Against All Comers - Theocratic Terra (Full Version)

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Shadowsage -> Against All Comers - Theocratic Terra (4/29/2012 1:41:48 AM)

First AAR gentlemen, let's see if I can get this right. Here are the galaxy generation parameters:

Galaxy Shape: Ring
Galaxy Size: 10x10
Colony Prevalence: Normal
Independent Alien Life: Scattered
Expansion: Starting
Aggression: Normal
Research Costs: Very Expensive
Space Creatures: Normal
Pirates: Normal

Council of Terra (referred to ingame as Empire of Man)

Starting Location: Core
Home System: Normal
Size: Starting
Tech Level: Starting
Corruption: Low
Government Type: Democracy
Race: Human

Victory Conditions are 75% economy, territory, and population. I'll play to the end if these are reached before-hand. All races are in play, as well as all events (regular and Shakturi). No particular house rules except to refrain from editing, as well as to retire salvaged ships unless other races begin using them.

Moreover, ships will follow several specific design philosophies (doctrines) that will be the focus of research, simulating the military estabilishment's preference for developing lines of well thought out arsenals rather than dabbling into every branch. As such I will specify a type of doctrine and will only be able to alter focus in a category once every year, or when a technology is researched.

Next post starts the tale of Terra!

Shadowsage -> RE: Against All Comers - Theocratic Terra (4/29/2012 2:36:54 AM)

The Council of Terra was the first benevolent theocracy in the history of the human race. In the year 2200 an atomic war between dozens of nation-states wracked the world of Kantras Gula 4. Thousands of nuclear silos were emptied in all directions, polluting entire land-masses and choking populations in a radioactive cloud. When the deadly missiles carrying their atomic payloads ran out, the survivors even began launching cruder clouds of poisonous gases, biological cocktails, and thermobaric warheads blasted damaged cities to rubble, then rubble to dust. Only 1 in 100 of the population survived this self-inflicted genocide; followers of a new religion. The Church of the Apocalypse had forseen the coming violence and prepared beneath the surface of the ocean. Their leader, known only as Constantine, had used the wealth of millions to construct a vault of sorts beneath the waves of the ocean, several kilometers off the shore of a relatively neutral nation. When the waves of nuclear fire receded the entire world was silent. The first brave scouts of the Church emerged onto land a scant week after the last bomb fell. Thus came the heartbreaking task of cleaning the environment and integrating the few scattered survivors found in the process. Over time, the scars of the land faded. Toxic ash thinned, then ceased falling from the air. Species saved along with the Church were carefully bred, then reintroduced into the wild through a carefully controlled process. Their populations were heavily monitored for mutations over the next century. A semblance of normalcy was restored to the world by the year 2312, by which the first new cities and towns were established on the mainland. The population of the world was estimated to be 100 million at this point, the vast majority of which was under the Church. In the next two centuries three of the remaining four continents were reclaimed and populated by the descendants of the Church, ruled by its’ scion Constantine XV. Life expectancies were increasing, corruption was relatively nonexistent and the citizenry was generally satisfied to have survived the apocalypse. It was at this time that the ruler of the Church allowed the elevation of individuals to the first Council, who were elected from each of the continents. This theocratic democracy first elected to leave the last continent barren, as a constant reminder of the sins of the past. Their next decree would, in the fullness of time, leave its’ mark on the galaxy. The planet was thus forth christened Holy Terra. With planetary affairs in order, the Council of Terra turned their eyes to the sky.

And all would never be the same again.

The Gospel according to Leandros
The Book of Originatus
Chapter the First; Humble Beginnings

The year 2754 started out with a bang; Constantine XIX ascended the throne as chair of the council, as did his ancestors before him. But his reign would prove to be far more eventful than any of his ancestors excepting his original namesake, the Blessed. After being beatified the Chief Councilman (commonly referred to as princeps) consulted with the rest of the council and officials from various branches of government. The first order of business was a dramatic reorganization of the nascent Council Space Navy (CSN). Though its’ ships could be counted in fingers, there were plans for expansion and the framework for such had to be in place. Military officials and scientists had given their opinions to the council, and areas of concentration were decided.


Offensive Doctrine was considered by many to be obsolete with the entire world unified beneath the Church; however for reasons of their own, the Council had elected to support continued development of missile weaponry. Scattered data and research documents from the Great Scouring of 2200 helped significantly for initial successes in the project. Additional data hinted at the possibility of single-manned spacecraft armed with weaponry capable of wearing down much larger ships. The possibility was extremely interesting and earmarked for development after missiles.


Support Doctrine, on the other hand had its’ uses outside of war. Whether it be in ensuring the safety of workers in space, or to increase the efficiency of engines and reactors, technological research in this category had multiple uses outside the archaic concept of ‘war’. As such, ongoing efforts were directed into enhanced protection for the precious few ships of the CSN. Preliminary studies indicated that energy requirements would be increased by such new technology, so additional efforts would be directed at more powerful/efficient reactors.


Defensive Doctrine was supported by as many that derided it. Similarly to any offensive doctrines, weapons applications were considered to be obsolete in the single government universe. Proponents pointed to the great Constantine I, who by seeing threats on the horizon was able to save their race from extinction. Though the Council was deeply divided on the issue, Constantine XIX was able to push forward resolutions supporting research into improving sensor technology.

