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Old 02-13-2024, 01:14 AM   #31
Johnny1A.2
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Default Re: ORICHALCUM UNIVERSE: VERANIS (Dyaxor A V) in 2123...

LATER.

As mentioned above, before the Thakarians arrived on Veranis, the most powerful states were to be found in the Northlands. These polities commanded the greatest resources of men and materiel, the most sophisticated and powerful economies, and the most advanced local technology. At that time, most of the indigenes of the equatorial continents were either at late Stone Age or early metal age technological levels. The Southlands were a wider mix.

The states of the Northlands, at that same time, were in an early-industrial level of development. The cutting edge developments in the Northlands included steam technology, limited electrical technology, and use of metals such as aluminum (albeit in very small quantities). Wind power was still in wide use to propel Northland sea vessels, but they had built steam-driven ships. The overall Northlands level of development could be loosely compared to that of the Western nations of late Victorian Age Earth.

There were nine major states in the Northlands at that time, along with perhaps two dozens smaller realms, satellite states, and microstates and city-states of various sorts. Of the nine great powers, Catakatia (pronounced roughly 'ku-taka-tia', emphasis on the second syllable) was the strongest military and economically, though only about fourth in terms of territory. Still, the territory that Catakatia did control included some of the best land, and richest natural resources, in the Northlands.

One problem that all the Northlands states faced, and indeed a problem shared with all of Veranis in a sense, was limited sources of certain key resources. The reason for this was simple: Veranis had already seen two full rounds of advanced technological civilization come and go.

First, in the ancient past, the Lakegrandians who had been the first humanoid inhabitants of Veranis had maintained an advanced civilization for millennia.

Then, after the mysterious disappearance of the Lakegrandians from Veranis, the Vertarans that they had imported from the other inhabited world of their star system eventually created their own interplanetary civilization with their cousins on the fourth planet. This period lasted for centuries. Unlike the Lakegrandians, though, the fate of this civilization is well known. Full on nuclear, chemical and biological warfare ended in reducing both planetary societies to primitive conditions, and millennia later, the states of the Northlands were only just beginning to regain some of the lost abilities.

Unfortunately, two previous waves of high-technology civilization had inevitably tapped and used many of the readily available natural resources of Veranis. Many of the readily accessible deposits of useful metals had already been mined. Much of the hydrocarbon reserves to be found on Veranis had long since been extracted and either burned or converted into plastics and other products by the previous civilizations.

Those resources based in the active biosphere renewed themselves over time, of course. By the time the peoples of the Northlands had reached this level of development, the fish population the oceans were back to original numbers, the forests had regrown, making wood plentiful, etc.

Other resources renewed themselves far more slowly.

There was still some accessible coal. Veranis never had as much coal as Earth, but there was a substantial amount and much of it remained in the ground, even after two waves of civilization. It was not always the highest quality coal, of course. Anthracite was rare on Veranis by 1990 A.D., but there was plenty of lignite and bituminous coal left.

Catakatia was one of the states of the Northland that had hardly any coal, but they could trade for it with neighbors. They made up for this lack by a great stroke of luck: there were still substantial untapped petroleum reservoirs in their territory, reservoirs that were not all that deep or hard to tap. For whatever reasons, those reserves had never been utilized by either of the previous waves of civilization, and so they were available for the Catakatians.

On the other hand, the Catakatians were always short of most metals. Basic industrial metals like copper and tin were in short supply. They had learned to use aluminum a little at this time, but refining aluminum was difficult and required huge amounts of energy.

Fortunately, they did have access to substantial amounts of iron, which helped enormously.

On Earth, the best deposits of iron ore were in 'banded iron' rocks created when free oxygen first became a significant component of the atmosphere and hydrosphere, precipitating the dissolved iron. This occurred over a period of many hundreds of megayears.

Veranis, on the other hand, had been terraformed by the Familiar Eldren over the course of a few centuries, and before that, its natural environment had been rather different than that of Earth, even pre-oxygen Earth. Thus many of the local ores and minerals were different than those of Earth, especially in the deeper, older layers of rock.

There had indeed been significant amounts of dissolved iron in the pre-terraformation oceans of Veranis. The sudden changes imposed by the Familiar Eldren had led to much of this iron precipitating out very quickly, creating concentrated ore bodies that were relatively easy to tap into ages later. Even after two waves of technical civilization, there was still substantial amounts of readily accessible iron on Veranis.

(Of course, the flip side of this was that the total supply of iron ore was small compared to that of Earth in absolute terms. On Earth, as oxygen precipitated the iron in the oceans, it would be replenished by erosion from the land masses, and then rising oxygen would again trigger precipitation of iron, over and over. This meant that Earth had much more iron ore in absolute terms, but what ore Veranis had was easier to obtain and refine.)

