After Ether: Legacy of Wiseman

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Historical Background: In the decades following the Fifth Reflex War and the disastrous Murklim Incursion, the Endus Federation fell into a malaise that allowed a political vacuum large enough for the shadowy SIDEREAL organization wizard-spies to grow into and take de-facto control of the Federation through fronts such as SOLAR and influencing appointments to both Frontier and Battlefleet. By [date] the architect of the SIDEREAL takeover, Rotirimus Seaborne, oracle and chief of SOLAR had concerned himself with the only threat to his rule, and engaged in a shadow civil war of small unit actions against the dissidents within SIDEREAL and Frontier Fleet. This conflict proved to be costly as it had left open Sariel's Gate defenses to be weakened.

Known only to upper echelons of SIDEREAL, the magic circle of the 4th planet of Endus system was in fact the material aspect of sealing circle of immense power containing and confining a greater astral being of even greater power, dating back to the pre-Paradisum days of the old Kingdom. However, a Ban Uchar shaman, seeking power for internal conflict back at her homeland had discovered hidden secrets of the gate and using unlikely assortment of allies and mercenaries infiltrated the gate, and broke the seal while eyes were elsewhere in the system, punching a hole into an hellish and eldritch anti-reality.

The resulting Six Months War against the astral hordes and their demonic masters saw the spiraling civil war stopped and the reunification of SIDEREAL as they lead an effort to retake the planet and seal the gate, which they did and in the process, saw conflicting archmages and oracle lost either trapped in the hell dimension or in some other bubble of space.

The resulting Sixth Reflex War as its was called, has served as wake up call to Endus Federation, which has broken the complacency of the surviving leadership. Troops are no longer trained to perform well in parade duties but for for full combat, the Senate has in the last five years past several major arms modernization and expansion bills, and SIDEREAL, the kingmakers since days of the Senate War was formally disbanded citing the destruction of its leadership and concerns about SOLAR (also disbanded) actions during the conflict, and two new SDFs have been ordered (though only is under construction) in addition to taking over all the new major construction projects of SOLAR which was higher end then average Endus units.

Having survived yet another existential crisis by the skin of their teeth, the Endus Federation is however still not stable, the lack of a kingmaker did not mean there was no would-be kings. As the public masses cry out for increase Panhelios control over strategic magic, a hidden war is occurring over those seeking to gain an edge to be the new power behind the Federation either hidden or public.

Enduscaran Federation Factions

Senator Ibrahim Raziel: Former Frontier Fleet rear-admiral, he represents the political aspiration of the Sixers, the officers who came into their own during the Six Months War, elected from the Mosonadin Basin Region, home to major training facility and housing for service members.

Interim Goals: Embarrass his rivals
Major Goal: Clean out the old guard, prevent wizard-spies from getting power again, increase Endus Federation power at expense of Panhelios (weak they didn't help at all!)
Forces: 95th Frontier Squadron, Low-Observation Battlecruiser squadron, complete with organic Ibris [GM] units, AJAX Spec Ops, 185th PanAssault Division,

Chairman Renton Vlček: Admiral during the conflict with the Rmasters, he represents the remnants of the old guard, a cagey political operator survived by making alliances with the top dogs till they got ousted, killed or sealed in another dimension. Chairman of the Senate's Armed Forces and Military Industry Committee.

Interim Goals: Recover SIDEREAL Black Book, the book of dirty secrets,
Major Goal: Secure his party future by using the Book as kingmaker, maintain the Panhelios system,
Forces: 13th Independent Mobile Squadron around the Battlecarrier Red Lily, 5th Amphibious Task Group, 20th Raider Battalion,

Senator Haughten-Rhys

Interim Goals: Recover the relics of SIDEREAL
Major Goals: Recover SIDEREAL leadership from the void (including his brother and nephew),
Forces: Remants of the Black Fleet, some wizards

President Antonnia Leonard

Interim Goals: Recover relics of SIDEREAL and the blackbook
Major Goal: Turn the weak presidency into a strong executive, willing to use either Panhelios or native Endus power to do it.
Forces: Global Military Police, Federal Battleship Resolute, 1st XXX (Gundam) wing, 1st AWGSTU Unit

Enduscaran Federation Agencies

The Enduscaran Senate
The highest governing body of the entire Enduscaran Federation, the Senate has been something of a rubber-stamp body for the various Select Committees for much of the last four decades. Only the fall of SIDEREAL in the aftermath of the Sixth Reflex War and some high-profile housecleaning has seen the Senate fumblingly regain some of its authority. Nonetheless it is still an institution dominated by a few driven individuals riding herd over the hundreds of aparachiks. These individuals, thanks to their position, can act with near impunity.