(Author's Note: Images will be properly resized next time. -.-)

Shadowsage -> RE: Against All Comers - Theocratic Terra (4/29/2012 4:51:10 AM)

The Gospel according to Leandros
The Book of Originatus
Chapter the First; Humble Beginnings Section 2


Following the decision on doctrines, the Council met once more in an effort to resolve several difficult crises that were cropping up for the Church. During the reign of Constantine XVIII, a spaceport was constructed in orbit around Holy Terra. That spaceport facilitated growth of industry across the solar system in the form of several mining installations. When Constantine XIX ascended the throne, however, he found that the expanding CSN required resources from multiple sites. For theological purposes, additional sources of gold were required. Lead and Steel were also required in ever-increasing quantities to fuel the modernization and expansion of the navy. As such, the Council approved a measure which would prioritize the construction of a mining facility on Kantras Gula 2.


Additionally fuel stocks of Caslon, scavenged from abandoned missile silos, were beginning to run thin. It was imperative that for the continued expansion of the realm, a suitable source or a reactor running on some other fuel would need to be found. To facilitate this, the CSN Ardent Wayfarer set out to a nearby star in hopes of finding collectable fuel. The hopes of the entire Church went out with the brave crew, as they sailed further from civilization than any before them.


In a subsequent meeting, the Council also saw fit in a unanimous decision to requisition yard space to construct an additional four exploration craft, modeled on the original Ardent Wayfarer. Production commenced in high orbit above Holy Terra with much fanfare. These ships, rather than being tasked primarily for ferreting out Caslon would instead have a simpler task of scouting nearby systems for not only resources, but habitable worlds. The Church was eager to expand its’ realm and in doing so improve the lives of everyday citizens. But not all news remained good for the nascent Church.


Around the outermost planet of the Kantras Gula system, an alien craft warped into existence. They hailed Church officials on Holy Terra in our own tongue! The so-called ‘Ancient Guardians’ were, as far as we could tell virtual beings. They also proclaimed a doctrine of xenophobia in that we were not to enter their home system – considered a forbidden zone. An emergency session of the Council was called to address this new visitor. The only member who remained composed was none other than Constantine XIX. His resolve in the face of an external threat (and the vindication of his support for offensive doctrine) was matched only by his disgust at the cowardice of his colleagues. Above their weak objections, the council chair placed orders to dramatically increase the size of the CSN in preparation against foreign aggression. The move was met with overwhelming support by the populace at large. The first true purpose-built warships of the CSN entered production a scant two months after Constantine XIX ascended the throne.

Cavgunner -> RE: Against All Comers - Theocratic Terra (5/5/2012 12:37:12 AM)

Looks good. And looking forward to more.

Modest -> RE: Against All Comers - Theocratic Terra (5/5/2012 1:34:41 AM)

It looks like a great ARR! I am looking foward for reading more of it :) So please - keep it up. By the way... Holly Terra and theocracy - is it inspired by WH40k? ;)

Shadowsage -> RE: Against All Comers - Theocratic Terra (5/6/2012 4:57:01 AM)

The discovery of an alien race – the guardians – had been kept from the general population against the wishes of Constantine XIX. Not even half a year ascended to the throne, and yet the first citizen had advocated a well-informed public from which thousands of recruits could be gathered. However, he was overruled by the fearful members of the council, who not only requisitioned additional ships, but put to death the entire crew of the mining station contacted by the aliens. They kept this knowledge from Constantine, but when he found out…

A good shepherd always tends to his flock.


On May 19th, 2754 elements of five separate striker battalions marched into cities across all of Terra. Civilians looked fearfully from their houses into the streets, where black armored vehicles bearing the sigil of Constantine XIX rolled through the streets. Commanders used their loudspeakers to placate the populace; “Remain calm. In the name of God and His representative among men, Our Lord Constantine the Nineteenth, we call upon the faithful to follow the directions of the first citizen. You have been lied to, and more information will be forthcoming. In the meantime, please remain calm…” Similar messages were played across the global airwaves and, overwhelmingly, the 11 billion citizens and army remained on the sidelines.

The entire world held its’ breath as the majority of the council were arrested, along with their individual cabinets. A scant few managed to escape on a chartered freighter to regions unknown, unnoticed by all as their eyes turned solely to the bishopric in capital city.

“Faithful followers of the One True Church! Descendants of Constantine the Founder, you… have been lied to.” Constantine XIX was a tall, thin man in the mold of his forebears. A large nose and angular jaw only gave emphasis to the near constant scowl on his face. The man was dressed in the pristine white robes that befit his station as primus. Thin hands gripped the sides of the pulpit he was speaking from and at certain points clenched into closed fists, pounding the top for emphasis.

The princeps continued. “Earlier this year, elements of the Church’s Space Fleet were contacted by an alien race.” Though many both in the audience and across the world let out a collective gasp, he continued. “These ‘Guardians’ are ancient mechanical life-forms who appear extremely unfriendly. Members of the council were determined to keep this information from coming out. I was outvoted. I am sorry to say that I would have let the issue lie,” at this his jaw tightened perceptibly, “were it not for serious transgressions committed by my fellow council-members. Actions so horrifying, I had no choice but to act. The crew members of several mining stations in the outer reaches of the system were put to death shortly after first contact. On this day, I swear to the faithful, they shall account for their actions!” Off-stage, once members of the council were clad in dirty, soiled robes of prisoners. They sobbed their innocence before the world, and yet somehow not many were convinced.

“This ‘council’,” Constantine spat, “is nothing but a cowardly pack of degenerates – throwbacks to barbarians of the past. And yet, the laws of the church apply to all. Guardsman Tannenbaum!” Without missing a beat an officer wearing the princeps’ personal insignia stepped forward.

“Yes sir?” Guderian Tannenbaum was a solidly built man who had headed Constantine’s security detail since childhood. Few in all of Terra knew him quite like Guderian, and those that did could understand the ramrod straight demeanor which the guard carried himself. It was obvious that on this day, the princeps expected nothing less than perfection.

