The Xedael Empire is the dominant ruling entity in the southwestern arm of the galaxy. Founded over ten thousand years ago, the Xedael Empire has had a long and troubled history, but has since stabilized itself. With this calm in internal tensions comes a rather aggressive expansionist policy, and the Xedael Empire is launched numerous expeditions to invite new members into its embrace.
The origins of the Xedael Empire date back tens of thousands of years ago, to the dawn of space colonization. Ingr’Nysk society had always been plagued by recurrences of Forgotten aggression, but during pre-space times, these conflicts were not terribly severe. A central government and near-instantaneous communications allowed any Forgotten outbreaks to be dealt with decisively. The Ingr'Nysk people originated on the planet Ingr, and from there they branched off to the surrounding planets. After perfecting faster-than-light travel, the Ingr people were able to colonize increasingly distant star systems. Colonies and settlements were created, but all were tied to the central government found on Ingr.
However, as colonization of outlying star systems became more frequent and lines of communication became longer and longer, a democratic government became less and less practical. Border colonies found it more difficult to keep up-to-date with current governmental policies, and the government found it more difficult to respond to threats, both external and internal. As it became less able to project its force, the government found that controlling the Forgotten proved to be increasingly difficult, to the point that the Forgotten were threatening all of Ingr’Nysk civilization. At first local authorities were able to contain much of this threat, but soon the Forgotten accumulated in greater numbers. Cities and towns burned from the uncontrolled psionic energies of the Forgotten, and entire colony worlds were lost. This period of time became known as the Age of Darkness, and lasted for several centuries.
Age of DarknessEdit
This period was characterized by a steady decline in living standards, and the deaths of millions of people. The Forgotten were not stupid creatures, and knew that they posed a large threat to the rest of the population. As such, they gathered and organized into small bands, almost forming an independent nation. This organization gave them protection against the other Ingr'Nysk, allowing them to fight back and continue to wreak havoc. The organized Forgotten destroyed countless cities and colonies as they unleashed their chaotic energies on society. Much of the scientific and social advances discovered by the various colonies were lost in the ensuing destruction. Though the central government tried to mount a response, internal squabbling and corruption largely made these efforts futile, further increasing the loss of life and destruction of property.
Xedael the PureEdit
During the Age of Darkness, and individual by the name of Xedael the Pure came to power. Xedael was a superb military strategist, as well as an excellent politician. He also commanded a sizable portion of the Ingr’Nysk Navy, and soon came across a solution to curb the Forgotten menace. Xedael rallied the battered remnants of the Ingr Army and Navy, and engaged in a ruthless campaign to drive away the Forgotten. The campaign lasted half a century, and though the Forgotten were ultimately destroyed, the brutal and controversial methods left millions of innocent people dead. However, ever the masterful politician, Xedael blamed the destruction and draconian actions on the inept leadership of the Ruling Council. He spent a considerable portion of his own wealth to rebuild devastated colonies and concluded his military campaign with a touring of the colonies, where he rendered what aid he could. These efforts, as well as the use of propaganda, changed public opinion, and Xedael was soon hailed a hero.
Soon after his success, Xedael overthrew the Ruling Council, and installed himself as dictator. His popularity with the people, as well as the people’s desire to end the constant warfare, supported his claim. To prevent future Forgotten uprising, Xedael implemented numerous policies and laws, all of which were designed to root out Forgotten before they had a chance to mature. These edicts are the basis of the current Xedael Empire.
After his death, the Empire was ruled successively by his descendants. Amazingly, the Xedael bloodline has occupied the throne for thousands of years, adding to the Xedael’s claim that he and his children were ordained by god to rule the Empire. Each successive emperor has added to the Empire through military and diplomatic means. In most cases, these additions were simply absorption of lost colonies, but in other cases, entire new races and civilizations were brought into the Empire.
The Emperor is the head of the Xedael Empire. Even though the Emperor has final say on all decisions concerning the Empire, most day-to-day matters are addressed by the High Council. As such, the Emperor can almost be seen as a figurehead, where he acts as a focal point for the Xedael people. However, the office is more than just ceremonial, as the Emperor ultimately wields unlimited power in that he can trump any decision made by the High Council or other governmental bodies.
Traditionally, the role of Emperor is held by a male descendant of Xedael the Pure, though there have been several examples of a female holding the office. This male dominance is more due to birth order than it is to any real preference or form. Indeed, during those times in which a female held the position of Empress, the Empire prospered greatly.
The High Council is a group of seven nobles from all sectors of the Empire, and is the primary legislative body. The High Council discusses, proposes, and passes all laws that pertain to the Empire. These laws are usually fairly broad, in that they are primarily concerned with universal issues instead of dealing with specific planets or star systems. (The planetary governors are responsible for creating legislation for their respective systems.)
The members of the High Council are almost always the High Lords of each of the Empire’s sectors. These men and women are generally of noble blood, and are very powerful individuals. Though they are predominately members of the Ingr’Nysk race, there have been High Lords of other species.
The Inquisition was a governmental body created by Xedael the Pure, and is tasked with rooting out all sources of corruption, piracy, and most importantly, the Forgotten. They are responsible for screening all Ingr’Nysk births throughout the galaxy, and are also responsible for maintaining an elite strike force to eradicate any living Forgotten. Because of the nature of their work, the Inquisition is generally considered outside of most Xedael law, and answers directly to the Emperor.
The Inquisition itself is made up of several departments, each tasked with a single focus. All Inquisitors are trained for over a decade at the Inquisitorial Cathedral on Ingr. Following this training is advanced personal training given by the individual departments; this training focuses on the specific skill sets an Inquisitor will need in completing his duties.
