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New Terra [Update 6/8/11]

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hylandpad:
Rough Timeline:

2nd Half of the 22nd Earth Century – Humanity has achieved, for the first time ever, peace spanning across all Continents. The new world order called aptly “The Unity” is a byzantine governmental structure that spans across all countries, nominally allowing for countries to keep existing cultures and traditions, providing it does not conflict with the peace that the Unity so laboriously keeps. Pockets of resistance are still existent, however they are not of any threat to the established power. It is also in this century that the earth is introduced to a series of alien contacts. By the time the 23rd century arrives, Earth is beginning to become part of the galactic community.

24th Earth Century – The Tor Empire, an extra-terrestrial Hegemony arrives at Old Terra. They, claiming to be the progenitors of the human race, demand access to the resources of the world to drive their inter-stellar war machine. Humanity confers upon this demand, and decides surrendering large quantities of natural resources would be against the best interests of humanity. Several other alien races stand with the Humans, while the client races of the Empire stand with the Tor. The Tor leave Old Terra for over a hundred years, vowing to return to take the resources by force if need be. The Unity, in the face of this crisis is faced with a dilemma; the Tor Threat has upset the populace and the order of the world is upset. Numerous campaigns are organized to regain complete control of rebellious elements, but the Unity has, by the latter part of the 23rd century, all but crumbled.

25th Earth Century – Old Terra has reformed boundaries, re-established sovereign countries and autonomous nations. The idea of a universal government is internationally rebuked, and The Alien Diaspora begins as an attempt to oust Tor spies.  A new Military Alliance is formed by the greater nations of the world, in order to man the Outposts in orbit around Earth, which had been abandoned during the fall of the Unity. The move to reorganize into an international military comes too late however, and in the latter half of the century, a Tor Stellar Armada arrives in System Solaris. War formally breaks out between the Tor Empire and Old Terra, but with no alien auxiliaries or non-human allies, victory shifts towards the Tor quickly.
In a radical attempt to cut off the head of the invasion, Human Commandos infiltrate the Tor Capitol ship and execute the Tor Consul. The Consul, along with  thousands of Tor Non-combatants on the ship, are assassinated as a nuclear weapon is detonated in the belly of the Capitol Ship. The assassination evokes a highly emotional and irrational response from the Proconsul, who orders the entire human race to be obliterated for the transgression of the humans. The surface of Old Terra is turned to glass by a massive Orbital Plasma bombardment, and humanity is wiped out. In subsequent trips to the planet to crack it open and extract resources, trace elements of human DNA are found and stored by Tor scientists.

Year 6202 of the Tor Imperium (Age of the Human Renaissance) – With a violent coup overthrowing the Imperial Council on Tor Prime, revolutionary factions gain access to the entire database of the Tor Secret Archives. Within, they find record of Genocides of hundreds of different species across dozens of planets, Humans being among the extinct. With each document, they find the location of surviving genetic materials and embark upon an ethical crusade to revive as many extinct species as possible.
The Humans, being last on the list (being wiped out a mere seven hundred years earlier) were naturally last to be revived by genetic reconstruction. These humans or, "reHumans" as they were typically called, were identical to the humans of planet earth save for some genetic anomalies that came about in the re-engineering process (wider ranges of eye colors and hair colors, notably.) Their chosen re-location spot was initially on a Luxury Planet on the outskirts of Imperial Territory, but due to a routing incident, the carriers bearing the humans (and their Tor overseers) was sent deep out into uncharted space, where they were forced to make an emergency landing on a planet that the humans would later dub as New Terra.

Human Archaic Age – For the first several centuries of life on New Terra, the reHumans were little more than clueless apes. Being abruptly brought back into existence with no recollection (With several exceptions of alleged Genetic Memories) of their former ancestors, they relied completely on the Tor to try and understand how the world works. Accelerating culturally and racially every year, the humans grew from little more than intelligent monkeys to a highly cultured and developed society. Thanks to advanced Tor technologies and permanent presence within human society, these humans quickly excelled in complex mathematics, sciences, galactic philosophy, religious theory, physics, metallurgy and architecture.  They had, presumably by the end of this age, began to excel within meager centuries had achieved after over five millennium of existence. 

