Welcome: This site chronicles a play-by-email (PBEM) campaign using the Spacemaster Science Fiction rules by Iron Crown Enterprises.

BACKROUND STUFF: (Those of you who are familiar with Spacemaster still might want to look the information below over to see what the differences are between this and other campaigns. It will be assumed that characters know this information. You will notice ideas and conventions from not only Spacemaster, but Traveller, Star Trek, Dune, Blake's 7, Cyberpunk, & Bladerunner. I have nothing against borrowing a good idea. However, most is either Spacemaster or original) The universe is a big place. If I didn't cover it here, then I'll send out subsequent mailers as questions arise.

Brainplants: On certain worlds, basic information, language, laws, and, of course, the D.K. tenets are artificaly planted into the brains of children to ensure a universal understanding. The practice is common in the core but not so much in the frontier, though the Imperium seeks to expand the program with time. Brainplants are considered a far more economical means of education and improvements are constantly being made to decrease any accidents, errors or fatalities.
One terrible case that happened only 60 std years before involved revolutionaries getting into a brainplant program, inserting their own information for brainplant disemination. The result was that several planetary systems had to be declared heretical and a jihad initiated, which was not only tragic in the loss of innocent life, but economically very damaging.

Calandar: Calandars can vary from province to province. However, no matter what calandar is in use locally, by Imperial Edict, all calandars must reference to the Standard Imperial, or Barclonic Calandar, which is also the offical calandar proscribed by the Dia Khoravic Church. The Barclonic Calandar is a derivitive of an archaic Terran based calandar which utilized 12 months varying from 28 to 31 days, and allowing for an additional day inserted once every four years. The Barclonic Calandar also utilizes 12 months with five intercalary days inserted between year, the so called Kormus, a time of reflection and celebration. With the exception of Kormus, all months are divided into thirty solar days. Each day then is divided into 24 standard hours
Kormus (five days)

Chakobsa (term from Frank Herbert's Dune): Chakobsa is a battle tongue. It is verbal only, no written equivalent, and is used to communicate precise military information and orders with minimal use of syllables. Allows very complete and precise relays of information with up to one or two (rarely 3 or 4) sharp syllabic sounds where only information of an extremely limited scope (tactical/military) is conveyed. The vocabulary for Chakobsa is restricted; however the variations of a single syllabic form can be endless via use of inflection and accent. Some Replicants are programmed to only understand Chakobsa, hopefully to make them more immune to outside influence.
Chakar: Chakar is a somatic Chokobsa variant that uses hand/body signals to communicate rather than voice. Chakar signals often will vary from unit to unit and may change over time.
Chakobsa/Chakar communication must be handled through the D.M. to ensure that the information relayed is applicable to the use of these languages and to see what chance the information has to be sent by the sender and understood by the recipient.

Darby, Viscount Johnathon W: The ruler of the binary systems of Phaon, on the fringe of Jade-London Province. Darby is a retired Commodore from the fleet reserve, where he performed largely administrative duties. Son of a landless knight, Darby became esquire early in his career and, though a brilliant administrator, his subsequent ennoblement shocked and outraged many of the older clans, who felt he was an outsider, a usurper with no more claim to nobility than from having married Duke Jade-London's niece. Also, his award of the Phaon system outraged Lancing FitzRyan, Earl of Calliste, whose family had long sought Phaon and considered it their due after their hard fighting against the Idorians freed it in the first place.
Only two years upon installing himself in the primary Phaon system, Viscount Darby found himself at war with the FitzRyans and a large FitzRyan fleet (supplemented it is rumored by Galatian D.K. forces) seized Phaon with Darby barely escaping with his life. Though angered, Duke Jade-London was presented with a fait accompli and was forced to accept it due to pressure from the FitzRyans, backed by many other clans.
Darby fled from the province and lived for a time as a sellsword or freebooter, but eventually, with his considerable funds and with monies from his wife's family, Darby was by Imperial writ able to raise a force of mercenaries and launched a twin surprise assault that devastated FitzRyan's forces, both in Phaon and at Calliste. The Duke was very happy to reinstate his niece's husband as Lord of Phaon but ordered FitzRyan and Darby to come to some sort of agreement.
Darby is married to Princess Elizabeth Emeline Jade-London and has one daughter, Philistia, who, though still an infant, is betrothed to the young boy Mark Allen FitzRyan, son and heir to Earl Lancing FitzRyan. As part of the peace treaty, after Mark Allen and Philistia come of age, they will rule both Phaon and Kalliste jointly and their heir will become lord/lady of both systems.
Currently Darby is trying to develop his worlds so he can pay for his current military buildup and repay his wife's family for their loans that helped him recapture Phaon. Though the Earl of Calliste is now a staunch ally, threatening rumbles from the Black Bishop of Galatia have the people very worried of another war.
The Darby crest is that of a sleeping peacock upon an azure field.