“What is the punishment for murder according to the Founder’s scroll of Schuler?”

Guderian spoke evenly, each word carefully enunciated to avoid any unbecoming mispronunciations. “The guilty party is to be affixed, spread eagle and upside-down betwixt two posts of steel. A cutting instrument is to be used in the division of the guilty evenly through first the groin, then the torso, then the neck.”

“I see.” In contrast to his professionally composed guard, Constantine’s voice was laden with contempt and disgust with the men before him. “Seeing as this council was so ‘democratic’, I think it would be most appropriate for the order of tonight’s proceedings to be left up to vote.” He smiled cruelly.

“Make your choices.” Without listening to their pleas of mercy, the princeps spun on his heel and left, quickly followed by Guderian.


(Author's Note: So basically, though the princeps is outraged at the decisions of the council, he recognizes an opportunity when it presents itself. The next few years will be interesting as Constantine solidifies his grip over Terra.)

Shadowsage -> RE: Against All Comers - Theocratic Terra (5/10/2012 8:36:08 PM)

Reports from May 17th were backlogged in the chaos of the coup. The Ardent Wayfarer had discovered an independent alien civilization just stepping out into space. These Haakonish are greedy, materialistic creatures. They are concerned with the collection of wealth and power. We are put in the position where, barring any outside interference, we will have another foreign power to deal with. With the threat of the guardians still looming, there was no choice but to consolidate in the face of the long night….
- excerpt from The Testaments of Constantine XX

“…Which is why I feel the Navy must expand to meet this threat, Majesty.” Admiral Manuel Adolphus realized he was in charge of ships few enough to be counted by fingers. He had resented that ever since his appointment by Constantine’s predecessor, when the position had even less power than it did now. The prospect of enlarging the fleet (and thus, his own power) was stronger than ever with the princeps’ expansionist tendencies and obvious willingness to flaunt the power of the church.

“As such, in the documents I have given you there is proposals for an additional two destroyers, and two ships of a new class – landing ships, to enforce Majesty’s will wherever it is needed.” The new Victory class troopships were state of the art, capable of landing multiple battalions on targeted planets. They were relatively unarmed, but that was what the rest of the fleet was for.

“Interesting…” Constantine XIX was browsing the documents in front of him intently. Before his ascension to the diadem, he had been an engineer with occasional dabbling in chemistry. He glanced at the schematics one last time before setting them aside on the desk.

“Now, why do you think I need to expand the realm of the faithful so soon? We have so much to explore and resources to tap into even in Terra’s home system.

“This is true, Majesty,” Manuel replied, “but I think you’d agree that there simply aren’t enough people on Terra to expand fast enough on our own. Moreover, these Haakonish people are well-suited to swamp environments considered too costly or dangerous for Terran settlers. If we incorporate them into the Empire, we may be able to exploit more worlds much faster than growing on our own.

“That, and provide another target in the event that the Guardians come out to play.” Manuel knew he had the princeps when his eyes narrowed almost imperceptibly.

“Permission granted. We have space to lay down one destroyer and both troop transports right now. When the first destroyer is finished the second will be built. Dismissed.”


Shadowsage -> RE: Against All Comers - Theocratic Terra (5/10/2012 11:50:45 PM)


ORIGINAL: Cavgunner

Looks good. And looking forward to more.

Thank you :) feedback means a lot!



It looks like a great ARR! I am looking foward for reading more of it :) So please - keep it up. By the way... Holly Terra and theocracy - is it inspired by WH40k? ;)

Well I won't say 40k disinclined me to the idea ;)

Shadowsage -> RE: Against All Comers - Theocratic Terra (5/11/2012 5:05:09 AM)

June came and went, with the first of the new ships coming off the production line. Additional orders were placed and expected to be completed later that month for another destroyer, frigate, and escort. Following this the budget for additional constructions would be dipping into other departments funds. If the Guardians or some other force come out of the Long Night to plunder the realm of the faithful, there was little to stand in their way.

On July 3rd, 2754, all of these perceived inadequacies came crashing to the fore.

“Majesty, I have word that the Guardians have sent a transmission to us through the Ardent Wayfarer. Captain Komnenos sends his regards, along with news that another source of Caslon was discovered in the Nurval system. The dispatch also includes data on several systems to the galactic northwest of Terra, and projected orders to finish exploring the sector. Shall I play the warning?”

Constantine hid a smile behind the back of his hand. Alexios always had a habit of lumping everything into singular messages. Even if they had potentially devastating consequences.

“Do so, please.”


Constantine sat in the throne and absently rubbed the knuckles of one hand. The message completely threw the strategic projections of the Empire out the window. The Guardians were not a threat to Terra, but they brought tidings of an even greater threat – one which was talked about in only the most hushed tones in back-alleys of the capital. Once before, even before the Great Apocalypse there was an even greater tragedy, one so widespread that even Mighty Terra was but a backwater compared to the rest of the galaxy.


“Inform Admiral Adolphus that his presence is requested in the war room. We have things to discuss.”

Shadowsage -> RE: Against All Comers - Theocratic Terra (5/12/2012 4:04:04 AM)

“The consolidation of the Empire has to begin with supply lines. Several surrounding systems have indigenous life hazardous to our shipping lines.” Manuel pointed to the Nugdra system, which was located between Nurval and Holy Terra. “If we clean up this system it will provide us with a stepping-stone to assert sovereignty over Nurval 4.

“With your permission Majesty, I will send orders to Captain Nikolais with the authority to gather two frigates to his command and cleanse the Nugdra system of indigenous life.” At the nod, Manuel continued. “From there they will open the several planets and satellites in Nugdra to exploitation and eventually defensive bases.”


