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Storyline Purposal & Construction
Now, since we're starting to get into gear here, It's time to start setting the story up for the re-imagined PDS-verse. It is important that we do this now because it will shape the fleet doctrines and technology development going forward.

The vast majority of what was written up through PDS v11 (which is considered the cutoff point) is still valid and will still be considered to be canon. v12, NGCS, and PDS/AS are not (though some story elements can certainly be borrowed, it's entirely up to your guys' preference).

First and foremost: The setting takes place starting with the end of Homeworld 1: Emperor Riesstiu IV the Second is Dead. The Kushan have reclaimed Hiigara and the Galactic Council has enforced their claim. The Taiidan Empire has descended into civil war, with hard-line Imperial Loyalists (either fanatics of the Imperial Cult on the one hand, or Lords, Corporations, and Admirals who are unsure of their place in the Republic's new order in the other) fighting against the populist embryonic Taiidan Republic.

The collapse of the Empire has sent most of the galactic core into chaos, as it has heavily fragmented the Imperial Economy, shattered it's security apparatus, and overwhelmed the Galactic Council trying to pick up the pieces. Turanic Raiders are running rampant, and an undeclared three-way war is being fought between the Yomi Empire, Frrern Aggregate, and Taiidan Imperial Loyalists in the Galactic South, over territories previously mediated by a now-dead treaty with the Taiidan.

In the Galactic Far east, the nomadic Vaygr, long-since kept as de-facto slaves by the Taiidani Empire, are in open revolt. Lead by the charismatic warlord Tural, and his son Makaan. Supplied covertly by expansionist Frrern Interests (a'la Charlie Wilson in Afghanistan), the Vaygr are slowly pushing the fragmented and confused Taiidani out, and slowly unifying into a major galactic power.

The changing face of war is reflected in an arms race between the squabbling galactic powers: As new technologies are developed, and the proliferation of 2G missile technologies is becoming more widespread, most Galactic Powers are starting to add Point Defense Systems to protect their heavy iron, and are generally adopting a more clinical, military focused outlook.

It will continue through the Cataclysm Era and Aftermath: An unspeakable and unimaginable alien horror is accidentally released on the Galaxy by Hiigaran Kiith Somtaaw, commonly referred to as The Beast. It is a techno-organic nanite virus of unknown origin which can be transmitted between spacecraft and transmutes the vessel's biological crew into a neural control network for the ship. The Virus spreads like wildfire, forcing the combined forces of Hiigara and the Taiidan Republic to fight for their lives. The Bentusi flee in terror for the first time in millenia, while the Imperialists attempt to control the Beast as a biological superweapon. Ultimately, Kiith Somtaaw manages to discover key information, and hastily gathers new technologies, in order to destroy the "Patient Zero" of the Beast, the alien vessel known as the Naggarok.

A second outbreak occurred in the galactic south, attacking the heavily armed DMZ between the territories of the Frrern Aggrigate and Yomi Republic, with intent to infect the forces of both sides. The southern outbreak was an utter bloodbath, the Beast proved nigh-unstoppable, nearly breaching the Frrern Aggregate's mighty western border fortresses. Ultimately, the tide finally turned, as the Beast became disoriented after the destruction of the Naggarok, allowing vital time for countermeasures to be developed and a series of counteroffensives to be waged, reducing the Beast threat.

It is in direct response to the events of the Cataclysm that 3G point defenses, missile technology, miniaturized DEWs (the development of Hiigaran Pulse Ion Cannons came directly from Somtaaw Helical Bundle Accellerators and back-engineered Bentusi Acolyte fighters), and Network Centric Warfare are widely proliferated: Primarily as countermeasures against swarms of infected Cruise Missiles and to give fleets a vital long-ranged punch they previously lacked. As well, advanced sterilization, energized hull armor, and nanowarfare systems allowed an "Infection Vaccine" to be developed, in order to effectively make ships immune to the infection, allowing a rapid mop-up of the surviving infected forces. According to official HGN records, only one capital ship, the Kiith Manaan carrier CAAL-SHTO remains unaccounted for.

The Following Century was largely a time of relative peace and rebuilding. The remaining Beast Selves were hunted down and eradicated, The Imperialist Taiidan were discredited and forced to withdraw to their bastions in the Galactic Northeast, the Frrern wrestled with inernal dissent and fleet modernization, and the Yomi were forced to make tight budget cuts due to the loss of the Bentusi as a trading partner. The power of the Galactic Council went into terminal decline, but it would linger on as the de-jure leadership forum of the galaxy until the Vaygr War. The Taiidani Republic too was devastated by the Beast War, with huge losses in manpower and naval prestige, it went into a seemingly endless series of economic depressions and austerity periods from which it would never truly recover.