Government: Government is Imperial with a feudal sub-structure. Most Great and Minor houses are descendants of Corporate entities who have assumed the terminology of ancient nobility. A few clans and houses have retained their corporate structure. These Republics, though they have little in common with ancient republics, are semi-democratic with votes being placed by shareholders. True democracies are rare and usually only occur on certain Freeworlds. Everyone owes.allegiance to the Emperor. Imperial holdings are designated as Sectors and ruled by an Imperial Governor (sometimes a Nobleman, sometimes a retired military person, sometimes a Civil Servant raised to nobility). Feudal holdings are designated as Provinces. Small feudal holdings, such as Freeworlds and even nations within a Freeworld are usually associated within a Sector or Province.
The governing body which rules with the Emperor is the Landsraad (term from Frank Herbert's Dune) which has a representative from every noble house.

pre-interstellar flight (P.S.): Not much is known of this timeframe. In it occurred the genesis of religions that were to form the Dia Khorovia and much of the forms that were to structure human organization as it advanced into interstellar flight. Much of this time is locked into fable such that it is hard to separate myth from fact. It is known that Earth was divided into a multitude of nation states, some of which were quite small.
The Great Alliances: The nation states of P.S. Earth gradually formed into nation alliances or which coalesced most of the planet into six confederated major states, with associated client states or protectorates. These super states were the Confederation of Latin States, the Franco-Germanic Hegemony, The United States of North America & Great Britain, Greater Asia, Greater Russia, the Irano-Indic Republic, and the South African League. Rivalry between these powers pushed the human frontier out into space, and into other stellar systems. Successful colonies became a source of great wealth to the sponsoring nations. Everyone was into the colony game. Protectorate states that lacked their own interstellar programs could have one sponsored through their larger allies by paying the cost of the colony plus a large percentage of the potential profits to the sponsor. A disastrous series of colonial attempts by Russia set off rivalry once again on Earth as Greater Asia tried to essentially annex Russia, having already grabbed Siberia, as a protectorate state, while the Latin Confederacy and allied South Africa split the Russian Colonies between them. An alliance between Greater Asia's two main competitors, the Franco-Germans and the Anglo-Americans declared war on Greater Asia. This drew in turn Anglo America's great enemy, the Latin Confederacy into the war on the side of Greater Asia, along with the Latin ally, the South African League. The war would have been decided at this point had not the Irano-Indics, already flanked by Latin allies in Asia and Africa, decided to support Europe and North America. This was called the 3rd World War, and it resulted in the total devastation of the planet Earth, seeing ultimate use of nuclear weapons on Earth and against colonies in Space. Out of the destruction, the former colonies of the Irano-Indic Republic formed their own independent hegemony, while other colonies, cut off from earth, forged forward on their own. Eventually, the Irano-Indic colonies were able to create a stable, expanding peaceful government that drew in many of the former colonies of Earth. This was the beginning of the 1st Republic.
First Empire: On Earth, the Latin Confederacy eventually emerged as a victor of sorts and unified all of the wartorn planet under its flag. This was the first time in history that Earth had been united and, since the war had damaged much of the planets ability to sustain itself, Latin Imperial forces soon struck out into space to reign reluctant colonies back into the structure of an Earth bound government. The First Empire lasted only a brief while until a colonial league not only rebuffed Terran forces, but eventually reconquered Earth as well.
First Republic: The First Republic, growing out of a Federation of Irano-Indic colonies, soon established hegemony over the entire region of Earth's stellar expansion and also reclaimed Earth, restoring as much as they could of the devastated world, but removing the seat of government to Teramshar. Bitter wars with alien races on the frontier saw the resurgence of the military as a dominant influence within the state. Soon rising rivalry between military governors led to open civil war as generals fought each other and formed a bewildering array of Machiavellian alliances, each hoping to capture Teramshar and hold the seat of Presidency, now an office for life. Even this pretense of government was abandoned when General Shaka Connor declared himself Emperor of the Terran Empire. His Empire lasted less than five months, but the pattern had been set and each succeeding general became the new Emperor. The 1st Republic, having ruled for over 500 years had come to an end.
Second Empire: The Second Empire lasted less than a century and was a bitter period of fratricidal conflict, often drawn on the colonial nationalistic lines established in the period of the Great Alliances. A plenitude of 42 Emperors ruled in this time frame, including one point where there were seven succeeding Emperors in only 5 years. Each conquering General was made Terran Emperor, ceding important sectors to be governed by military allies, only to see rival power bases grow up to contest the throne. Only an external force somehow forced ultimate peace upon a devastated sector and that was the arrival of the Daysanj.
Third Empire (aka the Daysanj War or the Great Crusade): The Daysanj (from Fr. des Anges) arrived as a conquering alien race of great antiquity,who, after having conquered all of the Galaxy except the fringe where the human settlements occurred, now moved in to enslave the human race. Much of the records of this time are irrevocably lost but what is known is that the arrival of the Daysanj galvanized and united all of the human factions into a fight for survival that lasted approximately 200,000 years, ultimately carrying humans on towards victory over the Daysanj where humankind not only eradicated the Daysanj from the galaxy, but assumed the mantle of their galaxy wide empire. However, in the mass migrations and casualties of war, the location of Earth was lost and the cradle of mankind passed into myth.