Constantine eyed the map warily. “And after that?”

“Nurval 4.” Manuel smiled slightly. “The newly christened troop transports Forward the Mage and Juggler of Worlds will carry several troop battalions which were loyal to you during the rebellion. They are undergoing preparation on Holy Terra currently. The swamp-like environment of the Haakon planet is unlike anything they’ve encountered… but we’ll be able to deploy within six months or so.”

The delay was unfortunate, but not unexpected. Constantine nodded in approval. “I would like you to put together a committee in designing medals to award for a victorious campaign. See to it that there are enough for every combatant.”

“As you wish, Majesty. I will, of course, keep you up to speed on the campaign. If I may, I have one more suggestion?” Manuel took the princeps’ raised eyebrow as a sign to continue.

“Elevate Nikolais Komnenos to the rank of Commodore. It will give him the political authority to lead his Task Force, as well as military seniority over the other captains. Their family has always served with distinction in the navy.”

‘And once I drop the hint that his rank is dependent on my favor, he’ll be much more amenable to… other missions.’ Manuel was already plotting years, decades in advance.

“Granted. But keep in mind, Admiral,” Constantine put emphasis on the rank, “that the success of this campaign rests on your shoulders. Either we succeed and you get wreathed in honors, or you have to deal with being held responsible for thousands of deaths on a world far from Terra. Court Martial will be the least of your concerns in that case.”

“Yes Majesty… I understand.” The admiral gulped slightly for effect.


Shadowsage -> RE: Against All Comers - Theocratic Terra (5/12/2012 6:51:16 AM)

And that is why, after finishing policing the Nugdra system you are to make haste to the Nurval system in order to demonstrate the primacy of the One True Church. Movement orders are enclosed. The Striker battalions are instructed to coordinate their landing patterns to first overwhelm armed opposition and then police the major urban areas. The planet is home to half a billion Haakons, which could prove unruly in the event of general insurrection. Execution is left strictly up to you.

-Admiral Manuel Adolphus

Newly-christened Commodore Nikolais sighed and absently brushed the golden bar wreathed in olive branches on his shoulder. Over the last six months an extermination campaign against dozens of Kaltors and other threats. The Albany and its’ two escort frigates were battered, with many jury rigged repairs. The crew was tired but happy after cleansing an entire solar system for eventual inhabitation by the descendants of Terra. The Commodore, on the other hand was simultaneously frustrated and bewildered at his orders. What sort of precedent could he set in the invasion of alien worlds?

His thoughts were interrupted by a bridge officer. “Sir, receiving telemetry from incoming ships… it’s the troop ships Forward the Mage and Juggler of Worlds!”

Nikolais stood up from the Fleet Commander’s chair and moved to the holotank. A representation of the solar system flared into life, with the two new ships flashing into life a short distance away from the rest of the task force. Their captains were jointly hailing him for a conference. He sighed, knowing that the crew would not like another delay before shore leave.

“Inform the other captains that I require their presence in the Albany’s conference room.”


The five men gathered in the compartment fell into three categories. Captains Nero and Octavius were in charge of the Mage and Juggler respectively and itching for battle, while Tiberius and Otho were each in charge of a frigate and wary of future engagements. Commodore Nikolais was being as impartial as possible while keeping in mind the spirit of his orders.

“Orders from Adolphus state that we must invade! His movement orders match a specific time-table that we must adhere to and if possible even shave time off!” Nero’s eyes shone like a true fanatic. Doubtless he was raised on tales of the struggles following the Great Apocalypse. “We have the chance here to go down in history!”

“In principle, I agree.” Octavius was more reserved than his fellow captain, but decidedly in favor of a strike on the planet. He was reserved, calculated, and above all followed regulations to the letter. It was clear to Nikolais that he was the greatest threat.

“We must also consider the plight of the troops in our ships; there is little for them to do aboard ship. They were embarked with a purpose and delaying that is a disservice to their honor.”

Otho shot back. “The battles just to secure this system have cost me half a dozen crew members! We should spend time making proper repairs, that we lose fewer to any possible resistance. Damn the boredom, better idle than dead!”

Nikolais nodded at the comment but remained silent, as did Tiberius. The two were closest out of the force and tended to voice their opinions at the end of such debates.

“The damage to your ship is regrettable,” Nero sneered, “but should not obstruct our duty to the princeps! Perhaps your frigate could detach from the task force proper and retreat to Terra fo-“

At that, the Commodore slammed a hand down on the table. Nero stopped mid-sentence and eyed him with an air of disobedience. That simply would not do.

“Would you have me exile a man who fought by my side for six months… one who proved himself not only caring about his men but the responsibilities of his station to the Church as a whole. There is no other captains in the known galaxy to parallel those in this room.”
“That may be, Commodore, but if he cannot keep up with the fleet then Captain Otho should be left behind. The Church demands it!” Nero replied. “Meaning no disrespect, there is simply no alternative.”

“My orders grant me complete strategic and tactical breadth in the pursuit of our goals…” Nikolais began slowly, “and I will exercise such whether or not it makes you comfortable, Captain. Is that clear?” He stared at Nero until hearing a grumbled affirmative. The Commodore sighed; it would have to do. Hopefully the ground forces’ commanders were not as bloody-minded and stubborn as their skippers.

“That being said, we jump on the morrow.” All eyes stared at Nikolais, and he smiled slightly. “Nobody will be left behind, and your crew will be in no danger Otho. You may take up position behind the Albany so our shields will take the brunt of the attack. The first through fourth striker battalions are to be deployed from orbit once all space-based weaponry is eliminated. The fifth striker battalion, on board the Albany, will act as a strategic reserve in the event of the invasion becoming jeopardized. Questions?”

