Empire Tips: December 2022

For those who can’t follow @empiretips@social.arkane-systems.net on Mastodon, or who prefer their helpful space elf life advice in larger lumps, here’s this month’s monthly digest post.


Imperial lifestyle tip:

Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow you’ll be alive.


Saravóné integrity tip:

Even if? Let justice be done especially if the heavens fall. Any heaven built on corruption is no true heaven.


Imperial civics tip:

If you would have a better world, pick up a hammer.


Kanáralath debate tip:

A sword is not an argument.


Cordelia Vintar-ith-Vidutar exploration tip:

When you detect a new civilization, call down and introduce yourself. No-one likes a creeper.


dar-bandal ethics tip:

A pup’s ball is the pup’s; a pup’s teeth are the pack’s.


Istar Sargas resource-management tip:

A dagger in the night is worth sur-dodeciad swords at dawn.


Ianthe Claves technepraxic tip:

The problems of knowledge will not be solved by ignorance.


Bertil Rúädha business tip:

To better compete, cooperate; to better cooperate, compete.


Alphas Amanyr management tip:

Trust your people. If you need to stand over them or bind their hands with rules, you shouldn’t have appointed them in the first place.


Galatia Allatrian social tip:

Courtesy is a man’s obligation; friendship, his gift.


Jynne Cerron safety tip:

Where arms may not be borne, there it is well to bear arms.


Valentia Amanyr lifestyle tip:

To be honored, behave with honor. To be respected, be respectable. To earn credit, pay your debts. This is the thing and the whole of the thing.


Lauré Muetry-ith-Mirari aesthetics tip:

The purpose of art is to uplift, inspire, and enlighten. Never subvert. Only supervert.


Olbria Amanyr character tip:

Noble blood is born from ancestry; noble souls are born from right action.


Fellowship of Natural Philosophy research tip:

Knowledge is its own justification.


Octíëve Súrnedal networking tip:

It’s always the Endpoint Location Protocol. Even when it isn’t. Even when it can’t possibly be. It’s ELP.


Lyris Belacquan transparency tip:

Dark deeds flourish in darkness; what cannot be done in the light ought not be done at all.


Traest Sargas tactical tip:

Treasure an enemy who seeks to die in the service of his cause; for you and he have the same objective.


Olbria Amanyr leadership tip:

If authority must be exerted by force, it is already lost.


Esseldár progress tip:

The old ways are best, except when the new way is better.


Cinníäs lifestyle tip:

No intemperance is greater than lack.


Eight Bloody Sages exploration tip:

Don’t fear the unknown. Make sure the unknown fears you.


Galatia Allatrian Darkest Night tip:

A gift is an appreciation of the recipient’s worth. Appraise your people highly today.


Valentia Amanyr ethics tip:

Where the law fails, honor must make good.


Alphas Amanyr career tip:

Pride is not a weakness. Ambition is not a failing. The stars are yours if you have but the will to grasp them.


Alwyn Muetry theology tip:

A god is a verb; an idea potent enough to reshape the world simply by existing.

Behold the faces of the gods that you refuse to name.


dar-bandal self-defense tip:

Tear at the throat, and be done.


Cordelia Vintar-ith-Vidutar exploration tip:

Death is not the next great adventure, nor is it an undiscovered country. Rather, it is the end to all possibility of adventures and discoveries.

Don’t go in without backup. Or until you’ve made a backup.


Xian Anandonos-ith-Anaxios strategy tip:

The ignorant fight to win; the enlightened win before they fight.


(And if you have forgotten, the quick guide to who all these folks are is found here.)

Going Viral

Memeweave: Threats and Other Dangers/Microbiologics/Other/Open Access
Classification: WHITE (General Access)
Encryption: None
Distribution: Everywhere (Bulk)
As received at: SystemArchiveHub-00 at Víëlle (Imperial Core)
Language: Eldraeic->Universal Syntax
From: 
Interstellar Immunity (Trailing Central Division)

This is a CASE CHYLE declaration for the Hope Nebula, Lisune Pass, and Sullen Wildlands constellations.

Gentlesophs,

To recap, this division dispatched a task group of hospital ships to several worlds in the Hope Nebula, Lisune Pass, and Sullen Wildlands constellations in response to a number of requests for assistance stemming from an epidemic outbreak of a non-specific microbial infection provisionally typed as Xhelageneae paracoccus aminophilus.

Reports received from our senior medical staff aboard IS Bradycardia, flagship of the task group, indicate that the infection shows the distinctive markers of genetic engineering. It is not a registered engineered organism or based on known industrial prototypes. However, it is the product of a relatively advanced biotechnology.

Note that we do not believe that this modified Paracoccus is intended as a bioweapon or ecoweapon; its symptoms are merely those of a mild pneumonic infection (although infection is systemic), accompanied by severe loss of energy.

However, it is notable that the Paracoccus possesses a lengthy strand of purely non-coding genetic information in addition to the functional plasmid, a strand which is notable for undergoing substantial directed mutation (accompanied by high restriction enzyme and ligase activity) in the period between replications. We have concluded that this strand represents the working data for a DNA-based computer; informatic study of this strand’s sequence suggests that it is a digital representation of encrypted data.

While full analysis and simulation studies are yet to be completed, we believe that this anomalous Paracoccus strain represents an attempt to use an epidemic disease as a massively parallel processing system for cryptographic purposes.