Battle Fleet
The senior of the Federation's military bodies, Battle Fleet was a relatively small organization for much of its history - by hullcount, anyway. This was deceptive because at any given time Battle Fleet had between three and five superfortresses, each one among the most powerful weapons built in the last millenia. It was only with the Fifth Reflex War and the last fifty years that Battle Fleet became the immense force it is today. Once dominated by the superfortresses and their escorts, today Battle Fleet is more known for its many squadrons of mass-produced battleships, carriers and mobile suits.

Horizon Fleet
Originally a semi-independent scouting and exploration arm, after the First Reflex War it was officially reconstituted as the Horizon Fleet. Guided by a mandate to seek out those who might do harm to the people of Endus, the Horizon Fleet soon became something of a militarized explorer corps. For generations their workhorse has been various models of 'Explorers', multimission capital ships capable of handling everything from enemy cruisers to spatial anomalies to medical outbreaks and missions of mercy. More recently as part of the Federations' general outward-facing military stance the Horizon Fleet has assumed a much more constabulatory role; special forces and airmobile forces operating off high-speed transports becoming a significant component of the overall fleet and budget allocation.

SOLAR
While technically disbanded, many of the various organizational units that made up SOLAR persist to this day, having been reassigned to the Battle Fleet. While the bulk of SOLAR's manpower was no more or less patriotic than those of other Enduscaran units they all collectively fell under a cloud due to the actions of both SIDEREAL and the ZENITH elite enforcement formation. Placed on half pay and assigned to warships sitting in spacedock collecting dust the crews, weapons and installations of SOLAR were by and large simply forgotten about. While many of these individuals have since returned to the civilian sector or wrangled a reassignment to the Battle or Horizon fleet, many still remain. It should come as no surprise that while most of the SOLAR-specific hardware remains under lock and key thanks to bad association and publicity, its former or not-so-former members are a fertile source of recruits for senators and other interested parties looking for 'patriots' schooled in the ways of modern warfare. In addition to the primary forces of SIDEREAL, a number of special groups dubbed 'aspects' were formed for various special purposes. The most well-known are as follows:

  • ZENITH: The infamous bullyboys that gave SOLAR its black rep. Elites even among elites, they operated with impunity and answered only to SIDEREAL itself. Completely disbanded, more than a few members eventually jailed.
  • TWILIGHT: SOLAR operated a small force of umbral warships, all crewed and maintained by TWILIGHT. Many of these went missing and all those that did reach Federation installations have been scrapped.
  • LUNAR: SOLAR's special operations aspect, LUNAR carried out all manner of black-bag operations and was only one step behind ZENITH in unethical missions. Disbanded.
  • ECLIPSE: The SOLAR aspect that dealt with WMD, not exclusively but most commonly nuclear weaponry. Reassigned to direct Senatorial supervision.

Emmerian Expeditionary Force
The EEF is made of people out of time. Having been stuck in the Astra for four chronological decades - a period that was only four minutes to them - they engaged in a conflict against the Mastery of Suns on their arrival. Later a significant portion of their force made a risky return jump to Endus in the middle of the Sixth Reflex War, bringing with them welcome relief. Since then they have had a rocky relationship with the Endus Federation; the Federation has changed in unexpected and sometimes drastic ways since their departure and they no longer properly recognize the world they left behind. It is something of an open secret that a significant number of EEF veterans have defected to various other causes.

