Reaver's Deep Sector

The Sector

The sector most often known as Reavers' Deep (Aeitle Sakh in Trokh, the Aslani language) is a frontier region lying along the Imperial border.

Bounded to spinward by territories dominated by the Aslan, to trailing by the Imperium, to rimward by the Solomani Confederation and various independent worlds and to coreward by the Great Rift, Reaver's Deep is a diverse region showing the influences of all these neighbors.

History

Distant Past

Little is known of the early history of the Deep. It is fairly certain that the Ancients visited several planets in this region; artifacts proving this have been discovered at a number of sites within the Deep.

From -4000 to -2400 (5100-3500 years ago)

Near the end of the Pax Vilanica, when the First Imperium was beginning to feel the strain of age and decay, various Imperial governors along the frontiers began secretly recruiting barbarian mercenaries beyond the borders to support their bids for power. One such governor in the region known today as the Daibei Sector is believed to have sent expeditions into the Deep, where his people made contact with the Saie culture.

Technical assistance was dispatched to the Saie world to give them the capacity to build weapons and starships that would make them useful to the governor's planned rebellion. Soon after these advisors were dispatched, however, violence erupted in the province. In the fighting that followed, the governor perished and the secret of the Saie was lost to the Imperium. The advisers continued to supply their charges with technology, being unable to return home without aid.

The Saie, an aggressive, expansionistic race, used their new technology to establish a small empire in the Caledon, Riftrim and Nightrim subsectors. They overextended themselves in the process and, in a widespread civil war, their empire collapsed. Because they were spread thin, the Saie culture vanished almost without a trace. Even the identity of their homeworld and all records of their physical appearance were lost, buried amid confused myths and legends among the races that they had conquered.

Around -2400 (3500 years ago)

It was during the period of the Interstellar Wars, when the Vilani and the young, vigorous Terran Confederation first came into collision, that humans of Terrestrial extraction first arrived in the Deep.

Settlers seeking refuge from the war ravaged worlds near Terra made an epic journey that ultimately ended with the discovery and colonization of Caledon, in the Caledon subsector. Other Terrans followed later, during the years of the Second Imperium (the Rule of Man, after Terra conquered the Vilani empire). The Deep was explored and a few worlds were settled, but the region remained largely open and uninhabited.

From -1500 to 0 (2600-1100 years ago)

When the Second Imperium in its turn collapsed (largely due to the inherited problems of the previous Vilani regime), the Long Night fell.

Interstellar government and communication alike passed away, except in individual areas where a few strong men could hold on to isolated outposts of civilization. It was during the later stages of the Long Night that the Reavers appeared in the Deep; petty warlords or pirates who scraped together a few space worthy starships and used them to loot backward worlds or to seize and hold small empires. Though the same sort of thing happened outside the Deep as well, these freebooters flourished in the Deep long after the rising tide of civilization had put an end to the majority of their brethren, elsewhere.

From 200 to 400 (900-700 years ago)

When the Aslan began to expand into the sector, there was no unified government to resist them. The Clans managed to slowly conquer territory deeper and deeper into the Deep without much resistance. This was their first contact with an area settled by large numbers of humans. (They had been aware of them before, but the contacts were mostly limited to a few enclaves and traders.)

Later, the Aslan came into contact with the Third Imperium as the fleets of the Iridium Throne started expanding and reclaiming the settled worlds of the Deep. The Reavers faded as ships of these two groups began to explore and conquer, and the Aslan Border Wars broke out.

The conclusion of the wars (Peace of Ftahalr, 380) established a neutral region between Aslan and Imperial Space through the middle of the Deep. This area remains largely independent, though considerable influence is still wielded by the neighboring powers.

A few client states or small interstellar governments are present, like the Principality of Caledon and the Carrillian Assembly, but many worlds cling fiercely to their traditional independence and there are even a few freebooters left to carry on the romance of the Reaver legend.

The Peace of Ftahalr is technically only between the Third Imperium and four Great Clans (Hrawoao, Khaukheairl, Tralyeaeawi, and Yerlyaruiwo). Most other Aslan clan still uphold it out of respect for these clans.

