The Ralsiian Star Empire and Ralsiian Species -
Stellar Geographical Notes:
Highly unusual for major powers in the Three Galaxies, the Ralsiian Star Empire is a tightly compacted body. Though expanding at roughly a rate of two systems containing habitable planets per year over it's history, the Ralsiian Star Empire is strictly a power in the Thundercloud Galaxy, and strictly a compacted one there, as well. With the three main homeworlds of the initial races of the Ralsiian Star Empire being in a sort of "Bulge" in the line of demarcation between the habitable portions of the galaxy and those blasted by the war some 50,000 years ago, and the development of species further hampered by the astronomical geography of the core regions.
Hence, the expansion of the Ralsiian Star Empire has taken place in a sphere a mere 1,529 lightyears in diameter so far; Roughly one tenth the diameter of the Thundercloud Galaxy. Even then, half of this sphere is charted but uninhabited worlds within the "realm of destruction" as it is commonly called by the Ralsiians. The other half is where most of their planets lay.
The bulge contains all fifteen major "core" worlds, the homeworlds of the Jarushlar-Kit, and the Yre'all, ten other subjugated worlds, and a total of 68 of the Dominion Worlds. The rest of the habitable planets, namely the remaining Dominions, Subjugated worlds, and Colonies, are in what is generally considered to be the habitable portion of the galaxy, though all of the Dominions lay on it's fringes, which would be towards the bulge and inner cluster of the RSE, with the colonies, only recently inhabited, stretching further out. The speed of Ralsiian colonization and their positioning are unique factors that let them remain undiscovered for so long.
The bulge is larger than it seems from the number of planets, but a fair number of worlds in it that might have been habitable are blasted infernos; The remnants of that terrible war that devastated the core regions. This has led to some paranoia that still exists; The fixed defenses that the Countess of Kriesdale long decried, in a series of massive asteroid fortresses in blasted, dead systems just coreward of their own primary worlds, remain functional, though no additional defenses have been built there.
The Bulge is not an unheard of thing; The lines of the dead and live zones of each galaxy are quite ragged, but one this filled with species and this large is a new thing. Also, Ralsiian reports of fighting ships from deeper in to the core that were destroyed, escaped, or self-destructed to avoid capture have spurned considerable interest in exploring the cores of the Three Galaxies more completely; The idea of more empires like the RSE laying hidden among the ruins of those vast wars is a very disturbing thing to the major powers. However, these reports are largely unsubstantiated even to the Ralsiians, and there is no proof that they weren't Raiders from one of the established civilizations that simply were ignored or never lived to tell their tales of being engaged by the RRN, who had snuck through the dead core regions as a way to escape pursuit by justice forces of the Three Galaxies and stumbled across the Ralsiian Star Empire. The RSE does not have an opinion on the matter.
Because they are about as close in as one can get to the Galactic Core of any of the Three Galaxies and still have an intact homeworld, the stars in their area of the Thundercloud Galaxy are rather closer together than usual, though become less so the farther out they get. This has allowed the Ralsiian Star Empire to reach some 1/5th the size in terms of habitable planets and around one quarter the population of the CCW while existing in a previously essentially unexplored area of the Thundercloud Galaxy; Since most trading and exploration goes on along the Galactic Rims, the expansionistic Ralsiians simply weren't noticed until the Kreeghor ran into them and they (The Ralsiians) quickly realized their own situation.. No longer a lone Superpower.
Though having one quarter the population of the CCW, the Ralsiian Star Empire is rather less efficient because of it's rigid class structure, more primitive technology (For instance, Ralsiian ships use their contra-gravity drives for propulsion up to accelerations of 0.8% of the speed of light per melee round in their very latest prototype design, and 0.6% in more common fast designs, and 0.4% in slow designs, but beyond that need to use Ion engines with Bussard Ramscoops to increase the availible fuel for additional acceleration, and they use overpowered fusion engines instead of anti-matter reactors, though they are researching Artificial Quantum Singularities.) and the need to control it's more violent subject races. However, the same militaristic nature has given the Ralsiians an impressive space navy, though it has come at the expense of it's Armies, something which is changing as the possibility of invasion via Rift becomes a grim spectre.
Though of course the space of the Ralsiian Star Empire contains many stars with no habitable planets or no planets at all, these are not counted in planetary numbers, as with all major powers, though small numbers of citizens may live in said systems, largely on their own, asteroid mining, etc. This accounts for some of the disparity in population; Exact figures are hard to get for such an Empire. It should also be noted that the Ralsiian Star Empire has been meticulous in it's expansion; Within the 1,529 lightyear "Half Sphere", there is not a stone that has been unturned in terms of searching for habitable planets, and, when found, colonizing or conquering them. It is believed that the Ralsiian Star Empire plans to expand out as far as 2,000 lightyears, but that would bring it into potential conflict with other major powers; Likewise, there is the disturbing possibility that the RSE plans to continue expanding and building up military forces until they can take control of the entire Thundercloud Galaxy, as the CCW and TGE and other major powers are busy fighting each other, the Dartrok, and other such problems.
Of course, such plans depend upon the Empress and the House of Lords, and with a new Empress or change in the Balance of Power within the House of Lords, policy could change radically. What current policy is... That's unknown, likely for the reason that the Ralsiians, having abruptly plunged onto the field of Galactic Politics, aren't quite sure themselves what to do next.
The only very unusual thing has been their abrupt and unconditional acceptable of the persecuted Vyrmpyre race as equals. Commonly equated with true Vampires under the control of a Vampire Intelligence, which they are not, and hence often hunted on civilized worlds, they are still very old beings who have been around the Three Galaxies for a long time, and Intelligence Analysts believe the move was a calculated one to gain as much intelligence as possible on all the governments of the Three Galaxies.
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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.