angle. This can cause devastation among supporting frames of larger war machines and make them vulnerable to significant damage from far less formidable weapons. Against walker-model vehicles this is particularly effective as it can often perform a successful kill with a single direct hit. A co-produced direct-fire alternative to the Colossus-Killer is a piercing round that is not sheathed, but instead holds a series of eight antimatter charges that are ejected immediately after bypassing the armor. This can cause absolutely devastating local damage, tearing open the armor and completely destroying internal systems, but is less effective against a shielded target.

'Big Brother' 2.5m Assault Gun/Anti-Orbital Artillery

The Big Brother is the only field gun that cannot be moved in any way by infantry. So massive is it that it requires a complete artillery train to supply one, and an Atlas-Variant Tonka chassis to tow the weapon itself. It cannot be emplaced upon loose ground, making it something of a novelty item to the Huerdaen in an attack. However, in defense it is a terror to behold. Using a mechanized autoloader mounted to the rear of a modified Tonka vehicle, it is capable of firing three times in a minute. It acts in a howitzer or emplaced artillery role against ground-based targets, and can fire HE, nuclear, or even burst ammunition. However, it was designed first and foremost as an anti-orbital artillery piece, and can fire a massive, armor-piercing or nuclear round into high orbit at great velocities. It has the traverse to allow it to fire directly at ground targets, but to reload the weapon, the slow-moving cannon must be lifted once again skyward for the reloader to be able to reach the breach, making this a last-ditch effort only. Despite this, a direct hit from this cannon can destroy almost any vehicle capable of existing on either land or on water. For coastal emplacements, a 'Depth Charge'-style HE round is available as well. In addition to being known as the Big Brother, some crews have been known to refer to it as "The Big Twenty-Five", feeling that Big Brother did not properly respect the destruction caused by this powerful weapon.

'Nebel' Rapid-Artillery Rocket System

Despite increases in capacity and size, the Nebel remains lightest of the field guns, and acts in a support role across large areas. Unlike the Thor or Big Brother, the Nebel can be broken down quickly into base components, making it a matter of moments to find replacement parts. Often, damaged Nebels are simply taken apart for parts to keep others operational. Literally the heaviest part of this weapon is the ammunition, meaning that the Huerdaen crews often commandeer civilian or otherwise neutral vehicles simply to carry the rockets. This has led to Nebel crews being seen as 'weekend warriors' who arrive at a war simply to steal and loot the battlefield. However, despite this stigma, the weapon's usefulness cannot be denied. As it can be broken down, it can be set up in virtually any position, including cliff-faces or marshy landscaping. This weapon has even been fired from a position stabilized within local vegetation, and it's effects are devastating. Recent modifications permit the weapon to be anchored on sheer vertical surfaces, meaning that almost any location can become an artillery position. Munitions available include anything from terrifying incendiaries, to standard HE, mine deploying systems, burst weapons, cluster munitions, or even a flak variant. Most terrifying, however, is how quickly it can empty the thirty 120mm tubes during a launch. When properly emplaced and fully crewed, the weapon can fire each tube twice in a minute, permitting an almost constant rain of artillery suppression.

Specialized Infantry Weapons of the Huerdaen Star Empire

The specialized weapons of the Star Empire are designed to augment the already capable Infantry and Levies, giving them more options in an engagement where the heavy field guns cannot be brought to bear, or where the quick and devastating gunships cannot reach the target. Where groundpounders are the only option, the specialized weapons of the Star Empire are brought to the fore, allowing adaptability in defense, additional firepower in attack, and making the already deadly Huerdaen into a force that should never be discounted as 'harmless'.

'Barca' Deployable Gun Carriage

Designed first for Skirmish units, the Barca is an answer to the age-old question of how to deploy heavy weapons capable of eliminating enemy heavy forces with a light unit of your own. Broken down, the Barca can be carried into place by a single squad of Imperial Shield, though it is too bulky to carry and fight with, meaning that a squad must be dedicated to the weapon. Despite this, it has found use because it allows lighter combat groups, specifically skirmish formations, to deploy heavy field guns onto the battlefield. Capable of handling weapons from the Hephaestus or Forgefire to the mighty Desecrator, Barca is designed for a strike from an unexpected angle. Unable to be significantly turned once deployed, It forces the weapon into a fixed firing lane, meaning that its use must be carefully planned ahead of time. It has found particular success in ambushes, however, earning it a place in the Imperial arsenal.

'Dragon' Incendiary Projector

The Dragon is a particularly vile weapon, descended from the ageless flamethrower, though updated for the times. Hot enough to burn through even powered armor and lacking such trivial concerns such as the presence of oxygen that limit other flame weapons, the Dragon is a useful tool. Despite this, the fuel remains heavy, and it remains a weapon which cannot be fielded lightly. Most often, the Dragon is seen with dedicated assault or breaching squads that expect heavy enemy resistance, used sometimes to simply 'cook' a building instead of being forced into the brutality of house-to-house fighting.

Watchman-Class Heavy Combat Walker

Designed as a heavily upgraded Enforcement Walker, the Shield has secured a modified, better armored version for use in war. Lacking the exposed components of the Force variant, it uses a display and readout similar to that of the Talon. Primary armament is upgraded by default to the Hephaestus autocannon, while it is reinforced with the capability of mounting even heavier weapons on a shoulder mount over the left shoulder. It's left arm carries an Aegis barrier emitter, as well as a smaller, secondary weapon, often an incendiary projector or Medusa. The upgraded armor is generally between the Kodiac-Chassis or Goliath-Chassis vehicles, and it provides the weight and meat for most Heavy Infantry units. Most notable is that the Heavy Combat Walker is capable of mounting a 105mm Desecrator railgun over the shoulder mount, though it must stabilize its footing prior to firing, giving it a lower rate of fire than other comparable mounts.

'Cerberus' Multi-Purpose Weapon System

The Cerberus is easily the most common of the 'specialized' infantry weapons. It has become a staple of Shield soldiers, from assault troops to defensive units. Nearly every squad has a soldier outfitted with a Cerberus, due to the fact that it does not hinder the use or carrying of other weapons. Designed to be attached under the barrel of the Maedar assault rifle, modifications have become available to allow it to attach to virtually any weapon, even those of foreign manufacture. It is nearly identical to the Akki, and any munitions able to be fired by the Akki can be fired from a Cerberus weapon system, making it a second line of defense should a soldier lose the use of their primary weapon.

'Kirill' High Explosive Grenade

The immediate replacement to the old Fireheart and using an impact or delay fuse, the Kirill is a simple high-explosive grenade that was adopted with the realization that the fragmentation of the grenade failed to penetrate armor, decreasing the effectiveness of the weapon. Instead, the Kirill contains a large HE core, with an additional catalyst in a thin jacket surrounding the charge. In most situations, the catalyst burns away harmlessly without fully reacting with the charge. However, in defensive combat, the Kirill is able to be 'unlocked', creating a blast radius nearly three times the size. This catalyst also creates a secondary incendiary fog very similar to that seen from HE rounds fired from armored vehicles, meaning it is not particularly effective offensively, but can be extremely devastating defensively as it both eliminates targets and temporarily obstructs the enemy's advance.

'Heartbreaker' Concussive Burst Grenade

Taken directly from the Ikittitl forces except for a slightly updated arming mechanism and trigger, the Heartbreaker is poorly understood as a weapon. It's effects, however, are very devastating. Making a burst of energy around itself, it is far from one of the 'flashiest' weapons in the Huerdaen Empire, but it is probably one of the most deadly. The burst moves in defiance of armor and shielding, and while it only affects a small area, it is almost always a kill in those quarters. Those directly adjacent to the blast often suffer having their flesh liquified and skeletal structure shattered, while glass or crystalline objects become fragmentation weapons in their own right. Bones of those a short distance from the device fracture, and those closer in may even detonate, turning unfortunate victims into fragmentation weapons, causing further harm to those around them. The Heartbreaker is not itself destroyed, but it carries only a single burst charge which is consumed in detonation, making the weapon useless if an enemy attempts to throw it back. Due to the lethality of the weapon, the Heartbreaker is highly restricted, even amongst the Shield, and often available only during the most important assaults, though some specialized units are allowed limited numbers at any time.

'Gauntlet' Anti-Armor Explosive

A descendant of the old 'Shattered Fist' and 'Armored Fist', the 'Gauntlet' takes the advantages from both and brings them into line with Huerdaen adaptability while maintaining the same highly effective nuclear shaped charge capable of burning through almost any armor. What had been a specialized, thrown grenade became a device capable of being thrown or launched by any standard 40mm launcher. While this remains a fairly short-ranged weapon by modern standards, these adaptations have increased its adoption in the Shield by over 4000%, meaning that what once was a low probability of a squad of Shield having close range anti-armor capabilities in excess of special weapons is now almost a certainty. While it lacks the firepower to immediately destroy heavier tanks on their frontal armor, most vehicles that find themselves in range of the weapon are able to be immediately destroyed from a side or top hit. More importantly, the low muzzle velocity allows a skilled operator to land a hit on the weaker top armor, badly damaging or disabling almost any vehicle in a single hit. This as well as the tendency for almost all Imperial Shield infantry to carry at least one Gauntlet, makes urban combat or areas where Shield occupy an elevated position a particularly hostile environment for enemy armor.

'Saucer' Anti-Tank Mine

The Saucer is a very accurately named device, consisting of a particularly wide ring that detects the pressure or vibrations of vehicles, allowing the device to operate on only the lowest power setting until the enemy is literally atop it. At that time it activates, checking IFF and detonating with little or no warning. It is capable of being buried as far as a full meter below the surface and still destroying or severely damaging light ground vehicles, but the shaped blast is too localized to be of much use against an infantry group, so most Saucers are programmed to ignore targets that do not reach a minimum weight. The saucer itself is a localized fission reaction, directed upward at the target vehicle with little or no deviation for collateral damage. A direct hit from a saucer, with no dampening earth will destroy almost any vehicle, and almost certainly disable those that do survive. This is also the only mine not capable of being deployed in a standard 40mm deployment system such as an Akki or Cerberus device.

'Saar' High-Yield Mine

The Saar is an adaptable device, capable of remote detonation, timed detonation, or pressure detonation. Used as a highly adaptable demolition charge or land mine, the Saar can even perform multiple types of detonations, from a focused shaped charge to a wider-area detonation. Utilizing layers of fragmenting materials, the Saar is particularly deadly against unarmored targets, though the external ring of the Saar is a series of heavy armor-piercing darts, giving the weapon a 'porcupine' look that allows it to be deadly against civilian vehicles or heavily armored infantry. It's adaptability has made it a favorite among defensive groups to both bring down buildings and deny access along specific paths, keeping it in use for many years, sometimes referred to by levies and other unprofessional forces simply as a 'Porcupine'.

'Lecher' Inversion Mine

The Lecher was designed in response to the Pankrees use of hover vehicles, and operates under a simple concept. Capable of affecting targets up to five meters above the device itself, the Lecher inverts any artificial gravitational field or repulsor technology that is active in it's immediate vicinity. These mines are also linked to others in the area, allowing the minefield to become 'smart', and activate when certain parameters have been met, such as a certain troop concentration moving through it. It is equipped with a small scanner to allow it to follow those parameters, but is otherwise without eyes and undetectable until it becomes active. If it is not removed by enemy forces, the Lecher goes inactive after half an hour, and must be removed or destroyed, or it will continue to operate as designed, as it is not consumed in it's use, unlike other mine systems.

'Bushwhacker' Tumble Mine

The Bushwhacker was the item which first brought Sal'Suveen's abilities to the attention of his superiors. Without the forces or ordinance available to make a proper defense over a wide stretch of land, the man instructed his soldiers to capture a large number of the brush that had been knocked free during the intense fighting. Rigging these with their small explosives, they once more released them in the open, desert-like landscape. This proved extremely effective in damaging enemy vehicles and slowing any advance against his units. This type of weapon led directly to the victory in the Battle of Eyutai in which a mass-produced version of these weapons were released down a slope in large numbers to slow and stop the enemy advance. Unlike the original, hand-made versions, the Bushwhacker is manufactured, with a very lightweight 'webbing' that allows it to pick up small amounts of dust and other airborne particles to make it appear natural in any environment.

'Hellfire' 5mm Incendiary Round

Created specifically for the 'Hellfire' SMG, the Hellfire round is quick to make but creates a huge amount of heat when fired. This was an unexpected effect and to compensate, the Huerdaen decided to use the round casings as a type of thermal heatsink, drawing away much of the heat from firing. Because of this, the casings glow a bright red in a low-light environment, and the weapon itself can also heat up to the point that it begins to show heat wear and tear. As such, many users of this round carry a spare barrel assembly, though the Hellfire SMG is designed to feed this heat off so as not to damage it, it is often too hot to touch in some areas. In addition, casings that fall amongst flammable materials have been known to start blazes ranging from small flames to raging wildfires, an effect that few users of this weapon have found to be a problem, as it often provides cover from flanking or rear attacks. The round itself contains a small plasma core that bursts upon impact on a hard target, causing it to have an ability to penetrate most armor after a few hits, or burst unprotected victims into a blazing inferno in short order.

'Earthshaker' Seismic Detonator

The Earthshaker is a particular blend of high-explosive and sonic weaponry that the Huerdaen have developed for particularly hardened structures and defensive points. With the knowledge that most hardened structures are able to weather direct hits from high-powered weaponry, or suffer limited damage from such hits, the Huerdaen realized they required a less direct option for attack. The Earthshaker provides that alternative. By making use of a heavy, multi-stage explosive device, the Huerdaen have created a shockwave weapon that, while suffering from decreased range due to shell weight, and required angle of attack, is capable of attacking not just the armored outside of a target, but soldiers inside, or even the very foundation of the target. By sending a series of heavy shockwaves in rapid succession, the Earthshaker is able to shatter most reinforced joints, or shatter a hardened foundation in a single hit. A direct hit also often does residual damage from the high-explosive charges against the armored surface, sometimes causing a breach on their own. The amplitude of the created shockwaves are devastating against almost any sunken target, as quite often the repeated impacts can cause the outer shielding to crack and collapse, causing many bunkers to seem to be swallowed up by the very ground before the might of the projectile. Other targets, like a hardened wall, has been known to shatter and fall after repeated hits. These advantages, and the specialized use of the round, mean that this weapon is seen almost solely in the hands of Imperial Shield engineers.

'Blood Rain' Plasma Round

Designed specifically for the Desecrator, the Blood-Rain round was a Xiscapian weapon that has found it's way into the hands of the Imperial Shield, either by private purchase or by unit requisition. Little more than a round filled by super-heated plasma. Designed to splash plasma over the area of impact, the round is a high-powered, persistent incendiary, useful against most entrenched enemies or as an area-denial weapon. The deep red of the plasma used in the round earned it the name Blood Rain simply due to the appearance a barrage of shells has, exploding over an enemy position. This weapon is extremely deadly, as wind and the chance of the plasma incendiary to 'flow' into trenches and foxholes makes it both loved and hated by allied forces. Before touching a surface, the plasma falls slowly, and wind can create moving clouds of incendiary gas that burn and destroy exposed positions, or stick to the surfaces of vehicles and fortifications. This cloud is just as deadly as direct contact, and often massed barrages are used for the purpose of creating these incendiary clouds, in hopes of routing enemy units in an area to secure a flank or destroy emplaced weapons.

Artillery of the Huerdaen Star Navy

The weapons of the Star Navy are mighty, powerful, and destructive. They are the most commonly fired weapons in the whole of the Star Empire, as most enemies surrender far before the forces of the Shield are permitted to come to grips with their foe. For that reason, they are well-maintained, powerful, and rugged, able to operate after even extreme amounts of damage. Some weapons have been known to operate after even their attending crews were slain, operating solely on scripting as the systems try to reach performance expectations.

'Spine' Huerdaen Spinal

The 'Spine' is the literal backbone of the Huerdaen Star Navy. Mandated to exist aboard every warship in use, it is massive, powerful, and propels rounds into enemy ships with abandon. It is little more than a massive rail driver, requiring huge loading systems within the vessel itself to maintain it's rate of fire. It is designed to fire every five seconds, regardless of vessel size, and in almost all cases proper loading of the weapon requires that the loading chamber be kept in zero-G. To this end, the chamber itself is more exposed than would otherwise be practical, often running along the belly of a Huerdaen warship.

'Bismark' Huerdaen Railgun

The Bismark is the standard design of a railgun for the Huerdaen. Making use of a particularly advanced railgun design, the Huerdaen are able to avoid burning through rails at all, suspending the rounds between a set of three lines of magnetically charged liquids which serve as the rails. Through this, they are able to guide the round forward viciously, and reach a maintainable rate of fire that often overcomes even the 'coilguns' that so many nations see as a superior technology. So long have the Huerdaen made use of such technologies that they now have the technology to implant special warheads within even rail driven rounds, making even the standard Bismark weapons not only fast firing, but highly devastating in ways that few nations could ever dream to match.

'Spearhead' Flak Gun

With the standardization of rounds, the Phalanx gun was forced, after much discussion, to be taken out of action. What replaces it instead is a standardized, 40mm automatic cannon. Firing with a cyclic system designed for sustained rate of fire instead of the Phalanx's burst rounds, the Spearhead has a much greater presence in the skies over Huerdaen forces, though unfortunately with less effect. It is, however, quite easily mountable in dual-gun or quad-gun positions to increase both battlefield effect and coverage. Most mounts are also positioned to be fired at infantry or lighter vehicles, allowing them an option other than the mighty, harder-to-move Hephaestus, or the rare Hades guns.

'Pikeman' Rail Flak Projector

While the doctrinal replacement to the Phalanx gun was the Spearhead flak gun, many units found the overall firepower to be lacking. This quickly began to cause problems among the Huerdaen forces, where heavier gunships or bomber craft would fly either out of range or simply absorb the rounds long enough to deploy their munitions. Heavy infantry regiments, with access to greater field guns, almost immediately pioneered a solution, which was soon learned from, re-created for the express role, and produced within months as the 105mm 'Pikeman' Rail Flak Projector. With a much greater reach able to hit any reasonable foe, and the ability to eliminate most enemy tanks that attempt to approach them, either by airdrop or already landed, the 'Pikeman' became a favorite among units who had the ability to access them. Using the rail driver's higher velocity, even distant targets were given minimal warning, and the larger flak rounds that were created showed great promise. Unlike the simpler 'Desecrator', the barrel of the 'Pikeman' is purposefully rifled, to produce a spin on the round. This provides the flak rounds with a much more even spread upon deployment, creating a massive, powerful defense against any air vehicles.

'Deicide' Disruptor Cannon

The mightiest of the mighty, the 'Deicide' cannon is named for how it is seen amongst the Huerdaen. It is a weapon powerful enough to blast through shields and armor without hardly slowing, to scar and devastate enemy warships or soldiers with little mercy. Named for the act of killing a god, the Huerdaen have planned such weapons for just such a purpose, and the war they once expected with the Hermes alliance was to provide for them just such an opportunity. Like the smaller version, the weapon is unstable, but it is also hugely effective, limited only by the power consumption of the weapons themselves, and making any warship outfit with these terrifying weapons a truly mighty foe.

'Stuka' Rocket Pods

The Stuka pods are a direct offshoot of the standardization of Victor rockets. Designed to be reloaded quickly, or simply abandoned, the Stuka pods can be loaded in a matter of seconds, and release every rocket simultaneously. They are used in their most pure version aboard Huerdaen Star Navy bombers, but only slight modifications were needed for the Shield's Talon gunships, and a more specialized version was required for the much bigger launch tubes of the Anger-Class Destroyers. Even these, however, are simply an oversized, rotating assembly that follows the same basic rules. It loads quickly three rounds, to be fired as the pod spins down, only to be reloaded again. This is the reasoning behind the burst-firing of these destroyers, though few foes realize the truth behind the matter, or are able to make use of the unerringly fast reload time. In a pinch, these bays have been stripped down and refit for different vessels, even before replacing the cannons upon a Titan heavy tank in a particularly desperate time to increase the firepower available to ground forces.
Last edited by Huerdae on Sat Aug 01, 2020 4:16 pm, edited 91 times in total.
The Huerdaen Star Empire is an FT Nation.

Xiscapia wrote:It amused her for a time to wonder if the two fleets could not see each other, so she could imagine them blindly stabbing in the dark, like a game of tag, if tag was played with rocket launchers in pitch blackness.
[17:15] <Telros> OH HO HO, YOU THOUGHT HUE WAS OUT OF LUCK, DID YOU
[17:15] <Telros> KUKUKU, HE HAS REINFORCEMENTS
[17:15] <Telros> FOR TELROS IS REINFORCEMENTS MAN

Rezo wrote:If your battleship turrets have a smaller calibre than your penis is long, you're doing it wrong.

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Re: The Huerdaen Star Empire

Postby Huerdae » Thu Sep 03, 2009 11:11 pm

Organization and Information

Like all massive organizations, the Star Empire is built on order and control, with tiers of control reaching down and spreading across sometimes thousands, sometimes millions of lives. But that is where many of the similarities stop. Unlike many nations, the Star Empire is known to permit movement between the differing military branches - the Shield and the Star Navy. While their markings differ, and there is a known and accepted rivalry between the groups, it is not uncommon for a career military member to change from one branch to the other. This must be done as their term of service is completed, but it has created an interesting dynamic which reaches even down into the basics of the rank structure. Instead of simplistic devices to determine rank, the Star Empire employs a surprisingly elaborate, and almost beautiful, marking scheme which is designed to follow a few basic guidelines. Every marking meets at two distinct points at the base, and the top, with a 'belt' of three points across the middle that allows the marking to be changed halfway through from the Star Empire version to the Shield version. Because of this, the entire service record of the member is tracked through their rank markings, from the lowliest private to the greatest general. Sometimes, these markings can become quite complex, as a member may switch branches several times over their career.

Ranks of the Imperial Shield

Depicted by golden markings, the Shield is one of the most massive organizations in the Star Empire. It spans millions of members, including the provisioning, organization, housing, transport, and deployment, down to the most basic details. Massive armies wage war due to the tireless efforts of the organization at every level, and every member of the Organization is trained and prepared, with their own rank earned through service to the Star Empire.

Lord General

A Lord General is a master of the art of war. Having fought in countless battles and engagements, they are considered skilled in all types of warfare, able to know an enemy's move well before it has been made. The rank is awarded prior to a major offensive, most often the beginning of a full-scale war with an enemy, and they are trusted with absolute command of all forces embroiled, including Star Navy, Force, or militia forces. This level of control cannot be awarded to any member of the Solar Command, and no Lord General currently lives.

General

A general is a soldier who has shown skill and ability to manage a combat zone to a great level, both from the movement of troops and the management of individual soldiers. They are expected to be instrumental in all parts of a battle, and are tasked with major operations, from the logistics level to deployment. They are the true heart and organization, and are often called upon to meet with Star Navy members to plan assaults, deployments, or even simply act as ambassadors. They are advisors to other officers at all times, and while they may not always have direct control, they are often given the option of taking it at any point.

Major

Majors are officers who have reached beyond the capabilities of a Colonel, and while they are of higher rank, they are expected to perform a much different role. They are given specialized detachments, duties, and can be expected to lead groups even as small as a single squad for extended periods. They are leaders first, and soldiers second, expected to bolster with skill and knowledge where an otherwise under-strength group may falter. They are experienced at war, and often have been commended several times for heroism or ingenuity, and the Shield uses these traits to multiply the already impressive capabilities of its soldiers.

Colonel

Colonels are the most elite of company commanders, or the beginnings of battle-size conflict organization and command. At this level, organization size is assumed to be of no issue, and a Colonel is expected to be able to command anything from a platoon to a full Sword with great skill. Many do not survive to become Colonels, but those who do are often considered heroes and are universally given respect across the Shield.

Captain

Captains are the heart of the Shield command structure. Most often commanding companies or acting as a second-in-command to other captains, they lead the beginnings of larger scale operations in the Shield. At this level they are given very vague objectives and given great freedom in how to perform those duties, drawing upon their experience as a Commander to be sure that these duties are performed to highest skill level. It is at this level that most specialists cease to gain rank.

Commander

Commanders are the most capable officers in the field. Often deployed between platoon and company level, they are called upon for a variety of roles, from small unit leadership to acting as a secondary company officer if the force needs to be split for any reason. They are often seen among tank aces, special operations leaders, and other specialized command roles that free up higher-level, command staff for larger-scale maneuvers.

Senior Lieutenant

The first true officers, Senior Lieutenants are bound by the Officers Law and universally veterans of at least one warzone. A soldier, no matter how long they have served, cannot progress to the rank of Senior officer without participating in at least one campaign or battle, whether it be against pirates, an insurrection, or a great war against an enemy nation. They do not need to serve upon the field of battle, but are required to be present and understand the changes that a force at war is expected to endure. Many specialists who reach this rank are considered experts, and return to the Star Empire to train the newest level of recruits for war. Those who stay among the Command Staff are given veteran platoons, or are attached to Commanders as support officers to perform additional duties, or as a Second In Command.

Junior Lieutenant

While not truly an officer, Junior Lieutenants are the first layer of true leadership, starting at the platoon level. Many Junior Officers are slain shortly after promotion, and this rank bears the second-highest casualty rate in the Shield. They are expected to be outgoing, visible, and easily recognized by both sides so as to maintain discipline during combat. They are not bound by the Officer's Law, though many begin adhering to it at this level, to avoid deadly mistakes in the future. Junior Lieutenants in charge of a platoon are sometimes called upon to hold Senior Lieutenants or Commanders under their command in the form of specialists, weapon crews, or tank commanders. This is accepted structure within the Star Empire, and the first major break between Command Staff and Ranked Soldiers

Sergeant

Sergeants are the first level of leaders among the Shield, and there is at least a single sergeant for each squad, while specialized units such as tanks or gun crews may have more, or even higher-ranked personel. They are corporals who have moved up through experience, or those specializing in leadership roles. They are given access to the greatest variety of specialized training, and where specialized equipment is most likely to be seen.

Corporal

Corporals are those who have begun to rise through the ranks of the Shield, most often having found their preferred calling and just begun the path to follow it. This rank is in its greatest numbers among tank crews, specialists in newly-raised units, and recently-resupplied veteran units. They constitute barely a third the number of Privates.

Private

The greenest of soldiers, a Private is fully trained, outfit, and assigned to a position in a unit. Privates are the very meat of the Shield, serving in almost every base role of the military, from cleaners to infantry. It is here that a soldier is expected to find their place in the Shield, and begin their path and career. Many soldiers spend years at this level, unable to find a position which fits their desires and skills, eventually being slain, retiring, or transferring to the Star Navy.

Recruit

Despite being a trainee, the Recruit still is given the markings of the Shield, the single pair of dots that is the beginning of the entire rank tree. This symbolizes the agreement made, and the promise to serve the Star Empire, even should the recruit die during training (an event not unheard of). The very moment the uniform is provided, following the swearing of the vows, the recruit is considered a soldier, and is a citizen of the Empire, with all the rights and privileges, as well as the dangers, that come with it. If combat comes to civilians, recruits, like all soldiers, are expected to lead militias to the best of their ability, regardless of any training they may or may not have received.

Markings of the Imperial Shield

Gold

Officers in charge of company or higher level operations, those marked in gold are veterans and commanders of note. While many claim that the obvious value of gold-marked makes them more vulnerable to snipers, this convention has not changed, and some officers who have survived sniper attacks see their gold markings as a mark of pride, and a taunt to the enemy.

Red

Specialists in squads and platoons wear red, and are one of the most common markings. They can be snipers, heavy weapons specialists, support gunners, or simply communications specialists.

Blue

Technicians and hackers, those marked in blue often have no specific battlefield role. Sometimes their abilities extend only so far as to repairing vehicles damaged by combat, or maintaining and upgrading weaponry. However, raid missions often require the successful recovery of data, and the 'blues' are called upon to put their skills to use under fire, where they are both stalwart and determined, as they are aware of the uphill battle they face for respect of 'combat' marks.

Black

Black, or 'unmarked' soldiers are the standard infantry of the Shield. They are trained to perform most duties, but have not chosen to, or are less proficient, than their 'marked' counterparts.

Green

Green markings are for Star Navy, or retired members of the Shield. This marking is also worn by tank or vehicle crews who have lost their vehicle and are given powered armor. In all cases, green is seen as a sign of loss, and many feel that wearing this color is as much an indicator as it is a punishment. Many court-marshaled soldiers have been executed in green.

Silver

Silver markings are for those who fit no other category. These can be non-combat entities, or VIPs from other nations. They can also denote Force representatives, or private bodyguards. All Corporate militias supplied with powered armor are required to be marked in Silver. Polizei and other special ops, including Devil-Kin or Grendels, are always marked in Silver as well.

Yellow

Combat engineers and demolitionists, those marked in yellow are common and well respected by the Shield. They are capable, work quickly, and often do so in the very heart of an engagement, under the most withering fire. 'Yellow' units have been shown repeatedly to stand even as their escorts and guardians are cut down around them, finishing their objectives against all odds. While this earns them respect, it also earns them a reputation of being the closest to 'suicide' squads as the Shield employs, a reputation that the veterans of this mark are quick to point out.

Brown

Squad leaders and platoon leaders wear brown, denoting them only slightly from their counterparts. This allows them to easily avoid being picked out from their counterparts, maintaining low-level command structure and keeping the Shield from faltering in its objectives. Soldiers part of the recon squad of a company are also marked in brown. It is noteworthy that squad and platoon leader markings are identical to those of recon. Imperial Shield doctrine indicates that a lack of recon or low-level leadership is a critical moment, making the browns a group protected by both soldiers in the field, and leadership above. Of all markings, browns are considered the most universally respected for the pivotal role they play in the Star Empire's wars.

Organization of the Imperial Shield

The shield is organized into varying levels in accordance with the Rule of Five. These levels of organization are what keep the Shield from becoming a great sprawling morass of men and equipment, and instead maintain discipline, combat effectiveness, and efficient use of resources to achieve objectives. Command purpose and roles are determined from the bottom up, allowing as much freedom as possible for low-level leadership in how they achieve objectives, while higher-level leadership are expected to determine objectives and be sure that the assets are in place to allow low-level leadership to achieve objectives as needed.

Echelon - 244,140,625 - An Echelon is the ultimate deployment of Imperial Shield. As the shield is a ground-based force, no single deployment can be larger than that of an Echelon, which is designed for an attack against a single target planet. On extremely rare occasions, an Echelon will be deployed against a part of a planet, though this is exceedingly rare. In these cases, it is often due to significant population centers such as hives or massed fortress garrisons. In these instances, there is often a strategic unit deployed for the sole purpose of coordinating artillery between the two groups, often numbering in the tens or hundreds of thousands of members. This approach is seen as bulky and ultimately anything but ideal, and the Shield prefers instead to maintain a single Echelon per planet, willing to take additional time to work their way across the face of a world if need be.

Sword - 48,828,125 - A Sword is the expected force required to take a moon or poorly defended world. Sometimes deployed at a single target, it is at this level that the significant reserve assets of the Shield are most visible, as a large number of those who are members of a Sword are often never deployed. Each sword manages its own supply chain alongside the ISN forces that maintain it, meaning that there is a chance that any member of the Shield may serve in defense of a supply depot off-world from the campaign they're fighting on for a period of time.

March - 9,765,625 - A March is considered a heavy force, sometimes used against a fortified, city-sized defensive position or a massive space installation, but in few other circumstances will a March enter the fray against a single target. It is mighty, often seen in use over a large area of a planet such as a primary continent, or a large string of islands where inter-dependency is key to a successful campaign. It is, however, more often deployed as part of a Sword, and rarely is the ultimate unit size of a deployment. It is merely too small for any given stellar body, and too large for a directed strike.

Standard - 1,953,125 - A Standard is the level at which ISN forces and assets are first available to Shield officers in any consistency. Considered the lowest level strategic unit, a Standard no longer deploys to the field as a single unit, like the armies before, but instead functions with a much less specific plan of action. A standard is no longer a tactical unit, to be maneuvered around or concerned with local terrain. It is a massed force, concerned with the overall deployment of an area. It faces the challenges of logistics and grand strategy.

Battle Army - 390,625 - The largest formation to be deployed against individual targets, a Battle Army is most often organized and utilized as five field armies working in close proximity, often with shared resources. This allows the greatest advantage gained from combined arms gains due to levies and supporting units, allowing it to be one of the strongest levels of formations in terms of efficient objective completion. It is the go-to size for any deployment meant to be optimal in both losses and objective completion, making it a particularly well-known force. As such, it is also the point that most Generals start at, allowing them the greatest chance to prove their ability.

Field Army - 78,125 - A Field Army is rarely deployed as a single unit, excepting in massive attacks against fortified positions. It is considered 'Overwhelming Force' by Shield leadership, and any attempt to command such a unit efficiently is difficult. In practice, it has been decided that the deployment of an army is highly effective, but not as efficient in terms of resource or manpower usage, which often costs a greater number of casualties or lost equipment due to simple inability to react as a cohesive unit. This is heavily countered by low-level leadership, but cannot be entirely eliminated.

Battle Regiment - 15,625 - A battle Regiment is the larger of the regimental units, still considered a low-level strategic unit, but it serves as a much more powerful force. Battle Regiments serve as a powerful single unit, with a large amount of support assets that allow them to function as a particularly deadly single unit, or cover a large area for less intensive combat. One of the more successful deployments of a Battle Regiment is the Battle at End of the Universe, on Farazen during the Exile conflict. Because of the varied support available, and competent use of resources, a unit of this size was able to provide particularly solid resistance that completely annihilated an equal-sized force with lower-than-expected casualties.

Field Regiment - 3,125 - A Field Regiment is a low-level strategic unit, tasked often with the maintaining or pushing of the actual conflict. Less interested in low-level leadership or combat effectiveness, the Regimental level is concerned with overall strategic goals and positioning, including lower-level logistical concerns and distribution. Regimental units are raised together, and reinforced, permitting regimental decisions over where the need is greatest.

Division - 625 - A division is the highest level of tactical unit. Expected to control a section of the conflict, a Division-level unit is where the 'type' of unit is determined. An Armored Division consists of five companies supported by Armored elements in their support platoon. This organization permits simplified logistics, as well as unified support elements within the Division to maintain the greatest number of fighting-strength companies.

Company - 125 - A company is considered the strongest single unit in the Imperial Shield. Consisting of three 'standard' platoons, a command platoon, and a specialist platoon, they are expected to work in small tactical units to methodically overcome any number of objectives. Specialist platoons are given a wide array of freedom in regards to what tools are available to them, allowing 'specialist' squads to have 3 specialists per squad, with a single infantryman and a commander filling out the squad. Because of this unexpected flexibility, they are considered the most potent part of a company's structure and many operations operate around the specialist platoon's capabilities. In addition, a company's command platoon includes a single reconnaissance squad dedicated to that company's operations. The other squads in the command platoon of a company are dedicated to the other support layers required by a unit of Shield, including any mix of artillery, anti-aircraft, anti-missile, anti-tank, and/or infantry suppression weapons.

Platoon - 25 - A platoon is the first tactical unit deployed by the Shield, and is led by an officer who is expected to perform simple tactical actions, flanking and overcoming low-level objectives in a localized conflict. Platoons are sometimes given access to, but never direct control of, heavy support assets, allowing them to cope with greater danger, though they are still expected to focus on individual soldier's survival and effect.

Squad - 5 - A squad is the smallest unit deployed by the Shield, and it is the simplest command structure present. A squad will train, live, and fight together, providing support, and maintaining their equipment. They are a simple fighting unit, capable of handling most combat circumstances, and are expected to perform only basic tactical actions on their own, generally sticking together for mutual survival.

Ranks of the Star Navy

The Star Navy is the interstellar projection of the Star Empire's will, and not a single ship can function without the work and sweat of the Star Navy's personnel. Ships can have a single pilot, or tens of thousands of crew, but each bears a rank and duty to perform, each and every one a part of the Star Navy's might.

Admiral

Commodore

Major

Colonel

Captain

Commander

Senior Lieutenant

Junior Lieutenant

Sergeant

Corporal

Corporals are crewmen who have specialized access on board the ship, be that to medical supplies, armories, or weapons controls.

Private

A private in the Star Navy is a crewman who performs the duties needed across the ship, making up the bulk of crews and serving in virtually any position among the crew. Unlike the Shield, the title of Private does not imply a lack of specialization, as there is no such option among the Star Navy. Instead, it simply signifies a level of access on board the ship, and many Star Navy crewmen never leave the rank of Private.

