Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Invictus » Fri May 17, 2019 3:41 pm

I like how we're taking the opportunity to sprinkle Dark Souls bosses all over the universe. The destruction of Apexaia sent a backlash into their very souls so all Vieleren are damaged in some way, and even those who thought they could set themselves up as god-kings in the ensuring power vacuum were arguably that. It's also because each Vieleren is an artisanal product with the own quirks in the uplifting process, and the Apexai certainly didn't have any unified standards or quality control procedures in place, unlike the much later Solarian Hybrids. Even the most intact Vieleren is a relic of an old order.

It also didn't help that the Aetherids were also taking the opportunity to push everything over faster, actively offering to rapture and/or hyber-ize suffering masses and often doing so by swaying the individual Vieleren in charge. Some Vieleren have probably been getting whispers in their ear-organs by the quantum death clouds for generations already, and only when all they've worked for laid burning around them did they whisper "I accept" with their lip-equivalents.

Speaking of which, how would the Vieleren have treated the archeo-Hirados or the Raptured Lords themselves?

Also...there could have been a legitimate reason for the Apexai's Great Retcon of their time under Rhapsodite bondage. With the power of the Oversoul, the Apexai's traumatic memories could themselves summon terrible phantasms into reality - not Rhapsodite ghosts, but the ghosts of Rhapsodites as the Apexai remembered them, which were arguable even worse.

I'm not saying there couldn't have been other solutions, so the act that exemplified Apexai egotism the most was actually somehow pragmatic, but they obviously weren't willing to ditch the use of Conduit-tech either.
"This explanation posits that external observation leads to the collapse of the quantum wave function. This is another expression of reactionary idealism, and it's indeed the most brazen expression."
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Sun May 19, 2019 7:01 pm

I just filled Master List 4's Google Doc with entries regarding CEID and its divisions, along with Olympic and Sidney Hank, drawn with minimal revisions from Siege's materials for SDNW4 in the SDNW4 wiki. Oldies but goodies mang.

I also made a fluff for the Silver Shield category someone put up, half-remembered from Pregrin's original concepts and modernized to fit the new Sovereignty.
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Siege » Tue May 21, 2019 4:37 pm

I can't see that document, I only see SOTS Master List 1 - Species and clades and SOTS Master List 2 - Polities & organizations.
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Sat May 25, 2019 6:59 pm

This is fixed now, whee.

Randome pew-pews

Stiletto-class starfighter

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[Pictured: Hidden Knife low-visibility Stiletto variant]

Iconic for its sharp fuselage and reputation for speed, the venerable Solarian design dates back to the First Bragulan War itself, when colonial defense craft of the era - a simple, lightweight and agile vessels better suited to intercepting smugglers and pirates - were hastily upgraded to meet the demands of all-out combat against Bragulan planetary bombers and their swarmfighter screens. First-generation Stilettos proved to be apt bomber-hunters and, in the hands of skilled-enough pilots, successful against their Bragulan counterparts when run-and-gun tactics are employed. Their fusion drives could afford them bursts of speed as they swooped in for the kill, letting loose with their quad pulse lasers and mini-missiles before pulling out of enemy weapons range. After the shock of the initial Bragulan advance wore out and green recruits grew into seasoned combatants, Stilettos regularly saw favorable 5-to-1 kill ratios, though the figures were less satisfactory when the fighters were entangled or when the Bragulans began arming their interceptors with v-tipped missiles and disregarding friendly fire.

Affectionately called Little Knife by its pilots, the starfighter did have shortcomings, such as a minimal armoring, limited space for added weapons, less raw maneuverability compared to opponent craft, and relatively small operating range due to drive limits though at the time this suited the colonies' defensive posture just fine. In the succeeding years, the Stiletto saw numerous upgrades as the war progressed - an elongated fuselage to accommodate better drives, more weapons, increasingly complicated sensors and sometimes even second pilots. This only made the Stiletto more formidable in the vicious knife-fights and mass engagements in "Brag Alleys" crawling with bogeys, and it would remain so until the end of the conflict.