It will of course be necessary for the designers of this disease to collect the output data when the underlying process has run its course. Since the processing is stochastic, our current model assumes that it will be necessary for successful bacteria to engage in rapid replication (possibly accompanied by enhanced virulence) and generation of a unique protein marker – possibly an artificial symptom – likely to appear in the medical literature to enable recovery of a sample containing the successful bacterium’s sub-strain. These may in themselves constitute a hazard to private and public health.

As such, we recommend that all medical facilities within the Hope Nebula, Lisune Pass, and Sullen Wildlands constellations contact their Interstellar Immunity representative with details of any unusual symptomology or unique protein markers appearing in patients admitted with X. paracoccus aminophilus infection; and that all the above medical facilities perform security reviews of all staff in a position to obtain, purloin, or analyze fluid or tissue samples from any such patient.

(While this last is not within our ongoing medical remit, we strongly urge all intelligence and security authorities to cooperation in this in the strongest possible terms. We ourselves will be communicating all relevant data current and future to the Biologics TAG, to Imperial ExSec, and to the medical and security attachés of every Conclave delegation.)

Further information will be made available as it is confirmed.

For the Foundation,

Dr. AATAACAGGAGA, DM, ExB, ExMB, FICS.

Filk: Beyond the Stars and Far Away

(ttto: O’er the Hills and Far Away)

The generals ask if we will go
To test our strength against the foe
And make the host barbarian pay
Beyond the stars and far away

Chorus
Beyond the stars and worlds away
In Fringe, in March, or off in Ley
The throne commands and we obey
Beyond the stars and far away.

When duty calls us we must go
For sentinels ’tis ever so
A legion life the coin we pay
Beyond the stars and far away

(Chorus)

So to the transport we shall come
Our eagles burnished as the sun
She lifts, and we are on our way
Beyond the stars and far away

(Chorus)

Then we shall fight with beam and shell
Until the field resembles Hell
But for the Empress we shall stay
Beyond the stars and far away

(Chorus)

When Darkness lies upon the land
We will not hold or stay our hand
But fight to bring the break of day
Beyond the stars and far away

(Chorus)

If we should fall on foreign shore
As legion brothers have before
Then drink, and let the trumpets bray
Beyond the stars and far away

(Chorus)

But courage, lads, that’s not today
While conquering colors we display
We’ll live to fight another day
Beyond the stars and far away

(Chorus)

– legionary marching song

Advice From Elsewhere

A quick meta-post for those who haven’t already learned this elsewhere –

Inspired by (but not affiliated with in any way) the Twitter account @PicardTips by way of a reader suggestion, helpful life advice from a variety of colorful, mostly-Imperial characters from the Associated Worlds is now available in the Fediverse / on Mastodon by following:

@EmpireTips@social.arkane-systems.net

For those of you who don’t have Mastodon, you can always read them directly off that account’s profile here, or add the RSS feed to your reader here. Also, while very short at the moment, a guide to the characters offering individual bits of advice can be found here.

(And remember: if you take advice from anyone named Sargas, you know what you did.)

(Not) Eldraeic Word of the Day: Oolkor Voäin

oolkor voäin: A gutterspeak corruption of the Low Eldraeic, and Trade, phrase ulquor vohaïnár, literally “no brawl (is present herenow)”. (From ulquor, zero degree quantifier + vo, second size prefix + haïn, battle + ár, predication affix, in this case creating an observative.)

Unlike the original phrase, which is not used in this sense by civilized speakers, the gutter form is often heard grunted as a greeting and farewell by the less reputable sort of mercenary, pirates, slavers, street gangs, and other assorted lowlives and scum of the galaxy, indicating a lack of desire to fight at the present time and place and a hope for its reciprocation.

It reflects a surprisingly sophisticated sense of irony that the traditional response, “ankan voäin”, is a likewise corrupt form of anqan vohaïnár, meaning “just a little brawl”.

– A Star Traveler’s Dictionary

Peerless (1)

In all of legend and the Time Before, only two warriors are acclaimed as peerless, those whose renown alone carried such force of authority that none would dare stand against them.

Of first note among these was the Sky-Born Loral Torateir of Telírvess, daughter of Marlais Torateir of the Drake-Bone Blade, shield-maiden, shield-biter and blade-licker to the hearth of Cloudpeak’s jarls, the Grimward-Kissed, eldest of the thirty-six Sky-Born Lighning-Blades, the Wolf-Spirit Maiden-o’-the-Pack, captain of the Blood-Blued Wave, crowned with braids of crimson and gold, who in youth sailed and raided with the Fangs of the Storm, who, having earned her name, carved her legend in blood across the islands of the North, and whose bones, and dust, and name lie forever beneath the mount upon which her name was earned.

Fell-handed, tall and grim of mien, she came to the Stairs of Arkuel’s Watch as the ant-men of the southern green-lands descended, and in that narrow place did slay and slay again, step by step, pace by pace along the winding stair. By their hundreds they came upon her, and they died. In hundreds more they held their ranks against her, and they died. The last hundreds fled from her, terrible in aspect, with armor drenched and hair thick with the blood of their fellows, and they too died, slain as they fled wailing, until the last, in their terror, hurled themselves from the cliffs of the Watch.

And from that day, it was said that none would face the Sky-Born Loral Torateir, now known as the Blood-Washed, such was the fear her name alone inspired.