Since the Peace, there has been no open war between Imperium and Aslan Hierate, although, given the warlike nature of the Aslan, skirmishes and minor engagements of an unofficial nature, between adventurers, mercenaries and client states of the two powers, have always been quite common.

Around 900 (200 years ago)

With the Solomani Uprising and the ensuing Solomani Rim War, the Peace of Ftahalr has been put in jeopardy. The Solomani Confederation does not consider itself bound by the peace treaty.
The Solomani governors in Reaver's Deep and nearby regions of space have been largely respecting the buffer zone even though they have no legal obligation to do so, but other regions of the Solomani Confederation have expanded up to border contact with the Aslan Hierate. It is unknown whether this might eventually cause a war destined to spill over to Reaver's Deep or not, and whether the Hierate will in fact recognize the Imperium and the Solomani as two separate human "clans". As usual, the internal politics of the two races are particularly difficult for members of the other race to grasp entirely.

Major Nations

Third Imperium

In the Third Imperium, Reaver's Deep is considered part of the Domain (Archdukedom) of Ilelish. The archducal seat, at Dlan, is extremely distant, even for the standards of the vast, decentralized Third Imperium, as messages have to take the long way around the starless reaches of the Great Rift.
This leaves far greater authority to local rulers, the most influential of which are the Subsector Dukes of St. George (not to be confused with St. George, or St. George, mind you), and of Urlaqqash. The two dukes, Uther Perceval Ildrebrand of St. George and Glarb Aqqaarghel of Urlaqqash, are fierce rivals and in a state of open warfare with each other.
As long as this struggle does not get excessively disruptive, their lord, Archduke Dulinor Astrin Ilethian, a strong supporter of the Strephonian Reforms (Emperor Strephon's recent drive to further decentralize the Third Imperium in order to shorten reaction time to critical local flashpoints), lets them do as they will, keeping a keen eye on the situation.
Within Imperial borders, the two world of Orkney and its colony Maiden, known as the Dienabach GrĂ¼pen, were considered too xenophobic for contact and were never completely absorbed into the Imperium.

Aslan Hierate

The strongest Clan presence in the Reach comes from a group informally called as the "Five Of The Rift": Great Clans Hrawoao, Khaukheairl, Tralyeaeawi, Yerlyaruiwo and Hrasua. The first four are the clans fought in the Border Wars and signed the Peace of Ftahalr. As for minor clans, at least 20 have some amount of presence on the Deep's borders.

  • Hrawoao: A very militant clan, honorable, but with a practical side and the good sense to stick to their promises and allegiances. They are not extremely large or numerous, but they're respected, and have the political skill to be, and stay, part of the most powerful bloc within the Council of Twenty-Nine. They fought fiercely in the Border Wars, and honor the peace treaty to the letter, for good or ill.
  • Khaukheairl: Patrons of the arts and the cultural torchbearers of the old clans, the Khaukheairl are an ancient clan and held in the highest esteem by most other groups, especially the more traditionalists. They have an old rivalry going on with the Yerlyaruiwo.
  • Tralyeaeawi: An old but progressive and open-minded clan, boasting the greatest diplomatic skill and ability to relate with aliens. It also is quite open to non-Aslan members who are willing to take on Aslan culture and customs and join it. This does not endear them to the most traditionalist clans, nor to the most militant ones.
  • Yerlyaruiwo: Another ancient and august clan, the Yerlyaruiwo are not as powerful as they once was, but they have accumulated such a wealth of riches, goodwill, authority, respect, favors and allies that they are virtually unassailable as the leading force within the most powerful bloc of the Council of Twenty-Nine. A traditionalist and conservative clan and strong supporters of the Cultural Purge, they are considered the guardians of the honor of the Aslan race and culture, and highly sought as counselors and arbiters.
  • Hrasua: The only great clan of the Five Of The Rift that did not sign the Peace of Ftahalr, the Hrasua are a powerful military force and are particularly obstinate enemies of the Solomani. A Hrasua mystic once prophesied that the clan would "rip Terra from the stars" and claim it as Hrasua territory, and the clan fervently believes in this legend and consider their struggle against the Solomani as a holy war now. No one informed them that Terra is no longer the Solomani capital, but knowing this would probably not change much.