Each captain looked slightly discontented, with the exception of Tiberius who seemed relaxed as usual.

“Good. Shuttles will return you to your ships. If needed, I will contact you individually with additional information. Dismissed.”


Dracus -> RE: Against All Comers - Theocratic Terra (5/12/2012 2:36:29 PM)

Such is the way of the church, to slaughter in the name of a god that shows no real presence.

Shadowsage -> RE: Against All Comers - Theocratic Terra (5/12/2012 7:09:26 PM)



Such is the way of the church, to slaughter in the name of a god that shows no real presence.

"For in the grim darkness of the far future there is only an eternity of carnage and slaughter, and the laughter of thirsting gods."

I'm hoping to introduce a little more... humanity into the Terran church as time goes on. Feedback is always welcome! :)


There was little space-based opposition around the planet Nurval 4. In fact, there was hardly any orbital infrastructure, which was a very odd sight compared to the massive shipyards and defensive batteries in orbit around Holy Terra. Shoals of independent freighters scattered before the incoming task force, lined up in a wedge behind the Albany. Beams of coherent light erupted from Mage and bisected a ship which had strayed too close to the force.

Nikolais sighed. Over the three month journey to Nurval, Nero had proven himself more and more irritable. He was bold, reckless, and showed a lack of respect for rank which bordered on insubordination.

“Standing order – do not fire on neutral shipping unless they reach dangerously close quarters.”

Acknowledgement transmissions came in from each ship in the force, and the group began passing over Nurval 4. This was the moment that thousands of the church’s finest had trained and sacrificed so much for. The Commodore paused to fully appreciate the gravity of his command – it was on his order that a world would be taken. No commander before had ever held such power.

The time had come. “Execute the drop. Captain Nero, your ship will attain geosynchronous position above the Haakon capital and provide support for eliminating any field forces. Captain Octavius, your ship will enter low orbit with a period of an hour. Support forces as requested. Inform the ground teams that in the initial stage of invasion, bringing enemy soldiers to battle is paramount. Capturing territory and cities can wait until afterwards. Clear?”

Both captains responded in the affirmative. Nero was too focused on the task at hand to even lodge his customary complaints.

There was very little that Nikolais could do at this point. He stood from his chair, stretched slightly and walked off of the bridge. At first he was wandering, but little by little the Commodore made his way to the rear of the ship where the Mage and Juggler could be seen disgorging thousands of atmospheric landing craft, and hundreds of pods containing commando units. These rained down in a beautiful geometric pattern across the dark side of Nurval 4. Fiery lines denoting atmospheric entry shone brilliantly against its’ surface.

Ancient humans had always thought that comets were portents of doom.

“They were right…” Nikolais murmured almost imperceptibly. He turned on one heel and walked heavily back to his stateroom.


Seven months of combat on the planet’s surface followed, in which hundreds of Terran soldiers lost their lives and thousands more were wounded. Within the first month, almost all Haakon heavy equipment had been wiped out by either ground forces or precise orbital strikes from the two troop ships. From that point on, enemy combatants melted into the swamps. They would appear with little provocation, hiding amongst the native populace until an opportunity presented itself.

Slowly but surely, however, the populace went from terror, to fright, to grumbling acceptance. With the support of the locals withdrawn, the guerilla forces still fighting the Terran invasion became sporadic and uncoordinated. Rumors abounded that at the end, even cannibalism was practiced to resist accepting subjugation as long as possible. At last, it was over.

On April 26th, 2755, Nurval 6 became the second planet beneath the hegemony of the One True Church. Major ceremonies were held on Terra celebrating the success of both Commodore Nikolais and Admiral Manuel. For the next few months, the two planets would be a whirlwind of activity as bishops were granted new territories and positions were organized where none stood before.

Politics was a dangerous game in the prospering church.

Shadowsage -> RE: Against All Comers - Theocratic Terra (5/13/2012 1:15:58 AM)

“And that is why, Admiral Adolphus, you are hereby promoted to Grand Admiral. Commodore Komnenos will keep his rank, and remain in charge of Task Force One. Following execution of these orders, an additional two destroyers and frigates will be constructed for the to-be organized Task Force Two, which will need a commanding officer. Nikolais will retain the two troop transports in his formation. Additionally, those five ground battalions which took part in the invasion of Nurval are to be reorganized into one large formation, henceforth called the Emperor’s Own.”


Manuel stopped taking notes and looked up at the princeps. “Do we have any overarching strategic goals right now, Majesty?”

“Not at the moment. Moving on, inform General Doukas that he is permanently attached to the Emperor’s Own. His position in the general council will be taken by Lieutenant General Angelos. In the meantime, I would like you to requisition a passenger ship, the destination of which will be Nurval 4. On board will be my son.”

Manuel swore internally even while writing furiously. The heir to the church was a significant obstacle to his plans. Born in 2735, Licinius I Constantinus was a promising young man who had proven himself already distrusting of the hierarchy. It was whispered that he was much more concerned with the darker side of running the church than his father. If he was put in charge of Nurval 4 there would be virtually no chance of gaining support for an insurrection.

“Detail the Berlin as well as... no, one destroyer should be enough. Tell Captain Caduces to make sure that freighter gets to its’ destination. After that I’ll release control to you, Grand Admiral.

“As for the strategic reserve…” Constantine thought carefully. “We’ll begin reserving funds for additional military shipping. In the meantime begin drawing up plans for fortification of Nurval, Kantras Gula, and Nugdra with orbital weaponry. In addition, I want plans refined to mount lasers on all mining stations built from this point on.”

The pronouncement made Manuel look up in surprise. “Majesty?”

