The Melnibonean Empire is made up of the four major noble panther house clans which consist of Lyon, Tiger, Jaguar and Leopard and the four minor noble feline clan houses of the Cougar, Cheetah, Lynx and Ocelot. The Lyon clan is the ruling clan and has always been, due to their physical size, power and pride. The females perform the ruling duties. The males being too large, unsophisticated and uninterested are assuming such a boring chore. The males do however singly make up the royal guard which are not large but fiercely loyal to the throne.
The ruler is her Royal Empress Queen Shahkeyrah MCMLXII of the Lyon Clan. She is on her 1st of nine lives so is relatively young, naive and inexperienced. Imagine a beautiful lioness (picture does no justice), combined with a pure ray of sunshine and add in an unexplainable exoticness unrelated to heraldry or royalty and that is what she would be like. Note, when one of the feline dies naturally or otherwise, they return via reincarnation to a new life, until their ninth life. Following this, they have attained oneness with Mheerklarh, the supreme feline. Her empress assumed the throne from her mother the Royal Empress Queen Nhalaah MMDCCL at the height of the internal discord over the spider extermination. Her mother wanted all of the spiders charred and extra crispy, Shahkeyrah is somewhat of a pacifist and felt that after so much time had passed that perhaps it was time to calm the “beast”. Several generations of spiders have come and gone, and there had not been any uprising, secession or rebellions. For their part, they have assimilated into being citizens of the Melnibonean Empire.
In addition to numerous personal servants, often close by the Queen is Lady Royalspaw, House of Jaguar, who carries out her orders, and Tanglebones, the queen’s personal bodyguard. It is unknown what clan she belongs to. She is quiet, solemn and menacingly large. The nickname is because she suffered something horrible long ago. No one can remember or will speak about what that something is including herself. Even being reincarnated has not eased the effect or burden. She’s faithfully served for 7 lifetimes to both the former queen Nhalaah and now to the current queen empress.
The council to the queen is made up of first, Her Honorable Lead Scientist Ahzraesh, Marquess of Leopard (fourth life) of the royal clan of Leopard, which predominately controls all matters related to Research. Due to the importance of said, the Leopard clan has almost equal importance to the ruling clan of Lyon. This clout is evident in having been able to procure large sums of money to build expensive research facilities along with funding the scientist extremely well to focus and produce results quickly. This was crucial during the spider-ant wars when the phasers, enhanced shields and increased ship-size helped turn the tide of the war. Mostly Ahzraesh is quiet about the spider debate and did not participate in the council discussions, due to the fact that she made sure to secretly save many specimens for learning and research.
Second in the council is the Royal Space Lord Zhoorin, Duke of Cougar (sixth life) and is the Grand Admiral of the Imperial Navy in charge of all fleet admirals, ship captains and personnel. The Imperial Navy consists of mostly of the minor clans of Cougar, Cheetah and Lynx. He is a military strategist of the highest caliber and ascended the ranks quickly during the Spider-Ant wars. Due to the losses suffered during the wars including his own life twice, Zhoorin was close and influential to her highness Nhalaah and was very vocal in advocating that all spiders be exterminated. His counsel is no longer effective with the current empress queen which results in him personally commanding the High Panther Fleet and being absent from many council sessions. Second in command of the Imperial Navy is his equal and blood brother Fleet Admiral Hhermes, Viscount of Cougar.
Third in the council is the High Field Marshal Shearkhan, Archduke of Tiger (eighth life) and is Troop General of the Imperial Marines. Responsible for all ground forces consists mainly of the Tiger clan and small percentage of the Lyon clan who are always appreciated in the ranks. Any clan would be accepted, as recruitment is infamously low as most felines favor catnaps to harsh combat conditions especially when it involves fighting against five foot tall formidable spiders! Shearkhan is always out front, personally leading the troops and was responsible for the re-taking and securing of Tukan planets where he was killed four times over the many battles. Despite this and losing his feline siblings during the war, he advocated for accepting and assimilating the spiders into the empire as he admired their fighting strength and wanted them to be part of the ground troop forces since he has a hard time recruiting from the other noble house clans.
Fourth on the council is His Royal Executive Director Bahgherah, Earl of Jaguar (third life) of the Galactic Intelligence Agency (GIA) and is of the Jaguar clan specifically the black panther lineage, which has long held the GIA under its paw. There are not many in the intelligence community. It is a dark and dirty work physically as well as morally, and often means working alone in the shadows. This results in too few felines wanting to slink up and join the GIA. See note 1 below. During the wars, they were responsible for many acts of sabotage on the enemies’ space stations. Bahgherah also wished for not eliminating the spiders for his own purposes, as a spider is sometimes better for getting to where a tabby can’t! He knows about the Ahzraesh’s secret cache of spiders but has not revealed this to anyone.
The last and of least importance in the council is His Royal Ambassador Khatrwhaul, Viscount of Ocelot (fourth life) of the Diplomatic Bureau. The bureau is made up of various rejects of the minor clans. They are disdainly considered "declawed" which is sometimes how the diplomats are referred to. The saying goes, “Those that can, do and those that can’t become diplomats.” Many feel that the empress should be able to give orders to the diplomats similar to the intelligence agents but so far that has not been implemented. See note 2. The diplomats were a limited use and not able to influence the Spiders during the war. They've become somewhat more successful at influencing the Ant-sectoids after the war.
Note 1. Would like to see the recruitment and economic maintenance of intelligence agents that was in ROTS, added back in to Legends! The only limitation to the number of agents should be how much you want to spend on recruiting and maintaining the agents. Maybe also an option on the game start screen, limiting the percentage anyone can spend on intelligence just in case they don’t want to play with a lot of subterfuge in their game.
Note 2. I feel that diplomacy is an under developed element in the game. It should be on the same level as the intelligence agents. The only difference being intelligence agents are covert and diplomacy is overt. "Diplomacy is the art of letting someone else have your way." ~Daniele Vare. I’m sure diplomacy is a good part of the game but would like to see it become a more active, hands-on role like being able to assign diplomatic missions in the game. Also the same idea above with intelligence agents in terms of only being limited in the number of diplomats by the cost, would also be ideal.
< Message edited by arioch -- 2/22/2013 1:17:35 AM >