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Humanity must survive. Humanity must prosper. The Terran race, by virtue of its perseverance, drive and strength, is the greatest species to travel the stars, and it is their destiny to thrive and rule over others. The Terran Ascendancy brings the torch of Fallen Terra's benevolence to the benighted stars, and claims all of humanity as its subjects, whether they are willing to bend the knee or not.
The Ascendancy was born out of brutal struggle and hardship in the Sol system after the biosphere of Terra collapsed nearly four millennia ago. Those who survived, on fragile colonies and orbitals, were compelled to create a rigid and authoritarian society as the only alternative to chaos and extinction. From the early council of station commanders came the system of Houses - aristocratic groups who would come to rule over vast fiefdoms, and collectively decide the destiny of humanity and the lesser species in their care.
Discipline and order are prized within the Ascendancy, and the ruling Noble Houses move swiftly to suppress any dissent lest their domain collapse back into the anarchy that led to Terra's fall. Their mighty naval and military forces stand ready to combat any threats to humanity's supremacy, though the Ascendancy's leadership may jostle for power and influence amongst themselves. Those who seek status within the Ascendancy must show evidence of their success as well as deference to authority, all while courting the patronage of the powerful.
The Ascendancy belongs to the children of ancient Terra, the humans. Space is their birthright, as survivors in the orbitals of Sol or the colony ships that flung themselves into interstellar void to survive the death of their homeworld. These survivors were from a host of nationalities and backgrounds, and had to cooperate to survive in the thousands of years since. In the Ascendancy, all social distinctions of race and nationality from pre-Fall Terra have been obliterated. What remains is the true nature of humanity - an iron determination to strive, succeed and survive at any cost.
Ascendancy Terrans have 2 locational body hits and a death count of 200. They may purchase Discipline skills, representing the brutal training and conditioning the Ascendancy applies to its favoured operatives. Ascendancy groups also tend to have higher incomes than their equivalents in other factions.
Many vassal species call the Ascendancy their overlords, and the Noble Houses are quick to find roles for aliens that they deem useful and willing to fall in line. Although most are kept confined to their home system as part of the Gong class, similar to the low ranks of Terrans, many individual vassals can be found working various jobs across Terran space. Ascendancy Vassals are not treated any worse than the basic subjects of the Houses - but they are more limited in their opportunities for advancement.
It is possible to create your own vassal species - if you have a great idea for a species, then you can submit it to the game team for possible inclusion into the Orion Sphere universe. See the Vassal Species page for details and guidelines of the kind of things we are looking for in a new species.
Urgs are an aggressive race from the Urgholme system in the Hyades Sector, deep within Ascendancy space. They are one of the earlier races encountered by the Terrans as they expanded outwards after discovering warp drive technology.
Character: Urgs are quarrelsome and enjoy combat, but they are quick to submit to the orders of those that they consider to be an authority figure. They enjoy participating in military activities with a bit of pomp and ceremony, particularly when being observed by superiors. Within their species, they value honours and medals very highly as symbols of status, and have a hightened (if fragile) sense of pride.
Appearance: Urgs are physrepped by a full-face balaclava “orc” style mask. The colour of the mask can vary, usually between black and olive-green or beige.
Abilities: Urgs are naturally tough, and start with 3 locational body hits and a Death Count of 250 seconds.
Sollen fit in well within the Ascendancy’s order, being naturally inclined towards finding a position in society, and a low impulse to question authority. They are originally from the Sollest system in the Crux Sector, where their dying star promoted a rigidly ordered system to conserve resources. Since being integrated into the Ascendancy, they have spread far and wide, exported in numbers to make use of their facility with machines.
Character: Sollen have a tendency towards being humble and self-effacing, and prefer to blend in with the crowd or lurk in the background rather than occupy the spotlight. They take a quiet pleasure in facilitating the success of others, and ensuring that both machines and society run smoothly.
Appearance: Sollen appear very similar to humans, but possess three thin bands of horn-like growths on their foreheads, radiating outward from their eyeline. These horns are ringed with scaly plates that vary in colour from blue to green and red.
