Politics of the GalaxyWith political intrigue, conflict, and unrest all across the galaxy, the political scene of the galaxy is rife with turmoil. Each faction has their own agenda, and the council often dissolves into useless bickering and grandstanding. Despite the flaws in the system, the people of the galaxy mostly manage to get along with their lives, and technology, information, and resources are traded, if not openly, at least often. The dream of a unifying council of the races is full of corruption, but somehow or other manages to keep relative peace nonetheless.
The Alvani EmpireSpanning the space from the great Saufon barrier all the way to Haven, the Alvani Empire is the largest faction in the galaxy. In stark contrast to the galaxy’s other superpower, the Draconis League, the Alvani Empire is full of racial prejudice and rampant with slavery. The population has begun to see what rule under religious fanatics means, and though there is unrest, the Templars are quick to shut down any attempt at rebellion before it can begin. Despite being almost universally despised for their heavy handed behavior, the Alvani Empire has old agreements with most of the other nations, stemming from the Kamiin wars, that allow Templars to police the galaxy looking for traitors, criminals, and escaped slaves.
The Alvani are a race of telepathic humanoids. They believe they are superior to all the other races and they all conform to the beliefs of a telepathic cult called the Templars of Hannon. They love beauty and art and despise deception. Alvani are inducted into the state religion from birth. They are tested for psychic potential in early childhood and that test determines their social status, though their parentage has a bearing and other factors make a difference when the child reaches adulthood at age 17. Psychic ability and social standing are everything to the Alvani.
In appearance, they are the closest to the Solari (Human), though their builds are slimmer and their facial features are sharper. Their hair is always white or a pale silvery hue. The length of their hair is an indication of their status among their people. They stand at around 6'0" and weigh an average of 135lbs. Their clothing tends to be long and flowing, and much of it is ceremonial.
The Hakkir are a winged race of artisans and poets. They prize beauty above all else, and are widely viewed as very vain. Each Hakkir chooses an art form to pursue, and devotes themselves to the mastery of their chosen art. There is no social stricture or law that causes this behavior, it is just in their nature. ‘Art’ is a relative term as some have chosen things such as programming, debate, and even combat. Whatever their choice of form, the Hakkir art tends to be a cut above the rest because of this devotion to the craft. If not for the laws that govern the things necessary for survival, their impulsive and flighty nature would cause Hakkir society to collapse.
The Hakkir are considered to be the most beautiful of all the races. They have a pale, creamy complexion, and their feathery wings are usually pure white, though there are occasionally some with black or brown coloring, and even a few with red-brown. They are slim and have delicate features. Average height is about 5'10" and average weight is 100lbs. Their wingspan is about 9'6". They are usually predominantly blonde, though white hair is also very common, and other hair colors, though not as common as blonde or white hair, are not unheard of. Hakkir clothes tend to be fashionable, but unrestrictive so as to not interfere with their flight.
The Kamiin are prone to secrets and subterfuge. They usually conform to the ways of their chosen home. On their own worlds, they are little more than slaves. They spend their days pretending to be someone or something they aren’t. Even family and close friends often have no idea that the person they think they know is a Kamiin. Kamiin are born genderless, and when they come of age at 16 most Kamiin choose a gender and stick with it. Some Kamiin make the choice before this age and some never do. Because of their shapeshifting, they are able to change genders at will. It isn’t uncommon for a Kamiin to change genders during a mid-life crisis. Despite their secrets and their subterfuge, most Kamiin just want to live a normal life, among whichever people they prefer to be.
Kamiin are a race of shapeshifters, They can shapeshift into any of the other races and can grow fur, hair, or even feathers. They are rarely seen in their natural, pale grey form, but when they are, they have pale grey skin and hair. Their arms are long and gangly. They stand at about 5'9" and have an average weight of 140lbs. While in disguise, they have to be careful of their weight giving them away. Kamiin have almost no style of their own and prefer to borrow the styles of others.
Though referred to as the Alvani Empire, it would be more accurate to call it a theocracy than an empire. Officially, the Alvani Empire is ruled by their god, Hannon, but in practice they are ruled by the Voice of Hannon, who is a combination prophet, dictator, and general. Each world in the empire is ruled by a High Templar, whose authority is absolute. Despite the strong hand of the Templars in government most of the day to day management is still handled by elected officials.
Alvani civil servants are elected by the populace, but Templars are given their duties, and progressed through the ranks by their superiors. When the Voice passes on, a new one is chosen by a psychic ritual in which the High Templars claim they commune with the spirit of Hannon and receive his instructions.
The Hakkir, though technically allies of the Alvani, are treated as second class citizens, sometimes even on their own worlds, and the conquered Kamiin might as well be slaves for all the freedoms they are granted.
Templars of Hannon
The Templars of Hannon started off as an elitist psionic religion that grew rapidly during early days of the Kamiin Wars. They used the confusion of the wars to overthrow the democratic government which had been infiltrated by Kamiin agents. Rather than simply eliminating the Kamiin threat, the Templars used the opportunity to eliminate all political opposition, while the people lauded them as heroes. Within a few months the Templars were massing an army to rival the Kamiin’s fleets and launching the first dreadnaught class starship, the Will of Hannon. The Templars managed to turn the tide of the war and within a short period of time had conquered the Kamiin, putting an end to the Kamiin threat. While anyone can join the Templars, provided they have telepathic abilities, the higher ranks of the order are only available to the Alvani themselves. This is because their religion claims that the Alvani are the chosen children of their god, Hannon, and all other races are lesser children.
The closest the Templars of Hannon have to a clandestine agency is the Inquisitors. Among the Templars themselves, the name of the Inquisitors can strike fear. They are ruthless, and heartless, and have some of the most powerful and fanatical gifted psychics in all the galaxy. Their main duty is to root out corruption among the servants of Hannon.
The Hakkir are ruled by a communistic society. Their president, who is elected every 5 years, oversees the different branches of the government. Although their civil servants are all elected, they are all elected by the same political party.