Most of the Northlands states had access to at least some iron ore, or could readily trade for it. It so happened that the best single deposit of iron ore remaining in the Northlands was in Catakatian territory.

Catakatia, even with the limits they struggled under, had grown wealthy and powerful by the time the Thakarians finally came. Cataka City was the capitol of Catakatia and the seat of its hereditary royal family, and it was already a major trading and manufacturing center by the time the Thakarians arrived.

Of course, the arrival of the Thakarians changed everything.

MORE LATER.
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Old 02-18-2024, 10:30 PM   #32
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Default Re: ORICHALCUM UNIVERSE: VERANIS (Dyaxor A V) in 2123...

LATER.

Whatever happens, we have got the Maxim Gun, and they have not." -- Hilaire Belloc

It would be difficult to say precisely when the Thakarians arrived on Veranis, in Gregorian terms. Time rates and precise dating are tricky concepts across interstellar distances. Suffice it to say that the Thak-Tarak Thakarians first reached Veranis sometime during what was the late 1990s on Earth.

What followed could be called an invasion, in the same sense that slapping a mosquito could be called melee combat. Five heavily armed Thak-Tarak warships entered orbit around Veranis, and another three around the fourth planet.

Three of the ships orbiting Veranis were troop carriers and cargo vessels, more or less, two were full-on warstars. As landing shuttles deposited Thakarian soldiers on the surface, and the aliens began to establish beachheads and occupy territory, some of the locals attempted to resist with force.

The Thak-Tarak took a direct approach to such efforts. When the military forces of Catakatia attacked a Thakarian landing force, they were wiped out to the last man with heavy automatic rifle and laser fire. Then, to emphasize the point, a mushroom cloud rose above the nearest significant Catakatian city.

Two such incidents, two destroyed cities and about 100,000 dead in one day, were enough to bring an end to organized resistance from the Catakatians. The monarch at that time was prepared to attempt further resistance, but was assassinated and replaced by a monarch who was prepared to surrender.

The story was similar elsewhere. The Northlanders were the most advanced Veranisians, they were at least scientifically and technologically advanced enough to comprehend approximately what what happening. They recognized the Thakarians as mortal beings, they knew enough astronomy to understand the idea of a being from another planet. The scientists of the Northlands even had a fairly good idea that the fourth planet was inhabited by life.

(At that point, the fact that their own distant ancestors had been brought from the fourth world was long forgotten.)

The rest of Veranis was far less sophisticated. In some of the more primitive regions, at first what was happening to them might as well have been an invasion of demons, and in many places, that was precisely what the Thakarians were taken to be.

Regardless of how they were perceived, the Thakarians were an unstoppable conquering force. The most advanced military powers on Veranis were armed with mid-TL5 weaponry, the Thakarians were armed with TL9-10 weapons and technology, and competent in the use of such. The 'war of conquest' was less a war and more of an exercise, and it was essentially over in less than thirty Terran days. Even the most powerful local states could not challenge an enemy who could wipe out entire armies, destroy whole cities, at the push of a button.

Of course, it is one thing to conquer a world, with overwhelming superior technological force. To rule afterward is a different matter. The Thak-Tarak Clan had immense power, beyond the comprehension of the Veranisians, but they were relatively few in number, especially at first. Inevitably, even the primitive Veranisians soon came to realize that these strange beings were no more gods than the Veranisians themselves. The Northlanders knew that to begin with.

Exactly how the Thakarians ruled varied widely from place to place. In the more advanced regions, they either coopted pre-existing power structures, or replaced them. In other areas, they would overawe would-be rebels with periodic, brutally ruthless demonstrations of power. The Thak-Tarak were fully prepared to punish entire populations for the deeds of a few, sometimes on a grand scale. In some of the most primitive areas, the Thak-Tarak simply left the locals to their own affairs, as long as they remained in their own territories.

The Thak-Tarak established an army, made up mostly of local Vertarans, with Thakarian officers, called the Thranne (pronounced tha-ran-ee). This army operated independently of any local government, and soon developed a reputation for brutal ruthlessness. As time passed, more Thakarians arrived, and a second generation of Thakarian Humans were born on Veranis. As the years passed, a new stability began to settle in...a very harsh stability.

In Catakatia, the same royal family continued to reign, and retained a limited amount of real power, at the price of total deference to Thak-Tarak authority. The capitol city, and seat of the royal family of Catakatia, was the ancient (by post-collapse Veranisian standards) city of Cataka. Cataka had been the capitol of the wealthiest and most technologically advanced state on the planet in the pre-Thakarian era, as well as the biggest and most cosmopolitan city on the planet.

Now Cataka also became the headquarters and capitol for the new Thak-Tarak regime, in large part because of the above.

A secret police answered primarily to the Thak-Tarak, and there were firmly enforced restrictions on speech, association, public gatherings, weapons possession, and travel. The punishments for violation were harsh, often including death or mutilation.