Fourth Empire: The Fourth Empire was declared after the conquest of the Daysanj and once again after Terran holdings and other former Daysanj subjects had all split into a multitude of stellar governments, each vying for ultimate power. The Averentine Corporation, whose troops had won great renown during the Daysanj War immediately capitalized on the end of the war, using captured Daysanj technology. They were able to seize strategic sights within the galaxy and eventually, over a period of thousands of years, coalesce nearly all the galaxy once again into a unified body. This period of conquest saw the greatest technological advancement of humankind. However, lack of a unified political power base eventually threw mankind once again into civil war, especially in the core regions of the Empire. The results were disastrous as religious purges all but wiped out the technical castes and the infrastructure of communication and travel soon regressed back into a Dark Age where all planets were cut off from each other and interstellar flight had to be rediscovered.
Second Republic (aka United Starleague): The Second Republic was born on the planet of I'yllan when the inhabitants of that planet, being driven by religious fervor, once again set out on the road to the stars to find their past and their destiny. Through a series of colonies and free admissions to their league of other lost human civilizations, the Republic grew a very fast rate. Aliens were also invited to join the League in full equality and the polyglot democratic Assembly of the Starleague, the Senate, ruled the League in a humane and conscientious fashion. Every care was taken to ensure that developing planets would not be taken advantage of and that all League members would enjoy full equality and freedom as long as it didn't result in the harm of sentient beings. Alarmed at the perceived favor shown to many aliens, the Dia Khoravia was born as a sort of humans only club amongst many reactionary, but minority, governments within the League. To counter this, a philosophy more than religion called the Chorus was initiated by the Senate and its membership open to all. Through alien members of the Chorus, humankind grew to realize some of the telepathic potential (voices) within themselves that had last manifested itself during the Daysanj War. The League Senate did not however suppress the teachings of the Dia Khoravia, even when it preached overthrow of the Senate, as this would have been a restriction on personal freedom and choice. Eventually this liberality of unrestricted freedom let the seeds of discontent grow as mostly human aristocrats, who wanted a return to the days of corporate nobility and power, vied to place their people in key positions in government and then the military. The re-discovery of Earth was a religious catalyst that brought the Dia Khoravia out of the fringes as a major movement within the League. Allied together, the Corporate powers, as they were known, and the D.K were able to win several seats in the Senate, enough to elect their own people as Archons of the League. They then began a process of reversing many of the liberal and moderate trends of government, almost ousting alien Senators, which, had it succeeded, would have given them a great commanding majority. In the general elections that followed, the Corporate powers lost severely in the elections and the new government set about trying to reverse the overly humanistic legislation that had recently been passed. Sides began to polarize until their was little left of a moderate voice within the League. Assassinations and minor uprisings, which were put down harshly, were becoming rampant. Eventually, feeling they had no alternative via democratic means, the Corporate Powers instigated a revolt within the military that plunged the Starleague into civil war. By seizing key industrial worlds at the beginning of the coup, the Corps. had the initial advantage, even though half of the Fleet still sided with the Senate. The Corp. Powers were able to win significant victories, ironically aided by the Archmenid Empire, an alien race who never joined the League and who had fought the League continuously as a barrier to their own expansion. Over a period of 65 years, the last holdings of the League were wiped out or conquered, whatever remnants fleeing beyond the frontier.
Fifth Empire: High Prince Chairman Kessam of Barcelona Fleet Metals Inc. declared himself Emperor and installed his government at Teramshar to lend his office authority and also since Earth was an ecological mess. What followed was another civil war of sorts as Kessam sought to consolidate his position and eliminate any rivals. The Dia Khoravia was brought to heel and there were ruthless purges of population bases who were thought to harbor any Starleague sympathies or support any of this rivals, with the exception of League military officers, to whom he gave amnesty if they would swear a personal oath to him. He was aided in this by Duke Chaudronnier of Sirdal, whose elite Deathguard formed the nucleus for the Emperor's own guard and provided a thoroughly loyal body of troops. Having handed over about half of the former Starleague holdings to the Archmenid Empire for their aid in the civil war, once he had pacified his realm and rebuilt its economy, Kessam declared the First Jihad. It was a war that lasted over two-hundred years of bitter fighting, the result of which was the conquest of all Archmenid holdings and their extinction as a race. The Empire has at the time of the game, lasted over 5000 years and is still in a process of expansion, seeking to reclaim the glory of the 4th Empire. Human civilizations, having been cut off for millennia after the 4th Empire collapse, have evolved into unique cultures and lifeforms, some of which aren't considered human. Vast technological differences are apparent in rediscovered worlds since the Dark Age after the 4th Empire affected them differently. Some fell back into the Stone Age and did not rise again. Some fell and rediscovered some basic technologies. Some became interstellar and struggle to maintain an identity in the face of the mammoth Empire. Though incredibly vast, the Empire is thought to have only about one-fifth the holdings of the 4th Empire at its height and its growth is now impeded on some frontiers by large alien empires, with a strength to rival its own. The current Emperor is Sargon XXXLDIII.