Despite the government structure, most Hakkir enjoy the freedom to pursue their art, as long as they also provide their quota of the work that needs doing. Culture and heritage are very important to the Hakkir. The Alvani mostly allow them to rule themselves, but there has been a growing movement among the Hakkir to overthrow the tyranny that they have been subjected to by breaking ties to the Alvani, and some among them would go so far as to introduce a complete change in the government. So far, it has only been talk, some of it dealt with harshly.
The Kamiin government is centered on a dictator who bows to the Alvani publically. He and his cabinet rule the Kamiin with an iron fist, and it amuses the Alvani to allow them to do so. The Kamiin aren’t allowed to vote in the council, but recently they have been allowed to send a representative to observe and occasionally participate.
Officially, the Kamiin government denies all connection to the many pirates and other criminals across the galaxy, but several times in the past, the Kamiin have been found to be the culprits behind any number of illegal activities. The other races see no reason why they should believe that the Kamiin have truly changed.
Gau Signe Shadow Agency (GSSA)
The GSSA was a hated and feared organization that became almost independent of the Kamiin government. It was officially disbanded after the Kamiin Wars, but remnants have occasionally popped up and caused trouble again. The Kamiin have no current official clandestine organization since it would break their cease fire with the Alvani.
Ostensibly the Pirate Kings have no government backing, but many of their funds can be traced back to individual Kamiin agents. The Templars spend a lot of their time tracking down illicit goods and activities outside Alvani space that is at least partially run by the Kamiin. The Pirate Kings are a collection of powerful pirates who each command their own fleet of ships. They take jobs as mercenaries, but most of their ill gotten gains is from the plunder of merchant vessels. Every attempt to shut down their operations have failed. They use the warp storms and dangerous territory around Belias to hide from authorities. Twelve kings are known to exist, and rumors persist of a thirteenth pirate king, one who rules over all the others, though no agency has been able to confirm this.
The Draconis LeagueOn the other side of the Goln from the Alvani Empire, the Draconis League is the other of the two great superpowers in the galaxy. It is an alliance between the Republic of Draconis and the Kabari Dominion. Their military might and political power are equal to the Alvani Empire and they are the reason the Templars of Hannon didn’t take over the council when the Kamiin were defeated. The two societies in the League couldn’t be more different. The Kabari Dominion is xenophobic and elitist, while the Republic of Draconis is a melting pot of cultures, beliefs, and races.
Despite their intimidating build and frightening features, the Draak are a peaceful race of scholars, who prize philosophy, poetry, and meditation. They are also one of the foremost defenders of those who can’t defend themselves. The Draak have been keeping a written history since the early days of the colonies, before the fall of the Solari Empire, though their oldest records were lost in the great shift on Draconis some 1200 years ago. Draak age slower than the other races, reaching adulthood at about 52 years, and for this reason their population will never be as large as the other races.
In part due to their slow aging, the Draak are a patient race, who prize knowledge and intellect. Draak who reach their first post-adulthood growth spurt, called T’kavo, or the change, at around 100 years old are considered to be elders and treated with great respect. The Draak, unlike the other races never die of old age, instead they get larger, stronger, and tougher approximately every 50 years, growing several inches and putting on over a hundred pounds in a period of a week, during which they shed their old skin. Most Draak who pass their third century become reclusive and introspective, preferring solitude in the massive libraries that dot the Draak worlds.
The Draak are the most physically intimidating race. They have gargoylish features and large, leathery wings that unfortunately won't allow them to do more than slow their fall to a survivable rate. They stand at an intimidating 7'6, weighing in at over 900lbs. Their skin is always a shade of grey-brown, and they have no hair. Their thick hide is tougher than light body armor. They prefer to wear simple clothing that is loose and comfortable.
The Kabari are a strange snakelike race. They have a kind of hive-like society that no one else understands. They are totally loyal to their Matriarchs and most Kabari seen in the galaxy are sterile females. The Matriarchs and Princes rarely leave their homes. Though they appear to be drones, the sterile females have minds of their own. Due to their unusual hive-mind the Kabari tend to be xenophobic and exclusive. This is exacerbated by the racial memories passed down from Matriarch to Matriarch. Kabari do not choose their caste, but they do choose their profession.
When they are born, An’Kal are selected for the Terat’An, Vurat’An, or Kazat’An, the warrior caste, the education caste, or the worker caste. Despite the names of the castes, there is a wide variety of jobs and professions available to an An’Kal. Matriarchs usually choose the caste upon touching minds with the newborn, so the choice is rarely resented. Princes, or An’Surrat, are chosen for the same castes, but the additional caste of Sai’Surrat, a breeding male, is also available. Being chosen for a lower caste does not necessarily prevent a Prince from being chosen as a husband for a Matriarch, but the chances are much better if chosen for the Sai’Surrat. Matriarchs, or Mara’Kal, are their own caste, and the lucky An’Kal born right after a Mara’Kal is named her Madra’Kal, or shield sister.
Kabari mature fast, reaching their adulthood at the age of nine. Matriarchs and Princes of the Sai’Surrat go on sojourn from age 7 to age 9, protected by Madra’Kal and members of the Terat’An. During a sojourn they spend their time wandering the galaxy, learning from their journey and growing in wisdom and skill. Their sojourn ends when their mother calls them to meet their chosen mate. Kabari only live a little over fifty years so they tend to be quick thinking and fast to act, though their Matriarchs are strangely calm and collected for such a short lived race.
Kabari stand at about 6'3" and are typically thin, weighing an average of 145lbs. They have snakelike features, and most An’Kal are unable to grow hair, only about 38% can grow a gray or white stringy hair. Their tiny scales are usually grey or white, but many have a green or brown tint and some are pitch black. An’Kal wear clothes that fit with their caste and station.
The Kabari princes, unlike their sisters, are usually patterned along their spine, more muscled, and their scales are usually more visible. Princes of the Sai’Surrat wear fashionable clothes while the lesser princes tend to wear clothes suitable to their station.
