Reference: Setting.   Posted by Game Master.Group: 0
Game Master
 GM, 4 posts
Sat 10 Jul 2021
at 07:38
Reference: Setting
Overview

On the Medieval Nature of the Setting

It is important to note that the structures of power and governance within this setting resemble those of medieval Europe. That being said, the Quori Empire is not a monolithic culture, especially due to the Quori Diaspora. The Empire is really a collection of far flung territories, mostly due to the realities and logistics of maintaining such things with limited FTL capabilities.

Indeed, it is more accurate to think of the Quori like the elves from Tolkien's legendarium. In that setting, while there were many different elven peoples, with some luminaries and elves of great stature among them, they were not wholly united, as there were many far flung kingdoms and demesnes of the Noldor. So it is here, where there are many leaders and polities within the Quori, some of them kings in their own right, who are now subservient to the High King of the Quori.

Species

The Quori

Natives of the planet of Vohrin Prime, the Quori were a humanoid species of incredible physiology, each individual possessing immense physical strength, speed, durability, flight, and other superhuman powers. Within the last century, they had built a utopian multi-species civilisation within the Radiant Arc.

The Machine People

The Machine People were a civilisation of sapient artificial constructs that kept mostly to their own volume of space, deigning not to involve themselves in galactic politics, though one or two individuals might have ventured outside of their own territories every century or so. Their technology was far in advance of any modern power, though still less advanced than that of the Old Empire.

Each individual appeared as a unique, humanoid android, with an outermost chassis wholly made of precious metals like gold or silver, engraved with intricate designs, and many clockwork elements visible within their core.

The Warmakers

The Warmakers were a civilisation of insectoid aliens with a highly formalized and regimented caste system. They were not one species but many that cooperated through a shared eusocial bond, with each species fulfilling different niches within their society. Through genetic manipulation and cybernetic enhancement, they were capable of creating whole new subspecies with adaptations cultivated specifically for new environments and purposes. They were highly xenophobic, isolationist, and expansionist, seeking to expand their territory and consume more and more resources, running afoul of the Great Powers.

Their language relied on a sequence of rapid, staccato clicks and ticks, with a syntax and morphological structure found incomprehensible by most of the rest of the galaxy, thus requiring the need for translators. Because of the unusual rambling, out-of-order structure of their language, even with the aid of translators, Warmakers sometimes had difficulty making themselves clearly understood by non-Warmakers.

The Historians

The Historians were an ancient, nomadic civilisation existing solely within its massive collection of starships called the Migrant Fleet. Many ages ago, they had been driven from their homeworld, forced to make many circuits of the galaxy over the long epochs. Their histories have recorded the rise and fall of whole civilisations and empires.

They were viewed with some suspicion by the rest of the galaxy and were noted for their tricksome nature, whether deserved or not. While no more technologically advanced than any other civilisation in the galaxy, they appeared to possess mystical abilities unique to their species, further fueling scrutiny against them.

Changelings

Changelings were subtle shapeshifters capable of disguising their appearance. Mysterious and solitary, this species was little more than an enigma to most of the known galaxy. They had no homeworld to speak of—indeed they had no visible civilisation at all, for they tended towards hidden communities within other humanoid civilisations.

Rumoured for their calculating nature and their abilities towards deception, most were thought to be involved with the criminal element in one form or another. Very few changelings would show their true face to any except their closest friends and allies.

Religion

A relic from their days on Vohrin Prime, Vohrinism was a collection of beliefs related to ancestor worship, especially of those heroic individuals that founded particularly important Quori lineages, as well as anthropomorphic divinities married to Quori ideals. Most Quori follow this religion closely, though a few had branched out to other religions of the galaxy.

Prophecy

Prophecy was of grave importance to the Quori. They particularly heeded divine visions, and often sought divine approval through ritual and ceremony before venturing on some journey or quest.

The Doom of Alandar was a prophecy spoken by the eponymous sage and oracle thousands of years ago, portending the end of times. It was said that the Destroyer would break its bonds from deep within the chthonian realms and end all life in the galaxy. Most Quori knew this prophecy from tales told during childhood, which was why most people had such a fatalistic outlook on life. Others heeded it as a warning, to delay the inevitable end with whatever just and virtuous actions they might make in their own lifetime.

Other Religions

There was the belief in four mystical and fundamental forces, each driven by or associated with a philosophy or ethos. However, unlike on Vohrin, they were not venerated as anthropomorphic deities but viewed more as immutable laws of nature. There were no rituals to appease them, no sacrifices to curry their favour. They simply were. These forces were Light and Darkness, Chaos and Order.

It was often the practice of foreign aristocrats to preserve the essences of their ancestors and house them within their own dedicated crypts and mausoleums in order to venerate the dead. The wills of their ancestors would live on, in some case their mummified remains were animated to move and to speak, while in other cases their minds powered crude artificial intelligences. Such practices were viewed as anathema within the Empire.

The True Way, or Truth, was a minor religious sect found within the Warmaker civilisation. It was a philosophy and way of life that strived for perfection and godliness within their own martial spirit, though it extended to all facets of daily and ethical living. They frowned upon the “pollution” of the True Way, refusing to utilise the teachings of other arts, which they considered inferior and barbaric.