I.D Card (the Id card): The standard Spacemaster ident card is a very sophisticated and important piece of equipment in this game that is no bigger than a modern credit card. Not having one is in itself a source of adventure, and trouble. All citizens, human, alien or otherwise have some from of an Id. card. This card is identification, bank account, credit accounts, medical history, passport, vehicle and equipment operation licenses, military/social rank, record of any travel restrictions, criminal record and record of any held permits. Only one is issued per person and it is a law that all persons within the Imperium carry an Id. card at all times. The cards carry an enormous capability for information storage given their small size and are very resilient to damage. Loosing one, even through no personal fault, is considered a minor crime and there is a heavy fine for replacement. Id. cards carry a DNA profile coupled with the personal code of the holder and most transfer stations require that the holder place a portion of their body, usually a hand/digit, etc, against a sensor pad before transfer can be initiated. Most transfer station sensors can register physical data so that attempts to use non-living or traumatized tissue on the pad for credit transfer will not work. Some of the more sophisticated models can even register abnormal readings within an individual, such as stress or fear, and these stations will automatically send such data to the nearest police station or sub-station. All cards carry the less sophisticated sensor as part of their surface makeup, enabling card to card transfers where at least one card is a direct link capable card (DLC). Businesses usually require the use of on hand transfer stations and will not accept DLC transfers and DLC transfers usually have a preset limit on how much credit may be transferred in a given timeframe.
The cards usually appear as thin rectangular pieces of rigid plastic, and may have varying designs on them usually incorporating a crest or heraldric design, personal holograph, name and ident. #. Some alien races prefer different geometric designs but their devices work identically to Imperial Standard models. Special designs may be incorporated at additional cost and with proper Imperial approval. Many nobles elect to carry special cards that show nothing but their personal crest, but this type of card is hard and expensive for the average citizen to obtain.
There are tiers of information within the card and not all is accessible unless one has the proper clearance. Even the card holder does not often have access to all their information that is stored in the card.
Use of a card is a way to track an individual's location and movement, which is why cash is so popular in some places. Some places, like weapons dealers, are legally required to use credit transfer.
It is theoretically impossible to counterfeit or tamper with Id. cards, but such counterfeit/altered cards are known to exist with false identities and disguised accounts. Obviously such cards would be rare and having one in possession caries an automatic death penalty.