Organization of the Star Navy

When deploying, the Star Navy keeps to a simplified set of deployment sizes, from small and tight squadrons to the massive and devastating war fleets, they have their purposes and support requirements. Each fleet is built around a core of individually functioning and mutually protective squadrons of warships that organize and operate as a deadly, devastating whole of a fleet. However, most deployments are of smaller caliber than war fleets, and may be of any of the depicted sizes. As the fleets become larger, specialized formations become less specific and more generalized, allowing the squadrons to function to their greatest effectiveness, in an oddly fitting mirror of the Huerdaen government itself.

Star Navy Squadrons

Star Navy Squadrons, or simply squadrons, are the lowest level building blocks of Imperial Star Navy fleets. They consist of small groups of vessels which can be relied on to mutually support each other, even as the groups they form support each other in battle. The most common type of squadron is the Line Squadron, bringing forth a significant number of main line warships into the fray, but with a dependable number of recon destroyers to protect against enemy action and misdirection. Squadrons replace the old patrol groups, but are deployed far more often, making the new Star Navy doctrine, while much heavier on cruisers, a more nimble entity, and significantly reducing losses to enemy action. Primary Squadrons each consist of 5 warships, while command squadrons consist of 9 warships.

Picket Squadron:
1 Escort Cruiser
1 Recon Destroyer
3 Strike Destroyers


Line Squadron:
4 Escort Cruisers
1 Recon Destroyer


Doctrine Squadron:
2 Doctrine Warships
3 Escort Cruisers


Command Squadron:
1 Battleship
6 Escort Cruisers
2 Doctrine Warships


Fleet Command Squadron:
1 War Frigate
2 Battleships
4 Escort Cruisers
2 Doctrine Warships


Battle Groups

A battle group is a deployment of ships prepared for extended operations or fleet combat. Battle Groups fall into one of three categories, with the primary category taking the name 'Battle Group'. The other compositions are 'Command Group' and 'Doctrine Group', respectively. Doctrine Groups are deployments that determine the doctrinal focus of the naval deployment, with the most common being Assault Groups, Artillery Groups, or Carrier Groups. Command groups contain the Battle Fleet command ship and escorts, and are deployed without the supporting fleet assets far more rarely. Each form of battle group consists of 29 ships.

Battle Group Composition: 2 Picket Squadrons, 2 Line Squadrons, 1 Command Squadron
4 Recon Destroyers
6 Strike Destroyers
16 Escort Cruisers
2 Doctrine Warships
1 Battleship

Doctrine Group Composition: 1 Picket Squadron, 1 Doctrine Squadron, 2 Line Squadrons, 1 Command Squadron
3 Recon Destroyers
3 Strike Destroyers
18 Escort Cruisers
4 Doctrine Warships
1 Battleship

Command Group Composition: 1 Picket Squadron, 1 Doctrine Squadron, 2 Line Squadrons, 1 Fleet Command Squadron
3 Recon Destroyers
3 Strike Destroyers
16 Escort Cruisers
4 Doctrine Warships
2 Battleships
1 War Frigate


Battle Fleet

A battle fleet is a significant deployment of ISN assets, forming up enough firepower to attack most moderately defended systems, or a heavily defended planet and complete the action with acceptable losses. It is formed into five battle groups, the first of which is a command battle group, with the next three being combat battle groups, and the last being a doctrinal battle group. The command battle group almost invariably is led by a commodore or colonel on board a war frigate to oversee the operations of the fleet, and in addition to this mighty warship the command battle group contains additional escorts and battleships, making it a significant threat to any foe. The specialist battle group contains additional doctrinal warships, be they the battleships of the Assault Groups, or carriers of the Carrier Groups, as well as additional escorts at the cost of recon elements. Some rare battle fleets, when deployed, will have a single Ghost vessel attached to support their operations, but this is not always the case. A Battle Fleet consists of 145 warships.

Battle Fleet Composition: 3 Battle Groups, 1 Doctrine Group, 1 Command Group
18 Recon Destroyers
24 Strike Destroyers
82 Escort Cruisers
14 Doctrine Warships
6 Battleships
1 War Frigate


War Fleet

Consisting of five battle fleets, a war fleet is a major expression of the ISN's might. Most often deployed to a combat sector expecting heavy conflict, the war fleets of the ISN operate to engage and make war over whole systems or sectors, and are capable of massed invasions or even glassing planets. The war fleets operate under a commodore only rarely, and almost always serve under an admiral who works closely with the Shield to manage and control a whole theater of operation. Unlike Battle Fleets, a War Fleet may have mixed Doctrinal specializations within it, allowing it to have a series of varying capabilities to meet the demands of the conflict. The deployment of a War fleet for only a single battle is almost unheard of, but the amount of destruction it is capable of is unrivaled with the exception of the deployment of a dreadnought. Every war fleet contains a Ghost vessel, though no war fleet is ever deployed with more than one such ship. Despite this, logistical needs for a Ghost vessel are handled separately from the rest of the fleet, and it is not included in war fleet ORBATs, meaning the total number of warships in a War Fleet is 725.

War Fleet Composition: 5 Battle Fleets
90 Recon Destroyers
120 Strike Destroyers
410 Escort Cruisers
70 Doctrine Warships
30 Battleships
5 War Frigates


Average Garrison Strengths for ISN Naval formations following NDNR are:

Battle Group: 319,750
Doctrine Group: 378,750
Command Group: 456,875
Battle Fleet: 1,155,575
War Fleet: 5,777,875


Ranks of The Force

Judge

Enforcer

Praetorian

Master/Mistress

Captain

Commander

Underling

Lieutenant

Sergeant

Officer

Ranks of Supporting Levies

Solar

Sentinel

Lord/Lady

Captain

Commander

Landsknecht

Sergeant

Militiaman

Standards of Construction and Behavior

The Huerdaen Star Empire is a massive institution that encompasses a significant portion of the Delta Quadrant. It manages myriad resources, the construction of ships and starbases, as well as rationing and groundside assistance on a daily basis. In addition, it protects its residents against hostile action, disaster, and any number of other threats. For this reason, standards and laws have been put into place, that guide many aspects of Huerdaen life. Many times, these are things that other nations simply overlook, or ignore for the sake of majesty and simple arrogance. But the Huerdaen have built their lives around scarcity and fundamental needs that make even the bulky empire run smoothly, and with surprisingly little overhead.

All Must Give, That All May Live - The Starvation Doctrine

- food and distribution

And They Shall Speak No Lie - The Word Doctrine

- Truth

Forget None, Forgive None - The Udoiyen Doctrine

- Hostage handling

Survival is a Grace Given unto One's Self - The Survival Doctrine

- Defense of self

A Defense for the People, and of the People - The National Doctrine

- mandatory military service

All shall have their Place - The Lacedaemon Doctrine

- Youth militia

And they shall Spread like a Plague O'er The Land - The Labyrinth Doctrine

The Labryrinth Doctrine, as it is called, is simply a set of rules and expectations used in construction of Huerdaen structures, stations, and starships. Overall, this would not have required its own doctrine, but it has come to be something of a tactical doctrine as well as a structural design. First and foremost in the minds of the Huerdaen are resources, and to conserve oxygen aboard ships and stations, they have standardized a 2.1m high, 2.1m wide hall. This permits what they consider maximum flow, without requiring large amounts of air for unreasonably high ceilings. In addition, it allows all hall sections, from buildings upon the ground to those within ships, to be built from the same, commonplace items bulkheads. If needed, they can be easily and quickly ripped from any other Huerdaen-built object and put in place in another with only a minimum of effort.

In addition, however, is the fact that the Huerdaen are a warlike people. As such, they expect an enemy to wish them harm, and have included these concerns in their designs. Moving between decks on board a Huerdaen warship is possible only by ramps, or by creating additional breaches. These ramps lead to 'Gun posts' where a mounted field gun is emplaced for the safety of the crew. Each gun post can be approached from four sides, with two sides of which lead to the deck above, and two to the deck below. These entrances to decks are placed each 90 degrees around the gun post, with the two that go to each deck adjacent to each other, so that the gun crew may see any attack on both ramps from either direction at the same time. In addition, this sets the gun in a position where if it must be abandoned, the retreat may be performed in an orderly manner, with fire across the room from the opposing, safe ramps. This also allows all field guns, support units, and equipment which are designed to be easily designed to specifications for these halls, without having concerns for smaller or larger areas in which they must be prepared to operate.

Even more, this allows halls to be built into modular components as well, allowing whole city blocks to be constructed in a matter of hours, though there are clearly exceptions. The need for garages, and docking bays mandates that the Huerdaen have specialized modules for them, where a garage is sized to be twice as high to accomodate the larger vehicles of the Huerdaen. Docking bays are also of this height. Each standard "home" module is sized to be a 5m by 5m by 2.5m section, making a Garage or Dock module 5mx5mx5m. This absolute adherence to modular components leads many to say that all halls appear the same, which has led to the naming of the Doctrine.

And a Gift Shall be Made unto their Flesh, that they be Strong Evermore- The Ursellin Doctrine

The Ursellin Doctrine was originally made for those who would be spending large amounts of time in space. The original cybernetics were upgrades for soldiers, but this quickly came into use in reinforcing brittle bones cause by space travel, and combating muscle atrophy. With these threats all too real when attempting long-range colonization, and the group drawn toward these acts being predominantly the poor, augmentations were finally supported by government funds, following an Ursellin-funded proof-of-concept colony effort. With this performed, and several colonies soon successfully established, the Huerdaen began their move to the stars. Over the years, more and more of the population became spaceborn, leaving the Imperial coffers with the bill. Over time, it became apparent that the cost could be significantly reduced simply by planning a regimen in which each augmentation was added over the course of a Huerdaen life. Without the ability to determine who would be traveling space, and with the knowledge that it would still garner less cost, the Ursellin doctrine became a universal rule, covering all newly born Huerdaen. Over time, new advancements were added to the standard augmentations and process and timing were created that are now widely recognized milestones in the life of the Huerdaen.

Birth

The introduction of the Silver Lace is at birth. It is a small strand of nanomachines that is implanted directly into the brain to interface and grow with the host body. It is, of all Huerdaen inventions, the closest to creating life. It is designed to grow and adapt as the body grows and adapts, and at birth its abilities are limited. However, throughout their lives Huerdaen can be identified by their Lace, as each is as unique as the Huerdaen host. During this time, the Silver Lace integrates itself into the child's mind, allowing them to instinctively understand many things which may be more difficult to unaugmented humans, namely in the fields of math and logic. This means that many Huerdaen toddlers are capable of surprising feats of mathematics, and some are known to 'speak' first to computers through programming or other surprisingly complex means. It also seems to have some minor latent effect upon the child's memory, allowing quicker and simpler recognition and recall. In addition to the Lace are the basic nanomachine factories. With the lack of purpose of the appendix, it served as the perfect factory for nanomachine creation and care. Implanted directly into the organ is a small sphere which serves as the infrastructure throughout the child's life, and it is where upgrades and changes are most often seen. In children, it is monitored closely for dangers of rejection or rampancy, in which case the nanomachines strike against their host. In both cases, these are treatable until the situation has resolved itself, or the host is killed.

Childhood

During childhood, the brain develops very quickly, and while not as quickly as at birth, childhood is a key time for Huerdaen and their augmentations. At this point, the Silver Lace has progressed and grown to reach the base of the spine, and matured to the point that it is able to directly be accessed and controlled by the child's mind. In most Huerdaen, this point is reached at or around their eigth birthday, though the Ursellin Doctrine mandates that the upgrades take place on the day following the ninth birthday. These upgrades include driver updates, which serve as simply control unlocks for the Lace, allowing the child to use the Lace directly, and access information such as previous memmories if they were of significance, and begin or recall logging of information. At this time, the interface implant is linked to the Lace at the base of the skull, where the Lace is most mature. This consists of a simple port which allows the Huerdaen to interface with most computer systems in the Star Empire, as well as including information such as firewall and protective measures. It is at this point that the Lace is fed into the optical nerve in a particularly complex procedure. However, within a week, the beginning signs are showing of the optical upgrades, including vision reaching into spectrums not normally seen by humans, or the ability to 'parse' images together from fragments, an ability very often used by Shield.

Puberty

The Puberty upgrades are reknowned for being painful, and being unexpected. The Lace itself dictates the timing for the augmentations to be implanted, as its monitoring of body functions and information display when puberty is about to begin. The timing of these augmentations is key, and some children resist in a perfectly natural way for children of such an age. Children between the ages of eleven and sixteen are often taken to undergo the week-long process of seeding muscle implants and bone marrow upgrades in the most grueling time in a child's life. It is generally regarded as the most painful event in a child's life, but also carries with it the most gain. Muscle upgrades are quick to expand through the thick tissue, giving unstable children strength that makes them dangerous to themselves and others, however, the Lace is given a set of inhibitor commands to keep augmented children from killing each other or injuring themselves too badly. Still, there are downsides to these upgrades, as the augmentations are somewhat heavy, and some children find themselves suffering from weaker bone structure following the proceedure, unable to fully use their abilities. Augmentations in the bone marrow are simply redundant systems, permitting immunization upgrades and redundant factories to assist the original appendix factory in maintaining general health in the body. Unlike the appendix factory, however, the marrow factories create additional 'scabbers', which assist in clotting, and increase the survival rate of Huerdaen who suffer grevious injuries. This was found to be more effective when augmented later in life, but the injuries due to freshly augmented children caused this to be performed at the same time as muscle augmentations. At this time, the Lace has completed growing, and reaches to almost every inch of the body, appearing much like a silver web over exposed muscle and bone.

Adulthood

The adulthood upgrades are the final, and most far-reaching. Starting with an upgrade to the Lace to provide full functionality, including upgrade, interlink, and modification unlocks, this augmentation takes the longest, but is nowhere near the most painful. This is partially due to the fact that the Lace upgrade is performed a week ahead of time, allowing those performing the augmentations to make use of the increased functionality and deaden the pain. However, this is the most obvious. It consists of reinforcements to the bone structure, ribs, spine, skull, and, most importantly, the leg. Full muscle action is unlocked at this time, though it is not unknown for many at this stage to have already unlocked their muscle capabilities, either legitimately through joining the youth militia, or less respectable means. At this time, Huerdaen are permitted to join any armed branch, and are acceptable for citizenship.

Their Home Shall be Where They Sleep - The Hyodalis Doctrine

- Guest of a nation

And They Shall not be Meek - The Daliash IV Doctrine

- Diplomats and weapons

He shall be Responsible for what Curses he Utters- The Xerxes Doctrine

- Foreign diplomats

And to our homes they shall bring their Best- The Slayer Doctrine

- integration into the empire

Sacrifice Not for the Burdens of Another - The Slaughter Doctrine

This is probably the single most hated and revered doctrines in the Huerdaen Star Empire. It is absolute, and while it has never become written law, every officer in any position is familiar with it. The basics of the doctrine are simple, and refer to basic needs. An officer at war has available only a small amount of food for his forces, and is resupplied only as often as is possible. Like most military deployments, rations are tightly regulated among the Huerdaen, and this means that officers are acutely aware of exactly how little food they have for their own soldiers. This lack of surplus supplies means that any amount of charity is going to be met with harsh repurcussions among the soldiers of the Star Empire. Often, food is scarce enough that offers of food will end in soldiers dying of starvation, and as such, any officer who knowingly gives away food among the Huerdaen is often seen as killing their own. This has, in the past, ended in mutiny, and on several occasions the forces that performed the mutiny were forgiven and returned to active duty following the investigation.

As such, the Slaughter Doctrine came into being. The care of prisoners is to be managed not by military officials - there is simply no way without bringing danger to their own troops. Instead, they should be immediately shipped to the Empire, where they may become residents, or released. This becomes dangerous with hostile prisoners, as they cannot be safely sent to the Empire to become residents until they have shown some willingness to become productive members of society, and releasing them becomes harmful more directly. Many times, an officer is forced to kill these prisoners, often in large numbers. These events, such as the one occurring in Alpha-02 during the Ataster war, are what gave this doctrine its name, as officers are often required to execute dozens, or even hundreds, of those who surrender simply to maintain the relative safety of the empire and their own units.

They Shall Die as They Lived - The Honor Doctrine

The honor doctrine is a strange enigma in the Huerdaen. While they are a functional, purely realist society, they do suffer from some strange quirks which throw even this into question. First and foremost of these is the Honor Doctrine. Executions, are the most visible parts of the doctrine, where the ways in which a Huerdaen Citizen is executed is by a weapon, most often firing squad. Residents are hung. The differences are in a final nod to the service they gave to their country, even after they have been found guilty of whatever crime ended in their death. With equality covering things such as gender and race, it is often a matter of some note that the Huerdaen differentiate between those who have spent their lives serving the Empire and those who have not.

Their Minds Shall be Their Own, and Their Works Their Own, and Nothing Shall Take These from Them - The God Doctrine

Religion, among the Huerdaen, is a personal matter. Organized churches exist, but far more common is the presence of a personal shrine or place of worship. Due to the Huerdaen law treating churches as another form of business, most have fallen out of business, or struggle to exist, while individual citizens and residents often band together on specific occasions to celebrate their views. It is both a quieter, and more open, part of the Star Empire than many would guess, but its presence in the human psyche as something which is almost impossible to truly disregard means that many mannerisms, from profanity to exclamations of joy, still find their roots in religion. That said, the number of Huerdaen who consider themselves religious slowly decreases with each passing year, and there are indications that the Empire may be completely atheist in some unknown number of years.

Cost not the future for the dallies of the present - The Athens Doctrine

Named after the infamous Victory Athens, the Athens Doctrine incorporates the handling, research, and implementation of genetic augmentation. Following the riots, the dangers of genetic augmentation were becoming abundantly clear. Not surprising, the Doctrine is backed by a large series of laws, and is referenced often as if it were a law itself, though its influence extends beyond simply genetics work. It governs, instead, any effect which changes the nature of the Huerdaen people in a way that is going to be carried through birth to future generations. While many nations embrace this sort of 'progress', the Huerdaen find it to be excessively greedy and self-destructive. Values and capabilities that may be of no value in their society today may be of great use to future generations. As such, they have adopted cybernetics to continue their augmentations.

The Athens Doctrine and Ursellin Doctrines together have shaped the face of the Huerdaen, for better or for worse. It allows the Huerdaen to adapt to new challenges without waiting for additional generations, but it also has stymied research in genetics and many areas of biology, forcing them to focus most of their attention on clones. It mandates that all those who are genetically modified be sterilized medically to avoid their genes 'infiltrating' the Huerdaen people, but it also, after much work, permitted the Slayers to maintain their standards - allowing them to clone, and keep their genetics 'pure', without interruption by the Huerdaen.

And their faces shall be their own - The Shepard Doctrine

Following genetics, the Huerdaen were quick to argue over the fate of cloning. During the riots, a single officer, by the name of 'Shepard' was said to have created dozens of clones of himself to fight in various conflicts, and to confuse his enemies. The information has not been substantiated or disproven, however, and instead has served only to name the doctrine. The Shepard Doctrine, for its part, is used only to be sure that no complete, precise copies are made. Clones are permitted, as well as cloning research on partial or modified bodies, or even reproduction through these methods, as the Slayer Caste is known to do. Violations to this rule are invariably punishable by death, and the Star Empire strives to ensure that it does not suffer from the ravages of a megalomaniac by making sure that only a single entity remains following discoveries of such cloning 'Dens'. Despite these dangers, cloning research surges forward with each war due to its prolific use on casualties to return them to the front. Recent advancements have reached the point that a fully augmented Huerdaen can lose a limb, or even two, and still be ready for combat the following week, barring concerns of psychological trauma.

Damned are those whose fates are left to others - The Daisy Bell Doctrine

The Huerdaen augmentations have made them, if not equal, similar in capabilities to many low-level AI. This, in turn, brought about an instant distrust of an intelligence they could create which existed without similar needs or concerns. Even careful programming would have little value, as it could either hamstring the system, requiring user input, or endanger the lives of those working with the system. Currently the only partial intelligence in use by the Huerdaen is the LASI system, which is a simple system that requires direct input to perform almost any functions. While it does contain a personality, it is controlled to such an extent that it can do almost nothing on its own. Such is their limitation on it that they are not even concerned should it become captured.

They may rest upon their own time - The Paliisi Doctrine

- Holidays

Each unto their beds as they may, and each unto the world as they desire - The Kallha Doctrine

The simplest explanation for the Kallha Doctrine is that the Huerdaen Star Empire has no interest, or desire, to debate the merits of who should bed who, or when. As a result, many would see the Dread Empire as having rampant orgies, or often as being 'deviant' for what they are permitted to do in the bedchambers, be it multiple partners, homosexual interactions, or other strange customs. It also applies to the application of those interactions in life, melding with the Sthan Doctrine in managing the handling of Marriage and other agreements that span across people or family. It stretches as far as the military branches of the Imperial Arm, forbidding retribution should a member become pregnant or otherwise inhibited by actions which are of their own concern. It does, however, contain strict guidelines for leave permitted during times during which a member of the Arm is 'inoperable' due to such concerns, and invariably requires that the time still be given to the Star Empire.

And all who live shall be as my brothers - The Actal Doctrine

- Family

May death be terrible, that peace may be cherished - The Helsearc Doctrine

Early attempts at nationalism and the glorification of war were found to quickly turn the populace against their leadership, as the actual occurrences of war were quick to surface in any engagement in which the Huerdaen took part. Rules of War were instituted, but also found to be sorely lacking, and indeed, more damaging to the psyche of the Huerdaen soldiers who had to suffer through the hell of combat. It took a number of high-ranking officers going rogue and attempting a series of coups before the Star Empire began to seriously consider the merits of a Total War stance.

Early implementations reeled at the effects of these doctrines, but the results continued to impress. Testing and modifications of various types of attacks soon found that while a chemical or biological agent often was a very effective attack, the chances of friendly fire, mutation, or lingering 'poison clouds' often slowed down the advance more than conventional warfare, and often, caused additional casualties or completely negated the use of positions. Current doctrine only permits these weapons in cases where the target is not to capture the location, only to kill those defending it. These circumstances are, not surprisingly, quite rare.

Forget not the rules of life, but cherish the joys of Man - The Sthan Doctrine

The ages-old concept of marriage in the Star Empire was once a hotly discussed topic. Determination of it between religious or state interpretations of the concept of a marriage deadlocked the populace in many ways. It was not until Emperor Vlais that the situation found permanent solution. With marriage the last standing iteration of a religious value within the government, it was difficult to approach. Love, understanding, and the desire of people to be together often got confused with belief and economy, so the Huerdaen took the most practical approach possible. Any resident may enter into marriage with another resident with simply a fee showing commitment, allowing things such as medical documents and economic records to be shared. This is not limited to only two people, and many Pankrees clans operate as a single married entity, sharing money and medical rights in terms of the 'external' Empire. Divorce is possible, but again requires processing costs to be forfeited to the Star Empire. As such, most see marriage as an economic investment into their shared lives, and while no ceremony is required, many are known to throw parties or in other ways revel in the joining of two lives.

Life knows not the petty squabbles of Man - The Eaytovi Doctrine

There is an almost inborn distrust for those who hold values different to your own, and the Star Empire's residents are no different. However, it was long ago realized that while distrust is impossible to completely stamp out, and discrimination is going to occur in one form or another, the simplest way to limit these is not to try to re-balance the issue or account for these uncertainties, but instead to accept these differences. The Star Empire lacks the otherwise gender-based inequalities in size and strength due to the cybernetics that all residents enjoy, allowing them to bypass these concerns on a national scale. Individually, they can still create an inequality, but these things are more easily handled at a smaller scale. As such, laws are not written to concern gender in any way. In the same way as gender, nationality and race are completely ignored in law.

Mind the heart of your foe, for it may yet be used against him - The Grendel Doctrine

The Huerdaen have a subconscious fascination and understanding of fear. Many grow up with fear as an ever-constant threat outside the great facilities of the Star Empire. They've grown to accept and internalize it as only a toughened people can, with war on every distant horizon. As such, they do not shy from things such as execution, firing on civilian targets, or massed fire attacks. These things they see as a function of the galaxy they are part of, and while it is regrettable that often civilians or those innocent of any crime perish, the understanding is that these tactics save the lives of citizens of the Empire. It is these tactics that give the Huerdaen the title 'The Dread Empire', as they are unflinching in their acts against an enemy populace. The deployment of Grendels is the absolute embodiment of this ideal, where they use these acts and the fear it causes to bring an end to a war that could otherwise drag on for years.

May it be a Guardian, a Father, and a Martyr to its people - The Truthsayer Doctrine

To the Huerdaen, the ultimate conception of the government was not to guide the people, but to protect them. As such, the Truthsayer Doctrine is a mandate of the government keeping their concerns on a high-level instead of local interests. The goal of the government at that level starts becoming the lives of the people who support it. Citizens and residents of the Star Empire are easily its priority, and in the strictest reading of Truthsayer Doctrine, the Star Empire should sacrifice any number of foreign lives for even a single Huerdaen resident. While other concerns also apply, this is the initial viewpoint of the HSE. This includes the citizens in the armed forces - it is often more dangerous to attempt to rescue all hostages than it is to simply 'burn out' criminals trying to use them for protection, so the Huerdaen often take a heavy-handed approach to such situations.

May they be free and unhindered in body and in mind - The Miranda Doctrine

- Freedom of the people

Honor to he who destroys, but immortality to he who builds anew - The Babel Doctrine

- Creation

Forget not the reasons for war - The Ironsides Doctrine

The sheer destructive capacity of strategic weapons makes them utterly useless to the Huerdaen. Huerdaen do not go to war for the purpose of killing, and instead find that the application of tactical weapons or, preferably, conventional weapons can achieve the same goals. Recently renamed after the introduction of the Ironsides Device, this doctrine is purely driven by post-conflict concerns. Major damage or destruction across a planet or object makes it impossible or nearly so to recover well enough to make gains following the conflict. For this reason, strategic weapons are not deployed, although the HSE does maintain a very small cache of singularity device weapons for use in the most extreme of circumstances.

When his blood has turned to oil and his flesh to steel, he is Man no longer - The Kusanagi Doctrine

While originally a major breakthrough in medical science, the application of prosthetic cybernetics is no longer the most effective outcome. Increased maintenance requirements, as well as control and vulnerability concerns due to the requirements on a cyberbrain mean that the Huerdaen have found cyberized prosthetics to be of no use. Some versions are still in use, but these are often items of personal choice, and extensive use of such things render one listed as a Heavy Augment, pre-empting their ability to function as a citizen of the Star Empire. Most such prosthetics have thus been built with the idea of additional function in mind, and are used instead to perform such acts as concealing weapons or providing additional protection. As such, cyberized prosthetics are limited almost entirely to corporate or planetary militias.

The dreams of men are oft born upon the shoulders of titans - The Atlas Doctrine

The Atlas Doctrine was created with the knowledge that while the Huerdaen see the need and value of heavily augmented individuals, they recognize the need for those individuals to be treated separately, and with separate concerns. Allocating food for an individual who no longer has a stomach is a logistical error, and so special considerations were put in place. When 40% or more of the body is replaced by cyberization or prosthetics, the Huerdaen class that person a Heavy Augment, stripping away the ability to become a citizen, for increases in other areas. They are, at that time, no longer required to serve in the armed forces, and are guaranteed a job. Those who opt to become Heavy Augments have chosen to give their bodies over to the Star Empire, but many see these changes as making them second-class citizens. They lose their rights to move too readily about the country, as the nation supports and maintains their body, and their working requirements are often far in excess of most Huerdaen. Those who make these sacrifices often band together in working groups, and see themselves as the anvil against which all the weapons of the Star Empire are forged. They are hardy, toughened, and often live well past the age of most Huerdaen, with many Heavy Augments being as much as three hundred or four hundred years old at retirement.
Last edited by Huerdae on Fri Jan 24, 2020 9:47 pm, edited 33 times in total.
The Huerdaen Star Empire is an FT Nation.

Xiscapia wrote:It amused her for a time to wonder if the two fleets could not see each other, so she could imagine them blindly stabbing in the dark, like a game of tag, if tag was played with rocket launchers in pitch blackness.
[17:15] <Telros> OH HO HO, YOU THOUGHT HUE WAS OUT OF LUCK, DID YOU
[17:15] <Telros> KUKUKU, HE HAS REINFORCEMENTS
[17:15] <Telros> FOR TELROS IS REINFORCEMENTS MAN

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Postby Huerdae » Tue Oct 26, 2010 6:43 am

Logistics and Mundane

For all the glory of the Star Empire at war, there can be no victory without the simple, mundane ability to move cargo from one location to another. The Huerdaen realize this fact and have made it one of their primary concerns. Anything from weapons and armor to simpler items such as furniture, clothing, or people move across the empire daily, creating an unending mesh of transport that covers every system in the Star Empire. Anything from massive interstellar haulers to diminutive personal transports fits within this category, and these make up the bulk of the civilian craft seen within the borders of the Star Empire.

Logistics Model

The Huerdaen logistics model is based around a number of hubs, one serving each system. These hubs are often stations set in orbit around a stellar body, be it a planet or star, and act as the center of operations for that system. Most often they serve as military bases for Shield or Navy troops deployed in the area, as well as controlling the governmental functions for the system. In many systems, this is the only location where an interstellar hauler makes its stops, depending on interplanetary craft to perform final leg of the journey.

This model allows freight to move quickly across the empire, by allowing the larger and less maneuverable interstellar haulers to move large amounts of freight to a location, and then release it as quickly as possible. These craft then take on additional cargo to continue moving freight with as little interruption as can be managed, making the Huerdaen logistical setup both quick and efficient. Within the Huerdaen Domain, the movement of materials quickly becomes paramount, and a large freighter attempting to distribute goods directly was found to be both slow and inefficient.

Because of this, an expanding web of distributing vessels and craft are used to distribute within the system, to the planet's surface, then to the correct base, city, or regional hub via railcraft. It is a constantly repeating system, with dedicated vehicles capable of distributing goods down to local storage points, which service as few as 30-50 people each.

Logistics Craft

Built in three main classifications, the logistical craft of the HSE are designed for purpose, and while almost every model has a nearly endless supply of variants and civilian-made modifications, the classifications are designed to dictate purpose. Each classification is capable of using the same standardized container, with Railcraft and Haulers capable of supporting long series of containers, which can be detached and moved between craft with no modification. Freighters are unique due to their design opting to make use of a more limited number of containers for quicker transit.

Shinkansen-Class Railcraft

Generally accepted as the most basic workhorse of Huredaen logistics, the Shinkansen is designed to pull up to nearly three thousand tons of cargo in standard containers running on a standardized 3-meter displaced rails. Capable of massive speeds across the rail lines in addition to massive cargo capacity, almost all shipping planetside is performed by Shinkansen-Class railcraft, making its two square windows at the front almost as recognizable as golden chevrons of the HSE itself.

Hurban-Class Armored Railcraft

Slower than the Shinkansen, the Hurban has several major advantages that keep it from being simply overrun by the greater capacity of its competitor. Able to pull up to a mere thousand tons at a time, the Hurban boasts three major advantages over the Shinkansen. The Hurban is heavily armored, with the sloped-forward nose of the railcraft appearing much like the beak of a bird of prey, with the pilot's cockpit armored and sporting a view slit taken almost directly from Huerdaen warships. Hurban-class railcraft moving through hostile warzones are able to add on what is generally referred to as a Hurban-Shell. Incorporating 1-meter thick armor and a series of thrust pods, it allows the full capabilities of the Hurban to come into play. With the thrust pods on all containers, the Hurban is able to 'hop' rails at full speed, allowing itself to avoid dangerous derailing that would decimate the less durable Shinkansen. Indeed, at full speed the Hurban is able to sail completely without rail up to three kilometers before requiring it to be put to ground or return to a rail. This is enough to completely turn around a fully loaded Hurban-Class and send it back the way it came. It also means that many enterprising mercenary or frontier groups use it to secure their rail lines and the areas near them, as a Hurban-Class where several containers are used as troop transport and others are built into bunkers can easily secure a whole town or village. Such "Assault Railcraft" are not common in more orderly areas, but they have shown great promise, as they are able to mount weapons capable of taking down even the most heavily armored tank.

Metrovick-Class Interstellar Hauler

Once off the surface of planets, the Shinkansen readily gives way to the Metrovick as the key logistic vehicle of the Empire. Much more massive, it is capable of pulling a single series of containers through an FTL jump, but cannot land with more than one connected. As such, the Metrovick is seen as a heavy-hauler and used mostly to distribute to hub locations in the destination system, or shipping to trade hubs at the ends of the empire. With a powerful FTL drive, it is capable of reasonable transit speed over long distance, though a full load significantly reduces this. At fullest capacity, it is able to move up to a billion tons of cargo in a single trip.

So-Ki-Class Armored Hauler

Designed originally to be the 'logical' upgrade to the Shinkansen, the So-Ki soon became the spaceborn cousin to the Hurban. Using a pair of container series, the So-Ki is often used to make direct pickups from a Shinkansen on the surface of a world. With similar capabilities to the Hurban, So-Ki shells allow inter-orbital transit for a series of containers, as well as increasing their armor. The So-Ki is also known to sometimes be converted to a gunship when capacity is greatly reduced, allowing it to tow a reduced number of containers with most space taken up by increased armament and defenses. The addition of rocket pods and thrust pods for additional maneuvering is common, and these variants are common among gun-runners and arms dealers who operate beyond the borders of the HSE. In this configuration it carries only the foremost containers, limiting it to a mere few half a million tons of cargo. In cargo-only configuration, it can carry up to 800 million tons of cargo.

Fitzgerald-Class Interplanetary Hauler

Unlike the So-Ki, the Fitzgerald is designed purposefully to run in-system transit. With two external, unarmored series of containers, the design is rather unique. With a centerline cockpit for piloting, twin fuselages run backward toward the rear of the vessel. These contain the thrust pods and engineering equipment to lift the loads off the ground without any modifications, making it a much quicker loading time than the So-Ki. It does not, however, have long-range FTL capabilities, limited instead to transport to and from system hubs. Regardless, the use and speed of loading and unloading the Fitzgerald-Class have made it popular among industrial corporations, as it vastly increases the capacity of planetside shipyards in terms of loading and unloading cargo. Even with a slightly decreased cargo capacity, it can pull the significant 700 million tons.

Junk-Class Interstellar Freighter

The direct competitor to the Fitzgerald, the Junk-Class is simply a much smaller variant designed for sheer efficiency and used far more often by private owners and small outposts. Capable of carrying containers on external mountings, the Junk-Class is named for the fact that it appears to be a series of containers bolted together when fully loaded, with only a small cockpit appearing between the massive cargo units. It is capable of interorbital flight as well, making it a useful option, even if it carries a mere 250 million tons at capacity. There are a number of modified Junk-Class, however, that include additional reactors and engines that have permitted the freighter to pull as much as 900 million tons, though it is often limited to a single safe Gate, making it useful only for adjacent systems.

Mercury-Class Interplanetary Freighter

The bigger brother to the Junk-Class, the Mercury is specifically designed for smaller shipments in-system. Very useful for hybrid mining/industrial systems, the Mercury has an oversized drive core for an interplanetary vessel, allowing it to make a surprising number of Gates before having to drag once more. Capable of carrying multiple containers in a belly-bay, the Mercury is extremely large for its role, with rail lines build into the belly of the hold to allow the containers to be attached directly to railcraft vessels. Despite its larger dimensions, its carrying capacity is smaller than that of the Junk-Class because of the limitations of internal storage, and it can carry a relatively minor 200 million tons.

Apis-Class Tug

Listed as a logistical vehicle, the Apis-Class is designed to be able to move easily around other logistical vessels and maneuver the containers into place without requiring docking. Usint two manipulating arms and the ability to pull a single series of three containers, it is a two-person craft that truly allows the logistical model to work effectively, even in space.

Valdez-Class Interstellar Superhauler

Massive by Huerdaen standards, the behemoth Valdez-Class is capable of carrying up to eight series of containers at once. Set in two, two-by-two clusters of series, the Valdez is almost as wide as it is long, with a centerline fuselage that serves as the crew quarters and engineering. Running two massive reactors to power the FTL, It also has two armored 'wings' that cover the sides of the containers from attack, making it appear like an empty facemask when not loaded. When loading and unloading, it is able to 'open' the front of the vessel to allow the series to be pulled straight through and another series to be carried up to it directly from the rear, giving it a quick, in-line loading procedure that makes it the master of interstellar transport. Becoming increasingly common even outside the Empire, they are a sight to behold as they work tirelessly in major trade systems, with containers trailing behind them like flagella as they prove to be the true lifeblood of the Huerdaen economy. Their capacity is truly staggering, at approximately 20 billion tons of capacity. In addition, a refit kit is available by A'Sianna Voidcraft that allow it to double its capacity by lengthening the internal structure and adding an additional three reactors, as well as massive boosters, while reinforcing the structure to permit it to endure the added stress. This turns the pair of container series to four sets, each sporting two-by-two series of containers, and a whopping 40 billion tons of capacity. While not official, this refit is often known by the rename Hansa-Class, and is seen only in the HSE at this time, though external markets have shown recent interest.