History

The Quori Diaspora

Many generations ago, a significant portion of Quori from Vohrin Prime left their homeworld and spread throughout the galaxy. Whether these Quori were fleeing some disaster or there was some religious edict dictating their movements, no one really knew or was forgotten with time. However, the result was that the Quori were now a fragmented people, with many different languages and cultures that no longer feel any kinship to the homeworld.

The Radiant Crusade

Less than a century ago, the Quori of Vohrin Prime spread out from their homeworld in a campaign to pacify and unify the many disparate Quori colonies and polities, as well as other lesser powers within their sphere of influence, in the Radiant Crusade. Indeed, many of the Great Powers had already subsumed some lesser Quori holdings into their own territories, so the Quori responded with the reconquest of their distant brethren's realms. This eventually led to the formation of the Quori Empire.

The Machine Wars

The Machine Wars were a series of wars fought with the Machine People. Nearly all sapient species of the galaxy participated in some form during these wars, as they left untold devastation in their wake. The casus belli for the wars was never clear, for the Machine People would often strike without warning and retreat to their own volume of space for decades at a time.

The Quori Empire

The Quori Empire was a disparate collection of kingdoms, territories, and other polities united under the leadership of the High King of the Quori. The Empire was the major dominant power of the Radiant Arc, rivaled only by the neighboring Great Powers.

The Radiant Arc

Though known to many scholars as Thessia's Wheel, the galaxy had adopted a more commonly used name from the positioning of known solar systems that have been mapped over centuries. A group of major systems ran along one of the major spiral arms of the galaxy. Each of these systems was liberated by the Quori in their Radiant Crusade, which was where the Radiant Arc received its name.

Monarch

The House of Suns was the ruling dynasty of the Quori Empire, granted the title of High King of the Quori by divine right as well as by its unwritten custom. They were formally anointed and invested by a major religious leader of the Quori religion, usually the High Priest of the Temple of Sovereignty.

The Great Houses

The noble houses of the Empire, as an institution, were not unique, as dynasties were not unknown throughout the galaxy. The twelve Great Houses of Vohrin Prime were the highest ranked families within the Empire, though these were not the only noble houses within the Empire. On the contrary, there were many numerous houses that were vassals to the Great Houses, especially those not native to Vohrin Prime, and dispersed throughout the Empire.

Governance

Due to the realities of intergalactic travel, the Quori Empire lacked the infrastructure and logistics to support direct control over its territories. Instead, they relied on a system of feudal obligations, where a feudal overlord would grant demesnes and estates to vassals in exchange for military service. This extended to other subservient kingdoms and polities within the Empire; rather than upend local governments, the Quori would often allow these regions to rule themselves, while giving homage to their Quori overlords.

Organizations

Military Orders

The Quori Empire was host to a great many military orders, groups of warriors and soldiers that banded together under a common code to advance a shared goal. Usually, they were ordained by the High King of the Quori, though other high-ranking members of the Great Houses also possessed the necessary resources to organize such grand military organizations, not to mention some sect or another within the Quori religion.

One such example was the Conservators' Order, though they were less warriors and soldiers and more concerned with the conservation of the historical and cultural diversity of the Empire.

Guilds

Professional and commercial associations, concerns, and collectives formed a major backbone of the dispersed galactic economy. Membership in a guild was not bound by ties of blood, but by oaths of loyalty and fealty and by mastery of a trade or craft. Though they could not rival the military power of the Great Powers, the guilds nonetheless possessed economic power enough to wield great influence. Rarely did that influence reach beyond a specific isolated region, but in some certain cases, some guilds were able to reach trans-stellar heights.

Technology

Communication

Communications was relegated to ordinary subluminal methods, thus necessarily delaying galactic communication networks by the speed of a messenger. In-system communication was conducted via radio transmission or communication laser.

Weapons

Personal weapons in general relied on mass accelerators to propel projectiles to lethal speeds. They resembled chemically-powered firearms of earlier eras and were used in analogous roles.

Shipboard armament included close-range beam or plasma weapons; mid-range mass accelerators firing massive slugs at fractions of the speed of light; and long-range self-propelled guided projectiles, or missiles, with destructive payloads.

FTL

The Imperial Lanes

The Imperial Lanes were an ancient portal network created by the Old Empire. While not instantaneous, the Imperial Lanes still drastically reduced travel time by several orders of magnitude. However, the numbers of gates were limited, and travel was point to point.

Translation

Superluminal translation was an alternate more modern means of faster-than-light space travel. Instead of breaking the barrier of the speed of light, spaceships “translated” their mass around it. By adding an exotic, imaginary component to their velocity, they entered a superluminal universe, traveling several times the speed of light and allowing for passage into nearby systems and local regions, though still not fast enough to sustain a truly galactic civilisation.

In addition, translation was unreliable and perilous for there were unique astrographic features and energies within the superluminal universe that could obliterate passing spaceships unless precautions were taken through prior knowledge of the astrographic terrain and careful navigation. Oft times, a spaceship would translate to superluminal speeds, only to never return.

Magic

Many Quori were superstitious, placing great stock in prophecy and the supernatural. Indeed, the Historians were said to possess mystical powers themselves. Some Quori households were rumoured to possess similar strange abilities that could not be explained by the current understanding of science.

This message was last edited by the GM at 06:37, Sun 11 July.