The Fang and their Empire

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The Fang and their Empire

Post by NoXion » Sat Apr 07, 2012 10:47 am

[ ... what follows are some brief extracts of a Mechanical Union intelligence report ... ]

Homeworld

... While the few Fang that have been captured alive refuse to answer questions, their client species are more talkative. From what has been pieced together from different interviews, the Fang live on a high-gravity world approximately 18,000km in diameter orbiting a red dwarf star, somewhere roughly the opposite of the galaxy from the position of Sol. While it possessed a wide variety of biomes in its natural state, the rise of industrial civilisation on the Fang homeworld meant a buildup of cities along the coasts, while the interiors of continents were increasingly being covered in the massive game reserves required to support the carnivorous Fang diet. In addition to development, the Fang homeworld appears to have suffered from the effects of climate change. The matter of global stewardship is said to have been settled after the fourth or fifth nuclear war, from which emerged a particularly visionary victor, who declared xerself the First Emperor of All Fangkind. Xe imposed a state philosophy which held that the Fang were destined to rule the universe. Fang client species are taught that the First Emperor lived for over two centuries.


Biology

Image

... The Fang have four stout legs ending in stumpy feet, attached to a quatrefoil pelvis supporting a barrel-like abdomen and torso. They have four rather long and very strong arms at the end of which are large hands with semi-retractable claws on the ends of the fingers. Their rounded heads sit atop a sturdy and thick neck, having a large jaw with large pointed teeth which can be extended to a degree. Four red eyes with vertically dilating pupils stare out from the Fang skull, arranged in two pairs on top of each other. Juvenile adults have an average height of 2 metres, although the Fang appear to continue growing in size throughout their life. Fang skin is thick and tough and heals readily. Studies of Fang corpses have shown evidence that they can also regrow entire limbs after having them removed. Frontline reports have also mentioned that Fang blood vessels can close in order to prevent fatal bleeding.


Empire

... The growth of the Fang Empire is self-declaredly driven by ideology and unadmittedly (by the Fang themselves at least) driven by the economic imperatives of an ever-growing population. This is aided by the Fang use of wormhole generation and transport ships called Imperial Linelayers. Once a suitably large volume of space has been opened up by the Fang armed forces, an Imperial Linelayer creates a wormhole in a system nearby that is already part of the network, leaving one end in that system before moving out with the other end of the wormhole at a maximum velocity of approximately 74% the speed of light, to a star system at the centre of the newly-claimed imperial domain. Through this new wormhole can pour more ships and reinforcements to further aid in the expansion of the Fang Empire. Of course they have a limited number of Imperial Linelayers (although whether this is because it is merely difficult or outright impossible to replace them if lost is unknown at this point) which they jealously protect.


Outlook

... The Fang Empire is extremely large by galactic standards, with many billions of major systems under their control. Uniting the diverse interests of Terran meta-civilisation against such a comparitively monolithic adversary as the Fang Empire should be our top priority. If we can achieve sufficient galactic unity on this matter then we might have a chance even in a stand-up fight, but we should always be seeking a new advantage over the Fang Empire if conflict is going to be for as long as it looks like it's going to be.

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Re: The Fang and their Empire

Post by NoXion » Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:58 am

A little bit more about the Fang Empire:

Emperor Txantze CXXVI was one of the longest-reigning and possibly one of the most personally powerful Fang Emperors. Xe was born with the psyonic ability to read the minds of xer fellow Fang, as well as being highly intelligent and a quick study. Txantze, known as Senshis before taking the Fang Throne from its previous occupant, rose quickly through the ranks, mainly in Military Intelligence roles. Once xe had worked xeir way into the Imperial Court, Senshis began covertly turning them against Emperor Xorel XIV through a combination of psyonically-assisted persuasion and blackmail. By this time Senshis had also amassed a considerable following among the ranks of the military and the warrior clans. When Senshis finally made xer move to forcefully take the Imperial throne, not one Fang came to the defence of the incumbent Xorel, who fought as only a Fang Emperor could, but xe was no match for Senshis.

With Xorel dead, Senshis was crowned Emperor and xe took the Imperial Name of Txantze, the 126th Emperor to take that name. Securely in power, Txantze immediately turned xeir attention to the then-pressing issue of the Maktinite Rebellion, an uprising by one of the Fang Empire's client species, incorporated about five centuries ago. Following the pacification of the Maktinites, Txantze then embarked on a project of greater Imperial expansion in the direction of the Galactic Core, as some species subject to the attentions of the Fang Empire had managed to spread word of their aggressively hegemonising advances. By opening up an avenue through or around the Galactic Core, Txantze hoped to exploit a part of the galaxy that had no previous awareness of what the Fang Empire saw as its civilising mission. With few if any major interstellar civilisations between the expanding Empire and the Galactic Core, they made swift progress which was to continue for over four centuries, during which Txantze ruled and saw off all challengers.