The only nation to prosper and become stronger, indeed far stronger, was the Hiigaran Republic. Heavily expanded with territories and former "bandit kingdoms" becoming protectorates of the Diamiid in the face of the Beast Threat, these 'temporary security agreements' would eventually become permanent, as the Kiithid's economic and military patronage lead to effective control over these former worlds. This, combined with the revelation that the Hiigaran Kiith Somtaaw was solely at fault for the release of the Beast Virus, would cause a ripple effect of Anti-Hiigaran sentiment, culminating in a great scandal among the Somtaaw-sa, which lead to his murder (ostensibly by a disgruntled family member of a deceased naval pilot, but conspiracy theories persist it was carried out by Sobani Intelligence Agents). The political and diplomatic chaos surrounding the situation was masterfully exploited by the Imperialist Taiidan, and their propaganda agents and supporters within the Republic. While the charismatic joint efforts of Karan S'jet, Republican Chancellor P'teer Elson, and the heroism displayed by the veteran Crew of the Kuun Laan would ultimately cushion the blow in prestige, it left a lingering bitterness in the minds of many of Hiigara's foes and erstwhile allies.

Far to the East, the Vaygr Crusades were in a state of flux. With the Taiidani having ceded control of the region, the clans were poised to turn on each other. Both the Frrern and Imperialist Taiidan had hands in manipulating the opposing Vaygr Clans against each other, fearing their rising power and seeking to manipulate them against the Republic respectively. Tural, chieftain of clan S'ekeram was well aware he was being played, and attempted to maintain a hold on dominance. He knew that he could bow to neither power without risking a disaster. What happens next is not wholly known or agreed upon, but it is known that Makaan discovered a Mythical and ancient artifact in the Ice Fields of Hethlihim, in the dark galactic rim. Despite being guarded by a powerful Progenitor AI construct and it's servants, Clan S'ekaram's forces managed to successfully capture the Third Core.

This event sealed Makaan's status as the Sajuuk-Khar, or Chosen One. This ancient prophecy had a profound effect, and even the most rational of Vaygr were seduced by the allure of this messaniac figure. Millenarian movements had existed within the long-oppressed Vaygr for centuries, flirting with a wide number of End-time prohpecies. Makaan's recovery of the core was, in the minds of most Vaygr, a validation of these theories. With his status as the chosen one sealed, Makaan was able to unify the Vaygr Clans almost overnight, an achievement that Tural was only able to make over more than a century of constant warfare. However, Makaan's increasing militarism and desire for an assault against the western galactic powers, specifically the Taiidani Republic and Hiigara, was of great concern to the old guard of the Vaygr Independence Movement. Tural went to meet Makaan, who was busily constructing an Armada with which to take over the galaxy. The details of what happened next remain unknown, but it is known that Makaan slew Tural on the deck of his flagship, the Agamemnon II. Under other circumstances, this event would lead to nothing short of all-out civil war among the Eastern Fringe, but with Makaan's power-base already in control, and with his seemingly unbreakable cult of personality, Makaan was able to cover up the incident. Despite this, information would eventually leak; and to this day, opposition to the Murder of Tural remains one of the rallying cries of the Jin-Vaygr population.

One Mystery remains: The Identity of Makaan's secret benefactors. The discovery of the Third was not an accident, and fragmentary information has since been discovered by dissident factions from the former Armada de Makaan, that some party had made an effort not to be identified. The leading theories are that the party responsible was either the Imperial Taiidani Intelligence Service, or the T-MAT. However, some more mystic soothsayers belive that none other than the shadowy avatar of Jakuul himself was responsible.

The story continues through the Homeworld 2 era: The Vaygr, now supported by the Imperialist Taiidan, launch a massive invasion, using the power of the Third Core to jump shipyards and battle-fleets deep within the Taiidani Republic, bypassing most of it's border posts and fleet bases, and attacking it's vulnerable core worlds. The Republican Navy is almost immediately overwhelmed by the suddenness and scale of the invasion, and communication breaks down quickly. The Vaygr assault is swift and brutal, bombarding entire worlds into oblivion, and forcing others into submission. While the republic attempts a few brave counterattacks, the Vaygr's massive numbers and superior mobility provided by the Third Core allow them to isolate and eradicate the Republican fleet in a series of decisive battles. A simultaneous invasion by the Taiidani Second Empire navy, combined with long established Fifth Column movements within the Republic leads to it's rapid collapse.