The Matriarchs are slightly taller at 6'5" average, and are always accompanied by a Madra’Kal. They have elaborate patterns that are passed from mother to daughter but influenced by their father’s pattern. Their coloration widely varies, but is rarely gray or plain white. They always grow hair and their hair is a pale sea-green and usually worn in intricate displays. Matriarchs tend to wear elaborate clothes at the height of fashion.
Republic of Draconis
The Republic of Draconis was formed in the early days of Draak space travel. Each colony has the right to representation on the council. In 87 BH the Draconis League was formed and the Republic of Draconis opened their borders to any who wanted to make a life in the prosperous nation.
The Draak government has changed greatly in the last thousand years. They were once a great empire, but the imperial family slowly lost power to their senate, until they died out after a terrible tragedy. Currently the Draconis Senate writes the laws for the republic. Members of the senate are chosen from each system using a complex system of rules to determine the voting power behind each senator. The Draconis Senate is given to much debate and bickering, but they manage their government reasonably well. Each representative chooses his or her successor, and only a 2/3 vote from the senate can introduce a new senator or remove an old one. The Halon system has been trying to get their own senator to represent them for the past 3 years. Members of the senate can be chosen from any race, but are often picked from the Draak candidates because of their age and wisdom.
Planetary government is handled by governors, who follow the laws laid down by the senate, and are chosen every 3 years by the senator whose jurisdiction they are under. Though Draak are often chosen as governors, the position is full of members from nearly every species.
Although the traditional systems ruled by the Keepers of the Word, a faction among the senate, don’t allow non-Draak to represent their worlds the rest of the republic is full of a myriad of people. The Haven representative for the republic so far has always been chosen from among the Draak, but there is no law that states that a non-Draak senator couldn’t represent the league at the council.
The Draak have very little in the way of a clandestine organization. Their Draconis Intelligence Agency (DIA) exists to protect the Draak from foreign espionage.
Keepers of the Word
Recent changes in the Draconis senate have caused a schism between the more traditional systems who keep the most ancient records and the senate itself, who consider all people equal and allow members of the other species to be elected to any position. The keepers are a political faction that maintains the ancient records and ruins of the original colonies. They started out as a secret society, but have since become public. History is everything to the keepers, and they fear that by allowing the short lived races equal power on Draak worlds they risk forgetting the past. Their clandestine behavior, which is still a part of their society, baffles other races. They seem to fear something from the past, some enemy which may return.
The Kabari Dominion is unusual due to their hive-mind. Since all Kabari except the Matriarchs and Princes are sterile females, they have an unusual caste system. The Kabari obey their mothers with a zeal bordering on fanaticism, and the Matriarchs are ruled by the Queen Mother, usually the oldest Matriarch, and always the Matriarch with the most fertile daughters. Their civilization has elements of a communistic or socialistic society, with everyone working for the good of the hive, but individualism is supported to a surprising degree.
Recently the Kabari have retreated further into isolationism. They were always slightly xenophobic, but their Queen Mother, Tisanna of Rael, has been changing policies of late. Whether this is a portent of things to come or just the Kabari being Kabari even the Draak don’t know.
The Kabari Dominion’s military is one of the more powerful military forces in the galaxy. Their training is equal to the Warrulf’s, though they don’t have the Warrulf’s combat experience, with the exception of their Matriarchs whose genetic memories stretch back to the time before their unification. Thanks to their hive mind the Kabari have the most efficient and untraceable method of communication in the galaxy, which gives them an edge in any conflict.
Council of Queens
Every matriarch who is no longer able to bear young is granted a seat on the council of queens. The council enacts the Queen Mother’s will and advises her on her decisions. The current head of the council is Trissa of Taofin, whose policies often cause conflict with the Queen Mother.
Kabari An’Kal who are born after a Matriarch are granted the title Madra’Kal and raised with the sole purpose of being a lifelong companion, protector, and aide to their sisters. Madra’Kal are inseparable from their Matriarchs and given the best combat training in the galaxy. There has never been a case where a Madra’Kal betrayed her sister, and it is very rare for a Madra’Kal to survive when her sister does not.
Tan Ti Luatha
Literally seekers of the truth. The Tan Ti Luatha are a combination of psionic divining and old fashioned espionage activity. Agents are trained in psychic interrogation, divination, profiling, and intelligence gathering techniques, as well as how to resist interrogation and torture. Due to the Kabari mind net, even if you are holding and questioning an agent of the Tan Ti Luatha, you can never be certain that they aren’t the ones using you for valuable intel.
The Leonathi EmpireThough by no means equal to the Draconis League or the Alvani Empire, the Leonathi Empire, thanks to their alliances with the Goffan and Phaexi, are still a force to be reckoned with. With the recent addition of the Phaexi technology to their fleet, they are currently gaining ground in their centuries long war against the Warrulf.
Their position on the edge of known space makes Leonathi worlds the main launching point for expeditions to chart the far reaches. The barrier that is forming between their Goffan allies and the core worlds of the empire is causing an increase in costs, not to mention tension. So far the Warrulf haven’t sanctioned attacks on Goffan trade vessels bound for Leonathi space, but the trade routes are a hotbed of pirate activity.
The pride is at the heart of every Leonathi. They are bound by duty, honor, and family ties. Leonathi have two distinct castes: the aristocracy and the peasants. Position is everything to the Leonathi. Servants would never dare to speak without being spoken to, and the lesser nobles always show their betters the proper respect. Unlike most of the other nations the Leonathi females have few rights, they have no voice in the imperial senate and they are subject to their father’s and husband’s will. They are treated almost like property, though with more respect and care than the Leonathi treat their servants and slaves. This behavior is baffling to some, especially since Leonathi females are often more skilled hunters than the males.
The age at which Leonathi can marry and come into their inheritance is only 15. Leonathi females are rarely older than this when they are married off, but it isn’t uncommon for males to marry in their late teens to early twenties. Leonathi live about 100 years. Leonathi law allows males to take as many wives as they wish, though females are not allowed the same rights.