Human Classical Age – The Tor, seeing that their work as human rehabilators was coming to a close, they left the planet, leaving only a handful of Tor on the planet as permanent correspondents. The Human cultures, fundamentally based on that of the Tor culture, can be grouped into three basic groups – one per continent. The Greatlanders, The Alut and the Orients. Though these three groups are similar in their overarching culture having descended from Tor mentors, in the ages after the Tor leave the planet,  the cultures begin to slowly define themselves. This, report the Tor left on the planet, is a good thing.  Cultural difference breeds competition, and competition is considered vital to a strong economy. Humans had indeed taken up the ropes left by their absent Tor mentors quickly and effectively, seeming to take to the reigns of autonomy very well. Human culture, continued to make itself distinct, even breaking down into separate groups within the larger groups on the continents. This, at the beginning did not prove to be a problem. Human dominion continued to be fairly tranquil, and differences were settled peacefully in international forums.
Throughout this age, human poetry, literature and philosophy promulgates quickly, with international events being held yearly to which all current thinkers and scholars were invited. These events, not only for academia, promoted the spread of inter-cultural fashion and culture, as well as the newest technologies that human scientists labored over.  Such was the legendary brilliance of the Classical Period, that the greatest minds and authorities are still lamented and revered as saints, gods, muses and paragons.

The Imperial Age – nearing the end of the relatively short lived Classical Age, there was a distinctive shift away from the advancement of technologies that were of societal application, to technology that was of military application. Old Earth Humans, it seems, when left to their own devices would often times create conflict for no reason other than to display superiority. These reasons of course, need rationalization, which comes in many forms – necessary resources, religious crusade, imminent danger, or preemptive strikes being just a few of these rationalizations. It seemed that the newly engineered humans did not lack this trait. So for the first time in human history on New Terra, conflict finally erupted on a large scale. Humans had not been allowed access to the advanced Tor Weaponry. They had an incredibly cultured lifestyle, with enough technology to be able to live comfortably, modestly and without fear of hunger, disease, or fear of the elements.
It had been, by Tor standards, a perfectly utilitarian society where social disparity was low and where the Global economy would continue to thrive so long as people continued to work. This, changed however, in the latter parts of the Classical Age when production centers began to form companies, and take over large sections of the market, refusing to sell or buy from other sections which eventually drove those sections out of existence. The economic stress, starting locally slowly crept from continent to continent, until the means of production of any of the given corporate “nation-states” was completely under the control of the newly formed ruling elite. This economic  tension translated into conflict, and under these pretenses, the world was introduced to war. New Technologies were created for making war, old technologies were recycled into military usage, and the peaceful nature of the world was largely overturned. It was an era of intense nationalism. All male citizens were soldiers for their nation state. Competition between neighboring states (or even between neighboring cities) was often strenuous, and any alliances were simple ones of convenience.
 The trenches of mistrust and hatred were soon dug, and would only deepen in the coming ages. Borders shifted as states exercised powers far outside their original boundaries, and foreign governments were oppressive of the native populations. The literature that came out of this period are often times warrior epics, about long journeys from the shore of one nation to another, or treks across an entire continent, or a siege of a neighboring city. Another new concept was the concept of slavery that emerged in the Imperial Age, where the victor would claim a defeated populace as property and do with as he saw fit. Often times this translated into the formation of a slave market, though in some cases, a particularly savvy ruler would use them as a military force. The Imperial Era saw rise and fall of dozens of large empires, and hundreds of smaller hegemonies across all three continents. It also saw the first population decline in the human race since the eradication of the humans of Old Terra. The destruction and destability left in the wake of this era, however, was far more deadly than the actual wars could ever hope to have been.

