Tuesday, April 18, 2017


Following its ravaging during the Slave Wars centuries ago, Cilindare has been on a slow path to restoration via carefully controlled cultural renewal and aggressive terraforming projects.  The enclosed, industrial cities of Cilindare have continued to grow. The ruined ecology of the planet, and the bare, sterile areas like the Sundered Wastes, continue to dominate the surface of the planet and the atmosphere remains difficult, but slowly... ever so slowly... the terraforming is having an effect and the planet is making a comeback. Plants, imported from nearby forest moons, have started to grow, first as carefully tended private gardens, and finally growing into self-sustaining preserves.  The last vestiges of any relics of the failed regimes of the past, are finally being swept away, although much too slowly for the likes of its rulers. 
Entrance to the enclosed cities on Cilindare
Cilindare today is the capital of Cilindarean society, but no longer its single locus. As the power and influence of the Cilindareans grew, so too has the area which they claim. Colonists, encouraged by cultural and government induced incentives, have spread rapidly, procreated wildly, and Cilindarean culture is now "native" to dozens of nearby systems. Many other systems have sworn vassalage to the Cilindareans, and collectively this entire area is known as the Cilindarean Arm of the galaxy. The vassal states are not truly considered Cilindarean themselves, at least not by ethnic Cilindareans, who are very particular about their cultural and ethnic purity. Although there have been some conversions and acceptance of non-Cilindareans into Cilindarean culture and mixed race marriages, by and large the original Cilindarean ethnic group remains as it was during the Slave Wars. Quasi-religious cultural traditionalism has enforced an extraordinary level of cultural stability into the Cilindarean way of life in a way not unlike that of the Ashkenazi Jew. 
Many of the Cilindarean vassals or clients have taken to imitating many aspects of Cilindarean culture, including developing their own traditions of battle-suits and mercenary military service. These clients are careful not to copy the Cilindarean template too closely, as the Cilindareans are very zealous about the uniqueness of their battle-armor and see it as one of their most revered cultural traditions, and dislike too open imitation as disrespectful and gauche. 
A curious fact is that the descendants of many of the slaves that fought in the Slave Wars as Janissaries or otherwise, decommissioned after the Secessionists were defeated at Cephei IV have made their way to this area. Although not per se part of Cilindarean society, they see somehow a connection, as many of their ancestors from ancient times were ethnically related to the Cilindareans. The relationship between the ethnic Cilindareans and the ethnic Janissary descendants is somewhat strained on occasion, yet remains an interesting dynamic, as they number at least as many as the Cilindareans themselves in Cilindarean territory, and have their own traditions of martial excellence. While outside of Cilindarean society proper, they still retain a somewhat favored position as a largely pluralistic segment of society that cannot be ignored, and who have, by tradition, maintained a military cohesiveness that rivals that of the Cilindareans themselves.
System: Cilindare
Hex Location: 0818
Star Type: Single star, A9 V
Number of Worlds: 7
Gas Giants: 2
Planetoid Belt: Asteroid and comet belt

Starport Type: A
World Size: Earth-sized
Atmosphere Type: Thin
Surface Water: 10%, and much of it is frozen.
Population: Medium (600 million)
Political Affiliation: Cilindarean Arm
Notes: The homeworld of the Cilindareans, this planet has vital moral significance to them.  Foolish regimes of the past have, at turns, 1) embarked on foreign adventurism of dubious value that spent the military might of Cilindare, and 2) pursued naive pacifism and refusal to fight, even to defend themselves from open attack, as a reaction to the overt militarization of the past.  The end result of this was the ruination of Cilindare due to massive, planet-busting weaponry that literally turned much of its surface to glass (which is now ground down to fine, sandy powder in vast plains.)  Volcanic upheaval was a result of this planet-wide holocaust as well, so new mountain ranges leapt upward to pierce the sky with ragged, jagged peaks.  The Cilindareans themselves underwent a diaspora to nearby worlds, where they gradually rediscovered their military culture, but insist on a wiser use of it.  And, they've recently started trying to terraform their original homeworld back into habitability, although they are still confined largely to domed cities with controlled atmospheres.

Inside the domed cities of Cilindare
The Cilindareans are best viewed as something like the ancient Spartans translated into space with just a touch of the Varangians to them as well.  Their life is purposefully harsh and militaristic, crafting them into the perfect warriors and soldiers.  The expansion of their collective has been measured and deliberate.  And the soldiers gain useful experience, as well as vital riches, serving as mercenaries, bodyguards, bounty hunters, and more across much of known space.  The Bern kings in particular have long made use of the Cilindari corpore custodes, a kind of Varangian guard of Cilindareans, as one of its most trusted elite units, and traditional rival to the psionic Praetors.

The classic Cilindarean battle suit can probably best be short-hand described as a more lightly armored Warmachine (from the Iron Man movies) but with a face-mask that's more like that of the Winter Soldier or Star-Lord.  The Cilindareans themselves are extraordinarily Nordic in their physical appearance; blond and ruddy hair predominate, as do gray, blue and green eyes and white, often freckled skin.

This isn't completely true today, especially as the Cilindareans have spread through more of the galaxy and at least somewhat intermarried with others.  The descendants of the old Janissary corps, which make up a large plurality within their polity, have dark hair with pale skin and gray or blue eyes.  There have been a fair number of intermarriages between these two populations, although it's fair to say that the relationship between the former slaves and the "pure" Cilindareans is complicated.  There's a fair bit of mutual respect, but also rivalry.  Both practice similar martial traditions, including a variation on the agoge as part of male child raising, and these former slaves, still calling themselves Janissaries, have started to spread throughout the galaxy as mercenaries not unlike the Cilindareans before them.

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