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The Seekers' Confederation

To ignore the stars, as if their problems will never be ours, would doom our people.

0 · 109 views · located in Future/Sci-fi

a character in “Universal War”, as played by DustAndEchoes

Description

Nation name:
Race(s): Essok

* 15' from nose to tail. Will 'squat' upright at 7' to speak with humanoid figures or use their middle limbs in a task. (think how Toothless sits in How to Train your Dragon)

* 300lbs. Talons are hollow and hoof-like with an extra joint in the wrist for flexibility. 6-legged; the middle limbs are small and weak but well-suited for dexterous tasks.

* Scales are cool and pebbled in texture like an aligator. Dark colors, shot through with very pretty irridescent patterns. Hide is thick, vital organs (including brain) housed in dense chest cavity.

* Carbon-based. Evolved from ambush / pounce-and-tear predators. Burrowers.

* Eyeless. Rely on minute pressure changes, heat-sensing pits, and electric pulse (A mishmash of shark, bat, and snake senses). This natural attunement to energy and noise emissions makes them ideal engineers, medics, and hunters.

Nation size: One

Government type: Parlimentary Monarchy

The largest packs' Alphas form the Council, who elect from their midst a single Matriarch (or rarely a Patriarch) whose word amongst them is final.

Important Government Figures:
Matriarch Kyssari - Current Essok Matriarch
Starpack Alpha Shisali - Leader of the first contact taskforce (Approximate rank: Admiral)
Hunter Alpha Vessk - Leader of taskforce ground forces

Economy:
Barter economy with no fixed currency. Caste members strive to provide the better good and thus aquire importance in their field, driving innovation. A craftsman who makes a tool for a Hunter, for instance, has bragging rights above one who makes tools for a lesser caste.

Important Economic Leaders:
Keeper Preel - Highest ranking Keeper on Journey colony.

Religions:
Earth-worship
Essok treat their planets like living deities of both life and death. This is more of a philosophy then a true religion.

Points of interest:
Haven - Home planet. Medium-sized world of sprawling jungle known for its prolific lifeforms. Both plants and animals so agressively colonize available space that landed ships often need to be 'weeded'. There are many dangers on Haven; even the Essok havent eradicated all of their natural predators. Here is where the Council and the Matriarch are both located.

Whitestar - First colony world close to a small, hot sun. All structures are underground to avoid radiation and heat, which suit the Essok just fine. Primarily responsible for mineral resources and ship construction. Essok mine both the planet and a nearby asteroid field.

Journey - Farthest from Haven and with two habbitable planets (Dust and Journey). Dust is a dry savannah world used for research and is a launching point into deep space, having a very powerful jump relay in its orbit. Journey is a warmer sub-tropic world used primarily for agriculture. This is the only planet besides Haven with an established population of Keepers (caste is explained in History), making this planet the default trading hub of the young empire.




History:

The Darkness Before
Before the planet had a name, the Essok were separate packs warring for territory and resources. They were predators, and they were prey. At some unrecorded junction, packs began to join together to share the burdens of guarding their caves from burrowing threats and hunting in the dangerous jungles above. They began to learn and use tools, craft and teach.

In this time, three Castes existed:
Alpha - Leader of the Pack. The strongest, the wisest. Most were females; being the larger gender and, since they often returned to the safety of the caves to breed, were often the longer-lived. There could be sub-Alphas within very large groups, as would happen in the future, but any Essok bearing such a title had truly earned their place as a leader. Alphas could be challenged and deposed either by combat or when the Pack lost confidence in them.

Hunter - Those who braved the dangers above to scout and retreive food. The quickest, the most clever, the deadliest. Aggressive but with group discipline that saw them move almost as one, this Caste would eventualy developed to be equivalent to many other races' Special Forces.

Keeper - So called because they 'kept' the Cave. They taught the young, tended the wounded, and were responsible for the early keepings of beasts/crops and the manufacture of simple goods. This caste would become the largest by far, and are primarily 'civilian'.

Earthbound
As more packs came together for the greater good of their members, more organization was needed. Wars between packs became wars between whole factions. These conflicts, combined with Haven's very hostile nature, nearly decimated the Essok numbers.

Once convinced of this, many Alphas came together to form the first Council. When bickering, rivalry, and the natural balkiness of an Alpha to bow to -anyone- threatened to send this coalition back into civil war, the position of Matriarch became a necessity. The Matriarch became the voice of all Essok with no pack of her own and no right to mates or territory, since all Essok were her brood.