The Age of Plague - The constant tumult that raged throughout the Imperial Age left the humans of New Terra unaware and unprepared for a wave of horrible diseases. Where they came from is entirely unknown. Speculations on the origins of the new macrobial threats are legion. Some insisted it was unleashed from the belly of some ancient Derrokar ruins where diggers or miners poked their heads to far into whilst looking for treasure. Others said it was of Elitar origins, a genetically engineered virus made to wipe out the humans from New Terra. Others insisted that an Ethereal entity was urging more sinister forces into the material world for the transgressions of the wizardly castes. What is known is that the devastation left in it’s wake touched all continents of New Terra, and left over a half of the population of New Terra dead or dying after over a century. Not only did the diseases target humans, but their livestock and crops. There was no cure for this massacre, no solution to the famine. People died from disease or else starved to death.
 Eventually, after years and years, it slowed down, and the sudden, spastic deaths came to a halt, and crops began to slowly grow, but the world was still forever changed. The warlords of the Imperial Age, beaten into submission not by their enemies, but by the cruel hands of fate, returned to their thrones, leaving behind their barren lands and consolidating what little arable lands they had left. Brilliant thinkers, mathematicians, theologians, scientists and think-tanks had died by the cartload. Historical and cultural information, all but abandoned during the Imperial Age, was utterly lost in the Age of the Plague. As a result, in the wake of the Age of Plague, the world,to most people, was a scary, unforgiving and outright hostile place. Society would recover, but only after a lengthy age of recovery.

The Age of Night - Not much is known about the Are of Night. Humanity had at long last fallen from it’s Utopian pillar of supremacy, unable to ward off Elitar and Elysian migrating bands. Orientalis suffered the worst, but Alutremur also had to deal with invading foreigners. The Elitar are the most well known invaders, pushing south from their home in norther Orientalis, down as far as the Tonga Plains. In Alutremur, the constructed “machine men” known as the “Eleskios” or Elysians, began to move in roving bands into human lands. While their numbers were few, and they were for all intents and purposes peaceful, they still remained outsiders. Intense levels of xenophobia existed not only between humans and non-humans, but between humans as well. In the Age of Plague, there was some mutual cooperation between the men of each nation, putting their differences aside to attempt to save themselves as a species. It seemed that this mutual cooperation might continue after the Plague had stopped. But old adversities hailing from the Imperial Age somehow resurrected themselves, and they came out louder and more resentful than every.
Each nation blamed the other for the Plague. Cults joined in, blaming anyone who wasn’t with them. Fanatical zeal took off within the cults, and secular control over the institutions began to wane. In the midst of the tumult, the people of the Valyk mountains, considered barbaric outsiders descended upon the shattered Greatland nations, as well as raiding the western coasts of Alutremur, and as far inland as Al-Ihadraya. These barbarians, the only ones seemingly not affected by the plague, took advantage of the recovering people of Greatland and Alutremur, raiding and ransacking and settling wherever their ships could land. But, the effect carried a shining beacon of hope.
The Valyk, though considered barbaric, still possessed some technologies hailing from the Classical Age of humanity. Though the Valyk did not partake in the Imperial Age (they abstained from all international policy at the middle of the Classical Age - their abstinence earning them the mocking title of “Socosius Barbareos” or “Social Barbarians.”)  They, among the raping and pillaging and plundering, brought back technology that people thought was long lost to them. It wasn’t particularly advanced or particularly useful technology.  If anything the Valyk sold the right to such technology, as a proto-patent, which only the richest could afford (and the rich were few and far between - very distant relative of the Corporate Aristocracies of the Imperial Age.) But, with the reintroduction of Archeotech and Xenotech, society could slowly, very slowly, turn the wheels of progress once more.

The Era of Kings: <incomplete>

hylandpad:
Greatland Social Structures:

Because the Novel takes place mostly in Greatland, I will detail several of the institutions most prominent there.

The Teutonic Reichstadt Assembly - The Teutonic Empire in Greatland is a hodgepodge of Teutonic Nobles seeking to secretly kill each other off, while hoping that someone will guard their back from a similar knife. That mediator is the Teutonic Emperor, who's only objective is to try and keep all of his subjects alive and cooperating well enough to keep the Empire from crumbling in an instant. The assembly is council of all the nobles from the Empire Great and Small in which all issues (great and small) are argued, from land claims to family law suits. The original intent of the assembly was to settle blood feuds in a civil manner, though when it was clear that the intention was not being met, it simply became a dramatic soap opera where one could publicly announce one's alignment in relation to the emperor.