Leonathi, male and female, are graceful and beautiful, but also very deadly. They stand at an average of 6'2" and are on average well-muscled and well-built, weighing an average of 150lbs. It is uncommon for a Leonath to grow overweight, their society looks very badly on weak willed gluttons. Their faces are very leonine, but their builds are predominantly humanoid. They are covered in fur of varied colors, anything from white to golden brown to black. Every Leonathi, except the rogues, wear their family crest on their clothing. They tend to either wear clothes suitable to the court or crisp military uniforms. Their ruling caste still often wear ceremonial swords, and many know how to use them.
The Goffan are a race of overgrown toads. Their jovial natures belie a shrewd trader's mind. Widely accepted as the foremost traders of the galaxy, the Goffan enjoy nearly free movement in any area of the galaxy.
Goffan mature slowly, reaching physical maturity at 17 years, and legal age at 20. Despite these laws, nearly everything can be purchased on a Goffan world, including special licenses for underage marriage. They live to be about 120 years old.
The Goffan have long bony legs that have much more power than they appear to. They are usually portly, and their eyes are set wide apart and they have other toadlike facial features, which unsettles some people, but aside from these features, they are humanoid in their basic make and look, albeit with slimy-looking dark to light green skin. Goffans are amphibians and can hold their breath longer than any of the other races. Their full height, which they rarely rise to, is about 7'1", while they weigh an average of 300lbs. They prefer to wear large, flowing clothing which accentuates their already great bulk.
The Phaexi are mysterious and secretive to the point of paranoia. They also have the most brilliant scientific minds in the galaxy. The source of Phaexi paranoia and xenophobia is a mystery to the other races. Some think that the paranoia is due to an event in Phaexi past, while others subscribe to the belief that the herbivorous Phaexi were once the prey of dangerous animals which have since been rendered extinct and the paranoia is just a genetic defense mechanism. Whatever the reason it makes dealing with Phaexi difficult.
Due to the high number of Phaexi with a kinetic gift they have some of the most powerful psionics in the galaxy. Most of them that have the gift use it to make their life easier, using it in place of the other races’ more dextrous hands. This allows them to work with smaller mechanical and electronic parts and they are the leaders in nanotechnology.
Phaexi are not long lived, usually passing away in their 80s, but they mature fast, becoming legal adults at 13, a year after their physical maturity. Despite their devotion to science Phaexi marriages are a very superstitious and mystical ceremony dating from the early days of Phaexi culture, before the Konai Guild of Science.
They are not by their nature an aggressive species. Most of them simply wish to be left alone to conduct their experiments and live their lives. Those few who learn to fight find themselves at a disadvantage to the other races, and usually push themselves to extremes in order to even the odds. While most Phaexi are peaceful, if paranoid, their warriors tend to be extremely aggressive, compensating for their physical weaknesses with psionic ability, excessive training, and attitude.
The Phaexi are a brightly colored race of bird people. They are short, at only 5'4" when standing on their hind paws, and they don't even have normal arms, just dexterous talons on their front legs. Phaexi equipment is built to accomodate their strange 'hands' and only Phaexi can use it without difficulty. They have a myriad of colors on their feathers, and resemble tropical birds spliced with the hindquarters of a cat. They wear unusual clothing that is often very drab compared to the Phaexi themselves.
Imperial House Raomin
The Leonathi have been ruled by an ancient imperial bloodline for the past 1500 years. Their government is feudal, with each person swearing fealty to their house lords and all lords swearing fealty to the imperial house. Their entire ruling class are hereditary, with the title and ruling power passing from father to son.
They have long been one of the most politically minded races, and they have perfected the ways of the court in centuries of aristocratic rule. Though there is a growing movement among the peasants for freedom, it has not yet spread beyond a few scattered incidents, usually involving slaves.
The other races take the Leonathi seriously, but the constant war with the neighboring Warrulf causes them no end of difficulties.
Council of Lords
Though the imperial family holds the power, a collection of lords who hold high rank gather to aide the royal family in decisions. While technically advisors of the throne the council wields political power of their own. It is a delicate balancing act between the myriad factions and political agendas that is as difficult to navigate as an active minefield. With all their differences and political struggles it takes a strong leader to keep the throne.
The Goffan are ruled by their merchant guild. The Goffan Merchant Guild controls most of the trade of the galaxy. In fact, they practically have a monopoly on trade. The Guild is ruled by the current Guildmaster, whose post only lasts 6 years before he must resign forever. The Guildmaster is chosen by a vote of the council. Seats on the Guild Council are sold to the highest bidder, and even non-Goffan can buy a seat, although they must be members of the Guild. Civil servants are elected by the populace, but they must follow the laws set forth by the Guild.
On the council, few races have as much clout as the Goffan merchants, but few races are as likely to sell their vote as the Goffan as well.
The Goffan are unique in that they rely almost completely on their status as traders for protection. They are very powerful as no race wishes the Goffan Merchant Guild to place a ban on any of their worlds. The Goffan have been allies of the Leonathi for centuries, and there is a very firm friendship between these two races. Recently, the Phaexi have allied with the Leonathi as well, but this alliance is not directly with the Goffa.
The Doroth Gran (the Goffan military) is more of a police force than a military, and they are one of the few groups allowed to bring armed vessels into other nation’s space. The main reason for this is the fact that the Doroth Gran are the best pirate and smuggler hunters in the galaxy. Another reason is that the Doroth Gran is the smallest military in the galaxy. Even the passive Hakkir have a larger and more impressive military force than the Doroth Gran. Also, non-Goffan are allowed into the Doroth Gran.
Konai Guild of Science
While the Phaexi do have an elected government, they were once ruled by an imperial dynasty. Now the real power rests with the Konai Guild of Science. The primary purpose of the guild is to protect Phaexi technology and keep it out of the hands of the other races. Because of this there is a major smuggling problem, which only adds to the paranoia of the Phaexi.
The Phaexi are the most scientifically advanced race of all the twelve, but their advancements are never shared. Even their allies, the Leonathi, aren’t taught to use or build Phaexi devices, instead Phaexi engineers are stationed on Leonathi warships.