Languages: The universal language is Galcom, which is linguistically linked most to Americ, but has bits of Naidonese, Latan, Chian, & Gallet. The Imperium works to ensure a universal standard language and discourage heavily the use of local languages since it leads to regionalization. There are millions of regional languages and dialects & many cultures try to cling to their language as a source of identity in a sea of sameness. If carried too far, this has led to visits to such worlds by Imperial Marines. Major core languages still in existence include Gallet, Americ, Ancine, Bantoo, Chian, Kashindi, Kievosh, Latan, & Naidonese. There are even isolated pockets where truly archaic languages are spoken in the same way as thousands of years before (eg. Hebrew).

Laws: Vary planet to planet. Always check the local laws. First point of docking ships is to receive a summary of local information including laws. However, Imperial standards are in effect. If it is illegal now, it's probably illegal then.

Money: I don't use the term elmonits, but rather the typical term credit to refer to electronic monetary medium that exists within the Empire. Credits are usually transferred card to card or card to station at a transfer station. Some cards come with an option to directly transfer to or from another card, but these are rare, expensive and have to be paid for by the holder rather than being issued by the state.
Cash monies are issued by Feudal states within the Empire or by lesser entities with an Imperial Permit. The Empire issues cash itself in special instances, such as a warzone where the financial infrastructure might be too damaged to allow for the stable transfer of electronic funds. Cash monies go by various names, eg. pounds, dollars, dinars, souls, yuans, etc. The value of cash money can vary according to the resources and perceived stability of the issuing agency. However, cash money also has the virtue of being harder to trace ergo tax than credits (see taxes below).

Phaon: Phaon is a binary star system that is part of the Jade-London province. It's location is at -030/+42/+108 and it has few neighbors, lying near what is called a rift, or a stellar gap where there are few stars in general, let alone with a habitable system. Though part of Jade-London province, Phaon's closest neighbor is Hel at -45/+44/+157, which is part of the Bishop of Galatia's holdings. It's nearest Jade-London neighbor is Calliste at -29/+40/+24.
Once sight of an Idorian outpost, Phaon was part of a spatial grant ceded by Emperor Anshur MIII to Jade-London after the Idorians were driven from the region. Never fully developed being so far from the main world of Lamaraine, Phaon was eventually desired by both the Black Bishop of Galatia as well as the Earls of Calliste, whose troops had liberated it. Nevertheless, Phaon was awarded to Viscount Johnathon Darby who, after fighting off other interested parties, was able to at last install himself as liege lord.
Phaon has two habitable systems. Phaon prime has eight planets and two rings of asteroids, Badon, Irinia, Janses (all rock worlds), Phaon, the Breaks (asteroids), Kallya (water world), Sturm, Tosolt (both ringed gas giants), Chance (asteroids), and the ice world of Scylla. Only Phaon and Kallya are habitable. Phaon minor has only two planets, Philistia (a thin aired desert world), and the gas giant Belial. Philistia is capable of supporting life and looks to have large mineral deposits, but Viscount Darby has not had sufficient funds as yet to develop the world and maintains only a military occupation to guard its resources.
The population of Phaon is about three million, mostly grouped on the largest continent of Samnia. Ethnic mix is of a EuroMed type with a Jadist minority of pre-Darby inhabitants. Most colonists were recruited from the planet Firenze with the purchased permission of Clan Tuscania (who are supposed to marry one of their yet unborn to the issue of Darby's daughter). Citizens of Kallya were recruited from Pacifica with the purchased permission of Clan Atlantis. Population of Kallya is only about 200k.
Galcom is the official language though Atlanteans and Jadists still keep up at least an understanding of Americ while the Firenzans speak more Talyo in everyday life than they do Galcom, though all speak the latter fluently as well.
Production is mostly agricultural goods of wheat hybrids, corn, and raw textiles, followed by mining, which runs a distant second. There are important fishing resources which are harvested on Phaon. A related species on Kallya has been given protection since it shows signs of limited intelligence. The Phaon equivalent, called a flatfish, is in reality a flat undulating arthropod that has poisonous pedipalps. It is considered a delicacy and is exported, via Calliste, all over the Core region.
Main towns on Phaon are Avalon (the Capital), Winnaker, Venetzia, Biago, and Darbyville. There is one lowport facility which, though an Imperial territory, is still run by the Phaon government, having received a lifetime lease from the Imperials. The highport in orbit is an exclusively military area with no civilian craft allowed to dock.
Laws are fairly standard except that citizens are allowed to carry arms as long as they register in the local militia. Foreigners are also allowed to carry arms (nothing excessive) as long as they surrender their Id cards to the Hall of Records and sign a provisional contract that they will become part of the militia during invasion. Failure to do this means leaving weapons in a locker at the Starport. Laws are fairly standard, most arrests being for smuggling or domestic disputes. However, foreigners soon find that, because the Starport is administered by the locals, it offers little refuge if wanted for crimes planetside. All towns have standing courts while a series of travelling courts delivers justice to the mostly rural populace. The highest authority of appeal is Lord Darby himself, and the Viscount does hear cases twice/week when he is available.
Climate in the settled regions is warm and dry, with most rainfall occurring during the Winter. Interior upland gives way to dry grassland and ultimately to high desert plateaus. Both northern and southern extremes of the planet have abundant rainforests, both temperate and tropical, and these mostly uninhabited and unexplored areas which have large timber resources which have yet to be tapped.
Lifestyle of the population is slow and quiet, revolving mostly around family life, work and festivals. Education is free and compulsory, being sponsored by the Viscount. Health services are also free to subjects. Architecture is Mediterranean, with reinforced clay and brick as the favored building mediums. There is tension between the Jadists and Firenzens on Phaon since the Jadists feel overwhelmed by all the foreign speaking Firenzans. Also, the Jadists tended to favor and support the FitzRyans until indiscriminate attrocoties by suposed DK troops against the Firenzans spilled over onto the Jadists as well.
Persons interested in immigrating to Phaon are given agricultural training and land if they qualify. And as a further inducement to population growth, families are given a bonus and freed from taxes for the birth of every child up to eight in number.
There are no restrictions on the citizens of Phaon. All are considered freemen and may leave at any time as long as they are guilty of no crimes. Slavery is illegal.