The Ark - the overarching religious institution of Greatland is known as the Ark. The Ark has a secular and regular arm, one for the priests and one for the monks (both members of the second estate, fyi) The Ark is in charge of regulation and change of religious doctrine, primarily the production of the Biv, the central book to Greatlander religion, which includes bits and pieces of theology, philosophy and even history. The Ark, though boasting no secular control at all, save for some monastic lands and the citadel which is the headquarters of the council, is highly influential. Religious reform and counter-reform are always in motion and as such, the Ark tends to be in constant flux on it's political involvement, though it nominally seeks to place itself comfortably between the ruler and the state, ensuring that the constituents of the Ark are being properly educated in the ways of the Gods.

The Circle of Masters - The Circle of Masters, or just The Circle, is effectively the Mages Guild of Greatland. It's influence stretches far and wide. It acts as a cohesive bond that glues the many different wizard orders together, keeps peace and ensures that magic isn't being misused (at least in theory.) The Circle prides itself on it's neutrality, not taking a definite stand in the affairs of kings and princes. This proves difficult however, since many of the Wizards of the Circle are Vassals, Lords or Sworn Men of a King's court. Thus, the Circle of Masters often days becomes an internal tug-of-war; a battlefield field where the Wizards play whatever political goals they wish to further. Circle magnates are usually Wizards found within their Nexi, but only the most privileged of Wizards actually own one of these colossal structures. Those who own a Nexus of their own are the "Wizard Aristocracy" or "Master Wizards" and are usually of noble birth or from rich merchant families. Most Wizards, known as "Wizards-Tenant" reside as a tenant with a master Wizard, or travel from Nexus to Nexus, lending their services to any Master Wizard in need. The Circle, at least in theory, has all the registered Sorcerers in Greatland at it's beck and call also. These sorcerers are known as "Highly Volatile Personnel" due to their ability to cast spells without the need of Ethereal rifts. The Majority of the circle is considered "Non-Volatile Personnel" or those who don't directly interfere/manipulate Ethereal Magic. These are people like Alchemists, Librarians, Diplomats, Arbiters, Guards and all the Menials required to make the guild administrata function. Psions also have a position in the circle known as "Counter-Traditional Non-Magical Phenomenon Manipulators," though most Psions prefer the moniker "Mindflayers" (though slightly misleading, it lends more 'danger' to their already slightly fearful nature.)

The Aurelian Banking Firm - Midaly is known for it's banks. They have existed since the first Ienpokan Empire, and they continue to exist today. Nobles come from around Greatland to store their coin in private accounts. Perhaps the most notable of all the banking firms is the House Aurelias Banking Firm. The Aurelian house was a large, spider-web network of bankers, loosely related only by name (that is to say, non-Aurelius partners, associates and employees were granted the name Aurelius to make the operation look more "family owned.") They are, by a landslide, the largest bank in March, which is the banking capitol of Greatland. Their firms are located across Midaly, with isolated branches in Teutonia, Caspernia and even Zuud. While it is possible to do business at these locations, most nobles would prefer to deal with Severio Aurelius, the Patriarch of the Family, in person. He is generally considered a good, upstanding man, who treats his business partners and beneficiaries with respect and courtesy. And, if one does make the trip to see Severio at his "House" they are in for a true treat; The Main Bank in March is nothing short of a small fortress built around a massive underground vault, with all the trappings of the grandest lords, and decoration that the wealthiest kings would be envious of. There has been of late talk about shady dealings within House Aurelias, dealings that are not only less-than-orthodox, but very sinister in nature. If these whispers have any truth to them, House Aurelias might be in for a rough season...

The Society of Makers - The Society of Makers is a "Guild of Guilds" in a sense. It protects the interests of large sectors of the job market, across Greatland by extracting a tithe from guilds, to standardize prices and to make sure that raw materials are evenly distributed and accessible to every worker within a guild. It has been traditionally comprised of the "Guild of Artificers" (namely metal smiths, weapon smiths and armor smiths) "The Guild of Fabricators" (Carpenters, Masons, Landscapers) and "The Guild of Artisans" (Artists, Poets, Musicians, Luxury-Goods Dealers.) However, in recent times, new occupations have fallen under the umbrella of the Society of Makers, such as "The College of Legates" (Lawyers) and "The Mercantile Consortium" (extra-territorial traders.) The recent absorption of these two formerly sovereign organizations leads some to believe that the Society of Makers is out to "own everything" and some kings have even offered comparable benefits to local guilds who abstain from the Makers. Still, the Society of Makers own a considerable chunk of economy across Midaly and Zuud, where central authority is weak, and the Makers are highly efficient and profitable. Their most recent move has been to try and annex the local Midalian banks; a smart move which had been foreseeable by most Midalian economists. The merge had been going smoothly, until the Society of Makers found that a certain Severio Aurelias had thrown a spanner into the gears of their operation, for reasons unknown, and the merger never happened.