The Endus Crusade
A replacement for the corrupt and rampant SIDEREAL and SOLAR, the Crusade is an elite organization dedicated to rooting out terror and evil wherever it may be. In that it has been reasonably successful in its short history though detractors say it is merely trading one name for another. Proponents counter that the Crusaders are trained in ethics unlike the notoriously cavalier agents of SIDEREAL.

Organizations

The Vox Aurea
Totally harmless telecom organization. Honest.

Railstar
A state-owned megacorp that manages and operates the ground-based world gates and the rail links that connect them. Hugely rich and powerful, they are generally seen as extremely corrupt and manipulative. There are rumors they have a handful of additional small-caliber world gates they use for discrete movement of people and manipulating trade.

Other States

Gartz-Sonia
The endless city of Gartz-Sonia is built upon millenia-old Hyperborean ruins; like so many other worlds it suffered during Ragnarok and had to rebuild out of the wreckage. With so much of the world damaged, the survivors congregated in the lowlands where the vast Ravold Rift met the world's lone ocean. With the uplands inhospitable to any significant habitation and the inland reaches of the Ravold Rift full of the Splicejungle, there were few places to go but up. And so the twin cities of Gartz and Sonia did, eventually merging into one sprawling cyperbunk conurbation home to two hundred million souls.
Gartz-Sonia today is a major economic power in the Panhelios, known space's largest center of cyber-hardware and a major source of many other electronics and software. Much of this success can be attributed to the lax laws and low taxes of Gartz-Sonia, not to mention a flexible approach to ethics and scruples. As a Panhelios member, Gartz-Sonia is follower, not a leader, and is quite content to leave much of the business of galactic statecraft to Endus.
The other important location of note is the Splicejungle and Ravold Rift. Cursed by some godly fragment that fell to earth during Ragnarok, the Splicerjungle fills much of the Ravold Rift; the Rift is several hundred kilometers wide at the greatest and thousands of kilometers long with one slowly winding river lazily making its way to the ocean. The pervasive and distorted ether that clings to the Splicejungle has a distorting effect on those that spend time with in and while the lower reaches are reasonably well trodden and exploited, the upper reaches are truly dangerous. Despite these dangers, many adventurers depart Gartz-Sonia to make a profit in the Splicejungle.

Dunelandia


Nasferia
Swampy lizard dudes who are total untrustworthy suckups and would backstab Endus as soon as they could get away with it.

Meggido
The remnants of the Mastery's Seventh Space Assault Fleet, Astral currents swept them away and left them in the derelict system of Meggido some twenty years after the end of the Fifth Reflex War. Dropping onto the most (barely) habitable world of the system, they unpacked their equipment and industry and lacking any directives to the otherwise, made themselves at home. By the time they were discovered several years later in a routine survey operation they had dug themselves in. An inevitably one-sided war was narrowly avoided by a cunning strategem - the clones of Meggido surrendered. Disarmed and turned into an Enduscaran protectorate, the clones busied themselves with their own concerns on their otherwise unremarkable and poor world. Not unaware of the change in political winds they have begun a rearmament program in the last few years, one that has not drawn a response from Endus to date.

Mizum
They have floofy 80s hair, are probably 2/3rd clone and are snooping around Endus just in case the people behind the EEF decide to finish the fight.

Places

Port Oklo
Port Oklo is built on the skeletal hulk of a Freeman Battlemoon abandoned for more than a millenia. Disabled in some long-forgotten catastrophe, the ancient war machine was stripped of valuable parts and left, perhaps for some future disposal. This day was never to come and over the centuries a variety of drifters and vagrants settled in its outer works to tap the imperceptibly cooling wreckage of its radio-slag core for heat and energy. Latterly it has become something of a free port, having acquired the name Port Oklo and a total population of somewhere between one and two million crammed into all manner of habitation and workplace strapped to and hanging off of the corroded structural members of the battlemoon proper. Only the brave, the prepared and the foolhardy venture deeply into the decks and spaces of the battlemoon proper though. In addition to the mundane hazards of an ancient, radiation-filled wreck there is a population of squatters who call the ancient warrens home and many of them bear no friendship to outsiders - and many other are no longer human.