Religion: There is only one authorized state religion and that is the Dia Khoravia. The D.K. is an ancient body that was created to end religious strife that plagued mythological times. It is a fusion of many ancient religions, what the D.K. says is the distilling of truth from all philosophies. The book of the D.K is the Khoran. The Major Tenets of the D.K. are:
1. Understanding/enlightenment through meditations on the voices of the prophets (the Emperour is a living prophet).
2. The meditations on the words of the prophets by the Dia Khoravic brotherhood are the wellspring from which comes all truth.
3. Salvation through devotion and obedience to the laws and one's betters.
4. Purity from crime and the knowledge of crime through confession & penance.
5. The way to Nirvana is through the cycle of reincarnation.
6. Reincarnation (to a higher social standing if you're devout, to a lower social class if you're wicked).
7. Humility & acceptance.
8 Peace through Genetic Purity.
9. Charity to the less advantaged and generosity to others of lesser rank (theoretically, there are no poor since the State does not allow for the existence of poverty).
10. Pilgrimage to the Holy Planet, Cradle of Life, etc, Earth.
Notes: This is just the simplified version of the tenants. The full versions would make any lawyer cringe. Most are self explanatory. A few are embellished below.
4. Of course the D.K will notify the authorities of any crime they are made aware of. (Note, many Confessors are said to have a sort of truth sense). Rebellion & crime lead to damnation, which is to be cast into a low social rank for several reincarnations. Rather than rebel or break the law, the D.K. teaches other ways of coping (see tenet #7.) Anyone who rebels against the Empire is a heretic. Heretics are discommunicate and killing one earns points towards reincarnation and Nirvana.
5. Nirvana is considered another plane of existence, sort of a spiritual evolution beyond reincarnation.
6. High social rank persons are considered on the verge of Nirvana. The Emperor is a prophet and has achieved Nirvana. He is a spirit who stays in the universe to help lead others on. Slaves are despised since they were obviously wicked terrible people in a previous life.
Tenet no. 8 has been a source of much suffering and cruelty through the millennia due to zealous interpretation such that the D.K probably wishes it wasn't there. Still, it's a useful tool now & then. Currently, there are thousands of human/humanoid variations that are recognized as genetically "pure". It is this tenet which keeps telepaths in line since they are genetically unpure.
10..All faithful must, if they are to achieve a successful reincarnation and regardless of how pure their devotion to the tenets have been, must make at least one pilgrimage to Earth and visit the Holy Sites. Because travel is so expensive and usually too lengthy from the frontier, faithful may make a substantial contribution to a special order within the D.K, called the Travellers, whose function is to make proxy pilgrimages for those who cannot.
Minor Tenets - minor tenets exist so that the D.K. can tailor its doctrine to local needs and concerns. However, because the Imperium is so vast, many minor tenets have arisen that have been later declared as heresies and jihads have been called to wipe them out (eg. Understanding and interpretation are a personal matter different to each of us, the words of Khoranic Truth are symbolic and not meant to be taken literally, etc)
One major heresy is that Mankind has ever been anything but the dominant lifeform in the Galaxy since his stellar arrival.
A jihad is a holy war, usually meant to wipe out a heresy, rarely used against a foreign power. The D.K. maintains its own military, the elite of which are the Knights Templar. Also, helping with a jihad can sometimes free a House/Corp from paying the tithe for a certain period of time. Some heresies have been well rooted and supported, so on occasion Imperial Forces are called in to aid the D.K.
All persons, noble or otherwise must pay the tithe (unless exempted by the D.K) which is a 1% tax.