Abilities: Sollen are physically quite frail, and start with only 1 locational body hit and a death count of 200 seconds. They make up for this with their aptitude with machines and devices – Sollen start with 1 rank of both the Engineer and Extra Mods Professional Skills for free.
The Wrathians are a species from the blighted moon of Leto’s Wrath II-C in the Grus Sector. The star around which their homeworld orbits is a colossal red giant, which is renowned for its furious coronal ejections. Leto’s Wrath II-C orbits a hydrogen gas giant at significant distance from the star. The protective envelope of Leto’s Wrath II’s magnetosphere and regular periods of eclipsing allowed life to develop on what would otherwise be a molten cinder. Despite this protection, the active star’s electromagnetic disruptions made it very difficult for the Wrathian’s society to develop reliable electronics, and they had only just entered the digital age when they were discovered by the Ascendancy in 3104 PT.
With their advanced technology, shielded systems and ordered society, the envoys of the Ascendancy were hailed as mortal gods. In awe at the marvels that the Ascendancy possessed, the Wrathians devoutly fell in line and over the next few centuries embraced Ascendancy orthodoxy, which laid the groundwork for the tragedy to come. The nobles of House Pontez were impressed at the time at how quickly the Wrathians, with their close physical resemblance to Terrans, accepted the Ascendancy’s order, and were considering allowing individual Wrathians to leave their homeworld by the time of the First Tulaki Invasion.
When the Dominion warfleets decimated the Ascendancy Navy in the Bleak Sector in 3288 PT, the Ascendancy Council desperately placed their colonies and holdings in the Trailing half of their territory on a war footing. Indoctrination broadcasts and preparedness inspections increased massively deep behind the Dominion front, and the Wrathians were earmarked for mass mobilisation as soldiers. Propaganda broadcasts and militarisation of Wrathian society whipped them into a fervour of loyalty, and all aspects of Wrathian society were directed towards preparing for the coming threat. When the threat did come in 3356 PT, the Wrathians rose to meet it – but after the Dominion gained a foothold on the moon, their Gateway portals and vast numbers of assault troops quickly put the sparsely-populated Wrathian homeworld on a desperate defensive. Opting to sacrifice themselves to destroy the invading army and blunt a significant part of the Dominion offensive, the leaders of the Wrathians directed their people in what they believed was their final act of loyalty. A coordinated network of beta radiation emitters was disseminated to the numerous exotic element mines across the moon’s surface, and simultaneously activated in an attempt to set off an explosive chain reaction that would obliterate the moon and the surrounding Tulaki fleet.
Unfortunately, impurities in the exotic mineral veins at depth prevented the reaction penetrating the heart of the moon. Rather than destroying the planet, the reaction unleashed clouds of toxic dust and gases impregnated with a poorly-understood cocktail of radioactive isotopes. Half of the invading Dominion forces perished as they retreated to their landing craft and abandoned the dying moon. It was not until the Ascendancy reclaimed the sector after the first armistice that they discovered what remained of Leto’s Wrath II-C – a blighted and poisonous world, its atmosphere lethal to unprotected lungs, wracked by storms and earthquakes. When radio broadcasts of Ascendancy propaganda were found to be coming from the surface, they were first thought to be automated systems still running, their operators long dead – but the messages being broadcast did not match anything in the survey vessels archives, and expeditions to the surface were surprised to find that the Wrathians were not extinct, but changed.
The cocktail of exotic mineral dust and radiation had a powerful mutagenic effect, and although the majority of the population perished, those who survived became genetically adapted to their toxic world. Wrathians require the poisons of their home moon to survive, and their toxic metabolisms can handle incredible hostile environments. They exude small amounts of poisonous substances at all times, which the Ascendancy has found several uses for. Wrathians retain a burning fervour to serve the Ascendancy, and their devotion to the cause is seen as unnerving to even many Terrans, particularly given their blighted origin.