Civilian Craft

Civilian craft is truly a catch-all term dedicated to craft which can be owned by, or used to move, civilians around the Star Empire. Not as common as haulers, they are none-the-less extremely common and capable at the jobs for which they were designed. Even down the notorious Skidbike, they're built to be reliable and sturdy. Many are owned and operated by individual ship captains who use it both as a home and place of business, while some of the larger variants are run by the Star Empire itself, or larger corporations.

Skidbike

Powered by a miniature nuclear reactor, the Skid is a design in use since almost the beginning of the Star Empire itself. It is a generic term used to cover almost all Huerdaen residential transport, and can vary in size drastically. It is a two-wheeled model designed for speed and durability, and has been known to last under heavy use for decades before needing repair or retirement. Maintenance is particularly easy, and it uses parts from multiple other sources in the Star Empire, making it one of the most commonly seen devices made. It is commonly used by Tocrowkian Frontiersmen on Bludheim due to these advantages, and has earned its name due to its ability to survive a wipe-out, or 'skid'. The drivers, however, have not earned the same reputation.

Locust-Class Light Shuttlecraft

Barely six meters long, the Locust is an atmospheric craft. Without the lift capacity to carry any reasonable weapons, it is built for simplicity and efficiency. Its design is rugged enough that only one of the four small thrust pods was needed to maintain flight, while all four are needed for VTOL, it is still capable of completing a landing on stable terrain without thrust power. It is powered by a low-power Sheik reactor and able to run for almost three months of continual flight without maintenance to thrust pods or the reactor, though it cannot contain enough food to sustain a pilot for that time. It is expected to be used as a very light hauler, and is most often used by Huerdaen for transport across long distances of a planet's surface. It carries four, including the pilot.

Aphid-Class Inter-Orbital Shuttle

The Aphid is one of the most common shuttles, fitting with a pair of boosters as well as three mid-sized thrust pods. Built to be VTOL-Capable, it is none-the-less heavier and less maneuverable than the quick Locust, while also carrying far more in cargo and passengers. Able to transport up fifteen comfortably, in addition to a pilot, it is capable of carrying up to twenty-five in emergency situations. Despite the size and lack of maneuverability, the Aphid is capable of surprising speed due to the boosters built into the frame, giving it a quick and efficient way of transporting over long distances. For this reason, it is sometimes used to act as an aerial craft for long distance travel over larger worlds, which significantly reduces wear on the craft.

Gecko-Class Armored Courier

With much the same design as the Locust, the Gecko is armored and outfit with a small FTL drive. One of the fastest ships in the Star Empire, it is powered by a Djinn reactor, requiring a copilot to act as an engineer. It can carry up to four passengers in addition to the pilot and copilot, and is often used to move experts or foreign dignitaries quickly about the Empire. As such, very few Gecko-Class are in use privately. It is only barely capable of atmospheric flight, and incapable of VTOL functions. It is, however, valuable especially when moving small numbers of passengers between stations or distant starships, and the Star Navy employs a number of Gecko-Class Couriers for purposes of quickly redeploying officers should the need arise.

Monitor-Class Armored Shuttle

With a much heavier weight than other shuttles, the Monitor is often used by militias and frontier holdings, namely prospectors and their guards. With many resources able to be traded, the shipment of those resources is often key, and vulnerable. As such, the Monitor is the most likely to appear armed of any shuttle class, though it also requires a short runway for takeoff and landing. It also has the greatest carrying capacity, and is far more maneuverable than its direct competitor for this role, the So-Ki armored hauler. It is also a favorite of pirates and smugglers who operate near Huerdaen territory for its tendency to survive crashing more or less intact, and be easily repaired back into service. Many such craft in use were initially downed by their new owners. These such craft are also sometimes pressed into service as assault or boarding shuttles. It is slightly larger than the Aphid, and can carry up to twenty passengers in addition to the pilot.

Monarch-Class Interstellar Shuttle

Generally regarded as a sign of affluence, the Monarch is the least common of the shuttle-class civilian craft. It is fitted with an FTL drive, forcing it to require nearly four times the maintenance of any other shuttle design, as well as more than twice the costs associated with less complex craft. It is, however, in use due to the rare event that a company or individual that can maintain it can do so at a significantly decreased cost from other FTL-capable craft. It is surprisingly designed with more comfort in mind, with two rooms for passengers, bunked for four passengers per room, with a much smaller, more functional version for a pilot and copilot. Despite its size, it is not as fast as the military destroyers due to the fact that the Sheik reactor produces much less power, requiring shorter Gate transitions, with a similar recharge time of four and a half hours.

Katydid-Class Interstellar Transport

Generally considered the most economical transport, the Katydid is seemingly everywhere in the Star Empire. Used to transport people, their belongings, and things in equal numbers and with any number of minor variants, the Katydid serves as the workhorse of the residential sector, moving people and their things from one home to the next, even between systems. It is bulky and ugly, but many consider the success of a trade hub or new colony by measuring the comings and goings of Katydid transports, as it often indicates an active economy and growth. While it is not always correct, it is often enough an indicator, even before other signs would confirm, and as such is watched closely by investors and leaders of such locations. It is able to carry nearly one hundred and fifty passengers, as well as additional cargo.

Miridae-Class Interplanetary Transport

Surprisingly larger than the Katydid, the Miridae is designed for very short range FTL, inside a single solar system, often for use between stations and planets. Specifically with planet-to-planet movement in mind, the Miridae is a very efficient, large vessel capable of moving large numbers of people and gear between worlds. Unarmored and unarmed, it is run by a trio of parrallel Sheik reactors, which power the boosters and thrust pods. Its size makes it unable to land on a conventional runway, and is instead a purely VTOL craft, which slows the take-off and landing significantly. However, the size, at able to carry almost five hundred people on board as well as ample cargo space, has earned it a place in the Huerdaen economy.

Komodo-Class Armored Transport

Smaller than the Miridae, it is none-the-less a much larger craft. Unable to operate in the atmosphere, the Komodo makes up for this being an efficient interstellar transport. Carrying up to two hundred people in cramped conditions, it is generally in use by the Force or other interstellar organizations, who often use stations as operational hubs, distributing personnel and supplies from there. It is also often used by mercenary units or corporate militias in moving forces or supplies, as these are often valuable targets for raiders. Unlike prior armored models, the Komodo depends on its ability to defend itself with four small turrets, though many are upgraded with additional defenses. It has a powerful shield generator for a civilian craft its size, with a dedicated reactor, with the goal being to be too tough to bring down quickly, and making it a less likely target.

Akupara-Class Behemoth Transport

Easily the largest civilian craft, the Akupara is comparable in size to a Star Navy battleship, albiet much wider and with less 'decks' to allow it descend carefully into the atmosphere. Often the first stage of colonization on worlds where the environment is not hostile to human life, the Akupara-Class is nearly monopolized by the Star Empire's government. A few more successful companies and colonization efforts have them available, but the sheer cost of operating and crewing a behemoth of this size makes it an unreasonable desire for most companies or interests. Able to carry nearly three hundred thousand passengers and supplies, the Akupara is often mistaken for a Huerdaen colony ship. It is capable of landing and take-off of a planet's surface, but due to the size of the craft and the power requirements, either requires a large amount of planning and preparation. Because of its massive size, special attention was put into the design to allow the nearly-kilometer-long craft to land on an open ocean, greatly increasing the number of worlds which had terrain compatible with the massive vessel. Even so, however, when it has completed landing, only the top two decks are above water, making the ship far less efficient when used in this manner.

Sunrise-Class Prospector Ship

Unlike most Huerdaen ships, the Sunrise-Class is designed with a number of roles in mind. With a hull almost as wide as it was long but little height, it is an enigma in the Huerdaen civilian fleet. Produced by Ataster National Shipyards, the Sunrise-Class was originally built to help Ataster get away from the increasingly packed cities and endless bustle that come from integration in the Huerdaen Star Empire. Designed for use by a one-person crew, it nonetheless contains berthing for up to 15 family units, or as many as 60 Huerdaen passengers. However, this is an Ataster design bypass of standard Huerdaen building practices. The ship is designed to sustain 20 total occupants and almost all specifications are built with that number in mind, including a storage bay for perishable food that can hold enough for up to two years of supplies for its occupants. While it provides information at full capacity, the vast majority of Sunrise-Class are operated by small groups of friends, families looking to maintain some of their own space, or others who allocate a single room to only one or two people, instead of the Huerdaen-standard four people per room. In addition, a fully-equipped medbay permits services not commonly seen on a ship that is barely 90 meters long.

It also is built with only two levels, much like the Imperial Star Navy destroyers, meaning there's only a single gun position in the ship, between the crew quarters and the docking bay, and with the only access to the cargo bays to either side going through that one point as well, meaning any access to the crew compartment from the five entrance zones must go through this one point. The docking bay contains internal storage for a mere handful of ground vehicles in three recessed garage bays, and a single shuttlecraft. The bay is large enough to accomodate two smaller shuttles, or a single armored craft or large shuttle. This capability, as well as the ability to land on a planet's surface, makes the Sunrise-Class a favorite among many who wish to experience freedom, and is the reason that ANS suddenly became a well known ship producer. It is armored, and carries a single large hardpoint directly behind and above the main cabin, able to accomodate a ship-to-ship weapon turret or fixed weapon mount with a surprising amount of firepower for such a small ship, as well as a small series of point defense weapons that provide full coverage from incoming munitions. It has a set of four long-lasting and dependable reactors powering the ship, and while it cannot run all systems on less than two, it can sometimes limp home on a single reactor, though it would be limited to sublight speeds and may need to disable weapons or other systems to maintain power.

These weapons and armor are built into the design because many Sunrise-Class ships are known to go beyond the Imperial Domain where dangers are more common. It is equipped with capable scanning equipment for survey of stellar objects, though proper surveys often require deployment of additional gear. Finally, the wide frame accomodates two sets of two cargo bays on either side of the crew area with interlocking armor plating that run the length of the bays similar to blast doors, capable of releasing their locks to open the bay for loading or unloading. This is also sometimes used for holding organisms that may need to be jettisoned into space, as the bays are airlocked off from the crew compartment and no emergency fields are in place on this section. While this armor system is sometimes known to jam closed if it suffers a direct hit from weaponsfire, this is a simple repair that can't be performed by the crew in flight, but is easily managed in little more than an hour at an appropriately equipped hangar or spaceport. Should the crew land or find a secure location to remain stationary to perform the repairs, several hours of work without appropriate equipment can resolve the issue as well. Affectionately called a 'butterfly' for its apperance from above, mimicing the Ataster-native insect with the two bays on either side appearing like the two wing nodes, it has quickly become a favorite among those who have spend their lives moving throughout the stars.

Residence Ships

Residence ships are seen as ships for those whose lives have found success along the way. Costly to purchase, they are none-the-less simple to maintain, as some crews of varying abilities will pay rent to the owner for their chance to live and work aboard the vessels. It provides what Huerdaen consider the lap of luxury, allowing them to live closely with their families and friends, with little outside interference. Unlike shuttles and other craft, Residence craft maintain a certain level of self-sufficiency. They have large holds for food and supplies, as well as dedicated engineering, armory, and docking bays. This allows them, while invariably unable to land upon a planet's surface, to maintain a high level of independence among the stars. They are a common sight, especially toward the central areas of the Domain.

Swallowtail-Class Lesser Residence-Ship

A signature craft, the Swallowtail is small for a Residence ship. With a single docking bay capable of holding only a single active shuttle and a single planetary vehicle, it is spartan in the amenities it provides. The bridge hangs over the hangar entrance, and large engines at the rear allow the bulky ship to lumber about with impunity, and contains only a single available hardpoint toward the front. It is able to hold up to 48 residents, with a two-floor design that follows closer along the lines of the common areas of stations than those of military ships. With a central core segment that is two units high with no seperating barrier, it provides a large, open area for families to mingle. Around the upper floor, a walk allows people to move between their residences and look down on the common area below. A single armored blast door leads to the forward ramp area, protected as is required by a defensive guard room which leads up to the cockpit and its small armory, or down to the docking area. Toward the rear, a similar guard room exists which leads to the lower storage area for food and supplies that can last up to a year at full complement, or upward to the engineering section. The Swallowtail is unique among Residence ships as they are sometimes owned by individuals or very small groups of people who make use of the large areas for personal privacy. It relies on limited armor for protection, instead trusting a small, quick-charge unit that allows it to make short-range Gates nearly every half-hour to avoid pursuit.

Stratus-Class Residence-Ship

Much larger than the Swallowtail, the Stratus is armored and defended by a series of autocannons and point-defense weapons. Many of the more recent models boast all-around Aegis shielding, as they have no need or mounting for offensive weapons, allowing them to 'turtle' and weather a storm until they are able to leave the area. With this in mind, they carry a relatively massive Gate drive, allowing them to move great distances, or perform a series of Gates in succession to throw off pursuers. They are armored, but the high power requirements of the defenses leave them lacking in sublight capabilities, making docking with them difficult. Despite this, they contain supplies and amenities for several thousand people, as well as housing, for up to three years. This makes them the most robust of the residence ships. They also incorporate many redundant systems, making them a favorite for long-range colony duties, or exploratory vessels. Many sections of the Stratus lack the open freedom of the Swallowtail, however, and it is often seen as a flying city, instead of a mere vessel.

Heavens-Class Greater Residence-Ship

Dwarfing even the Status-Class, the Heavens-Class can operate as a small nation unto itself. Where the Stratus is required to have Imperial Force and other protections in place, a Heavens-Class often has its own Defensive garrison. Some turn over parts of their massive launch bays to strike craft, as well, providing additional protection. It is, however, capable of caring for nearly half a million people for up to two years on stocked supplies. Their belly is lined with docking ports to allow the quick transfer of goods, and they are pocked with defensive positions. Unlike the Stratus, a full-coverage Aegis barrier is rare, allowing a Heavens to engage hostile forces. It is large enough to rely on its active defenses, having neither the quick retreat of the Swallowtail, nor the hard shell of the Stratus. These large ships are rarely seen outside the Domain, and many travel long, consistent paths through the empire, giving their residents a chance to visit all corners of the nation. Like most ships its size, it has a dedicated crew, and unlike other residence-ships, it is often owned by an overseeing corporation, instead of being owned directly by the ship's captain. Like the Swallowtail, however, it makes ample use of larger, open areas to allow people to mingle and interact, allowing Huerdaen culture to thrive no matter what star they orbit.

Common and Mundane Devices and Objects

'RoHM-BA' Roaming Hallway Maintenance Bot Automaton

Of all the devices in the Huerdaen Star Empire, the RoHM-BA is one of the most unassuming. Father of a series of following variants, it is also one of the most common. Approximately 20 cm across and 25 cm long, it stands only approximately 3 cm off the ground on a pair of tracks 2 cm wide. It is reinforced to withstand falling under the feet of moving Huerdaen as well as moderate loads, and operates at almost all times within Huerdaen installations. With rounded edges and a yellow light to illuminate the area directly in front of it, its purpose and operation is to patrol the halls of starships and stations, cleaning and polishing surfaces, as well as cleaning out possible infestations of the ever-present insects. It is equipped to disinfect, polish, and scrub away dirt or grime, and serves to fill the majority of basic upkeep needs for ground surfaces in the HSE. In all variations of RoHM-BA models, desperate militias have been known to remove the internal components and use them as land mines.

'ACMe-BA' Airway Clearing and Maintenance Bot Automaton

TThe first variant of the RoHM-BA is the ACMe-BA, a design with two tracks on the bottom, and one on the top with an ability to increase or decrease pressure against either side at any given time. Designed to move about and clean the air vents that are horizontal or vertical, they have four bracing 'feet' for when they desire to make a turn in the system, allowing them to brace themselves and orient themselves for their next path. Similar to the RoHM-BA, their purpose is cleanliness and infestation removal, going places that would require significant effort to tear into for ship's crew. They also have a small reserve of patching gel, should a minor hull breach occur, that allows them to patch it before the atmosphere vents completely, and allowing them to counter minor damages. In addition, it carries a low-voltage projector that is uses to kill insects and other infestations. Most are also programmed to gather a secondary attachment at regular intervals that allows them to 'sweep' away the corpses of these infestations with a low-powered incendiary cleaning device, burning corpses, hives, and other obstructions out of the vents to avoid obstructions. The front is lit by a black-light eye to draw insects toward it.

'Farm-BA' Farm Bioharvest Automaton

The most drastically different, the Farm-BA is designed to assist in agricultural needs. With two cylinders marked with short blades used to till the soil, bays on either side for holding seed and distributing it. In addition, it has a 1 cm tall dozer blade at the back that can be deployed to move soil that has already been tilled. The tip is lit by a red 'eye' that can analyze basic soil information which it can then offload to the charging station. In massed numbers, with enough time, Farm-BA are capable of even leveling out hills into flat ground, or digging trenches. They are weighted to add to their ability to dig and churn the soil, but they are still unable to move or eliminate rocks or stones larger than 10 cm across. Smaller objects can often be destroyed by repeated 'attacks' by the Farm-BA's tilling blades.

'Persephone' Bioharvest Tender and Power Suite

In truth, the Persephone is a series of interlinked systems, but is almost always seen and marketed as a single device. Centered around a low-output, high-durability nuclear reactor on a very low-speed mobile chassis and a series of charging racks capable of maintaining up to 1,000 Farm-BA devices, the suite is an easily set up farming system that is designed to cover a total of one square kilometer. Initial setup begins with the deployment of the reactor, which digs itself partially into the chosen soil area. Almost immediately, the Farm-BA bots are deployed, beginning to level and prepare the ground for arable use. These steps are fully automated, allowing those deploying the device to perform other needed tasks, such as foraging or creating shelter. Nearly a week is required before most standard plots of land with less than a 5 meter altitude deviation are fully prepared for tending to begin, but during this time, additional systems must be constructed. The tending 'arms' which stick out in four directions need to be built, requiring approximately four hours for a single Huerdaen to perform per arm. Elevated nearly four meters above the ground, the arms run along the same tracks created by the Farm-BA bots, and are able to deploy water, seed, and, should it be needed, pesticide. Once completed and successful, each of these arms signals the Farm-BA to dig a trench half a meter deep beneath it, where runoff from rain or watering collects and can be used as coolant for the reactor or further irrigation purposes. If another reactor is set at the end of one of these trenches and activated, it will automatically calibrate the correct location to deploy so that there is no overlap and no loss of arable land, allowing easy scaling of bioharvest operations in a new area.

Buildings and Construction in the Star Empire

While the principles of Huerdaen construction, and even the building blocks, are generally identical, there are three main categories of construction within the Star Empire. These different categories are Municipal, being civilian construction that functions as a town, city, or other establishment, Military, which is a fortified position, most often used by the Shield to defend a location or maintain their equipment, and Environmental, which, while this category often overlaps with the other two, does introduce a number of specific needs which must be met, and simply denotes construction that occurs in an area where the conditions are not present to allow a human to comfortably live without climate, atmospheric, or other environmental considerations.

Universal Traits

The Basic building blocks are the same, consisting of a model of using blocks based on a single "module" consisting of a pre-constructed section built 10 meters by 10 meters by 3 meters in size. As this same structure module is used in almost all construction, it includes structural reinforcement, power generation, ventilation, water distribution, network and electrical infrastructure, as well as emergency systems such as fields to maintain atmosphere. Each module also incorporates a blast door with a manual release at any point it connects to the hallway network, meaning that passing from one module to the next requires you pass a set of two blast doors with approximately a centimeter of air between them. This allows the system to recognize if there is atmosphere on the far side of the door, and indicate it to those within, as the blast doors are armored and provide no way to observe the far side.

The most commonly used module is considered a 'home' module, which consists of a straight hall with four separate homes in it, with two on each side. All halls and rooms are 2.1336 meters in height, and the exact same width. This gives the inside a low, squat feeling that is unnerving to many non-Huerdaen who experience it. Some modules are multi-modules, taking up the space of more than one 'standard' module. For larger constructions, this includes things which are too large for a standard module size, most common being the Garage modules, which are two modules in height, and two in length. Other common multi-modules are the Command modules, which incorporate defenses designed to toughen a location against attack, and provide an uphill battle against those who would attempt to eliminate command personnel, or Ramp modules, which are arguably the most common and provide a means to move between floors in a base structure.

The modular nature of this construction invariably gives it the appearance of a labyrinth, twisting and turning with no markings or directions listed. In addition, it gives Huerdaen buildings, cities, and bases a distinctive appearance. With no aesthetic concern granted to appearance, Huerdaen construction spreads outward from what is often a reactor or command module, spreading first outward across the ground, then upward. This gives it an almost organic appearance when viewed from afar, a growing mass that often closely resembles a cancerous or fungal growth as it spreads across whatever surface it is placed upon. Such is the speed of this construction that a standard, three-level base can be constructed in as little as six hours by most Huerdaen, or as little as four hours by those who have specialized equipment, such as Engineering units in the Imperial Shield. Very few modules actually provide information as to what module is adjacent, or if it leads to an outside environment because there are no windows on most modules. This makes it very difficult for a non-Huerdaen to navigate a Huerdaen city, as the difference in view or environment is negligible between an underground module or one hundreds of meters above ground at the 'peak' of a city.

When constructed, modules are stacked so that they rest upon four modules beneath them, each corner supported by a different module, and resting upon the load-bearing walls of multiple nearby modules. This makes for particularly rugged construction, allowing whole sections to be damaged or destroyed without causing widespread collapse or death. When Huerdaen construction is added to existing infrastructure, it is common that old sections of previous construction be knocked down to provide a foundation for Huerdaen construction, while sturdy and reliable structures will be left standing, included and slowly engulfed as Modules are added around, under, and on top of what is already there.

Municipal Construction

The simplest of the specific construction types, Municipal construction includes what are considered 'highway' segments, which are large enough to accommodate rail transport and travel between cities. They also include shipping modules to allow the movement of large amounts of freight or equipment. In keeping with Huerdaen standards, even these 'freight' modules do not have access to more than two levels of any construction, making them notoriously large, but also functioning as roads and pathways for vehicles should the need arise. They are also the only type of construction to make use of 'Commons' modules, which contain no rooms and simply provide large open areas in which to do business or move about. These are invariably wider and longer than they are tall, though some of the larger ones are large enough to include smaller constructions within them.

Military Construction

While most Huerdaen construction includes defenses, few contain them to the level of Military Construction. Whole modules designed to provide fire over approach paths, including multiple gun mounts and firing ports mean that the reinforced defenses of Military construction are significantly more rugged than those of other types. Including such things as 'flat' defenses, designed to provide a direct line of fire at a target, or 'open' defenses designed to allow for indirect fire or air defense, both are heavily reinforced and defended, with 'open' defenses including shield generators and almost always being located above the internal sections of a base, where 'flat' defenses are included on or within the outer ring at ground level. Larger modules, considered 'siege' modules are capable of housing and accommodating larger weapons, even including 'Big Brother' anti-orbital weapons, or large, armored turret complexes to provide heavy firepower against targets or enemies that would resist the more common Huerdaen weapons. Military Construction is also the only construction built to incorporate a way for an adjacent module to directly interact with each module, as many hangar, airport, or garage modules have an 'open' side characterized by mere support pillars that link into existing systems, to allow defensive modules to direct their fire into such an area, providing impressive fortifications within the construction itself, and making it difficult for an enemy to use such facilities against the Huerdaen.

Environmental Construction

Environmental Construction is arguably the most common, and all environmental construction is either Municipal or Military in nature as well. Most common of such construction is star bases, asteroid bases, or colonies existing on inhospitable worlds, and they are almost always characterized by the presence of airlock modules. While 'hardened' airlock modules are available for Military Construction, Environmental construction incorporates more than just the ability to protect from the outside. Instead, as many such constructs are starbases, they include docking rings, cargo transfer equipment, and hangar bays. They also incorporate defensive modules designed for spatial combat, as well as sensor suites or FTLi modules. For ground-based construction, some are even fitted with 'biodome' modules, allowing them to create a controlled environment outside the construction with a bubble-shaped field, though these are rarely used.

Common Food, Drink, or Cultural Objects

S&M

Suronne Mead, also known as S&M or Dead Man's Mead, is an alcoholic beverage produced in the Huerdaen Star Empire from the Pantos-native Suronne Mantrap, a subterranean plant notable for the sticky, bio-luminescent sap it uses to bait prey into its embrace. The sap itself is contains a high concentration of sugar, and provides the primary component for this strong and particularly sweet mead. The bio-luminescent properties survive the fermentation process, and seep into the bloodstream along with the alcohol to create the peculiar effect of causing the bio-luminescence to be visible in those who have been drinking it. Because of its popularity, multiple colors and variants are available across the Star Empire, with the unmodified bright blue still the most common. On average, Suronne Mead is approximately 15% alcohol by volume.

Chikuula

Chikuula is a novelty liquor, often called simply Bugspit, it is fermented from the ultra-sweet nutrient-rich paste the Ikittitl feed to their queen, it has an incredibly strong taste, which has been often described as similar to wood bark or a strong cinnamon. When fermented, alcohol by volume is almost dangerously high, at 65% alcohol by volume. It is the only Ikittitl colony export, and is particularly expensive to procure. However, it is particularly well-regarded when used with a mixer, and is sometimes offered as a top-shelf additive to other drinks.

Tears of the Orphans

Named as such in part because of its origins on Foer, 'Tears of the Orphans' is made from Sweet Leaf, another herb which provides no valuable nutrition. Officially named Osanna Liquor, very rarely is it marketed under that name. When fermented, the calming effect is lessened significantly, and the taste becomes primarily bitter, doing its part to earn the name. The bitter taste keeps many from partaking of the beverage, but serving it heated returns the sweet leaf's sugary taste, and it is both cheap and strong, at approximately 40% alcohol by volume. It is often found mixed, and maintains a deep amber color. It is commonly added to coffee or other warm drinks as a flavoring, and is known to lose its clear appearance when heated, becoming recognizably cloudy. Well known mixes made with Tears of the Orphans are 'The First Battle of Foer' or 'First Battle', in which Osanna is heated by lighting it on fire and served mixed with a small amount of chocolate, or 'The Second Battle of Foer' or 'Second Battle', where it is served mixed with a shot of a stimulant such as espresso and vanilla or caramel flavor.

Reichlander Malzbier

Reichlander Malzbier, sometimes just Reichlander, is a reknowned beer originating in the Tocrowkian Reich. Recently becoming available elsewhere due to the efforts of the Stromreich Brigade on Bludheim, it is a light malt beer generally accepted to be of above-average quality. As Bludheim is technically a Tocrowkian world, it is the only world in the Star Empire that has the option to brew beer, which has served to increase acceptance significantly. Always marked with the traditional iron cross bearing a crown, Reichlander is more and more an accepted alternative to other Huerdaen drinks, and is becoming a favored and profitable export, despite the average potency of 4% alcohol by volume.

Church Grim

Church Grim, or more often just 'Grim', is a particularly potent drink fermented from the spaceborn organism Selcanrab. Originating somewhere near the Red Talons' Amumarib station, both Huerdaen and Talons claim credit for coming up with the drink, and both are known to create it in large quantities during military voyages. Bitter and considered by many to be particularly distasteful, Grim is almost 60% alcohol by volume. The name comes from stories of the ghosts of dogs on eternal watch over graveyards, after the number of those who have been executed for drinking while on watch by both Huerdaen and Talons alike.

Social Symbolism

In Huerdaen society, parties are a common occurence, and the sheer number of attendees can often make it difficult to meet up with the same people consistently. Changing schedules, prohibitively large groups, and the simple chaos of thousands of people interacting all at once make it difficult to organize unless you arrive in a pair. As such, arriving together is a rather large indicator of being physically or emotionally interested in each other, as you can easily flow in the same groups. However, this is not as common as taking part in such events for more generic interaction, including physical intimacy. Because of the sheer number of people participating and the open environments, it became important to be able to convey capabilities and wishes quickly, or even at a glance. This requirement began the evolution of modern Huerdaen garb customs. In each case, it is important to remember that they are in only rare situations exclusive or disruptive to each other, allowing people to freely indicate they are interested and capable of multiple forms of intimacy. In all instances, hanging a ribbon or leaving a strip of cloth over the relevant area indicates someone is exploring the possibility, and may not yet be fully comfortable in that role, or requesting some guidance.

Bared shoulders and upper arms indicates a 'top', or someone who tends to be more aggressive in tendencies. Their opposite is a bared midriff or low-hanging pants, indicating a 'bottom'. A more extreme version of these exists in the distinction of those who wear a clearly-visible belt, often of leather or other fairly thick material. This denotes a dominant personality. Those who prefer a submissive role wear a thin wrap or ribbon around their neck. Exceptions being those who have already engaged in a dedicated relationship in that role, and wear a full collar.

Masochists bear their spine openly, while those who have a more sadistic lean use buckled clothes. Those interested in taking part in group activities will have a low neckline or a very wide collar, where those interested in a single partner have a clearly defined collar, or a shirt that rises up on the bottom of the neck. Having something hanging from the mouth for a long period of time, such as a sucker or other adornment indicates a desire for oral interaction, while hanging something down a leg such as a sash indicates an interest toward the buttocks.

A more recent signal, though still not widely accepted, is the wearing a section of fur somewhere to indicate an interest in inter-species interactions. There are also a number of virtual reality preferences with a wide variety of indications, though these are not as widely accepted.

Colloquialisms

Ai! (Ai Ai!)

A Pankrees saying, 'Ai' is an expression of warning or a state of being startled or surprised. When repeated, it often takes on the role of a warning in a more aggressive manner, such as to object to something another is actively doing. Among the Huerdaen, this has been adopted quite readily, however the pronunciation has changed slightly to a 'Ui!' sound. Sometimes also written as 'Uy!', the meaning is the same. Huerdaen, however, have not adopted the expression in the sense it is used when repeated.

Roach

A Talythian. Following a military report in which the chances of successfully overcoming the Talythian nation on its home ground across the galaxy.

Red

A Vocian. This term began to gain common usage following the First and Second Battles of Foer, where the red banner used to symbolize Vocian gear was became well known.

Tick

A Tocrowkian. This has been taken a slightly new meaning, indicating respect, following the Battle of Liberty Prime and the Battle of Sojent-Ra where Reich forces were particularly difficult to dislodge from defensive positions.

Tail

A Xiscapian. Despite the friendly relations between the empires, the Xiscapians have earned themselves a nickname that it is doubtful they will truly shake. It bears no insult, and is simply a slang descriptive term.

Gate

To engage FTL transit. Originally referred to as 'Worldgate', time has taken its toll on the word and shrunk it down to the current version. It is a wormhole-based instant-travel system which is used in all Huerdaen starships.

Squawker

A communications device. Used as a verb (Squawk) it is also used as a request for a reply, or simply to refer to contacting another.

Greaser

One who partakes in 'Greasing', this refers to those who abuse the Huerdaen motor oil topically to achieve a feeling of mild euphoria. When unable to achieve a fix, they can sometimes become paranoid or hyperactive. When able to access a consistent supply, they often simply avoid sleep or rest, and continue to work. This effect has caused some who have this issue to simply be ignored, though abuse of this compound is recognized as an illegal act in the Star Empire.

Shooter

One who partakes in 'Shooting', this refers to those who abuse the Huerdaen magnetic liquid used in their railguns to allow them to fire repeatedly without having to replace the rails. This is injected directly into their veins and disrupts cybernetic functioning, causing an otherworldly feel and sometimes hallucinations. Shooters quickly become dependent and are among the most violent if they are unable to partake.

Green

One who partakes in chewing 'Leaf'. First noticed amongst the vets of the First and Second Battles of Foer, the chewing of Sweet Leaf is a generally harmless though its calming effects have made it quite favored by veterans who have a tendency to self-medicate to deal with the stresses and trauma brought on by combat. It causes the user to salivate significantly, causing them to spit and become dehydrated, but otherwise causes no ill effects. Because of this, while it is seen in poor light by many, Sweet Leaf is not illegal in the Star Empire, though it is seen as a luxury. The oils from Sweet Leaf are also often used when giving massages, making the growing of Sweet Leaf one of the largest remaining industries on Foer.

Brick

An insulting term referring to a Roc or Blackbird, and their limited ability to fly. Most often used in anger or heated situations, it is often taken as an offense against the pilot of the craft.

Lawmen

Originally meaning only bounty hunters of the Long Arm, the term Lawmen has evolved to include any bounty hunter permitted to take kill bounties in either the Setulanite Republic or the Star Empire. It is a term of respect, and carries with it the expectation that the hunter is an able and upstanding member of society. This is in stark contrast to most bounty hunters in the Star empire, where they are sometimes seen as parasites.

Debbies

Born from the Ataster shortening of Dread Blacks, first to D-B's and finally to Debbies, it bears a racist and anti-Imperial connotation that is only rarely seen or heard around the empire. However, it has started gaining traction among anti-Imperial factions within the empire itself among the Ataster who still protest their membership to the Empire and the Royalist faction, among others.

Without a sidearm

A Huerdaen expression for being unprepared or impatient. It includes a derogatory aspect, often indicating absent-mindedness or a dangerous lack of care. It can sometimes be used for someone who jumps to conclusions, though this is not nearly as common.

A grenade in each hand

This phrase is used for someone who is looking for a fight. If implies that a person has decided to fight and has no regard for the safety of others, a significantly negative concern. Sometimes used in conjunction with other sayings to indicate a rather extreme form of them. As such, carrying a grenade in each hand and without a sidearm indicates someone who is going to pick a fight about something they know nothing about, to the detriment of all nearby. There are no instances of innocent usage. It is believed this comes from the fanatical zeal of Devil-Kin shock units, who often charge into battle with a primed grenade in each hand when they are attacking particularly well-fortified positions. If they are struck down, they are sometimes known to cause friendly fire casualties as friendly grenades go off at their feet.
Last edited by Huerdae on Thu Sep 23, 2021 7:03 pm, edited 47 times in total.
The Huerdaen Star Empire is an FT Nation.

Xiscapia wrote:It amused her for a time to wonder if the two fleets could not see each other, so she could imagine them blindly stabbing in the dark, like a game of tag, if tag was played with rocket launchers in pitch blackness.
[17:15] <Telros> OH HO HO, YOU THOUGHT HUE WAS OUT OF LUCK, DID YOU
[17:15] <Telros> KUKUKU, HE HAS REINFORCEMENTS
[17:15] <Telros> FOR TELROS IS REINFORCEMENTS MAN

Rezo wrote:If your battleship turrets have a smaller calibre than your penis is long, you're doing it wrong.

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Postby Huerdae » Tue Oct 26, 2010 7:43 am

Force, Levy, and Militia Units at War

While the Star Navy maintains the power of the Star Empire, it is the Force that maintains the peace within. Supported by Militia and Levy units, the Force can become the heart of a defensive army in its own right. They do not, however, use the Imperial Military Ship (I.M.S.) designation, as they are not warships as much as transports and guardians. Lacking the ability for massive engagements, they are instead referred to by the designation Imperial Force Unit (I.F.U.) for their vessels. Militia, similarly, use the Imperial Armed Civilian Ship (I.A.C.S.) designation. Both of these are rarely seen outside the Domain, but are common enough within that they can perform their duties admirably.

Aircraft and Patrol Craft of the Force

The Force maintains a group of atmospheric/interplanetary craft that are designed for a duel-role purpose. Most often, they are capable of rapid, safe deployment of Force personnel, as well as the recognition and handling of hostile elements within the Huerdaen Domain. Their primary responsibilities, however, are simply to maintain the many strands which cement the Star Empire together - those being communication, shipping, and justice. They are often lead by members who in many other nations would not be given a direct role in enforcement for many reasons, but among the Huerdaen, their position and the military nature of the people mandate that they be as capable leaders as they are capable of determining the fate of criminals.