Social Class: The social classes of the subjects/citizens of the Empire are basically divided into four groups, commoners (middle class), gentry, nobles (both higher class), and base (lower class). Gentry is a border grouping including both non-hereditary nobles and upper class commoners. Aliens are usually assigned to one of the classes (usually commoners). The classes themselves are divided into rankings within and there are some ranks that have different names though they are considered the same rank (eg. Count, Earl). Though based on birth, exemplary individuals can win ennoblement on rare occasions. Also, it is possible to rise in social rank through the military or through the Dia Khoravia, since both these groups, though still structured, allow advancement as evidenced by ability. In fact, both military service and church title are exceptions to the general rule that one retains the highest social rank. Such affiliation supercedes all other ranking, either raising or lowering rank accordingly. Eg. Regardless of rank, sons and daughters of nobles, upon entering the military, usually start as Lieutenants and Ensigns, regardless of rank (though a few are made Captains in fairly short order) - Social Rank 15. Social Ranks run from 0 (non-class such as outcasts and replicants) to 33, the Emperor

Taxes: Standard tax rate is 20% for Imperial citizens, which is automatically deducted from any deposit made to one's Id card. Of this, 17% is the base Imperial Tax rate, 1% is the tithe paid to the D.K, and 2% is a theoretical refund tax that will be paid back to the account holder after one standard year. Not everyone gets this 2% back for various reasons (big surprise). Also, in times of fiscal crisis, the local Governor may elect to impose a special tax up to 5%.
All cash payments to an individual are supposed to be recorded using the recipient's and payer's respective Id numbers. A tax debit will then be automatically registered on one's Id card. Violation of this law and discovery of withholding taxes can carry either a death penalty or life imprisonment. Despite this, such violations are not unheard of.
Taxes for Feudal. Corporate or DK subjects vary since it is the Noble/Chair/Prefect's responsibility to make a lump payment to the Imperium, they are then free to charge what they wish to their own subjects. eg. The D.K. charges a hefty 81.5% tax rate to its subjects, but provides most basic necessities for free. Citizens/Subjects from one area working in another are often subject to double taxation. Sometimes allowances or waivers are provided to desired or key workers. Eg. D.K. will often provide substantial waivers for needed foreign workers since otherwise, workers would end up owing more credit than they earned.
Ennoblement or high military decorations can result in a lower tax rate or even tax exemption on a permanent or temporary basis.