An empire the size of the Xedael Empire requires a vast military arm to defend itself and to control its territory. The military of the Xedael Empire is broken down into three primary components: the Imperial Guard, Imperial Navy, and Imperial Marine Corps. The fourth branch of the military, the Special Operations Command, provides necessary specialized units to combat operations, and is not considered part of any of the previous branches. Even though each branch is a separate entity, all branches are under the joint command of the High Lord Commander.
The Imperial Guard is the primary Army force of the Xedael Empire, and serves as the primary garrison and defensive force. Even though the Guard is quite capable of projecting offensive power, it emphasizes holding Imperial territory. The Imperial Guard is drawn from all planets of the Empire, and a significant portion of the Guard is composed of the Planetary Defense Forces. The remaining members of the Guard serve as garrison units that typically rotate between posts.
The Imperial Navy supplies all of the Empire’s transportation needs and the necessary escort vessels. In addition, the Imperial Navy also provides the naval protection needed by all space-faring empires.
Imperial Marine CorpsEdit
The Imperial Marine Corps serves as the Empire's primary offensive combat unit, and is responsible for all offensive engagements. When military units are deployed to quell uprisings or to expand the Empire, Marine units are the first to deploy. Rotating Guard units may reinforce the Marine units, but the Marine Corp is responsible for the majority of offensive combat. As a result, Marines are highly trained and specialize in assault and fast-attack strategies. Imperial Marines are typically given better training and equipment than their Guard counterparts, and are held in slightly higher regard. In addition to their offensive capability, Marine units typically rotate through garrison posts to obtain necessary defensive skills.
Special Operations CommandEdit
With only one exception, all Special Forces units of the Xedael Empire fall under the purview of the Special Operations Command. Officially, SOC is responsible for providing a standardized training method and operations guide for all Xedael Special Forces. In practice, SOC simply assigns missions and acts as a liaison between the individual Special Forces unit and the requesting Navy or Guard unit.
The Storm Commandos are the Empire’s primary Special Forces unit. They are trained in numerous battlefield disciplines, and are called in to fulfill a variety of roles including counter-terrorism and reconnaissance. Members of the Storm Commandos are kept in training for nearly a decade before they are considered combat worthy.
Named after the heavy battle armor they wear, Reaver Command is called in to assault the most heavily defended positions. This unit specializes in destroying fortified positions and bearing the brunt of any maneuver requiring devastating firepower.
Though classified as a Special Forces unit, the Royal Guard is actually the personal guard of the Emperor and his family, and are thus permanently assigned to the Emperor and his residence. Members of this unit are some of the most highly trained and skilled soldiers in the entire Empire, and most are taken from the infamous Null Regiments.
Though the Null Regiments are technically a Special Forces unit, they do not fall under the command of SOC, and are actually a part of the Inquisition. Requests for deployment of Null Regiments are sent to the Special Operations Command, who then communicate through the proper channels to the Inquisition. Comprised of Ghost Commandos, the Null Regiments are highly classified units, and only the most superior of officers know of their existence.
Society and CultureEdit
The Xedael Empire is quite technologically advanced, having made numerous advances in science during the previous centuries. The typical method of power generation is utilization of dark matter, with standard fusion generators as backup. In addition, military vessels utilize Singularity Reactors, which create and maintain a miniature black hole. These reactors generate so much energy that a single Singularity Reactor can provide enough power for even the largest warship.
Weaponry and other equipment are also summarily advanced. Shields, known as void shields, are standard on all starships and are capable of stopping both physical and energy-based objects. Physical armor is composed of memory metals and ceramics, which offer substantially more protection than standard alloys. These materials are capable of limited self-repair, and are typically lighter and denser than their contemporary counterparts.
Weapon philosophy is quite diverse, with an equal use of energy and ballistic weapons. The Xedael Empire has done away with blasters, finding them cumbersome and imprecise. Instead, lasers are the norm, with Pulse technology standard on fightercraft and larger naval-class lasers mounted on capital ships. Pulse Lasers cycle rapidly, increasing damage potential and accuracy, while Naval Lasers have greater range and accuracy than their turbolaser counterparts.
Notably, the Xedael Empire also utilizes ballistic technology. Slug-throwers are common, as they are easily maintained and cheap to manufacture. Rail guns are capable of incredible fire rates and generate very little heat, a plus in space combat. A mix between energy and particle weaponry, the Particle Cannon fires ions and neutrinos at near-light speeds, relying on kinetic, heat, and energy for its damage.
In addition to military technology, the Xedael Empire has made great strides in advancing medicine and civilian technology. Cybernetics have been largely perfected, so it is not uncommon to see Xedael citizens boasting artificial enhancements or implants. Cloning has also reached a stage of mass production, though the process is expensive and is limited to cloning individual organs or body parts; cloning whole, sentient beings with awareness has been met with failure.
Polymer and materials science, as well as robotics, are also at an advanced stage. Micromachines and nanotechnology are relatively common, where they are used for maintenance and health care. Memory metals and ceramics are used in architecture, allowing for structures that can withstand most natural disasters; this in turn has advanced military armor research.
The advanced stages of robotics and artificial intelligence programming has led to the automation of a number of utilities and services. Waste management, power grids, water resources, and so forth are all automated. Maintenance tasks are carried out by robotic drones, with organic workers acting in a supervisory role. These advances in robotics and programming have led to heavy exploitation of the Empire's massive asteroid fields; these mining operations have flooded the nation with incredible mineral wealth. The advanced computing power has also been utilized in the military; this is most apparent in the Xedael Empire's extensive Space Defense System.