Judge-Class Controller

The Judge class is the Eye in the Sky for the Huerdaen Force. It functions both as a mobile fortress and a transport for Force personnel. It is not a warship by design, but the vessel is heavily armed and armored against assault, making use of a set of Aegis shields to protect the vulnerable sides of this large, 800 meter long vessel. In sub-light speeds, the vessel is quick, nimble, and well-armed enough to threaten most pirates, with a sensor suite and communication arrays that are capable of linking together an entire system. Like the Star Navy's cruisers, the Judge bears a spinal for facing it's foes, but it bears no flak array, nor does it have the ability to beat back a large number of enemies. It is designed to face down a single enemy vessel with heavy firepower, supported by smaller craft, and either consume it or force it to its knees. Other than the spinal, the vessel bears a pair of mass batteries facing both fore and aft as well as the dorsal and keel sections of the ship, though the long sides and docking bays that allow the mass deployment of Force personnel are unprotected by active fire.

Executioner-Class Patrolman

The Executioner class is the lifeblood of the Force system control. It is small, quick, and deadly. Barely larger than a destroyer at 350 meters in length, it functions as both a deployment vessel and a superiority vessel, using it's dual spinals to bring larger vessels to their knees. It is not very heavily armored, but the firepower of this vessel is impressive. Unfortunately, it is seen as often 'barely' capable of FTL jumps, and often has been forced to go long distances out of the way on long journeys, making it worthless for anything other than local system defense. It is capable of both spatial and atmospheric deployments, with flak batteries to protect against missiles and fighters that may be employed against it. Alone, they are vulnerable and easily destroyed, but in groups, they are able to quickly focus on and destroy much larger enemies. They are designed to conduct boarding actions under fire, and bear an Aegis shield to cover the entire dorsal section, protecting both the deployment of dropships and gunships, as well as the craft as it boards an enemy, allowing it to comfortably overwhelm the enemies while protected from heavy fire.

Arbitrator-Class Gunship

A purely sub-orbital craft, the Arbitrator serves as the fast-deployment vessel for the Force. Built to fill the role of a mixed Talon gunship and Roc dropship, the Arbitrator bears a single, forward-mounted Hephaestus autocannon, as well as a pair of Glyptar hardpoints mounted and available to the passengers on either side of the fuselage. The stub-wings also mount a set of rocket pods to allow for heavy firepower, though most often these are not the high-lethality antimatter rockets used in military craft, and most often use instead gas, immobilization gel, or other secondary items to resolve a crisis. It is one of the most used tools of the Force when available on a planet, able to respond, react, and contain an incident with a speed that land-based or infantry counterparts cannot match. It is also capable of carrying a squad of Force, or a single Watchman, to be deployed.

Justice-Class Interceptor

A vessel with no FTL capability, the Justice is an interceptor built to run down and isolate blockade runners or smaller, faster frigates that attempt to breach Huerdaen control. The ship is terrifyingly fast, with some recently upgraded to contain the drive used on Red Eye destroyers, giving it maneuverability that is impossible for almost any other vessel. It is armed with a series of heavy rockets, but in extended engagements, ammunition will limit it to an interdiction role, where the on-board FTLi simply keeps the target in the system long enough to be captured or destroyed.

Armored Vehicles of the Force

Law-Class Armored Vehicle

The Law is an 8-wheeled armored vehicle that has been with the force since before even the Watchman. Upgraded through decades of conflicts and thousands of variants, the Law is a light armored vehicle, capable of very fast movement over open terrain, and still very capable of tight maneuvering in a city. It bears a small turret that can mount an almost un-ending array of weapons from the Hades, to a pair of rocket pods, or even a mortar for long-range support, it is this which provides much of the armored might of the Force during system defenses. They are the most common Force vehicle in planets, often having one available for every squad in cities, and thus making them overwhelming in number, as well as endless in configuration. It is these facts, as well as their maneuverability, that make them capable of performing anything from escort duties, to crowd suppression, to outright warfare.

Watchman-Class Enforcement Walker

The original Watchmen were built during the wars ages ago in Helsearc during the Second Founding, and were designed by Ursellin technicians. The current models follow very similar principals, using two weapons mounted along arms, and an open cockpit to allow slain pilots to be pulled quickly from the vehicle and replaced. Most often armed with the 'Hades' cannon, the Watchmen are deployed most often during violent revolution or, very rarely, seen in Heavy Infantry units, though these are often upgraded with shoulder-mounted weapon systems as well, such as the 'Thor' assault mortar. The unit is lightly armored, with many components exposed, but the design is equally easy to repair, making it particularly rugged. It carries prodigious amounts of ammo, making it ideal for long deployments or wars of attrition. In addition, the massive Aegis shield can be used to replace any one of the arm-mounted weapons, allowing cover for the Watchman as well as nearby Force personnel.

Dredd-Class Tracked Vehicle

Once used by levies, the Dredd grew and evolved within the force. Functioning as the standard deployment vehicle in Polizei raids, Dredd is a no-holds-barred armored vehicle with low-capacity troop carrying capability. Larger and slower than a Goliath, it matches the armament with a 105mm railgun to allow it to function in modern battlefields against enemy armor. Designed to face enemy vehicles in combat from a defensive position, it is well protected with increased forward armor and sloping, but lacks the mobility to press a breach. Augmented with Aegis barriers along the forward quarter segments, it proves an effective stopgap and is the symbol of the Polizei's ability to deal with fully-armed civil conflicts.

Special Ammunition of the Force

G.U.P.S. Spray

The Gelatinous Ultra-Pacification Solution (G.U.P.S., pronounced goops) Spray is a non-lethal immobilization device. It is a fast-hardening spray that expands at a prodigious rate and then hardens quickly, immobilizing those caught within. It is a super-hard foam when hardened, with air pockets making the chance of accidental suffocation minimal. Death from asphyxiation has been known to occur, however. The effects last only a few short minutes before the solution becomes brittle enough to be escaped with ease, but it is used often as a warning by Force personnel that weapons have been authorized, and is often enough to dissolve a possible incident.

Special Weapons and Equipment of Militias and Levies

'Bane' Energy Pulse Rifle

Created solely for the Commonwealth Marines by KKI, the Bane is an energy weapon that attempts to merge the Pankrees repulsor technology and the Ikittitl concussion technology. Firing a small, blood red pulse at a high rate of fire, the Bane causes tiny blasts to appear at the location hit. While the projector for the energy blast is only approximately 9mm, the blast causes charring on particularly dense materials, but against softer targets like cloth or flesh, the blast has a uniquely brutal effect. Soft body tissues rupture, breaking open organs and causing massive internal bleeding near the impact site. A strike to the head almost invariably kills, but also causes the eyes, ears, and nose to rupture, spilling blood and other body fluids. Many Marines see the Bane as the first step to a new age of warfare for the Huerdaen, though this is viewed with skepticism at best by much of the rest of the Empire. Other common wounds include fusing fibers to flesh, significant fracturing of bone structure, and the literal fraying of muscle fiber.

'Balefire' Plasma Blast Mortar

Using a magnetic field to keep the blast coherent until the target location, the Balefire Mortar lobs a glob of super-heated plasma over long distances. Used exclusively by the Commonwealth marines, it is difficult to provide an accurate barrage but has the advantage of an initial blast on impact followed by a secondary EMP that often takes advantages of weaknesses created by the initial blast. They suffer from limited effect against heavily armored vehicles, but the massive blast they're capable of has proven invaluable against large formations of infantry or other 'soft' targets concealing themselves.

'Zeus' Anti-Tank Energy Weapon

Once used by the Shield, now only the Commonwealth Marines appreciate the value of the weapon. Small, easily broken down into the gun and powerplant, it was once one of the lightest of field guns. Now it serves its role as an anti-tank weapon to support the Marines in their operations. Recent updates have shown that it can operate for long periods without significant maintenance requirements, and the reactors have been known to need replacement only after extremely long periods of combat, making it ideal for the Marines and their lack of consistent supply.

Aircraft of Militias and Levies

Blackbird-Class Converted Gunship

Built on the chassis and frame of the old-model Roc, the Blackbird is a bulky, heavily armored aircraft that has taken advantage of the prodigious hold of the Roc to carry ammunition, ordinance, and explosives. Using the stub-wings that bear the thrust pods, the Blackbird is able to be deployed with nearly double the ordinance available the Talon, at the great cost of decreased maneuverability. Because of this failing, and the volatile nature of the warheads, the Blackbird does not carry anti-matter munitions. Instead, it carries small, sub-nuclear warheads that are designed for area suppression rather than directed attacks. Without the powerful targeting systems of the Talon, the craft has to be aimed by the pilot, meaning that the large blasts cannot be focused in a small area. Instead, Blackbird tactics include saturation attacks with sub-nuclear or incendiary warheads. It still bears only a single autocannon on the nose, but unlike the talon both tail guns are still available to be used. If it is stripped down to a limited ammunition load, it can even carry a handful of soldiers within, making it more adaptable, if somewhat more vulnerable.

Scylla-Class Light Aircraft

Designed as an assisted-launch craft, the Scylla is technically classified as a Short Take-Off, Vertical Landing craft, or STOVL. In truth, it requires a catapult launch system to fling it into the air and attain flight without a 70 meter paved runway. It is, however, prohibitively cheap. The craft itself is only approximately three meters long, and with its wings folded, it is only 1.7m wide. With its wings folded down, it reaches 5 meters wide, and can be loaded with weaponry. It cannot fold its wings up while loaded, so pilots who need to land quickly often fire off the rounds into the distance. It carries no 'gun' mount, instead using only rocket-mounted ordinance in a hardened-target hunting role. With limited ammunition, Scylla pilots are often instructed to ignore infantry or 'soft' targets such as trucks, and instead deploy heavily at tanks, bunkers, and other targets that more common weapons have a much more difficult time countering. Despite its take-off limitations, the Scylla is able to land vertically, even so carefully as onto the Charybdis directly, in the case of some of the more skilled pilots. Under no power, the Scylla is able to glide for extended periods, making locating the craft particularly difficult prior to its powered attack run, after which it often glides once until it can safely return to its launch location.

Icarus-Class Tactical Hybrid

With the incorporation of Assault Jaeger units into the Shield levies, it was found the Roc was insufficient for their purposes. While suitable for mass use, as well as staying on station, it could not deposit forces behind enemy lines with any degree of success. It's slow approach allowed the enemy to prepare a defense and isolate the target sector even before the Jaegers could land. With this in mind, a faster, more unpredictable dropship was needed. Initial models were smaller VTOL craft capable of switching between a faster 'cruise' mode and slower VTOL mode, but these proved vulnerable at the landing site. It was determined that the craft would be unable to achieve both durability and speed, and a prototype deployment system was deployed, using Telrosian 'Mass Effect' technology to propel Jaegers to the target location safely, even at hypersonic cross-speeds. The need for squad cohesion mandated a fast-deployment solution, requiring a lower total mass for deployed forces. With this in mind, AJax units are now deployed with limited AT or heavy weapons, and only power-assisted armor, as opposed to the Shield standard Powered Armor.

This design, too, faced many problems. The lack of a maintained position meant that any door guns would have almost no effect on the landing zone, meaning that deployed AJax units were extremely vulnerable, and the same issues that faced Roc deployments were once again faced. This time, however, the HSE was able to properly respond. They increased the size of the Icarus almost by half, and increased the wingspan and thrust by half again that. This gave an increased speed, as well as the ability to fill nine hardpoints - one fixed autocannon, two internal bays able to hold autocannons, rocket pods, or equipment deployment systems, and six external underwing pylons capable of carrying rocket pods or high-yield strike munitions. This created the current iteration of the Icarus - slightly larger than the Roc, it was able to deliver ordinance to assist with the drop in low-altitude, hypersonic runs, deploying AJax units at almost any point along it's path, making their initial position very difficult to determine, and maintaining a high degree of surprise.

Trundholm Asset Carrier

Built from refurbished bombers and stripped of their armaments, the Trundholm acts as a fast-deployment asset for the Commonwealth marines. Capable of carrying two platoons in the now-vacant rocket bays, as well as two loaded Cataphract vehicles or a single Jannisary, the Trundholm has proven to be surprisingly capable. Built to be rugged for its original duties, it can survive surprising amounts of fire before being destroyed, but it is completely unarmed, making combat deployments an unreal expectation for the craft. Without the ability to protect its cargo, and forced to fly low and slow to make a moving deployment, it is seen as a less than stellar vehicle by most. Because of its lack of weapons, however, and durable hull, the Trundholm, too, has seen use hauling cargo on frontier worlds, serving as the primary export of several Commonwealth colonies.

Armored Vehicles of Militias and Levies

Charybdis-Class Mobile Launch Vehicle

Designed to work in tandem with the Scylla aircraft, the Charybdis is a long hauler with an attached launch system on the back. Designed to service three Scylla aircraft, it has launch catapults, as well as re-arming gear for all three. Able to load them automatically from below, the Charybdis is the sole reason the Scylla is a capable unit in war. After final attachment in landing, the vehicle can fully reload, refuel, and re-launch the aircraft in less than two minutes. The Charybdis vehicle gives off a unique 'ping' which can be used by supported aircraft to locate it after strikes, allowing it to move freely after launch without fear of losing its aircraft. This ping is created by a device mounted to the bottom of the vehicle, which blasts a carefully shaped and controlled burst of air at the ground, using that to reflect it into the sky. This event creates a wave which the Scylla can track and locate, though a very careful enemy may use it to locate a Charybdis. Modifications can allow a Charybdis to act as tender to one Blackbird and one Scylla instead of three Scylla, but this modification is often frowned upon by the militias which operate the vehicle, as it costs them greatly in air support.

Uruk-Class Combat Car

A smaller, cheaper alternative to the Ogre, the Uruk quickly overtook it in acceptance. Without several of the issues that were in place, or the large crew requirements, the Uruk features armor resistant to small arms like the Ogre, but only two crew. The removal of the seperated cabin means that the Uruk is the smallest full vehicle in the Levy arsenal, still capable of mounting anything up to and including a Desecrator, though the 105mm railgun is limited to a small 45-degree forward arc, all other weapons have full 360-degree rotation. Running on six much smaller wheels but with a much more rugged suspension, it is often used to replace the old 'Gobin' as well, simply by switching out the weapon mount for increases in sensor or communications equipment.

Bandit-Class Control Rig

Originally a variant of the Tonka, the re-standardization of the Imperial Shield brought new life to the Bandit. Re-geared to have the tracks in the front, the Bandit has also been elongated into a full-size carrier rig, fifteen meters long. Carried aloft on twelve wheels in addition to the tracks, it is a command and control point, able to 'jack in' to existing communications, or deploy a full suite of communications gear. It is used as the control point for most militia deployments, making it invaluable from a platoon to regimental level. They are, however, somewhat lightly armored, and not quite as capable across significantly rough terrain due to the rigid 'trailer' which contains the command and control gear.

Naga-Class Entrenching Gun Carriage

A slow vehicle, the Naga is a half-tracked vehicle with very low turning capabilities, and limited armor. Designed with an extremely low profile, it mounts a single, high-powered 120mm rail weapon. Built with a low cab at the front for control, it is able to fire on the move, but only directly forward. It is, however, designed to fire from the 'deployed' position, where the tracks are locked down, and the vehicle uses small blasts of air in tandem with macrovibrations through the vehicle's frame to 'dig in' to a position. It can dig down to approximately one meter in five minutes, allowing it to become a fortified, hardened position rather quickly in the scope of war. From this position, simply accelerating allows it to dig itself free. Once dug in, it is stable enough to deploy its weapon to full effectiveness, creating a 360-degree weapon mount braced and using a high-capacity autoloader. When unable to dig in, support struts are able to be deployed at six points around the vehicle to brace it for firing. These require some time longer to recover, but are actually quicker to deploy for firing. Additional variations on the Naga include many AA-mount weapons, EWAR suites, and even some large-area Aegis barriers.

Cataphract-Class Armored Truck

First developed for the Commonwealth Marines, the Cataphract serves both as a logistical vehicle and transport in equal measure. Fitted with armored side walls and cab and an open-topped rear bed, it allows the Commonwealth Marines to quickly reposition, but offers little in terms of additional protection or armament once it is deployed. The side walls of the rear, open section are fitted with gun ports, as is the rear, but there is no mounting for squad or heavy weapons. It operates on a six-wheeled chassis powered by a nuclear powerplant, but is otherwise unremarkable. The ease of operation and low cost of the vehicles has seen them start seeing use in frontier colonies as transports for goods, though this speaks more for their dependability and ease of repair than their combat capabilities. It is also a common sight in the Imperial Shield logistics, though it is not considered a front-line vehicle or infantry transport except in the Commonwealth Marines.

Jannisary-Variant Goliath Tank

The only 'modern' vehicle of the Commonwealth marines, the Jannisary is a modification of the Goliath chassis medium tank. By removing all ammo stores, two crew members, and the hull weapon mount, the Jannisary is able to field a secondary powerplant, dedicated to the Zeus DEW that serves as the vehicle's primary armament. The weapon is rigged to permit a persistent beam, allowing it to be 'strafed' over an area for anti-infantry duties, but such an attack often gives away the rare vehicle's position.

Arashi-Class Assault Gun

Where most levies make use of the Naga, and the Force uses the Dredd against enemy vehicles, militias that can afford them have taken to the purchasing the Arashi for dealing with enemy vehicles and armored targets. Built to be barely a quarter of a meter taller than the Shield standard Kratos Powered Armor, it is a very low and wide vehicle with a singular purpose. Crewed by three, the Arashi has extremely heavy front armor, as well as a series of Aegis barriers that can be deployed to protect the entire front facing with the exception of the gun mount itself. The low profile, coupled with heavy armor and impressive protection permit the vehicle to be very difficult to locate and destroy. The Arashi is armed with the 120mm railgun stolen directly from the Yokai on a fixed, forward-facing hull mount. Without a turret, the weapon traverse is limited to a mere 60 degrees, but the firepower is enough to stop all but the heaviest vehicles in a single hit. Used often in am ambush or in an emplaced role, the Arashi has quickly become a mainstay of Militia units, and its blocky, low, and wide form has become a symbol of the stalwart nature of Huerdaen defensive militias.

Gokstad-Class Universal Skimmer

A craft unique to the Heldenhammer Jarldom's viking levy, the Gokstad-class is a long, thin transport with the top completely unarmored. Developed from the same tech as the previous Kadrian landskimmers, it serves as the transport for the Huscarl regiments and heavy weapons platform for the Valkyrie regiments, as well as a logistics craft for both. These are sometimes supplemented by Huerdaen vehicles, but their simplicity in a land-based engagement makes them quick to return to service, and their capability to cross any terrain with an altitude up to 500 meters makes them invaluable for redeploying unexpectedly, so Huerdaen support craft are often limited. The upper section of the vehicle is protected by environmental and defensive shielding, but is not rated for high atmosphere. The primary value of the vehicle is its speed, ability to operate over any terrain, and silence, able to deposit forces completely undetected even at extremely close range, as long as line of sight is not hindered. The only significantly complicated device on the craft is the ECM suite, aiding in concealing the unit's movements during wartime. Some up-armored variants exist sporting heavier weaponry, but these often sacrifice other capabilities such as an operating ceiling, or speed. As such, they are personal modifications as opposed to distributed models.
Last edited by Huerdae on Sun Oct 10, 2021 10:18 pm, edited 24 times in total.
The Huerdaen Star Empire is an FT Nation.

Xiscapia wrote:It amused her for a time to wonder if the two fleets could not see each other, so she could imagine them blindly stabbing in the dark, like a game of tag, if tag was played with rocket launchers in pitch blackness.
[17:15] <Telros> OH HO HO, YOU THOUGHT HUE WAS OUT OF LUCK, DID YOU
[17:15] <Telros> KUKUKU, HE HAS REINFORCEMENTS
[17:15] <Telros> FOR TELROS IS REINFORCEMENTS MAN

Rezo wrote:If your battleship turrets have a smaller calibre than your penis is long, you're doing it wrong.

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Iron Fist Socialists

Postby Huerdae » Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:58 pm

Imperial Supplies, Equipment, and Core Systems

In addition to the many weapons of the Star Empire, there are a number of tools and devices that are recognizable as clearly Huerdaen gear. These items are very often taken for granted, due to either how commonly they appear, the sheer fact that they're commonplace among the Star Empire, or simply that the Huerdaen are unable to live without them. Some things are so simple that everyone uses them, but barely thinks of them, such as communications, or even medical scanners. Each of these things has a place, and while not unique to the Star Empire, sometimes have uses beyond what they are designed for.

Imperial Equipment and Supplies



'Howler' 40mm Information Burst Beacon

With the understanding that the usage of the beacon would be in the most extreme or hostile environments, the Howler is a device with three different 'distress' modes that all activate when the device is used. The first, and most powerful, is a 'ping' including data regarding the location of the launch and the time. This is sent out at light speed and in particularly condensed packets, so that if the time can be located, it can be found further out, using the normal passage of the signal to help portray the message. It is, however, easily scrambled because of the packaging of the information, often making it useless. The second 'stage' of the Howler is a sonic pulse used to disturb the location around the device itself. Used as a weapon, it is capable of stunning most enemies, but is useful because it has a direct physical effect. Using a unified frequency, it allows Huerdaen ships to locate a beacon if the scanners can locate even part of the sonic shockwave, which is far more likely than a coherent signal escaping. This event makes a significant thunderclap-like noise, that paired with the particularly ear-splitting noise caused by the rotational thrusters used to steady and assist the launch, gave the device its name. It is often referred to as a 'beast sent screaming to its death' by those who have witnessed it in use. The final stage is a consistent, simple 'beep' that occurs across used Huerdaen emergency frequencies to allow the beacon to be tracked and located. Any of these stages may be disabled at any time, to allow different purposes, including sometimes being used as rechargeable 'dumb' grenades in training simply because of the stun effect on the second stage.

'Kratos' Powered Armor Ausf B

With recent updates in the Imperial Shield, the use of the Slayer Blade was no longer viable. While it was effective against opponents not trained in melee combat, it was determined that the amount of time spent training to use a weapon as particular as a Slayer Blade was better spent on other matters. With that in mind, the Imperial Shield commissioned the Kratos Ausf B armor, or simply Kratos B, to permit the Shield to be more effective in their primary role, that of ranged infantry. To this end, the gauntlets of the Ausf B have energy-sheathed blades concealed within similar to long, wide daggers, which can be extended to permit melee combat when needed. The armor is otherwise mostly unchanged, maintaining the peaked pauldrons to deflect shots away from the head and face, the low-profile, faceplated helm, and heavy, durable construction. The reactor chamber attached to the back was also reinforced, significantly decreasing the chances of a reactor meltdown, as well. In addition, the undersuit bodysleeve that went with the original Kratos armor and over the Nightingale is now incorporated into the Kratos B, due to the large number of service members who would simply not wear it due to a number of reasons. This bodysleeve is now built into the ballistic padding, permitting a 'safe-eject' mode which will maintain environmental sealing during ejection. However, due to the ballistic padding decompressing during this sequence, the soldier's movement is somewhat impeded by the puffing outward of the padding. This gives the impression of 'marshmallow soldiers', though it is an effective defense against environmental dangers. Most users of Kratos immediately shed this ballistic padding in favor of wearing the Nightingale as soon as environmental safety is confirmed. The addition of these, and a suite of additional failsafes now makes the ages-old trick to overheat the reactor no longer viable. The armor still includes the personal shield generator to protect against shrapnel and other near-misses. In several prototypes, an aegis projector was installed on both sides of the chest, but this did not get included in the production model. Despite that, a refit kit is available for Aegis projectors in the breastplate sides as well as pauldrons, to provide a much tougher defense, though they wear significantly on the reactor and cannot be used for long periods of time at a stretch. In addition, the blades can be extended without activating the energy sheathing, allowing the 6-inch wide blade to be used as spades or shields or other mundane objects.

'Minotaur' Power-Assisted Exoskeleton
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The Minotaur Power-Assisted Exoskeleton is similar in many ways to the 'Kratos' Powered Armor, with the exception that the primary function of the Minotaur Exoskeleton is not the protection of the wearer, but increased carry capacity and stability. In this regard, the leg sections are very heavily reinforced, and support arms can be attached at the hip to help hold and carry large items, most notably the Imperial Force's primary weapon, the Hades Infantry Cannon. This increased weight includes reinforcing along the spine and back, allowing a large, bulky backpack to be added to carry a significant amount of ammo. The head, torso, and arms have moderate protection, matching that of the 'Golem' carapace, but far inferior to that of the 'Kratos' suit. However, the ability to wield and use anything up to and including a Hephaestus while firing from the hip makes 'Minotaur' a favored option among many militias for heavy weapon soldiers, as well as laborers. It is often treated more as a scaled-down version of the Watchman, than a suit of actual armor, forcing it into the position of a support unit for most wearers.

'Golem' Rigid Carapace Armor
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'Fedayyin' Blast Vest



Nightingale Protective Jumpsuit

While not nearly as famous as the Kratos armor worn by the Shield, there is one piece of equipment even more widely spread, and in use by almost all branches of the Imperial Arm. The Nightingale Protective Jumpsuit is as unassuming as it is practical. Made of a thin, strong fabric and incorporating a small complement of nanomachines stored in microscopic pockets hidden across the surface, it is designed to provide a surprising amount of temperature regulation, but also very tightly squeeze the body of the wearer, applying pressure to wounds when they're endured and closing the fabric back up over them. This allows a wounded soldier to receive the most basic levels of first aid even if they are alone, in armor, or otherwise unable to tend the wound themself. These layers of protection, in addition to the Huerdaen cybernetics and lcoal nanomachines, make them significantly more likely to survive injuries on the battlefield or in hostile environments, even without armor. The Nightingale has four different models, referred to as Minimal (Mini), Protective (Pro), Hardened Minimal (MiniH), and Hardened Protective (ProH). The Nightingale is only a few milimeters thick, and clings so tightly to the body is seems almost impossible. Minimal models extend thin straps over the shoulders, and wrapping around the chest and back but leaving the upper back and thighs all the way up to the hip exposed, protecting only the torso. Protective models cover this same area, but extend halfway down the thigh, and all the way to the base of the neck, though they do not add any additional protection to the arms. Hardened Nightingale of both models incorporate a protective mesh over the top of the suit that hardens under stresses, which give the appearance of perfectly skin-tight plates when pressure is applied. A Hardened Nightingale suit that has been in use for extended periods of time sometimes retains the visible appearance of the plates once it settles on the users body, giving rise to the term 'Shield-Suit', where almost all Huerdaen Infantry have their suits hold this appearance due to the amount of time spent wearing the jumpsuit while on duty. Nightingale is the only equipment, along with a set of pocket-laden BDUs and a combat harness, worn under the Kratos armor. It should be noted that while the Imperial Shield highly suggests the use of the ProH model, many Infantry still favor the MiniH, citing 'comfort'.

'Barbut' Protective Helmet System

Surrounded by armored plates to maintain integrity, the Barbut incorporates a thin viewslit extending horizontally across the front. The rest of the helm is covered in rigid plates to hold integrity and protect the head in dangerous conditions. It incorporates a multispectral lamp on the front capable of casting light in a very wide array of spectrums, including many that are unlikely to be visible to those not as augmented as Huerdaen. The top rear also contains an ultra-bright beacon light that can be activated to help in locating the wearer. Internally, the Barbut includes a HUD showing updates on the system status or environmental variables, short range comms, and can maintain local pressurization around the wearer's neck. There is a cable bundle that runs from the rear of the helmet to a small power module that can be comfortably worn on the belt. The cable bundle has a locking interface that allows it to be switched out at any time on either end, allowing a number of ways to safely swap power units should it be needed. In addition, small clusters of air scrubbers are contained at the back of the Barbut along with pressurized tanks that cycle the air. These tanks and scrubbers are used to maintain a breathable atmosphere in the helmet as long as the system has power. However, it is not designed for extended use under duress, and heavy breathing in excess of fifteen minutes can cause light-headedness as the system is unable to keep up with oxygen usage.

'Slop' Huerdaen Rations



'MedScan' Medical Scanner



'Torch' Cutting Torch



'A-CAS' Auto-Coagulant and Anesthetic Salve



'Squawker' Personal Communication Device



'Cradle' Utility Crane and Suspension Chassis



'ASS' Air Suppression System

While not a single system as much as it is a coordinated effort of a series of networked devices, the ASS is the completed network of Expat and Outlaw emplacements, linked into the existing Imperial Shield command system, allowing them to control a whole system of defensive weapons to provide a complete defense against an enemy's air or missile strike capability. Using the Expat network as a close-in anti-missile system or to suppress enemy gunship actions, it is able to force most units into higher altitudes, where the Outlaw is able to deliver fatal strikes with devastating accuracy. As can be expected, the system has varying states of readiness, with 'appropriate' names being given in accordance with them. A system that is newly emplaced, or includes only Expat weapons is referred to as a 'Cute' ASS, where a fully developed system is referred to as a 'Fat' ASS by the troops using it, allowing them to illustrate to new soldiers or allied forces the state of their existing air defense. In almost no circumstances is the Expat network disabled or destroyed, meaning that particular situation has earned no moniker. A system that has taken damage or may not provide full coverage is referred to as 'Sore'.

'Tyrant' Command System

A universal module that can be added onto almost any vehicle, this small, 10x10x50cm box is easily plugged into the power supply of any given vehicle or sophisticated communication equipment. As it appeared at the same time as the phasing out of the Tyrant-Variant Titan Chassis vehicle, it was deemed suitable for the name. This device is a hardware firewall, encryption machine, and high-powered processing unit capable of enhancing communication and identifying itself to other Tyrant systems. The algorithms used by the Tyrant are generated by the two conversing units at the start of each conversation and rebuilt completely at the sign of any attempt to infiltrate the datalink. This is done in real-time without interruption, and serves to protect Imperial communication against eavesdropping. This device is not new, and was always in use in one form or another, but has been miniaturized and put into a universal, easily transportable device to allow it to be taken with units that are damaged or even partially destroyed, in situations where a vehicle must be outright abandoned or the unit must go to ground for an extended period of time. Introduction of this device, however, has added in a new standard to Imperial communications, identifying any command unit, location, or vehicle as a 'tyrant'. As such, a Goliath-Tyrant or Kodiac-Tyrant is the active command vehicle in a formation, easing transfer of data between units.

Imperial Fields and Shielding

Fields and Shielding are different types of energy barriers in use by the Huerdaen Star Empire. Requiring large amounts of power, each type has a specific purpose, and most often may not function in another's role. These are common, and almost every vessel or base has components to build or repair these devices, though Hamaya shields are far less common outside military installations, they are not unknown on civilian craft.

'Aegis' Barrier Shield

The Aegis is a reflective barrier shield that is both extremely powerful, and limited in use. Unlike most Huerdaen shielding, the Aegis blocks weapons fire from both directions, and creates only a partial barrier, most often curved in a 120-degree arc in front of the generator. Unfortunately, it cannot generate a shield any closer than two meters from the generator, making it useless among infantry unless it is mounted on a mobile platform. As such, the Aegis is often towed into position and deployed to force choke points in enemy movement. It also has the distinct advantage of reflecting most energy weapons blasts. While it takes some time to activate, it is conveniently quick to de-activate the device, allowing it to earn a place among the Force on their Watchman walkers. In addition, when the device is activated, it has a distinct 'weight' to the device that is caused by resistance in attempting to move the shield, meaning that it is difficult at best to move an Aegis generator when it is active.

'Hamaya' Ship Combat Shielding

A particularly powerful shield, the Hamaya is a one-sided, hard-stop shield that was seen as the answer to all combat defense when it was first developed. When functioning at full capability, it completely blocks incoming projectiles, energy strikes, and interrupts almost all FTL functions within the field. This has been slaved to the Gate drive in military warships, though some civilian craft must manually de-activate it before performing a Gate jump. This protection, however, diminishes as the Shielding is used, and inconsistencies form, allowing some attacks to pass through. The shield is never fully 'down', as other shields are, as long as the power is applied, but additional power to the Shield will not strengthen it, either. Instead, it repairs itself without interaction and always requires the same amount of power when active, making it one of the ISN's engineering deparment's favorite devices to maintain.

'Field' Force Barrier

Fields are not designed to protect or block, and instead are used completely to contain. In some ways not different from an Aegis, it was a precursor to the Aegis design and while a rigid shield, hard or massive objects may pass through a Field with little trouble. It resists small or low-energy exchanges, and is generally used as a emergency method during hull breaches, or airlock malfunctions. When active, people and ships may pass through, meaning it finds most use on the flight deck of Huerdaen warships. It functions well to mitigate losses due to combat damage, but it is not an efficient device, so blast doors and launch bay doors are always the preferred solution. In practice, Huerdaen emitters are not designed to maintain a Field for more than two minutes, instead providing crew or personell the time to evacuate the danger area.

'Ofuda' Navigational Barrier

A simple field that is designed to be extremely low on power consumption and maintenance, the Ofuda barrier is nothing more than a field that deflects incoming particles away from the hull. It has a tendency to burn the particles as well, due to being a plasma-based field, and this often causes a 'burnt' appearance at the front of many Huerdaen warships, who see much more duty than civilian models. It is ineffective in combat, but its use decreases wear and tear on vessels by nearly 20%, and external hull damage caused by foreign particles by just over 85%.

Core Systems

Core systems are common systems used in everyday life, military applications, or simply massive systems that allow the Huerdaen to perform their many various needs, from reactors to engines, scanners, communications, or any number of other systems in use today. These 'core systems' are designed around very few variations of the same technology, and share many traits regardless of size or implementation of a specific technology.

'Sheik' Nuclear Reactor

The Sheik is a monster of legend among the Huerdaen. Old, dependable, and about as likely to break as the people's own will, the Sheik is in use across the Star Empire with a massive amount of dependability. In use for everything from bases, to smaller warships, to even some simple generators used in private or commercial functions to maintain power, the Huerdaen are long past the concerns of radiation leaks or fallout damage. It has myriad fail-safes, and there has not been a report of a Sheik-Class reactor melting down for several iterations of the technology, with the most recent being caused by purposeful and malicious sabotage by Follower infiltrators. Generally, it is of larger size, but often the design specifications allow a smaller reactor to be built, such as those in use in skid-bikes. Despite the small size, this is a Sheik-class reactor, due to the fact that there is no need for the much higher energy density in use by the Djinn, making the reactor, though small, quite dependable and maintainable.

'Djinn' Nuclear Mini-Plant

Much smaller than the Sheik, and meeting much higher performance requirements, the Djinn is also capable of creating more power, and forced to fit within much more stringent regulations. Used most often in military or high-output, miniaturized powerplants, the Djinn is a marvel of engineering. It is known, however, to quickly lose efficiency should it become de-calibrated, and under heavy stress, the system sometimes fails to scram correctly. It is for this reason that it is both celebrated and hated by the Imperial Shield - it is the only piece of technology capable of powering the Kratos suit properly, but it also is a danger to the occupants should damage be sustained. Some damage has been known to consistently cause a meltdown of the Djinn, and efforts are often made to mitigate these issues in the field for such equipment.

'Ra' High-Output Singularity Reactor

Unlike the more stable nuclear reactors, the Ra is a massively powerful device that creates such power it is almost beyond comprehension. A single reactor can power a battleship or war frigate, making it unbelievably valuable. They are also used in cruisers, which make use of the impressive power output to activate additional role-specific systems in support of the fleet. It is, however, also somewhat more unstable. Like the Djinn, the Ra has a capability of going critical and melting down within the warship at extreme loads. It is vulnerable, and containment breaches can sometimes destroy the very ship it's powering. Unlike the Djinn, it can also go super-critical, when the singularity ceases to be contained entirely and begins to consume the ship. This is successful to varying degrees, but the singularity invariably becomes unstable and detonates following this event. There have never been survivors of one of these catastrophes. As such, Ra is both respected and feared by the crews that use them, and among Huerdaen, death in a singularity event is one of the most terrifying prospects. For this reason as well as the mass-limitation to the super-critical Ra's destruction, these reactors are not in use on planets, space stations, or civilian craft.

'Vizier' Communications Array

While not a singular technology, the 'Vizier' is being constantly updated with new knowledge and access to new species and their forms of communication. Incorporating a standard, old-fashioned radio system, as well as newer tightbeam transmissions and some, limited, quantum entanglement technology, the Vizier allows the Huerdaen to speak to almost anyone. On several occasions it has been forced to go through upgrades, as wish the interactions with the Red Talons, where a spotlight was forced to be used in combat due to incompatibility. In addition to the actual hardware and communication requirements, the Vizier is capable of on-the-fly translation and interpretation of messages with a very high success rate. This is not always a possibility, as first-exposure scenarios regarding languages are always an uncertainty, bringing many Huerdaen ships to simply wait for followup transmissions, in hopes of giving the Vizier time to conduct its business and allow communication without error. It is able to translate from Huerdaen to any language it can understand, though there are sometimes minor misunderstandings that still occur. There is also an instant-transmission mode in use very similar to the Scope where the message is transmitted through what is effectively an FTL translation, allowing immediate communication up to extreme ranges. Its use, however, can often reveal the location of the vessel making use of it, and it is often found only on Huerdaen warships.