Social Structure of the Greatland Feudal System

Archlord: King, or Emperor
Archvassal: Large Landholders – Archdukes, Arcounts,Archbarons, AND/OR direct Vassals of the Archlord
Rear Vassals/Subvassals: Vassals of Archvassals – Counts, Barons, Jarls, Princes, etc. Not necessarily direct vassals of Archlord
Gentrymen: Lords granted a small Fief (usually a group of three or four hamlets called an “Aura”) within a rear vassal's Desmne. Often titled “Karyn” and is not a hereditary position
Greater Peers: landless Lords of high birth, granted a place in a landed noble's court by pledging allegiance to him/her. Usually given the title of “Rhone” or “Dayn”
Lesser Peers: landless lesser nobility, granted a place in a landed noble's court by pledging allegiance to him/her. Usually given the title of “Subrhone” or “Subdayne.”
Knights: the largest, lowest nobility function as the primary warriors of Greatland. Knights are usually given a very small fief of a single village, in exchange for an oath with Rear Vassals, or directly from an Archlord or Archvassal (and thus hold a higher status than most knights as a class of Royal knights known as Ministerialis.) Knighthood in some kingdoms is hereditary, while in others it is not.


The Ark Hierarchy

Regular Clergy

Chapter Master – In charge of interpretation of the Regula, and in maintaining contact with the Secular Council outside his abbey/monastery.
Chapter Archivist – Responsible for ensuring histories are properly stored and accessible.
Master of Ceremonies – Responsible for conducting ceremonies.
Reliquarian – Catalogs and assess the status of relics or alleged relics.
Scribe – Oversees production of Books, and ensures content is correct.
Chapter Tactician – Ensures that Brothers/Sisters are trained in some methods of self defense
Father/Mother Superior – Responsible for teaching reading and writing to the lower monks. Also act as Captains in military situations.
Father/Mother Inferior – Teachers aides
Brother/Sister Superior – Book Writers
Brother/Sister – Book Writers
Avowed – Field Workers, maids, servants and other maintenance workers who do not take  Regular vows.
   
Secular Clergy
Patriarch/Matriarch – Patriarchs have ultimate power of Veto over the council.
Hierarch – Heirarchs are governors of Temple Fiefs, and have a 1.5 vote count in the council. They are also in supreme command of the cult military forces if one such force exists.
Consiliarch – Large Body  of Councilmen.
Exarch – In Charge of a single Archdiocese
Ardinarch – In Charge of a single Diocese
Bishop – The high priest of a Cathedral
Archpontifex - In charge of overseeing the transferal of Administers from Temple to Temple.
Pontifex – The high priest of a Temple
Administer – One of numerous Clerics in a Temple/Cathedral
Subadminister – An non-ordained priest who is able to administer certain rights.

Reichstadt Assembly Hierarchy (The Titles are very appropriately in Old Val, a language that is no longer used but has always functioned as a litigation language in both Teutonic and Valykian courts. I have put the Archeoc translations in brackets.)

Eldur Hellig - The Oldest Lord (more appropriately translated as "Venerated Land Holder") [Vendominux] or [Dominux Veniticus]
Koneg Kansil - Kings of the Council [Majesticus Advisiock]
Hellig - Lord [Dominux]
Hellinges - "Little" Lords [Subdominux]
Hausmen - House Men (meaning wealthy knights) [Archmilitex]
Nonskekin - Literally "Those without a voice" meaning adjutants or non-voters. (There is no word in Archeoc for this - closest representation would be [Inoadvisiix] Literally "From the council" or "Adviser")

hylandpad:
Greatland Religion

Gods are neither male nor female in their natural state, but can be one or the other or both at a whim. They represent the primal elements of all living things. They have no shape, unless they will it, and depictions of them are often idealized. Each God has a number of “Aspects” that encompass it’s nature, usually numbering between two or three (but may have more or less depending who you talk to.) All Gods are worshipped by the Ark, the dominant institution that governs spiritual affairs. However, within the Ark there are specialized cults that focus and venerate the individual gods rather than the pantheon as a whole. Most notably is the Coggites, the cult of priest engineers, who are in charge of maintaining machinery across all of Greatland.

