January 2018 Archives

The event that holds the greatest significance in the recent history of the Empire is the Ston Rebellion and subsequent Interregnum. It may have ended up over 3600 imperial years previously, but there is still significant living memory of them.

During the Rebellion and Interregnum, everyone suffered. The population of humans dropped by a factor of roughly 3000, due to war, dropping below minimal technological maintenance levels, and intentional persecution by stop warlords, exacerbated as the ston warlords fought each other for domination and rule of what was left. All of the major habitats were destroyed, each of them having somewhere over one quintillion inhabitants. Over half of all Imperial planets were sterilized or destroyed completely, and had to be re-terraformed when the Empire was re-established. Starvation took a toll, as well. No Imperial planet managed to maintain as much as half of its pre-rebellion population, and most were left with one sixtieth or less.

During the Interregnum, one thing the newly dominant stons were intent upon was hunting down the remaining cot leaders. By the time it was over, eleven of the Fifteen Houses had been completely exterminated, but seven members of the Great Council survived to re-establish the Empire.

(The Fifteen Houses weren't blameless for the situation - they'd winnowed each other ruthlessly, in excess of 95% being killed within a few years of attaining final adulthood. But it also meant that those who survived were tough. It generally took a dozen or more stons to successfully kill one)

The seven survivors are:

BarAntro (Antro Baryan stu Merlak): Believed to be the strongest operant of all time, at least triple the known strength of any other survivor. Also known as the Blue Prince, he occupies the offices of Merlon and Supervisor. Roughly 20,000 Imperial years of age (14,000 Earth)

BarYerd (Yerd Baryan stu Merlak): Older (half) sister of Antro. Mysterious, keeps out of the public eye as much as she can. She quietly handles the Guardian's Ears, aimed at keeping future rebellions from getting to the point of violence. Sometimes known by a term babaiana that translates roughly as 'Mama Spider'. Roughly 60,000 Imperial years of age.

YokNos (Nos Yokel stu Merlak): Oldest of the seven, last of Merphon's grandchildren. Approximately 105,000 Imperial years of age. Sometimes known by the term dagdadirans, which translates as 'winning the game of isevenths'. He is the most responsible for sponsoring the conditions that lead to economic development.

JeSarba (Sarba JeNor stu Merlak): The youngest of the seven, and most tragic. She is the widow of Imans Baryan, and theirs was the first marriage between two members of the Fifteen Houses (by current usage, two Seventh Order Guardians). The series of events that began the Rebellion were set up by her own father, and resulted in the destruction of the rest of House Jehob. She modified her family name to honor the uncle that tried to support her. That she is Imans' widow means she is Antro's ex-daughter-in-law, and her daughter is Antro's grand-daughter. She was named Guardian after the Restoration. She is approximately 11,000 Imperial years of age.

M'Drashin (Drashin M'Dorna Stu Merlak) Probably the best social actuary in the Empire, known for leading the dissent to the establishment of the ston program, correctly predicting it would destroy the Empire. Approximately 15,000 Imperial years of age.

CorNost (Nost Cor stu Merlak) Unlike the above list, CorNost does not come from one of the families descended from Merphon's first group of sons. His ancestor was the middle son of Merphon's second family of five. Allied with the Yokel because the Cor were traditional allies of the Yokel before the Interregnum, Nost is known for brutal directness. Approximately 15,000 Imperial years of age.

Scimtar (Scimtar di Baryan) Unlike the others of the Seven, Scimtar is not a direct descendant of Merphon. His ancestor was another member of the initial group of operants, Zaius, and his line of descent includes his biological father being essentially a rapist of his mother. Raised by his mother and her husband, nonetheless, he was a long time Baryan retainer, actually being Antro's first tutor in the military arts. Nobody except Scimtar knows what caused his power to blossom, and he isn't telling. Now an independent, he still has ties of traditional friendship to Antro, Yerd, and Drashin. Slightly younger than YokNos, but approximately 105,000 Imperial years of age.

The Imperial military is split into three major combat arms. They supplement and support each other as much as possible, but they are as different as army, navy, and air force. While they have the same rank structure, their jobs are completely different.

Planetary Surface Forces are the ground forces. They are the ones who go down onto a planetary surface - or under it - and root out hostile forces. Pretty much all military personnel start in Planetary Surface Forces - the others recruit by transfer, which generally involves starting anew.

Strategic Space Forces are the people that crew the largest ship classes and their auxiliaries. Post and Capital ships are crewed by Strategic Space Forces.

Tactical Space Forces are the people that crew the smaller ship classes, from Convoy hulls on down through Large and Small Cruisers, Destroyers, Cutters, and Fighters. They probably have the highest level of prestige, and definitely have the highest casualty levels.

Also part of the Imperial military are the Shield units. They're not a major branch, although if you think in single planet terms their numbers are vast. Their reason for existence is the power and coherence of Imperial energy weapons. A shot that can damage a capital ship will obliterate an unshielded planet or a small civilian ship without noticing, and they are capable of doing it at ranges exceeding the size of most galaxies. Their job is after any battle involving military units to make certain there are as few shots as possible remaining from the battle. Their ships are essentially massive metallic rocks with hull charge, protected by capitol ship quality shields, and they intentionally move into the path of shots that have missed and absorb them. It's not a particularly dangerous job, but has high prestige in certain parts of Imperial society.

Two other much smaller units are the Merlon's Eyes and the Merlon's Fingers. The Eyes are intelligence gatherers, the Fingers are assassination and sabotage operatives. They are each composed exclusively of operant Guardians, and neither is a military unit in any kind of traditional sense because each is composed of individuals with other military assignments who also do Eye or Finger work (Their civilian equivalents, the Guardian's Eyes and the Guardian's Fingers, are full time operatives but much fewer in number). Both groups are aimed at external enemies, and strive to have their targets remain unaware that they have done their work, completely unaware that their intelligence is compromised or sincerely believing that the unfortunate event that hamstrung them was the result of some other cause.

There are also a plethora of military forces in the employ of major families or powerful individuals. They tend to be elites ("Imperial blue and gold" is a phrase of some scorn among them). Individually, none of them is large enough to fight the Empire, but if they ever banded together they might be able to defeat Imperial forces. The rank structure for most private forces follows the Imperial structure closely.


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This page is an archive of entries from January 2018 listed from newest to oldest.

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