The Stiletto has long since been retired from Star Force and Marine service (as centuries have passed since its debut). In the Sovereignty, demilitarized samples are kept and occasionally flown by the more nostalgic demonstration corps. Needless to say they are ever-popular museum pieces, collectors maintain exquisitely preserved and even functional samples, and the hobbyist scene maintains fleets of fabricated replicas. Actual combat-capable late-gen Stiletto variants are still in use in the Solarian periphery and Wild Space by cash-strapped planetary defense corps, private contractors, battle-streamers and gung-ho individuals - most of these extensively upgraded to meet a modicum of modern standards and combat utility in the present K-Zone threat environment, making them more like Stiletto-shaped husks with more contemporary innards (making them quite spiritually similar to the very first Stilettos, actually). Beyond the K-Zone, Little Knives are known to fly in the Cascade and even the northern Fracture where in the more backwater regions even such obsolescent imported Solarian tech still packs quite a punch.

However, the starfighter's legacy extends beyond museum pieces, still-flying antiques and nostalgia. First-generation Solarian pilots were blooded in these vessels, and their experiences became forever embedded in the piloting corps psyche, informing succeeding designs, tactics, training methods and fighting styles - many of which remain relevant to this day even in a Star Force primarily fielding uncrewed fighters, and a Marine Corps whose pilots are mostly transhuman Replicants and enhanciles with capabilities beyond those first patrol crews facing down an alien military juggernaut overrunning the K-Zone. The Gryfalchion multifighter and Blackshark aerospace dominance fighter currently in use by the Marines trace their lineage back to the Stiletto and have more than proven their mettle in numerous Wild Space engagements - now the ratios have grown to 30-to-1 ratios at the very least.

[Image from Ace Combat because of course :P]
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Fri May 31, 2019 8:47 am

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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:24 pm

We have a fuckton of new material coming... and a List 4 for the sub-departments and bureaus of polities and for notable individuals, in other words:

Endofactions & Infraorders!

Metapersonae!
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:02 pm

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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 4:38 pm

Massjammers are named by and after the Hirados. The Raptured Lord's gift is what transmutes a Jammer to a purpose, the Lords' transcendence means that they themselves are so detached even from purpose. The deal with the soul that is ennobled as Hirado is part of the purpose-giving, part of what the Lord gains in exchange. Perhaps the Lords themselves in their immortality sacrificed permanent purpose so this surrogacy of purpose gives them this meaning, but it is temporary as they remain immortal. To Aetherids and Apexai alike the cost the Lords pay is too high.
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Invictus » Sun Aug 25, 2019 6:06 pm

Where were the Raptured Lords during the Reignfall? Could even the Earthreign back then have kept them out of their sphere of influence if they wanted to? I assume not even the Massjammers would be entirely immune to the effects of the Cataclysm (even if the Lords themselves in their twisted-up dimensions were), so there would be this rare moment of united outrage over some of their precious datahoards being erased, and further unpleasantness afterwards!
"This explanation posits that external observation leads to the collapse of the quantum wave function. This is another expression of reactionary idealism, and it's indeed the most brazen expression."
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Mon Aug 26, 2019 5:00 pm

Invictus wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 6:06 pm
Where were the Raptured Lords during the Reignfall? Could even the Earthreign back then have kept them out of their sphere of influence if they wanted to? I assume not even the Massjammers would be entirely immune to the effects of the Cataclysm (even if the Lords themselves in their twisted-up dimensions were), so there would be this rare moment of united outrage over some of their precious datahoards being erased, and further unpleasantness afterwards!
My god... perhaps in some parts borders of the Fracture or even within it, some Hirados gone demented from the Cataclysm, and the psionic fallout perhaps ERODING THE PACT meaning somehow someway the Hirados have power without being bound to the Raptured Lords' will... so for a moment there were MAD GODLINGS that needed to be slain.

By the RADIANT HELICES' PREFECTS!

And by some of the Vielren too and Sajit Astras and some Samtic Xerberiad-WMD and whatnot... CROSSOVER EVENTS!
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Siege » Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:17 am

Another, perhaps less interesting, option is that they were essentially hibernating. During the Earthreign a significant part of the galaxy might as well have been in stasis, with very little happening besides the usual wanton cruelty that is of zero interest to the Lords. It's the massive psychic shock and ensuing entropy of the Reignfall that alerts the Lords that something interesting is happening, and so the stasis vaults open and the lights in the Massjammers come back on and the game's afoot.
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Invictus » Tue Aug 27, 2019 4:25 pm