“Stations need the capability to ward off the occasional wandering Kaltor. Additionally, we’ve been getting reports of pirates on the eastern fringe of explored space. We’ll need to provide our civilians with the ability to fight back against such a threat.”

“Dismissed.” Unspoken was the thought that a well-armed populace fanatical about Constantine would severely impede Manuel’s plans.

‘The game is on.’

martok -> RE: Against All Comers - Theocratic Terra (5/13/2012 11:01:24 AM)

Very good AAR so far Shadowsage.  I love it! 

By the by, I have to ask:  Are you perchance drawing any inspiration from David Weber's "Safehold" series?  Because there's been moments when I've had a strong sense of deja' vu while reading this...  

Shadowsage -> RE: Against All Comers - Theocratic Terra (5/13/2012 2:56:18 PM)


ORIGINAL: martok

Very good AAR so far Shadowsage.  I love it! 

By the by, I have to ask:  Are you perchance drawing any inspiration from David Weber's "Safehold" series?  Because there's been moments when I've had a strong sense of deja' vu while reading this...  

If I am, it's mostly unintentional. I've read the series (new book in the fall!) but I'm not actively drawing parallels.
...Aside from a highly powerful church as a sovereign entity. Coincidentally, the next update had me finding a capital ship and naming it the ISN By Heresies Distressed ;P

Shadowsage -> RE: Against All Comers - Theocratic Terra (5/13/2012 3:18:08 PM)

The remainder of 2755 was relatively uneventful, save for four disparate events. These were thought unimportant at the time but later became vital to the ongoing development of the Empire as a whole. Thankfully, no additional alien races reared their heads as the Guardians had foretold. The boogeymen of their story had yet to reveal themselves, but it was all the incentive Constantine XIX needed to invoke a veritable diaspora on the part of Holy Terra. Dozens of systems fell under the influence of man in some way: through total exploitation like Kantras Gula or mere outposts, as Akthul sported. Grander plans were in the works however, in research facilities orbiting the Dark Vortex...


The Raethal Major system was located almost directly to the galactic south of Holy Terra. While investigating the system, on May 7th the exploration ship Pathfinder detected an ancient facility in orbit around a volcanic moon. After boarding and accessing computers long dormant, it was found that the station was a mining installation thousands of years old. The crew of Pathfinder restored operating status to the station and signaled Terra to send a crew.


To the galactic southeast of Raethal Major lies Andu Junction, a relatively unimpressive system quickly investigated by the Ardent Wayfarer. Anomalous readings on a rocky moon prompted investigation, which quickly turned into an expedited archaeological operation. Beneath its’ surface rested a massive ship equipped with all sorts of weaponry and systems far beyond the capability of Terra to produce. The oxygen-deprived environment of its’ tomb meant that the ship was in pristine operating condition, and the newly christened ISN By Heresies Distressed was the pride of the fleet. Before any scientific minds could draw inspiration from the systems of the ship, it was pressed into service as a symbol as much as a warship, a symbol of humanity claiming its’ place amongst the stars.


A catastrophic setback in missile research occurred when a facility in orbit around Terra violently exploded. Authorities investigating the occurrence have had no solid data on the disaster, except that it could have possibly come from warheads being tested for use. Much research data was saved but it would take time and additional money to once again construct the manufacturing and testing facilities lost.


Perhaps most importantly, the Ardent Wayfarer shifted northwest from its’ find in Andu Junction and towards the end of the year discovered another habitable world in the Urd Radamar system, to the galactic southwest of Nurval 4. Preliminary plans were enacted to construct a massive world-ship in the Nurval system, to be filled with plenty of equipment and cryogenically frozen Haakon citizens. They would lay claim to the world eventually, under the watchful gaze of Imperial firepower.

martok -> RE: Against All Comers - Theocratic Terra (5/14/2012 12:22:45 PM)

By the by, Shadowsage, are you playing with the maximum number of stars? I'm guessing so (especially since all the races are in play), but I probably shouldn't assume.


ORIGINAL: Shadowsage


ORIGINAL: martok

Very good AAR so far Shadowsage.  I love it! 

By the by, I have to ask:  Are you perchance drawing any inspiration from David Weber's "Safehold" series?  Because there's been moments when I've had a strong sense of deja' vu while reading this...  

If I am, it's mostly unintentional. I've read the series (new book in the fall!) but I'm not actively drawing parallels.
...Aside from a highly powerful church as a sovereign entity. Coincidentally, the next update had me finding a capital ship and naming it the ISN By Heresies Distressed ;P

Heh. Awesome. [8D]

Shadowsage -> RE: Against All Comers - Theocratic Terra (5/14/2012 5:53:26 PM)


ORIGINAL: martok

By the by, Shadowsage, are you playing with the maximum number of stars? I'm guessing so (especially since all the races are in play), but I probably shouldn't assume.

Heh. Awesome. [8D]

I believe it's set to 1000 stars.. My rationale behind that is there's much less stars in the core compared to the ring, and if even one race spawns a significant distance away from the others, they'll be able to expand exponentially.


Yeah, I really enjoyed that series. :)

Shadowsage -> RE: Against All Comers - Theocratic Terra (5/18/2012 8:46:30 PM)

Sorry for the lack of updates guys, I just finished my first year of college and I'm moving/packing all my stuff. -.-

martok -> RE: Against All Comers - Theocratic Terra (5/21/2012 9:37:22 AM)

No worries. We'll still be here. [:)]

Shadowsage -> RE: Against All Comers - Theocratic Terra (5/25/2012 1:18:02 AM)

“Majesty, we’ve a problem.” Since the coup against the Council, Constantine XIX had been swamped with work. Solving that problem was relatively tricky, seeing as the princeps had to make his position as unassailable as possible. The church needed a strong guiding hand, and his successors would need that powerful example. If he appeared unable to gather all the pertinent information and make the best decisions for the Empire, there would be countless challengers to the throne. The solution was as elegant as it was brilliant.