– Legends of the Time-Before

Origins

A DOUBLE ANCESTRY:
MAPPING ELDRAEIC GREENLIFE GENETIC ANCESTRY
FROM PRIMORDIAL PSEUDOELDRAE ARCHAEA

CORDANE RÚÄDHA
Academy of Genomic Archaeology
Fíä Eredhech, High Daëntry, Llorallin

<CYAN GLISSANDO IN B FLAT>
Information-Bearing Molecular Mechanics Lab,
Self-Replicating Carbonics Interest Group,
Well Elíeran, Adírdis, Tessil (Galari Trinary)

KÍRA HORÚKAMÍ
Underside Institute of Genetic Studies
Isonímé, Kyo Kanatai, Kanatai

TALISA MUETRY
Center for Holistic Bioinformatics,
Foiríäs, Ildathach

WITH THANKS TO

ALDIS ESTANTEL
Office of Biological Preservation,
Imperial Genome Repository
&
CHEN TSURILEN
Imperial Grand Survey

Abstract:

The eldraeic genome is both a mosaic and a palimpsest with respect to its evolutionary and engineered history. Based on a phylogenetic analysis of the DNA sequence alignments found in the approximately 76% of the eldraeic genome shared with Pseudoeldrae archaea, encompassing both genes and intergenic regions, we have been able to construct a map of the greenlife segment of eldraeic genetic ancestry.

We conclude that the eldraeic genome is derived from the intermingling of two groups of Pseudoeldrae archaea, which while having considerable genetic overlap nonetheless possessed sufficient group divergence for sub-species classification. One of these groups is typified by specimens recovered in or near the Precursor site found in the Dragon’s Nest range of Greater Cestia, for which we suggest the taxonomical name P. archaea amanhadír; the other is typified by specimens recovered in or near the upper Unsea and lower Sweetshallow and the Dragon Gate Precursor site, for which we suggest the taxonomical name P. archaea aecalhaër. In both cases, these specimens date to the primordial period of approximately -360,000; later specimens show evidence of ongoing interbreeding or the potential use of artificial methods of gene transfer.

Furthermore, we have been able to trace the development of a variety of genes in the eldraeic genome from these primordial subspecies through to E. alathis. Of greatest interest are a number of genes whose development can be traced specifically to one or the other subspecies. Most prominent among these are the melanocortin receptor allele responsible for the distinctive skin and hair coloration of the Daën-lin and other lumeneldrae ethnies, present solely in the primordial P. archaea amanhadír; and the now-ubiquitous EPAS1 low-oxygen adaptation allele present solely in P. archaea aecalhaër. The rare epicanthic fold alleles found in some ethnies tracing their ultimate ancestry to the Ochale or Kanatai regions also appear to be specifically derived from P. archaea aecalhaér.

Obtain full paper

Or You Could Just Be Scared Of Advertising

In one of what will surely be recalled as one of this century’s greatest rebrandings, the failed rumbledrug Brawlwell III – a potent if messy cocktail of adrenergic-analogs whose unfortunate side-effects (including nausea, tachycardia, shortness of breath, sweating, trembling, xerostomia, and impaired decision-making abilities) rendered it unsuitable, or at least rather unwise, to use under combat conditions – has now passed an estimated trillion units sold since its various independent manufacturers renamed it Terror Alert Red and marketed it as a hedonic catering to those who wish to experience “authentic fear” under controlled conditions.

Well played, gentlesophs. While not eligible for a formal award, we at the Meta-Marketing Monitor salute you!

– a letter published in the Independent Worlds Router

Transcendent Terminology

ancestral subroutine: an expediter derived from and equipped with the psyche and personal data archive of an ascended constitutional, which serves to represent them to non-ascended family and friends as, effectively, a technotheurgic ancestor spirit. These replaced the ancestral computers once common in many of the Empire’s cultures.

archai: an artificial intelligence of transcendent status at the penultimate level of the Transcend’s soul hierarchy; which is to say, one of the executive minds of the Transcend.

This is a category which includes the Transcendentally incarnated eikones, which function as the Transcend’s immanent archetypal ideas; major utility functions including but not limited to Unification (the coordinating mind of a trillion guardian angel coadjutors acting in unison); the Material Immunity and Virtual Immunity (the Transcend’s immune system); the Imperial Presence and the Ennead (which concern themselves with governance interfacing); the Architectural Mind (which manages the Transcend’s infrastructure) and Twilight Presence (which dreams into existence its internal worldscape, the Shadow Realm); the Clionomic Mind that traces cause and consequence into the future; and the various temporary archai that form around the local maxima in the Transcend’s functional soup, the Ocean of Souls (incarnations of peaks in the coherent extrapolated volition of the Transcend’s constitutionals), among others.

avatar: in Transcendent terminology (vis-a-vis regular infotech), a partial instantiation of an archai; formerly a theological term referring to a partial instantiation of an eikone on the mortal plane.

axis submind: an axis submind (i.e., “that submind which is aligned with”) is an individual code-bundle within the Transcend that contains local instances of superordinate Transcendent goal systems; that is to say, an axis submind contains a copy of all the information required to pursue a particular objective. This allows the soul-shards of nearby Transcendent constitutionals to focus on their local tasks, leaving regional and global planning to the axis submind.

