The Ralsiian Star Empire and Ralsiian Species - Background:
Because of the fire of war in which the Ralsiian Star Empire was born, this background is presented from a rather military perspective:
The Ralsiian Military has a long and distinguished history.. A long and distinguished one for the Navy. Though the Army has it's history of gallant colonial battles, these are virtually all post-unification, and hence after the greatest date in Ralsiian military history. The battle of Antir's Rock, as it is called, was the defining moment of the Empire.
The Rals system is an odd one, with two G spectrum stars orbiting each other, and in turn, at a very great distance, orbiting a Green Star of the type and spectrum settled between yellow and blue stars, and hence sufficiently large to tug the binaries into it's orbit. Likewise orbiting it, though much closer, is a brown dwarf.
Ralsiia, the homeworld of the Ralsiian species, orbits the null-gravity lagrange point halfway between the two yellow stars, at a distance far enough out that the world is actually rather cold. Every ninety years, roughly, the Green star and it's host of planets, so far off (The twin stars being the most distant of it's orbital bodies), aligns with Ralsiia at such an angle and distance that, for eleven years, the nights are bathed in an odd sort of very dim green glow from the distant third "true star" of the system.
The fact that one habitable planet has actually managed to exist in this chaotic and carefully balanced system is a testament to the infinite variety of the universe.
And it was in this very system that the Battle of Antir's Rock took place. The lonely asteroid of Antir's Rock, orbiting the langrange point between the Green star and the Brown Dwarf, though at a distance of mere thousands of kilometers, was the scene of the most storied naval battle in Ralsiian history.
The species of the Quadruple Entente, the insectoid Jikar and Xi'ki'it'karon, the Avian Jarushlar-Kit, and the Reptilian Yre'all, notorious in an alliance of common greed and exploitation when they all developed stardrive reasonably within the same period of time; The races were very close to the edges of the rim, with the core laying inward.
The Quadruple Entente had colonized several worlds and had conquered two with their own sentient species, when they came in contact with the Splugorth. The conquest of the twin worlds had left them with, quite literally, two slave races, each with billions of slaves availible. The Entente made the deal to the Splugorth to sell them both of the races in exchange for the latest starship and military technology and manufacturing facilities for it.
With the races sold to the Splugorth, the Entente had gone from crawling along on minimalist FTL drives with primitive, virtually unshielded ships with no artificial gravity to near equality with the major powers of the Three Galaxies.
However, they had no contact with them, and the agreement was reached to begin expansion. They also had no clue of the devastation lying inward. And so they advanced inward. They had a problem; Their populaces demanded civilian technology to go with the military technology, but the only way to get that without entering in a deal with the Splugorth which would be disadvantageous would be to find more races for enslavement. Inward they went.
Oddly enough, on those fringes, three major habitable planets already existed. One was inhabited by humans, one by elves, and one was the Ralsiian homeworld.
The Ralsiians had developed stardrive first, making contact with the other races, and, though they did not sell it, the Elven and Human worlds followed them quickly into space with their own stardrives at roughly the same level as the Entente had been before their deal with the Splugorth.
Later technological exchanges gave a boost to all three species in the so-called "Triple Concordiat," allowing for the Ralsiians, long plagued with massive overpopulation which was dealt with by the construction of huge, tens of kilometer long orbital habitats similiar to the "Island III" devised by Doctor Girard O'Neill of Earth, to begin rapid expansion.
After a few forays deeper towards the Core of the Thundercloud galaxy, finding the devastation contained within the Core from the genocidal war some 50,000 years prior that plagued the three galaxies, the three races signed an economic and military alliance.
They agreed to fund for a line of massive border defensives along the few habitable worlds between their own and the Core; A sort of Maginot Line in space, bristling with defences in every system to protect them from where the perceived thread would come; The core. Despite the awesome devastation shown in these regions being tens of thousands of years old, the Concordiat thought that the species responsible for those wars might still survive and one day recover sufficiently to become a threat again.
(Though later exploration showed that further in the core was uninhabitable more because of radiation and the insuitability of the planets as opposed to the ancient war of 50,000 years vintage, the same which the Dominators are believed to be responsible for in some fashion by the rest of the Three-Galaxies.)
They also established the World Of The Concordiat, a single habitable planet on which they agreed to divide equally, and maintain a population of atleast one billion members of each species, as a sign of unity.
The Concordiat as a successful partial-government, lasting nearly a century, and highly expansionistic throughout it, as the Ralsiians drove to open up new worlds to their populace.