Cog - Technology (Cog the Protector/Cog the Purveyor) [technological protector vs. technological destruction]
Scala - Justice (Scala the Lawyer/ Scala the Prefect) [ law & order]
Kronoi - Time (Kronoi the Father/ Kronoi the Decayer) [paternal love vs. temporal decay]
Junos - Nature (Junos the Mother/ Junos the Destroyer) [maternal love vs. natural destruction]
Arkand - Magic (Arkand the Mage/ Arkand the Havoc) [mastery of the volitions & the universal status of chaos]
Anthropean - Sentience (Anthropean the Mortal/ Anthropean the Warrior/ Anthropean the Magnate) [human desire/emotion vs. human desire to war vs. human desire to rule]
Musa - Arts (Musa the Master/ Musa the Bard) [ scholastic arts & performing arts]

hylandpad:
Warrior Elites of New Terra (unfinished)

Order of the Immortals (Siparo Himmortalitz)
"Flowing white robes, a golden mask and a glimmering scimitar. Topped off by a fearsome sand lion. What else could you be but one of his Majesties Immortals?"
Ahmal Numair, Kalik of Seratil
The Immortal order is the Royal Guard of the Suiltan of Alhandria. They are known for their pristine white robes, and ornamental golden plated masks. The robes represent purity, while the masks, represent how the individual must forsake his own identity to devote the entirity of his self to the Suiltan. Once, long ago, the Order of the Immortals was large, nearly an entire legion in size, each Immortal owning a sand lion mount and wielding powerful archeotech weapons. Unfortunately, that time has long passed and the order dwindles as the Suiltans become weaker and weaker, and exert less and less power. Still, the Immortals are a force to be reckoned with, as they devote their entire lives to their training. They practice the martial art of Dahenn Nari, which is both a philosophy as well as a fighting technique. While the Immortals are allowed to marry, they take monastic vows, and must never live more than several miles away from an established Immortal Chapel.

The Pal-Adin
"All people fear the witch, the wizard, the sorcerer. It is the duty of the King to take measures to make sure that the blasphemers are kept in line."
-Kwarzam il Batha, Philosopher.
The Pal-Adin are warriors of the Shiek, temple monks who style themselves after the Knights of Greatland. As the Suiltanate has declined in power over the years, the position of Shiek, the singular vicar of the Temple of Alutremur, has become more elevated. While not enemies, the Immortals have been surpassed and nearly forgotten since the formation of the Pal-Adin, who manage to dazzle the populace with their majesty and strength. This explains the apparent, though polite, tension between the two groups, and it doesnt help to mask the animosity between the Shiek and the Suiltan. They import most of their armors and weapons from talented Greatland artificers, though they slowly are learning to replicate the complicated designs. They fight unhorsed, in Greatland fashion, in Greatland formations and have even adapted certain Archeoc words into their vocabulary to used in certain battle situations. For all this preparation, they rarely see open field combat, though this is beginning to change as the Temple the Suiltanate drift closer and closer to open warfare. The foremost duty of the Pal-Adin, after bodyguarding the Shiek of course, is the persecutaion of unregistered Thaumaturges and Sihirians (wizards.) Their responsibility lies only in apprehending these abominations, while the trial is by the Temple Legates.