'Gate' Instantaneous Translation Drive

Developed following he collapse of the Pantos System wormhole, the Gate drive is capable of moving an object, or creating an opening to a location, with absolutely no time-lag. Increased mass require increased power to perform the jump, but beyond this the system is infallible. It is, however, not perfectly precise. The Gate drive does not have the ability to specify a 'facing' for the vessel using it, meaning that while the ship arrives at the destination, it may be pointed in almost any direction. In addition, repeated jumps cause an exotic energy buildup along the hull, causing an increased power need for successive jumps until these can be relinquished to a planet's atmosphere. This process is spectacular, creating colored lighting across the sky in the form of a 'wake' behind the ship. Failure to handle the energy buildup can and will result in the loss of the ship, where the vessel simply does not arrive at the destination.

'Thrust Pod' Multiple-Vector Variant Output Electronic Propulsion

The MVVOEP, or 'Thrust Pod' in use by the Huerdaen is a fuel-less propulsion technology developed to decrease fuel weight and overall increase their efficiency in space travel. It was quickly adapted, however, to almost every sort of powered flight, including flight within the atmosphere due to the stability and high degree of control that the system allows. Powered by an electronic ignition and consuming no volatile fuels, the Thrust Pod quickly became a staple in the Star Empire. It also has a very distinctive sound depending on the performance characteristics, giving the Roc its deep rumble, due to high output and size, while the Talon, alternatively, has a very high whine, sometimes referred to as a scream due to the smaller, higher-fidelity build to the system. Some engineers have been said to be able to determine the build and capabilities of a craft by the sound of these pods alone. Unlike Boosters, Thrust Pods are much more vulnerable to weapons fire, as they lack the armoring and rigid mounting, and damage can often cause them to burst and tear themselves apart completely. This often throws several shards of the pod itself careening away from the destroyed module, making it a danger to nearby personnel. Some craft, like the Roc, are often able to lose one, or even two of these pods and still execute a semi-controlled descent.

'Booster' Sub-light Drive System

Little more than a massive thrust pod in a fixed mounting with greatly increased power requirements and tolerances, Boosters are the primary sub-light drive of Huerdaen space-faring vessels. Stable and generally tolerant of damage, boosters use no combustible fuel, and as such are unlikely to explode even when operating with massive damage, instead often causing undesirable thrust angles. Due to the thrust they output and their size, they are never used in a rotating mount or for maneuvering. Instead, these functions are left to the smaller and more finely-tuned thrust pods.

'Eyes' LIDAR Array

Part of a standard two-part array designed to gather information for Huerdaen ships, the 'Eyes' of the ship are a rather simple LIDAR package designed to survey information near the ship itself at all times. It is dependable, accurate, and can cover more or less the complete surrounding of any ship with very little trouble, giving them a complete nearby picture with which to navigate. This system is always active, and while it is not always making scans, it is always receiving information. As such, it is considered a 'passive' scan system among the Huerdaen.

'Scope' Long Range Sensor System

The second part of a standard array, the 'Scope' is a much more accurate, much more long-range set of instruments that do not suffer from light-lag even at extreme ranges. However, due to the accuracy, and the fact that it is, effectively, peering through a hole drilled in space in a series of microsecond intervals, it is not a tool that can be used to see everything around them, everywhere. It is effectively a snapshot taken of a specific area, generally employed once another ship has been located, to get a more accurate depiction of the ship. It is for this reason that Huerdaen are able to create such accurate representations of enemy ships even at light-second or light-minute ranges - they can create the illusion for their own ship that they are, indeed, that close. Due to power consumption, and the small window which is created, use of this is often limited during normal operation. It is considered 'active' scanning, and the function of the Scope creates significant and unnatural power spikes along the hull of the Huerdaen ships, easily revealing their position.

'Lock' Faster-Than-Light Interdiction Core

The 'Lock' is a system very few Huerdaen even understand. It is very similar in design to a Gate drive, but with minor changes that create a very interesting effect. When a Lock is active, the use of Gate drives or any attempt to translate through space, across dimensions, or into sub-realms of reality such as warp or sub-space become massively more difficult. The device was designed to counter Huerdaen FTL and keep pirates from being able to escape pursuing fleets, but the system is not without faults. The range on the device is agonizingly small, forcing the vessels using them to close dangerously within weapons range of the targets, and while it is not a targeted effect, it is very difficult to catch any significant number of enemy vessels within the sphere of effect. In addition, it is possible to 'overpower' the lock simply by unifying and attempting to breach the barrier at a single moment, often literally tearing the device out of the ship and bringing it along with whatever ships have succeeded in breaking the Lock, to catastrophic effects upon the host vessel. This, however, additionally requires that the attempts be done with the same bearing, or attempts may assist the Lock in cancelling out other attempts. Due to its effects, it also tends to disable FTL comms and scanning in a much wider area, including the devices of the Huerdaen themselves, often with the effect of isolating the conflict. During operation, the Lock creates an impressive amount of heat, allowing enemies to quickly and easily locate vessels using the Core.

'Mana' Kiith Fabrication Device

Acquired from a destroyed Kiith carrier, the Mana system was renamed to disguise the fact that it had been recovered in Kiith salvage. It was salvaged completely undamaged, and the Huerdaen spent months attempting to secure its purpose. After nearly half a year, the Huerdaen were able to bypass the system's security without damaging the operating system, and gain partial control of the device. At that time its abilities were assessed, and testing began. It was two years and the development of LASI before full control was gained over Mana, but following that progress increased drastically. It soon became the heart of the Devi/Deva battleship's arsenal, but also provided valuable insight into cyberwarfare capabilities against Kiith, should additional conflicts arise.

'LASI' Limited-Awareness System Intelligence

LASI was developed for the sole purpose of integrating with the Mana device, but is sometimes used as part of the targeting and control system in the Devi/Deva battleships. Referred to either by the ship's name, it is a semi-autonomous program designed to mimic the capabilities, or at least the understanding, of a Kiith SI. Their actual capabilities far exceed their limitations, so the Huerdaen have a secure "core" where the AI is shackled physically, and where hard-line connections are able to be instantly severed should an issue occur. Once 'shackled' to a warship, each LASI takes on the name of that ship, and is known as that name until being de-activated. Removal of a LASI from its core is unlawful, with penalty of death.

'SCAR' Plating

While it has the appearance of metal plating similar to any armor, SCAR plating is a highly advanced armor system that includes layers of nanomachines that exist between the armor plates. Able to manipulate the armor on an atomic level, ships armored with SCAR plating that suffer battle damage will immediately begin to show repairs and physically seal hull breaches with a rigid, super-dense material. This scar-material is actually a harder substance than the rest of the armor, but the way the armor repairs itself can interfere with turret movement or other functions, making a battle-hardened warship at the end of a campaign tougher, but sometimes vulnerable to attacks that can take advantage of older battle damage. Dedicated efforts can be made to remove the scarred plating, but it requires significant time and effort, meaning most ships simply leave the damage unless it significantly interferes with ship function.

Ordinance of the Star Empire

The ordinance that is employed by the Star Empire is as varied as it is destructive, from the technologically advanced Angel's Tear to the deceptively simple Thunderbolt, it is capable of death on a massive scale. There is a weapon for almost any circumstance, capable of crashing through the ground to strike at concealed enemies, or scatter against gathered targets in a great wall of nuclear fire. They can draw their enemies to their doom like a maelstrom of old, or simply shatter their backs in a single well-placed strike. They are devastating in the extreme, and not to be underestimated.

'Scattershot' Spinal Munition

The Scattershot is the standard for Huerdaen use in heavy engagements. Against most targets where the enemy's ship is not of high value or where the Huerdaen are not sure they'll otherwise have a firepower advantage, the Star Navy employs this round. It is a large, heavy weapon that fits only into the spinals of cruiser or larger craft, and is designed behind the idea of the old shrapnel shot. However, it's massive size has allowed the weapon to become more than a series of high-velocity kinetic impacts. The weapon instead is broken into a series of eight long darts, each of which is designed to pierce enemy armor and bury deep into enemy armor or hull plating. Inside each dart is a small nuclear charge that increases with the size of the ship firing it, that then detonates within the target vessel. The idea is to peel open the heavily armored exterior of enemy warships to allow greater damage to be done with following shots from supporting craft.

'Helhammer' Spinal Munition

The Helhammer is a round that is designed to be fired from orbit into a hardened or subterranean target. Effectively a massive nuke, the round is designed to sink anywhere between a quarter of a kilometer to a kilometer into the surface before detonating it's payload. The design is to shatter subterranean bases and holdouts, though it has also shown that against 'softer' surface planets, it can crack the tectonic plates, causing earthquakes in the region for up to seven years following the initial strike.

'East-Wind' Flak-Round Cluster Munition

The East-Wind is a weapon of particular use to the Star Empire. Tested and true, it consists of a round designed to burst and shower an area in a large number of anti-matter bomblets in a puff of black smoke. These charges, due to ultra-lightweight materials and miniaturized repulsor technology gained from the Pankrees, hang in location for up to half an hour before detonating as the on-board power systems shut down. It is the first line of defense of Huerdaen anti-aircraft capability, and is just as effective in spacial conflicts, where the size of the round is simply increased to compensate, allowing the Huerdaen to make a flak 'shield' which can protect them against enemy missiles and fighters.

'Gnat' Flak-Round Barrier Munition

One of the most useful, and least dangerous, rounds is the Gnat. Primarily used in space, it provides amoving, circular barrier that is the only thing between many Huerdaen ships' shields and enemy fire. A small Aegis emitter, the several podlets within the round almost invariably burn out after a single hit, but should a whole battle group deploy flak, it becomes a veritable protective wall, increasing survivability significantly.

'Basilisk' Flak-Round Blast Munition

Designed for larger, shielded, or armored targets, the Basilisk round is a nuclear charge designed to clear an area of smaller targets, or devastate a larger target on a direct hit. While only useful in space with a direct hit, it is of particular use in the atmosphere, where the concussive force can be used to damage or disable aircraft or ordinance. As a nuclear weapon, it has a significant amount of force, even for its size, but it is limited in where it can be used. Fortunately there is only limited fallout from the use of this round.

'Dragonfire' Flak-Round Cyclic Detonator Munition

One of the most spectactular flak rounds, Dragonfire bursts into a conical deployment of antimatter bomblets. As such, it is volatile, but ultimately extremely useful. These bomblets only last a fraction of a second before they lose containment and detonate, causing a string of explosions that engulfs almost anything directly in front of where the round initially burst. These can do massive damage to anything caught in the blast, making it useful against large formations of small ships, or a volley of enemy missiles.

'Absolution' HE Rail Round

Absolution is one of only two rounds which has been used only in surface combat, but not spacial combat. Carrying a heavy High-Explosive charge, it is capable of punching through light armor when fired from a Goliath, but it is designed to clear vegetation, knock down houses, and eliminate enemy infantry or flyers. The blast contains an incendiary element, but it is secondary and only those who are beneath where it hits are affected, more often a lucky side-effect than an actual goal. The incendiary burns approximately 30 seconds, and is a byproduct of the explosive used, but it is something which the Star Empire sees no reason to eliminate from current munitions.

'Reaper' Concussive Burst Round

The Reaper is another weapon adapted from the Ikittitl, and is a direct upgrade from the Heartbreaker grenade. Designed to be fired from a tank's cannon, it is ineffective in spatial combat due to the power requirements at such a scale, and as such, it is used most often by specialized armored units in an assault for clearing bunkers, entrenched enemies, or hardened structures. It is effective against any and all infantry, as it liquefies flesh within 3 meters of the impact point, and shatters hardened metal or stone constructions up two 5 meters out. Such is the concussion that armored enemies actually become more vulnerable to this weapon, as hardened battle armor often shatters, sending fragments into the body of the wearer. Bones react in a similar way as well. This round, however, is particularly expensive to manufacture, and only the most veteran tank crews have them available, and in very limited supply, often using only one per battle. Against vehicles and other armored targets, this weapon is also often lethal on a direct hit.

'Wolfsbane' Explosive Shot

Like the ancient canister shot, the Wolfsbane is not a true round. It is a shot cartridge containing dozens of small, antimatter filled bomblets. The shell is capable of travelling a pre-set distance before releasing the bomblets, allowing for longer-ranged attacking of condensed infantry units or exposed vehicles. The AM explosives annihilate matter they come into contact with, causing the round to be both unstable and extremely powerful against enemy units of all sorts, capable of shooting a multitude of holes into even the most heavily armored vehicle, though energy shielding still provides effective protection. The name is meant as a partial nod to the original Xiscapian designers, despite the lack of relationship between foxes and wolves. Still, the effectiveness of the round has earned a certain respect from Shield units, who are beginning to respect Xiscapian weaponry for its usefulness.

'Denial' Spatial Mine

The Denial mine is simply a glorified stealth system suite built around a large anti-ship charge, capable of disabling most cruiser-size warships. The weapon defies enemy shielding by being energy radiant, as it takes on an identical charge to what most shield emitters project, allowing it to pass through unhindered. During this time, the vessel can become aware of the mine's presence, though only the most nimble craft are capable of avoiding the charge once it has begun to radiate in that way.

'Angel's Tear' Singularity Weapon

The Angel's Tear is also known as the 'Ironsides Device', in reference to the ill-fated ship from the Praxis conflict. It is a tactical weapon of devastating capability, and works around a purposefully unstable singularity event. The event first creates a powerful gravitational field that disrupts all but the most powerful of FTL systems, as well as overpowering every sub-light drive known to the Huerdaen. For a period of seconds, the device draws in mass at a terrifying rate, before the event ceases, and is marked by a small, but bright, blue light. This 'Tear' is where the weapon got it's name, and lasts only a split second before it detonates violently. It has been tested against planets, but the devastation is so major that the loss of resources has been deemed too high a price for the gains.

'Annihilator' Anti-matter Explosive

The Annihilator is the predecessor to the Angel's Tear, and was in the process of being decommissioned before it found new life as a dedicated ship-killer warhead. It fell out of favor quickly when the Angel's Tear became available, but has resurged with new life following a number of upgrades. The Red Eye destroyers favor this weapon heavily, and many heavy bomber groups have gladly returned to it, as it is both far more easily accessible and less dangerous than the Angel's Tear. In its purest form, it is a weapon that has no propulsion of its own, and is required to be released much like ages-old dive bombers, on target to the enemy warship. It was designed prior to the Denial mine, and pioneered the shield-piercing effects that are now in use in the mine. It is a much more massive charge than any other single device carried on Huerdaen warships, and has been known to cripple or destroy enemy vessels in a single hit - if it can be properly released. Due to the method of deployment, however, it is often only useful against the largest of enemy warships, due to impressive maneuverability of their smaller counterparts.

In addition, the Reissewolf-Class cruiser has adopted a modified variant that includes a low-output form of propulsion that, while slow, makes the device difficult to detect on approach. It also has a contact-warhead "breaching charge" that is used to cut a hole in enemy armor, and a second charge to push the Annihilator warhead proper into the enemy craft. When this is complete, the charge then detonates within the enemy's armor, making the Reissewolf variant significantly more likely to result in a destroyed target than the existing, less complex variant. It is, however, slightly more recognized, so the Reissewolf-Class is known to deploy the warhead as close as they possibly can, to give as little warning as possible and decrease the chance of intercept.

'Victor' V-7 Rocket-Propelled Explosive

Every rocket in use by the Star Empire is some variation of the Victor. It is as much a name as it is a meaning to the Huerdaen, as they have used the basic design in so many different theaters of war that only the archives of old know where the original was used. It is as much a staple of their war efforts as the deadly rail weapons they are so fond of, and with just as much acclaim. The sheer speed at which they can be fired and reloaded makes them a favorite amongst the Huerdaen, and the yield of the small, antimatter warhead in them makes them particularly devastating. They are unguided, and must be released near the target as the engine burns for only a scant few seconds, but they have earned their place for close support missions, from the nimble Talon gunships to the lumbering Anger-Class bombers. In addition, there is a shoulder-mounted version available to Imperial Shield infantry, though it is very rarely used.

'Baelrog' Incendiary Device

The Baelrog is a weapon that comes and goes with the Empire, sometimes reaching great acclaim as a new model is introduced, and sometimes falling far short of hopes in the newer, modern battlefield. But somehow, the brothers and sisters of the Empire always find it in their hearts to call the deadly device the Baelrog. Countless models, both successful and unsuccessful, have born the name, but the purpose has never changed. The Baelrog is a fast-deploying, wide-spread incendiary device, most often deployed from bombers, gunships, or artillery. It is a weapon designed to burst over the target, causing a 'rain' of fire to land upon anything below it. It burns at a surprisingly slow rate for its high heat, allowing it to cause massive firestorms in areas suffering from repeated hits, often causing widespread devastation in forests or other living areas for days on end.

'Flashlight' Guided Laserhead Munition

Stolen in its entirety from the Kiith, the 'Flashlight' is a fabricated Kuun-Lamaat missile whose name stems from initial misunderstandings of the proper 'Purifying Light' moniker given by the Kiith. Unable to build it on their own, it is a weapon unique to Deva/Devi Battleships due to the excessive requirements for mounting guidance, control, and launch systems for the weapon. There are no variations from standard Kiith designs between the Kuun-Lamaat and the Flashlight, making it vulnerable to its previous masters and their ECM systems, but otherwise a powerful and useful tool in the hands of the Huerdaen. When it 'detonates', it rapidly blasts the target with multiple DEW blasts until it effectively incinerates itself from heat. Because of this, it avoids most interception and countermeasures and still deliver its payload, allowing the ship to sit safely out of reach of more conventional weapons.

'Bastard' Guided Antimatter Piercing Charge

The epitome of implementation of engineered components gained conflict with the Kiith at Foer, the Bastard is a Kiith missile chassis carrying a Huerdaen warhead to deliver on impact to the heart of an enemy vessel or installation. In Huerdaen fashion the warhead is unstable and oversized, giving it a bulky, heavier appearance than the much more streamlined Flashlight. The warhead itself is protected by an armored 'head' to the missile that protects against counter-fire. The armoring also incorporates planned breaking points which allow the charge to propel a number of penetrators into the enemy hull, designed to maximize depressurization across multiple decks or through physical defenses on impact. The charge is massive, large enough for the Huerdaen to consider it a ship-killer, and while many see the chances of piercing defenses as low, the Bastard has become a dependable device for disabling enemy warships when it does come into contact.

'V-V' Vircasm-Vocrage Strategic Blockade Ordinance

Supposedly named after the two creators of the weapon, V-V is a particularly useful and dangerous weapon. Deployed from heavy bombers, it is a device that creates a nearly self-sustaining oxidization of the atmosphere over a huge area of a planet's surface. A single device used against a terran-class world could create a firestorm that could cover approximately 30 million square kilometers of sky. The effect can last for several decades depending on the gas content of the atmosphere and the abundance of oxygen on the planet. This is invariably destructive to the local ecosystem, a sacrifice the Star Empire has shown time and time again it is willing to make. When viewed from the ground, the detonation has the appearance of a swirling mass of black flame, though after little more than an hour it spreads into a mass of roiling clouds that expands through the cloud layer with frightening speed. Within a week it reaches maximum coverage. While not a direct attack weapon, V-V has proven enormously valuable at creating a blockade over a system, as the firestorm makes it nearly impossible to traverse the area, creating massive electromagnetic fluctuations and causing significant damage to unarmored or poorly protected vessels attempting to pass through it. It is used most often to isolate a location and decrease naval resources required to maintain a blockade. Rarely is the weapon used on only a single part of a world, however, and whole planets have been rendered dead by the use of this weapon.

Pracownik Frontier Chassis

The Pracownik Frontier Chassis is a utility vehicle designed following the standards of the Imperial Shield, permitting a series of standard modifications to be used. Unlike them, the Pracownik not named after any one variant, simply functioning as a central body around which modifications are added. It is built around the ultra-dependable Sheik fission reactor with full failsafes to permit extended use with little or no maintenance, and while the vehicle is built by default to have a pair of massive rear drive wheels and smaller forward steering wheels, the axle configuration is actually a modular component, permitting a tracked configuration if requested. Third-party modifications are also available if desired, as it maintains the standard modular connection ports. Primary variant differences are at the forward (primary) section, a rear (secondary) section, and a pair of side (tertiary) sections designed to work in tandem. The chassis is built to be a viable vehicle for near-warzone duties in excavation and land clearing, and as such it has moderate armoring around the power plant and driver's compartment, including combat shutters to protect the operator. Despite this, it is designed with the expectation that most who use the Pracownik do not have a fully functioning garage with lift gear, so there is a collapsing crane mounted above the reactor core that is able to pull modular components into place or steady them during removal. In each configuration, the operator's seat can turn a full 360 rotation, to permit focusing on any of the mounts at any time.

Harvester-Variant

The Harvester-Variant Pracownik is designed for use by larger farm communes, which require heavy machinery to be able to complete planting in a timely manner. It has a wide array of capabilities, with the ability to make use of heavy harvesting gear able to be programmed to recognize a variety of plant life. This is then traversed along the belt feed linked through the tertiary mount point into the rear container. The lower section of the tertiary mount is designed to clear away harvested plant life or grind it into compostable matter, while the lower part of the secondary mount point is geared toward replanting, should the operator prepare the seed and fertilizer ahead of time. In the first planting season of the year, it is possible to use only the secondary mount point to till the ground, distribute seed, and lay fertilizer for most common plants. If that is the case, a mode is available to section off the storage section to increase holding capacity for seed and fertilizer. Only the Harvester-Variant Pracownik includes a wheeled rear section to support the additional component.

Clearing-Variant

As is to be expected, the Clearing-Variant Pracownik is designed to clear ground of obstacles. The primary mount point is used to mount a reinforced bulldozer blade on an articulated mount, permitting it to dig into the soil or even gravel a short distance. In addition, a heavy-duty winch is available to assist in pulling large, heavy objects, should the need arise. However, it lacks the ability to scoop with this mount. The secondary mount is used for a large scoop, the arm of which is equally reinforced. This is built to such specifications that it has sometimes been used to push boulders, other vehicles, or smash weaker objects, such as trees, which can then be removed. The tertiary mount point includes clearing equipment with rock grinder mounted raise and lower like wings. This configuration allows it to deploy the grinder permitting bushes, grasslands, and even small trees to be ground into small pieces in short order.

Excavation-Variant

The Excavation-Variant Pracownik is the most unique, with the tertiary mounts used only for stabilizing feet. The forward section of the Excavation-Variant is an articulated scoop mounted to the front of the chassis. This is configured in such a way that it can get the edge deep into the dirt and continue to push its way down through the dirt, quickly creating ramps or cutting away the tops of hills. The rear includes a massive drill-and-scoop mount to clear heavy rubble or hardened deposits of stone or minerals, as well as a ultra-heavy-duty winch capable of dragging several hundred tons directly behind the machine before the mount fails. The drill can be withdrawn to allow the scoop full articulation for digging, or they can be used together to drill away at mineral deposits, catching discarded segments in the scoop. Alternatively, the scoop can also be folded back to permit drilling to up to 5 meters deep.

Ammunition Color Codes

Among the Huerdaen, there are a number of conventions which are followed. Due to the sheer number of rounds available, anything from the small rounds used in the Hellfire, to the massive, anti-ship rounds fired from a warship's spinal, are color-coded for purpose. Sometimes, these codes are mixed, indicating a multi-purpose round. This mixing is performed by creating multiple bands of color, moving from the nose to the rear of the round, indicating both the round's purpose, and in which order the round performs these functions. The famous Scattershot round fired from a warship's spinal, for instance, bears rings of Yellow, Black, and then Red, from nose to tail and the new 12.7x120mm HCS is marked a simple black-then-brown. Recent attempts to reduce the logistical footprint on the HSE armed forces have standardized munition sizes as well, allowing almost all standard ground combat weapons to fit into seven standard bores: 5mm hyper-velocity rounds, 12.7mm chemical rail-assist, 20mm rail, 40mm chemical, 60mm chemical, 105mm rail, 120mm rail, and 155mm rail.

Red: A nuclear round.
Black: An Armor-Piercing round.
Yellow: A canister, shot, or cluster munition.
Blue: Rounds which incorporate a singularity (ISN) or energy burst (IMN, Imperial Shield) warhead.
Brown: A high explosive round.
White: An incendiary round.
Green: A Hyper-Velocity round.
Violet: An anti-matter round.
Last edited by Huerdae on Fri Oct 08, 2021 9:02 am, edited 29 times in total.
The Huerdaen Star Empire is an FT Nation.

Xiscapia wrote:It amused her for a time to wonder if the two fleets could not see each other, so she could imagine them blindly stabbing in the dark, like a game of tag, if tag was played with rocket launchers in pitch blackness.
[17:15] <Telros> OH HO HO, YOU THOUGHT HUE WAS OUT OF LUCK, DID YOU
[17:15] <Telros> KUKUKU, HE HAS REINFORCEMENTS
[17:15] <Telros> FOR TELROS IS REINFORCEMENTS MAN

Rezo wrote:If your battleship turrets have a smaller calibre than your penis is long, you're doing it wrong.

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Huerdae
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Postby Huerdae » Fri Jun 07, 2013 1:48 pm

The Imperial System of Law

The Imperial System of Law was initially created as only the Imperial Code, a set of laws that governed the people of the Empire. Under the original founding tenants of the Code, enforcement was left to the local militias, as well as investigations. The idea was to allow local and independent colonies a large degree of freedom, as well as account for what was seen as 'the greater good' of a settlement, where some laws may be broken but forgiven with the proper amount of support among the populace. In practice, however, this 'ideal' setup broken down into a series of witch hunts and mafia-style gang settings in the outskirts of the Empire, forcing the creation of the Imperial Force and the Imperial Gaze.

The Imperial Force and its Duties and Limitations

In simple terms, the Imperial Force is the 'police' of the Star Empire. They're the most visible part of the system of Law, and are the only part of the Law System that are visible in everyday life. They have at their disposal weapons, armor, and manpower, in addition to vehicles and even aircraft or spacecraft depending on their jurisdiction.

The Founding of the Imperial Force

The Imperial Force were founded in response to initial law breaking down in favor of lynch mobs, witch hunts, and mafia control. It was a centralized point which could report to higher authorities if there seemed to be unlikely or excessive use of the law as a weapon in a specific area. Its initial conception included patrols and 'mundane' events, such as traffic or robbery, but the small numbers of Imperial Force, in addition to the high demands set upon them, resulted in extremely low response percentages. In truth, it left the Huerdaen to fend for themselves, with less than 5% of crimes being responded to before the crime had been completed. This increased personnel requirements further. Riots required a high level of gear and training, so each member of the Force was a significant investment on the part of the Star Empire, between time, training, and operation. For this reason, the Force almost failed before it had truly begun, nearing disbandment three times in the first five years of its operation.

The Duties of the Imperial Force

Over time, the extreme requirements upon the Imperial Force caused their role to evolve. Their poor response in regard to issues forced them to evolve their doctrine to determine truly valuable response. In doing so, the Force pushed themselves out of the line of simple 'police' and into the line of a fast-response group dedicated to a few specific circumstances. Violent crime and rape are their main duties, while they also act as customs officials on the Imperial borders. However, those who act as Customs officials are often recently inducted into the force, using the position as a stepping point to determine what abilities each new member has available to them. Some never leave these 'entry level' positions, while others proceed quickly into more dangerous roles where their skills may save lives. Because of these duties, the Force became even more heavily armed and armored, equipped with the Hades cannon and power-assisted exoskeletons in case of riots. Their response to violent crimes increased to nearly 80%, making them effective at preventing permanent damage and loss of life in the Empire, without stretching themselves thin on such matters as mundane sentinels of the law, they became strictly enforcers.

The Limitations of the Imperial Force

These advantages, however, came with a price in terms of jurisdiction. They are no longer allowed to interfere, even if present, in a theft or robbery unless life is in danger. This has several times caused great conflict with the Force, as they request time and time again to be permitted to take action against laws being broken. However, time after time their jurisdiction is upheld as-is. The Force is no longer seen or trusted as a daily event in the lives of Huerdaen. There is no need for armed force to patrol the stations or cities, as much as there is a need to provide a presence. Any attempt to widen their jurisdiction decreases their presence in regard to the events which are truly important, which can directly affect lives or major trauma. As such, the Force has become a specialized, quick-moving team. The Shield's Youth Militia, on the other hand, is often given permission in some cities and stations to warn off or capture perpetrators, using the young, up-and-coming to maintain order as well as respond to emergencies. As such, the militia units and youth militia serve as the first line of defense for the People of the Star Empire, while the Force is more directly related to a control should an issue begin to get out of hand. The Imperial Force is incapable of beginning an operation on their own, nor are they able to take direct action except in case of violent crime. Their duty is to report all minor crimes to the Imperial Gaze, that these 'lesser' affronts may be handled properly.

The Imperial Gaze and its Duties and Limitations

Far less visible in the daily running of the Star Empire, the Imperial Gaze is simply a series of detectives, data analysts, and office workers who manage all the data gathered throughout the many installations of the Star Empire. They are no traditional policemen, showing up to work in uniform and bearing a badge and cuffs. Instead, they're a different approach to investigation. Very few ever set foot at an actual crime scene, instead using digital recreations, first-hand cyber-logs, or surveillance data to recreate the complete picture of what happened.

The Founding of the Imperial Gaze

With the arrival of the Force, minor crimes became far more simple to perpetrate. Even minor planning was able to easily overwhelm the small numbers of Force personnel present in any location, causing distractions that could sometimes result in improper information, biased responses, or even outright violent crime being committed without any knowing. The Gaze was formed to combat this, with legions of workers to sift through the data and determine not the fault or guilt, but those involved and the likely order of events. They are the ones who draw the pieces together, acting as detectives and performing almost all foot work across the Star Empire. They have no end of Jurisdiction in an investigation, and are able to 'chase' a suspect through many stations or planets to gather the proper information to conclude their investigation.

The Duties of the Imperial Gaze

Often wrongly classified as the 'secret police' of the Dread Empire, the Gaze is far from such an obscure structure. Their jurisdiction consists of data and information, and with each crime reported, each object stolen, a small number of professional forensic workers and surveyors arrive at the scene, catalog the data, and carefully clean up any evidence so as not to allow evidence to be misplaced. They catalog, classify, and analyze with the focus of a group of dedicated investigators. They are not operatives or field agents, and instead focus their attention on obtaining and presenting evidence. When they have completed their task of analyzing, they are expected to present the evidence before the Imperial Code, that it may be determined how to proceed. They provide what information they can, create a list of suspects and witnesses who would need to be detained, and often never set foot in a trial chamber. Many investigations, due to footage or confessions, never require a trial, and these mundane issues are put to rest solely by the Imperial Gaze and their quiet desk work, ending in fines or minor reparations, as required by local government.

The Limitations of the Imperial Gaze

Due to their access and ability to gather information, the Imperial Gaze needs to be severely limited for the privacy of citizens and residents of the Star Empire. They are unable to initiate their own investigations, and all access needs must be logged, including reasons and case numbers. The only way an investigation may begin is through civil (by a resident, citizen, or Force member) report. The Gaze runs very much like an institution of advisers or scribes, making recommendations and analysis, but having no direct influence. Because of this, many see the Gaze as a group of bureaucrats who have little to do with actual law. In some ways, this is not far off. Their duty has never been to interpret law, or to determine its meaning. They have no place in a court room naming their opinions or attempting to determine motives. Instead, their duty exists solely in recreating events or poring through information for relevant items to assist in the gathering of information. Some who are less familiar with their duties joke that they are 'Interns of the Law', unable to make any difference and simply slaving away before their desks. They are, however, a pivotal cog, separating the enforcers from interpretation of the law.

The Imperial Code and its Duties and Limitations

The final piece of Huerdaen Law, the Imperial Code is another group of specialists who specialize in various layers of law interpretation, meaning, and sentencing. They serve as both judge and jury, and closely involve themselves with the trials that result from both the Gaze and Force. Distanced from crime by the court room, and concealed behind text and closely monitored by the Gaze, the Code pass down the ruling of the law.

The Founding of the Imperial Code

It was immediately clear that while the Force could protect, and the Gaze could investigate, neither had the facilities or experience to truly conduct a trial. Their specialization meant that they were unable to properly interpret the laws or determine what no longer was suitable. As such, the Code was born. Consisting of jurors and judges, the Code is both separate and included in the Star Empire. While serving a function of the state, they're still unable to vote or take advantage of the rights of a citizen until they cease to serve the Empire.

The Duties of the Imperial Code

Primarily jurors, the code also serve as judges for distant trials. Unwilling to submit themselves to the law of distant men, jurors are chosen from the same or nearby systems to sit in on a case, with any number between five and fifty jurors depending on the charge. Violent crime, rape, and other traumatic crimes require the full amount, while smaller events such as robberies, disorderly conduct, and civil infractions often have the minimum number. Once a crime is brought to trial, the Code conducts itself in a series of recorded sessions, performing all interactions with the accused through monitored text, and reviewing testimonies of Gaze investigators. Confessions are taken at this level, with clearly defined punishments for each crime that moderately reduce the sentence to entice confessions of the guilty. In addition, following each 'Not Guilty' verdict, all jurors involved are required to submit their impressions of the laws which brought the accused before them, so that laws which are no longer viable may be located and brought to vote by the People. The oddity of the duties of the Code is that the judge presiding over the trial is expected to take part in the execution of the sentencing. In this way, they are kept 'close' to their own duties. The gravity of their choices is impressed upon them through this act, and for this reason, many judges are hesitant to order executions, as they then become the executioner.

The Limitations of the Imperial Code

Code Jurors are not permitted to directly converse with the accused, and almost all information is provided over secure media. Judges are not permitted from nearby systems, instead relying on overall Imperial Law to sentence, while local jurors are used to determine guilt. They are not permitted to interrogate, and may not offer deals or negotiate. Information provided to them always comes from Gaze of Force reports, and Jurors are kept concealed from each other until after the trial has completed. Their votes are always on record and available, though access to who made which vote is sometimes concealed should Gaze reports indicate additional danger may be present, though always with clearly defined limits. This information is concealed regardless of Code requests, and is completely out of their control. They cannot initiate investigations, or provide direct orders to Force units. Instead, their requests are sent through the Gaze, who then examine the request for Force involvement. This includes deployments to apprehend subjects, as a Gaze investigation must first have been completed before any arrests may be completed. If no such investigation was made, the Code may not initiate such an investigation, and the request is invariably denied.
The Huerdaen Star Empire is an FT Nation.

Xiscapia wrote:It amused her for a time to wonder if the two fleets could not see each other, so she could imagine them blindly stabbing in the dark, like a game of tag, if tag was played with rocket launchers in pitch blackness.
[17:15] <Telros> OH HO HO, YOU THOUGHT HUE WAS OUT OF LUCK, DID YOU
[17:15] <Telros> KUKUKU, HE HAS REINFORCEMENTS
[17:15] <Telros> FOR TELROS IS REINFORCEMENTS MAN

Rezo wrote:If your battleship turrets have a smaller calibre than your penis is long, you're doing it wrong.

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Postby Huerdae » Tue Jun 24, 2014 1:53 pm

Creatures and Living Things of the Star Empire

While the many types of humans, the Kaskans, the Ikittitl, and even the rare Nogitsune are well known as members of the Star Empire, these are not the only creatures that exist. Anything from the crawling creatures in the vents of ships, to the pirate-raised Karkouah exist within the boundaries of the Huerdaen Domain. Always under the shadow of the Dread Empire, they exist as neither friend nor foe, and are seen as a part of life. These are the races that exist in and around the Star Empire that have proven themselves of note.

Nationalized Sentient Species and Cultures

There's a wide variety of species and nations that have, over time, found their way into the Star Empire as citizens and residents in significant numbers. To outsiders, they are all 'Huerdaen', but internally many groups find their interests at odds with others in the Star Empire. The many species and peoples interact in a generally safe, but competitive, environment of political maneuvering that is the civil government and everyday life. They vie for positions in government and business like any other culture, and are known to have a surprising amount of acceptance of the many cultures out of necessity.

Huerdaen (Human)

While the term 'Huerdaen' applies to all species and peoples of the Star Empire, it is also an existing nation, the one which started the Empire in the first place. Huerdaen are recognizable by their shorter size, averaging a mere 5'2", though those from the homeworld still match many human standards, with an average male height of 5'8" and female height of 5'7". They often have dark hair, arched eyebrows, and small but long noses. Their eyes tend to be very slightly larger than average, though this is often less noticable.