In response, the Republic calls upon it's few allies to defend it's Capitol, Triistara. Hiigaran fleets from Kiith Nabaal, Manaan, Paktu, and Somtaaw, as well as a joint taskforce of the Galactic Council, and the Nalthoran Expeditionary fleet defending it's enclaves in the east are deployed to counterattack. However, the Armada masterfully exploits its advantages in strategic mobility and sheer numbers to engage the combined Hiigaran and Council fleets along a broad front, while using the Third Core to ferry encircling forces behind, cutting off supply lines and isolating the Hiigaran Expeditionary Force. Triistara falls quickly, and the surviving Hiigaran/Council/Nalthoran/Republican forces are forced to make a desperate fight back to Hiigaran Space. Ultimately, at the Battle of Hancock Station, the joint fleet, assisted by the firepower of the Somtaaw mothership Kuun Lan and it's powerful Siege Cannon manage to break the blockade, allowing the expeditionary forces and a large number of civilian refugees to escape into the Hiigaran Control Zone. However, the expeditionary force is heavily damaged, with upwards of 50% losses, including more than 90% of the Nalthoran and 85% of the surviving Republican Taiidan ships.

The Hiigarans mobilize for full scale war. At an emergency meeting of the 21st Diamiid, it is mandated that under wartime conditions, all of the disparate Kiith Navies are to be requisitioned under the banner of the Hiigaran Grand Navy, and that a new mother-ship containing the Second Hyperspace Core be constructed in secret. Karan S'jet, spiritual leader of the Hiigaran people would once again reprise her role as Fleet Command, despite those protests of those who either thought the whole concept of ancient prophecies being absurd, or those who wished to keep the godmother of the Hiigaran race from harm. Ultimately, the decision was out of their hands, as Karan had made her choice. The new mothership, the Pride of Hiigara, was rapidly constructed at the great derelict of Tanis.

Meanwhile, the war had largely lulled; The Vaygr would take several months to repair and regroup, upgrading their ships to be able to take on the full might of the Hiigaran Navy. Makaan himself aggressively began hunting down any surviving Bentusi trade ships he could find, in a search for the Great Harborship of Bentus, which contained the First Hyperspace core. According to prophecy, possession of these three cores would allow Makaan to enter the great vault of Balcora, and awaken nothing less then the power of the Great Maker Who's Hand Shapes What is. Despite the massive disparity in technology, the Bentusi were too isolated and demilitarized to effectively resist or escape, and soon Bentus was the only remaining Bentusi vessel in the galaxy, using it's far jumper (and superior navigation capabilities) to stay one step ahead of Makaan. Frustrated with the futility of his pursuit, and realizing that the Hiigarans would, if left alone, bring the Second Core online, Makaan's task-force returned to the frontlines and prepared to spearhead the invasion of Hiigara itself.

The Hiigaran Navy and Border Troops had established a series of massive Hyperspace Inhibitors, recycled from Imperial-era emitters which were, ironically, of the same type used by the Emperor to attempt to stop the Exile Fleet more than a century earlier. The Vaygr launched a feint attack, sending short-jump capable forces en-masse to attack the inhibitors and distract the border troops, while Makaan's main fleet used it's far-jumper capabilities to jump high off the galactic ecliptic, into intergalactic space, far past the range of the inhibitors, then descend down towards Hiigara itself. The maneuver was workable because most conventional hyper-drives simply lacked the power to make such a bold flanking maneuver, so the Hyperspace Inhibitor Defenses only extended along the fairly flat, narrow band of the galactic inner rim.

The HGN had, fortunately, held substantial forces in reserve, anticipating this sort of eventuality. HGN fleet intelligence, however heavily underestimated the numbers of Vaygr forces Makaan could bring with him using the far jumper. The Vaygr launched a massive invasion, with strikes aimed toward Tanis to assault the Mothership, Hiigara, and several other key targets. Makaan's main target, however, was neither Hiigara nor the Hyperspace Cores. He took his fleet into the Karos Graveyard, to recover the key with which he would be able to unlock Balcora Gate. It is unknown how he was able to acquire the second dreadnaught and reactivate it so quickly, without being bogged down by the Progenitor Keeper, which lends credence to theories that he was assisted by someone, or something, with inner knowledge of progenitor technology.