Greatland Knight
"Look at him - walking around like he's the king himself. Thinks just 'cuz he's got a suit of fancy armor, and some big sword that he's something special. Well...come to think of it, maybe he is...a little special."
-Sergeant Kirkman of the Tatiom Legion
Knights represent the penultimate fighting force of most of Western Greatland. Where the feudal system is strongest, knights tend to flourish. Thus, they are fairly common in Caspernia, Teutonia, Caern, and even across Midaly (and by common I mean about 5% of the entire population.) Knights are effectively the lowest of the lords, usually small landholders or "house men" residing in the manor of their lord. If they are landed, they usually have a plot of land just large enough for them and their family, complete with some peasant laborers to bring in food and supplies. To be a Knight, one must present a pedigree that stating that his ancestors (be it a father, grandfather, great grandfather or older) had in fact been Knighted, by the declaration of a Lord, usually a rear vassal or greater. Secondly, a Knight requires some sort of fortune; he is responsible for the maintenance and procurement of all his equipment, as well as the equipment of his men at arms (and men at arms need lodging, feeding and pay as well) - a costly endeavor indeed. Speaking of which, all Knights must be outfitted with a working suit of said armor and weapons - for which they need to purchase a Writ of Armament. Such a Writ states that the individual is of sufficient standing to warrant the construction or requisition of a valuable suit of Powered Armor and assortment of powerful weapons - such laborious items cannot simply be granted to just anyone. The knight usually begins his training as an apprentice to a senior knight, as a squire. The squire rides into combat with the knight, trains with the Knight, eats with the Knight and does whatever the Knight bids of him. The Knight, in return trains the squire in all manners of combat, from simple unarmored staff fighting, to dueling technique, to fully armored sword play, mounted superiority, and all other manners of battle. Once a squire matures, and shows prowess in battle (and can prove it) he may be knighted by his master's master (the knight cannot grant his own squire knighthood.) While the Knights of Greatland fight on foot, they are well versed in a number of different fighting styles - but their primary combat methods focus around the already enhanced abilities of their powered armor. They rely primarily on shock tactics, simply overpowering their foes with brute force. Knights literally tear through swathes of light infantry, being nearly untouchable to all but the most powerful weapons. Thus, Knights are truly the only effective answer to countering other Knights (or lots, and lots, and LOTS of lighter infantry.) Because of their superior training and equipment, knights remain the terror of the battlefields, and in high demand.

Dread Commandos
"Rosus - I want flash bombs through the door. Haynes and Galhager, you cover with Arbalests from the antechamber. Fulks, you're in the tree with the Archenbusse; you see his head - take the shot. Maybell, Fieri and I, will breach. Alright gentlemen - positions."
Captain Fusil Merens of the Jahilian Special Forces
In places like Zuud and the Islands, civil war is a constant threat. City states fight bloody border wars every day. Rambunctious nobles try and assert power over their neighbors constantly and intervention by the local authorities can be hindered by endless rows of red tape. Over the last several decades, prominent southern monarchs and councils have found that the best ways to end these struggles before they begin is a little bit of subterfuge. Enter the life of a Dread Commando. These are small, mobile forces composed of either battle hardened veterans or mercenaries who do deeds no one else will do, and go places no one else will go. Usually these units of Dread Commandos are sanctioned directly from the highest authority, and given permission to simply "Do what needs to be done" as their prime objective. Nothing is illegal, nothing is sacred, and no measure is too extreme for a squad of Dread Commandos. They utilize all manners of covert warfare; assassination, bribery, espionage, terrorism, and guerrilla tactics to get the job done. This type of warfare was popularized in the southern Islands, and it is the Zuudis and the Islanders who are seen as the progenitors of this new type of warfare. They have perfected it through constant use, and it has proved particularly helpful in evading some of the most serious threats to civil authority. While the southerners are the undisputed champions of this type of warfare, Dread Commando units are popping up across the western regions of Greatland as well, though they see much less use due to the heavy handed nature of Western Monarchy. The one notable (and easily believable) exception is within Teutonia, where Dread Commando units see extensive use among the lords of the Reichstadt. Most of these units are rented from the Zuudi allies across the sea. Unfortunately, the ruling council is so divided, these Dread Commando units are used as leverage against the other lords, which helps to fragment the assembly even further.