A regular 'draft' of personal gathered Catakatians and shipped them elsewhere on Veranis to labor in various projects. Some of them were highly educated and skilled personnel, some were simple laborers, all were, more or less, slaves (though not technically chattel slaves, they were not bought and sold, but they worked where they were sent, for minimal recompense, or else). Most of these men and women were sent elsewhere on Veranis. A few were shipped off-planet to work elsewhere, and few of these ever returned.

(This draft was operating in other states as well, of course.)

In spite of all this, life went on. In Catakatia and other Northlands states, the second and third generations of 'native' Thakarians became somewhat more Veranisian themselves, and the Vertarans inevitably began to learn the technologies and methods of their conquerors.

The Thak-Tarak rule was harsh enough, and 'foreign' enough, that there was always some active resistance toward it. These movements had to be very secret, and often more than somewhat ruthless themselves. When discovered, the Thakarians crushed them ruthlessly. As often happens, many of these disparate resistance movements were as hostile to each other as they were to the Thakarians, as well. The native Vertarans divided into those who hated the Thak-Tarak, those who were more or less willing collaborators, the new ruling class, and the majority somewhere in between.

Then, suddenly, to the shock of every faction, the rule of the Thak-Tarak ended.

MORE LATER.
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Old 02-19-2024, 11:20 PM   #33
Johnny1A.2
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Default Re: ORICHALCUM UNIVERSE: VERANIS (Dyaxor A V) in 2123...

LATER.

The defeat of the Thak-Tarak came suddenly, and as a profound shock to both the rulers of Veranis and the general population. The news of the defeat of the Thak-Tarak in space precipitated a rapid withdrawal of much of the military strength and political leadership of the Thak-Tarak on Veranis. The Terrestrian victory had been in a battle of space warships, it would be weeks before any significant number of Terrestrian personnel arrived on the planet. That gave the Thak-Tarak time to evacuate almost all their senior leadership, much of the upper rank-and-file, and a great deal of their most important equipment and records. Out of what they could not remove, a great deal was deliberately destroyed, both papers and other hard copy literally burned, and electronic media erased beyond reading.

Still, by the early 2100s, the Thakarians had been on Veranis for over a century, and three generations of 'native' Thakarian Humans had been born on the planet. They were a very substantial population, and not all of them could flee the planet in the few weeks of window before the Terrestrians arrived. Many did not want to leave, Veranis was the only home they had known.

Which is not to say that they necessarily welcomed the Terrestrians, of course.

The new Terrestrian regime was far less harsh than the Thak-Tarak had been...and less efficient at governing the planet, as well.

There were far fewer Terrestrians on Veranis, even after they defeated the Thak-Tarak, than the Thakarians had numbered. The Terrestrian regime was not even of one mind about controlling the planet, it took over a year for the Three Power Commission to come together and begin to function, and even then there was considerable dispute among the new ruling powers about how, and even whether, to govern Veranis long term.

Inevitably, the new Terrestrian regime ended up focused in Cataka City, for the same reasons the Thakarians had chosen it. The royal government of Catakatia had never ceased to function, even during the Thakarian regime, it had acted as a subordinate state to the Thak-Tarak. The monarch in 2105 had been quite content with the status quo, and indeed he fled with the retreating Thak-Tarak, abdicating his throne in favor of his sixteen year old nephew.

The new monarch had to work out a whole new way to operate, since the regime under which his family had ruled for a century was now gone. The young monarch proved adept at negotiating the change, and in fact personally found the Terrestrians far preferable to the former rulers. In 2124, he continues to reign and rule of Catakatia, and he has more actual power than any monarch since the Thakarians first arrived.

Still, though Cataka City remains his theoretical capitol, and is his residence city, it is more of a free city, a trade center and the seat of the Three Power Commission. The king has a good working relationship with the Three Power Commission, but in practice he does not rule his own capitol city.

The current Governor-General of Veranis is David Sebastian, an Australian member of the Three Power Commission. His term of office will end at the end of 2125, and the Governor-Generalship will pass to one of the American members of the Commission, in compliance with rotating system.

(The Commission proper consists of nine members, three each from the USA, Argentina, and Australia. The Governor-General is elected from among the membership, but by custom it rotates. Thus, in 2126, the entire Commission will elect a new G-G, but by custom they must choose one of the three American members. Proposals have been made to add native members to the Commission, either as non-voting members, or possibly eventual voting members, but nothing definite has come of this.)

MORE LATER.
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Old 02-21-2024, 01:40 AM   #34
Johnny1A.2
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Default Re: ORICHALCUM UNIVERSE: VERANIS (Dyaxor A V) in 2123...

LATER.