Due to their diet and history, they're often very gaunt and thing-looking, with lean muscle instead of bulk muscle being most common. This gives them a small, unassuming appearance, despite the augmentations which are always present. This gives the small humans an average weight of 125 kilograms, noticably above their appearance. Their eye colors tend toward browns and blues, though they also sometimes are born with a very striking, pronounced green. This is a gene present in all Huerdaen, so it is possible with any children, and is treated as a culturally favorable trait.

Commonly seen as gruff and unapproachable, the Huerdaen see themselves as focused and driven, going about life with a singular purpose in every facet of their lives. They have a tendency to take everything to the extremes, from their work ethic to the parties that never quite seem to end. Every layer of their life is full of a driving focus that makes them an intimidating group to approach, as they're often rapidly moving from one task to another.

In areas Huerdaen are dominant, life is often rushed and loud, full of music and life. Their art tends to be direct and clearly defined, lacking a lot of the subtleties of other cultures.

Pankrees (Human)

A stark contrast to the Huerdaen, the Pankrees induction into the Huerdaen nation was the moment it became the Huerdaen Star Empire. Their height, after interbreeding with Huerdaen colonial groups, averages approximately 5'4", meaning most Pankrees serve in the Star Navy instead of the Shield. Those with Pankrees blood maintain the same dark hair as the Huerdaen, though theirs tends to be straight and thin, instead of thick like those of Huerdaen descent.

They're most recognizable among other Huerdaen by their epicanthal fold, which has remained distinct despite interbreeding with other groups. Among all the human nations of the Star Empire, the Pankrees are often considered the most respected. They are stereotypically calm and collected, and slow to anger, prefering a lifestyle of measured flow and balance to the frenzied power and thunder of Huerdaen living.

Human (Ataster, Tribal, Babylonian, Razonite)

Kitsune (Xiscapian)

Most Kitsune in the Star Empire are descended from Xiscapian immigrants or interactions. As such, they tend to show the same species variations as their ancestors, though there is technically a 'Huerdaen' Kitsune that is created by the slow mixing of these different species, they are currently less common. They do have a wide range of colors and abilities, and the Star Empire considers them all as a whole as parts of the Kitsune population.

There are six main species of the kitsune genus. Though they share many of the same overall qualities the species have subtle differences as well. It is thought that this is due to their original habitats on Old Xiscapia, with the variations in subspecies accounted for as adaptations to their given biomes. Each of the species can crossbreed and often do to produce hybrids of various kinds. Non-Xiscapian kitsune, such as Sennai, do not appear to share the same species.

The basal metabolic rate of the average kitsune is proportionally much higher than that of other species; in one case study two individuals with the same lean body mass of 43 kg, one kitsune and one vulpine (abhuman) humanoid, had BMRs of 1790 kcal/day (7.5 MJ/day) and 1075 kcal/day (4.5 MJ/day) respectively. This difference of 715 kcal/day (67%) is equivalent to the kitsune subject completing a 10-kilometer run every day, resulting in quick-burning fat and increased hunger. Related to this, kitsune have robust livers which are responsible for high levels of glucose and red blood cell production, resulting in relatively high levels of energy, and sophisticated drug metabolism that is extremely effective at detoxifying most substances. This enhanced liver also gives them better protection against disease due to storing abundant substances (glucose, vitamin A/D/B12/K, iron, copper, etc.) and an enlarged mononuclear phagocyte system responsible for immunological effects.

The Vulpes Kasai species can be identified by their orange fur pattern, which is often mixed with shades of white and black. This orange can range in shade from ruddy to rusty-colored and sometimes dips into red, with white and black accents that usually manifest themselves along the ends of limbs and extremities. Vulpes Kasai are sometimes thought of as being representative of all kitsune, but they are in fact no more common than the other species. They are however thought to be the most basal of the genus. Tests have borne out that Vulpes Kasai have slightly higher nominal body temperatures than the other kitsune species, and this higher critical temperature gives them more endurance. Compared to the other species their blood contains higher levels of plasma with reduced blood viscosity and increased cardiac output, and their heart rates are slower than average. This makes oxygenation more efficient. Levels and size of mitochondria, myoglobin and oxidative enzymes are all increased as well, and their muscles have better glycogen and fat storing capabilities, making them more efficient and resistant to fatigue. Vulpes Kasai are thought to have originated in the forests of Old Xiscapia.

The Vulpes Yama species can be identified by their grayish fur pattern. This often includes black, particularly in stripes along the back and tail and at the tail tip, though the shading can vary from very light gray to silver to nearly black. Vulpes Yama are noted for their very strong claws and exceptional balance even by kitsune standards, lending them surefootedness that allows the species better natural climbing abilities than others. That same sense of balance makes Vulpes Yama natural gymnasts and the most graceful of all kitsune. Because of this they also tend to be more daintily-built than other species, with proportionally longer arms and legs. Vulpes Yama seem to have come from the mountains and highland forests of Old Xiscapia.

The Vulpes Seishin species can be identified by their usually white fur pattern. Along with their Vulpes Kukan cousins they are most likely to have coats that are one solid color; when they do have multiple colors they are most often in shades of gray or black. While the bodies of most Vulpes Seishin adapt quickly to changes in temperature, very swift or unexpected changes, or extreme stress, can cause the kitsune’s fur to temporarily turn brown or steely blue-gray. This can result in Vulpes Seishin being mistaken for kitsune of the Vulpes Chikyu or Vulpes Kukan types. Testing has also borne out that Vulpes Seishin have on average the quickest reflexes of any of the kitsune species.

The bodies of Vulpes Seishin tend to be rounder than those of other kitsune species. This was to originally prevent heat loss, but in modern practice tends to lend more muscle mass to its tods and more voluptuous body types to its vixens. Additionally Vulpes Seishin fur tends to be very thick and lush, which has multiple layers and provides excellent insulation. A sophisticated system of countercurrent heat exchange in the furred paws of the species, along with generally compact bodies and shorter muzzles, legs and ears, gear the species towards retaining heat and maintaining a regular core temperature. They are also capable of walking across ice barefoot without ill effect. As a result Vulpes Seishin have a very high tolerance for cold and do not even begin to shiver until temperatures reach −70 °C (−94 °F). The species is hypothesized to have originated from the poles and extreme regions of Old Xiscapia.

The Vulpes Kukan species can be identified by their black fur pattern. Like the Vulpes Seishin type their coats are typically solid without variation or secondary colors, though they can have secondary hues which typically manifest as whites and grays. Vulpes Kukan tend to have shorter legs than the other species, coupled with smaller ears, stronger jaws and more robust body types. The presence of a unique haemoglobin protein in the blood of Vulpes Kukan enable them to tolerate higher levels of carbon dioxide than other species and indeed many non-kitsune, allowing them to reuse already-inhaled oxygen. This, along with naturally-occurring thermographic vision while in complete darkness, give credence to theories that ancient Vulpes Kukan made their homes deep underground.

The Vulpes Sanda is a species that can be identified by their tawny fur pattern. The coat of this type has some of the widest variations of any kitsune; colors range from tawny to rufous, frequently with black, white or silver markings, but are often creamy, gold or otherwise sandy in hue. Kitsune of the classification do not need any free water to survive, and their sense of balance and climbing abilities rival those of Vulpes Yama. Like Vulpes Seishin their paws are furred, which accounts for less traction on flat surfaces but allows them surefootedness on unstable ones and the ability to walk barefoot over burning sands. Their ears are the largest of any of the kitsune species, and help dissipate heat as well as give them the best hearing of the kitsune types.

Trained individual Vulpes Sanda have proven to be highly adept at finding water by smell, including aquifers belowground. Similarly, they can detect subterranean movement with their ears alone. Strong leg bones and robust muscles mean that individual Vulpes Sanda are capable of jumping up to twice their height upwards and four times that in any direction if given a sufficient running start. Vulpes Sanda are also the only kitsune subspecies who make feline-like purring noises when they are content, in pain or attempting to appear non-threatening. They are thought to have inhabited the desert and steppe regions of Old Xiscapia.

The Vulpes Chikyu species can be identified by their brown fur pattern. Exact shade and hue vary widely, from earthen to mocha-colored. While they can be solid-coated the subspecies has a tendency towards mixing colors; white or creamy colors sometimes appear on the interior of the body, reddish markings can often be found around the ears, eyes and legs, and agouti fur is common. Melanism is rare but has been reported, resulting in confusion with the Vulpes Kukan species.

The coat of the Vulpes Chikyu is thinner than that of most other species, including guard hairs over down, as well as increased body fat. Uniquely, they are capable of using the muscles in their noses and ears to close off those passages to the flow of water. Members of the species have a high tolerance for lactic acid and carbon dioxide, enabling them to work effectively while holding their breath. Their tolerance for pressure at depth is similarly higher, with collapsible lungs and rib cages and limited nitrogen absorption. Chikyu have specialized kidneys that produce urine that is high in salt content, as they are capable of surviving on salt water. These adaptations, along with a strong, thick tail and smaller, more oxygen-efficient lungs with high blood volume levels, have led scientists to speculate that the Vulpes Chikyu dominated the coasts of Old Xiscapia and may have fished via swimming in the world’s cold seas.

Kitsune in the Star Empire are known to be belligerent, purposefully rebelling against most of the expectations that are pressed on them by the Galaxy. This, mixed with the forward and confrontational culture of the Huerdaen have caused most Kitsune in the Star Empire to be seen as standoffish and violent. While this does not mean they are any less open about their feelings when they decide to be, it does mean that they are somewhat more likely to respond aggressively against those they do not know. This, and the unifying rebellion against these stereotypes mean that Kitsune often spend their social time in groups, leading to the stigma that Huerdaen Kitsune form violent gangs. The truth is as always far simpler, in that it is merely a common cause that brings understanding and smooth interactions. This leads them to becoming mutually protective. Those who have earned the trust of Kitsune, however, will quickly find that they are invariably loyal, and often quick to step up against any odds for those they care about.

Rethast (Non-Pathogenic or 'True')

Kaskans

Ikittitl

Sikissa

Kisians

The Kisians are a bipedal race of anthropomorphic felines hailing from their homeworld of Kastia. Kisians natively refer to themselves as 'Kaishiyonsen', or 'People of Lower Heaven', with Kisian being a corruption of the term by foreign traders, which has since stuck as the name they are known as outside of their native land. They are a rather insular and traditional people, not having spread much beyond the stellar borders of their home country historically; nor do they care very much for what lies beyond it, save for those intrepid spirits who found that a life of exploration and trailblazing was for them.

As a species, the Kisians are divided into several different ethnic groups, each with their own history and customs. There are some general characteristics they all share, however. Kisians tend to be tall, with heights ranging from 6'5" to 8'10", though the average male height is around 7'5", with the average female height being about 7'0". Gender dimorphism leads to males having more muscularity and general body strength while females possess bigger secondary sexual characteristics in permanent mammaries, wider hips, and the ability to emit purring tones beyond their adolescent years. They all possess prehensile claws and tails, with eyes naturally attuned to low-light vision, and excellent hearing. Eye colors tend to run in shades of red, green, blue, and dark purple in decreasing commonality. Purple eyes are seen amongst most kisians as a sign of some form of noble blood. Kisians tend to live around a century on average, at most a century and a half.

Fur colors also run the gamut, but tend to take on such shades of browns, tans, blacks, greys, and so on. Fur of a pure white tone is also seen as being of Imperial blood (as opposed to just higher ancestry) and as such is exceedingly rare today, outside of intentional dyeing. Most have fur of a single tone, though striped and spotted type furs can also be seen amongst them. As the seasons change, so too does their fur. During the hotter summer months, Kisian fur is thinner, coarse, and sport lighter color shades. During colder months, the fur becomes extremely thick and poofy, and is a darker shade, with transitional months being a mix of thinner or thicker fur, and light and dark shades, depending if it's warmer or colder outside. Kisians can also sport head and facial hair, usually a complimenting shade of their main fur color, though sometimes it is a different color entirely.

Culturally, the Kisians are a conservative and deeply spiritual people, with family structures based around immediate and extended family connections called 'Households' (or Clans, though this has markedly Imperial-era connotations). They have extensive concepts of personal and familial honor, and many are driven by keeping this personal and familial honor intact. They are also a very warlike and argumentative people, yet deeply nationalistic and generally united around dying if need be for their homeland. They do place great emphasis on social harmony and group cohesion however, being a more collectivist rather than individualist oriented society. Norms and rituals also play a great part in the Kisian culture, these things linking them with their spirits and gods, and keeping all things ordered in the eyes of Heaven.

The Kisians that have moved to the Star Empire are a group that have been forced or chose to walk away from those values. While a large number still hold to their Clans (a term in use in the HSE, as the primary founding groups in Huerdaen Kisians were from the Imperial Era), many others have taken to gathering their own clans of like-minded Kisians to rebuild their structure out of necessity. This change from tradition is due to the fact that many who arrived in the Star Empire did so alone, without family structure. Competition for promising new members has become heated, with some new traditions rising out of the mixing of clan and household traditions in these new family units.

The strongest of these clans is the Mitokura Clan, a particularly wealthy clan forced out of Imperial Kisia during the rise of the current government. More conservative than many of the other clans they're against, they do not incorporate new members into the clan, which has worked against them slightly in recent years. Their primary competitors for influence are the Misaki Clan, and the Onibi Clan. With their entrenched economic power, the Mitokura Clan is easily the richest, using this power to retain control of the local government. However, the Misaki clan uses a white crane with outstretchd wings as a symbol and has become increasingly able to threaten this control with their policies of gathering and adopting particularly promising candidates, and using the large number of capable individuals to slowly outmaneuver Mitokura with patience and skill. The Onibi Clan uses a black flame as a symbol and is a group gathered together out of those rejected by most others. At first little more than a joke, it became a leading power in the local underworld, making use of skills the other two more 'upstanding' clans would not dare use and taking part in businesses that are risky or distasteful to the others. It is Onibi Clan that runs the brothels and gambling dens, and their black flame is so common on buildings and uniforms that it is nearly impossible to locate actual members of the Onibi clan, helping keep their mysterious leadership out of the public eye.

Kadrians

Alversians

Alumina

Escans

Cervain

Non-National Sentient Species

Some species exist in the shadow of the Star Empire without drawing its military forces to them. Chief among them are the Karkouah, but they are by no means the limit to the Star Empire's less advanced neighbors. Sometimes ignored, sometimes used as workers, every one of these nations finds itself impacted by the great power looming over their home.

Karkouah

The Karkouah are carnivorous and with only limited stellar travel, the Karkouah reached space too late to truly compete as an interstellar nation. They managed to piggyback their way to the stars aboard the ships of older, more established nations, however, infesting much of the Delta Quadrant with pirates, mercenaries, and colonies. They alternate between scavenging meat from the dead and actively hunting, making them capable pirates. They live approximately 40 years, and are vaguely humanoid. The top of their head, down their neck and shoulders, and over their back and the backs of their legs are armored by chitinous plates, able to protect against most blades or bludgeoning weapons, but not nearly hard enough to protect against weapons-fire. They have a four-fingered hand, with a long, well-muscled, thumb half-way up the fore-arm which allows them to grab otherwise large and unwieldy objects more easily, but makes smaller objects difficult to manage.

The first appearance of the Karkouah is not accurately recorded, nor is their actual point of origin known. Instead, they come from the unruly sector between the IStaR and the HSE, and have expanded due to their particular capabilities into space with a voracious and unstoppable thirst for expansion. Many serve as low-level mechanics or thugs, and most lack the higher understanding to use what other civilizations would consider modern equipment, but they are by no means dumb. This lack of intelligence instead is due to the complete lack of order that being uplifted caused, breaking down their own society into little more than pirate gangs and warlords, making education secondary, and only when absolutely required. Their own technology is crude, little more than rugged slugthrowers, but they are numerous and easily bought for almost any job.

The reason for this is their reproductive cycle. Unlike many species which mate now for recreational purposes, Karkouah mate for mere survival. Their bodies are designed to shut down after several months of sexual inactivity, and they begin to simply decay from within should this need not be fulfilled. For this reason, they are forced to procreate, and as they spread through ships and the galaxy, they show no signs of slowing down. If anything, the recognizable Karkouah pirate is becoming more and more common, inside the Delta Quadrant and beyond.

The process for reproduction is, thankfully, unpleasant. The female's body has a soft, fleshy gap in the armor placed roughly between her legs, where the abdomen is exposed. The male's penis is tipped by a rigid barb that penetrates this opening, leading directly into the egg sac of the female. This process is a significant flesh wound, and is particularly painful for the female. Instinct causes the female at this time to fall inert, and chemical processes paralyze the female during this time. Inside her carapace, the female carries an egg sac that contains accumulated flesh, fatty deposits, and excess sugars that are deposited over the course of the female's life. The act of sex pumps ejaculation into the penis, causing it to bloat and distend, making it impossible to remove from the female. This bloating causes series of ridged spines to extend from the sides of the penis to tear at the egg sac's walls. Once the leathery sac has ruptured, the female's body responds, clamping the abdomen plates together violently. This shears off the male's penis entirely, and causing the gathered seed to spill into the egg sac. This seed is carried in a highly acidic fluid that begins the digestion of both the penis and the gathered tissues within the female's abdomen.

At this time, the act is complete. If enough of the female's eggs have been fertilized, they will be ejected within two to five days from her body through the same entrance point, causing it to once more rupture. This is the healthiest outcome for the female, and her body goes through a purging process to ensure the broken down fat, sugars, and deposits are cleansed and deposited with the eggs. Females habitually deposit this pile in the shade, and it has a notable stench that makes Karkouah habitations easily recognized to those who are familiar with the scent. Over time, the outer layer of this hardens as the acid becomes inert, creating a shell over the egg cluster. Within, anything from 20 to 150 eggs may have been fertilized, and will hatch within six months. The creatures that hatch are capable of scavenging for food and are fully mobile. Even if only a few survive to sexual maturity at one year, it means that in less than a decade tens of thousands of Karkouah may inhabit the world in ideal conditions.

Over time, the penis of the original male will regenerate, and the process starts again. If the eggs are not fertilized, the female carries the fleshy remains of the penis and egg sac within until her next attempt to reproduce, when it will spill out in a rotting mass when her abdomen is punctured.

Pests

Like many nations across many galaxies, the Huerdaen have proven unsuccessful in removing every pest or parasite that plagues their civilization. Indeed, as they have grown, so have the annoyances that torment them, evolving into the new world that has been created aboard starships, stations, and new worlds. Each has adapted their own way of surviving aboard ships with the daily roving danger of ACMe-BA and the endless life aboard a warship, and they create their own, small ecosystem within the ship's small vents, a reminder that even the void of space cannot overcome a species determined to survive.

Blueback Beetle

Named for their distinctive shell color, bluebacks are an infestation that the Huerdaen are forced to endlessly combat. One of the first truly successful pests to exist on Huerdaen ships, the bluebacks have evolved beyond the realm of nature to truly adapt to their environment. The blueback has a mouth that is designed to chew through the insulation Huerdaen use on wires, using that to help create their carapace. While rigid and providing less protection than a carapace of other beetles, the bluebacks have the unique capability of being shielded from electric shock because of this unique process, which also makes them significantly resistant to most of the Star Empire's counters against them. They feed on the organic matter that finds its way into the vents of the ship, including dust and skin cells shed by the crew. Hair and other organic materials also provide them nourishment. They're also able to extract some energy with extremely low efficiency from a live electrical current, allowing them to survive for short periods without food or water. They are less than two centimeters long at adulthood, making them a tiny, if significant, threat.

Hercules Beetle

The most common predator on Huerdaen ships, the Hercules Beetle has evolved to hunt other pests that reside aboard their chosen homes. Large, with a body twenty centimeters in length, it is armored with a thick carapace and resilient body that make it a match for all but the defenses of the Huerdaen. Capable of hunting and killing even the black geckos, they move in small groups, but their movements can often be heard within the thin vents, steps echoing through the halls during quieter hours. The males are significantly smaller than females, and will fight each other for the right to mate. The females, with an abdomen the size of the entire male's body and bearing a smaller horn upon its face, carries the young and eggs within its body until they hatch, to protect them from the active countermeasures of Huerdaen ships. They have been known to make their way out of the vents during sweeps to clear out pests, and are capable of causing painful, though ultimately harmless, bites.

Ash Roach

The only winged species that has survived Huerdaen ships, it survives by generally avoiding the maelstrom of life that exists within the vent systems. Like most pests, they survive on dust, hair, and skin particles as well as blood or spilled sweat or water, and are capable of becoming dormant for long periods without sustenance, waiting for a moment to feed again. They maintain themselves often in corners or out of the way locations on a starship, including having been seen making their way into the zero-gravity loading areas of Huerdaen spinal weapons to avoid less mobile predators. They have strong mandibles to defend themselves, though these are not used for eating, instead trusting in a series of eight feeders to shovel food into their tiny mouths.

Royal Ant

The most insidious of pests, the royal ants build nests in the high corners of vertical vents, avoiding the worst of pest-control solutions available to the Huerdaen. They're organized and breed quickly, allowing them to run other pests out of whole sections of a ship in short order. They're also known to infest mess halls or any location they can get at slop rations quickly to break into the packaging and carry it away. When a ship suffers casualties among the crew or garrison, the royal ants are most often quick on the scene, harvesting the meat from the bodies and fiber or hair to grow the nest. When the hive is threatened they often relocate, and are known to carry their queen atop their backs for up to a kilometer to a new hive location.

Black Gecko

Sometimes called 'Imperial' Geckos, black geckos are the apex predator aboard Huerdaen starships. Purely carnivorous, the black geckos are extremely rare, to the point of many never having seen them, and are armed with long, prehensile tongues capable of snatching up bluebacks on the run, or ash roaches out of the air. They're both the largest, with an ancient specimen able to grow nearly forty centimeters long, and the most vulnerable of pests that survive the Huerdaen life. Being cold-blooded makes them particularly vulnerable to climate change, and often even short-term outages of life support in populated ship sections can cause their deaths. They are able to traverse sheer walls, making even a single such creature difficult to locate and are recognizable by their distinctive 'barking' when they reach adulthood and search for mates. Due to their tendency to live their lives entirely within the vent systems like most pests, this barking can carry over huge distances within a starship, though luckily the eggs they lay gestate for significant periods of time, making them vulnerable to the active cleaning systems of any Huerdaen ship.

Selcanrab

A strange organism without a known origin, Selcanrab is known to sometimes cling to the outsides of ships, creating a heavy film of organic material with a crusty shell. Very little is known about it, but it is a recognized hazard on ships that have been in service for extended periods, sometimes causing difficulties in airlocks or other sealing compartments. Some Huerdaen crews have taken to harvesting Selcanrab when rations run low and using it as a food source, though it is reportedly very tough and has a particularly unpleasant odor when cooked. The Star Empire is the only nation known to regard Selcanrab as a possible food source.

Suronne Mantrap

As the plant fiber itself is poisonous, Suronne farming is not restricted as it cannot be used in Slop Rations, permitting it to be a fully commercial investment. This means that Suronne farms are private enterprises, and as it is a subterranean plant, it can grow in almost any environment. The Suronne Mantrap itself grows to be as tall as fifteen meters, and creates a root network that spreads deep into the dirt, but also contains a vine network capable of spreading across even solid rock for for up to ten times the height of the tree. Some underground cave complexes on Pantos have Suronne Mantraps that are centuries old, and large enough to trap and kill creatures of surprising size. The Mantrap immobilizes its prey using highly toxic poisons, excreted along the surface of the plant. Small thorns, especially along the petiole on leaves but also present on branches and tree trunks, provide the toxin access to its prey.

Once immobilized, the vines that spread along the ground are capable of slowly 'creeping' over the prey creature, sheltering it from sight or predators as they excrete a gray fibrous sap that encases the creature, breaking it down to nutrients. It takes approximately half an hour for prey to be covered, and nearly three hours to be encased before digestion begins. During this time, the prey remains alive and conscious. Many Suronne groves are littered with bones, the only part of a creature that the Suronne Mantrap cannot consume. The marrow in these bones provides sustenance for the small Suronne Dragons, which live symbiotically with the Mantrap, and often build their nests and homes within a Mantrap grove. This brings hunting creatures into the grove, which then provide the Mantrap its food. The only product from a Suronne Mantrap is Suronne Mead, also called S&M. This is made off of the bioluminescent sap extreted by the leaves, starting at just over a meter off the ground, which serves as bait for the Mantrap's prey. It is sometimes called Dead Man's Mead due to the fact that in larger groves, being caught and killed by the plant is a legitimate danger, making the running of a Suronne Farm a possibly deadly, though highly profitable, affair. Death to a Suronne Mantrap is considered a horrible and terrifying fate, and was once used as a form of execution.

Suronne Dragon

A small lizard approximately 5 cm in length, it is a symbiotic creature that lives in Suronne groves, nesting in and around the bones of the Surrone Mantraps. While young, they provide small prey for the plant to grow. They exist primarily along the vine layer of the Mantrap, keeping away from the deadly thorns, and creating nests in the corpses the plant leaves behind. They eat bugs, fungus, and seeds, and do much of their hunting away from the Mantrap, providing its method of spreading, as well as providing fertilization through their waste, which they often pile just outside the vine layer, helping it spread and drawing in predators looking for prey.
Last edited by Huerdae on Tue Aug 20, 2019 7:31 pm, edited 8 times in total.
The Huerdaen Star Empire is an FT Nation.

Xiscapia wrote:It amused her for a time to wonder if the two fleets could not see each other, so she could imagine them blindly stabbing in the dark, like a game of tag, if tag was played with rocket launchers in pitch blackness.
[17:15] <Telros> OH HO HO, YOU THOUGHT HUE WAS OUT OF LUCK, DID YOU
[17:15] <Telros> KUKUKU, HE HAS REINFORCEMENTS
[17:15] <Telros> FOR TELROS IS REINFORCEMENTS MAN

Rezo wrote:If your battleship turrets have a smaller calibre than your penis is long, you're doing it wrong.

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Postby Huerdae » Mon Sep 29, 2014 3:06 pm

Unit Formations and Specializations in the Imperial Shield

One of the strongest advantages of the Imperial Shield over many of their enemies is the enforced adaptability of units and the way in which they're tied with a simplified logistics model. To avoid being too easily countered, the Shield follows a 1+3+1 model for their deployments. Every unit of every size includes a 'command' element, three 'standard' elements, and a 'specialist' element. Even as far down as a single infantry squad, this is visible in the Sergeant, three riflemen, specialist setup. Further up the scale in size, this comes to a much more diverse arrangement that follows the same model, with an enforced need for each regiment, division, and company to have a 'specialist' unit within it that consists of 1/5th its total number. For a company, this requires a platoon of specialists that cannot be of the same organizational model as the rest of the company. Each of these units, especially at the Regimental of Divisional levels, can fit into a 'higher' specialization following specific purposes following a variation on a parent unit type. Each of these higher specializations has a specific role to play in the Imperial Shield, and they are often made up of elite or veteran units to expand their operating efficiency. Formations and their classifications apply to regiment level units and larger, where smaller units use the same model for weapon specialization to increase the effectiveness of the unit. For each formation, the command element can be different from the standard formation classification, but it must be of the same formation type. Specialist units do not have this distinction, allowing them to provide wildly different capabilities to several formations of the same type. In each unit type, every squad is paired with a transport to increase their mobility in combat, allowing the Huerdaen to be particularly mobile, despite that fact that almost all vehicles have double or more the passenger capacity they require.

Light Infantry Formations

Light infantry units are often misunderstood as being the 'weakest' of the Imperial Shield units, but this is far from the truth. Lacking in traditional vehicular support and transport, they rely entirely on gunships for cover fire, and dropships for transport. This makes them extremely nimble, and unpredictable, but very reliant on a secure base of operations for resupply and rearmament. These units are often deployed with little on-site support, trusting in the gunships and their mobility to properly handle threats, but most units are armed with a disproportionately large number of anti-tank or anti-vehicle weapons to endure an enemy threat until support arrives. This makes them particularly deadly to an enemy that underestimates them, though their lack of armored support does make them a 'softer' target if their support elements cannot reach the location in time.

Aerial

The 'lightest' of the Light Infantry, an Aerial unit consists almost entirely of gunships and other airborne units. Sometimes incorporating Hellion-variant Talon gunships, they operate as an 'Armored Combat' Unit in terms of deployment model, with only 20% of their available infantry operating as combat personnel. Instead, they act as a strong airborne element to support nearby units. Many of these units also incorporate use of the Blackbird-Variant gunship as their unit specialists, to make use of its increased armor and carrying capacity to further increase their firepower and survivability in a heavy combat zone. Aerial units almost never act alone, most often being deployed in a large area to support nearby allied units in their objectives. The Infantry element used in support of Aerial units is often very specialized, dropping in during the attack and eliminating key targets before extraction. Only in the most dire circumstances will an Aerial unit remain for an extended engagement with the foe.

Reconnaissance

A 'Recon' unit is the second lightest of the Light Infantry units. One of the few Imperial Shield units not designed for direct combat, the Recon unit is more of a strategic advantage than a tactical combat unit. Incorporating a decreased number of gunships to decrease the likelihood of an enemy locating their force. Recon units most often deploy ahead of allied lines to determine and harass enemy forces, but often shy away from direct combat. Once deployed, they rarely make use of their gunships or dropship transports, except for resupply, and many will operate for months without significant resupply or re-arming, causing the Imperial Shield Recon units to often employ the mantra 'No Home, No Fear, No Survivors'. This is partially due to the tendency for enemy units who can isolate a Recon deployment to wipe them out completely, as it is often difficult or impossible to mount an offensive deep enough to relieve pressure and permit their escape from a dangerous or untenable position. They often make scheduled resupply runs to points behind enemy lines, leaving their gunships and dropships behind friendly lines, while the infantry operate as quietly as possible to maintain their cover. While Recon units rarely engage in direct combat, identification and elimination of enemy command elements are within their operational duties, and their heavy reliance on sniper or marksman Infantry makes them a very powerful asset in this role.

Skirmish

Like other Light Infantry units, Skirmish units deploy using dropships, but unlike other units, they deploy including heavy weapons in addition to gunships. Using the infantry-deployable Barca field gun carriage, gunships, and dropship transport, Skirmish units are used to interrupt enemy logistics and troop movements with hit-and-run assaults and brutal ambushes and then quickly relocate to avoid counter-attack. Like other light infantry units, however, they are always in danger of being isolated and cut off, though they have a greater ability to defend themselves even isolated due to their complement of heavy weapons. Like recon units, Skirmish units operate out of their dropships, though they often create a supply point using their large number of dropships from which they will operate, creating a small firebase behind enemy positions and using supplies kept on site to maintain their high level of firepower. They also serve as a first-response unit should an enemy breakthrough be located, allowing a quick officer to redeploy them quickly to shore up failing defenses or strike a blow at the flank of an attack to slow or divert its progress.

Heavy Infantry Formations

Generally what many think of when they think of the Imperial Shield, Heavy Infantry units are characterized by their heavy use of the Tonka halftrack, field guns, and other heavy gear. While they don't make use of armored vehicles to the same extent of other units, a Heavy Infantry company is no less dangerous. Their use of the Tonka makes them particularly mobile, despite the field guns they make heavy use of, but nowhere near to the level of Light Infantry units. Its ability to tow heavy weapons, however, means that a Heavy Infantry unit is generally the best armed unit in any given combat location, and the ability to re-task the same vehicle as a supply truck often means that they're just as often the best supplied as well. This makes them the ideal for holding a location that the enemy is likely to attack, and able to support nearby units with artillery, giving them a good range of influence despite their lack of aerial transport.

Motorized

Stuck between the mobility of the Light Infantry units and the firepower of Heavy Infantry units, Motorized units lack the field guns of most Heavy Infantry units, but instead are heavily supported by larger numbers of Tonka variants. Motorized units often have a large number of Minos-Variant Tonkas in support. This makes them more mobile than most Heavy Infantry, but also means that they're significantly better armed than Light Infantry, though their equipment is ill-suited to defensive action. Most often, Motorized units function as reinforcements or follow-up units in another unit's attack, supporting with their light vehicles and bringing heavy weapons to bear. Much like Skirmish units, Motorized units are best used at an enemy's flank, instead of attempting to face an enemy head-on, due to the Tonka's light armor and their vulnerability without their supporting vehicles. Despite this, they have proven pivotal in many actions and their ability to quickly employ heavy weapons and even use them on the move makes a Motorized unit difficult to engage without significant losses, and even more difficult to pursue or isolate and destroy.

Heavy Support

Also sometimes referred to as a 'Walker' unit, the Heavy Support unit is the only Heavy Infantry unit that does not include field guns or other traditional heavy weapons. Instead, their support elements consist entirely of Watchman walkers. This makes them ideal for base defense, boarding actions, or close environments where the Watchman's weapons are best served, and the Aegis Shield provides the greatest cover. They have also shown great success in sewers and other underground complexes like those used by Xiscapians. Most Heavy Support units have standardized the armored cockpit on their Watchman walkers, increasing the protection of the pilots, but this makes them little better protected on open ground. Due to the weapon limitations on the Watchman, and their ability to only move at Infantry speeds, Heavy Support units are generally seen as powerful, but slow, and vulnerable on open ground. They are particularly vulnerable to support fire in the form of artillery or strike craft, but in condensed environments, a Heavy Support unit can be almost unstoppable due to their ability to quickly maneuver with heavy weapons in an enclosed environment and take advantage of areas that armored or vehicular units find difficult to navigate.

Fire Support

The 'heaviest' and slowest of the Heavy Infantry specializations, a Fire Support unit makes use of the Atlas-Variant Tonka chassis to tow multiple field guns at a time, carrying large loads of ammo and supplies to strategic positions. Sometimes called an 'Artillery' unit, this is not always accurate, though they almost always do have this option. Because the Infantry and gun crews do not have dedicated transports, a Fire Support unit is one of the slowest formations in the Imperial Shield, rivaled only by Heavy Support units. Despite this, they have nearly two to three times as many field guns as any other Heavy Infantry unit, allowing the unit to become a firebase around which other units operate. Making liberal use of AAA field guns, Desecrator Artillery/Anti-Tank weapons, and Nebel artillery, the Fire Support unit is designed to have an extremely long range with devastating firepower.

Mechanized Infantry Formations

Characterized by the Kodiac Chassis vehicles, Mechanized units are some of the most common in the Imperial Shield. Armed with a mixture of all three variants, they are highly mobile, well-protected from strike craft, and capable of engaging enemy armor with their own tank-destroyer elements. A little slower on the attack than other Infantry units due to the fact that a Mechanized unit uses entirely tracked vehicles, they none-the-less can move very quickly, protected by the heavy fire from their well-armed transports. This, however, makes them vulnerable to enemy attack, so active combat units often walk alongside their supporting vehicles, slowing down movement significantly in combat zones. Because of the size of the vehicles, they don't function particularly well in a defensive posture, finding themselves better served falling back in most instances to avoid their vehicles becoming cut off or flanked. This mix of armor and infantry has served the Huerdaen well for as long as the Huerdaen nation has existed, and continues to be a preferred unit by many officers planning attacks.

Panzergrenadier

Considered the elite of the Mechanized units, Panzergrenadier units are recognizable by the high quantity of heavy weapons among the infantry elements. They are used to advance close to an enemy unit using their Oni fighting vehicles, and engage at blistering short ranges. Sometimes called 'breaching' units, they are well trained, well supplied, and often used in the vanguard of assaults, used to create breaches for other units to exploit. Rarely are they deployed in defensive positions, or into standard garrison duty. Sometimes called 'Glory Boys', Panzergrenadier units are often moved from one combat zone to another to make a breach, then resupply, then fight on an entirely different front to keep the enemy off balance. Because of this, they often maintain the highest losses as well as highest numbers of decorations in the Imperial Shield.

Close Assault

Close Assault units are a specialized infantry unit that functions as the very tip of the spear. Using the Kodiac-Variant almost exclusively, they make use of the Hades Cannon as a point defense weapon, as well as the articulated Aegis barriers to protect the vehicle and others near it, forming a phalanx of assault vehicles. With the upgraded engine and suspension, crews have been known to 'scrape' the shield along the upper layer of the ground to set off mines against the Aegis barrier. This, coupled with a disciplined, close formation assault is what makes a Close Assault unit ideal for piercing through otherwise 'impregnable' defenses. Armed with a vicious assortment of Medusa disruptors, Akki shoulder guns, and Nereid repeating rifles, they lay down withering fire with the repeating rifles, while launching brutal assaults on defensive positions supported by incendiaries, high explosives, and disruptor fire. Invariably every member of the Close Assault unit is carrying a Cerberus weapon system, as well as an abnormally large number of Gauntlet anti-tank weapons to force their way through even an armored defensive position. The Close Assault unit is particularly well known for the abundance of Medusa disruptors, which are, at best, uncommon in other units. However, due to the expected short range of the assault, they are ideal for situations in which the Close Assault unit finds itself, making it one of the most lethal formation types in the Imperial Shield. In longer ranged engagements they make use of the Kodiac-Variant's Hades cannons to suppress enemy fire until they relieve or move on. It is also common knowledge that Close Assault units carry a disproportionately large number of explosives and demo charges for use in clearing any obstacles their otherwise massive firepower could not already overcome.