Siege wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:17 am
Another, perhaps less interesting, option is that they were essentially hibernating. During the Earthreign a significant part of the galaxy might as well have been in stasis, with very little happening besides the usual wanton cruelty that is of zero interest to the Lords. It's the massive psychic shock and ensuing entropy of the Reignfall that alerts the Lords that something interesting is afoot, and so the stasis vaults open and the lights in the Massjammers come back on and the game's afoot.
I have to favor this one just for the simplicity of it. It's not hard to imagine that the later Earthreign just bored them, and it prevents the undermining of the strength of the Cataclysm if later people could just ask about pre-Reignfall things to Lords who would in some cases would be eager to sell.
"This explanation posits that external observation leads to the collapse of the quantum wave function. This is another expression of reactionary idealism, and it's indeed the most brazen expression."
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REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 1 - Rey Quirino Versus the Dark Heart of the Philippines
"...a literary atrocity against the senses..." - Ford

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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Tue Aug 27, 2019 4:40 pm

Hmmm... true, the Reign and the earlier Apexaian hegemony just made them go "meh."

Which means, perhaps as the likes of Tweenysex and Samtic oldies and Telestron monks suspect, there's reason to suspect that after the Reignfall the Raptured Lords aren't just coming in and giving out random boons for their own amusement - that there may be a greater agenda at play here! :o

EDIT:

Perhaps in the post-Reignfall, there still would've been deranged "demi-gods" rampaging but probably surviving Earthreign warlords who've had themselves fused with neuromongers to attempt to be psychic gods over the ravaged realms - things that the All-Father, the Sophia, even Vielren and Samtics etc. might've had to clean up.
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Invictus » Tue Aug 27, 2019 5:30 pm

Shroom Man 777 wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 4:40 pm
Perhaps in the post-Reignfall, there still would've been deranged "demi-gods" rampaging but probably surviving Earthreign warlords who've had themselves fused with neuromongers to attempt to be psychic gods over the ravaged realms - things that the All-Father, the Sophia, even Vielren and Samtics etc. might've had to clean up.
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"This explanation posits that external observation leads to the collapse of the quantum wave function. This is another expression of reactionary idealism, and it's indeed the most brazen expression."
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REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 1 - Rey Quirino Versus the Dark Heart of the Philippines
"...a literary atrocity against the senses..." - Ford

REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 2 - Advent Rey Returns: REVERGELTUNG
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Invictus » Sat Sep 21, 2019 3:12 pm

Bragulan vs Sovvie warfare:

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"This explanation posits that external observation leads to the collapse of the quantum wave function. This is another expression of reactionary idealism, and it's indeed the most brazen expression."
-
REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 1 - Rey Quirino Versus the Dark Heart of the Philippines
"...a literary atrocity against the senses..." - Ford

REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 2 - Advent Rey Returns: REVERGELTUNG
Coming NEVER

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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Siege » Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:35 pm

Well, "Pivot to Lethality" certainly should be the name of a USN Warstar and its associated killbrain.
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Siege » Mon Oct 07, 2019 6:52 pm

I think it would be fitting that if the Silver Shield used a system of indication of a psion's talents, training or level of ability, it does so using a semi-operatic nomenclature.

Caprix - novices, new recruits, neophytes;
Suggeritor - oracles, telepaths, shapers of understanding;
Animat - force weavers, telekines;
Tempat - temporal animators, causality agents;
Masque - Shield agent embedded (covertly or openly) within another organization. All CEID psions are considered Masque;
Maestra - master of a given talent, therefore Tempat Maestra so-and-so;
Granmaestra - world-shaking multi-disciplinary masters.
Regeneratrix - Matron of the Shield.

And so on?
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Invictus » Tue Oct 08, 2019 2:10 pm

Siege wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 6:52 pm
I think it would be fitting that if the Silver Shield used a system of indication of a psion's talents, training or level of ability, it does so using a semi-operatic nomenclature.

Caprix - novices, new recruits, neophytes;
Suggeritor - oracles, telepaths, shapers of understanding;
Animat - force weavers, telekines;
Tempat - temporal animators, causality agents;
Masque - Shield agent embedded (covertly or openly) within another organization. All CEID psions are considered Masque;
Maestra - master of a given talent, therefore Tempat Maestra so-and-so;
Granmaestra - world-shaking multi-disciplinary masters.
Regeneratrix - Matron of the Shield.