(Insert events of Homeworld 2 Ascension Campaign Here)

The Postwar era: Makaan's apparent death and the destruction of vessels of apparently T-MAT origin over the skies of Hiigara signalled the turning of the tide. With Karan S'jet, rather than their messiah, in control of Sajuuk and the Three Cores, the unity of the once mighty Armada de Makaan was shattered. The loss of the Far Jumper cores meant that the Vaygr Forces in Hiigaran space could neither escape nor summon re-enforcements. The Hiigaran Navy, emboldened by this turn of events, launched Operation Sledgehammer, designed to finish off the remaining Vaygr forces in the Hiigaran Control Zone. The assault was an overwhelming success, with the scattered and confused Armada forces sent reeling. Despite taking horrendous losses, Hiigara and it's allies were victorious on the home front, and began rebuilding and rallying to reclaim the territories to the east.

In the former Taiidan Republic, old grudges within the Vaygr resurfaced, and the failure of the Invasion became apparent. While a core of Makaan Loyalists retained their power, and control over the majority of the remaining crusade fleets, a small but growing number of Independent Vaygr Clans began to form. The majority of these were pre-war Tural Loyalists, operating as part of the Armada only under duress, while others were those whom were still being manipulated by the Frrern Aggregate, or in a few cases, Mystics whom believed that Makaan had been deceived by a higher power. Regardless of their beliefs, the Independent Vaygr Federation steadily gathered power, and began consolidating territory, settling on former Republican worlds and digging in with no intention of leaving, or returning to the persecution of the Vaygr Reaches.

Elsewhere in the galaxy, the power vacuum left by the collapse of the Republic, the fall of the Bentusi, and the emergent threat of of hundreds of formerly dormant, and highly aggressive, Progenitor Derelicts, now beginning to stir from their aeon's long slumber left regions far afield in turmoil. With the Galactic Council all but destroyed, the Frrern Aggregate declared itself no longer bound by it's laws, and has begun encroaching on the southern duchies of the former Taiidan Republic, although incursions by aggressive Vaygr Raiders have forced it to simultaneously fight a two-front campaign on it's eastern border. This suits the militaristic Aggregate just fine: an mutual enemy to allow it to rally it's disenfranchised and dissident population against, and hopefully styme the tide of revolution (and perhaps dispose of some of the instigators of these movements via drafts and dispatch to the frontlines.)

War drums are also beginning to beat elsewhere. A pact between the Western Nalthoran Kingdom and the Yomi Empire has drawn the two nations much closer together, but the effective collapse of their main trading partners, the Taiidan Republic and Bentusi, is a grave threat to both. With an impending economic crisis, both nations are under immense pressure to do something to stem the tide of recession. This is not helped by the aggressive actions of emboldened Turanic Raiders, and the increasingly anomalous behavior of the T-MAT. While Nalthor remains a staunch and incorruptible ally of the Hiigaran Republic, corporate interests within Yomi, as well as expansionist and ultranationalist secret societies are beginning to pressure the nation towards a more assertive foreign policy, especially with regards toward the Frrern Aggrigate or Turanic Territories, with some even going so far as to move into territories of the Western Galactic Core occupied by the Levii Conglomerate. While it would take a great deal to convince the relatively benign Yomi people to accept such actions, the influence of the great mega-corporations goes deep into the fabric of that nation's military industrial complex.

This is the "Current" state of affairs, with the "Present Day" from the perspective of this writing being approximately five years after the conclusion of Operation Sledgehammer. Most of the events written in PDS classic are considered canon, unless they cause a direct conflict. And do understand this is still heavily under construction.

Now. Thoughts! Inputs! Ideas! Debate!
Overall I think that is a fine history to start from.

So to give you an idea where my version and fiction has the post Makaan PDS'verse is at, and based on the map we were using at the end of the First Era PDS, you have the following;

Hiigara - still standing but challenged by the economics of the wars devastation to the systems that were overrun by the Armada. The Hiigaran Navy is still a force to be reckoned with, but a shell of what it was before the invasion, struggling to do its mission as most of the resources needed are going into helping the destitute systems. At the time of my first book (Talbock's Patrol) the HGN was just starting forays into former Republic space to see what is going on. I have the Hiigaran's trying to re-establish some semblance of the Taiidan Republic for two reasons. First to have the buffer between them and the Vaygr and second to get as many of the RepTaii refugees back into their space. Remember that Hiigara would have inherited a huge Taiidan population after the death of the Emperor (4000 years worth).