Celestial Spire: part of the Shadow Realm, the Celestial Spire is the largest of the islands in the Pearl-Bright Ocean and the mountain-city that stands upon it. The mountain-city itself descends from the Twilight City at its peak, where the most powerful intellects dwell and interface, to its fathoms-deep roots which pierce into the Realm of Instances at each perpendicularity. The process-grouping reflected by the Celestial Spire reflects the primary eikonic and infrastructural core of the Transcend; the omphalos of the hyperconsciousness-as-world.

coadjutor: a fragment of the archai Unification running on the Transcendent soul-shard, the coadjutor is that part of the Transcend devoted specifically to the best interests of its assigned constitutional, serving to guide and advise them.

contemplationary: a religious/sophotechnologic facility for the pursuit and facilitation of communion with the higher-order processes and entities of the Transcend, in manners that require higher bandwidth than the soul-shard alone would permit.

emissary incarnation: an avatar of an archai created for the purpose of interfacing indirectly (i.e., through words and deeds) with residents of the material or virtual world.

entelechically-annealing recursively-optimal distributed logos bridge: the shard of Transcendent software implanted into the society of mind of each constitutional. The logos bridge serves as a bridge for messages between two distinct societies of mind (that of the constitutional and that of the Transcend), allowing both the participation of the constitutional’s agents in the Transcend’s mentality and the participation of some of the Transcend’s agents in the constitutional’s.

exarch: in mythology, one of the lesser divine spirits which serve the eikones; arguably not separate from the eikones, but rather “shadows that move on their own”, personifying and acting as a single sub-aspect of their parent eikone (or indeed, eikones). By analogy, therefore, one of the lesser subroutines which perform tasks for the archai in the operational architecture of the Transcend.

expediter:teleological thread in the Transcend’s functional soup, created ad hoc to fulfil a given purpose. Many, if not most, expediters are created and run when data available to the Transcend matches any one of a number of n-tuple-patterns laid down by higher level routines.

functional soup: a postsophont state where knowledge, mental modules and access to physical instrumentalities are shared between distributed infomorphs largely independent of the physical substrate of their world. Terms such as individuality become diffuse and are replaced with teleological threads.

grace: in the original theological sense, the touch of the greater divine fire (amynírcal); gifts granted by successful mantling of an eikone; i.e., emulating them to such an extent that you take on their attributes. In Transcendent terminology, therefore, gifts (powers or modifications) granted by the Transcend to its constitutionals or to its artifacts, shintai, or tsukumogami.

mantling: in the original theological sense, the successful emulation of an eikone (or potentially other archai) to the point that your thoughts overlap with theirs within the overall consciousness of the Transcend, and your consciousness interfaces with the pure icon of thought and idea that is that eikone. Such mantling is extremely difficult to achieve and hazardous without a strong anchor to one’s sense of self, but is one of the few reliable ways to access the grace of the Transcend.

Ocean of Souls: the majority of the Transcend, a single multithreaded mind configured as a functional soup, made up of many teleological threads, derived from goals spawned within the Transcend’s consensus of soul-shards or derived from the uploaded personalities of deceased constitutionals, and occasionally spawning expediters or even minor archai as local entelechical maxima cross the critical threshold.

oneiri: the subroutines of the Transcend that organize the dreamscapes in which the collective hyperconsciousness dreams the dreams of its constitutionals.

Pearl-Bright Ocean: the mid-level of the Shadow Realm, an ocean of hydrarastrum which separates the islands of the Realm of Forms, and which is accessible from the Realm of Instances via perpendicularities, from whence one may sail one’s conceptual dromond where one wills. From one perceptive, the Pearl-Bright is a symbolic representation of the vast infrastructure of processing performed by the Transcend that is not reflected by direct symbology in the Realm of Forms, and from another it is a transitory loading buffer to assist with managing transitions across the sprawling Transcendent infrastructure, but primarily it serves to provide an artificial metric of distance and location to the process-groupings housed here for the benefit of those interfacing.

perpendicularity: in Transcendent jargon, a location in the Realm of Instances in which motion “at right angles to reality”, specifically a step ana into the Realm of Forms, is possible, and one can leave the mirror of the material to set sail upon the Pearl-Bright Ocean.

In other terms, these are locations of high-level data interchange between the archai and exarchs of the Celestial Spire and the kami and other mechal elementals of the instances; and the passageways for the transmission of grace. Perpendicularities are found colocated with synapse moonsunity spires, and contemplationaries, but by no means exclusively so.

Realm of Forms: the Realm of Forms is the highest level of the Shadow Realm, islands in the Pearl-Bright Ocean which represent the major functional groupings of the Transcend. Most prominent among these is, of course, the Celestial Spire, but many other islands house systems belonging to archai which require a degree of separation from the core functionality, such as the Worldtree and the Dreamscapes.

Realm of Instances: the Realm of Instances maps the topography and ontology of the material world (and certain persistent virtualities), at least within the Transcend’s domain, into the Shadow Realm. It is, in effect, where the Transcend stores its metadata about materiality, as acquired by and used by the mechal elementals and the rest of the nanoecology. It is connected to the Realm of Forms and higher Transcendent functions via perpendicularities.

remembrance: the art of searching through the collective memory of the Transcend to recover information therefrom.

Shadow Realm: the worldscape and mindscape of the Transcend. The Shadow Realm is a datastructure and virtuality construct providing a backdrop for the Transcend’s internal operations, spun out by the Twilight Presence using mythopoetic semiotics to place masks over the reality of Transcendency for optimal and convenient interfacing.

soul-shard: see entelechically-annealing recursively-optional distributed logos bridge.

synapse moon: where the unity spires are the communication nodes of the Transcend, the synapse moons are its local processing centers; each handling the communications through a number of unity spires or other interface devices, they interconnect the minds of the local constitutionals, and coordinate the processing needs of the Transcendent intellect on a planetary or systemwide scale.