SAHANDAR III, the Jarak of Catakatia

Species: Homo vertara

Age in 2124: 34 Terran years
Height: 6'3
Hair: Red
Eyes: Ice-blue

IQ: 12
DX: 12
ST: 12
HT: 10


Spd: 5.5

ADVANTAGES:
Allies/Ally Group (75 points worth)
Appearance (handsome)
Charisma 2
Code of Honor (royal)
Common Sense
Composed
Intuition
Luck
Royal Powers (Catakatian)*
Secret Advantage(s): Latent psion, Flux Affinity 2
Strong Will 2
Wealth [3 levels of Multimillionaire]

DISADVANTAGES:
Code of Honor (royal)
Combat Paralysis
Duty (Jarak of Catakatia, not usually hazardous, difficult, all the time)
Enemies (50 points worth, highly varied)
Phobia (thalassophobia at -10 level)
Sense of Duty (Catakatia)

QUIRKS:
1. Smooth talking 'ladies' man'
2. Keeps a pet Terrestrial cat
3. Disdainful of low-tech equatorial continent 'primitives'
4. Rarely wears royal regalia (other than signet ring)
5. Late riser by choice/night owl

SKILLS:

Administration 12
Area Knowledge(s):
Veranis 11 (Northlands at 14, Catakatia and Cataka each at 15)
Dancing 13
Detect Lies 12
Diplomacy 14
Economics 10
'Falconry' (actually uses a flying reptile native to Veranis) 13
Guns (TL10) 13
History (Veranis/Catakatian) 1433
Heraldry (Catakatian/Northlands) 15
Languages:
Catakatian (native)
English 14 (literate at 14, American dialect)
Spanish 14 (not literate, Argentine dialect)
Thakarian 14 (literate at 14, Thak-Tarak dialect)

Pilot (Helicopter) 13
Politics 14
Riding (tharjak) 14
Savoir-Faire 14
Swimming 12
Writing 14

In 2124, the current Jarak of Catakatia is a man named Sahandar. At 34 Terran years old, he has been the monarch since he was 16 Terran years old. He came to the throne when his uncle, the former Jarak, abdicated to flee with the retreating Thak-Tarak leadership after the Terrestrial victory.

Sahandar is a highly intelligent man, and the royal tutors gave him their money's worth and then some. Highly educated in both theoretical and practical matters, Sahandar has combined those advantages with a high native intelligence and a perceptive personality to produce a formidable persona. He is, by far, the most capable Jarak Catakatia has known since the first arrival of the Thakarians.

The replacement of the Thak-Tarak by the Three Powers left Sahandar with far more leeway to act, as well. His predecessors under the Thakarian regime were not powerless, but they were far more constrained by the Thak-Tarak than Sahandar is under the Terrestrians. For practical purposes, he does rule his kingdom, though his powers in the capitol city are more constrained.

Catakatia is not an absolute monarchy, and was not so even before the Thakarians came. There was a sort of assembly, not an elected body but with members from most parts of the Catakatian society, and their approval was needed to confirm a royal heir to his rank, and they held enough collective power that the monarchs had to handle the assembly with care.

Elective democracy was not much a part of the Catakatian heritage before the Thakarians came. For all their harshness and oppressive (and often indeed quite brutal) century of rule, the Thak-Tarak Clan did practice a certain amount of elective democracy among themselves, and this habit was picked up by their Catakatian subjects. In 2124, the assembly still exists, but about a third of its membership is elected by popular vote from the public.

As said, Catakatia is not an absolute monarchy, but the Jarak is by no means a figurehead, either. The Jarak can enact and repeal law on his own authority, and has legal enforcement powers in his own right. He commands the military and most of the police power of Catakatia as well. The assembly can repeal a decree of the Jarak by a sufficient majority vote, but this is the exception rather than the rule.

The Jarak has the final word on the appointment of most ministers and officials, and they serve at the pleasure of the Jarak. There are a few offices and positions that are filled by the assembly instead, or that require the consent of the assembly to hire or fire, but for the most part the Jarak has complete discretion in such matters.

The Jarak can levy certain taxes at will, up to a maximum level. Other taxes require the consent of the assembly to levy, and even the taxes the Jarak has discretion over have limits he can not legally exceed without the assembly. Still, for the most part, the Jarak holds more than half of the 'power of the purse' in the government of Catakatia.

*(The Jarak holds broad powers, but with some official and unofficial restraints. In practice, this works out to about 100 points worth of powers in GURPS terms, combining things like legal enforcement powers, supreme military command, administrative rank and various duties and limits.)

In theory, a sufficient majority of the assembly can force a Jarak to abdicate, passing the power on to his approved heir. In practice, such a vote requires a large majority, and is politically fraught. More than one troublesome Jarak has been assassinated in Catakatian history, rather than 'impeached'.

