All know of the Precursors. Most respect them, some revere them, others seek to replace them. Our Way is different. We seek to know the Precursors and follow their will.
- Primus Nazhan, "Introduction to the Enlightened Path"
The Eldilan Concord is a theocratic state in the Arcane sector based around a number of ringworlds and other structures. They are a mid-sized power, with a sizable population living near Precursor relics. The seat of governance and largest sphere is Eldila Sphere, near the minimum safe distance of an a beautiful but deadly Precursor city. In many ways, this represents the inner nature of the Concord - admiring the Precursors, while respecting their technology.
The Way of the Eldila
An Eldila seeks to follow his Way - a calling in life that best suits the individual and the gifts the Precursors gave his species. When choosing a path in life, an Eldila is also seeking to be closer to the Precursors and their legendary capabilities. The first step of this process is to activate innate abilities, particularly Psionics, that allow the being to work on a higher plane of thought. This is often accompanied by numerous modifications to the individual's body, and is sometimes even considered a second hatching or rebirth. This is Enlightenment, the defining feature of the Eldila. Eldila can sense each other mentally, and can coordinate more effectively. This also reinforces moral drives to avoid harming other Eldila or breaking core doctrines, giving the Eldila a shared conscience, though not a shared consciousness.
Enlightenment calls to all beings, especially to those who reflect the brilliance of the Precursors. It is Enlightenment, the Second Hatching, that makes one Eldilan, not the first.
- Primus Nazhan, "Introduction to the Enlightened Path"
The backbone of the Eldila are the Yozayan, who claim descent from Precursor construction biots. A Yozayan looks much like a spider over a meter long, but their internal structure is more akin to that of a bird. They are covered with countless downy feathers, and each limb ends in three dexterous finger-like projections. Yozayan naturally see in the majority of atmosphere-transmissible UV and some human visible light, with modifications to extend the spectrum common. Yozayan lack a fine sense of pressure variation or sound, relying on microwave signals for communication. With a bit of practice, a Yozayan can use this sense for radar. The Yozayan life cycle is naturally rather short, but they reproduce rapidly via eggs. Most modern Yozayan are heavily modified to have a longer life cycle as part of their Enlightenment. Those on whom the modifications fail to work are fated to an early death and a lack of much knowledge, and often serve as berserker troops. Yozayan are generally inquisitive and active, requiring little rest or meditation to keep alert. They are workers, engineers, and administrators, doing the jobs that keep the Concord functioning. Such is their Way.
The Crusader forces of the Eldila are led by Enlightened Jalk. Forming a somewhat independent organization akin to an Earth knightly order or group of warrior monks, the Jalk appreciate the opportunity to serve as captains and heroic warriors. There are rumors of enlightened Tozol also in the ranks of the Crusaders, but any such peerless warriors must be few and far between.
The Silver have long been strong members of the Concord. If it is being done, the Enlightened Silver are there. From research to diplomacy, from ship command to intelligence, the Silver do it all. They are most prominent in religious callings, and are a driving force in path to Enlightenment.
The Humans of the Eldila are mostly composed of a band of theistic transhumans, The Church of the Divine Logos. Also known as Logosians, they acknowledge the Precursors as high archangels and bearers of the vital spark, but do not worship them. They are noted for their unusual abilities, including psionics. They remain a distinct minority, but are well-respected.
AIs may be Enlightened just as organic Eldila are, and Eldila do not view AIs as lesser or greater beings that organics. AIs are generally known for their relative immortality, as well as their ability to interact with Precursor technology. In fact, highly-skilled individuals may be uploaded to the main AI core on the Eldila Sphere.
We have never sought war, for the Precursors meant for us to bring peace and justice to the galaxy. To make war without cause shall never be our Way. However, when the accursed Heretics bear death to our beloved Eldila, there is no higher calling than that of the Crusader.
- Grand Crusader Torval, "Meditations on Warfare"
Most powers find the Eldilan Concord a benign neighbor, open to trade and diplomacy. With a location on the only trade route through Arcane that is not under Vesperis control, they are well-known for for free trading and open access. The Concord is avowedly non-hostile, and even matters of Precursor artifacts are generally handled by graceful negotiation. There are a few exceptions, however.
The Chan-Su: When two incompatible ideologies meet, war is often a result. The Chan-Su have committed numerous atrocities against the Concord for settling on Precursor relics or even attempting to study them. This action from a race that should be their brothers has led to the Chan-Su species as a whole being branded as Heretics, an unprecedented action. In fact, the only active Crusade is against the Chan-Su, for going beyond their Way and seeking to terrorize rather than police. While the Crusaders fight most zealously and with legendary tactics, the Chan-Su remain much stronger.
The Chimerics: With so many Silvers in their organization, the feud between the Chimerics and Silvers carries over to the Eldila. The Chimerics are not welcome in Eldila space, and skirmishes are not uncommon.
The Covenant: While firebrands on both sides call for a doctrinal war, many more ecumenical types wish for an alliance against the hated Chan-Su. Still, the differences of opinion are great enough that this may not be possible.
The Crusaders are an independent military force led by the Grand Crusader, who is the second most powerful Eldila in the Concord. The whole of the Crusader fleet is small in number, with ship designs that echo Precursor warships in form if not in function. The organization of the Crusaders is much different from Silver or Tannedeya patterns. Each Crusade is a powerful and somewhat independent force under the command of a trusted warrior leader, the Champion, who leads the force from a tremendous Flagship. Each flagship is a brilliant work of engineering and devotion, combining the roles of several ships into one. Notably, each flagship has an Enlightened AI as Captain, along with as much Precursor technology as can safely be applied. This is most commonly seen in the Superluminary weapons, which project a damaging effect faster than light. The weapon is notably for its prominent delayed Cerenkov glow. This is an entirely different application of the same principle used in Feral Tozol weaponry.
Flagships are accompanied by fleets loyal to the Champion, forming the Crusade Fleet. No two Crusades are the same, with a wide variety of support and escort ships. Jalk and Silver ships use the same weaponry and designs as their non-Eldila cousins, to the point that the Concord had to establish specific procedures for Imperial officers seeking to become Eldila. The Logosians utilize gravitic technology extensively, including both positive and negative gravity.
They are notable for including a sizable ground force, utilizing the specialized skill of psionic humanoids, Jalk warriors, and AI-piloted war machines. Logosian humanoids typically use powered armor, with heavy weapons psionically linked to them. Silvers often use modified Imperial designs, while Jalk wear limited, partly ceremonial armor, which generates deflection fields.
Guardians of the Concord
In addition to the Crusaders, there are the Guardians. Mostly Yozayan, they handle the defense of planets and mega-structures, and operate few ships. They do not lack for firepower, as often they must hold off marauding Chan-su eager to cleanse Precursor relics of Eldilan taint. Guardians lack the zeal and reverence for battle as the Crusaders, actually taking a businesslike collected approach to battles. Warfare is just another task to them.
Concord Paramilitary Forces
Not all armed forces work under the direct control of the Concord. Eldilan companies prefer to hire to hire Eldilan guards, as they have much less likelihood of desertion than foreign soldiers, due to the "extended family" nature of Enlightenment. As the Concord trades far and wide, there are Eldila all throughout known space, though no government would trust them with power, given their extreme loyalty to the Concord.