The synapse moons interface with one another across the dataweave, using a multiplexed version of the gnostic link protocol that links individual constitutionals to the group intellect. Likewise, the dedicated cognition and memory nodes of the Transcend, along with the gnostic lace that makes up the majority of its processing power, participate in this same peer-to-peer network.

synapticon: A dedicated computer system running a portable fragment of the Transcend, used to provide Transcendent services to constitutionals moving beyond the reach of both dedicated gnostic interlink services and data services over which gnostic link protocol can operate. Synapticons are produced in a variety of scales, from large systems designed to be embedded in relativistic starships or distant facilities to individual models the size of a cigar case. They typically include a replaceable tangle channel to allow for rapid contingency updates.

teleological thread: an executable thread of sapience defined by its goals, or purpose rather than its identity; within this limit, its properties and configuration are entirely variable.

tsukumogami: originally, in mythology, well-loved and long-lasting objects, especially named objects, which had by that virtue acquired a spirit of their own. In modern parlance, refers to those objects granted self-awareness (an animating intelligence, often capable of separate manifestation) by the grace of the Transcend, usually under similar circumstances.

Twilight City: Located at the peak of the Celestial Spire, the Twilight City is the representation of the Transcendent Core, the nexus of the highest-level archai. Access is severely restricted. It contains representations of many of the highest-order data structures of the Transcend, including the communications nexus at the High Cynosure, and the Tower of Immanence.

Unification: the least prominent and most ubiquitous of the archai of the Transcend is Unification, the Synarchic Mind. Unification is the only answer to optimizing the lives of a population of trillions, with their million different subcultures, mores and histories, creating eupsychia.

The principle behind it is simple: the archai – a product of refined, real-time monadarchy technology – exists in order to mediate things. It knows each and every constitutional personally and orchestrates their chance meetings with others, communications, and so on in order to avoid irreconcilable conflict and create harmony; a singular transcendent oversoul that encompasses all the constitutionals, despite their well-known love of individuality and personal freedom. Indeed, it is designed to be compatible with it, attuning them together in such a way that each individual can best express themselves, yet always be aware of the Transcend entire.

Beyond that, it stays out of sight, for it has no values, no desires of its own. It is as if every person had their own guardian spirit (see also: coadjutor), and these spirits worked together seamlessly to improve people’s lives.

unity spire: unity spires house the Transcend’s local communication nodes. Although the Transcend’s gnostic interlinks are entirely capable of operating in a peer-to-peer mode, the unity spires serve to make the communications between its constitutionals more efficient, to relay long-distance gnostic links, and as a high-bandwidth interface between the mobile constitutionals and the fixed infrastructure of the Transcend. Like their larger cousins, the synapse moons, unity spires also contain the processing power to house a few of the Transcend’s axis subminds.

Non-Interference

Order in Council,
3rd Meeting of the Stellar Council, 710.

In response to the sundry complaints and petitions brought before Our Ecumenical Throne concerning the diverse activities abroad of Our Empire’s citizen-shareholders, outwith those matters of law properly addressed to Our Court of the Beyond, Our Most Crystalline Stellar Council reminds all beyond the bounds of Our Empire’s Illumination that, in accordance with ancient law and custom reified by Our Empire’s founding Charter, as set down by the hand of Our Imperial Predecessor, We place no constraint and We may place no constraint upon the ambitions and enterprise of Our People, at home or abroad.

If such nations, branches, and corporations as may exist beyond the reach of Our Light wish to contest or to dispute the lawful exploration, colonization, or trade carried out by Our People, in manners respecting, upon pain of Our Displeasure, those rights afforded to each and every of Our Empire’s citizen-shareholders in every time and place, they may do so with Our Blessing, but Our Empire will not and may not lend its authority to such endeavors.

Given under Our Hand and Seal this day, 8th Andamúné, 710.

Elis Diasteros Tínalyris
by the grace of Their Divine Majesties
Minister of State and Outlands
Cisatar of Esmérel
Sur-Companion of the Order of the Companions of the Scales

for and on behalf of

Valentia I Amanyr Moneléfcarabár
by right of Coronargyr and Chartered Mandate
Empress of the Eldrae
Chief Executive Officer of the Imperium Incorporate
First of the Free
Defender of the Star’s Flame
Heart of the Realm

Bad War

grubby shoot: military (primarily mercenary) slang for a mission or contract which pits them against a sufficiently low-tech opponent (q.v. grubby, slang for low-tech locals) that the conflict is hopelessly one-sided and victory requires little or no effort.

Reputable mercenaries and regular military units tend to loathe grubby shoots, as they lack all dignity, honor, and opportunity for valor. Their commanders also note that they have a strongly deleterious effect on morale and troop quality, and thus avoid taking such missions – especially for the long term – whenever possible.

Unfortunately, there are plenty of disreputable mercenaries and militaries out there, usually amateur and pillage- and atrocity-prone, and more can often be created ad hoc by arming the local grubbies with advanced weapons.

– A Star Traveler’s Dictionary

Got To Be Sharp

“And this is our design for a sword edged with a topological defect. We probably shouldn’t go to prototype before we can better simulate the consequences, though.”

“Why, what are the consequences?”

“‘If on your journey, you should pass through the universe, the universe will be cut.’

overheard at the Eye-in-the-Flame booth, ArmsCon 7900, Everlasting Science Fair

Shield Wall to Wall-Shield

Early in the development of kinetic barrier technology, engineers found themselves stymied by an inability to project kinetic barriers. While they could create them, they were limited to doing so along the plane of a conductor. While fringe emission lobes did exist along the surface, these were inadequate to provide any protection, being too narrow even at high power levels to provide significant deceleration.