With budding militaries in space for defence against the perceived core threat, mainly designed to augment the defensive platforms, and exploratory navies for expanding outwards, the Concordiat contacted the Entente first; With disastrous results.
The exploration ship, Ralsiian, was ordered to surrender. The commander of the Entente force wished to take the crew for study, in preparation for the enslavement of the species. The lone ship’s commander refused, and engaged eight technologically superiour vessels against his own one. In that stunning battle of first contact, the Ralsiian ship destroyed one of the Entente vessels, managed to send back an FTL communication warning of the threat, and then severly damaged, FTL drives destroyed, rammed and destroyed the Entente flagship. There were no survivors of the crew for the Entente to capture and study.
(A note: The ships of the Entente and the Concordiat both are referred to by function; Their sizes would be considerably smaller than the comparable sizes of ships of the modern Three Galaxies for the most part; For instance, the Entente Battleships were 800 meters long, and the Ralsiian's 755, with the Elven and Human ships of comparable lengths.)
After several months of preparations by both sides, and scouting by the Entente, they dispatched a force of Thirty Nine Battleships (Or the closest thing they had to them), escorted by twenty cruisers and over a hundred torpedo boats and torpedo boat destroyers, with a screening force of another twenty cruisers and a hundred more of the light 'boats and 'destroyers escorting fourty planetary assault vessels of various types, mainly converted merchantmen, and set out to the sprawling Rals system.
The Royal Ralsiian Navy was at the time under the command of an outspoken, loudmouthed firebrand, the fifty two year old (Relatively young for Ralsiians) Admiral Jeryllyn Iethan Lictor, The Countess of Kriesdale, who had declared the Core defensive line a "Mass of foolish and ridiculous installations, to weak to fight and unable to run away!" and instead spoke for stopping construction of the fortifications and concentrating on building a navy "Ready to sail, ready to fight, any time, any where, to neutralize a threat from any direction!"
Though banned from the Admiralty, even though her rank and title suggested she should be among those decision makers, she was exceptionally popular with the common sailor and the lower ranking officers, and was given command of the Home Fleet, stuck there.
Her moment of glory arrived with the Quadruple Entente's invasion. To stop it, she had Twenty One of her own primitive battleship analogues, twenty two cruisers, Fourty eight Torpedo Boat Destroyers, fourty one torpedo boats, eleven gunboats, (Neither capable of utilizing FTL drives), and four converted training ships, hastily prepared for combat operations. Each of the allies, Elven and Human, sent a force of 4 Battleships, 8 Cruisers, and 20 Torpedo Boat Destroyers as per their agreement with the Concordiat.
It was this force, slow, without artificial gravity or inertial damping, primitive in all respects, and outnumbered in terms of Ships of the Line, which had to stop the Quadruple Entente cold. And, to everyone's surprise, except, perhaps, that of the Countess of Kriesdale, they did.
She fought a running battle through the solar system for fourteen days in which she lost two battleships and numerous lighter ships, but ran the Quadruple Entente's cruisers and destroyers ragged from chasing after her and defending against her hit and run, un-orthodox attacks. Likewise, the battleships of the Quadruple Entente suffered numerous systems failures and a variety of minor damage from the engagements. Frustrated, the commanders of the Entente fleet found themselves virtually between the two G type stars, their fleet organized in a defensive position, when they finally detected the bulk of the Concordiat Navy massing around the distant Green star.
The quickest path to insure a general engagement as straight through the lagrange point between the two stars.
The Quadruple Entente did not know the lay of the solar system. The Countesses' parents had been comet "ranchers" of a sort, and she knew it better than the back of her hand.
There was a wormhole of sorts between the two Lagrange points, the one between the two G type stars and the one between the Green Star and the Brown Dwarf.
Entering the lagrange point, or even the area within a 1,000km radii of it, would instantly transport a ship to the other one, and at the same time virtually suck all of the power from it.
Jeryllyn had simply been playing a waiting game of planetary orbits to force the Quadruple Entente's fleet into a position where, to engage her own, they would have to pass through the lagrange point... While her own was positioned by the other.
It had been a brilliant series of running battles over those fourteen days, perfectly calculated and planned by the stunningly intelligent admiral to bring the Entente forces to the point where they had to manuver through the teleportation zones if they were conduct a logical approach to her own fleet.