Crucible
Originally a major clone-sanjak outpost dubbed Point Aspis and captured at the Fifth Reflex War's end, after a brief period of occupation by Battle Fleet espatiers it was turned over to SIDEREAL. While Point Aspis was situated in a star system with no habitable worlds nor significant resources, it was on the ragged edge of the River Melpomene from across which the Masters had attacked repeatedly. While it was believed that the Fifth Reflex War and the departure of the EEF would close the book on any further such war, prudence suggested that the captured base be maintained as an early-warning site. Point Apsis was also host to a number of small but efficient portable industrial fabricators. This proved to be a convenience for SIDEREAL as it began to use these - and Point Aspis as a whole - as a live test environment, using the flexibility of the fabricators to construct all manner of testbed weapons. Eventually a significant part of SIDEREAL's opposed training was done at Point Aspis which gave rise to the recent and now and familiar name - Crucible.
Stripped of most of its active mecha during the Sixth Reflex War and effectively abandoned to fend for itself, the mixed crews at Crucible began to run the base's fabricators at full speed for the first time since the surrender. By the time the war was over, Sidereal had been brought to heel and someone finally remembered to take stock of the far-flung outposts Crucible had built up a surprisingly large force of battle mecha.

Spoilers

SIDEREAL
SIDEREAL is down but hardly out. Generations of being the power behind the throne has given them a map to all the buried skeletons and the very nature of a secretive wizard-police organization has provided them with plenty of black sites and boltholes. The loss of their overt authority and the disappearance of much of the inner circle has definately put them in a bind though and they are splintered into various cliques and cells. Some wish to rehabilitate SIDEREAL and put the excesses of Seaborn into the past, while others want to bring the entire edifice down, yet others simply want it all back the way it way. Most are somewhere in between.

ORIGIN
An ultrablack operation inside SIDEREAL to make a memory clone of the Wiseman himself, Savan Thriceborn. It may even have succeeded, but ORIGIN cut ties with SIDEREAL long before the 6th Reflex War.

2nd Interstellar Army of Freedom
Inspired by the original Interstellar Army of Freedom defeated by Endus some thirty years ago, the 2nd Army is a guerilla fleet dedicated to opposing the Federation's 'Imperial Policy' and SIDEREAL. Unfortunately the dissolution of SIDEREAL did not remove this policy and they fight on this day, striking from hidden bases. Their greatest success to date has been the brazen theft of the EEF-flagged command carrier Liberator right out of Endus spacedock with an arcane astral leap artifact - conducted, it is whispered, with the help of malcontent EEF crews.

The Biters
A disparate group of freebooters, warriors, mercenaries and plunderers all hailing from the far south, the 'Biters' acted as muscle for the mage seeking to unlock the deadly secrets hidden below Sachiel's surface. Equipped with primitive - by Enduscaran standards - weapons, they compensate with pervasive magics unknown to the technically-minded Federation. This gaggle of humans and demihumans has made themselves at home near Endus, hiding in umbral pockets or simply taking up residence in the various wilds. The proliferation of their unregistered magic among criminal elements is already causing no end of local problems.

The Deathshadow Tetra
The relic of a conflict out of living memory, the Deathshadow Tetra is a super-advanced battleship as powerful as it is elusive. While fighting alongside beleaguered Federation forces as often as it fights against them, the crew of the Deathshadow Tetra and its captain Solomon Lockwood are never to be relied upon nor to be underestimated.

The Hassan-i Sabbah
A true pirate ship if there has ever been one, the Hassan-i Sabbah is crewed by profit-minded blackguards entirely willing to decimate a crew to make a point. If they have one redeeming aspect it is that they are willing to stay bribed for the duration of what they are hired for in some twisted version of pirate's honor - though they have proven to be . The Hassan itself is a stealth cruiser of unique make; while not exceptionally powerful it has been an thorn in the collective side of the Panhelios for a dozen years.

Demon Worshippers
Alignment: Chaotic Renegade

Misc

SENIOR SENATE
A series of massive ether-catalyzed reaction weapons originally meant as an alternative defense system. Several were deployed during the Fifth Reflex War while the remaining were expended during the Sixth to mixed results. It is believed that at least one weapon remains intact and in usable condition, though the loss and/or destruction of many SENIOR SENATE silos has made this impossible to confirm.