The Konai guild has its own language that is taught only to Phaexi, and they are more secretive than most clandestine organizations. Their spy network is used across the galaxy to track down stolen Phaexi tech and recover it. Several interstellar incidents can be tracked back to the Konai guild and they make no apologies for their paranoid behavior. Still, the Phaexi technological advantage is hard to ignore and most of the other races would rather avoid conflict with them, especially since the Leonathi would back their allies.
The Konai Guild of Science has a branch known as the Druin, whose main purpose is to protect Phaexi science from falling into other hands. They have since become one of the major clandestine organizations of the galaxy.
The Clans of the WarrulfThe clan worlds are located between the Leonathi and the Alvani Empire. Their nation is widely considered barbaric by the other nations, but their military might can’t be denied. While not a galactic superpower, they are, with the clans alone, a match for their neighbors, the Leonathi. Recently, with the addition of the Phaexi technology, the Leonathi have begun to push the Warrulf back on world after world and it looks like the war might finally see an end.
The Warrulf have a love of combat, from their ritual combat to gain prestige, power, and mates, to the centuries old border war between them and their neighbors, the Leonathi. While it would be beneficial to the Warrulf war effort to blockade the Goffan trade fleets bound for their allies, it is not the Warrulf way. They would rather face their opponent head on in honorable combat than by attacking supply lines. Besides, in the minds of the Warrulf, the Goffan are obviously a beta race, subordinate to their betters. When the Warrulf warriors have taken the imperial palace on Leo, the Goffan will be quick to submit to Warrulf law.
War is at the heart of the Warrulf culture. Service in the Warrulf military is mandatory, and every citizen is required to complete at least one tour of duty, physical hardships notwithstanding. When two Warrulf have a personal or business dispute one will issue a Kravath challenge to the other. Most Kravath duels are not fatal, only a very serious grievance would cause a duel to the death. Family and clan feuds and even wars break out often, but when the Warrulf face an external threat they band together to face it. Warrulf are proud and prone to issuing challenges to anyone who offends them, but most Warrulf would consider challenging a weaker opponent to be more shameful than most minor offenses. Their prowess in combat is unmatched, but their barbaric ways cause the other races to treat them with slight disdain, when there aren't any Warrulf present to take offense, of course.
The Warrulf lifespan is roughly the same as the Leonathi, reaching maturity, physical and legal, at age 15, and living about 80 years. Despite this, Warrulf tend to die young due to their combative nature.
Warrulf stand at about 6'7" and have a build to match their height, weighing just under 200lbs. Females tend to be slightly larger, stronger, and more aggressive than their male counterparts. Their fur is usually white, brown, or grey, with black coats being rare. Their arms are long and don't look as strong as they are. Their facial features are very lupine. Warrulf clothing is old fashioned, but made with the resources of a spacefaring race. Their telekinetic Shaman clan often wear ceremonial robes, but for the most part, the Warrulf prefer utility over looks.
Council of the Clans
Warrulf government is extremely simple, the strongest lead, the rest follow loyally. Any Warrulf can challenge to increase his or her position in their clan, but they must be prepared to follow through with their challenge. They are considered warlike and barbaric for this behavior, but they care little for what the other races think of them. All the clan chiefs are loyal to the Grand Warchief, who rules all the Warrulf. Usually, only a chief can ascend to the status of Grand Warchief, since few other Warrulf can gather enough supporters to even challenge someone with so much power.
Politically, the Warrulf are treated as barbarians, and they never did master the diplomatic arts. Council laws have been passed that no challenge of combat can be made within their walls because of the Warrulf and Leonathi behavior in council.
Shadow Moon Clan
The Shadow Moon clan acts a little differently than the other clans. All Warrulf with Kinetic gifts are put in the Shadow Moon clan and trained as Shamans. Shamans act as an elite unit in war, able to use their kinetic gifts to protect their soldiers and to devastate the enemy, but their other duty is to guide the clan leaders, and help them to be better leaders.
Shamans are trained from a young age to master their kinetic gifts while being steeped in the ancient ways and traditions of the Warrulf. They tend to be less aggressive than other Warrulf, but far more dangerous. Shamans can’t take positions of power, but they are allowed to side with a chief, becoming a personal advisor. Shamans are taught in monasteries.
The Darkside Clan
The Darkside Clan is the Warrulf’s clandestine agency. Although their existence is known, their identities are not. They act and move in secret, never revealing their affiliation to the Darkside clan. Only the Grand Warchief knows the identity of the Darkside clan chief. There are many rumors linking the Shadow Moon clan to the Darkside clan, but these rumors have yet to be proven.
The Other RacesThere are three races not affiliated with the larger factions. The Liskani, who remain stubbornly neutral despite the efforts of both the Leonathi and the Warrulf to recruit them to their cause, the Jatta, who have spread across the galaxy, some would say like a plague, continuing to explore its furthest reaches, and the Goln, who outnumber any of the other races and keep the galaxy running with their industrial expertise.
The Liskani have a love of politics and bureaucracy that only they can understand. Being cold blooded reptiles, they are slow to anger, but dangerous once roused. Their society is full of useless beurocracy that only a Liskani can understand. Liskani avoid conflict, not because they fear it, but because they simply want no part of it. They are tough, powerful, and relentless opponents, but prefer mediation to combat. Their cold blooded nature causes them to seem lethargic around the other races.
Liskani age at the same rate as the Leonathi and Warrulf, reaching maturity at around 15 years and living to their 80s or 90s, but their regeneration causes them to appear younger than they are. It also makes it hard for Liskani to accurately judge the age of other races.
They stand at only 5'8" but they have added bulk with their large tails, making their average weight about 190lbs. The Liskani skin is made of tougher stuff than most races, and they have very powerful muscles. Their natural healing can even cause them to regrow limbs. Liskani do not have any hair, but their skin is a thick hide. The variety among the Liskani is vast, and the racial differences can be extreme. They wear simple clothing for the most part, though many are known to buy lavish outfits.