Traveling at maximum acceleration, the ships of the Quadruple Entente didn't have a chance to slow down in time, though some attempted, as one after the other, in rapid fire succession, they raced into the lagrange point and were transported to the far one. In moments, a battle fleet of 39 battleships traveling at varying speeds and in danger of colliding, with all power from their systems temporarily lost, was exiting the second field at it's far edge, and, only eight kilomters distant to the port on the same level, positioned directly ahead of the leading edge of the wormhole area, were the twenty seven fully powered remaining ships of the line of the Concordiat. At that range, with the Entente's Battleline unable to manuver temporarily, Jeryllyn's line of battle, matching their rough speed, had a virtual target shoot. Each of the battleships selected one counterpart and opened fire.
By the time the ships had regained power, seventeen of their number had been blown up by Concordiat fire, two had collided and exploded, and eight more drifted off, four severely damaged, and four lifeless hulks.
Jeryllyn was already manuvering her leading squadrons to cross the "T" of the remaining twelve Entente battleships, while the rest of the Line of Battle shifted fire to the abruptly outnumbered and outgunned foe.
The light ships of both sides tangled and dueled, but 60% of the cruisers, torpedo boat destroyers, and torpedo boats of the Entente had been wiped out with their systems already down as well. That battle was going the same way.
The lead seven battleships of the Concordiat's Line of Battle had crossed the "T" of the four lead survivors of the Entente's LoB, and commenced firing broadsides against which the confused lead squadron and single surviving ship of the second squadron could only reply with limited guns.
Still, the technological superiourity of the Entente was shown in that it cost the Countess two of her battleships to destroy those four, despite her advantageous position.
The remaining twenty opened fire on the eight trailing ships of the Entente's Line of Battle, and in a vicious engagement at point-blank range, traded six of their ships for the eight; However, another two battleships of the Concordiat's fleet were lost when the four cripples that still had some weapons and manuvering thrusters joined in, a desperate attempt to save the eight trailing battleships, supported by surviving Entente Torpedo Boats.
When the battle was done, the Concordiat had lost ten battleships, destroyed 35 of the Entente's, and captured four hulks of the others. However, the seventeen survivors and their escorts were in no condition to engage the screen around the transports, which held back on the edge of the system.
The Entente still had eleven battleships, six on guard duty in their three solar systems (Two races came from the same solar system), and five under assorted repairs and refittings. They, along with three cruisers and fifteen torpedo boat destroyers, were rushed to the Rals system to give the invasion force the firepower necessary to destroy Ralsiia's planetary defenses and finish of their navy.
Reinforcements from the Human and Elven fleets were slow in coming; They wanted their own defensive fleets incase the worst was to happen.
So Jeryllyn concentrated on repairing her ships. The three survivors of the Elven and Human forces each, along with the four captured Entente ships, and the eleven survivors of her own Home Fleet, twenty one battleships in all, met the eleven of the Entente in a brutal combat. This time, Jeryllyn showed her superiour tactics in general fleet manuvering as well, to out-manuver the Entente Line of Battle and engage for a series of advantageous positions. Though they concentrated on and destroyed the four ships the Ralsiians had captured from them, and then went down the LoB, guns blazing, the Entente forces were outmanuvered and outgunned, especially in the early stages when four of their own battleships were used by the enemy; The "N-Squared" law to effect in then, and the weaker enemy got far weaker.
When the battle was over, ten of the Ralsiian battleships were still intact, though all badly damaged, as were two each of the Human and Elven vessels; Seven losses to destroyed eleven of the enemy. Even with four being equal, captured ships, it was still a stunning victory, with no slight of hand like the earlier one used.
In the battle, damage to the flag bridge of her flagship severed the Countess of Kriesdale's right leg below the knee, and killed her flagship’s captain, but after having the stump bandaged, she fought the ship from the secondary bridge, as well as still directing the entire fleet.
When the main battle was over, the remaining Ralsiian Torpedo Boats loosed their weapons into the transport fleet and wiped out the Entente invasion force down to the ship before it could escape.
Admiral Jeryllyn Iethan Lictor, The Countess of Kriesdale, was given the highest awards and titles of land possible for such a stunning victory, and made the first Admiral of the Fleet of the Royal Ralsiian Navy.
Immedietly, she turned into forging the fourteen battleships nominally under her command into a fighting force once again, as now mobilized war industries churned up smaller ships as fast as they could.
In the meantime, six battleships under construction in the Entente were rushed to completion.
After another eight months of this, those Battleships were ready before the Countesses' fleet, and sortied with an escort of eight cruisers and twenty four torpedo boat destroyers (TBDs). This was, quite simply, the entire remaining military space navy of the Quadruple Entente, and would remain so until another eight cruisers and thirty two TBDs were completed in four months.