The Wiseman (ship)
Savan Thriceborn's personal yacht, the Wiseman has been lost almost as long as Savan Thriceborn himself. A pre-Ragnarok bauble of wondrous magic and technology the Wiseman would be an incomparable find for anyone - and perhaps a key to finding the location of Savan Thriceborn.

Relics:

  • Black Book of Dirty Politics
  • GRIMORE of Rortimus ( The O mobile armor casting chamber)
  • Astral Jump Core of the Wiseman
  • Random Mid Season Ugly Superweapons and random magic artifacts
  • FILIBUSTER (SOLAR controlled SENIOR SENATE device)

Battlefortresses

Mobile Strategic Fortress, more commonly simply known as 'battlefortresses'.

MSF-1 Victory (Scrapped after 2nd Reflex War)
MSF-2 Titanic (Sunk, 2nd Reflex War)
MSF-3 Protector (Scrapped after 3rd Reflex War)
MSF-4 Valiant (Converted to stationary defense platform after 4th Reflex War)
MSF-5 Audacious (Sunk, 3rd Reflex War)
MSF-6 Defender (Scrapped after 5th Reflex War)
MSF-7 Dauntless (In service)
MSF-8 Resolute (Sunk, 5th Reflex War)
MSF-9 Tenacious (Presumed Missing)
MSF-10 Inflexible (In service)
MSF-11 Inexorable (In service)
MSF-12 Implacable (In service)
MSF-13 unnamed (destroyed in shipyard)
MSF-14 Defiant (in service, EEF)
MSF-15 Resurgent (under construction)
MSF-16 unnamed (proposed)

Active Battlefortresses

  • MSF-4 Valiant
The Valiant was one of the earliest battlefortresses to be built and served with distinction in the second, third and fourth Reflex War. Unfortunately its aged systems led to exploitable vulnerabilities and its engines were crippled in fierce fighting. While the battle was a victory, the Valiant's by-then obsolete and unique engines could not be repaired or replaced. Instead she was patched up and towed to a position in orbit of the gas giant Camael to act as a stational defense battery. Still serving as such to this day, the Valiant has degraded to a rather shabby mass of turrets, armor and docking bays
  • MSF-7 Dauntless
The oldest operational battlefortress, the Dauntless is a veteran of every major conflict since the 3rd Reflex War. Constructed using many of the still functioning core components of the original MSF-1 Victory, the Dauntless was exceptionally potent when built. Eventually deployed as the flagship of the EEF, the Dauntless was lost in the Astra along with the rest of the EEF for almost four decades before finally arriving in Rubiconspace. She eventually returned to Endusspace during the 6th Reflex War as part of the Army of Light and was a pivotal part of the final offensive. Battered and aged from well over half a century of hard service, there are plans to replace the Dauntless with either the MSF-15 Resurgent or the as yet unnamed MSF-16. These have been stymied by resistance of the Dauntless's crew, many of whom are veterans of the original EEF fold.
EEF SDF.jpg
  • MSF-10 Inflexible
  • MSF-11 Inexorable
  • MSF-12 Implacable
The Three Is (Inflexible, Inexorable and Implacable, aka The Triplets) are the closest thing to a serially produced battlefortress, the three built as an ultimately unsuccessful plan to gain efficiencies by producing multiple ships at the same time. While this worked for smaller ships, the sheer scale of battlefortresses meant that the costs involved with setting up a production line overwhelmed anything saved by doing do. This does however mean that unlike all other battleforts the three sisters are visually indistinguishable outside of fitting details.
  • MSF-14 Defiant

The Defiant is the current flagship of the EEF in Rubiconspace. The largest, most powerful and most modern battlefortress yet built she was hurried to completion after the Fifth Reflex War and joined the Dauntless in the astral fold to Rubiconspace. Unlike the veteran sibling, the Defiant remains there to this day.


Characters

Cuatro Cara Not a spy.
Meru-9 cybernewtype
Cyrus Space Wizard
George Louis Bromley-Northmore Very respectable family, the Northmores