Thursday, April 7, 2011

Living and Dying in Humanspace Part II: The Government and Militaries

Unhurried despite the flashing alert signal and loud klaxon, Captain Gayán Visá slipped into his black skin-suit displaying the ancient human face sigil of the Váduva Tysulár, the Third Terran or Humanspace Empire.  Shánü, his Orion slave and concubine, somehow managed to remain asleep, wrapped in a lush blanket of pearly mnór fur.

The view screen on the bridge of the Imperial Star Hú  Jimur,  afforded Visá a spectacular view of the Opiuchi 69 trinary, a cataclysmic blood red fireball in the middle distance, a deep blue star, almost violet, before it and a  blazing golden orb above and beyond.  A Ssú sleeper ship skirted the smoldering corona of the Opiuchi stars.  

The Humanspace ship shimmered, iridescent for a moment, the fabric of space rippled and the Jimur faded to a point of white light and then nothingness only to reappear silent minutes later directly above the enemy vessel. Z-rays flicked across the Ssú transport, opening thick black wounds in its steely skin. The crippled alien ship, consumed in blue fire and crackling electricity, turned, veering toward the near purple sun.

In his mind's eye,  Visá perceived the equally dire transpirations within  the dying Ssú ship, a cold blasted inferno, alien death, radiation, smoke and gases fuming from cracked life support pods, a four-legged monster with skin like rolls of mottled black parchment, burning, its void dark eyes filled with hate, staring back into the Captain's mind... 

The government of Humanspace may best be described as totalitarian and semi-feudal.  A  vast Imperial bureaucracy operates under the Mül Council of Narnyel (Lords or Archons) from the 16 great Ketyel, or Houses, the many lesser Houses, and ultimately the Galactic Emperor.  Each planetary system is ruled by a Lord or planetary governor, and the great Council of Space Lords meets irregularly, at the behest of the Emperor, or as demanded by other circumstances. 

The affairs of the worlds are conducted, within the strictures of the Imperial Compact, under the authority of their lords or governors.  On most settled worlds, the Ket, the House of the ruling Nar, controls all trade and industry and maintains a system defense force, police, and planetary militia. On colonial worlds, many worlds at the fringes of Empire, and worlds plagued by unrest or external threats, Imperial military forces will be present in strength.

The core of the Imperial forces are the 64 Sultyat Clone Legions, men and women grown in gene vats from a cache of genetic material that had been preserved since the time of the Atomic Armageddon that decimated the Earth in the 21st century. These clone troops, engineered for enhanced intelligence and physical traits and trained from birth to be ruthless killers, are perhaps the most effective fighting force in the galaxy.  The histories of these black space-armored legions are ancient and storied; the Sultyat predate the current empire by 20 millennia or more.  Traditionally, the Emperor is protected by the Elite Sultyat Imperial Guard Legion.

The Empire also maintains at least 600 legions of human regulars, various Alien Legions, and numerous cadres of Xeno-Sepoys on colonial out-worlds.  The legions are typically segregated by species; however some near-Humans, Pé Chói, and infrequently, Nininyal troops may be included in the Human legions.

The Imperial Navy and the paramilitary Imperial Extreme Survey are more integrated and it is not unusual to find members of several alien species in a starship’s crew. Naval forces include the red clad astronauts of the Near Space fleet and the black suits of several Deep Space fleets. 

Feared throughout the Empire are the Veregyá, Imperial secret police agents, answerable only to the Autocrator. Little is known of this sinister force but rumors of terror, torture, android assassins, gene shaped super spies, and mind-snatching mentaliks may be heard on every world.


  1. Nice! Excellent taste in Space Navy Uniformery.

  2. Very nice! The more I read about Humanspace, the more I like it.

    Reading the description of the Sultyat Legions made me think of these guys, if you're interested in miniatures. Sadly, not much in the way of Tekumel non-humans exist - either in 15/18mm or 25/28mm, though there are more alien figures around then there use to be.

  3. @kobold: I also recommend Bob Naismith's Cobalt line of sci-fi figures, along with Hydra Miniatures' Retro Raygun series. Repear also has some sufficiently pulpy sci-fi figures int their Chronoscope line.

  4. @The Drune: I was curious how you plan on sneaking Orion slave girls into the setting? Perhaps some future folklorist, sifting through the scraps of pre-Atomic Armageddon civilization finds reference to apocryphal "green animal women" of Orion in the legendary sagas of the star-faring Captain Kiróck. ("I.. AM.. KIROCK!") Of course, the enterprising geneticists at Gii & and Sons "recreate" these mythical beings and market them as pleasure slaves of "exotic beauty and insatiable appetite."

  5. Can we please stop making this setting so appealing. Seriously this is an excellent direction to go in! I've got to get my group to agree to test this but I don't see it being a problem at all.

  6. @Netherweks: All my space pilots wear Italian leather...or they wear nothing at all.

    @Kobold: Those Orion Heavy Infantry minis look about right to me, thanks.

    @Schoolmaster: Maybe some of the old Trek writers were picking up contra-temporal signals.

    @Needles: If it works out keep us posted on how the game goes.

  7. Can we see some of the multi-part military equipment that creates pocket dimensions? According to the piece that Prof. Barker shared with me, they are sometimes composed of small filigreed spheres that rotate around one another once enough of them are in proximity. Perhaps 'bethorm-space engineer' could be a profession?

  8. @wjhartle: That sounds pretty cool. Can you share any more details about the article? Was it published?

    I don't think there will be any standard gear like that in Humanspace though. The default setting is 50000 years before the Cataclysm and interplanar physics was less well understood; hand held eyes haven't even been invented yet because miniaturization of inter-planar devices hasn't been developed. One of the scientist skills is inter-planar engineer and I have a few pages of notes on bubble planes, pocket dimensions, contra-temporal and dimensional travel for a section of Book 3.

    I see the Humanspace game period as an era when use of early primitive interfogulators had weakened the walls of reality sufficiently that humans and other species were able to tap into interplanar power with mental energy. Over time, improved inter-planar devices resulted in the re-thickening (at least until sometime around the 100th millenia) and the few thosand years where humans could "toss around doom-kills" were forgotten.

    I try to follow known canon as much as possible though and would really appreciate any other info you might be willing to share...


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