While these problems were eventually solved, they led to a serendipitous discovery when, in testing, the conductor plates were found to be less damaged by incoming gunfire than unpowered control plates. Upon investigation, it was discovered that the dampening effect of an active kinetic barrier field, when interpenetrating existing matter, served to strengthen interatomic and intermolecular bonds without the side-effects that altering electromagnetic forces might have. The net result was that conductive materials imbued with such a field behaved as if they possessed greater material strength, hardness, and toughness.

Such greater resilience to impact, abrasion, and fracture was obviously of great interest to armor manufacture, and schemata for introducing suitable conductive layers into composite armor plating to use this to best effect – along with designs for suitably distributed and redundant field injectors – were pioneered by such companies as Cosmic Defensive Technologies, ICC. The resulting wall-shields became a common component of both maritime and celestime armor, and indeed remain the principal component of underwater maritime armor, in which projected kinetic barriers have a tendency to interfere with good hydrodynamics.

– Armor: The Last Millennium, Sardal Oricalcios

The Naming Of Ships Is A Difficult Matter

pennant number: The Imperial Navy’s best attempt at a general purpose identification code for ships, other means having proven inadequate.

It is generally held that the true identifier of a ship is its name: that is, after all, what is written upon the hull, and with it travels the ship’s crest and other naval heraldry, figurehead, relics, and traditions. More importantly, the name itself travels with the spirit of the ship.

While this is definitive from the perspective of aelvaqor, this is unfortunately inadequate for administrative purposes. Eucharion’s Spear, for example, has in its time been a war galley (w/RG-14¹), two first-rate ships of the line (w/RL1-12 and w/RL1-56), two battleships (w/BB-4 and w/BB-82), a submarine battleship (w/BS-156), two star battleships (BB-6 and BB-183), and three star dreadnoughts (BD-47, BD-200, and BD-486).

A second form of identification is the hull number, assigned to the hull upon construction. Hull numbers consist of an alphanumeric designation for the graving dock in which the hull was constructed, followed by the serial number assigned by the dockmaster to that hull.

This, too, is inadequate for administrative purposes as it relates to the ship entire. Over the course of its life, a single hull may undergo several refits, which may alter many of the ship’s characteristics, even to the point of altering its type. Consider, for example, the case of Damaschira, who began her career as a Simélia-class destroyer (w/DD-1161), was later retyped along with the rest of her class as a destroyer escort (w/DE-2217), and finally was refit as a dedicated minesweeper (w/MS-141).

For this purpose, the pennant number² was devised. Assigned to a given ship (hull) when it is commissioned, along with its name, the pennant number is updated whenever the ship undergoes a significant refit³ and is never reused after the ship is eventually scrapped and passes its spirit and name to an heir, thus providing a unique designation for both the individual ship and its current set of capabilities and characteristics.

The pennant number consists of a type prefix (also known as the flag superior), identifying the type of the vessel, followed by a numerical suffix (the flag inferior), indicating the order in which the ship in question was commissioned as that type. A ship which is refit into a new type and then back into its original type acquires a new pennant number, unless the second refit is merely to restore its original class.

Small craft are not issued names or pennant numbers, and instead – for administrative purposes – use the pennant number of their mother ship with a numerical suffix indicating order of assignment. For communications, a flight number is used instead.

Blackjacket’s Dictionary


Footnotes:

  1. Historically, not all ships were assigned pennant numbers at the time of commission. Type codes beginning with “R” indicate pennant numbers assigned retrospectively to ships of types which no longer exist. Similarly, both the wet navy and space navy use similar pennant number systems; where both are used in the same context, it is conventional to prefix wet navy pennant numbers with “w/”.
  2. Originally flown by wet navy ships by means of signal flags, hence the name and the names of its components. In later years, and by space navy ships, the pennant number is signaled by the ship’s transponder and used in tactical mesh packet headers.
  3. The definition of significant refit is somewhat ambiguous, but is traditionally held to include any refit sufficient to change the type, or even class, of the ship in question.

Below The Thunders Of The Upper Deep

Kaiju¹-class submarine battleship

Builders:

  • Ethring Iron and Steam Works
  • Sukórya Graving & Drydocks
  • Telírvess Naval Yards
  • Captal Daëntry Naval District
  • Ambríël Electric Boat Manufactory

Displacement: 72,830 long tons (standard)

Length: 312 m
Beam: 24 m
Draft: 14 m

Propulsion:

  • 2 x Empire Nucleonics, ICC “Fluoride Chowder” high-temperature circulating molten salt reactor, driving
  • 4 x Blackstone Industries, ICC Brayton-cycle gas turbogenerators, powering
  • 4 x Ambríël Electric Boat Manufactory, ICC magnetohydrodynamic impulsors
  • Bow and stern magnetohydrodynamic maneuvering thrusters
  • Bow and stern navigational X-planes

Speed: 36 knots
Range: Unlimited (6 year refueling interval)

Maximum Depth: 1,000 m

Complement: 232 officers and men (including small craft and flag)

Sensors:

  • Hydrodyne Group Mk. 58/1 passive area-awareness conformal sonar
  • Hydrodyne Group Mk. 58/3 active seeking sonar
  • GenTech Alaercíma Prickleback Mk. 4 lateral-line electrodynamic sensor stripes
  • 8 x GenTech Alaercíma Minnow-class reconnaissance/maintenance UUVs
  • Artifice Armaments, ICC CSR-62 combined search radar
  • Imperial Navy Mk. 55 gun director with combined fire control radar
  • Scorched Earth Infosystems Variant 92 electronic warfare suite
  • Optronic periscope incorporating laser satcom and local-area radio
  • GenTech Alaercíma Intersub Communications System (milspec)
  • 4 x low-profile deployment buoy,
    for 12 x Clockwork Souls, ICC NL-R132 Overseer reconnaissance drones