Tank Hunter

Like Skirmish units, Tank Hunter units aren't properly designed to operate as a direct combat force. Unlike Skirmish units, Tank Hunters are organized like an Armored Combat unit, instead of an infantry units. Because of this, their combat-ready infantry element is decreased by almost 80%, instead focusing their efforts on the use and maintenance of Gravedigger Chassis. When they deploy for combat, following the Armored doctrines, they deploy in Armored unit 'platoons' of five vehicles, with the standard unit in these platoons being made up solely by the Gravedigger-Variant. In most cases, either the Specialist or Command vehicle is also a Gravedigger-Variant, allowing each platoon to bring a single infantry squad with them on deployment. These squads add their firepower to the platoon, using infantry support weapons such as manpacked Hades guns, or additional anti-armor weapons like the Vasily. Because of this heavy gear and their ability to move, it is one of the fastest units in the Imperial Shield, operating with a goal of destroying and moving on. Rarely does a Tank Hunter unit remain to annihilate their target, instead leaving them without mobility and disappearing to find another foe to attack.

Armored Combat Formations

Of the primary formations used by the Imperial Shield, the Armored Combat formation is the most unique. While it includes a Shield Infantry element, this element primarily consists of support staff and technicians, such that the actual Infantry only include approximately 20% the number in any other formation. Armored Combat units almost never deploy this infantry element, preferring to keep them in a defensive role, guarding the garages, maintenance gear, and supplies which they have in abundance. In rare instances the Infantry element will march out in support of the Armored element, often riding on the back of the tanks they support. While these formations can function on their own, the Shield has found that Armored Combat units are best used in support of other Light Infantry, Heavy Infantry, or Mechanized Infantry units. When a full Armored unit is deployed, it is faster, better armed, and better armored than any other standard unit formation in the Imperial Shield. However, due to the lack of Infantry and the size of the vehicles, none of these formations may serve as ship garrisons, making Armored Combat units unique in their role as 'attack' formations, rarely deployed in defense.

Infantry Support

Where Armored Combat units focus on longer range combat vehicles, the Infantry Support units focus heavily on assault and infantry suppression. As such, while the 'standard' vehicles in an Armored Combat formation are the Goliath Variant and Nightmare variants, the Infantry Support units replace those with the Cyclops or Nemesis variants, with the Tyrant-Variant Titan available for support, or command. In addition, an Infantry Support unit often makes use of its Infantry element to man artillery positions to provide additional support, making use of field guns to help suppress response forces. This mix of heavy armor, massive firepower, and supporting artillery makes the Infantry Support unit one of the most destructive units fielded by the Imperial Shield.

Engineer

Like the Infantry Support units, Engineer units field both vehicles and support units at the same time. However, in most of their roles, Engineers don't directly face combat. Their duties consist of more mundane duties, similar to Pioneer units, though further from the front line. For simplicity many Engineer units maintain a large number of field guns for artillery support, and many include Big Brother anti-orbital pieces in their arsenals for additional fire support. Engineer units are tasked with non-combat concerns regarding the battlefield itself, creating or destroying fortifications prior to combat, or laying minefields. In addition, they use their AVIE tanks clear a battlefield following combat to recover lost vehicles. On the rare occurrence they take part in battle directly, it is often in a heavy support role, using their demolitions skills to clear or destroy fortifications for other units to assault through. In these roles, they most often have very direct objectives, which they pursue with an almost obsessive single-mindedness, then withdraw. This has earned them respect from other units for completing objectives under fire, or alternatively for leaving while combat still rages, where their support could be sorely needed.

Heavy Armored

Built using the same model as an Armored Combat unit, a Heavy Armored Combat unit has exchanged their Goliath Chassis vehicles for Titan Chassis vehicles. These units are invariably made of Armored Combat unit veterans who have distinguished themselves in combat, earning their place as the best of the best of vehicle crews. Beyond the crew skill, infantry support is often highly disciplined as well, serving as escorts and guards to some of the heaviest gear the Star Empire has available for ground combat. Between the power and might of the Titan Chassis, the discipline and skill of the crews using them, and the support of the Infantry element in a Heavy Armored Combat unit, these units are some of the most powerful and terrifying to engage in any engagement. Making use of all variants of Titan chassis vehicles, they are more heavily armored than Infantry Support units and Engineering units combined, dwarfing all other Armored Combat formations in size, firepower, and armor.

Specialized Formations

Unlike other units, Specialized formations function without their own direct immediate support. Logistically separated from other groups, Specialized units are not traditional military units. In addition, unlike other formations, there is no overarching model for a 'standard' Specialized formation. Instead, it is a catch-all term covering units which are so specialized that they are unable to perform functions as both direct combat units and fulfill their own objectives. Instead, they operate with a higher authority and operational priority than other nearby units, often being allocated forces in the area to support, defend, and take part in their operations.

Strategic Fire

Strategic Fire units are specialists at operating their tools of war. Generally recognized in their use of massed numbers of Talos-Chassis vehicles, they also manage and organize high level use of artillery, strike craft, and ISN support. Strategic Fire control less than a tenth of the weapons they make use of in their operations, and are the smallest of the Specialized formations. It is said that Strategic Fire like to wage their wars from their offices, playing numbers and deciding lives on mathematical probability, and while not particularly flattering, the image is not completely incorrect. Ridiculed, disliked, and ultimately obeyed, Strategic Fire play the numbers as well as any gamblers that ever existed, but it makes them no friends.

Strategic Support

Best known for their maintenance, deployment, and operation of Xuan Wu vehicles, Strategic Support specializes in their defense and deployment, as well as using their many advantages to keep them safe. Very few officers are given the chance to serve in Strategic Support, and even fewer make the cut following the training provided. However, despite this, it is not a coveted position. Like many such positions, Strategic Support is given no room for error on their deployments. They also manage and operate the Big Brother positions not allocated to other units. In effect, Strategic Support operates the overall anti-orbital defense and operations of the Imperial Shield on large-scale combat theaters. They are one of the most loved units in the Imperial Shield, fearless against the unseen danger of enemy orbital fire, and willing to lay down their lives in defense of their comrades. If ever there were angels within the Shield, it is Strategic Support, watching over and protecting their fellows to the end.

Venik, Strategic Intelligence

Often referred to as simply Venik, the unit known as Venik, Strategic Intelligence is something of an unknown quantity in a nation that is bound to speak the truth when it speaks. However, unlike other units, the operations that Venik takes part in are often without explanation to the units taking part in them until after operation has been completed, or often until after the conflict which they take part in has been completed. Many of their operations are as obvious as collecting information on new enemy weapons and tactics. In addition, Venik manages the surgery, trauma, and hospitalization of badly wounded soldiers. In this way they often are the first to know about new weapons or dangers to face the Imperial Shield. Many of their operations make use of this information to attempt to predict future enemy acts. Past operations also involve chemical strikes against enemy units and the testing of new weapons. They've been known to task forces under their command to extract badly injured soldiers. These forces are often ordered to leave other forces in a location to protect the extraction. Actions such as these, make them as hated as their ability and willingness to heal makes them respected.
Last edited by Huerdae on Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:05 am, edited 23 times in total.
The Huerdaen Star Empire is an FT Nation.

Xiscapia wrote:It amused her for a time to wonder if the two fleets could not see each other, so she could imagine them blindly stabbing in the dark, like a game of tag, if tag was played with rocket launchers in pitch blackness.
[17:15] <Telros> OH HO HO, YOU THOUGHT HUE WAS OUT OF LUCK, DID YOU
[17:15] <Telros> KUKUKU, HE HAS REINFORCEMENTS
[17:15] <Telros> FOR TELROS IS REINFORCEMENTS MAN

Rezo wrote:If your battleship turrets have a smaller calibre than your penis is long, you're doing it wrong.

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Huerdae
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Postby Huerdae » Mon Sep 29, 2014 3:07 pm

Unit Formations and Specializations in the Imperial Star Navy

Combat Formations

Escort

Heavy

Specialist Formations

Command

Bombard

Carrier

Non-Doctrinal Formations

Transport

Rethast

Commonwealth
Last edited by Huerdae on Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:51 pm, edited 3 times in total.
The Huerdaen Star Empire is an FT Nation.

Xiscapia wrote:It amused her for a time to wonder if the two fleets could not see each other, so she could imagine them blindly stabbing in the dark, like a game of tag, if tag was played with rocket launchers in pitch blackness.
[17:15] <Telros> OH HO HO, YOU THOUGHT HUE WAS OUT OF LUCK, DID YOU
[17:15] <Telros> KUKUKU, HE HAS REINFORCEMENTS
[17:15] <Telros> FOR TELROS IS REINFORCEMENTS MAN

Rezo wrote:If your battleship turrets have a smaller calibre than your penis is long, you're doing it wrong.

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Huerdae
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Postby Huerdae » Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:51 pm

Imperial Commendations and Uniforms

Imperial Commendations

Huerdaen commendations are broken into a two part award, those of Honors and Accents, and titles. Honors indicate the level of participation in the commendation, and accents indicate the specific actions of the commendation. These are read first with the type of honor, then accent, then the theater. When multiple commendations are earned in a single theater of war, this is read with all honors and their associated accents first, then the listing theater. Titles are awarded for completing a series of achievements, often relating to active duty or destroying targets in a battle, operation, or theater. Titles are an older style of commendation and only Ace remains in use, though due to the respect afforded these individuals, no major initiative has been made to remove titles entirely. It is unclear yet if any additional titles will ever be added. Accents are awarded in two ways, for either command or service. Command accents can be identified by six accents around the inside of the commendation, whereas a service accent can be identified by four accents.

Ace

The title of Ace may be earned by causing the destruction of five or more enemy vehicles or aircraft in a single operation, or twenty in a single theater. This award is given to the entire crew of a vehicle that took part, though replacements are not awarded credit for their predecessor's actions. This can also be awarded to a soldier that gains a kill on an enemy command-level officer at greater than two kilometers with a single shot. Aces are rare in the Star Empire, and as such are often regarded with a great amount of respect.

Unity Honors

Unity Honors are used to apply a commendation to a unit as a whole. Actions which acquire Unity Honors are those which are completed as a team. A regiment holding a position against all odds would be considered for unity honors. Unity Honors are sometimes included in unit iconography for formal occasions where the unit is represented with full regalia. Unity Honors are signified by a circle in the center of the commendation.

Void Honors

Void Honors are used to apply a commendation to a single individual. Void Honors are the most likely to be awarded post-mortem, even above Imperial Honors, as those awarded Void are often doing so to save others in their unit. A lone or a few soldiers staying behind to allow a platoon or company to escape is a common situation where one or more Void Honors are awarded. It should be noted that a vehicle is considered an individual when awarding Void Honors, so a gunship crew or tank crew may be awarded Void Honors as a group, indicating a particular perspective in the eyes of the Star Empire in regards to such groups. This is, however, the only exception, and cannot be applied to a vehicle with more than five crew. Void Honors are signified by asmall, four-pointed star in the center of the commendation.

Imperial Honors

Imperial Honors are by far the least common, and extend to those who have acted above and beyond the call of duty to an extreme. Imperial Honors are rarely awarded post-mortem, indicating a preference in the Star Empire for a surviving soldier over a martyr. This makes their presence even more rare, with the only recent event in which any significant number of commendations was awarded being during Operation Iron God, the sabotage attack on the Destroyer Moon during the Exile War. That single operation doubled the total number of living recipients of Imperial Honors. Imperial Honors are signified by the golden chevrons in the center of the commendation.

Aggressive Accents

Aggressive accents are used to depict an offensive action that earned the commendation. Such actions are often a solo grenade attack on an enemy fortified location, or a bold attack ordered to disrupt an enemy unit. A command accent is referred to as 'Infernal', whereas a service accent is referred to as 'Fire'. Aggressive accents are signified by triangles, or 'teeth', directed inward toward the center of the commendation. The presence of multiple Infernal commendations is often viewed with suspicion, as some are known to trade the lives of their soldiers for glory.

Defensive Accents

Defensive accents are used to depict a defensive action that earned the commendation. Such actions are often a stubborn defense, or a holding action to protect another formation during a withdrawal. A command accent is referred to as 'Steel', whereas a service accent is referred to as 'Iron'. Defensive accents are signified by squares, or 'bricks', directed inward toward the center of the commendation.

Cunning Accents

Cunning accents are used to depict a particularly clever or quick-thinking action that earned the commendation. Such actions are often a sudden flanking maneuver to outwit an enemy or successfully identifying the enemy objective and responding to counter. A command accent is referred to as 'Shadow', whereas a service accent is referred to as 'Wind'. Cunning accents are signified by semi-circles, or 'clouds', directed inward toward the center of the commendation. The presence of multiple Wind commendations is often viewed with suspicion, as the soldier could be seen as wild or unpredictable.

Imperial Duty Uniform



Imperial Dress Uniform

The Imperial Dress Uniform is the same across all branches, with a difference in what cap is worn based of off the initial service into which the individual enlisted. For the Imperial Shield, a peaked cap is used, whereas the ISN uses a mere garrison cap. The IMN wear a forage cap, though their numbers are so few this tends to make them stand out most of all.

The majority of the uniform is in Dread Black, with no buttons or other acoutrements down the chest to break up the image. Instead, over the left breast is the iconography of the member's current unit and posting. For Shield, this is their unit markings and the position they're assigned, either the ship they're garrisoning, or the world they're stationed on. For ISN members, this is their ship and port of call.

Rank is depicted in gold, starting at the left shoulder, and working its way down the left arm. Theater markings, as well as commendations, go similarly down the right arm, again starting at the shoulder. Theater and commendation markings are listed starting with first the theater, which incorporates a circular opening in the center of the marking. Each commendation received in that theater is placed in its own opening, with the bottom half of the theater marking repeating until such time as all commendations are identified, and only then moving on to the next theater. These markings are listed in chronological order, starting with their first deployment at the top of their right shoulder.

In addition, each operation in which they participated earns them a golden link that starts at the top of the commendation markings. It is connected to the right side of the collar by a dull gray cord until such time as it reaches the middle of the front of the collar. This depicts the full combat experience of the individual, and for those who have had long, distinguished careers, can often loop back and forth several times, hanging lower and lower over the right breast each time.

An Ace is identified by a change in their collar from dread black to gold, allowing them to stand out as exceptional soldiers even among their peers. In addition, those who were deployed to a theater of war in the Youth Militia prior to joining one of the Arms are awarded a single golden stripe down the outside of each their pant legs.

The Imperial Dress Uniform also incorporates a sidearm at the right hip, and while it is officially not allowed, this is sometimes replaced by a blade instead. In either case, the holster or sheath is required to be a simple black and minimal adornment. The only exception is the grip of the weapon, which is not regulated by dress policy, and has been used in the past by Nogitsune and Slayers to identify family or clan associations. Nogitsune are also permitted to carry their Imperial wakizashi, in recognition of their role, and the agreement with members of that particular levy. A belt is also worn to accommodate the weapon, though it is expected to be black with a simplified golden buckle.
Last edited by Huerdae on Mon Mar 15, 2021 6:22 am, edited 3 times in total.
The Huerdaen Star Empire is an FT Nation.

Xiscapia wrote:It amused her for a time to wonder if the two fleets could not see each other, so she could imagine them blindly stabbing in the dark, like a game of tag, if tag was played with rocket launchers in pitch blackness.
[17:15] <Telros> OH HO HO, YOU THOUGHT HUE WAS OUT OF LUCK, DID YOU
[17:15] <Telros> KUKUKU, HE HAS REINFORCEMENTS
[17:15] <Telros> FOR TELROS IS REINFORCEMENTS MAN

Rezo wrote:If your battleship turrets have a smaller calibre than your penis is long, you're doing it wrong.

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Huerdae
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Postby Huerdae » Sat Jun 09, 2018 7:58 pm

Imperial Marine Navy

While they have few oceans on their own homeworld, the Huerdaen are not ones to forego the use of a water theater or pathway for assault. Able to deploy their vessels from specially-modified landers of all sorts, the Imperial Marine Navy has a separate command structure, but due to its small size, it is often placed in support of land-based operations, instead of acting as a separate entity. It is rare that the IMN is deployed, but its effect can be devastating for this very reason, as it is no less capable than any other armed branch of the Star Empire, and often, its rarity makes it unexpected, allowing it to ambush even when such a tactic would otherwise be obvious. Marines, for their part, are much less well armored than their Imperial Shield counterparts. Lacking in powered armor, they instead make use of shielding over their vessels, often Aegis Barrier technology, and active countermeasure defenses. Marines are almost never deployed off the beaches, helping secure a landing zone for the shield, and then returning to their vessels to provide long-range support. Most Marines deployed to a land environment beyond the beaches serve as artillery spotters and target designators, instead of a frontline combat role. It is notable that the maximum height permissible for service in the IMN is 7'6", meaning that it is far more common for nonhumans to serve in the IMN than any other service. It is often referred to as the 'immigrant's navy', though this is seen as disrespectful.

Defensive Fortifications

Poseidon-Class Supercavitating Anti-Orbital Battery

One of the more unique weapons that the Huerdaen have made use of, the Poseidon is a large platform that submerges itself completely underwater. Maintaining a depth of between 500m and 1.5km deep, the Poseidon is an anti-orbital platform carrying a large autoloading 2.5m rail cannon using specialized supercavitating shells. It carries a magazine of fifteen of these rounds, and has a crew of only ten to crew the platform on rotating shifts. While the crew can be changed while the system is submerged, the platform must surface to be reloaded, a process that requires, including surface and re-submerging, as much as two hours. Despite this, it is a highly mobile, very well concealed defensive weapon that the Huerdaen make use of in most water worlds, permitting them to harden even these difficult planets against orbital assault.

Vladivostok-Class Deploying Supply Pen

Knowing that the supply point is always a major vulnerability, the IMN opted to make use of hard-to-fight, concealed, and protected supply locations. The Vladivostok-Class is often simply referred to as Vlad, and serves as the central control for IMN operations. Vlad is very similar to an Imperial Shield base, merely deployed under water, but it includes equipment to allow it to dig into the silt, sand, and rock at the bottom of oceans and conceal itself, even to the point of permitting mining operations for additional supplies below the base. Like Shield bases, there are a large number of modules available, notably a submarine pen and drydock modules, permitting large-scale repairs and refit to vessels in a combat zone. Capable of everything up to the creation of smaller components and standard munitions, Vlad is the beating heart of all IMN operations, and is often surrounded by defenses, garrison vessels, sea mines, and other defenses.

Submersible Combat Vessels

Tsunami-Class Bombard Submarine

The Tsunami is scaled down concept from the Poseidon, conceived at the same time for a different purpose. Where the Poseidon defends orbit, the Tsunami attacks the beaches, using a battery of hundreds of submerged-firing capable rocket pods mounted across the upper hull. The Tsunami can maintain fire from beneath the waves and assault enemy positions while barely revealing itself, firing from as far down as a full kilometer underwater. Despite the number of rockets, however, the Tsunami is vulnerable to enemy attack, limited by its large weight and slow movement. Its bombardment, however, is deadly accurate, and can reduce fortifications to rubble in seconds, while able to deploy a series of up to a dozen salvos, spaced less than thirty seconds apart, and each consisting of hundreds of individual rockets.

Sobek-Class Attack Submarine

The Imperial Marine Navy employs a Sobek-Class in almost any role available. Mounting a pair of flak cannons, one fore and one aft, the craft is capable of surfacing and assisting against air attack. But it's most capable feature is the pair of supercavitating rail cannons mounted in the forward section, used for attack against other marine vessels. It also carries a large rack of low-velocity rocket pods for use in bombard actions and attack against clustered enemies, using the unguided warheads in a vicious spared that is as inaccurate as it is destructive. The warheads are high yield weapons, and while the fanning white smoke of the launching rockets reveals the Sobek's position, the massive barrage is capable of being fired at any target within 50 km of the submarine, allowing it to shell an area in very short order, and disappear before the warheads impact. It carries no particular defenses, but is the fastest of the Imperial Marine Navy vessels, and is often used to escort and assist other craft in their roles. It is by far the most common, numbering easily five times as many Sobek vessels than any other class.

Ryujin-Class Marine Destroyer

Serving as the IMN's primary surface ships, the Ryujin is designed for rapid redeployment along the surface, only to fade into the depths when an enemy attempts to isolate it. Its primary purpose is to make use of its artillery emplacements, of which it has four, triple-gun turrets in a two-front, two-rear arrangement. Maintaining a low profile, the central section between the turrets is designed provide as large a combat front as possible while firing all turrets. It also serves to store ammunition, defensive weapons, and crew compartments. The Ryujin is also able to be quickly rigged as a minelayer, and a number of other support roles, up to and including emergency removal of artillery hardpoints to permit servicing of Shield or Marine aircraft. It's draft is notably shallow enough that Ryujin-Class destroyers have been known to operate in inland rivers during offensive operations, bringing fire from unexpected quarters and deploying forces past enemy defenses.

Alignak-Class Marine Dreadnought

The Alignak-Class is the heavy-handed man of war of the IMN. Rare to be deployed, it is designed to be a fortress at sea. Unable to move quickly, it makes up for that with a full suite of active defenses, artillery, shields, and armor. Like ISN ships, the Alignak is designed to compartmentalize during combat, allowing even catastrophic damage to permit the survival of surviving numbers of crew and the overall integrity of the ship. Sometimes referred to as 'undying Alignak', It carries a series of 'secondary' batteries double-stacked along either side of the armored core of the ship, each dual-gun turrets, with the first row being eight turrets long, and the second being seven turrets. These function as defensive armaments, including anti-aircraft and anti-ship roles, though can easily be used against ground-based targets. Almost the entire surface of the armored core is spotted with defensive armaments, but the primary artillery pieces are laid out in five, three-gun turrets, three mounted forward of the core, and two mounted aft. These guns are capable of firing almost any manner of Huerdaen munition, and permit the Alignak to fire massive distances with impressive accuracy.

Amphibious Assault Vessels

While they have few oceans on their own homeworld, the Huerdaen are not ones to forego the use of a water theater or pathway for assault. Able to deploy their vessels from specially-modified landers of all sorts, the Imperial Marine Navy is a sub-branch of the Imperial Shield, the IMN works under the same command structure, and thus is placed in support of land-based operations, instead of acting as a separate entity. It is rare that the IMN is deployed, but its effect can be devastating for this very reason, as it is no less capable than any other armed branch of the Star Empire, and often, its rarity makes it unexpected, allowing it to ambush even when such a tactic would otherwise be obvious. Equipped with ships capable of surface and submerged combat, the IMN also is able to field submerged anti-orbital batteries to solidify orbital control.

Stonefish-Class Assault Submarine

The Stonefish is a craft capable of infantry assault and covert operations deployment. It is designed to deploy power-armored infantry below the defensive ring along beaches, settling into the heavy silt at the base of a beach, far past the standard depth of anti-ship mines or the sight of garrison infantry. They are able to thus deploy, organize, and prepare an assault beyond the range of beach defenses, giving them the element of surprise without being vulnerable when they are tightly packed around the deploying craft. Once they have deployed their forces, they are able to shift forward, and use a single Thor mortar to barrage the attack point, often only showing enough hull that the weapon itself does not submerge. This position is not sheltered from fire from above, however, to provide the least silhouette against the sea to protect the gunners. Some Stonefish have replaced this mortar with an armored gun position, allowing them to use a 105mm rail gun to support the landing instead, at the cost of revealing their position and suffering from return fire.

Jasconius-Class Breaching Submarine

The Jasconius is the key to Huerdaen amphibious assaults. While the Stonefish is capable of landing infantry and assault troops in any location with little or no warning, and almost no defense is capable of returning fire when Huerdaen forces are most vulnerable, the Jasconius is the hammerblow that topples their defenses. While barely half the speed of any other vessel if the Imperial Marine Navy, the Jasconius is heavily armored and mounts forward facing Aegis shield emitters to allow it to literally power through defenses such as mines, torpedos, and even ground-based defenses such as anti-vehicle weapons. It hurls itself at a beach, then uses barbed, hardened treads to drag the entire front of the craft up the beach under cover of the Aegis shields, knocking aside tank draps, mines, and any other fortifications until it can freely disgorge its cargo. It is capable of containing a full armored or light infantry company, as well as supplies, and remaining submerged up to three months, allowing garrison forces to hide their numbers nearly completely. It is, however, unable to use a standard shield system due to the water, and the Aegis only protects against weapons fired upon the forward portion, leaving the craft dangerously immobile and unprotected while it disgorges cargo. It can act as an operational base for light infantry, deploying dropships and gunships from a surfaced position even when far at sea. The top of the craft carries a battery of dual-phalanx flak cannons, but the craft is otherwise unarmed, capable of protecting itself only from aerial attack.

Nix-Class Light Amphibious Armor

Designed to support an assault, the Nix is a fast-moving flanker in use by the IMN. Capable of traveling long distances underwater along the bottom of a sea or river, it is limited to a depth of half a kilometer. It can, however, remain at that depth for up to 72 hours, making the Nix a vehicle that is almost impossible to trap. Designed for fighting on land, it is often deployed up rivers to attack an enemy from behind during a landing operation, or to cut off retreat. Less heavily armored, and bearing no secondary armaments, it is seen as a downgrade from the Goliath despite using the same 105mm main cannon. These disadvantages, however, mean it is also faster, and carries more ammunition than it's land-bound counterpart.

Mavka-Class Heavy Amphibious Armor

Unlike the Nix, the Mavka is not designed for extended underwater usage. Capable of lasting no more than an hour fully submerged, it is used to clear away defenses in support of an assault, providing covering fire on the front lines themselves. Designed to crawl up alongside other landing craft, the Mavka has a four-track setup identical to that of the AVIE, but with an added turret and heavier forward armor. In addition, side sponson autocannons were added. Its primary purpose is the destruction of land-based fortifications, and is not designed for tank-to-tank conflict. For this reason, it is not deployed in mass numbers, and quickly fades back to the sea once the landing is complete, leaving the land-based fighting to the Nix and various Shield chassis vehicles.

Anzu-Class Amphibious Chassis

The Anzu is much like the Roc in design. It is, however, a much sleeker and more aerodynamic design, to permit function in both marine and aerial environments, serving as a submarine and airborne strike craft. Lacking the full armor of a Roc, it is none-the-less difficult to bring down, and serves with multiple chassis, involving logistics, strike capability, and low-emissions transport capacity. The Anzu is the airborne wing of the IMN, capable of maneuvers that most ISN and Shield fixed-wing aircraft are incapable of, making it the most like a fighter-bomber of any vehicle fielded by the Imperial Arm in any branch. It is often used for deploying strike teams for covert operations and disruptive strikes. On rare occasions, Shield light infantry units have recovered and repaired Anzu craft for their own uses.
Last edited by Huerdae on Thu Oct 04, 2018 4:38 pm, edited 4 times in total.
The Huerdaen Star Empire is an FT Nation.

Xiscapia wrote:It amused her for a time to wonder if the two fleets could not see each other, so she could imagine them blindly stabbing in the dark, like a game of tag, if tag was played with rocket launchers in pitch blackness.
[17:15] <Telros> OH HO HO, YOU THOUGHT HUE WAS OUT OF LUCK, DID YOU
[17:15] <Telros> KUKUKU, HE HAS REINFORCEMENTS
[17:15] <Telros> FOR TELROS IS REINFORCEMENTS MAN

Rezo wrote:If your battleship turrets have a smaller calibre than your penis is long, you're doing it wrong.

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Huerdae
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Iron Fist Socialists

Postby Huerdae » Tue Jul 24, 2018 8:32 am

Factions and Corporate Entities Within the Huerdaen Star Empire

Like all large nations, the Huerdaen Star Empire is a conglomerate of viewpoints and ideas, gathering into various factions and parties that push for those particular goals to be met. Most of these factions are widely recognized and discussed, and while several are seen as different acceptable paths, a number are actively suppressed. Those that are suppressed have been deemed harmful to the people of the Empire, or in some cases, even treasonous to the Empire. Most factions are supported by a primary political party, and even suppressed groups have primary support organizations which help them keep organized and funded.

Imperials (Emperor's Party)

The best known, the furthest-reaching, and the most common faction, the Imperials are proud supporters of the existing Imperial standing and configuration. Most show pride in the current leadership and are supportive of recent choices. They're generally pleased with continued expansion remaining consistent as well as the carefully measured political gains and costs that are being juggled by the present administration. Imperials make up the majority of the population, and are the strongest faction in almost all areas of the Empire. The Emperor's Party, the primary political group of Imperials, is led by the Imperial Family, currently led actively by Imperator Niko'Dohsa, youngest daughter of the sitting Emperor. Her efforts in this regard have increased membership of the Emperor's Party significantly, and she has been particularly successful in bringing other Imperials into the Emperor's Party, successfully consolidating power in support of her family.

Confederates (National Party)

Confederates were, until recently, an almost negligible faction. Primarily supported by the Ikittitl delegates, recent events have brought in support from Ataster worlds. Though Huerdaen, Pankrees, and immigrant populations are often heavily opposed, the Confederates have gained some ground in recent years, and a more moderate approach has given them some minor victories. However, a platform for increased member nation rights are a matter of significant unrest, as the Ikittitl are unwilling to give up their desire for additional freedoms, a matter which the rest of the Empire opposes. Despite this, member nations have gained minor rights gains in recent years, including a hard-fought battle for member nations to identify areas where public armament was no longer permitted, primarily on Ataster worlds. While this is still very heavily regulated and controlled, it has gained Confederates more recognition, and their share of support is slowly growing. The National Party that supports them is almost entirely Ataster, with some Pankrees support, and is notably a more moderate stance than many Confederates. They do not support decreased weaponization of the Aivall orbital fortresses, which has brought quite a few recently to their side. Their leadership by a number of Ataster Planetary Governors is nothing less than stunning, and they've grown to be the sixth largest single party in the Star Empire in record time.

Silvers (Silvertouch Party)

Silvers are often stereotyped as a mixed group of immigrants, Ataster, and some Pankrees that are fighting for peace in the galaxy, but the truth isn't so clean cut. The primary goal of the Silvers is actually a softer power stance for the Star Empire, depending less on the power of the Imperial Shield and ISN for political gains, and instead putting effort into the expansion of alliances and mutual support. This particular view means that a large number of Huerdaen also support the party. It is their belief that the strength of the Star Empire has long been borne on the backs of more than just the member nations of the Empire, but instead also includes the neighbors whose actions and levies have supported it. Because of this, they would like to expand the number of member nations and attempt to expand with a softer touch. It is their belief that this could lead to a new cultural revolution in the HSE, and a changing view of their homeland by foreign powers. Their actions are almost entirely the work of the Silvertouch Party, which is the second largest party in the Star Empire, though it is nowhere near the size of the Imperial Party, holding only slightly more than 10% of popular support. There are few sub-groups in this faction, and as such their power is very centralized in the Silvertouch party, allowing them to make slow and steady gains. Recent membership into the GCC is a direct result of combined effort between the Silvers and Purses, despite significant opposition.

Cogs (Bloodtide Party)

Cogs are often seen as the reason that Huerdaen are portrayed as bloodthirsty savages, and raiding barbarians. They believe in the expansion of the HSE to the edges of the current galaxy, as well as nearby galaxies. It is their belief that current rates of expansion cannot be maintained without significant rework of the logistical system, and possibly even a new FTL drive system. They're hard-line supporters of the Imperial Arm and are among the most outspoken members of the Huerdaen political system. Cogs are violently expansionist and are often found supporting Corporate use of mercenary companies to capture and control the outlying colonies of other nations for the expansion of the HSE. They're primarily led by the Bloodtide Party, though this is only by a thin margin. There are a large number of localized groups that push agendas that fit them under the Cog umbrella, and many are rooted heavily in racism, making them a fringe group in many circles. Despite this, they aren't entirely without merit, and many of their projections include some worrying figures that are hard to deny. Despite this, the loose coalition of Cog factions have made only limited gains due to a lack of a singular guiding vision.

Sentinels (Blackgate Party)

Sentinels are almost the polar opposites of the Cogs, with a highly isolationist platform in which they primarily espouse the ideals of the protection of the Star Empire and its citizens. This is not to say that they don't support expansion, but it is something that they would slow down significantly, and they have been opposed to all recent actions in the Home Galaxy and Iron God Campaign, seeing them as frivolous waste of citizenry and residents, as well as the resources of the Star Empire. They're the primary obstacle to significant Huerdaen influence in the galactic political stage, and they are the reason that almost all trade goes through a few primary, massive trade hubs. After the loss of a trade hub at the start of the fighting with the Kiith, their popularity began fluctuating wildly, from backlash from making such obvious economic targets to limiting what other targets could be struck. Their primary supporter, the Blackgate Party, is notorious for their isolationist views, desiring to further limit the trade depots in use to a few, heavily fortified 'blackgates' and limit passage into and out of the rest of the Domain. While not particularly viable, it is a viewpoint that many have supported when the Star Empire seems in peril, maintaining the party despite its rather limited overall influence.

Purses (Goldenheart Party)

Purses are another relatively recent group on the scene, driven by corporate sponsorship and significant financial assets, they rather vocally call for expanded trading rights to all corners of the Galaxy. In addition, they were the ones to suggest that GCC membership would be a positive influence in the HSE, earning their backers significant advantages. They've had a number of recent successes due to an upsurge of corporate support among the populace, partially led by simple exports into the civilian sectors of other nations. This in turn has given them unexpected political pull, though they have yet to fully deploy it to any one issue. They're primarily supported by the Goldenheart Party, which is led by a conglomerate of business owners, with significant membership from MLA and KKI, indicating that this is likely the only thing the two competitors can agree on. Notably, Togashi Heavy Industries provides only limited support for Goldenheart, instead having most of their support fall among the Confederates. Goldenheart is recognized as a particularly savvy group, though they have chosen to support the installation of a GCC gate to replace the expenses incurred with the ferries, a stance that has gone widely unsupported.

Ironbound (Ascendant Party)

Ironbound are a group of machine rights advocates who push heavily for increased automation, prosthetics, and acceptance of AI or heavy augments. They're a surprising group of Huerdaen considering the strong cultural bias against AI, in that they push to recognize LASI as true AI, which would make their treatment illegal, as well as the prior development. In effect, Ironbound often campaign for LASI to be inducted into the HSE as citizens. This particular stance erodes their support base, but while few consider themselves Ironbound openly, a large section of the population at least sympathize with many of their positions, specifically including the limitations on Heavy Augment residents. Ironbound are also often found in high-tech industries at the bleeding edge, where the possibilities of uploaded consciousness and brain mapping are present. The Ascendant Party, one of the largest groups, heavily supports interaction with the Phoenix Domain, suggesting closer relations in exchange for help avoiding several issues with the technologies. Many see them as being on a search for immortality, or Vipran-levels of cybernetic prosthetics to extend user lives, or avoid starvation, and the Ascendant party does nothing to quelch these rumors. Instead, they talk of progress and leadership to the next form of being, and stand tall as the strongest guided-evolutionary party in the HSE.

Royals (Followers of the Word)

Royals are the most commonly referenced subversive group in the HSE. Often referred to as violent rebels and terrorists, that in truth includes only a small subset. Moderate Royals are not common, but they still outnumber the radical Royals by almost five-to-one. This has been bringing large groups of Royals forward with each strike made by the radicals, calling for an end to hostilities, in addition to the recognition of the moderate Al'Agnon as the head of the Royal family, permitting some manner of reconciliation. However, the actions of other, more radical groups still cling to the leadership of Si'Agnon. After the Genesis incident, Imperial documents list Followers of the Word as violent terrorists, though Royals themselves are no longer considered terrorists. This is in no small part to the continued imprisonment of King Al'Agnon, though his influence continues to wane as little more progress has been made to bring an end to the bloodshed, and Si'Agnon's party continues to rise. Despite hopes that some day the paladins of the Royal family would fight alongside the Imperial Shield, it seems a hope that grows more distant as time passes.