The Ryakvyad
"Where would we be without the Ryakvyad? Undoubtedly, we would be at the jaws of some sinister jungle beast methinks."
-Shardul al Bhafi, Royal Sihk to Rana Tenwar IV

The Tengu
"Just primitive barbarians? Clearly, you have never fought the Tonga."
-Master Yic Horun of the Lion Clan

Witch Slayers
"We are the Fury of the Emperor."
-Witch Slayer motto

Nanju Guard
"I have been guarded by them my entire life... and I rarely even knew they were there."
-Daem Aio Genbakan, Heir Apparent to the Imperial Title

Ienpokan Hoplites
"FOR ATTICA! FOR THE COUNCIL!"
-Cries of the Attican Hoplites

The Endoctro
"No march is too long, no order too onerous. We serve and protect, at all costs. It is our honor to give our life for you."
-Chant of the Endoctro

The Guild Regiments
"Alright lads, suit up. Today, we ride for Caspernia. Tomorrow, for Teutonia."
-Master Artificer Fulcher of Heront

Senatorial Lictors
"The Lictors are perhaps the last vestige of the Midalian Republic that still matters. They are trained in the old ways of combat. They are outfitted with the highest grade weapons and armor. They are the best possible bodyguards one could hope for."
-Jax the Chronicler

The Royal Sihks
"My life for the Rana!"
-Chant of the Royal Sihks

Janissariat
"This, brothers, is a Jezail. Learn to love it; it's going to be the best friend for the rest of your lives."
-Janissary Captain Muar ibn Jyana

The Yngwo Hexmen
"They wear all black. They don't speak much. They give me the creeps. Hexmen, I bet. But what are they doing here?"
-Oro Kano, of the Crab Clan

Clockwork Guard
"I'd hate to get on a bad side of one o' em. They're a walkin', livin', breathin' suit of power armor. Except with no human insides... makes em' more efficient."
-Daron Hegel of the Gold Company

The Damyori
"Not bad, for a keir'yn."
-Sozian Mandalor, First Tricurion of the Damyori Citizen Soldiers

The Sisterial Custodians
"Scary, those women are. Never...EVER ask one to 'handle your sword' unless you're actually in the mood for a duel."
-Daron Hegel of the Gold Company

The Circle Arbiters
"This area needs to be quarantined. If you want me to get rid of this Phage Magistrate, I'm going to need everyone's cooperation. Micaela, Faustin, bring me my books and notes. Ageros, Hellin, bring me my sword and armor."
-Head Arbiter Jamil de Aludan

Inquisitorial Mandate
"I just want to chat, about your friend Gaston... nothing serious, so relax your mind. Good. Close your eyes...yes that's it. Now enlighten me; what were you and Gaston doing the night of Ianarius the thirteenth?"
-Mattias von Archrom, Inquisitor

The Black Circus
"The funniest joke I ever heard was at the tip of a blade. If you can tell me one better, I'll make your death quick and painless. Come - make me laugh."
-Jaquomo the Harlequin, the Black Circus

[Under Construction]

MysticMoon:
Rather than read through the whole thing and then comment, I will work my way through this one section at a time. (So, if I ask a question that gets answered in a later post, bear with me.)

Since there is so much material to absorb, perhaps it would be helpful to have a quick overview of the basics before diving into the details. Maybe just a few paragraphs for the reader to orient himself by. (What genre(s) is this? What's the theme? What core pieces of information are needed as a foundation to understand the rest?) Then, dive into the details.

Post #1 - Species Outline, World Specs and Terrain:

There is enough detail here to intrigue me and make me want to read further: Humans having to be reengineered from DNA recovered from a destroyed Earth makes me want to know the history and why they were recreated. A mechanical race and disdainful alien castaways open up lots of intriguing possibilities. As does using a gigantic new Earth to replace the old one.

I like what I see so far, but I do want to bring up some questions.

How diverse was the stock of DNA used to recreate humanity? Is there a lot of genetic diversity or no? If so, are the Teutons blond-haired and blue-eyed? Are the Rajput dark-skinned and dark-haired? Do the cultures match the way they sound? If so, why? If humanity was recreated whole cloth from DNA, what would be the impetus to recreate old-world cultures and ethnic groupings? It seems like there would be the possibility of creating something completely new.

On a different note, I'm a little confused by the the "disdain of magic" by the Kandolari. Is this sci-fi mixed in with fantasy? Or is that not real magic? This is something that could be cleared up by an introductory paragraph.

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