The Quadruple Entente had decided a show of merciless force could make the Concordiat cave in without further fighting.
They arrived at the officially demilitarized and neutral World Of The Concordiat, home to, by now, well over a billion Ralsiians, a billion humans, and a billion elves each, and pounded it until it was uninhabitable, a radiaoctive dustball, with over three billion dead.
Rage swept through the three allies; An incomprehendable act had been committed against them, and it demanded vengeance.
Two months after the incident, the fourteen battleships of the Countess of Kriesdale's Home Fleet, including the Elven and Human ones, supported by cruisers and TBDs, sortied against the system that held the homeworlds of two of the four Entente members, while the remaining Human and Elven battlefleets sent forces to cover the Rals system while they were gone.
The insectoid Jikar and Xi'ki'it'karon, their planets in the same system, and half of the manufacturing shipyards the Splugorth had sold the Quadruple Entente, guarded by the fleet that had wiped out The World Of The Concordiat.
In the vicious battle that followed, that fleet, supported by the planetary defences, killed ten of the Countess of Kriesdale's Battleships, but when the dust of the battle had settled, all the defences were gone, as were the shipyards.. And the remaining battleships, cruisers, and TBDs of her fleet grimly unleashed identical bombardments on the two homeworlds as had been inflicted on the officially neutral World Of The Concordiat. When asked later in her life what she had thought about it, she replied "They did their duty, and killed three billion innocent, declared neutrals. I did my duty, and killed seven times as many who were the infrastructure for the factories and fleet which had killed those three billion. Judge for yourself the moral rightness of it; But we were still at war then, and war demanded certain things. And so I did my duty, and I have no regrets."
The remaining two species of the Quadruple Entente asked for surrender terms immedietly. The insectoids survived a while, but didn't have the numbers on their colonies for viable population bases, and are now totally extinct.
After the surrender of the remaining two races, and the turning over of the four cruisers and sixteen TBDs under construction to the Concordiat races, the Ralsiians, Humans, and Elves met in orbit of the ruined World Of The Concordiat. They agreed to form the Ralsiian Star Empire; Ralsiian, as it had been a Ralsiian who had won the war for them, but one in which the constitution firmly enshrined all three races as complete equals.
A House of Lords and a People's House were established for the entire Empire as opposed to just the Ralsiians, while the hereditary Queen of all the Ralsiians became the Empress of the Ralsiian Empire (The Ralsiians are a highly matriarachal race, and both family name, title, inheiritance, ect, all are passed from mother to daughter.), in a constitutional monarchy similiar to that in place in the German Empire of Pre-Rifts Earth, before World War One.
A newly discovered system with two habitable planets was chosen as the new The Worlds of the Concordiat, a memory to that first planet sacrificed, and out of fire and war and genocide was born an Imperialist nation which, in the next few centuries, was to expand at an incredible rate from it's tiny niche, and now is on the verge of becoming another major power in the Three Galaxies.
Since then, the military has conquered races and supported the colonization of planets; Nearly fifty of the first, eight with their own FTL technology, and over a thousand of the later, at a pace stupendous to scholars in the Three Worlds; Despite the fact that they are nowhere near as brutal as the Splugorth, the stunning speed of the Ralsiian advance makes them seem potentially just as threatening.
The foundation of the Ralsiian Star Empire was a mere 597 years ago, and in slightly more than a millenia, adding planets at a rate of over two a year, they have had a truly stunning expansion; One reason for this is that the system it's self of colonizing systems is perhaps haphazard in the extreme, and driven forward by the constant desire for additional territory, particularly by the Ralsiians; A lone explorer with a single ship can land in a system, plant the flag, and radio for military protection, and when the first destroyer squadron shows up, it's considered Ralsiian territory, though expansion has come to an essential halt in the past two years.
The reason for the Wolven being as respected as the first three races was that two Wolven worlds near Ralsiian Imperial Space at the foundation of the Ralsiian Star Empire provided technological and military assistance early on in the developement, and were eventually claused in as a fully equal race, the first to do so out of the many in the Empire. The Vyrmpyre, though being the newest race of the Ralsiian Star Empire, are a mysterious, enigmatic race which largely has it's position to do a large amount of money held by members of it's species.
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Writeup by Marina O'Leary (LusankyaN@aol.com ).
Reformatting by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).
Copyright © 2001, Marina O'Leary. All rights reserved.