- Ruled by the immortal Gargarin, the Soviet Empire is the largest in the galaxy, holding sway over the galactic core and the old homeworld of Earth. Though holding much in common with the old Soviet Union, communism actually works with the aid of magic and high-powered science, allowing for each citizen to live a fairly comfortable life as long as they don't critique the government too much.
The Soviets are masters of magic, ever since Gagarin destroyed Godrent, with around a quarter of the population schooled in at least the most minor of the arts. For menial jobs and tasks, magical constructs such as golems or elementals are used, whereas in other parts of the galaxy robots, slaves or zombies might be used. Also, a common trend amongst young Soviets it to shave their entire body and wear red clothes, just like Gagarin and the other High Sorcerors.
Soviets tend to be human or para-human, but some Starborn also inhabit Soviet space. Unlike Capitalists, most Soviets are content to stay on their home planets, so space travel in the Empire is usually traders, pirates or the military. Actual spaceships are a rare sight, the Empire being so magic-based, with most Soviet traders being sorcerors working by dragons or etherflight. However, the Imperial Navy is comprised of solid, physical ships, mostly magical in nature. They are often crewed by golems and elementals, with the occasional sorceror to keep them in check.
- Though not one of the largest factions of mankind, the Capitalist Coalition is still one of the most powerful. As has been since the beginning of time, they are mortal enemies of the Soviet Empire, some Capitalists preferring death over even speaking to a Soviet. Some of the worst disasters the galaxy has ever known might have been avoided had Capitalists and Soviets worked together.
Both faction, however, are eerily similar in many ways - but this is something that neither will admit under any circumstances. Both are submitted to propaganda from birth, though in the case of the Capitalists it portrays their enemy as evil monsters, causing some Capitalists to spend their childhood and even their teenage years petrified of the Soviets. However, since Gagarin's etherflight the Soviets have become more relaxed, leaving the Coaltion more uptight and militaristic than the Empire had ever been.
Though the study of magic is not banned, since there are many spells known only to Capitalists, science is the major driving force behind the Coalition. It is considered a mark of a true Capitalist to have one cybernetic implant, and hence every Capitalist has one. Ever since losing to the Soviets in the race for space, the Coalition has poured time and resources into their space budget, developing technology at a fantastic rate. Capitalist spaceships are the most advanced and most heavily armed in all the galaxy, making them a prime target for foolhardy pirates seeking a fearsome ship.
- Spread across dozens of war-ravaged, lifeless worlds are the Undead. Millions of rotting zombies are controlled by a hierarchy of demons, spirits and necromancers, driven to do even the slightest whims of their masters. Their intent is a sinister one - business.
Independent contractors, necromancers, raise vast armies of zombie to fulfil their contracts. Dark magic, forbidden by the rest of the galaxy, is theirs to control for their own selfish greed. Necromancers are generally jerks, a sentiment shared by everyone - even necromancers themselves.
Above them are the demons, creatures cut from shadow that are the last remnants of a race that flourished long before Godrent, or even the stars. They are evil, driven by sin and an urge to cause disharmony and woe. They are the managers of the Undead businesses, a position well suited for spreading misery and antagonism. They are solid black in appearance, like holes in space, with simple pointy razor-sharp limbs that change for whatever purpose is needed.
Demons and zombies never leave their own planets, even though demons can travel through ether on their own. Necromancers, however, frequently visit other planets to raise the undead, sometimes stealing from graveyards, sometimes butchering an entire planet for their own selfish reasons. It is not unknown for a necromancer to stop working for the demons and go off on his own, to seek new ways to increase his wealth, sometimes through piracy. However, necromancer captains tend to be avoided by many pirates, just in case they decide their crew would be better if they didn't talk so much.
- The popular misconception among the rest of the galaxy is that all metamorphs can change shape at will. This is only partly true true for the high-ranking Nobility - though the average metamorph can change their appearance to a high degree, they still remain human-shaped. Metamorphs are quite easy to spot when they want to stand out, styling their bodies in highly extravagant fashions. However, they are also masters of disguise, not only letting themselves blend in with a crowd, but also capable of taking on the appearance of anyone they've seen. They can change skin/hair/eye colour, add scars, change gender, grow tails or extra limbs - depending on how much body mass they have. A sufficiently heavy-built metamorph can change their shape to a high degree, but only the Nobility have comfortable enough lives to get that size. The avergae peasant or slave can only change their physical appearance a little.