The Jarakship is passed on by blood heredity in the male line. Absent a son, the Jarakship passes to a brother, a nephew, or the closest male relative of the previous Jarak, subject to the assembly veto. If the Assembly refuses to confirm an heir, the title then passes to the next person in the line of succession. In practice, this assembly veto is a politically fraught power.

The Jarak would be referred to in Catakatian by a phrase that would literally translate into English as something like 'serene elder', but 'royal highness' captures the sense of it more precisely. The direct form of address would be translated literally as 'your elder serenity', but again, the actual sense of the phrase translates better as 'your highness'.

MORE LATER.
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Old 02-25-2024, 05:11 AM   #35
warellis
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Default Re: ORICHALCUM UNIVERSE: VERANIS (Dyaxor A V) in 2123...

Regarding the general tech level of the spacefaring nations of Local Space, if one were to use the GURPS Uplift tech table, where would they generally fall under?

Since orichalcum has allowed for several technologies with gravity control along with psi-tech.

And since both settings are 3e.
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Old 02-25-2024, 10:44 PM   #36
Johnny1A.2
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Default Re: ORICHALCUM UNIVERSE: VERANIS (Dyaxor A V) in 2123...

Quote:
Originally Posted by warellis View Post
Regarding the general tech level of the spacefaring nations of Local Space, if one were to use the GURPS Uplift tech table, where would they generally fall under?

Since orichalcum has allowed for several technologies with gravity control along with psi-tech.

And since both settings are 3e.
Most of them are a mix of TL9/10 (with some house mods).

One of the background assumptions of my universe is that there is a kind of natural 'plateau' around TL10. I assume it's partly a function of the 'hierarchy problem' in physics, partly an issue of the energy densities necessary to reach higher/deeper physics (and thus technologies). So civilizations tend to find their technical progress slowing down tremendously around the TL10 level.

Which leaves a lot of room for variations and special things at the detail level, of course.

In practice, just as in real life, lower tech levels remain in some use even after the higher levels are achieved. Today we routinely use TL8 gear alongside stuff that was mature at TL5. The same is true in my future, so most star-travelling races and peoples end up using a mix of TL9 and TL10 routinely, along with some lower stuff too.
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Old 02-25-2024, 11:20 PM   #37
Johnny1A.2
 
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Default Re: ORICHALCUM UNIVERSE: VERANIS (Dyaxor A V) in 2123...

LATER.

Sahandar finds himself in a curiously complex and somewhat precarious position, in 2124. Many of the issues he must deal with are 'inherited' problems, but not all.

On a purely personal level, Sahandar greatly prefers the Terrestrian overlordship to the Thak-Tarak. This is partly because he has built his reign under their loose rule, and it suits his interests. In part, this is because of a genuine belief that the Terrestrians are an improvement, for his people, over the Thak-Tarak. Certainly, they are far less brutal and repressive.

Yet, for Sahandar, that very thing also presents problems. The looser grip of the Three Powers enables planetary tensions that were tightly locked down under the Thak-Tarak to emerge into the open. Bad actors, and people who simply have different goals, who would not have dared act under the Thak-Tarak and their iron rule, plot and manuever openly now.

Also, as Sahandar knows all too well, there is no guarantee that the Thak-Tarak are gone for good. The closest Thak-Tarak controlled worlds are no more than eight light-years away, Earth is sixty-five light-years distant. The Americans, Argentines, and Australians are conflicted about their presence on Veranis, as well. Sahandar is very well aware of these facts.

(Most Veranisians pay little attention to the details of life on distant Earth, Sahandar does not have the luxury. He is one of the best-informed Veranisians about Earth. He would like to visit Earth, but circumstances have never permitted this.)

If for their own reasons, the Terrestrians were to pull out of the Dyaxor System, the Thak-Tarak would quickly reassert control, and Sahandar knows that. Likewise, there is no guarantee that the touchy cease-fire between the interstellar powers will hold. If hot fighting broke out again and the Three Powers were driven back, the Thak-Tarak would resume control.

Sahandar has no desire to see that happen, but he knows all too well that it could happen. Which in turn means that he has to walk a careful line, supporting the Three Powers, but keeping his options open if he and his people have to live under Thakarian control again.

Related to that is the issue of Vertaran-Human relations.

The Thak-Tarak ruled Veranis for over a Terran century, and during that period, a substantial number of Thakarian Humans settled on Veranis, and had children, and by 2124 some Human families on Veranis have been there for three generations. Of the seventy million people on Veranis, over ten percent are Human. The vast majority of these Humans are of Thakarian ancestry.

(There are several tens of thousands of Terrestrians on Veranis by 2124, but there are over seven million Thakarian-descended Humans.)

Because of the preeminence of the Northlands, the majority of those Humans are there, and a disproportionate number of them live in Catakatia. Catakatia has a population of over twelve million, and over a million of them are Human, almost all of Thakarian descent.