Not all Alphas agreed to these terms. These packs continue to live on the fringes of Essok society, and have no say in the greater matters of the Council.

Essok began to secure vast cave networks to function as their cities, began to build and learn. Keepers maintained underground herds and crops enough to supplement the Hunters in their dangerous work, and began to weave intricate cloth or forge newer and better metal.

With numbers came crime, and with crime a new Caste:

Outcast - These Essok have commited crimes too serrious to forgive or repay in polite society, and so are shown all the mercy the jungle world can afford; none. Their sensitive frill-antennae are cleaved, rendering them all but blind, and are chased to the surface by Hunters. Lone Essok are miserable, short-lived creatures on Haven. While this seems cruel; the threat of the punishment keeps much activity limited to petty squables and the occasional missing bauble.

The Time of the Stars
'Modern' times. With survival finally satisfied, individuals had the time to study, learn, and wonder. they improved the lives of the Essok in the caves, and populations swelled. They developed armor and weapons to defend against the dangers of Haven, and Hunters - long the smallest of castes for their high attrition - became more numerous and flexible.

It wasnt long before these thinkers began to wonder what was beyond their violent, living world. If it was possible to reach the breathless stars. The jungles above would not suffer the intrusion of landing pads and constructed things, so the Essok built within the caves that riddled Haven's crust and opened vast, irising holes to expose them to the sky. After many years and several generations, theory became flight. Flight became orbit. Orbit became Space Travel.

A neighboring star, small and white, beckoned closest, and technology to 'slingshot' Essok ships to it became their first Jump nodes. The colony was named Whitestar for its most distinct feature, and so began the Essoks' forray into the greater galactic community.

The thinkers and builders became their own Caste, in time:

Starclad - Engineers, Scientists, Explorers, Pilots, Diplomats... essentially any Essok that serves aboard a ship is called Starclad. These Essok are curious and independant; mostly striving to find, learn, and know. They understand, however, that they must be ready to fight, and thus are above the less-skilled Keepers. They occupy the space of authority below a Hunter, but only on the ground. Aboard their ships, Starclads are the law.




Strengths (Non-Militarily):

* Biology: Still very close to their primitive predator roots, evolutionarily speaking, Essok are possessed of keen senses, fast reflexes, and hearty bodies.

* The Good of the Pack: Essok are tightly bonded to one another, even if personalities clash. Selfish acts are as uncommon and repulsive to Essok as cannibalism is to a standard human of today. This makes their society tightly-woven and social discord is minimal; usually reserved for the packs on the fringe that do not acknowledge the Matriarch.

* Polite Killers: Level-headed and resolute, Essok can be remarkably tolerant and considerate individuals, delighting in interaction and communication, particularly music. Conversely; they also are neither stupid nor meak, and are quite willing to spill blood to end a threat.

Weaknesses (Non-Militarily):

* Biology: While their strange way of seeing the world can be a great asset, it can also cause trouble. Their senses can be 'overloaded', by energy emissions or by grabbing at their sensitive antennae-like frills. The results can be anything from a headache, to leaving it in a stunned, immobile state, or even unconciousness.

* Social Creatures: Essok suffer when isolated. While Hunters and Alphas - with their naturally strong personalities - are capable of operating for a time without the comforts of the pack, others may begin to display anxiety, aggression, and depression within a few hours. Left alone for long periods, an Essok is entirely capable of going mad and dying from loneliness.

* Inexperienced Spacers: New to the stage of interstellar exploration, a lot can go wrong in the void. Mechanical troubles, hostile life forms, and clashing cutlures threaten from all sides, and the Essok will have to make mistakes before they can learn from them.

* Predator and Prey: While generally willing to assist thinking creatures, Essok are very fatalistic. Extinctions and death that are natural they may not act to prevent, and certainly dont mourn for long. They lack compassion for beggars or those who can contribute nothing in return for the resources they take.




Hyper Tech:

Hard to Kill: Essok ships are thick-skinned, to put it mildly. Even their fighters boast 5' of solid plate between void and crew. Used to close quarters in their burrows, the Essok can dedicate more room to superstructure and less to crew spaces; you will never find a place to 'just be alone' on an Essok ship. Their bridgers are housed in the middle of their ships, relying on hull sensors to pipe data to the pilots, since the Essok are blind and have no fascination with windows or problems with claustrophobia. Their engines are all but enveloped by the bulging armor, and the honeycombed coridoors can be isolated and sealed quickly if a hull breach does occur.