Metamorphs have a two-tiered society - the common folk, who work, and the Nobility, who don't. Travel within the Realm is purely for the Nobility and outside traders, meaning that a lot of traders profit on the side by smuggling disaffected peasants to new lands. It is unknown how many metamorphs now live outside the realm, disguised as other humans, but there are also a fair few living out in the open as pirates. The Nobility denounces these few as traitors, but they are often revered in secret by the common folk.
Realm ships - those intended for the Nobility - tend to be far too large, full of richly decorated staterooms full of fine silks and gold chandeliers. However, for all the beauty and splendor they are fantastically slow and ponderous, often with important backup systems left out to make room for a larger pantry or such. However, these shortcuts tend to make them weaker, and more vulnerable to pirates, leading the Nobility to have the second largest navy in the galaxy, purely to protect themselves.
- There are those in the galaxy who grow up with a disdain for their society, and it is these souls who become pirates. Angry metamorphs, sullen Capitalists, Soviets on the run from the Secret Police, necromancers looking for more money - all of them turn to piracy. Some crave the freedom and adventure that being a pirate entails, though they often don't last too long.
Pirates are the subject of mixed opinions everywhere they go. The metamorph Nobility and Capitalists regard them as a dangerous menace, the metamorph commoners regard them as heroes, the Soviets pay them no attention unless they're actually commiting a crime, and when the Undead do notice them, it's only as prospective zombies or clients.
Space pirate territory is most empty space and unknown planets, ringed by pirate outposts and spaceports. However, these unknown planets serve an important purpose - hiding treasure. Frequently a vast store of treasure is buried on a moon somewhere in pirate space, kept safe from the former owners and other pirates until it needs to be spent. Sometimes pirate captains scrub the memories of their entire crew to ensure that the treasure will never be found, no matter what happens.
- From deep within the burning cores of the galaxy's stars came the Starborn, high-energy creatures that lived amidst the flames of the photosphere. Over time they moved further and further away from their homes, cooling their temperatures until they could move out into the ether beyond and seek new sights and experiences. Though they cooled, they are still energy and can phase through solid objects and slip in and out of reality for brief amounts of time.
No two Starborn are entirely alike, not even relatives, as they are born as pure, sentient energy and cool down into their chosen form. However, those who came from the same star tend to keep to similar forms. They are a variety of sizes, from a few inches high to twice human size. Their skin can be any colour, and matches the colour of their "wings" - hundreds of long, paper-thin tendrils of energy that can extend for anything up to ten times their body length (similar to these). They often have "antenna" which are similar to their wings but shorter and on their heads. These energy tendrils allow them to perform magic without having to move their hands or fingers. They have two large, almond-shaped glowing eyes that take up most of their face. They do not have noses, but do have mouths. However they do not breathe at all, their physiology being vastly different, meaning they can stay in the ether or underwater indefinitely.
Starborn races name themselves after the star they were spawned from, such as the mofrin from Mof, or the lagomath from Lagoma. However, they use their own names for their stars, and are quite happy to not reveal which is which and keep the rest of the galaxy severely vexed.
- The almighty One Commandment of the Neo Catholic Church, the last words spoken by Godrent before he dissolved back into the ether, is "Oh fuck... You fucking killed me... Fuck, I hope you feel really fucking bad about it, you fucking bastard. Ow, fuck." Swearing these words to heart, the Neo Catholic monks have taken it upon themselves to grieve every bad thing that happens in the universe, from the most minor of mistakes to the worst of wars. Ignoring the key fact that Godrent was a complete bastard and had no conscience himself, the Monks, as they are simply known, traverse the galaxy in ships crafted of wood and feel miserable.