The legal and social status of these Humans is in flux in Catakatia in 2124. There is also enormous tension between the Vertarans and the Humans. Sahandar knows that expecting over a million people to leave his realm, much less the planet, is unrealistic, especially since most of them were born there.

(Even if the Humans in Catakatia were willing to emigrate to a neighboring state, the other Northlands states have similar issues already.)

On the other hand, there is the question of whether they can be integrated into Catakatian society, considering that until 19 years earlier, they were part of what amounted to a ruling class. Sahandar is under no illusions about the fact that a significant number of these Humans would not mind seeing the Thak-Tarak return to power, and some of those are actively working to bring it about.

At the same time, many of those Thakarian-descended Humans do consider themselves to be more or less 'Veranisians', and some are valued and productive parts of the society. Much of the high-technology sector of the Catakatian economy, especially anything involving interstellar-level technology, is usually highly dependent on these Humans. (Many Vertarans have of course mastered modern technologies, after a century of rule by aliens, but there are still too few to replace the Humans, if the latter were no longer available.)

Many of his Vertaran subjects hate everything to do with the Thak-Tarak (and not without reason), including the Humans left behind when the Thak-Tarak retreated. Racial/specific violence, in both directions, is not unknown, especially in the cities. Sahandar knows that simply granting the Humans full Catakatian citizenship by decree would most likely split the kingdom entirely. Nor would it necessarily be safe, because not all of the Humans would be loyal to Catakatia anyway.

Sahandar deals with this problem day in, day out, and has found no definite solution. The Jarak has concluded that dealing with that problem will likely be something that happens over decades, or longer, and in the short term he works to deal with is as best he can day to day.

Sahandar is also dealing with complicated economic dislocations. Partly this is the result of the disruptions from the Thak-Tarak defeat, partly it is the ongoing result of the impact of interstellar-level technology on a society that was only at early-industrial levels a century earlier. This process was happening under the Thak-Tarak, but it has accelerated enormously under the much looser rule of the Three Powers.

Entire classes of work are in the process of rapidly being eliminated. An agricultural sector that once employed more than half the population is rapidly turning into a high-tech version employing a fraction of a fraction of that. Once, the guild that controlled much the mining in Catakatia was powerful, now machinery is replacing their membership almost overnight. At the same time, entire new fields of activity are emerging, with a bottomless hunger for people, but people with advanced training and very specialized technical skills that are still rare on Veranis.

All these changes are playing out, not over generations as was the case on Earth, but over just a few years.

The old nobility retains substantial social and political power, but are being challenged by a new aristocracy of plutarchs and industrialists and technologists. Only the fact that many of the members of this 'new class' have conflicting interests and often work at cross purposes keep them from displacing most of the old nobility in terms of real power.

Adding to all this, the Jarak must consider the question of the succession.

MORE LATER.
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Old 02-25-2024, 11:41 PM   #38
Johnny1A.2
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Default Re: ORICHALCUM UNIVERSE: VERANIS (Dyaxor A V) in 2123...

LATER.

Sahandar is unmarried. He knows that part of his duty as Jarak is to produce an heir to the throne, and he knows he must marry relatively soon, or at least, that failure to do so will begin to produce problems. He also knows that if something happens to him before a suitable heir is available, the crown will pass to his cousin Tarhandis.

Tarhandis is not a corrupt man, per se. It would be fair to call him well-meaning, and Sahandar knows that. Unfortunately, Sahandar also knows that his cousin is, to put it bluntly, weak-willed, somewhat hedonistic, and lazy. Sahandar is fairly sure that if his cousin became Jarak, the real power would rapidly pass to others, especially another cousin named Zanhar.

Zanhar is the fifth in line for the Jarakship, but he could easily be the power behind the throne for Tarhandis. Sahandar knows very well that Zanhar would like to be the power behind the throne for himself, if Sahandar would permit such a thing. Sahandar also knows that Zanhar has extensive connections to the criminal underworld, and (Sahandar suspects) to various Thak-Tarak sympathizers among the population, both Human and Vertaran.

Sahandar can not actually prove his suspicions about his cousin, and Zanhar knows the Jarak suspects him and is careful to give the monarch no reason or pretext to move against him. Zanhar is connected and popular with many in the royal family and the ruling class, and Sahandar dares not imprison or execute him without a solid case. He watches carefully for such an opportunity.

Sahandar knows he must marry 'suitably'. The woman he would most prefer to make his wife is not an acceptable candidate, and the realities of politics are what they are. Sahandar is a realist about this, he knows that he cannot marry his first choice, no matter what.

Several other reasonable possibilities exist, but Sahandar is still evaluating his options, both on a personal level, and in terms of the politics. He knows he must be as sure as he can be that his wife is not in the pay or influence of his enemy factions at Court, especially Zanhar. He must also consider the implications of her family connections.