Silent Running: It never occured to Essok, when they designed their ships, that other speices would -not- be able to see the emissions as they do. With their sensitivity to noise, energy, vibration, and radiation discharge, Essok Engineers simply crafted their propulsion plants to be as comfortably 'quiet' as possible for the sake of the crews manning the engine rooms. This had the unintended benefit of making Essok ships - even their capital ships - very stealthy bastards, indeed. Their emissions are near nil, using a self-perpetuating loop of energy to keep anything expelled to an absolute minimum. They make no more noise moving an entire fleet about in a system then a dead peice of asteroid makes.

Flash Weapons: Another testament to Essok manipulation of energy, their rifles fire suppressed bursts of intense energy that leave burning holes in potential targets. They rely on a backpack generator shouldered by the soldier in question, but are very efficient killers, and despite their name, emmit very little light or noise. Think a an acetylene torch that can fire in pulses, emmitting only a 'dead flashlight' glow.




MILITARY:


Doctrine:
"Then we will die. But we will make them bleed for the privilege." -- An Essok's final stand.

During their period of civil conflict, even Keepers were bodily capable of rising to fight with claw and tooth to defend a burrow, so the concept of a truly peaceful 'civilian' is an alien concept to Essok culture. If/When they encounter this, some fateful decisions are going to have to be made based on previous experiences...

Essok will generally avoid killing the young of a thinking creature, and may even accept a sufficiently submissive surrender, particularly from one that has caused the attacker no personal harm. But once engaged, they are extremely stubborn in erradicating what they have percieved as a threat. Negotiations may fail entirely if the Essok beleive they are still in the presence of an enemy, or if they are certain they can push the threat away from their holdings.

However, while whole packs are willing to throw themselves into the fray, the survival of the Essok species as a whole is of utmost importance. If sufficiently convinced that such a threat exists to their entire race, the Essok may retreat or attempt to bargain with no percieved loss of pride.


Ships:

Ship Class Name: Defender-class
Hull Size: Dreadnaught
Combat Designation: Planetary Defense, taskforce flagship.
Weapons:
*Defenders are the only ships to carry what might be called a superlaser. Originally intended to core threatening asteroids, this pulse-laser faces foreward, and can only be fired after a 5 minute charge. This pulse-effect was deliberate to take advantage of often gas-filled space rock that could be over-pressurized and exploded from within, like resonant collapse in a demolished skyscraper. It should be noted that other -ships-, with their compartments, are essentially gas-filled space objects...

*Torpedo tubes that number in the hundreds, configured to fire bunker-buster type balistic weaponry.

*Starship-class variation of the Flash Weapons above. Space does not diminish the heat radiation as quickly as atmosphere does, allowing these cutting laser weapons to operate at a considerable distance with deadly power. Swivel-turrets number in the thousands.
Engines: 8 (in a 3-2-3 configuration) of the Essok's particularly quiet energy-loop engines. Only the thrust ports of these engines are visible; the entire body is otherwise encased in hull.
Defenses:
*Armor plating - As stated in Tech. This ship is the heaviest armored, boasting a solid 50' on the brow to deflect debris and radiation. Not only providing obvious defensive properties, this thick shell means that species whose boarding craft rely on breaking in may find their drills / explosives several dozen feet short.

*Modular spaces - Hull breaches or boarding parties can be quickly and efficiently isolated in the cramped, tunnel-like coridoors either by Essok on-site or by engineering spaces dotted throughout the ship.
Other:
Carries a compliment of 500 fightercraft and another 600 of the dual-purpose bomber/shuttle craft. They are launched from several hangars that are built into gill-like slits in the hull. Landing on an Essok ship without Essok eyes is a difficult feat, as the clearance into these hangars can be measured in mere feet.

Ship Class Name: Seeker-class
Hull Size: Battlecruiser
Combat Designation: Combat support for Defender-class. May lead taskforce if no Defender present.
Weapons:
*Capital Ship Flash Turrets - Lacking the Defender's impressive kill weapon, Seekers come with their own set of teeth. At cardinal positions on the hull (Top, sides, and belly) are 2 turrets stacked in staggered array like an Iowa-class battleship's main batteries, totaling 8. Large variations of smaller flash turrets can fire repeatedly and for long periods, relying on the vaccuum to maintain cool temperatures. These larger weapons are reserved for ship combat or asteroid clearing, as it would be a waste to use them on fightercraft.

*Flash turrets that number in the hundreds.

*Torpedo bays facing foreward, also hundreds.
Engines: 7 (In a 2-3-2)
Defenses:
*Armor plating - Seekers will generaly carry 30' of armor plating, as they position themselves to bodily intercept debris that may threaten lesser ships.