All monks do their best to look alike in their guilt - shaved heads, heavy woollen cowls and coarse, itchy undearwear all help them to feel responsible for things which aren't even remotely their fault. Each monk has such a look of despondency and unhappiness that they can make small children weep from miles away.
The wooden monkships, though, are a miracle of technology - often people wonder how something so awful could possibly do what it's supposed to. They are wooden spheres, often up to three hundred metres in diameter, with special reinforced walls coated with tar to stop the poisonous ether leaking in. Most of the space is taken up by the library, in the centre of the monkship, where all the books collected are kept. While most are simple history books detailing what awful things happened a long time ago that the Monks should feel guilty about, the odd one or two can actually be useful. However, going through the whole lot is a long and boring process that can take days, such is the size of the average library. The rest of the monkship is small dark corridors and the monks' cells where they sleep, eat and meditate on their guilt.
Dragons and Mandragons
- One of the most ancient of creatures, responsible for the extinction of thousands of species, the dragons are the last remnants of the Age of Damn Big Lizards. Awoken from their slumber a thousand years ago by the Soviet sorceror Lenin, these cunning creatures owe allegiance to no faction of mankind, instead working for the highest bidder to further their magnificent hoards. Often they can be found prowling space pirate territory, searching for buried treasure.
Mandragons are those rare dragons who have sacrificed some of their size in order to be able to transform into a humanoid form. Though they cannot be mistaken for a pure-human with their pointed ears, red skin and curious black markings, often they are dismissed as metamorphs with a fancy for dragons.
Though mandragons are something to be reckoned with, they are no match for true dragons. The former only reach seventy-five feet in length, while the latter can grow up to several miles in length, though when they are such titanic lengths they must spend their entire lives in the ether.
- Just like the deep and ancient sea of old, the ether holds all manner of strange, wonderful and dangerous creatures. These can be a great risk to many a ship, especially the fragile monkships. Dragons and Starborn are the only intelligent ether-dwellers, though some have unnatural cunning and an ability to outwit even seasoned sailors.
Some bear an uncanny resembalance to deep-sea creatures, and some to many deep-sea creatures all mixed together. Some, however, look completely unlike anything. Known types of etherian include kraken (giant, carnivourous space octopi with a taste for human), remoras (man sized fish-like creatures that attach to ships and cause drag) and drillsquids (large squids with a drill-like beak allowing them to burrow into ship's hulls and devour the contents).
However, the ether is a large place and many creatures have not been encountered or documented. Though they may seem dangerous, some will not attack until provoked or hungry, and all but the biggest will not dare attack larger ships or dragons.
- Throughout the galaxy there are certain dress codes seen, for the most part at least. Each faction of humanity has their own traditional dress, some moreso than others. Space pirates tend to wear what they want and how they want it, such as shown here.
Everyday Soviets frequently wear relaxed, casual clothes, often with a fur trim to remind them of their history. Military uniform examples can be seen here. Capitalists wear simple casual clothes as well, depending on the climate and the latest fads. Just like with the Soviets, Coalition Navy uniforms have not changed much in hundreds of years. Examples can be found here and here.
Low-ranking officers in the metamorph Realm Navy have uniforms similar to the one shown here, while higher-ranking officers from the Nobility wear uniforms like this. The Nobility wear fancy clothes similar to the sort shown here, while the common folk wear whatever they can afford.
- The entire universe is filled with the colourful gas known as the ether. It fills the entire universe at a pressure of a little under half an atmosphere. Though poisonous to normal humans, it can be safely breathed by certain other species such as demons, Starborn and dragons, and also by those schooled enough in magic.
Because of the ether, spaceships do not suffer from heat when entering a planet's atmosphere. However, ships still need to be sealed up airtight because of the poisonous effects of the gas. A favourite trick of pirates, when capturing a ship, is to puncture it and let the ether dispatch the crew, knowing when the job is done by the way the ship lists and rolls, or "sinks" in the pirate lexicon.
Normal beings can be protected from the ether by way of ethersuits - either the lightwieght Capitalist designs that can provide a great deal of movement and over two hours of air, or the bulkier and clumsier Soviet suits that have half as much air. However, a Soviet will never wilingly use a Capitalist suit and vice versa, even if the result is death.