With all that, Sahandar remains basically an optimistic man. For all the weight of his responsibilities, which he takes very seriously, Sahandar knows how to enjoy the privileges that come with the crown. He is a competent pilot, and he enjoys flying the royal helicopter, simply for its own sake. He enjoys outdoor activities, especially riding. Though he employs professional security personnel and listens to their advice, he still manages to have some fun.

Sahandar has multiple official residences, but his 'main' residence is an elaborate mansion in Cataka City, in the 'New City' not far from the headquarters of the Three Power Commission. Additionally, the official 'royal palace' (not an exact translation, but close enough) is in Cataka, in the Old Town.

Sahandar enjoys flying, both as a pilot and a passenger, which is fortunate. His diplomatic activities sometimes requires that he travel to the other continents, and travel by sea would be difficult because of his thalassophobia.

In fact, thalassophobia might not be the precisely correct term. He is less afraid of the ocean, per se, than what might be in its depths. The coastal shallows do not much disturb him, he readily travels by small boat near the shore. It is the open, deep ocean that disturbs him.

To put it bluntly, he has an irrational fear of sea monsters.

MORE LATER.
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Old 02-26-2024, 02:28 AM   #39
warellis
 
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Default Re: ORICHALCUM UNIVERSE: VERANIS (Dyaxor A V) in 2123...

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Originally Posted by Johnny1A.2 View Post
The Thak-Tarak ruled Veranis for over a Terran century, and during that period, a substantial number of Thakarian Humans settled on Veranis, and had children, and by 2124 some Human families on Veranis have been there for three generations. Of the seventy million people on Veranis, over ten percent are Human. The vast majority of these Humans are of Thakarian ancestry.

(There are several tens of thousands of Terrestrians on Veranis by 2124, but there are over seven million Thakarian-descended Humans.)

Because of the preeminence of the Northlands, the majority of those Humans are there, and a disproportionate number of them live in Catakatia. Catakatia has a population of over twelve million, and over a million of them are Human, almost all of Thakarian descent.

The legal and social status of these Humans is in flux in Catakatia in 2124. There is also enormous tension between the Vertarans and the Humans. Sahandar knows that expecting over a million people to leave his realm, much less the planet, is unrealistic, especially since most of them were born there.

(Even if the Humans in Catakatia were willing to emigrate to a neighboring state, the other Northlands states have similar issues already.)

On the other hand, there is the question of whether they can be integrated into Catakatian society, considering that until 19 years earlier, they were part of what amounted to a ruling class. Sahandar is under no illusions about the fact that a significant number of these Humans would not mind seeing the Thak-Tarak return to power, and some of those are actively working to bring it about.

At the same time, many of those Thakarian-descended Humans do consider themselves to be more or less 'Veranisians', and some are valued and productive parts of the society. Much of the high-technology sector of the Catakatian economy, especially anything involving interstellar-level technology, is usually highly dependent on these Humans. (Many Vertarans have of course mastered modern technologies, after a century of rule by aliens, but there are still too few to replace the Humans, if the latter were no longer available.)

Many of his Vertaran subjects hate everything to do with the Thak-Tarak (and not without reason), including the Humans left behind when the Thak-Tarak retreated. Racial/specific violence, in both directions, is not unknown, especially in the cities. Sahandar knows that simply granting the Humans full Catakatian citizenship by decree would most likely split the kingdom entirely. Nor would it necessarily be safe, because not all of the Humans would be loyal to Catakatia anyway.
I imagine a big issue potentially is attempted terrorist attacks from those who were loyal to the old regime (the Thak-Tarak)? And potential covert support for such?

How are the Terran powers handling the ethnic issues and tensions between the natives and those of Thakarian descent?
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Originally Posted by Johnny1A.2 View Post
Sahandar is also dealing with complicated economic dislocations. Partly this is the result of the disruptions from the Thak-Tarak defeat, partly it is the ongoing result of the impact of interstellar-level technology on a society that was only at early-industrial levels a century earlier. This process was happening under the Thak-Tarak, but it has accelerated enormously under the much looser rule of the Three Powers.

Entire classes of work are in the process of rapidly being eliminated. An agricultural sector that once employed more than half the population is rapidly turning into a high-tech version employing a fraction of a fraction of that. Once, the guild that controlled much the mining in Catakatia was powerful, now machinery is replacing their membership almost overnight. At the same time, entire new fields of activity are emerging, with a bottomless hunger for people, but people with advanced training and very specialized technical skills that are still rare on Veranis.

All these changes are playing out, not over generations as was the case on Earth, but over just a few years.
Judging from how the Thak-Tarak controlled Veranis, I get the feeling the closest analogue might be how the European nations, for example, generally treated the places they colonized during the 19th century (primarily for resource extraction and markets)?