Vaygr - what is left of the clans that followed Makaan in the van of the Armada are dead. Only six clans really remained intact. At the end of Talbock's Patrol those remaining families go back into the depths of Vaygr space to regroup. Most of the remaining Vaygr are war bands and bandits who live opportunistically of the carcass of the space they invaded. They're still powerful bands but there is no central control. I did this because I wanted to re-invigorate the Imperial Taiidan, who I contend were always the power behind Makaan and having got him to wreak the "Beliimid" (ancient Taiidan name for Kushan/Hiigaran) they are now carefully and with much scheming re-emerging from their hiding.

Imperial Taiidan - Re-emerging from their own exile. The last five remaining martial families, the industrial families and technology concerns are exploiting the vacuum after the devastation of Makaan to reclaim parts of Imperial space. While they are re-establishing Legions under the military houses, they are also using Vaygr war bands and intrigue to keep the rest of the galaxy off balance.

Republican Taiidan - led by a charismatic Consul, with much assistance from the Hiigaran's and the Ellysian Concordance. They are slowly trying to re-establish the Republic. They are fighting both the economic reality of the devastation, and the lack of desire by the system to return to what was seen as a corrupt and weak Republic. Oh yeah, they have an enigmatic professional military corporation (a.k.a. mercenaries) working for them.

Elyssian Concordance - This is my Europe of space. This is where I put all of the little star nations that were popping up in PDS that I could not keep track of. For the most part the only star nation that sat out the Makaan Armada. They have not swept out into the vacuum because they spend most of their time bickering with each other over process. Meanwhile their very competent Navy Union spends most of its time keeping the Turranic Raiders from making incursions into the Concordance.

Turranic Raiders - still working for the highest bidder. When they don't have anyone else to fight they mostly fight themselves. In my PDS'verse they play a role because one of the remaining Progenitor gates is in their area of influence and it plays a role in the story.

The S'jet - after dealing with Makaan she used her almost deity status to preclude rampaging through the galaxy unstoppable to create a Hiigaran Hegemony (thus repeating history). When the Diiamid demanded she do so, she basically takes all of the remaining Progenitor ships and disappeared. But then Karen also knows from her interactions with the Cores that there are things out there far worse than Imperial Taiidan and Vaygr. She knows why the Progenitors are gone.
I am ancient
Food for thought, Yas! Admittedly my re-imagining of things is a bit different. For a few key reasons.

Basically, I was going to put the discovery of the Progenitor Hypergate network a few years after (on the order of 15-20) after the end of the HW2 singleplayer campaign. In the interim, Karan, Sajuuk, et-al, would probably be parked in some secret location studying the Progenitor Technology, leading to many of the 5G and (eventual) 6G technologies, and generally being reluctant to risk such high-value assets against the Vaygr (Tactically, Sajuuk would be unstoppable, but strategically, it's main benefit is it's ability to jump fleets anywhere).

Hiigara's objective is to clear out the former Republican territories and disarm the Armada, and just keep hammering away at it until it recedes to the Vaygr Reaches, and prevent it from being a threat again. Considering the sheer scale of the invasion, number of remaining Vaygr fleets. However, the political situation in the former Republican space has grown far more complicated.

Basically, the Republic is totally screwed. I've characterized them as being in a Battlestar Galactica-esque scenario, where their Continuity of Government plans failed due to the speed of the Vaygr Offensive, so their government in exile consists of the handful of low-ranking ambassadors, minor officials, and military officers who are now in high-office. What's left of the Republic Navy has been integrated into the HGN.

The Vaygr didn't have the time or resources to invade each and every Republican world, so they took a Genghis-Khan esque draconian strategy; destroying or commandeering basically all civilian or commercial ships within the Republic, sterilizing a few (strategically unimportant but heavily populated) worlds to intimidate them, and demanding tribute from the rest. Commercial shipping in the Republic is, essentially, zero. This put many worlds (most of which were dependent on interstellar trade) in peril. Many have died quickly, when their resources began to run out. Those worlds which are self sufficient are undergoing extreme societal upheaval from people who are used to a high-standard of living, now under the extreme stress of oppressive tribute demands from the Vaygr (for resources and manpower), and living in constant fear of Vaygr Retaliation. It's a brutal sort of extortion on a galactic scale, and there's nothing any of the former Republican territories can do about it.