- An important part of life in the galaxy, magic is what kept mankind alive and freed them from the thrall of Godrent. However, it is difficult to learn and even more difficult to master, slightly less so than multiphasic algebra or Shakespeare. Magic is all about manipulating your presence of will through your body, making it do what you wish it to do by moving your fingers, hands and arms.
A good deal of Soviets attend, or are forced to attend by overburgeoning parents, schools of magic run by highly skilled sorcerors. The actual training is simply learning how to channel your presence of will, though there is no "simply" about it and this process can take anywhere between fifteen minutes and fifteen years. Next comes the process of spells; making what you want to happen actually happen by manipulating your will with your body. This, too, can take anywhere from a month to a decade, and very few sorcerors ever learn everything. There are even spells unknown to the grand master himself, Gagarin.
However, since every spell requires precise movement of the fingers, hands and arms, the slightest distraction can - for those not fully trained - mean disaster. A spell meant to cause a protective shield can easily become one to set your legs on fire by the slightest slip of a finger. Though these mistakes can often prove fatal, a lot of the time they're highly amusing. However the simplest spells, such as flight or healing, only need a slight twist of the wrists or waggle of the fingers, and therefore are hardly ever gotten wrong unless under highly stressful circumstances.
- There are more than the basic four types of "classical" elemental. As well as earth, air, fire and water there are other sorts, such as metal, plastic, acid and syrup. Whenever enough of a pure element is gathered into the same place, magic can be used to form a semi-sentient being from it.
Many elementals are binded to their creator, who deems what they do and when they return to the inanimate state they spawned from. However, there are lazy sorcerors who simply bring the elemental to life without bothering to exercise the proper restraining controls over it. Given the volatile state of many elementals, this is the last lazy thing these sorcerors do. The last thing many of them do, in fact.
Each elemental retains the properties of its base element, meaning there's usually a textbook way of dealing with them. Those crafted from abundant elements, such as earth or air, tend to be the most common and end up doing most of the jobs in the magic-orientated Soviet Empire. Rarer elementals tend to do more important duties. However, all elementals lack brains and can be easily outwitted or tricked.
- As well as the usualy menagerie of animals that hang around humans - dogs, cats, rats, monkeys, parrots, leopards, giant Torellian spineworms - there are many delightful animals all throughout the galaxy. From one end of the galaxy to the other, there is a wide variety of animals that mankind has domesticated or at least not killed yet.
The majority of animals across the universe are the descendants of animals imported from Earth. Prevalent throughout the galaxy are the most tenacious of survivor species, such as cockroaches, rats and lawyers, but many planets have imported life most suited to their environment to make the place seem more homely. These new animals tend to live alongside the indigenous life in relative harmony, or one lot wipes the other out. Either way, balance is quickly acheived..
Pets, however, are a different matter altogether. When nature fails to provide a proper pet, magically constructed creatures can be made to suit any owner - a lucrative line of business for sorcerors experienced enough. Many sorcerors, in fact, create their own familiars to help them with menial tasks or to entertain them when they're bored.
- Gagaringrad - The capital planet of the Soviet Empire, home to the High Sorcerors. Here is the Everwinter Palace, magically crafted entirely out of unmelting ice by Gagarin himself to live in. Also here is the Gargarin Arch, raised a hundred years after the sorceror's battle with Godrent to celebrate mankind's conquest of the galaxy. Like all Soviet planets, no Capitalist has even thought of setting foot on it, so there is technicaly no law against doing so.
Stevenson - The name of both the planet and what could be loosely described as the capital city of the space pirates, and more accurately described as a vast network of brothels and bars. The sheer size of the city allows for every perversion imaginable to be catered for, and all the bars together stock enough alcohol to kill the population of the galaxy twice over.
Platosious - Metamorph capital planet. Only the Nobility and the most prestigious of merchants are allowed to set foot on its surface, though this sacred law has been flaunted in the past and will continue to be flaunted for years to come. Former home to the largest treasure in the galaxy, before the necromancer Katthew "appropriated" a quarter of it for his personal use and repayment of debts.
