Sunday, January 5, 2014

A War of Resources

More ramblings from a cluttered mind….
As we move towards the development of the next faction, I will try to give some insights into the conflict between the Eisenkern and Shadokesh Empires. Please keep in mind that this is still a draft and open to revision and correction but it will touch on both cultures, the war and why anyone in their right mind would build a huge walking target such as the Leviathans.
The Prize
Ardinium: A rare, naturally occurring mineral that neutralizes the effect created by tears in the Veil and the broad spectrum radiation leaks created by Void space incursion. Ardinium is used to shield Iron Core Reactors, sensitive electronics and more recently it has been introduced as a component in building materials to mitigate exposure for the occupants and equipment.
(Faster than light travel is only possible in the Veil and re-entering normal space without a receiving gate, tears a hole in the Veil that releases immense energy. Any unshielded tech within several AU is usually destroyed)
Ardinium Oxide: When Ardinium is exposed to the Void or the energy of an Iron Core Reactor it develops a purple blue crust of oxidization. This material when properly processed and when a sufficient charge is applied will repulse itself from a non-charged object or attract itself to a like charged object much in the way a magnet pulls or pushes. This is the base material all TR bands are constructed from. Without this material the huge Leviathans would not be possible.
The Shadokesh
The Shadokesh care little for human society; until recently they have been completely indifferent to the plight of humanity, thrive or fall, humanity is viewed as nothing more than another animal species hardly worthy of distinction. This view has changed drastically. The shift in this attitude came when the Shadokesh realized that three of the major worlds in the Eisenkern Empire contained vast quantities of Ardinium, the key component used in all Shadokesh technology. This awareness came when the Eisenkern Empire launched its first retaliatory offensive against a Shadokesh rim world in response to a cleansing of one of the Eisenkern border colonies. The Eisenkern Empire landed on Sokesh Prime, fielding twenty Leviathan Mortis and handily took the Shadokesh outpost. 
Scans of the new human technology revealed their origins as simplistic copies of Shadokesh technology but what intrigued the Shadokesh was the quantity of Leviathans far outstripped what was lost or what could have been salvaged in the minor engagements with the primitive humans. This could only mean that the humans had discovered Ardinium and it was surmised, given the time between the first encounters with the Shadokesh and this attack that they must have access to a large supply of this rare ore. Experience told them it would take far longer to amass this quantity when compared to the amount of Ardinium the Shadokesh had been extracting from their core worlds. 
The Shadokesh set out to map and scan Eisenkern space, sending drones to every corner of the Empire. They found three worlds at the core of the Empire brimming with Ardinuim. The ore so plentiful that the primitive race was using it in their fabrication of buildings and other structures as plating of their steel reinforcements buried within the concrete and even mixed into the concrete itself. If a Shadokesh could be offended, surely they would have been at such an egregious display of excess. Fortunately for humanity, the Shadokesh are incapable of feeling such an offence. Unfortunately, this did not change or soften the outcome. The first Great Call (gathering of the collective consciousness) after the analysis was concluded, decided humanities fate in the blink of an eye. Extermination and reclamation of all settlements containing the precious resource. 
This would be the start of the great purge. Settlement after settlement was methodically sacked and its once proud cities rendered for the minerals they contained. Only a tide of Iron would halt this onslaught; Leviathan construction had not yet reached its peak and the Mortis needed refinement and a more robust design. The Crusader class was still in its infancy and not yet available in any quantity that would change the outcome. The fate Eisenkern Empire was sealed, they needed time, time they did not have.
As fate would have it, when the Shadokesh met with a Dhar-Hazier Queen and her envoys and decided they were of no use or threat to the Shadokesh Empire and were promptly dispatched. This miscalculation may be the only reason the Eisenkern Empire still exists. The Dhar-Hazier Clans declared open war on the Shadokesh, sending genetically altered and tailored soldiers and equipment flooding across the border into Shadokesh space. The Shadokesh quickly realized that their efforts would need to be turned towards another front, the Dhar-Hazier were a far more formidable foe than originally anticipated.
Shadokesh Walkers
The Shadokesh use walkers primarily as tools, flexible extensions of their own physicality, mining, building and subjugation devices, only more recently have they been primarily used as weapon platforms. Shadokesh walkers are faster, more agile but more susceptible to damage, their shielding provides them with an equalizer against the more heavily armored Eisenkern Leviathans.
What is a Leviathan, why build a large walking target, what tactical purpose could such a device possibly serve?
Leviathans are weapons of terror, they are tools of distraction and a means to bolster morale. Leviathans were designed to hold city blocks, a statement, “Here I am, I own this, come and take it”. They are anything but subtle.
The Eisenkern Empire developed the Leviathan because it was the perfect tool to fit a need. It could go toe to toe with the Shadokesh walker. The Shadokesh primarily target cities as this is where they find they resources they are after. The soldiers defending these cities found themselves face to face with the towering Shadokesh walkers and in desperate need of being bolstered, not just in firepower but in steadfast will. Even the brave Eisenkern forces would crumble under the sheer terror of a Shadokesh walker rampaging towards their lines. The Eisenkern trooper needed a big brother that could beat the snot out of the neighborhood bully.
Very early conflicts with the Shadokesh led to some unusual observations of Shadokesh behavior. The Shadokesh, when unchallenged will go about their work tearing down buildings and rending resources with little regard for the occupants or soldiers until they are deemed a threat. This stems from the fact that the Shadokesh do not perceive humans as a true threat, more as a nuisance to be swatted when it becomes annoying. This would give precious time for the Eisenkern troopers to maneuver, this also left the civilians some options for egress before all hell would break loose.
The act of remaining seemingly oblivious would soon end as the Shadokesh begin to understand human tactics, in response the Shadokesh began annihilating a city’s population by releasing feral Shadokesh to clear out a city.  Essentially, allowing the Feral Shadokesh to reap the city of its biological infestation so that the core force could concentrate on the work at hand. This could not be allowed to continue. The Eisenkern forces needed to find a way to distract the Shadokesh, allowing the citizens time reach evacuation points so the soldiers could concentrate on the Shadokesh without fear of inadvertently killing friendlies.
Assaults by infantry and armor only peeled layers from the Shadokesh forces, just enough to deal with the perceived threats. The Eisenkern forces needed a larger hammer a weapon that could not be ignored, the Leviathan was that tool.


  1. Kool. You realise that the natural progression of this is that the Shadokesh will eventually want to field something that swats leviathans aside with impunity ? Unless the ardinium power sources place a Leviathan sized limit on what can be done.

    The Dhar Hazier sound interested too; got to bear in mind of course that the enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend. But they might be.

  2. I think the idea of a "bigger is better" mentality may be entirely alien to the Shadokesh who are interested only in the most efficient an elegant use of resources.