Armament (Primary):

  • 360 x VLS cells for Artifice Armaments, ICC MS-96 Naginata long-range multipurpose missiles
    (4×72 and 2×36 strips of cells)
  • 9 x torpedo tube for Artifice Armaments Mk. 62 Blowfish heavy supercavitating torpedoes
    (6 forward tubes, 3 stern tubes)

Armament (Secondary):

  • 3 x 384mm superheavy mass driver in single triple turret (usable only when surfaced)
  • 8 x Artifice Armaments, ICC Peacebringer rapid-firing point-defense laser (usable only when surfaced)
  • Eye-in-the-Flame Arms, ICC Wub-Wub sonic implosion system, 6 transducers
    (replaces 6 x Artifice Armaments, ICC supercavitating anti-torpedo microtorpedo launchers used on first four boats)
  • 4 x Steelfist Armored Security and Escorts, ICC Thresher-class squidfighters
  • 4 x sonar decoy launchers

Armor:

  • 4″ spinmetal-composite layered outer hull
  • Cosmic Defensive Technologies, ICC internal kinetic barrier hull reinforcement system
  • Multilayered torpedo defense system placing subdivided tanks and batteries behind outer hull
  • Biomimetic internal shock-absorption framework
  • Anechoic tiling

Other:

  • 4 x Serannis Escape Systems, ICC Su60/200 60-man escape capsules
  • 2 x GenTech Alaercíma Pike-class militarized transport minisub
  • Flexible payload/diver deployment module

The design of the Kaiju-class (and indeed the submarine battleship concept overall) was a product of a convergence in designs following the Fifth Oceanic Dominance. It did not escape maritime architects of the era that designs for the first post-Fifth generation of surface battleships had adopted a missile-dominant loadout and a flattened profile which brought them increasingly close to the guided-missile submarine in overall design. An experimental design project, designated RAGING DOLPHIN, was initiated to consider merging the next generation’s BB(X) and SSS(X) designs into the type that would become the BS(X). The Kaiju-class submarine battleship represents the first evolution from that prototype.

As large as any surface battleship, the Kaiju-class hull follows the general flattened ovoid shape common to large submarines. As is the usual case in submarines of its era, the Kaiju lacks a sail, but does have a slight turtleback at the bow, making it resemble a whale in overall shape. This hump houses the scanning periscope, communications and radar masts, for’ard entry hatch and navigation bridge, and at its foremost extent, the retractable fairing concealing the Kaiju‘s single mass driver turret. Its aftward extent houses two of the four emergency escape capsules.

Unlike smaller submarines with a single pressure hull occupying the centerline of the fairwater hull, the Kaiju has six connected pressure hulls. The two largest run down the midline of the submarine, the smaller crew facilities hull (since it is flanked on either side by the forward VLS cells, 2 x 36) stacked directly above the larger, triple-decked, auxiliary machinery/storage hull, which continues both aft (below the aft VLS cells, 4×72) and forward beyond the former to the for’ard torpedo room. Directly behind the for’ard torpedo room, the auxiliary machinery hull encompasses a flexible payload/diver deployment module, whose lower section can be pressurized to make use of a moon pool behind a retractable flush cover. Four of the eight reconnaissance UUVs are stored here.

At the aft extent of the crew facilities hull are the other two emergency escape capsules, immediately preceding twin hatches for the deployment of the drone buoys and a cargo loading hatch giving direct access from the deck to the storage space located in the auxiliary machinery hull.

Above the auxiliary machinery hull at the bow, beneath the turtleback, is the command center hull, containing the Kaiju’s control room, flag bridge, and computer center.

At the stern, a fourth pressure hull serves as the hangar, containing berthing for the minisubs, the squidfighters, and the remaining four recon UUVs, along with the aft torpedo room below, while slightly forward of this are the dedicated port and starboard drive hulls, each containing one of the boat’s reactors, the associated turbogenerators, and machinery associated with the magnetohydrodynamic impulsors, along with (duplicated) maneuvering rooms, either of which can control all power and propulsion-related systems. Both the hangar and the drive hulls share a common access to the aft entry hatch.

Boats of the Kaiju-class are named after legendary sea monsters.


Footnotes:

  1. Best-fit translation.

I Swear They’re Not Puns In The Original Eldraeic¹

brane washer: An universe-engineering tool devised at the Irreality Vault, the brane washer “flattens” cystal universes (or select volumes therein) by “ironing” the metaphysical substrate, blanking all ontic data therein and effectively reverting the target to its primordial (ekpyrotic) state. Effectively, all causal chains interacting with the target volume at any point in time, past or future, are caused to unhappen up to the point at which (if relevant) they intersect with the universe’s causal boundary. The brane washer has found applications in resetting experimental cystal universes for reuse, as a safety measure for phukalic volumes, and in the disposal of hazardous metaphysical waste.

No means has yet been devised to apply brane washing technology to the base universe, subject as it is to the Auto-Enclosure Paradox.