The Liskani have a love of politics and bureaucracy that only they can understand. Their military is not as mighty as some, but they have more than enough will to fight if the need arose. However, they are strictly neutral, a fact that never ceases to annoy their neighbors the Leonathi and the Warrulf.
The Liskani have an extremely convoluted bureaucracy that few non-natives can understand. Their leaders are elected by the people and make decisions in groups of three called triads. This makes for a democratic government that is slow to make decisions but implacable once set on a course of action. The three branches of their government, the judges, the treasury, and the senate, are each overseen by three individuals who hold the highest position in that branch, the three heads of government, technically nine individuals, collectively make decisions in a triad that govern all Liskani. One of the nine is chosen every three years to sit on the council at Haven, and the same branch of government can’t be chosen twice in a row.
The Liskani have become adept at maneuvering through the red tape of a bureaucracy. Due to their unbending neutrality, the Liskani are frequently asked to mediate disputes between others, especially individuals among the Leonathi and the Warrulf. Their representative on the council is one of the most respected individuals in the galaxy.
When the council convenes the Liskani are in their element. They are stubborn to a fault, but very clever, which makes for some interesting debates. They rarely take sides, but when they do they become their chosen cause’s staunchest ally.
The Jatta are a race that is always getting themselves into trouble. They are intensely curious and innate wanderers. Between that and their habit of picking up things that don’t belong to them they often put themselves in dangerous situations. Jatta are scavengers, picking up whatever they need and eating almost anything. The other races consider them to be dirty thieves, but mostly the Jatta are merely misunderstood. They tend to think outside of the box, and usually have mannerisms and methods that others view as bizarre or crazy.
The Jatta are unique in that to them, there is no such thing as money or possessions. As a society, they have long believed that nothing belongs to anyone, and if you need it more than the next guy, just use it. This causes a mountain of trouble when the Jatta follow their natural curiosity to explore new worlds and meet new people, who tend to view their picking up whatever they need with accusations of thievery, which the Jatta just don’t understand.
Jatta age only slightly faster than average, reaching physical maturity at 14. They have short lifespans, mainly due to their poor hygiene and lack of caution. Even a healthy Jatta rarely lives past 80.
The Jatta are a ratlike race. They are often referred to as ratlings. They stand at about 6'0", weighing about 130lbs and they have long, semi-prehensile tails. Their bodies are covered in a thick fur of a grey, white, or brown color. Some of them have a furry tail and others have no fur on their tail. They have sharp teeth and claws and beady eyes. They have long whiskers on the end of their pointy snouts. They prefer to wear loose outfits that allow them free movement, and are often found in rags or badly patched clothes.
Governor of Rettan
Jatta have the most unusual government. Their government is kind of like a mix between a socialist republic, a democracy, and complete anarchy. They tend to follow whichever person they want to, and have an uncountable number of political parties, most of which don’t even bother to vote on who to send to the council. Every two years a new representative is voted for, although their representative can be the same person any number of times. The other races can’t understand how the Jatta government works, and the Jatta don’t know why the other races need so much restrictive structure in their government.
While the Jatta vote on offices of government, the only one that really matters is the Governor of Rettan and his or her aides. This is the office that makes policy at the council, and thus changes Jatta law.
Despite their long association with the elder races, the Jatta were only allowed on the council after the Kamiin Wars, and thus are considered a ‘young’ race. Most of the other races wish the council had never allowed the Jatta to send a representative since they always call the most ridiculous things to the attention of the council, usually seconded by their Goln friends. There is occasionally a vote to decide whether or not to continue allowing Jatta representation. The Draconis League usually helps put an end to that vote.
The Explorer’s Society
While other races join the society, the Jatta are still the vast majority of members. The Explorer’s society is a ragtag group that is dedicated to exploring the vast reaches of space, often sending out long distance expeditions that only occasionally return with news and updated starmaps. The society has more rules and regulations than the Jatta government, but is still a very loose organization.
Unlike most of the Jatta, the Nameseekers are different. They are also called Keepers of the Names, and it is their duty, passed on from master to student, to keep the oral history and traditions of their people. They sate their curiosity by delving into history. The Jatta oral tradition is the longest lived oral history in the galaxy, and though many tales are lost to the ages, the vast majority of stories are kept alive through the storytellers of the Nameseekers. Despite modern technology, the Nameseekers maintain their oral traditions, using only memory to record the history of their people. Nameseekers are forbidden from ever speaking a falsehood once they take up the title, and if they break this law they cease to be a Nameseeker, earning instead, the title of Forgotten.
The Goln are short, industrious builders. They also breed faster than rabbits. They are widely known as the least intelligent space-faring race for their slow thinking, though this isn’t an accurate assumption. They are naturally gifted at engineering and construction, and so they hire out as manual labor to the other races.
Despite maturing quickly, reaching physical maturity at 13 years old, the Goln have fairly long lifespans, living a little over a century. Despite a long lifespan, the Goln often die young due to starvation, overcrowding, or dangerous jobs in order to earn enough money to feed their massive families. Goln have an average family size of 18, and they remain fertile their entire lives, never aging past childbearing.
The reasons for the Goln’s numbers is because nearly everything on their homeworld likes to eat them. Their overcrowding problem only came about when they developed the technology to defend themselves against the predators of their world. Goln are herbavores, and they have an instinctual fear of carnivores, which doesn’t put them on good terms with the Leonathi or Warrulf.
Goln stand at only 4'2", but are built with oversized arms and wide shoulders. They weigh about 185lbs. Their appearance is often described as ugly by the other races, with green mottled skin and large bulbous noses. Their hair is dark green and very stringy. They tend to wear simple work clothes.
United Republics of the Goln (URG)
The Goln are ruled by a communistic party. Their senate elects their leader, who is also their representative on the Council of Haven, every seven years. Their congress can impeach their council member if they don’t agree with him or her. Their council member chooses a cabinet of advisors to aid in making decisions.
Lesser civil servants, such as mayors, governors, judges, and senators, are elected by the people for only three and a half years before they are replaced. Usually, these elections are staggered in half-year increments.