Thantosians: The Thantosians are a perplexing spacefaring race that occupy their own stellar region and have little desire for contact with others, but can be aggressive and dangerous, or curiously helpful - all seemingly with little reason or provocation. Conflict with the Thantosian Hegemony has occured since initial contact and Imperial analysts are still unsure whether the Thantosians are concerned with mercantile expansion or military probes. In the past, fierce battles that have raged on the Thantosian border have claimed thousands of ships, lives and installations on both sides. And still, the Empire is left with no better an understanding of this alien race than when they were first contacted. However, when peace has prevailed, trade has occured between the two powers, usually in neutral territory.
Thantosians regard physical mobility as the opposite of thought and intellect. To them, thought must be unadulterated by the pollution of movement. The higher the caste, the less physical capability, but the higher the intelligence. Lower castes like the Processor have nearly total movement capability, but are almost mindless. Highly mobile humans are equated with the lower castes of the Thantosians, and Thantosians are affronted when humans don't try to hide their obscene mobility when in their presence.
Thantosians seem to be immune to all psionic probes. Hypothesis have been made that the Thantosian mind is too alien to communicate with, or that they are in fact incredible telepaths, whose mind is shielded from all but the most powerful telepaths.
It in unknown how many castes of Thantosians exist, but the Empire has categorized at least five that they know of, not counting hatchlings.
Hatchling - Looking something like flat, faceless tadpoles, hatchlings are all alike, regardless if they are produced by a processor or a thinker. In actuality, hatchlings conform their growth pattern to mimic that of the nearest Thantosian. Thus, even if it is born of a processor, a hatchling that is kept in the pool of a thinker will become upon maturing, a thinker. This remarkable adaptability allows the Thantosian Hegemony to produce whatever they need regarding citizen subjects. Though thousands of hatchlings are produced by the mono-sexed Thantosians, most are culled before they reach maturity.
Manipulator - Slightly ball shaped at the core, the manipulator is a mass of continuously moving limbs and tentacles. It propels itself either by rolling very fast, or at a more leisurely pace by gliding along its many appendages. There appear to be no orifices in this creature to indicate how it feeds or communicates. Highly dextrous, the manipulator is believed to be of very low caste and is certainly possessed of only the most limited intellect, slightly less than an intelligent animal.
Overseer - The overseer is a somewhat anthropomorphic entity in that it stands erect and can shift it's lower body into a shuffle that roughly correlates to a slow walk. The overseer has but one manipulating arm with three broad digits that seem capable of little ability. It's face is a rigid masque-like plate, resembling rough hewn stone, with two eyes whose lids close diagonally. It has no mouth, only a series of three slits, one large and two small, from which it makes sounds. Overseers are very intelligent and are the caste that usually interacts with aliens.
Processor - A lavender mass of plasma, the Processor is without solid form and is almost mindless. It can flow through incredibly small holes and dissolves matter with a combination of sound vibrations and a molecular acidic secretion. These creatures have shown themselves remarkably resilient, able to exist at extreme temperatures, in caustic environments, and in near vacuum. They have also proven remarkably impervious to the effects of energy and projectile weapons. Though sometimes used for torture and intimidation, it is believed that the Processor's original and main function is still the elimination of waste products and cleaning and the removal of unwanted debris. The Processor is the lowest caste of Thantosian yet encountered.
Thinker - Immobile, yet of super-genius intelligence, the Thinker probably one of the highest castes. Believed to be a mass of rigid tissue comprised in a conical or pyramid form, thinkers are living computers and knowledge vaults. The tops of their bodies comprise a sensual organ by which they can "see" and "hear". It is not known if they possess any other sensual capability. They supposedly live their entire lives in nutrient pools and all information is brought to them by Overseers, who act as a link with the outside universe. Thinkers find all movement to be obscene and overseers must take care to not move in the presence of a Thinker while the Thinker's "eye" is open.
Warriour - The warriour Thantosian has a disk like carapace, about three meters in diameter, from which nine appendages descend from its lower side. Six of these rigid legs are obviously used for propulsion or to attack, via a series of razor sharp slashes and stabbing motions. However, the manipulative ability of the three remaining appendages is more commonly utilized to operate equipment or weapons. Though Thantosian weaponry is usually too awkward for humans to utilize, Thantosian warriours have shown themselves quite adept at making use of weapons captured in wars with humankind. The carapace is very hard, similar to armoured exoskelton of very good quality. The warriour caste is believed to be of moderate intelligence and has shown little subtlety in combat.
(The concept of the Thantosian was drawn from a story called "
the Power of the Frog, a lightly-hopped tale," by Dave Langford and appeared in #74 of White Dwarf Magazine. It is a comical tale and the aliens, which I have renamed Thantosians, appear in the story as "Rigellians.)

Travel: Players familiar to Traveller will notice the use of High, Mid, & Low passage from Starliners travelling along regular routes. Many freighters also seek to supplement income by taking on passengers, either Mid or Low. (High passage is luxurious stateroom travel, Mid-passage is shared occupancy stateroom travel, Low passage is cryogenic or hibernation unit travel, which has a low mortality rate somewhere in the 1-2% range). Usually Low-passage customers will enter into a pool with the ship's captain to see how many die en route. The winners usually leave ship with a fair bit of credit or cash
Characters may also travel by private ship's/charter, either interplanetary shuttles or interstellar drive ships. All ships/vehicles must have the operating pilot(s) & crew must place their Id cards into provided slots to have the ship/vehicle operate. It is illegal to tamper with ships/vehicles so that this requirement is removed, but it does happen a lot (another big surprise).

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