Tuesday, April 25, 2017

States, nations and polities of the New Alderamin sector, part III

Let's finish the states descriptions, and then maybe I can start up with some star system data sheets still today, if I don't run out of time.
Reaver Warrior
  1. The Altairan Ascendancy (South)—Greatly reduced and cut off from their brothers in the galactic north, this rump state is always wary of further war.  Populations swollen by refugees from the invasion and conquest that created the Outremer state have turned to revanchism, rescue of those enslaved or living on Vichy worlds in Outremer.  Although not at open war with Outremer, raids, subversion, sabotage, terrorism and more make life uneasy along the border here.  While the Northern Altairan Ascendancy issues letters of marque to prey on Outremer shipping, and cultivates the growth not only of its army, but alliances with other colonies and states in the region, in the South, the common people have boiled out in anger and resentment at Outremer and have turned to radicalism and terrorism; while their nobility is largely in denial that there's a major problem, and sees the new normal of a shrunken and divided Altairan Ascendancy as just the way things are.  This leads to a growing disconnect between the elites and the rank and file of the Ascendency, which in turn is leading to further conflict and weakness.
  2. The Reaver Worlds—This is the homeworld and later expansion area of a group of humanoid
    aliens that derive from cursorial hunters (rather than savanna dwelling omnivores, as humans are believed to have done) locally.  In spite of their human-like appearance, their wide, spreading noses, furry bodies, and sharp teeth as well as large and pointed external ears make them immediately identifiable as alien.  Some humans have called them cat-people or werewolves, but they are neither; they are an alien race that has little connection to Earth or any of the other homeworlds of xenohumans.  They are almost universally viewed as barbarians and savages by most of their neighbors, especially because they have a habit of conducting hit and run raids that leave settlements looted and their inhabitants killed or enslaved.  Their leaders deny any official involvement or knowledge, to deflect diplomatic sanctions or worse, and in this they're probably honest—it's just cultural to the Reavers, and they do it to their own settlements as well.  The Viomium Marches, the Desai Worlds, and the many smaller independent areas that surround them are their usual targets; the Empire has been on occasion, but reprisals are usually harsh and indiscriminate, making them too risky a target for most.  Think of the Reaver Worlds as something like the Comancheria in the 1850s; the only Indian tribe to roll back the white advancement, and fight the Texians and the Mexicans to a stalemate.  Eventually the US got involved after Texas was annexed, and then it was rather quickly over for the Comanches, as the full might of the US army was turned towards pacifying their depredations; but in this instance, the Reavers are trying to keep the Empire from doing that, so as to maintain their independence and way of life.
  3. The Desai Worlds—A splinter group ruled by a few Dhangetans and their armies, the curious thing about the Desai Worlds is that they are the home of a number of earthlings that are not human; they were settled long before the Marian Empire by someone doing genetic research and experimentation in eugenics on great apes.  For the most part, these are apes that have a more humanoid posture, intelligence and speaking ability, but there are a few weirder morphological variants as well.  The apes are mostly unmolested in their settlements in the wilderness, but many make up an underclass in the cities, which are otherwise very much as you'd expect from a Dhangetan world; mercenaries, smugglers, slavers, criminals, and others from the underbelly of known space society.  Relatively large numbers of the cat-like Reavers pass through here on business that isn't necessarily related to their piracy, and this is the vector by which apes spread elsewhere in known space.
  4. The Machesk Frontier—What was formerly a rather sleepy little colony has become a crossroads and staging area for people streaming into the area to fight for or against Outremer and Imperial expansion.  The Count is laughing all the way to the bank as tariff revenues have skyrocketed, but he does worry about instability in the future.  Luckily, he's surrounded by buffers of various sorts; the Calder settlements and the Takach Kingdom are more likely to face immediate Imperial aggression than he is.
  5. The Calder Settlements—Proof that Republicanism isn't terminal, this small settlement of only four systems, primarily settled by Psarians and Jaffans, with some Earth human settlement as well, has been split by the expansion of Outremer, in the same way that the Altairan Ascendancy was.  Of course, unlike the Altairans, Calder was only sparsely settled to begin with.  The worlds that remain free from the Imperial yoke have been strengthened by refugees, so that their populations are more stable and robust.  For the most part, the r-selected portions of the population, including the leadership, has fled as well; moved to quieter neighborhoods like Rhyne, or even gone back to Republic Main altogether.  What's left has been forged quickly into a more stable, efficient, lean and mean K-selected group (although lingering hand-wringers of course remain, as they always do.)  In fact, as this change has happened, rather rapidly, the inhabitants have started to question exactly what benefit belonging to the Republic has given them, as they've looked towards the Altairans or the strong Cilindareans as better and more admirable neighbors.  Although they as yet still value the resources of the Republic, when they can get them, sufficiently that secessionist movements are not strong enough to actually lead to real change.  That said, the Republic now has a wary eye on those unruly Calderans.  Between Calder and Carthen, the whole tip of their expansion into the New Alderamin sector is at risk of blowing up in their faces, although colonial administrators are still in various stages of denial about the risk.
  6. The Takach Kingdom—One nation that has stood firm against Outremer (and anyone else's) expansion and either fought or intimidated everyone into leaving them alone, are the Janissaries of Takach.  Since their days in the Slave Wars, the descendants of the Janissaries have had a reputation as a highly efficient and effective military culture, but few of them have had more occasion to actually utilize their militancy in practice than the Takach.  It's believed by some that the conquest and settlement of the Kingdom in the first place, which was highly publicized and romanticized by many, was the inspiration for Kar Tanus to go liberate Thanatos and build his small empire in the first place.  Having fought frequently against Imperials, Cilindareans, Reavers, Revanchists, and more, the Takach military is seen as one of the best small militaries in known space.
  7. The Emerus Marches—Another local leader who is highly concerned with the threat of Imperial expansion, as well as Reaver and Desai depredation, Margrave Hugh Longonz has made overtures to all of his neighbors, and done what he can to build his colonial military.  Hugh feels like he's in the calm before a storm, but he thinks he's built up the means to weather it.  The Emerus Marches has become especially self-sufficient, and is often wary of visitors, although it does tolerate a fairly steady stream of Bern officials, settlers, mercenaries or others who travel through on their way to the even more desperate Viomium Marches.
  8. The Viomium Marches—With their Margrave killed in action, the far-flung Viomium Marches are perhaps the most put-upon multi-world settlement in the sector that still manages to hold on to its independence.  Squeezed between Reavers and Imperials, the poor settlers here are hardened, untrustworthy, and ready to fight at the drop of a hat if it looks like they need to.  On the other hand, those that they do make friends with are fast friends—on such an unstable frontier, they're desperately needed.

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