Brilliant as he was, John Aurellius was but a commoner. He was devout, cunning, charismatic, and devoted: all wonderful traits for a leader. What he did not have was patronage or a noble birth. In a society as rigid as the church, those things could make all the difference. The princeps wasted no time in building a deep friendship with the man, culminating in his adoption. Now John I Constantos (to mark his ineligibility as heir, his cognatus was altered), the man had the resources of Terra behind him and served as an aide of sorts to Constantine.

“What is it, John?” Moments like these reassured the princeps that despite any political ramifications brought on by elevating a commoner to such a lofty position, they were outweighed by the usefulness of a companion that not only was able to keep track of details with such unerring accuracy, but to relay them and provide significant insights that could have escaped Constantine’s own consideration. He sighed and closed out the sermon notes he was working on. Another keystroke cleared his appointments for the next two hours.

Into my free time, he thought wryly.

“Elaborate, if you would please. I can think of a dozen separate situations where ‘problem’ would be the least offensive qualifier.” Despite himself, the ghost of a smile appeared on his face. “I have the feeling that, were it anything out of the ordinary or short of pressing, you would not drop in so unannounced.”

John answered with a smile of his own, with a wince acknowledging his superior had a point. “Pardon for barging in, Majesty. I know you are most often busy of late with the faith. I will make this short so you may… get back to your scripture.” He bowed slightly in apology and missed the slight narrowing of Constantine’s eyes.

That was the other issue with John Aurellius; he held very little devotion to the faith. It had been years since the man was seen at service, and even longer since he donated to local establishments. Many thought him to be apostate, but they could not be further from the truth. He had his own personal beliefs, which demanded private worship and not systemized idolatry that so characterized the Church of Terra. He was a well-qualified, brilliant man that was out of place in the theocracy he served. That flame of faith which burned so brightly within him was distinctly his, and anathema to the princeps.

“As you know, the influx of capital from the annexation of Nurval 4 has created a situation where thousands of people wish to invest in space. Holy Terra’s space industry is swamped with demands from both the private sector and the Navy. This bottleneck is causing a huge drag on the economy as a whole: not only damping growth rates in half a dozen other industries but causing contractions of tax income from factories producing less. The lack of production capacity will significantly slow the growing space industry unless we do something about it.

“I would recommend doing so before the Guardians, or the ‘threat’ they warned about wish to test our mettle.” John finished.

“That sentiment crossed my mind almost immediately,” Constantine replied a bit dryly. After a few moments of deep contemplation, his eyes refocused on his assistant’s face. “draw up expansion plans for the orbital industry and send them to me. I’ll earmark the required funds. Let me know if there are any people who… cause problems for our plans.”

(A/N: I'm back!)

Dracus -> RE: Against All Comers - Theocratic Terra (5/25/2012 2:31:19 AM)

It is a good read, but I have one pressing issue I can't seem to come to terms with... The church (at lest the current chruchs of earth) does not believe in aliens,that a god of man would create other beings would be impossible. Such a thing would rip the very foundations from under thier feet. How is the chruch in this story able to explain such things and still hold such a tight grip on the population? of caude I found the same problem with that movie were the church ruled the planet and drove vampires into camps.

Shadowsage -> RE: Against All Comers - Theocratic Terra (5/25/2012 9:51:22 AM)

Thank you for reading :)

Essentially, the world-state of Holy Terra is synonymous with the Church (capitalized). The Church of the Apocalypse, run by Constantine I, were the only survivors of the nuclear war which cleaned Kantras Gula 4 of life. All human life on Holy Terra (renamed) descends from that enclave of several million. With that in mind, the church has had literally centuries to indoctrinate the population with the very real stories of their ancestors surviving only because of their devotion, as well as doctoring any history that doesn't really mesh with their worldview.

Hope that clears anything up!

martok -> RE: Against All Comers - Theocratic Terra (5/26/2012 8:34:22 AM)

Dracus, to clarify what Shadowsage said:

I believe the "Church" in this AAR is entirely different from -- and in fact has almost nothing to do with -- the real-life Catholic/Christan Church here on Earth.

The Church that rules "Holy Terra" (which we must remember is *not* Earth, and is in fact an entirely different planet) has little -- if anything -- to do with the real-life church's non-belief in alien races. It is based around an entirely different, separate set of beliefs -- a set of beliefs that doesn't necessarily exclude that of alien life.

Shadowsage -> RE: Against All Comers - Theocratic Terra (5/31/2012 7:11:21 AM)

‘With the ongoing expansion of the church, the only real course of action is to begin a program advocating a large Imperial Navy. The structure of such is to be centered around our destroyers: however antiquated the Titan class may be it is still more well-armed and independent than our Minotaur class frigates. Once again I would like to indicate my reservations about both classes combat ability. Attached is the specifications for a prototype ship class that would be the first studied warship design in the navy. The new class, if implemented would allow for a Task Force oriented navy, where lighter escorts and most frigates are assigned autonomous patrol duties across the realm. The larger ships, supported by a small reserve of Minotaurs may be kept in nodal positions for specific operations. Troop ships are to be held in reserve until being loaned out to task forces for offensive operations. The lack of troop-bays in the proposed destroyer class makes the troop transports a necessity against independent populations.
- Report compiled by Nikolais Komnenos
- Technical information provided by Leontios of Isauria

Manuel grimaced slightly. Only a few years after being deployed, the design flaws for the Albany and other ships of her class had come to the fore. The designs were more civilian than military, with few fail-safes and redundancies. They were relatively easy to build and that blocky, modular design sported several glaring weak-points for other ships to exploit. Looking over the newer design submitted by the Commodore showed an entirely new design philosophy with sleek lines and recessed laser turrets along its sides. It was apparent that expense had not factored into the design, but the headaches being suffered by the navy maintaining the Titan line offset their financial benefits.