The Great Expansion of Txantze CXXVI was nearing its fifth century when xeir interest was aroused by reports from the Coreward periphery of sporadic contact with a powerful new interstellar civilisation of considerable size and sophistication. Intelligence reports indicated it was a multispecies society, but what remained unclear was the relationship the different phenotypes had with each other. The main concern was over the presence of "Artificial so-called Intelligences, horrific engines of deceit that speak but do not listen, fiendish artifices that cause many weaker species to delude themselves into thinking of the thrice-cursed devices as sentient things". Txantze dispatched several large warfleets in the direction of the contact reports, and xe also placed a few Imperial Linelayer vessels in reserve. These specialised sublight interstellar spacecraft, designed to carry the mouths of wormholes, would be moved in once the invading fleets had established a beachhead by invading a star system and securing the surrounding volumes.

One of Txantze's most trusted military commanders, Grand General Kronis, was in command of the advance fleet that entered the star system catalogued by the Fang Empire as Target #123023/D, a red supergiant with a handful of planets, showing signs of possible activity. As the motherships of Kronis' fleet approached the system, the activity previously detected was confirmed as being of artificial origin, and then further confirmed as being similar to that of the new interstellar civilisation mentioned in reports. Standing orders from Emperor Txantze xerself were to immediately engage in a probing assault, designed to test the defences of the new enemy...

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Re: The Fang and their Empire

Post by NoXion » Sat May 25, 2013 2:02 am

An Alien Dichotomy: Monarchism vs Statism in Fang history

As the Fang civilisation industrialised towards the end of their pre-spaceflight period of history, a rational-empirical worldview was spreading alongside their industrial development, and this productive and philosophical evolution brought with it ideological schisms which split Fang civilisation at the highest levels. On one side were the Monarchists, representing the then-ruling class of landed Zars, a warrior-aristocracy ruling over the mostly-rural provinces who swore fealty to an Emperor. On the other side were the Statists, representing the newly-emerging class of corporate and military leaders, whose powerbases were mainly concentrated in urban areas.

Despite the more clever Monarchist factions of Fang society who foresaw the massive military advantages of industrialisation that a more scientific worldview can bestow, the more traditionalist Monarchists (embodying as they did the last remnants of the previous theocratic social order of priest-kings and warrior-monks) saw the Statists as a threat, meaning that revolution and war between the Monarchists and the Statists was inevitable. At the end of a series of global wars, the Statists attained a conclusive victory when Tri Xhane, Dictator for Life of the Alliance of Eastern Dominions, mostly incinerated xeir Monarchist enemies in a storm of thermonuclear fire. Those surviving Monarchist Fang polities were either too small or too battered to give resistence and submitted to the Statists, who then went on to expand Fang dominion to the rest of their native star system.

The presence and influence of Monarchism was not completely eliminated however, and those Zars who did not fight the Statists to the death still occupied a prominent position in the new Fang social order, even if it was subordinate to the industrialists and military officers.

As the ever-growing Fang civilisation began to settle nearby star systems, ambitious System Tyrants began fancying themselves as leaders in the old style, imitating the styles and mannerisms of Zars and Emperors from the ancient legends, with some them eventually deciding to declare themselves Emperor, which of course put them at odds with the Supreme Dictator on the Homeworld. Thus began another series of wars, interstellar this time and far more chaotic. Raging over a thousand years instead of a mere hundred, the Wars of the Founding were concluded when a recon fleet serving the self-declared Emperor of the Chazi system discovered the remnants of an extinct civilisation, along with a planet-sized device the purpose of which was initially unknown, but which the Emperor's scientists soon realised was capable of using the local star's energy output to produce traversable wormholes. With the power of this wormhole generator firmly on xeir side, Fang Emperor Tzak Xhan of the Chazi system was able to end the fighting single-handedly and in the process founded the Fang Empire as we know it to this day.

Tzak Xhan's final move in the Wars of the Founding, in which xe conquered and took control of the Fang Homeworld in the biggest space battle in Fang history at the time, made Xhan the first Fang to ever truly rule the entire species. Xe had a massive palace built which is still occupied by the Fang Emperor tens of thousands of years later, and over xer reign of two centuries established and instituted many organs of Fang Imperial power. While Xahn did restore some of the power and prestige previously enjoyed by the aristocratic Zar class, even the Fang have to compromise at some point and Xhan was savvy enough to realise that too many concessions to the Zars would enrage the Statists and divide the Empire, killing xer dream of the entire species united under one leader.