Capitol - The capital planet of the Capitalist Coalition. A world entirely lacking in beauty and splendor, it is mostly a giant city made up of smaller cities than have grown into each other. Best described as drab, but with a large police force and strong military presence.
Craniu - Not exactly the Undead's capital planet, but the one with the highest concentration of demons and, as rumour would have it, the last remaining fragment of Godrent. Covered in zombies, skeletons, ghosts and ghouls, with a fair helping of necromancers keeping them all in check. It is said that "if planets could rot, Craniu would be richly decomposing."
Godgrave - The tiny, shrivelled black planet at the centre of the galaxy - Godrent's former body, now that it is not kept alive by his phenomenal power, collapsed in on itself to make a horrible, foul little planet barely larger than the Earth's moon but weighing as much as a star. Kept around to serve as a grim reminder of Soviet superiority.
Marlin - The largest of the pirate spaceports, made from a mish-mash of older ports and scuttled ships, and home to hundreds of pirates and dozens of bars. The prime place to be when you're a down-and-out pirate looking for a ship or a job or a treasure map of dubious origin.
Melculy - A purely Neo Catholic planet at the border of Capitalist/Metamorph space, home to one monastery of about five hundred monks and a whole lot of unused space. Reputed to be the secret home of a reclusive dragon and his hoard.
Silvint - A tropical planet somewhere in the midst of pirate territory, reputed to be the burial site of a trove as rich as the Metamorph King's own treasury. However, it has never been found by all who have gone looking for it, and many who have gone looking for it have ever been found again.
- March 24th, Gagarin Day - Every year Gagarin day is celebrated, with the population of Gagaringrad growing from 3 million to 3 billion almost overnight as half the galaxy comes to enjoy the celebrations. It has been a black day as well, as the guests often bring along some unwanted rivalries.
May 5th, Metamorph King's Official Birthday - A time for joyous celebration throughout the Metamorph Realm, and though most of the actual celebrating is done by the nobility, all the common folk get the day off for this most prestigious of holidays.
December 25th, Christmas - A Capitalist/Neo Catholic holiday, celebrating the successful overthrowing of the Roman Empire by the kung-fu master Jesus Xiao-Lu Christ and his team of action disciples. Celebrations are held by putting lights on a bonsai tree and performing nativity plays chronicling the life and training of Master Christ.
September 19th, Pirate Day - The day when all pirates celebrate their ancestry, or at least what they can remember of it, by converging on Stevenson and getting really quite drunk about it.
- Yuri Gagarin - Born a humble peasant on Earth, Yuri was educated in the ways of magic by the village sorceror. Showing great promise, he was shipped off to the Soviet Union's National Magic Institute where he spent long years practicing every spell recorded. When the race for space began, Yuri was selected by an armed military escort to be the first Soviet in space. This he accepted, without brainwashing, and cast the spell for flight. He shot upwards at tremendous speed, going faster and faster until he was travelling at a speed far faster than light. He stopped at the centre of the galaxy, not expecting to find the massive physical body of Godrent. There he challenged the creature to a duel, hoping to prove Soviet superiority over the rest of the galaxy, and before the titanic superbeing could defend himself Yuri destroyed him as best he could, crushing his body and dispersing his mind. After a time that seemed like an eternity, the demigod Baly arrived and informed him of what he had accomplished in slaying Godrent.
Baly - Billions of years ago, before the sun that spawned mankind had even been formed, Godrent expunged himself of the last remnants of his tattered conscience, leaving himself free of morals and an all-round mean bastard. The conscience attempted to reason with Godrent, but was banished anyway. Before it departed, it insulted the superbeing by claiming it would be destroyed by a mortal creature born from dirt. For the audacity that it showed, Godrent bound the conscience to a body and exiled it to the far-flung reaches of the galaxy where there was only dust and ice. The conscience became Baly, last of the demigods. When Godrent was dispersed, Baly felt the pain within him and knew that he was free at last, and started to journey towards the galactic core. When he arrived, he was shocked to find Gagarin, and find that his prophecy had come true. To this day, he still wanders the galaxy, doing good and righting wrongs as a conscience should. He takes the form of a giant, fifteen feet in height, and carries a hammer the size of a man.