This is where the Imperialist Taiidan come in. With the death of Makaan, they basically have the Armada under their control. In my imagining of things, the Taiidan Second Empire is run by a Cabal of Admirals and Industrial cartels (so, basically exactly like yours), and the Intelligence Services. The latter are by far the most important, though, since they're the ones pulling the strings on the Vaygr, controlling the Media, and doing most of the Diplomacy, by virtue of their extensive web of espionage which has existed basically since the end of the Beast War. Pragmatism, Realpolitik, and Jingoism dominate Imperialist politics, although they've toned down much of their rethoric with the intent to court the remaining Republican holdouts to join them, offering a way out from Vaygr oppression.

The Armada itself, in this time frame, is still a military powerhouse by virtue of sheer size. It is, however, beginning to fray at the edges, with various clans starting to breakaway. They have begun to dig into their former Republican holdings, setting out a massive defense-in-depth. The HGN is certainly winning, but it will take many, many years of fighting to completely dislodge the Vaygr out of their controlled territories and push them back to the Galactic Far east.

The nascent IVF (Ravinder Democratic Republic/House Mar'Yan) meanwhile is still attempting to entrench itself against the Armada, and begin nation building. Several former Republican Taiidan planetary governors and resistance movements have begun to join with the IVF and establish their own agreements. Military pressure on these IVF is intense, as the Armada's characteristic brutality against the 'Jin-Vaygr' cannot be overstated.

Now, where we differ substantially is on the topic of "Elyssia". Essentially, I intend to replace it with the Frrern Aggregate to keep consistency with established Homeworld lore. The Analog of 'Space Europe' (specifically eastern Europe) is, sort of similar to what I had imagined. Abiet the Frrern are far less stable, unpredictable, and important to galactic affairs. Their government is somewhat authoritarian (far less so than the Taiidan Empire though), and they are struggling with growing pressure between ethnic groups and independence-minded fringe worlds trying to go independent. They've always had problems with this. The Frrern, historically, attempted to use a massive Genghis Gambit by presenting either the Yomi Empire or Taiidan Empire as enemies, immanently about to invade, to keep the public united. Since the late Taiidan Empire really were planning to invade, this worked beautifully... until the Empire Fell. Now they have no clear enemy, save the occasional rogue Vaygr clan on their frontiers, and political dissent is starting to become a real problem. Expansionist elements are starting to look towards the Ravinder and former Republican regions to the north (that they've always coveted) as ripe for the taking.

Turanic Raiders are more or less as you described them. I'd imagine them as a series of kingdoms descended from an ancient, defunct empire, and mostly putting around the great wastelands, fighting among themselves. There are, of course, plenty of Turanic Clans who are still roving Pirates and Mercenaries, working for whoever. They still clash with the nations of the galaxy, but pose no huge threat to anyone.

One thing I do like is the use of clandestine mercenaries and PMCs by the Taiidan Republic (or others). Certianly adds a level of moral ambiguity that I think has been lacking. As well, the Imperial Taiidan would be quite re-invigorated. I want them to be the third playable faction once HGN and VGR are established.

Moreover, I do have some idea of both what happened to the Progenitors and a specific threat which has been driving events throughout the series. However, this threat would remain in the shadows during the time-frame that PDS takes place in. At the risk of giving away spoilers too early, we can discuss that more privately...
Do anyone have any clue about the T-mat? From original HW1 storyline concept (that end up scrapped and resurface in form of planet-killers in final HW2 mission) they were suposed to be an ancient all-powerful dark race - someting between B5 Shadows and Vorlons.

In HW1 official story they supposed to be part of Galactic council (yet again they might be like Vorlons - they keep their ambassador in council, but are largery disinterested in galactic affairs).

In HW2 we know that their technology is at least on pair and share similarities with Bentusi (in final mission fleet command mention bentusi ship signature when planet killers jump in).