Finally, one last Aslani presence is quite important within the Deep: Khtularoihowa Corporation, a trading and shipbuilding megacorp that supplied clans in the Deep with arms and vehicles during the Border Wars. The vast profits made in that occasion have been entirely reinvested in the company, which now has almost a monopoly on large-scale commercial enterprises in the Aslan side of Reaver's Deep.

Principality of Caledon

Caledon is an ancient state founded by Solomani emigrants of Scottish descent in the Deep, but now aligned with Imperial interests. It's a clannish yet stable and strong constitutional monarchy, grown quite rich with trade and commerce thanks to low taxes and regulations, a well-managed guild system, and a strong yet flexible rule of law. Many describe it, not incorrectly, as a "commercial kingdom".

Confederation of Duncinae

Duncinae was founded by refugees from the First Civil War (309 to 328) in the Principality of Caledon. It has since reestablished close relations with the mother nation and enjoys cultural and economic ties that benefit both. The Confederacy is ruled as a loose hegemony of states where individual freedoms are highly valued (where conditions permit) and local governments enjoy considerable independence.

Grand Duchy of Marlheim

Marlheim is a tightly controlled, expansionist, totalitarian state. It can trace its origins to one of the last successful Reaver Warlords. Tensions have been high between the Grand Duchy and the Confederacy of Duncinae following the "MacBeth Affair" in late 1113.
Formed by the unification of five "Reaver Nations" (essentially mafia states) by one Ysef Zdarlak, in a series of assassinations and cloak-and-dagger operations. As he had been targeted by assassins himself, this led to the formation of an extremely paranoid, self-perpetuating authoritarian kleptocracy. The nation keeps desperately trying to expand and start trouble with its neighbors to keep its economy, industry and population perpetually on war footing. It is one of the sector's main exporters of arms, drugs, mercenaries and slave labor.

Carrillian Assembly

The Assembly was originally an alliance of worlds established by the Imperium as a stabilizing influence in the Deep's buffer zone (and succesfully so), but in recent years political unrest has troubled the nation. The original cause was a debate between expansionist and isolationist parties, but as the Assembly's judicial system has tightened its control in response, High Justice Daldreem has taken steps to turn the nation into a strict police state under martial law, while still managing to skillfully gain support with both the expansionists and isolationists.

Lanyard Colonies

The Lanyard Colonies are a tight group of Solomani colonies under independent rule. They are comparatively rich agricultural worlds, named for the first four governors of each planet.

Islaiat Dominate

The Islaiat Dominate is a polity controlled entirely by the Yslai, a race of small, eusocial plantimals (plant-animals) with a genetic obsession for survival at all costs. They are non-humanoid and only sophisticated translation software can parse their exceedingly complex language, composed entirely of phase-modulated, oscillating frequencies. Humans generally describe Yslai as "cucumbers with legs", an unkind but not entirely incorrect definition.
The vast majority of Yslai are Drones, sterile and capable of only one task, but with a high level of skill and dedication.
One in 20,000 is a Replicator, who can learn new skills by observation and bud Drones with those new skills.
A few Replicators are also Hierarchals, who can hum at a frequency that allows them to hypnotize and command around 20 other Yslai. This allows them to establish pyramid schemes with groups of 20-ish Drones at the very bottom, controlled by Hierarchals. 20-ish of those Hierarchals will be controlled in turn by one Hierarchal of higher ranking, and so on until the pyramid ends with a single Hierarchal at the very top. Hierarchals of higher intelligence and versatility will naturally gravitate towards the top of the pyramid, while those with greater focus and specialization will gravitate to the bottom.
Finally, one in 50,000 Yslai is a Breeder, who can bud clones of himself, or of any other Yslai he can touch, allowing the race as a whole to decide which skills to favor in the next generations of Drones.
While Yslai have no internal profit motive, trade, like colonization, was seen as a means to give Yslai a more robust chance of survival.