Boze Redtongue - One of the most famous space pirates to ever swash a buckle, Boze has embarked on many adventures that have made him wish he'd never been born. He's a daring, dashing mandragon, capable of transforming into a fifty-foot monster whenever he feels like it, or whenever he's sufficiently angry. He's also got a good reputation as a captain, caring for the wellbeing of his crew but still remaining ruthless enough to ensure they all get away with the loot at the end of the day. Like all mandragons, he was hatched in the ether as a true dragon from an egg in orbit around a star, left by some unknown dragon years before. After spending some time on Sarmaru, the inhabited planet orbiting the same star he had been, he decided to become a mandragon pirate to increase the size of his hoard. However, as time went on he began to feel more and more human feelings, finding himself caring more for people than money. But however much he finds himself being sentimental, he will always be a red-blooded and hot tempered dragon, with money holding a special place in his heart.
Godrent - When the galaxy was formed, so was Godrent, a superbeing with powers and intellect mortals could only dream of. For billions of years he lay undisturbed, lost in his own thought, until etherflight was attempted by a race of creatures near his home, the core. The irritation that this caused was unbearably itchy. Vexed, Godrent used his powers to cast apathy across the galaxy, making the creatures that lived there stop caring about space travel, and eventually die out as their worlds spiralling towards Godrent's waiting maw. However, even the powers of a superbeing are no match for the sheer hatred between Capitalist and Soviet, and in an attempt to outdo the other, they began a race for space. Before Godrent realised, the sorceror Gagarin had flown straight to the heart of the galaxy and challenged him to a duel to the death. Unable to marshall his powers in time, Godrent was slain by the Soviet, his body collapsing under its own weight and his mind scattered to the solar winds.
Katthew - One of the most successful necromancers to ever live, Katthew is considered to be also the biggest jerk in the history of the galaxy. His heart is stirred by money and money alone, and believes that even the process of saving his own life should profit him somehow. He is famed across the Galaxy for saving the life of the Metamorph King Lymphatus II, and then subsequently stealing everything that wasn't nailed down and escaping as fast as he could. Hailing from parts unknown to even him, he spent 8 years working for demon after demon to help pay off his debts, finally sorting them out after robbing Lymphatus. He is still alive to this day, and still trying to acquire more money in fashions less than legal despite being officially retired.
Useful Words and Phrases
- Plane of the ecliptic - The flat area in which planets orbit their sun. Referred to in shorthand as the ecliptic, and used to indicate where objects are coming from. ("Asteroid incoming, sixty-five degrees from the ecliptic!")
Commie - Self explanatory insult, often used in conjuction with others. ("Dirty commie!")
Pigdog - Again, self explanatory insult, most often heard shortly after the previous one. ("Filthy pigdog!")
Etherflight - The process of a sorceror, dragon, demon or Starborn propelling themselves through the ether. Speed variable, speed of light is not the maximum but further beyond that and it's a bugger to stop. ("Gagarin's etherflight, eh?")
Tub - Pirate slag for a ship. ("What a creakin' old tub!")
Bonehead - Derogatory pirate slang for a necromancer. ("You bonehead, Katthew.")
Hawkins - Pirate slang for an attractive person of any gender. ("My my my, what a Hawkins we have here!")
Redhead - Pirate slang for a Soviet. ("Watch it, redhead!")
Kempler rosette - A set of three or more astronomical bodies arranged in a geometric shape. Rarely occurs naturally. ("Eight suns, in an octagon! A real Kempler rosette! Wow!")
Fields of gold - Pirate slang for the afterlife. ("He's in fields of gold now...")
Faeries - Pirate slang for all Starborn, now general lexicon. ("You daft faery.")
Sink - When a ship is flooded with ether and those onboard are poisoned. ("It's sunk, Captain.")
FHM - Pirate acronym for Fucking Heavy Machinery, usually referring to Capitalist tech. ("That's some serious FHM!")