On another note, the Goln unemployment rate is above 40%, and their slums are the worst in the galaxy. Goln labor is cheap, and Goln are actively sold into indentured servitude or even slavery, sometimes by their own parents.
Despite their relative youth on the council, the Goln are a force to be reckoned with. Their sheer numbers give them a labor export and the manpower to overwhelm any of the other military forces in the galaxy. They also keep nearly every starport, and a large number of starships in the galaxy, running. In about 150 years it is estimated that the Goln will outnumber any three other races in the galaxy.
Largely considered a joke in the espionage community, the Ulog Mar is the Goln’s clandestine organization. They are the most infiltrated and least informed organization in the galaxy. Their people are easy to turn due to overpopulation and serious money issues, so they are more a source of information to their enemies than reliable spies. It is another reason that the Goln are considered stupid by most of the other races.
The Council of HavenIn the early days of the golden age of exploration, there was talk of a unifying government to promote trade and cooperation between the races. This talk became the Council of Haven when war was threatening to break out between the Alvani Empire and the Draconis League, the two greatest nations. The peace talks happened on the middle ground of Haven, a world dead center between all the races. The council was successful in averting war and the races found a balance. The first council had members from the Draak, Kabari, Kamiin, Alvani, Leonathi, Warrulf, Liskani, Goffan, and Hakkir. The Jatta weren’t considered a galactic power and weren’t invited to the meeting, and the Goln hadn’t been discovered yet. The Phaexi were invited, but didn’t join the council at this time. This gave rise to the term the elder races, which refers to the nine races on the first council.
Council of Haven
It is impossible to talk about galactic politics without bringing up the Council of Haven. The Council is responsible for creating interstellar laws and promoting peace between the great races. The Council has no ruler, but is, instead, a democratic organization, with each member of the council granted one vote (except the Kamiin representative who cannot vote) on all decisions the Council needs to make. On Haven, racial enmity must be forgotten, or you will quickly find yourself kicked off the council world. It is the best location to have meetings in a neutral zone since no weapons are allowed planetside, save the weapons carried by the Guardians.
The Haven Courts
Politically, there are many different echelons on Haven, with the most powerful being the Council itself. The lesser political dignitaries meet on their own schedules and make their own decisions and agreements. This has created a very strange, constantly shifting, yet somehow functional, unofficial political organization called the Haven Courts. To get a seat requires a nomination, which can be bought, bribed, bullied, or coerced from any number of powerful individuals, and votes deal with the matters to bring to the attention of the Council of Haven. To go above the heads of the Court is usually very foolish, and sometimes very fatal, not to mention the fact that the Council won’t see just anyone. Typically, members of the court are invited by corporations, branches of the various governments, aristocracies, guilds, secret societies, and any other powerful individuals or groups.
The Guardians of Haven
The Guardians, as they are usually called, have only one duty: guard Haven and the Council from any hostile force. Of all the galactic organizations, the Guardians are the only ones without a hint of corruption, in fact, they are the symbol of neutrality. They sustain a sizeable fleet in and around the Haven system, keeping criminals and armed forces away from the council world. Members of the Guardians are the only beings allowed to carry arms on Haven’s surface, and they comprise the honor guard that protects the council halls and escorts dignitaries.
Interstellar Police (ISP)
Interstellar, as most people call them, was created for cooperation in the apprehending and trial of criminals, however, they are far from efficient, and have become almost a joke throughout the galaxy. Still, there are some cases where the system works flawlessly, and many thousands of outlaws are apprehended after they leave the systems they committed their crime on. Interstellar has the best holding facilities in the galaxy, and, most notably, their prison planet Zarta Calai in the Magux system has never had a single escape.
Interstellar Security (ISS)
The ISS is the most controversial organization in the galaxy. On the surface, they prevent threats to the council members and provide intel to the Guardians and the ISP. However, they are the galaxy’s most infamous spies. Made up of all the different races, and with contacts more numerous than most of the national intelligence agencies, they are supposedly neutral politically. They are controlled by the Council of Haven, but they answer to their current department heads. No one is quite certain how the ISS works, even the members of the ISS. Some rumors say that the information the ISS gathers is for sale to the highest bidder, while others claim that the ISS works for some underworld organization, but no one knows for sure.
The Outlaw Alliance
The Outlaw Alliance was formed by a band of Kamiin, Goln, Leonathi, and Jatta, who publicly opposed a bill that would limit the colonization of new worlds to only organizations which annex the world from the council. The ragtag band of explorers and colonists has since grown to include all the races. They oppose the corruption of the council and wish to form a new galactic order with better checks and balances in its place. While most members simply oppose the corrupt practices of the council, some extremists have turned to acts of terrorism, and given the legitimate members a bad name. They are opposed by the ISS, the ISP, and the Guardians, but operate in cells that have no knowledge of each other’s activities. Their crimes range from freeing test animals and slaves to bombings on Haven. Their name always evokes strong responses, either for their policies, against their methods, or even both.
A Brief Galactic HistoryMuch has been done in recent times to unravel the secrets of the past. The vast reaches of space were once home to an ancient empire, and modern archaeologists have been piecing together what they know of it for the past century.
The Legendary Sol System (Date Unknown)Everyone has heard the legends. Everyone knows of the striking similarities between the twelve council races, both in their histories and in their physiology. Every school child has been taught the fact that ancient ruins of an advanced civilization exist on many worlds throughout this galaxy. But there is much that remains unknown.
According to legends, the people of the Solari empire had spread across the galaxy when some disaster or outside enemy destroyed their empire, the story varies from people to people, but some legends remain the same. The twelve races were once a group of colonies of this empire, but when it fell, they began to change. Slowly, as they concentrated on survival on the planets they had colonized, the knowledge of the old empire was lost, and their bodies had irrevocably changed. With time, even the legends began to fade.
Finally, when only a few still believed the old legends, the different races began to discover ancient ruins on their own homeworlds, and with this discovery came the rediscovery of warp technology.