*Modular spaces - as above.
Other:
A compliment of 200 fightercraft, and 300 bomber/shuttle type, again with gill-like hangar acess.

Ship Class Name: Claw-class
Hull Size: Cruiser
Combat Designation: Primary combat / light patrol vessel.
Weapons:
*Flash turrets - These turrets nearly crowd this ship's surface, making it bristle with their distinct pod-like bulges. They still manage to number 100 in this fassion.

*Torpedo bays - Face foreward and aft with 6 on each side, totaling 24
Engines: 5 in a 1-3-1.
Defenses:
*Armor Plating - Claws still carry 20' of armor at the brow, tapering to 'only' 15 on its sides.

*Modular spaces - Same as above.
Other:
Carries 10 fightercraft, and 10 bombers launched from the shadow of a beak-like bow. More may 'piggyback' on the Claw's hull.

Ship Class Name: Swift-class
Hull Size: Fighter
Combat Designation: Defensive screen, space superiority combat.
Weapons:
*Flash Weapons - a stepped-down version of the ship-class, but still very powerful, with 2 mounted on each wing.

*Missile tubes - Carries 4 designed to target ships its own size or only very slightly larger. One tube that points foreward on the bottom of the nose.
Engines: One, directly aft.
Defenses:
*Armor - 5' of plate, and no vulnerable canopy. Ship is acessed through a hatch on the side.
Other:
Shaped like a spear head with a fat middle, tapering to thin wings. Very organic, very large for its class to account for the armor. Carries one pilot, but can fit 3 crew.

Ship Class Name: Brave-class
Hull Size: Bomber / Shuttle
Combat Designation: Anti-ship, boarding vessel, and transport.
Weapons:
*Flash weapons - Two facing foreward on its wings, and another 4 on its body. (spine and belly face aft)

*Torpedo tubes - 2 tubes carrying up to 10 of the larger anti-ship weapons. These weapons can be removed to fascilitate cargo/personel transport. Tubes pointing foreward on belly, where wing joins the body.
Engines: 2 - at each wingtip
Defenses:
*Armor - 10' feet of plate at the nose and aft, tapering to 5' at sides.
Other:
Shaped like a boomerang with a bulging middle, and large 'pods' on the wingtips that act as engine pylons and landing gear. Carries up to 20 Essok with the weapons removed, crewed by 3.



Ground Armies:


Ground Troops:

Ground warfare is the Essok specialty, despite the relatively small numbers they are capable of fielding. Numbers depend on the numbers and class of ships that have deposited troops. Claws carry perhaps 500 Essok, while Defenders will number nearly 10 thousand. A Claw will have 1 Hunter pack standard to handle trouble, but a Defender will carry nearly 50 packs of up to 20 individuals.

Flash Turret (immobile) Low to the ground at 10', usually used to defend a position. This turret can either act as an Anti-personel, or an Anti-aircraft defense. Carries the same power as the ship-based version, and is powered by a stationary generator in a nearby burrow.

Skiffs - Fast-moving hovercraft that act as armored troop or supply carriers. Speed is their primary concern, not engaging the enemy, but they do have a single Flash Turret mounted on top. This is the only vehicle Essok field currently.

General Assault - Starclad will probably fullfil this role. They carry flash rifles, and wear sectioned armor plating on their bodies. Their low profiles and quick movements make them dificult targets, and they will often not engage in head-on warfare; prefering to emulate their Hunter brethren and engage in hit-and-run skirmishes. When on the defensive, they will burrow or retreat, and attempt to draw the enemy into conditions that are favorable for close combat.

Hunter Assault - Like the Devil himself loosed his hounds and said 'sic em!'. Hunters do not engage the enemy openly, if they can avoid it. They have years of blood on their claws from time on Haven, fighting creatures that to this day prey on unwary Essok. Hunters do not tend to wear armor, since thick skin and dense bone can turn asside many injuries and Hunters see the armor as too noisy, too much weight. They do, however, carry Flash Rifles when assaulting thinking species.

Specialists at patient surveilance, sudden assault, and ghost-like retreat, what damage a Hunter directly inflicts upon troops - while substantial and bloody - is likely nothing compaired to the psychological trauma of a soldier forced to fight something that hunts him at its leisure. To add to the terror, if a species is biologically safe, Hunters may even rely on their enemy as a source of food... No sense letting it all go to waste, and they never understand why other creatures get so -uptight- about it...

So begins...

The Seekers' Confederation's Story