Nob - Pirate slang for a metamorph Noble. ("Just a bunch of nobs.")
Sneak - Pirate slang for a common metamorph. ("What's happenin', sneak?")
Ching - Everyday slang for money. ("Spare some ching, sir?")
Rubel - Soviet unit of currency. ("Fifty thousands rubels, take it or leave it.")
Dollar - Capitalist unit of currency. ("I'd buy that for a dollar!")
Dubloon - Metamorph unit of currency. ("Dubloons. Now. I have a short temper.")
Teeth - Undead unit of currency. Worth little. ("Leave those damn teeth, they're worthless!")
Scurvy - Disease brought on by breathing ether. Causes mild skin cancer, can be cured by eating large quantities of fruit. ("Ye've got t'scurvy, lad!")
Godrent's vapours - Everyday term describing the unfathomable reasons that something bad happens. ("It's all Godrent's vapours, lad, don't let it get to you.")
Baldy - Pirate slang for a Soviet sorceror. ("Shut up, baldy.")
Fleshbag - Demon slang for humans. ("Fleshbags, the lot of you.")
Spacedog - Everyday term for a veteran space pirate. ("How've ya been, you ol' spacedog?")
Nutbasket - Pirate slang for a monkship. ("I'm not getting on that nutbasket!")
Spacer - Everyday term for a crewman aboard a spaceship, excepting monks. ("A finer spacer there never was.")
Elfing - Starborn/pirate slang. An uncouth intensifier, similar in tone to "fucking". ("That elfing rocks my face!")
- Raygun - The average ranged weapon, comes in all manner of shapes and sizes. Can be anything from a small pistol to a double-barelled blaster. There are variant developed by both Capitalist, Soviet and Metamorph, so it can be found the galaxy over.
Sword - Basically a sharp piece of metal with a handle, all manner of swords are crafted around the galaxy. They are extremely useful for close-quarters fighting, and many metamorph Nobles carry finely-made decorative swords as a mark of their Nobility.
Gauntlet - Favoured by necromancers as a weapon of last resort, these metal gloves are connected to a battery belt, allowing the wearer to electrocute anything he touches when the gauntlets are activated.
Crossgun - The odd hybrid of crossbow and rifle, this is a popular weapons on rural planets, especially in Soviet space. It's fairly accurate over a long range, useful for hunting, though requires reloading every eight shots.
Evolver - Developed by the Nobility in order to combat criminal metamorphs, hundreds of models have been smuggled out of the Realm and have found their way to all corners of the galaxy. While it looks like a heavy raygun, it actually holds bullets instead of an energy matrix. It can hold six bullets at a time, each full of a chemical solution that temporarily freezes the metamorph ability to change shape for anything up to five hours.
Electrolaser - An advanced Capitalist version of the raygun, the electrolaser is also favourite amongst space pirates. The main laser is a steady beam with a heavy electrical current that burns and electrocutes the target. The width of the beam can be varied, whether wide to render a large force unconscious or hurt, or narrow to cut through thick wood or steel.
Staff - Though just an stick in the hands of the common man, in the cold clutches of a necromancer the staff becomes a deadly weapon, capable of containing demon essence and allowing them control over the dead. A necromancer's staff is bound to him, and while he still lives it cannot be destroyed or broken in any way.
Tazer - A simple device that lets the wielder electrocute the target of his choice into unconsciousness. It can also be used to fry electronic systems with varying degrees of success.
Spaceships (in progress)
- Cruiser - A light Capitalist warship, the cruiser is small and agile, usually holding a crew of no more than ten. It has a nice balance between firepower and armour, allowing for a large range of movement, but it is certainly no match for a larger ship on its own. As with all Capitalist ships, the cruiser is a long metal box with three smaller metal boxes affixed on the sides, sometimes with paint.
Battleship - Larger than its smaller kin, the cruiser, the battleship is a common sight in Capitalist space. Crewed by up to thirty men, and better armed and more heavily armoured, its main drawback is its slow speed.