Return to the Stars: 185-92 BH (Before Haven)With the ability to once again travel the cosmos, explorers from the different races began to chart the stars, discovering many worlds that could be inhabited. Each race believed that they were alone in the vast galaxy. With the different people spreading across the galaxy, it was inevitable that they would one day make contact.
The first recorded contact was between the Goffan and the Leonathi. For those involved it was the first sure sign that they weren’t alone. The Goffan Merchant’s Guild began to search in earnest for others. Meanwhile, the Goffan forged a lasting alliance with the Leonathi that remains as strong as when it was formed.
On the other side of the Galaxy, the Alvani made contact with the more primitive Hakkir. Valuing their beauty and grace, they quickly formed an advantageous alliance in which the Alvani received thousands of imported Hakkir goods in trade for protection and safety. To this day the Hakkir are considered citizens in the Alvani Empire.
The Great Expansion: 93 BH-54 HSY (Haven Standard Year)During this time, there was a great push to discover new worlds, to explore the vast reaches of unknown space. With most of the races’ homeworlds becoming vastly overpopulated, this time was also marked by a massive colonial period, where many thousands of citizens flocked to the frontier to forge a new home for themselves and their posterity.
The Goffan and Leonathi continued their explorations and discovered the Warrulf and the Phaexi. While the peaceful traders of the Goffan Merchant Guild formed trade agreements with the new races, the Leonathi had disastrous results in their first diplomatic meetings with the warlike Warrulf, and the first intersteller war between the races began. The Leonathi-Warrulf war is still a bitter fight that hasn’t ever completely died out.
The Kamiin were discovered by the Alvani only a few years after the Leonathi and Warrrulf broke out in full-blown war. There was some difficulty at initial contact, but they overcame it in their negotiations. However, both sides watched their borders in an almost cold war state for the next 50 years, until they made first contact with the Goffan.
The Draak stumbled across a Goffan freighter that had gotten lost, and while other Goffan made first contact with the Alvani, Kamiin, and Hakkir, the Draak were forming their own trade agreements with the Goffan. Shortly after these races made contact, the Liskani were discovered by a Warrulf ship. Only a few years later, the Kabari were disvovered when they attempted to form a colony on a Draak world, and the two began negotiating borders.
The Draak were quick to form an alliance with their powerful new neighbors and the addition to the newly reformed government made the Draconis League one of the mightiest factions in the galaxy.
The Templars of Hannon, a fanatical religion among some of the Alvani, took an instant dislike to the mighty Draak. Their ‘Prophet’ denounced the Draak as demons from the netherworld, and announced his intention to have his Templars drive them “back to the pits from whence they came!” They have yet to make good on these claims.
The rapid exploration eased, and the great explorers slowly dwindled until they became a mere shade of their former glory. During this time, a new race appeared on the scene. The Jatta had sent their own explorers and found the other races. While the Elder Races registered this new development, a Jatta explorer stumbled across the Goln living only a short distance from the Draak, Kabari, and Kamiin borders.
Although these discoveries did not rekindle the frenzy of the great expansion, the Jatta, in concert with the council of Haven, formed the Explorer’s Society to continue exploring the many stars of the galaxy.
The Kamiin Wars: 55-68 HSY (Haven Standard Year)The confusion of the Kamiin Wars is due in part to the fact that the shapeshifting Kamiin had infiltrated the highest echelon of all of the various governments. This much is certain: the Kamiin arranged a number of interstellar wars between the other eight Elder Races, and attempted to conquer the entire galaxy.
The Liskani made a name for themselves by defending their borders against the full invasion force of the Warrulf, who had been tricked into attacking their neighbors. They earned the Warrulf’s respect in that war, as well as the Leonathi’s.
Their attempt might have been successful but for the Alvani Templars of Hannon, who had watched the Kamiin infiltrate the various governments, including their own. Their unmatched telepathic abilities allowed them to quickly seize all Kamiin spies within their own territory, and their efforts in the wars countered much of the Kamiin threat. In only a few years they had subdued the Kamiin entirely. To this day the Kamiin are despised by most of the others for their treachery, and their planets are overseen by the Templars of Hannon.
It was during the confusion of the war that the Templars of Hannon, growing in power for the past several decades, ousted the remains of the old democracy, and passed laws against all religions except their own. The government they formed has not changed much in the years since.
The Golden Age: 68-79 HSY (Haven Standard Year)The Golden Age began with the Jatta and Goln finally joining the council. There was overwhelming support for them as they came to the aid of many in the Kamiin Wars with supplies and other assistance. After they joined, the Phaexi, who had been used as pawns in the Kamiin Wars, decided to accept the invitation to the council in order to prevent such an occurrence again.
This time of peace even saw a cease-fire to the Leonathi-Warrulf wars, although both sides watched their borders well. Most of the nations were simply trying to recover from the ravages of the Kamiin Wars.
Tides of War: 79-82 HSY (Haven Standard Year)Old differences are difficult to put aside, and the Leonathi-Warrulf war, only a wary peace for the last decade, exploded into a full-blown invasion once more. The war escalated until the Leonathi had lost several systems. Suddenly, without warning, the Phaexi joined the Leonathi-Goffan alliance and put their impressive technological might behind the Leonathi fleets for reasons only the Phaexi know. With their addition of Phaexi tech, the Leonathi have turned the tide of the war.
While the war goes on, the political tension between the other races continues to grow. The Alvani Empire and the Draconis League are at odds in the council once again, while the other races watch with baited breath for the trigger that will throw the galaxy back into conflict. Even the Liskani, stubbornly neutral even during the Kamiin Wars, are considering the offers of the Leonathi and the Warrulf in council, though both races are becoming impatient with the long negotiations.
It is 82 HSY, and the council is losing its grip on the galaxy. With the war escalating once more on the Warrulf-Leonathi border, and another about to erupt between the Alvani Empire and the Draconis League, the Golden Age of the Council of Twelve is well and truly over. The Kamiin, who once sought to rule the galaxy, have even been allowed to sit at the council, though they aren’t granted the right to vote, or even given authority over their own people. There are many strange new discoveries every month made by the Explorer’s Society. One can only guess at what the future will bring.