Demonborn (Seven Circles)

Demonborn are actually the enforcers of a group known only as the Seven Circles, who were originally a Pankrees group that manipulated the civilian-elected government from the shadows. The populace came to recognize the Demonborn as they were the ones whose faces showed, striking down those who defied them and maintaining a secret-police presence to put down discontent. For several generations they ruled with absolute authority, until the advent and acceptance of the Slayers, a group who were taught by one of the Demonborn who abandoned his duties. Becoming the first demonslayer, he guided his followers in their abilities and limitations, teaching them the art of melee combat using blades that were, at the time, very difficult to locate. In this way, a shadow war erupted, with the Slayers hunting and seeking the Demonborn, who sought out the supporters of the Slayers. In the end, popular opinion swung to support the Slayers, whose families were honored by becoming hereditary Caste that protected the leadership of the nation, erupting into a time of prosperity that lasted barely five years before the Huerdaen brought war back to the newly-freed nation. During that time, the Demonborn sided with the Huerdaen, but were not supported in their efforts and their bases were quickly destroyed once found. Their abilities became legend, and memory of them became little more than rumor. While the Huerdaen consider the faction destroyed, the Seven Circles name and iconography still sometimes appears in conjunction with major strikes against Imperial and Slayer interests, both within the Domain and outside it. Membership is not limited to specific families or regions and the Seven Circles now span more than just the Pankrees people, reaching out across multiple species, or even nations to become one of the most dangerous shadow organizations operating in and around Huerdaen space.

Nightmares (Fiery Dawn)

Nightmares are a group of violent anarchists who periodically rise up to strike at the Star Empire and the Imperial Arm. While limited in effect most of the time, they're difficult to stamp out, and often work with pirates to strengthen their numbers or identify naval bases and operations to permit more effective piracy against the Empire. Their stated goals are an end to the existing galactic order, and many have tried to rally people back to unrestricted genetic enhancement, as well as joining the Pathogen Experiments. It is well known that they conduct experiments with Pathogenic material, as well as other bio-weapons encountered in events such as that of Horizon Station, which they release upon completion. Led by a an entity known as Fiery Dawn, they do not consider themselves Imperial residents and operate almost entirely from bases outside the Star Empire, spreading fear and death among any established nations they identify as having a vulnerability they can exploit as they seek to drive the galaxy back to 'equilibrium'.

Major Commercial Organizations

Every nation has major corporations, and the Star Empire is no different. Despite not being able to vote as an entity, the weight of money can be a powerful and mighty weapon. Major corporations within the Star Empire each maintain massive corporate militias to defend their interests both domestic and foreign, and their methods of operating often differ greatly from Huerdaen doctrines. They are often aggressive, determined, and sometimes match the Star Empire's willingness to perform violence to get noticed in target areas, though as their interests are always long-term, these instances tend to be rare.

Mah'Lahn Armories

The most widely-known Huerdaen corporation, Mah'Lahn Armories is nearly untouchable in terms of sheer industrial power. Originally a series of weapons foundries and tank factories on the budding planet of Mah'Lahn, MA has grown well beyond the beginnings that seemed to stymie them. Now reaching across the empire with apparently no desire to stop, they produce any sort of military hardware, vehicle, or aircraft available in the HSE. Many companies lease their designs to MA to cheapen their own production, making use of the resources available to the large company. For this reason, MA has a surprisingly small R&D division, instead depending on the prototyping of its competitors and making a more efficient, carefully regulated model. Sometimes referred to simply as 'The Armories', MA is undisputed in production, and has begun exporting directly to other nations outside the Star Empire in recent years, but their expansion past the borders has been far more regulated and careful than that of KKI, leaving their primary concern always within the Star Empire.

Suidochi Synthetics

The largest competitor to Ursellin Cybernetics, Suidochi Synthetics is a cybernetics maker that specializes in the heavy-augment and prosthetic markets, providing an alternative to the closed-minded traditionalism of UC. Their highest sales are in wireless interface equipment, concealed weapons, and industrial heavy-augments, but even with a nearly-cornered market in these areas, they are the runt compared to the giant of UC. SS has only one three-hundredth the profits of UC in any given fiscal year, and while it rarely posts losses, it is seen as the most vulnerable of Huerdaen major corporations simply because the clout available to UC allows them to close down Suidochi almost instantly, should they ever find the desire.

Recent changes in Suidochi policy have brought them in contact with markets outside the Star Empire through contracts with Tiějiang Foundries, a Xhanese company. While forbidden from using or adapting the Silver Lace technology for use outside the Star Empire, they have managed to avoid breaking convention by contracting out specific services. Allowing Tiějiang to market it under their own label, Suidochi has performed modifications on prosthetic limbs for concealed weapons at a premium price, with the understanding the actual operation is performed within the Huerdaen Domain. Heavy Augment clinics, far less questionable under the laws by which Tiějiang must abide, are able to be located near and around Huerdaen space, where Suidochi Synthetics often station a liason, sometimes supporting their interests with small amounts of their own corporate militia.

Ursellin Cybernetics

Always the leader in cybernetic research within the HSE, UC holds an unquestioned monopoly on the cybernetics in use throughout the Empire. Because of this they are quick to perform prototype testing, even often knowing there is little or no chance of success. Their profits are assumed, and while they have nearly infinite resources available to them, they maintain a very high standard. Their overall goal is the incorporation of each technology into the HSE standard, so even successful technologies are often passed up, or sold to competing companies for development as third-party technologies. They are the most dependable cybernetics available in the Star Empire, but also the most expensive, and their product line is extremely limited.

Kai'Kitalli Incorporated

A conglomerate of lesser companies and entities, KKI is still one of the strongest economic forces in the Star Empire. Built at first to rival the legendary Mah'Lahn Armories, the Corporation found itself none-the-less outmatched, despite better market coverage and shipping costs. Instead, what it became able to do was network resources of the constituent companies, allowing them access to shared resources and knowledge. While technically a series of independent companies, KKI none-the-less has overarching leadership in the form of CEOs of the major partners, which assist in solving disputes, and controlling those who join. They maintain a disproportionately large corporate militia for the true power of the individual companies, but this force is used to move about and secure holdings. As a result, the KKI is often the first name heard by those who wish to do business with those within the HSE, and the variety of goods they produce ensures that while they are often not the highest of quality, or lowest cost, they are able to fit the needs of those who come to them. Their first major success over MA was the surprising Aegis shield, giving them a now-secure market share that has no indication of diminishing within the most loyal of MA consumer bases - the Imperial Shield.

Bir'Dothi Prospectors United

Bir'Dothi Prospectors United is technically a conglomerate similar to Kai'Kitalli Incorporated, but in operation it doesn't resemble the KKI in any form. The nature of prospecting means that it is doomed to fail in most circumstances, and this is a fact that Bir'Dothi embraces, rather than tries to overcome. Membership is free, but the core of the Union is surrounded by constantly failing prospecting companies, who put their trust in luck or a good find and collapse. The Union, as it is called, takes out insurance on such probabilities, and only makes investments when the prospecting has shown promise. As such, each failure brings in minimal profits. The successes, however, are where the Union earned its reputation. Most successful prospects find themselves plagued by system failures, bad luck, and in some cases, outright sabotage. Many successful mining locations are forced to be sold by those who find them, and those that succeed are often forcibly closed, sometimes by foul play. The few, tough companies that survive finally buy their way into the core of the Union, able to take their chunk of the respective pie off the backs of those less fortunate. Several times, investigations have been held into the methods of the Union, but operating outside the Huerdaen Domain brings risks, and the Union has never been proven of any instance of foul play.

Il'Is Transport

Focusing on short-range shipping, Il'Is is the only major shipping company in the Star Empire that does not have significant armed presence. Designed on a single-Gate business model, Il'Is runs a system for priority shipping, specializing in immediate shipment and transport. Il'Is doesn't ship over longer distances, nor does it operate any of the larger haulers, instead using the natural advantages of the Huerdaen FTL 'Gate' drive to run a priority shipping company at premium cost for emergency or expedited cargo. Other options include a much lower cost for short-range transport, allowing them to undercut their competition by offering dependable results in a limited range. This helped earn them their customers for the more expensive premium shipments, giving them a near-monopoly in short-range shipping and transport.

Void Secured Shipping

VSS is one of the most far-reaching shipping companies in the Star Empire. It started as a small group of merchantmen who banded together against a pirate threat on the borders of the Star Empire, and has since grown significantly. At a higher cost than most competitors, VSS does not deal in small or short range cargos. They are a primary provider to military and colonial efforts, with many prospectors moving to them as soon as their site turns a profit, due to the security of the shipping. VSS is known to run large convoys with armed escort, increasing the cost significantly. However, they are also one of the most secure shipping routes. With older warships and armed and armored freight craft, VSS convoys are both prime targets, and a difficult foe for even the most clever of pirate. In addition, several major systems are often known to play as a home port for VSS combat craft, allowing them to counter-attack against any who strike on their assets. There have been sightings of VSS craft near neighboring systems, as well as rumors that they may operate as a semi-legitimate privateer band when profits are low. They operate a large group of ground-forces Corporate militia which has been known to take contracts near operational areas, for a half-cut of the profits going to the militia, while the rest is returned to VSS. This reputation has earned them an expectation of being tough, but also of being mercenary, and some of the more reputable businesses refuse to do business with 'pirates and thugs', despite their willingness to move and deliver outside the borders of the Star Empire.

O-Douro Freight

Known for an efficient, cheap, and robust business model, the Pankrees-owned O-Douro is the most widespread shipping company in the Star Empire. Simple, running only the safest lanes, O-Douro is the generally accepted shipping option for cheap freight within the Star Empire. They're known for being dependable, but they also will completely refuse to ship outside the Star Empire and it's protective borders. Their prices are competitive because of this because they do not need the extensive protection offered by VSS, and they are more adaptable than Il'Is. However, they offer few of the advantages of the competitors. Still, the efficiency and low overhead provided by their simplified model allow them to be the largest carrier by far, while the business continues to be owned by the same Pankrees family that first founded it. They, unlike VSS or Il'Is, almost never contract out of their own staff, determined to build a loyalty both within the employees and with their customers.

Childer of Ragnarok

Originally a company of veterans of the short Huerdae-Telrosian war, the Childer of Ragnarok are a company of veterans, discharged soldiers, and gunslingers willing to do the dirtiest work in the Galaxy. Limited by their lack of warships, the Childer of Ragnarok are instead focused almost completely on ground combat and ship's garrison. With access to equipment from an endless number of militaries, the Childer are as heartless as they are efficient. Recent conflicts have caused the Childer to increase their membership to include any number of veterans, from both sides of almost all engagements, including even Exile veterans and Uprising veterans who needed an escape from the Home Galaxy. Adhering to Huerdaen code, they have a 'slash and burn' policy that allows them to move quickly and leave little in their wake. With the advantage of having armored, air, and artillery support from a dozen militaries or more, the Childer are as adaptable and unpredictable as they are skilled. Hitting without warning and without mercy, the Childer are professional and brutal, and willing to operate in any situation given the right pay.

Arge Software Publishing

The premier software publisher, ASP is best known for the share of the gaming market that they contain. Focusing on games that are all-immersive, or mostly-immersive, they quickly cornered the market on systems that would be able to integrate quickly with Huerdaen cybernetics and thus be available anywhere. This model, and its simplicity, gave them the market share they enjoy, though they also cover mundane matters such as machinery firmware and handheld device applications.

End of Line Entertainment Industries

The largest of the 'civil' corporations, End of Line is nearly unlimited in their reach across the Star Empire. Controlling just over 60% of all entertainment establishments within the Star Empire proper, with additional holdings outside the Star Empire and among their trade partners, End of Line continues to aggressively pursue new markets. While they limit themselves in regards to recreational compound usage even outside the HSE, they are well known for their loud music, stocked bars, and armed staff. Finding a place in many locations often requires armed bouncers, and new locations are often supplied Corporate Militia staff to perform these roles, creating a truly intimidating front for the business. However, their investments are often of high quality, and though nobody ever ordered food in an End of Line establishment, their beverage selection, arcade systems, and dance selections are considered some of the best the Star Empire has to offer.

Final Apex Physical Athletics

FAPA is one of the few truly successful physical athletics firms, and while it lacks the clout of other establishments such as End of Line, it continues to maintain a place in Huerdaen life. Focusing on their ability to simulate combat and combat operations using live weapons, FAPA formed a market among militias, forming their own as a mixed mercenary force and highly trained unit, using their own facilities to train them to the point they are considered some of the best corporate militia in the HSE. Other facilities include locations to permit parkour, fight clubs, or their much smaller market as a fire-arm reseller.

Arah-Kowla Military Lending

More formally recognized as the 'Slaughter Cult', Arah-Kowla is an arrayed group of lenders and military suppliers that make much of their money on newly conquered areas. Selling military support in areas where crime raises following a new occupation, or lending money to help new residents escape the area, they cover both sides of desperation that often face a family caught in a warzone. Their model is a simplification of most of the Huerdaen levy structure, offering offworld movements at no immediate cost, instead obliging signatories to agree to contracts making them part of the A-K's corporate militia. It is this militia that it ships to other worlds, using them to promise 'order' at a charged premium. All weapons and equipment supplied to this 'Slaughter Cult' is at cost added to the loan, meaning any grenades, ammunition, or weapons used increase the term of service in the corporate militia. This often means that militiamen wear and use little more than street clothes and blunt weapons, but such protection is often exactly what is best needed in the areas they sell. Many corporations, especially within the HSE, see A-K as a scourge, but the model has proven successful, and A-K has a significantly increased 'market share' due to the devastation on Foer and Sojent-Ra. A-K has almost no actual capital, instead existing as a fluid, financial entity that barters entirely with services and agreements.

The Long Arm Cooperative

Founded by two groups of bounty hunters, the setulanites Hammon Karralis, Luther Morda, and Sasha and the Huerdaen Sirinoya Tai, Ten'Soubal, and Pa'Rehnma, the Long Arm is one of the first business entities to exist in the tense space between the Star Empire and the Setulan Republic. This is due, in part, to the strict bounty procedures in each nation, making each on their own a lucrative business. However, any single entity that can operate on both sides of the border can effectively double their profits for any one hunter, though the requirements to serve bounties on both sides of the border are particularly stringent, making it only a small number indeed that have earned the title 'Lawmen', the name given to fully-fledged hunters of the Long Arm. This term has taken on an almost iconic meaning, as the stringent rules of the group keep the Lawmen an extremely professional, well supplied, and well-informed group. For every Lawman deployed, there are often six or more support staff, meaning that the less than 50 Lawmen are supported by over three hundred fellow members of the Long Arm. Most of these consist of Stalkers, the first level of bounty hunters, who are capable of hunting and tracking on only one side of the border. Rules and expectations for these Stalkers are stringent, and even minor lapses can end a Stalker's employment. Such is the cost of maintaining their reputation and respectability with the two order-driven nations.

Following that, a Stalker that has earned trust is put through the process to be permitted to hunt on both sides of the border, but they spend a great amount of time with an existing Lawman, performing duties more akin to an apprentice than a full bounty hunter. In this way they observe the rules and laws without being put in a position to break them, further avoiding mishaps with ill-informed bounty hunters. Only after some time as an apprentice do they become a full Lawman. Expert Lawmen who are particularly skilled are called Marshalls, and called upon to lead the others in larger operations.

Another advantage the Long Arm has is how quickly it can gather forces for a full strike on a gathering of targets, allowing them to pool resources and take down large numbers of bounties in a single strike, making it one of the most organized bounty hunter organizations operating inside the Star Empire. This is brought into perspective by the companies that continue to invest in the Long Arm, including on the Huerdaen side names such as Mah'Lahn Armories, and Void Secured Shipping. For their part, they have constructed and maintained the Huerdaen HQ for the Long Arm, offering significant discounts and encouraging that Lawmen have access to some of the best equipment available, as well as the ability to move quickly through the Domain. The facility itself is maintained almost completely by VSS support staff, who use it as a dock to supply, rearm, and repair their own vessels, ensuring there are always vessels ready to go should a Lawman need to get somewhere.

Togashi Heavy Industries

A new player to step out of the shadow of the Star Empire, THI became a player when they simultaneously got the Kage-Variant, Oni-Variant, and Yokai-Variants approved in the Imperial Shield, displacing the long-held superiority of MLA products to the empire as a whole. Its primary product is actually industrial gear used in the Refinery-level industrial ships. Their corporate militia has been using similar models of vehicles for some time, giving them an advantage of MLA in this instance. They are sophisticated, professional, and dangerously well-organized. Until recently, they operated almost entirely in small units fighting against paramilitary forces to secure mines and other resources on the fringes of the empire. Due to the limited funding until recently, THI maintained a small, almost elite group of corporate militia that were as well equipped as many militaries, swelled by veterans who recognized the advantages of a 'corporate' position. Now with increased funding, their influence is starting to truly blossom.

Eienochi Medical

Eienochi is a group that only recently became noteworthy on a large scale. Though profitable, Eienochi had spent several decades in relative obscurity, working behind the scenes and providing basic equipment and supplies to almost anywhere in the Star Empire. Though not without competition, they have proven capable of slow, steady growth. They recently made a number of breakthroughs on cloning technology that allow the wounded to increase acceptance of cloned limbs by almost 30%, springing them into the limelight. This brought into question the fact that much of their R&D is outside the Star Empire, but the nature of their work is generally considered harmless, and foreign investment is anything but unexpected.

A'Sianna Voidcraft

Purely a civilian entity, A'Sianna Voidcraft is the greatest producer of residence ships, haulers, and shuttles. Run primarily out of the Ataster system in shipyards purchased after the induction of the Ataster nation, all divisions of A'Sianna failed shortly after except for the Ataster holdings. It was on these that they rebuilt the company. They operate refinery class craft in modest numbers, and while unable to contest the military profits of their competitors, they're recognized as having a rather extreme edge in comfort and luxury due to their Ataster roots. They're well known for opening up the residence ships market to many world-bound nations by adding balconies, open central meeting areas, and luxuries such as ceilings capable of projecting the sky of any imperial world from any major city, giving many a taste of home. These luxuries are not limited to residence ships, though that is their greatest source of income. They have a smaller division known for selling aftermarket upgrades to shuttles and even haulers in the forms of more comfortable chairs, modification kits to turn common areas into a fully stocked lounge, and offering refit services to many models of ships to decrease the overall ground area of the rooms to increase the height, catering to those who have difficulty in the Huerdaen doctrinal environment. This has led to a reputation for that makes A'Sianna a synonym for comfort and craftsmanship.

Black Knight Shipyards

Black Knight Shipyards were the primary producers of Imperial capital ships until the INY came into possession of Starforge Praxis, bumping them out in a bold move that quickly paid off. Despite this, they hold a key position in the Imperial fleet, turning out the largest number of cruiser class vessels and battleships, while Praxis focuses on War Frigates and other larger ships that BKS has difficulty contesting. Despite this, however, they maintain the largest fleet of refinery class vessels, and BKS is well-recognized as the most efficient builder of warships, lacking the shipping costs to and from the Starforge. Because of this, their operation is efficient, widespread, and mobile, making them a durable and dependable producer that shows no sign of capitulating its hold on ISN warship production to the INY in the near future. This is even more noteworthy with the construction of an additional massive dockyard to permit them to produce additional refinery class vessels, as they make their moves to contest the production of even the mighty Starforge. BKS is the sole producer capable of building using SCAR plating used on several Imperial warship classes, giving them an uncontested edge in warship production despite the edge in production capacity held by INY.

Imperial Naval Yards

One of the largest producers of warships, the Imperial Naval Yards are based entirely in space. Due to their close ties to the Imperial Star Navy, and the fact that they are partially owned by that organization, they are forbidden from purchasing holdings in civilian sectors. Despite this, they are still partially civilian-owned, and are responsible for many of the mod-kits used to convert unarmed civilian craft to armed vessels. As such, they have built up their presence primarily in military sectors, and the empty void between stars. A majority of Imperial destroyer class vessels, strike craft, and other small ships are built at these 'Dark Yards'. Their primary shipyard lies in the Praxis sector, and their production of capital warships is contested only by Black Knight Shipyards.

Wal'Innis National Exports

Relatively recent among the more powerful Huerdaen corporations, WINE's growth is due almost entirely to the fact that Huerdaen drinks were generally unknown across the galaxy at large. Investing heavily in marketing and negotiations with foreign groups, WINE became the premier exporter of alcoholic beverages sourced in the HSE almost overnight. Basing their opening interests on unexpected agreements garnered after lengthy discussions with the Interstellar Concordat for all Huerdaen-based drinks, they shocked the market by becoming a major exporter almost overnight. Following agreements with the Vipran Imperium for large quantities of Suronne Mead, Chikuula, and Tears of the Orphans, WINE's growth became almost too much to handle as it struggled to meet export agreements. With its newfound wealth, however, an investment in ships and crews allowed it to meet those needs, and even set up an additional trade lane to the Constitutional Federation of the Peninsular, where Chikuula and Church Grim had found a following of their own.

This rapid growth left WINE with a abnormally small corporate militia, and their dependence on foreign trade means that the few militia they have spend as much time on formalities and representation as they do on protecting the shipments. With so little actual corporate holdings in the Star Empire, almost all WINE assets are centered around their trade, and they have acquired growing number of escort ships and armored freighters, with which to ensure safe shipment of the goods. This, in turn, has earned them a reputation for reliably delivering their goods, both on time and in good condition, which has helped with the widespread acceptance of Huerdaen drinks. To facilitate this, large deals are often linked into agreements permitting local distribution warehouses near nations where WINE makes their deliveries, where large stores can be maintained to avoid missing a shipment. Almost all Corporate Militia are based in these warehouses, which serve a secondary role as a sales office for additional trade negotiations.

Combat, Security, and Protection Organization Classifications

Under Huerdaen law, Combat, Security, and Protection Organizations (CSPOs) fall under standardized classifications follow a model to depict the scale of engagement they're capable of, what support they have available to them, and the type of job that they're looking to take part in. Often still referred to as more common terms such as mercenary companies or PMCs, CSPO is the official Huerdaen name for organizations such as these. These are further clarified by specialized classifications to show any limitations in their operations, or special capabilities they may have that may make them more or less suitable for specific duties. The classification follows the convention of (Scale)(Support)(Role)-(specialized qualifications). All of this is considered the 'Class' of the mercenary company, appearing in the following manner: A1b-xyz where A is the Scale, 1 is the support available, b is the role, and xyz are each following qualifications met according to a unified set of community standards applied for by the company and verified by a central committee. All levels of this classification system fall under scrutiny from the CSPO committee, which is primarily interested in maintaining the accuracy of the classifications and the ability of employers to find organizations that fit their needs. Thus, any sort of aberrant behavior or consistent action outside these classifications can cause significant, or even crippling penalties depending on the breach. While an improperly categorized Scale for organization may be a relatively minor penalty at first, improper categorization or breach of Role classification could be crippling or even put an organization out of business in the HSE. Specialized classifications penalties can be just as severe, making sure that all standards are rigorously enforced and organizations are required to carefully monitor their own activities to avoid audit and penalties.

Scale

While not directly related to the size of the organization, it is often a good indicator. This is an alphabetic indicator of the scale of deployments the organization is capable of sustaining. These contracts can be for something as simple as a nation-wide contract of private security for a large number of locations with a few staff each, or a single monolithic deployment. The scale of the organization does not specify. These deployments take into consideration the number of deployments an organization may take part in at any given time. A group with tens of thousands of employees may still be a Scale 'A' organization if they deploy separate contracts with very small numbers of operatives simultaneously. By comparison, the same size organization may be Scale 'G' if it only takes a single contract at a time. If an organization wishes to operate outside these guidelines this can be agreed upon with the employing party, but repeatedly doing so may bring penalties from the CSPO committee for falsely classifying the organization.

A - Small, fielding 1-20 operatives in deployments
B - Minor, fielding 20-150 operatives in deployments
C - Lesser, fielding 150-500 operatives in deployments
D - Moderate, fielding 500-2500 operatives in deployments
E - Greater, fielding 2500-15000 operatives in deployments
F - Major, fielding 15000-60000 operatives in deployments
G - Superior, fielding more than 60000 operatives in deployments

Support

Support is the ability to deploy assets in support of their operatives. Depicted by a numerical identifier, it specifically defines the vehicular support available to units.

1 - No support, or infantry in powered armor but may make use of heavy weapons such as field guns or dedicated anti-armor weapons
2 - Limited support, where only a small part of each deployment would be able to have access to armored vehicles, aircraft, or transport at any given time
3 - Able to deploy armored vehicles, aircraft, and transport regularly, but with little in reserve to replace losses
4 - Able to deploy armored vehicles, aircraft, and and transport consistently, even in the face of an extended engagement replacing losses
5 - Able to deploy armored vehicles, aircraft and transports over a long period of time for the entire unit while maintaining, replacing, and even repairing their own vehicles in the field. These units often include tender vehicles or facilities that can be deployed on location with supplies to operate on their own for an extended period of time

Role

This depicts the type of employment they're designed to complete, including such considerations as rules of engagement (RoE), collateral damage, and lethal or non-lethal loadouts. It is an alphabetical identifier that has no bearing on the size of the deployment or the support available and should not be confused with operation scale classifications. If an organization is charged with breach of Role classifications, or as stated below a review is enacted, the CSPO committee immediately becomes involved to determine if the employer or organization is at fault. As their primary interest is often in protecting their classification, the CSPO committee is well known for being extremely strict especially with 'a' role organizations and their employers who are almost never found to be faultless should RoE be breached.

a - Very strict RoE, expecting entirely non-lethal responses and containment. Organizations qualifying for 'a' role classifications require strict discipline and de-escalation capabilities without using lethal force. Collateral damage or deaths resulting from 'a' role organizations are almost always considered failures to complete contracts successfully. These are often deployments for crowd control at civilian events where the role is often little more than containing groups in designated areas or de-escalating disagreements
b - Strict RoE, permitting some use of lethal force under certain circumstances, or minor collateral damage in isolated cases. These are often deployments including police or security details, and any incidence of lethal force or collateral damage is often heavily investigated to determine if it could have been avoided
c - Standard RoE permitting lethal force and collateral damage in pre-determined circumstances, or at the discretion of the operative with standard review. Organizations filling 'c' role classifications often protect secure installations within areas where de-escalation has already been attempted, or where hostile armed encounters may be expected
d - Looser RoE permitting lethal force and collateral damage in many situations, such as defense of a military base or installation where rule of law may be less stringent. An organization deploying into 'd' role classifications often focus their attention on fringe areas where pirates and slavers may be present and the ability to respond quickly can be paramount to the successful completion of objectives. Many 'd' role classification organizations include strike teams able to recover assets or eliminate targets, earning the 'd' role the colloquial name "killer" organizations
e - Limited RoE permitting lethal force in most situations, often with the capability to use tactical and sometimes even strategic weapons with authorization from the employer. Most wartime CSPOs fall into the 'e' role and will employ weapons and tactics that expect hostile encounters regularly in regards to their operatives
f - RoE considerations and collateral damage are not a matter of concern for this organization, and they will make use of tactical and strategic weapons with no regard to cost to complete their goals

Specialized Qualifications

These are qualifications that are applied for by an organization to better find opportunities to fit their expectations and allow a more specific type of deployment to come to them instead of having to sort through large numbers of deployments. While not always something that limits the job offers, many employers add specialized qualifications to job postings to help find the right group for the job. These qualifications are applied for specifically by each organization, and cannot be used until they approved by the overarching CSPO committee. While an organization can advertise that they "applied for" a qualification, it cannot be officially listed in their classification until it is approved by the committee. Breach of this could cause that organization to lose their license to operate with HSE-affiliated groups.

L - Light, indicating that support units do not include heavy vehicles or aircraft, though they may be numerous
^ - Indicates spatial combat or transport capabilities
H - Heavy, indicating a low number of light vehicles and aircraft, focusing instead of heavier armor and aircraft
S - Support, indicating primarily non-front-line activities, or a large amount of supporting assets such as artillery and labor units like construction, repair, or bulldozer equipment
R - Rapid, indicating a predisposition toward aerial support and transport
A - Automated, indicating the presence of artificial combatants such as fully-autonomous drones or AI-controlled units
D - Indicates the presence of unmanned units such as battlefield-controlled drones or remotely-piloted support units
W - Walker Infantry, indicating a significant presence of infantry support walkers like the Watchman or similar tactical weapon systems
M - Medium, indicating a large number of medium vehicles and aircraft with limited heavy or light vehicles
I - Intelligence, indicating a large amount of support from technological or analytical assets, either computers or staff
C - Civil, indicating an organization the specializes in civilian instead of military contracts
Mi - Military, indicating an organization that specializes in military instead of civil contracts
Last edited by Huerdae on Sun Jun 13, 2021 11:23 am, edited 14 times in total.
The Huerdaen Star Empire is an FT Nation.

Xiscapia wrote:It amused her for a time to wonder if the two fleets could not see each other, so she could imagine them blindly stabbing in the dark, like a game of tag, if tag was played with rocket launchers in pitch blackness.
[17:15] <Telros> OH HO HO, YOU THOUGHT HUE WAS OUT OF LUCK, DID YOU
[17:15] <Telros> KUKUKU, HE HAS REINFORCEMENTS
[17:15] <Telros> FOR TELROS IS REINFORCEMENTS MAN

Rezo wrote:If your battleship turrets have a smaller calibre than your penis is long, you're doing it wrong.

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Huerdae
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Postby Huerdae » Thu Nov 14, 2019 12:03 pm

Discontinued Levies

Not all levied forces are continued without end. For some the situation that led to their use has elapsed, or the host nation has ceased to exist, or simply another deal was struck. For whatever reason, the following levies have ceased to exist in the Imperial Arm, and are no longer active.


Mechanized Shock Troopers (Relegated to Citizen Militia status)
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Raised from loyalists on the worlds that lay between the Vipran Imperium and the Huerdaen Star Empire, the Mechanized Shock Troopers are a semi-professional force who have changed loyalty over time, or simply seek out profit at the hands of the highly aggressive Star Empire. They're very well provisioned, using Vipran military hardware for their infantry, most often the Karatok battle rifle, in addition to fully prosthetic bodies. This strange cyberization of the unit leads to some distrust between the MST and Huerdaen units, though the Huerdaen grudgingly respect the advantage that MST is given through its use.

They're a mechanized unit, using heavily modified Tonka halftracks that are up-armored at the cost of the Hephaestus autocannon. However, these vehicles are built to make use of the advantages of sloping armor, allowing them to be lighter, and increase performance. Modifications improve the removal of the transport capacity for a Thor mortar for supporting unit advancements, something which is all too common amongst the MST. Many companies will have whole squadrons of these modified Tonka vehicles to provide highly mobile light artillery, allowing them to make use of the more terrifying Albatross gunships for hardened foes. In melee they make use of a highly adaptable entrenching tool, though it was not at all designed for this use, the heavy, sharp piece of metal has served them well in many situations.

When the conflicts with the Vipran Imperium began to settle into long-lasting, stagnant battlefields, the MST volunteers began to slowly decrease in numbers. As this was a wholly volunteer levy, they opted to return to home defense as a citizen militia, serving only to protect their homes. When conflict with the Vipran Imperium ended, the MST remained at home, enjoying a time of relative peace and safety as they attempted to rebuild their badly damaged worlds.

Caligati (Agreement Expired)
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Drawn from the Kostemetsian Commonwealth in an agreement to provide the highly trained Kostemetsian specialists with experience, the Caligati are infiltrators and demolitionists, who are said to have an eye for anything which may make a particularly nice detonation - or a woman with a particularly nice chest. Sometimes crass, they are professionals at what they do, and are capable of fashioning particularly effective explosives out of limited materials. Their training also includes infiltration tactics, assassination, recon, and trapmaking. They are some of the most effective scouts the Huerdaen have available to them, and are capable of operating in almost any environment. They're each armed with a bullpup SMG-design native to Kostemetsia, though the Huerdaen have developed a hyper-velocity ammunition to use with the weapon, so it may punch through powered armor. The weapon is habitually silenced, giving them yet another layer of concealment during battle, though the hyper-velocity rounds often will betray their presence with the increased muzzle flash, and distinctive impact noise as they pierce armor. However, these rounds are used sparingly, as the heat of firing can cause damage to the weapon. In addition, they are often outfit with collapsible 20mm AT rifles based off an old Huerdaen design, and retrofit for easy carry. They can be set up, loaded, and fired, and then torn down again all within 30 seconds. However, the weapon's caliber makes it unlikely to eliminate heavy armor, forcing Caligati to assault heavier vehicles with their explosives to deal with the danger.

They're particularly capable of disrupting enemy logistics, as they often bring or construct land mines in the field to attack and destroy enemy convoys. They can make these traps days or even weeks in advance, and have been known to use poison or other means as weapons against infantry. Traps leading to local wildlife or other hazards are not uncommon, and often extremely effective. They use a particularly unique melee weapon, as it is a 'soft' melee weapon consisting of a small, talon-like blade on a two-meter wire. This is used for silent kills, either slashing throats or as a garote, or can be used in melee combat like a fighting chain, allowing them to remain mobile and difficult to hit with ranged weapons or counter with standard melee weapons. They are most dangerous up close, as they carry no side-arm and their SMGs are not particularly capable at longer ranges. They are known to often use smoke to conceal their movements, though their weakest characteristic is easily their armor, being a simple flak jacket which is designed to avoid hindering their movements.

After a period of slowly decreasing relations, the Caligati ceased to serve as a Huerdaen levy when the Kostemetsian Commonwealth voluntarily ended the agreement in accordance with all terms required. The nations have not significantly interacted since.

Legion of Vengeance (Service Completed)
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A levy that was raised as much as volunteered, the Legion of Vengeance is a group of Setulanites that have gathered together under the banner of one of the first units to join the Huerdaen battle groups against the Exiles. Originally having completely refused all Huerdaen equipment, the Legion was able to make use of a small number of Setulanite Mobile Supply Ships to replenish their gear, simplifying Huerdaen logistics for the unit. However, combat losses have forced the Legion to adopt Blackbird Converted Gunships, as well as the rare Albatross Super-Heavy Gunships. Making use of these heavy armed and armored craft to support their own drops and their native Bentnose strike craft, they maintained a particularly highly skilled and trained force of drop troops that agreed to serve with the Imperial Shield until the conclusion of the Exile conflict.

Without any actual bases of their own, the Legion operated as a large flotilla completely reliant on the protection of the Imperial Star Navy, with the exception of a paltry few of its own escorts. However, their value to the Shield ensured that the protection provided by the ISN was not lacking. Using their own equipment and tactics, they proved a valuable unit that engaged in multiple conflicts alongside the Dread Black. Unfortunately, while relations between the group were friendly and respectful, their loyalties remained with their homeland, and the Star Empire was left without this valuable unit following the end of hostilities. In respect for their service, however, members who served in the Legion of Vengeance were awarded a golden chain of the same type used to indicate combat experience in the Imperial Shield, and would be permitted citizenship status should they wish to take up residence in the Star Empire.

Following the end of the Exile conflict, the Legion of Vengeance served out their term and fought for the Star Empire on several notable fronts with distinction for the same period in which the Star Empire assisted them in fighting in the Home Galaxy. When that time expired, the levy was officially disbanded and returned to service in their home nation.

Discontinued Weapons

'Medusa' Disruptor Rifle

The Medusa is a weapon that even the Huerdaen were uncertain about. It was designed to attack the very atomic makeup of the target, and though the actual workings of the weapon are highly protected, the Medusa's results are nearly impossible to argue with. Limited only by range, the Medusa is capable of turning almost anything into an explosive, causing matter to detonate in a volatile mix of energy and unstable mass. A hit on a living target often blasts large portions out of the body, plastering those nearby with shrapnel from body structure, and a wide spray of bodily fluids and liquified flesh. It pierces most shields and acts almost identically to flesh as it does to armor, but the weapon is both rare and highly unstable. A direct hit on the weapon itself could cause it to detonate immediately, with a sustained 95% fatality rate to the user.
Last edited by Huerdae on Sat Aug 01, 2020 4:22 pm, edited 4 times in total.
The Huerdaen Star Empire is an FT Nation.

Xiscapia wrote:It amused her for a time to wonder if the two fleets could not see each other, so she could imagine them blindly stabbing in the dark, like a game of tag, if tag was played with rocket launchers in pitch blackness.
[17:15] <Telros> OH HO HO, YOU THOUGHT HUE WAS OUT OF LUCK, DID YOU
[17:15] <Telros> KUKUKU, HE HAS REINFORCEMENTS
[17:15] <Telros> FOR TELROS IS REINFORCEMENTS MAN

Rezo wrote:If your battleship turrets have a smaller calibre than your penis is long, you're doing it wrong.


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