Titan - The largest of the Capitalist warships, there are only several hundred Titans in existence, most on the front line of the Absolute Zero War. Twice the size of a skyscraper, with more guns than a dozen battleships and armour to match, the Titan's drawback is also its speed, reaching barely twenty miles an hour maximum.
Cossack - The only type ship in the Soviet Navy, the cossack is comparable to the cruiser in speed but the battleship in strength. It roughly resembles a crab's claw, with the bridge on the smaller half and the guns on the larger.
Monkship - As described earlier, the monkship is a wooden spheroid containing books and monks. They are powered by the monks' prayers, allowing them to will where they want the ship to go at whatever speed they wish - usually very slow. All monkships have long names, written all along the circumference in small writing. To save time, and to irritate the monks, everyone else refers to them by the first five or six words of their full name.
Coffin - This small, five-man craft is usually home to one necromancer who likes to put his feet up. Designed for stealthy voyages to nearby systems, it has got a limited range and has to return to an Undead world to reful, as it runs of concentrated human blood. It is shaped like its namesake, only with four jets on the back to propel it through the ether.
Carrion Hulk - Scavanged together from the old colony ships that brought the undead to their sector of the galaxy, the hulk is covered in human bones, giving it a rather disturbing appearance. It is used by necromancers to transport large populations of zombies or humans from planet to planet, and thus it is severely short on comfort everywhere except the necromancer's quarters.
Fang - A light, nippy one-man craft used by vampires when travelling between systems or planets. It has no windows and relies purely upon internal instruments to navigate, due to the fatal allergy to strong light all vampires have. Also like its nakesame, it has a curving conical form, with three jets at the back to allow for some maneuvering.
Sailship - Though similar in shape to the ancient ocean-going ships, the Sailship's sails are on the sides instead of the top. Like all Realm ships, it is airtight against the ether, crafted from the strongest woods and steels available with fancy decoration aboard. It is mostly a leisure ship used by the Nobility, but sometimes used by pirates because of its harmless appearance.
Merchantman - Capitalists and Metamophs frequently trade with other factions and internally, Soviets less so because they spread the wealth to the people. The varied ships that carry all manner of wares, from video disks to iron ore, are known as merchantmen, or sometimes merchantman ships. They are sometimes well defended, especially those of the money-worshipping Capitalists, but this does little to deter pirates from trying to acquire the valuable booty within.
Man O' War - Though bulky and ponderous, like many of the Realm's largest ships, the Man O' War is packed with firepower. Along with a strengthened hull, there are four banks of cannons on each side and large sails on top and bottom to absorb energy from the ether, as with all Realm ships. However, due to its enourmous girth and slow turning, a tinier, faster ship can often defeat one - meaning that they are almost never unaccompanied.
Armada Ship - The Realm's largest class of ship, called so because it is said to be equal to an entire fleet of ships. However, it is mostly for show and does not perform well in battle situations. Unlike other Realm ships, the Armada is a catamaran shape with a third small hull between the two. There are two large cannons situated on the main hulls, with two rows smaller cannons on the front of the third hull, where the bridge is. It is ponderously slow and has patchy armour in places, but the mere sight of one can often inspire fear.
Literion - A Realm Navy ship, the Literion is a light attack craft that specialises in speed. Slimmer than other ships relative to its size, it is still based on the main Realm design with ethersails on top and bottom, with a single bank of cannons on each side. Though capable of fighting, mostly this type ship stays behind while the larger ships attack from a distance, and then swoops in to pick off the stragglers.
Flagship - Though smaller than the Armada Ship, the Flagship is still larger than the rest of the ships in the Realm Navy. Keeping to the tradition ocean-ship-hull shape, the Flagship has four sets of ethersails and plenty of cannons. Unlike the Armada Ship, it is well armed, well armoured and reasonably fast, thus making it more of a danger than the Armada Ship.
Dragoncrate - Not exactly a spaceship, dragoncrates come in may shapes and sizes. They are simple containers with four large handles, enabling dragons to haul cargo and passangers through the ether. Though not comfortable, dragonflight is cheap, though it is not used for expensive cargoes on the chance the dragon might decide to add it to his hoard.