In some ways this millennia-old division in the Fang Empire has never truly been settled, as there have been Statist Fang Emperors who see themselves as modernisers, conquering the universe with steely rationality and iron discipline, while conversely there have been just as many Monarchist Fang Emperors who embrace the power of mythology and the cult of the warrior, as well as Fang Emperors representing every position in between.

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Re: The Fang and their Empire

Post by Red Commissar » Sun May 26, 2013 2:32 am

So what would be the difference between a statist emperor and a monarchist emperor? One is in more favor of industrial policies? Centralization?

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Re: The Fang and their Empire

Post by NoXion » Mon May 27, 2013 6:26 am

Red Commissar wrote:So what would be the difference between a statist emperor and a monarchist emperor? One is in more favor of industrial policies? Centralization?
By the time that the Fang Empire makes contact with the Terrans, the differences generally revolve around which of the ruling institutions of the Fang Empire the Emperor favours.

The Statists are the military-industrialists, and when a Statist Emperor is on the throne, the power of the industrialists and the conscripted Imperial Army waxes, while the power of the Zar aristocracy and the hereditary Warrior Clans wanes. Under a Monarchist Emperor, the Zars have the ear of the Emperor and the Warrior Clans are given more authority in military matters, much to the chagrin of the industrialists and the generals and admirals of the Imperial Army. So the stage is set for a constant struggle between the ruling classes of the Fang Empire, a struggle which ends up cycling for tens of thousands of years between Statists, Monarchists and everything in between, until external factors (namely the Terran military campaign to break up the Empire and destroy the wormhole network which helped sustain it, a campaign undertaken when they had sufficient FTL warships to press the issue) changed the landscape completely, smashing the ages-old paradigms and forcing the creation of new ones.

Both Monarchists and Statists realise the importance of industry, but they have different approaches to the matter. For the Monarchists, industry is but one tool among many through which the strength and superiority of the Fang species and Empire is realised, a concession grudgingly made early on in Fang history despite what they see as the appalling vulgarity of the whole affair. Meanwhile the Statists are perpetually infatuated with industry, which isn't surprising if one considers that industrialisation was part of the very reason for their ascendancy. Expressed poorly, these approaches both have their faults - the Monarchist stance can lead to neglect and under-appreciation of the industrial arts and sciences, wasting Fang potential (and lives) with archaic sledghammer strategies that leave everything drenched in blood, while the Statist stance can waste enormous resources building and deploying weapons and artifices of dubious tactical utility as well as massive projects of questionable strategic value. Expressed competently however, the Monarchist stance with its uncompromising willingness to sacrifice Fang lives on the pyre of warfare in order to secure victory can overwhelm alien civilisations in a tide of armed bodies, while the Statist wholesale embrace of industrial artifice can equip the fighting forces of the Empire with the most deadliest and awe-inspiring machines of warfare the Galaxy has ever seen, bar those exceedingly rare times when some super-ancient civilisation decides to get involved in galactic affairs.

There are also differences when it comes to dealing with aliens. The Monarchist belief in Fang superiority could be described in Terran terms as spiritual-romantic, with the Emperor and xeir warriors being the material exemplars of virtue, being the closest of all living beings to conform to an idealised notion of what it is to truly be a Fang. The Statists take a more prosaic view, deriving their belief in Fang superiority from the manifest success of the Fang Empire as it materially exists, as well as from the natural characteristics of the Fang species as compared to whatever intelligent aliens they run across.

Thus in the Monarchist framework all alien societies, civilisations and institutions fall short of greatness because they do not and cannot embody Fang ideals. On the other hand, the Statist framework is willing to accept that alien social structures work fine for aliens, even if they must necessarily be subordinate to Fang organs of power. What this means for aliens being dragged kicking and screaming into the fold of the Fang Empire is that if the commanding general of the invasion fleet is a Monarchist, then expect all political and economic institutions to be torn down and replaced with something more Fang-like. If the commanding general is Statist, then such a sociocultural smash-and-rebuild will only happen if institutions present themselves as being an obstacle to Fang dominion. Say for example if early-21st century Earth got invaded by the Fang Empire, then a Statist commanding officer of the invasion fleet would present an ultimatum to the governments of Earth: submit or be destroyed! Any submitting governments would be permitted to remain in place as long as they did not resist or impede Imperial affairs. Meanwhile an invasion fleet being lead by a Monarchist would most likely just jump straight into invasion without such an ultimatum.

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