I think that either they are the old race from Bentusi era, or they are even older and from Progenitor era (possibly descendands of Progenitors, splinter Progenitor faction or even the reason of Progenitors dissaperance). Or they might even be "true aliens" (as most HW races are descendant of Progenitors who are highly suggested to be Humans from Milky Way)

The fact that they don't have any territory and that the share technological similarities with Betusi mean for sure that they are "unbount"(one with their ships). Maybe they are rougue Progenitor AIs that gained sentience? This would make them largery disinterested in panetary and teritory control and would leave other races alone (unless irriatated too much like that Yomi incident)

In any way with Bentusi gone and Galactic council in dissaray they might be the oldest and powerful race in galaxy all free to roam - kinda docile but smarter version of Beast.
I don't think anything was ever really decided about the T-Mat except that they were really bad and you died if you went up against them. In my fiction they become that uber-race that you mention and we would eventually have found out that they are the ones that did in the Progenitors because the Progenitor technology turned the Progenitors into the mosquito whining in their ear, so they squashed them. The T-Mat don't even consider the little things running around the galaxy as intelligent. Kind of like when you put poison on an ant hill. That was why Karen had run off with the Progenitor technology to keep the T-Mat from waking up and squashing the galaxy again.

Iron - I have no problem with the version you are working. It is very similar path and it will be fun to work with. I will probably continue to write my version of the 'verse, only because I don't want to go back through 800+ pages fixing things.
I am ancient
Ahh, the T-MAT. I'm glad you brought that up! I do have plans for the T-MAT and they are somewhat plot relevant this time. Basically my interpretation of them is closer to MrWHO. Now, first things first, the T-MAT are, for our purposes, distinct from the 'P3' Race (the Lava Ship) that appeared in Homeworld 1. Which is simply referred to as... P3 by most civilized races.

The T-MAT proper are indeed alien, very alien. Their thought processes, perceptions, understanding of the world, are entirely different. I think they can be summed up in a very well written line from the Path to Victory mod;

[quote=MoLoLu]"They come neither in war nor peace, but to consume all that is. They take what they wish, with no regard for the lives of us mortals."[/quote]

That pretty much sums up their attitude, at least insofar is it can be understood. In-universe, they are extremely aloof, fickle, amoral, and manipulative, about the other races. Their actions vary between simply ignoring or manipulating (sometimes overtly) the actions of other, 'lesser' beings. They are not usually openly hostile, although they will shoot anything that enters regions they control, and occasionally (and seemingly randomly) launch sorties against the civilized races of the galaxy.

That being said, the T-MAT are not quite the Progenitor killers Yasotay described (in my mind, the Progenitors wiped themselves out in a Civil War). They would not have been evolved to their current state by that point. The T-MAT co-evolved with the Bentusi, explaining the similarity of their technology (the Planet Killers in the final HW2 campaign mission are 'Demilitarized' T-MAT ships, acquired 'somehow' by Makaan. There are severe implications for this). They Piggy-backed on the Bentusi's success with the First Hyperspace core, but were far less altruistic than their mercantile counterparts. That being said, there are a number of occasions when they've fought on the Council's behalf, acting as the Bentusi's "Enforcers" on occasion to deal with particularly dangerous threats to Galactic Order.

The reason for this is mainly simply due to their utterly incomprehensible alien nature. They embraced technology like the Bentusi did, but gradually went on their own evolutionary path. When the Bentusi (who were essentially human originally, prior to heavy cybernetic and genetic modification) demilitarized, the T-MAT... didn't. The T-MAT are reluctant members of the Galactic Council (one of it's founding members), but send only a single Ambassador, called... the Ambassador: A creepy human(oid) child who speaks in incomprehensible riddles and acts as their sole link to the wider galaxy, aside from the Bentusi.

Aside from that, they mostly keep to themselves, but there is a certain Randomness in their actions. Because their psychology and sociology are so alien (and debased from their original form due to passing their technological singularity), their actions seem irrational and often hostile. They often strip-mine whole star systems (weather they are inhabited or not) to sustain their considerable consumptive needs, and retain a large chunk of territory on the southern galactic rim. Within which, they appear to be constructing various megaliths of unknown purpose (dyson spheres?). They also like to try and manipulate other races, sometimes subtly, sometimes overtly.

Their military technology is, simply put, the best in the Galaxy. Since they're still actively developing it, they've surpassed the Progenitors in a number of fields. However, they're hitting hard-limits imposed by the laws of physics, so they've essentially gone as far as they can go in terms of weapons and materials science. This does mean, in a conventional engagement, their warships are nigh-indestructible. The best one can hope to do is delay them or possibly get a mobility-kill or disrupt them with Gravwell Generators (this is a big reason GravWells will exist again in PDS, despite their usual military impracticality in 4G battlespace). That being said, their tactics and strategies are relatively backwards: They simply fly right directly at the enemy and tank their fire, until the target is systematically wiped out. The only real way to fight them is to use Guerrilla tactics, strategic maneuvering, or hit their supply lines (even with their technology, logistics is their big limiting factor, considering the insane amount of matter and energy they need to operate). This is the tactic the Yomi tried to use against them during their war, but at that point, they lacked the technology to really make a difference.