Carter Technoracy

The Carter Technocracy is a small, isolated nation with ties to the Solomani confederation, but no interest in exploration or expansion beyond its three systems. The President of the Technocracy is the smartest man between all three worlds, chosen with a series of elaborate tests.

Union of Harmony

The rimwardmost side of the Union of Harmony used to be part of the Ulane Nations, an Aslan client race of small, pastoral quadrupeds with vestigial wings that evolution has converted to manipulative digits. Their clannish society and great skill in artisanry endeared them much to the Aslan, who took them under their protection.
On the other side, corewards, the Union of Harmony used to be the Celestial League, a Solomani-derived group of colonies of mostly-but-not-exclusively chinese ancestry, which also had peaceful and trade contacts with the Ulane.
During the Border Wars, the Celestial League was annihilated and annexed by the Hierate, and, while retaining a mostly-human population, adopted a mix of Solomani and Aslani customs and cultural traditions.
As part of the Peace of Ftahalr, the Ulane Nations and former Celestial League became independent from the Hierate as the Union of Harmony. Despite its size, it's a strongly centralized state, ruled mostly from its capital at Gustave, with the Ulane homeworld of Ul acting as a "secondary capital" for the rimwardmost side of the polity within the Dark Nebula sector.
Information on the Union of Harmony in the Third Imperium is currently confused and controversial because of the Ulane Hoax, a packet of updates spread through the X-Boat Network in 1101 and containing a lot of false information, including (among several other things) a description of the Union of Harmony as the "Ulane Hierate", a farcical parody of the Aslan Hierate. The hoax was promptly discovered (thanks to many glaring errors and contradictions) and its perpetrators (a small group of computer students at the University of Warinir) received heavy prison sentences, but the hoax keeps resurfacing from time to time. This has, of course, caused untold billions of credits in assorted damage to trade and shipping in the region.

Minor Nations

Domain of Oceanus

The Domain of Oceanus consists of the waterworld Oceanus and its colony Mecca, established by Solomani migrants in the distant past of the Rule of Man. They maintain independence against Imperial interference, staying true to those roots. However, the inhabitants of these two worlds have large cultural and religious differences, and they could explode in an independence war at any time.

Gralyn Assembly

A nation consisting of Gralyn, one of the nations on the balkanized world of Khtearie, and Botany Bay as a (originally, being slowly phased out and promoted to full citizenship) penal colony and relay station.

Aikhiy Development Trust

A corporate nation funded by a joint Gralyn and Venentian partnership, this company aims at favoring colonization and development of the worlds of Aikhiy, Oba, Kremmling and Hilas.

Venice

Venice is a densely inhabited waterworld of Solomani descent. The unique aesthetic style of its buildings and architecture, supposedly inherited by the tradition of the ancient Terran city it shares its name with, has made it into an extremely popular tourism destination throughout the sector.

Khan World League

Khan is one of the last Reaver States of the Deep, and still going strong, launching devastating raids all over the sector and especially terrorizing the closest worlds. It's not a "world league" in anything but name - not anymore, at least, as it has most much of its influence lately. Yedidah used to be the last member of this "league" until its recent revolt and independence. Despite this, Khan also has "legitimate" trade (mostly pillaged goods, but still!) going on…

Kolan Hegemony

Ruled from Kolath and controlling nearby Rock and Kurath, the Hegemony is another surviving Reaver State. Having fought on the Imperial side during the Border Wars, it managed to score a guarantee of independence from them as long as it never damaged Imperial interests in the area. To this day, the Hegemony terrorizes independent shipping in the area with impunity and basically does anything it knows it can get away with, being very careful to keep between the boundary of its treaties.

Purity Union

Purity was settled in 827 by Solomani citizens of the strict religious group Order of Purity who felt they were being persecuted by Solomani authorities. Heretics and infidels routinely punished with exile to the nearby world of Purgatory.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License