And so on?
That seems appropriately fancy all right. Though I seem to remember that you've outlined more than two psionic disciplines by the way Solarians count them before?
"This explanation posits that external observation leads to the collapse of the quantum wave function. This is another expression of reactionary idealism, and it's indeed the most brazen expression."
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Siege » Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:51 am

Yes, but that system was cribbed from the works of Julian May, and established mostly to be contrarian. For this setting I don't think it fully fits, nor does the motivation for implementing it apply ;) . To recap, the May-style 'metafaculties' used were:

Creativity: the manipulation matter and energy. Now Animat.

Coercion: mind control. Now Suggeritor.

Redaction: mind-over-matter mental healing. I'd like it to be a thing - and would suspect Apexai are masters of the art - but I think it could be an Animat sub-discipline.

Farsensing: clairvoyance or remote viewing. File under Tempat, I would say.

Psychokinesis: speaks for itself. I would argue this could just as well be another Animat subfield. Although in May's books it extends to things like teleportation (over interstellar distances in specific heavyweight cases), which would blend with the Tempat discipline.

That leaves us so far with only three praxes (Suggeritor, Animat, Tempat), which works for me because it doesn't sprawl into a vast magic system (although I'm open to new ones if I've missed anything). All three are broad and deep enough to make meaningful distinctions between entry-level skills (reading surface thoughts, throwing physical objects, sensing remote locations) and mastery (mass noospheric suggestion, n-dimensional shaping, interplanetary teleportation).

I'm sure the Shield recognizes that eventually even these three disciplines blend together, and perhaps that's the mark of a Granmaestro -- they are masters of the supreme reality, persons of such pure consciousness all distinctions become arbitrary and the universe just does what they want.
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Invictus » Sun Nov 24, 2019 2:52 pm

"Bunk Princes" are a notable character archetype in Shepherd stories, both reflecting and recapitulating critiques against the stratification of their shipboard populations and the negative effects of their multi-generational conservatism.

The crew of a proper vessel of the Shepherd Fleet can be divided into officers and enlisted, and the difference between the two is that officers own the ship, and the ship owns the enlisted. Basically, there's a "I have nothing with which to pay my way" ritual going back to the "ragtag fleets carrying civilian refugee" times where a potential enlistee must be willing to sell his personal autonomy in order to become a member of a ship. It partly stems from the sharp delineation between the proto-Shepherd militarized volunteers and the often destitute civilian refugees that they were duty-bound to escort to safety, so any civilians wanting to enlist risked jeopardizing the former's operations by the debt in space and life support that their ships would be taking on. It also partly stems from the importance the Shepherds place on individual sovereignty and organizations formed by voluntary association, and so ironically they need a special and formal abrogation of such rights in order to create their ironbound military discipline, which is like the other half of their values.

Anyway, being owned by the ship you serve on is largely technical, and there are still plenty of opportunities to obtain promotions, honors and wealth; but obviously it's not comparable to the much larger slices of wealth and power that a ship's officer can obtain for themselves. (And remember, a single Shepherd ship can hold multiple star systems as clients, with tribute and dividends divided between the ship's own stakeholders). There are two ways to afford a stake on a ship of the Fleet and buy into officerdom, though - either through just money, or by "cashing in" prior honorable service on a ship - often generations' worth of it. Of course, this makes it much easier for families with long records of naval service to send the next generation to a nice Fleet position, which is intentional as arch-conservative Shepherd culture is very slow about trusting the mettle of its officers and commanders.

(Though I note that both types of crew still go through rigorous training and examinations and everything because the Shepherds are constantly enmeshed in active conflicts and need to value competence)

You can imagine that plenty of Shepherd families are encouraged to make the leap as soon as they can afford to, and may go to foolish lengths to climb the ladder. You can also imagine, hypothetically, an ordinary crewmen who just serve humbly generation by generation, building up an enormous store of unadvertised honor that they never touch - until the leadership of the beloved ship they serve on has become fully corrupt and degenerate, whereupon they swoop in and buy out the entire command crew in one fell swoop and set things right, to the acclaim of the rest of the crew. There are any number of structural factors why this scenario can't happen, but the idea of it is a brake on the cutthroat struggles over promotion that represent unseemly levels of self-interest in the Fleet.
"This explanation posits that external observation leads to the collapse of the quantum wave function. This is another expression of reactionary idealism, and it's indeed the most brazen expression."
-
REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 1 - Rey Quirino Versus the Dark Heart of the Philippines
"...a literary atrocity against the senses..." - Ford

REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 2 - Advent Rey Returns: REVERGELTUNG
Coming NEVER

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