Character: Most modern Wrathians are utterly devoted to the Ascendancy cause, sometimes even to the point of madness. They enjoy participating in parades and inspections, and take pride in their uniforms and discipline. They are committed to rigid social order, and despise what they see as deviant, hedonistic behaviour or waste. Few have had the opportunity to peer behind the veil of the Noble Houses high society, but would likely be disgusted at what they saw there.
Appearance: Wrathians are humanoid, and in their original form looked remarkably similar to Terrans, only with jet black skin around their hairline, which faded into more familiar Terran skin tones (this can be accomplished with make-up). Modern Wrathians retain this appearance, but are mostly distinguished by the toxic sores and weals that constantly appear across their body and slowly fade – accumulations of poisonous substances that infect the flesh. They are sickly looking as a rule, with pallid skin and patches of sores and infected skin that looks like bruises. These sores are generally a dull purple at their centre, and have a deep black area around them, and may even be spotted with their dark blue blood. The sores and marks can be simulated with make-up and/or prosthetics.
Wrathians require toxic chemicals to survive, and many wear a breathing apparatus - such as a full-face mask or lower-face mask with a breathing tube. Similarly, they tend to exude poisonous chemicals, and generally cover much of their exposed flesh when around other species so as not to accidentally poison them. Most Wrathians in mixed company will cover themselves with wrappings, clothing or bandages to keep from poisoning their comrades.
Abilities: Wrathians have 1 body hit and a death count of 400 seconds – their bodies tend to be somewhat frail owing to their toxic biology, but their blood is thick and viscous, and their will to survive is strong. Wrathians unique biology makes them highly resistant to Radiation and Toxins. They are immune to most Radiation Conditions (or at least it will take a lot longer for them to be affected by them), and Toxic Conditions take twice as long to progress in a Wrathian – they may even shrug off mild Toxic conditions entirely.
Wrathians both require and exude toxins as part of their natural biological processes. A Wrathian character must have a physrep breathing mask or similar apparatus for delivering toxins to their system (outlined in appearance above). Without a breathing apparatus they will slowly sicken and may die. Wrathian characters can also afflict others with their toxins by remaining in close contact for a short time – this tends to induce feelings of nausea and weakness, and can disrupt the mental concentration needed to use Psionic powers or Discipline skills - this power is a Show-me lammie effect. Finally, members of other species using the physician skill to perform surgery on or otherwise assist a Wrathian without appropriate protection is a dangerous task, and may end up with the physician being poisoned (usually if a Ref is present).
The Empire (Star Wars); The Imperium (Warhammer 40K); The UCF (Starship Troopers); Mirror Universe Terran Empire (Star Trek); The Alliance (Firefly); Martian Congressional Republic (The Expanse)
Ascendancy attire is modelled on military uniforms - both practical combat wear or formal military attire. The overall look is dark, fitted and severe.
Military characters and groups are likely to dress in military uniform - either overalls or fitted jackets and trousers, with reasonably close-fitting undershirts (plain, non-collared) in white or grey. Colours are mostly dark - black and grey are the most common. Where brighter colours occur, they tend to be block colours consistent across most of the costume (think the bright red uniform of the Emperor’s Guard in Star Wars). Most “military-style” garb should have patches, badges or insignia on the breast or shoulders/upper arms denoting group, rank, etc. Military boots, or knee-high boots are very appropriate.
Non-military personnel wear formal-looking attire, in similar colours to uniforms and with a pseudo-military look. Lines are severe and garments should be tailored close to the body. Large overcoats are also appropriate (for military characters as well). Status and wealth is more likely to show in better tailoring and fabrics than fussy embellishments. Wealthy characters are more likely to wear adornments like jewellery, which tends to be made from a single metal and rarely adorned with stones. Elaborate arm bracers of silver filigree are very fashionable among the aristocratic Houses at the moment.
Ascendancy tech appears similar to their clothing – sleek lines and space-efficient. Colours are dark or metallic, and with reddish light where possible. Wiring is hidden behind panels, but there are visible controls like switches and dials. Their weapons closely resemble modern armaments compared with the other Factions.
See this Pinterest board for an overall impression of the intended look and feel of the Terran Ascendancy.