Makes me wonder what potential gaps in education might have to be filled in to help deal with such quick technological and economic changes occurring.

Because man Veranis is unlucky about these changes.
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Originally Posted by Johnny1A.2 View Post
Most of them are a mix of TL9/10 (with some house mods).

One of the background assumptions of my universe is that there is a kind of natural 'plateau' around TL10. I assume it's partly a function of the 'hierarchy problem' in physics, partly an issue of the energy densities necessary to reach higher/deeper physics (and thus technologies). So civilizations tend to find their technical progress slowing down tremendously around the TL10 level.

Which leaves a lot of room for variations and special things at the detail level, of course.

In practice, just as in real life, lower tech levels remain in some use even after the higher levels are achieved. Today we routinely use TL8 gear alongside stuff that was mature at TL5. The same is true in my future, so most star-travelling races and peoples end up using a mix of TL9 and TL10 routinely, along with some lower stuff too.
1. Have any of the Local Space spacefaring nations attempted any form of animal uplift?

2. Are there signature technologies for TL 9, 10, 11, and 12 in Orichalcum Universe, considering it's a modified 3e setting? In your mind I mean.

Last edited by warellis; 02-26-2024 at 02:35 AM.
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Old 02-26-2024, 10:43 PM   #40
Johnny1A.2
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Default Re: ORICHALCUM UNIVERSE: VERANIS (Dyaxor A V) in 2123...

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Originally Posted by warellis View Post
I imagine a big issue potentially is attempted terrorist attacks from those who were loyal to the old regime (the Thak-Tarak)? And potential covert support for such?
Yes to both. That is, groups using terrorist methods do exist, and they do have covert support. The latter is actually the bigger problem. The Veranisians and their Terrestrian allies/overlords can deal with the occasional car bomb or blasted building. But the networks of covert support are a bigger issue. They pass information to the Thak-Tarak leadership, they undercut efforts to reconcile the Human and Vertaran species on Veranis, they work to undercut Terrestrian activities, and quiet sabotage is more destructive than the occasional Oklahoma City style bomb.

Also, it's not just the Thakarian-descended Humans. Under the Thak-Tarak regime, there was a ruling class of educated, connected Vertarans as well, and many of them lost power, status, and position when the Terrestrians forced the Thak-Tarak out. There are Thak-Tarak sympathizers and partisans among both species populations.

Things are made more complicated by the fact that many of those former ruling-class types, both Vertaran and Human, are crucial to the economy of Catakatia, and Veranis as a whole, and not all of them are sympathetic to the old regime...but some are.

Quote:

How are the Terran powers handling the ethnic issues and tensions between the natives and those of Thakarian descent?
Clumsily. For the most part, all they are able to do is try to suppress the worst aspects of it. They try to prevent pogroms and massacres, with some success, but they just don't have the resources to police the planet in fine detail. Plus, this sort of thing is one of the hardest political/diplomatic situations that can exist.

For the most part, they leave the day-to-day details of dealing with it to the local governments, at least in the Northlands.

Quote:

Judging from how the Thak-Tarak controlled Veranis, I get the feeling the closest analogue might be how the European nations, for example, generally treated the places they colonized during the 19th century (primarily for resource extraction and markets)?
Quite close. Veranis is important to the Thakarians for several reasons. For one this, Dyaxor (Veranis' star) is only about ten light-years from the HY1 hyperplex, and it has two garden worlds orbiting it. This means that the star system has a strategic location and valuable real estate.

Veranis has, or had, accessible deposits of orichalcum. This was the biggest single thing the Thak-Tarak Clan was after when they took over the planet. For the most part those deposits were mined out by the Lakegrandian civilization thousands of years before, but the Thak-Tarak 'mined' that orichalcum out of the ruins of the Lakegrandian cities. They missed the occasional bit, such as the nugget Paul Denton obtained, but they took most of it.

Along with that, Veranis proved to be source of various valuable or profitable drugs and chemicals, and the vast plantations on which they were grown were cheaper to operate with manual labor than robotics. Some of the harshest Thakarian treatment was on these plantations.

(At the worst, the Thak-Tarak regime was at least as bad as the Belgian Congo on Earth.)

Quote:
Because man Veranis is unlucky about these changes.
Yeah, the Veranisians are living in Interesting Times.

Quote:

1. Have any of the Local Space spacefaring nations attempted any form of animal uplift?
There have been some attempts. It turns out that raising animals to full sapience is really, really hard. The necessary changes are fantastically complex, and it's hard to get it right, and very easy for things to go wrong, sometimes in really tragic ways.

On the other hand, genetic engineering and selective breeding and other manipulations can usually be used to raise the intelligence of an animal species (assuming it already has the necessary raw potential) to make a 'smarter animal', and that's much easier. Some of that has been done by various Local Space races, including on Earth (though the projects are controversial there).
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