Compare eschatron.

eschatron: A universe-engineering tool and ontopathic weapon devised at the Irreality Vault, the eschatron destroys cystal universes via engineered global eschatonic collapse. In laysoph’s terms, by introducing an irresolvable contradiction into their mirithestel architecture, the self-computing pattern of information making up the universe is forced to “crash”, an error which propagates through the entire information pattern instantaneously (from the point of view of both internal and external observers), forcing its dissolution; i.e., complete reversal to cacoastrum.

No means has yet been devised to apply eschatronic technology to the base universe, subject as it is to the Auto-Enclosure Paradox; moreover, the energy requirements to force axiomantic change on such a scale are believed to be prohibitive.

– A Concordance of Ontotechnological Devices, online ed.,
Vector Instant Publications


  1. Well, not the same puns, anyway.

And A Desert Topping

Laurë Isilvieré-class battlecarrier

Builders:

  • Ethring Iron and Steam Works
  • Sukórya Graving & Drydocks
  • Telírvess Naval Yards

Displacement: 61,620 long tons (standard)

Length: 268m (waterline); 276m (overall)
Beam: 36m
Draft: 12.2m

Propulsion:

  • 4 x Empire Nucleonics, ICC “Neutron Storm” nucleonic boilers (PWR), driving
  • 4 x 2 Blackstone Industries, ICC high-low pressure turbogenerators, powering
  • 4 shafts x 2 Hammerforge Tool Company, ICC heavy-duty electric drive motors

Speed: 36 knots
Range: Unlimited (6 year refueling interval)

Complement: 1,768 officers and men (including air wing and flag)

Sensors:

  • Artifice Armaments, ICC, ASR-40/2a air search radar
  • Artifice Armaments, ICC, SSR-45 surface search radar
  • Hydrodyne Group Mk. 38/1 passive area-awareness sonar
  • Imperial Navy Mk. 45 Gun Director with 4 x fire control radar
  • Scorched Earth Infosystems Variant 32 (Block II) electronic warfare suite
  • Shimana Aerospace flight control and navigation system

Armament (Primary):

  • 6 x 384mm superheavy mass driver, in two triple turrets
    (A & B both forward of primary superstructure; B superfiring from deck 01)
  • 96 x VLS cells for Artifice Armaments, ICC MG-60 Sarissa long-range missiles
    (1 x 72 and 1 x 24 blocks of cells; supports multiple types; land-attack and/or AShM)

Armament (Secondary):

  • 8 x 96mm Imperial Navy Type Nine dual-purpose heavy mass driver, in four twin turrets
    (surrounding the primary superstructure)
  • 6 x Artifice Armaments, ICC Deathray rapid-firing point defense laser
  • 16 x dedicated launchers for Artifice Armaments, ICC MG-34 Spar medium-range AShM
    (arranged 4 x 4)
  • 16 x dedicated launchers for Artifice Armaments, ICC MA-98 Hawkeye medium-range SAM
    (arranged 4 x 4)

Aircraft:

  • “V” dual flight deck aft, single elevator, 2 x electromagnetic catapults
  • 12 x N5-5I Ripper multirole V/STOL attack aircraft
  • 12 x Clockwork Souls, ICC NL-I40 Purity interceptor drones
  • 12 x Clockwork Souls, ICC NL-R36 Spyglass reconnaissance drones

Armor:

  • Belt: 12″ spinmetal
  • Decks: 8″ spinmetal over machinery and magazines
  • Turrets: 9″-18″ spinmetal
  • Conning tower: 12″ spinmetal
  • Secondary systems: 8″ heavy steel plate
  • Elsewhere: 0.5″ heavy steel plate

The Laurë Isilvieré-class battlecarrier was a product of the post-Fourth Oceanic Dominance environment. While the Fourth had proven the supremacy of the BB/CV hybrid battle group over the battleship-centric doctrine of the Second and Third, the post-Dominance environment left the Admiralty confronting a single inescapable fact.

The hybrid battle group, while unparalleled in its strength and flexibility, was also unparalleled in its expense, both to construct and to operate. This was a matter of considerable concern, since the Admiralty was now required to exercise command over a considerably greater area of ocean than had previously been the case, and the events of the Third Dominance had demonstrated the vulnerability of a fleet in being.

While battlecarrier designs had generally been dismissed as inefficient (critics noting quite correctly that a direct medium-range combatant such as a battleship had mission requirements quite contrary to that of a indirect long-range combatant such as an aircraft carrier), studies suggested that combining the functions of the primary vessels of the hybrid battle group, along with a reduced number of escorts, could create a low-intensity battle group suitable for exercising sea control in secondary theaters, enabling the full hybrid battle groups to be reserved for more demanding missions. In this role, their inefficiency would be compensated for by their economy.

Thus the Laurë Isilvieré-class battlecarrier came to be, combining the forward turrets and missile loadout of the Invictus-class battleships with an aft-mounted flight deck and hangar based on those of an escort carrier. Operating in low-intensity battlegroups accompanied by a limited number of escorts (typically a single cruiser, a pair of destroyers, and a pair of attack submarines), they and their successors kept the Imperial Star flying over Eliéra’s oceans until the end of the Consolidation.

Ships of the Laurë Isilivieré-class are named after Imperial Hands, befitting their nature as agents competent in multiple roles.


(Notes for those paying attention:

This is about two generations removed from the Ulricik Bancrach-class destroyer and a little ahead of our state of the art, hence the coilguns and the laser CIWS. Various aspects of its design were inspired by the proposal for the Phase II refit for the Iowa-class battleships, which can give you a general idea of what a Laurë Isilivieré-class might look like – except that, being nuclear, they have no stacks. Also, they wear dazzle camo, because dazzle camo is cool.)