‘That, and I want a strong navy at my back when the time comes.’ The thought brought a slight smile to his face.

“Send my recommendations to the princeps. Begin message: I recommend a promotion for Leontios to Master Researcher. My own belief is that he should be assigned his own lab… oh how about the one in orbit around the Dark Vortex? Skunkworks could always use another researcher, especially one that knows how to keep his mouth shut. Additionally, attach the design specifications for the new type destroyer. I cannot stress the importance of this new design for our navy, it solves so many problems at once. After that… I would like to meet with His Majesty to flesh out the details of the report so far. There is a proposal I have in mind that should give us some additional security against any threat.”


“…and that is why, my children,” Constantine preached, “I have ordered the construction of an additional two destroyers of the new design. Henceforth christened the Kronus class, these will be the sword that defends the faithful by striking against all threats, no matter how far. But it is my duty to plan for all eventualities, much like my predecessor… as such from henceforth, in order to be licensed for operation all new mining facilities must be equipped with at least one weapon. This will ensure defense in depth, my children, against even the might of the mechanoids.”


‘On May 21st, 2756, the orbital facilities supporting Holy Terra completed a massive renovation which effectively tripled the yard space available to the Church. Immediately orders for freighters flooded in.

martok -> RE: Against All Comers - Theocratic Terra (6/3/2012 3:47:01 PM)

Still riveted, Shadowsage. Keep up the good work (and good writing)!

Love your naming conventions, by the way. They really help the story feel more "authentic". [:)]

Shadowsage -> RE: Against All Comers - Theocratic Terra (6/3/2012 7:27:35 PM)

Thank you martok! Always good to know someone other than me is reading. :)


“We’re making the connection now, sir.” The transmission came in distorted from interference.

Marcian Valerius nodded slightly. He keyed the shipboard intercoms and spoke to the crew. “All hands, this is the captain speaking. Rendezvous at the port side airlock and prepare to see off the away team.” Unspoken was the implicit order that if the team bit off more than they could chew, the rest of the crew would have to defend the ship. What better way to do so than concentrating against the only point of egress?

The Pathfinder was a sister ship to the Ardent Wayfarer: it was laid down and completed before the reign of Constantine was a month old. The crew of the ship, a scant 70 men and women (and aliens) were some of the finest adventurers of any age, and the whoops of excitement at boarding a derelict ship echoed throughout the exploration craft. They finally had an achievement to stick in the face of the Wayfarer!

Marcian smiled ever so slightly at his crew’s enthusiasm. “Helm, unfurl the scanning array and solar energy collectors. If we’re sitting here I want to know everything about this system. And Scanning,” the officer snapped to attention, “begin active analysis of the unknown ship’s hull composition. I want to know what it’s made of and how to blow it up.”

‘Nevermind the fact that we have no real weapons.’ He grimaced slightly. Thankfully however, Commodore Komnenos had listened to both his distant cousin Alexios and Marcian himself on that matter. The next class of ship going through design phases was impressive: as nimble as a surveyor and armed better than a Minotaur. It was hoped that the new class could fight their way out of any situations rather than rely on stealth and speed.

His thoughts turned to the ship orbiting silently around Aar Prime. There was one nearby rock that was christened Etoseny by the crew, approximating the sound one made when slamming their foot in the door. There was very little that the almost-moon had to offer the Church, and compared to the countless billions of other rocky bodies out there it was perhaps even more puny than most. But why did that ship orbit so close?

“Mark Etoseny for construction of a sensor outpost once a construction ship becomes available.”

The away-team’s crackling communications broadcast instantly had his attention. “Captain Valerius, we’ve found… Maker, we’ve found a lot. This is a colony ship, sir…” Almost as one, the bridge crew stopped what they were doing to listen. Nobody had ever found a colony ship drifting among the stars before. It was a macabre fate; doomed to the silence and inhospitable conditions of the void for all eternity.

‘Horror books have been written about less…’ He thought wryly to himself.

The transmission continued. “According to the computer systems we’ve been able to bring online and translate, this ship is crewed by the ‘Zenox’ people. As far as we can tell, it translates to ‘One Who Knows’ in our language. The ship has thousands… maybe even millions of these aliens frozen aboard. We don’t know where the crew has gone or why the ship is on standby power yet, sir. Orders?”

“Begin searching for a ranking officer amongst the cryo-pods. I want to know what this ship is doing here and where their people come from. In the meantime, concentrate on coming up with a suitable translation protocol for the new aliens.”

As the crew scurried around working, the Captain allowed himself to wonder.

‘Are these Zenox the threat which has Constantine so worried?’


martok -> RE: Against All Comers - Theocratic Terra (6/4/2012 11:52:53 AM)

Ah, yes. Gotta love abandoned colony ships! I find they're quite useful, especially when they're of a different race.

Modest -> RE: Against All Comers - Theocratic Terra (6/4/2012 5:55:19 PM)


Thank you martok! Always good to know someone other than me is reading. :)

Oh... Shadowsage... You do not need to worry about that. I can assure You takt I am reading this as well, and I did not missed even one part ;) So You may be assured of at least two readers - martok who is kind of active reader and me - I am more passive ;) But know that I am as well reading Your story (AAR) :) I am also sure that there are a lot more of us :)

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