Most of the Galaxy speaks of the T-MAT in hushed whispers or considers them a myth, or a bad omen. Their reputation is the same as the Greys would be here on Earth. It is taboo to discuss much about them, a taboo rigorously enforced by the Bentusi. For this reason, in universe, many would have no knowledge of their existence, intentions, or technology. The Yomi do, due to their past conflict with them. In their culture, they are equated to the Amatsu-Mikaboshi and referred to as such, but treated with a mythological reference. They do though realize most of their myths have a basis in reality, and have continuity of government and "dead hand" contingencies in place. Just in case.

The long and short of it is the T-MAT could easily cause a galactic apocalypse if they so wanted, but it seems to not be in their best interests to do so. Their behavior is alien and erratic, and their mouthpiece was the Bentusi. With the Bentusi gone, who knows what they're up to?

The P3 meanwhile, the "Lavaships", are a bit different. They are not related to the T-MAT. They are a Silicon-based lifeform fueled by radioactive decay within their asteroid-like bodies. To feed, they absorb and eat asteroids containing fissile elements like Uranium. Somehow, they have the ability to manipulate hyperspace wavefronts, and by extension, gravity. This is how their move around, manipulate objects, and perceive the world. Unlike the T-MAT, they are usually quite benign, but exceedingly difficult to communicate with for most races. They reproduce by 'growing' sillicoid arms, which eventually detach into new ships. They can detach their immature 'arms' at will after a certain point, to function as additional warships in a pinch.

They have a very positive relationship with the Galactic Council and Bentusi. The unbound granted them various advanced technologies integrated into their bodies, designed to operate at the extreme temperatures the P3 require to live (hence why they use solid-state weapons like Ion Cannons exclusively). These technologies also enhance their sensory systems, ability to process asteroids and 'feed', hyperspace navigation, and communication with others.

For the most part, they keep to themselves, simply because they live in deep space or in close proximity to stars or other difficult-to-inhabit regions of space. Often though they like to explore the galaxy, often following Bentusi tradeships around and adventuring with them, like big, giant, guard dogs really. They're not usually violent or aggressive, but they are more than willing to defend themselves or the Bentusi, or fight on the Council's behalf. The fundamental problem with their interaction with other races is both the difficulty of communication, and perception. (It's hard for them to conceive of planet-dwellers as such, and as anything other than the space vehicles they inhabit, due to their alien thought process).

Their Bentusi-derived weapons and sheer size and strength of their component materials make them difficult to kill, and very powerful (if clumsy) in a fight. They were on the front lines of the Beast War (being immune to the infection, due to their biology), and did their best to try and defend the Bentusi from the Vaygr. However, the Vaygr's numbers, strategy, and sheer power of their armaments meant that they failed. Many P3 are still in mourning for the loss of the Bentusi. Many others are increasingly agitated, and have been known to occasionally launch sorties against Vaygr (or what they perceive as Vaygr) to avenge their former allies.
So T-Mat are like Jovians from EVE, only even morepowerful, twisted and mysterious.

That brings good question - what was the reception of various races about the death of Bentus?

I think that T-Mat, despite their nature might actually be "move" (even in their own alien way) by the extinction of the only alive race that they could consider closeto equal (albeit if T-Mat would use human launguage I bet "Hippies" would be the T-Mat name for Bentusi).

Remind me - are Bentusi now extinct or do they only extinct in this Galaxy (at leasr several Trade Ships left the galaxy during HW:Cataclysm)?

I mean after the Beast Wars and inmmunity technology
I think that remaining Bentusi might wanted to build the gate to Escape Galaxy and tell them that Beast problem is now solved. In any case this doesn't explain why such old, experience and especially pacifist race decided that it's good idea to load 99% of their population into one ship (I guess that after that T-Mat would expand their Bentusi synonyms dictionary with "Dodo birds" Smile ).
I haven't actually played EVE, so I wouldn't know. The T-MAT are, overall, too alien to really make sense of by Anthropogenic concepts. What is known is only what can be empirically observed. Everything else is speculation. Generally, they should be treated as 'mysterious, ominous, and dangerous'. But they have an agenda in there somewhere.

The Fall of the Bentusi was not entirely unanticipated, as their culture is known for self-sacrifice. However, no one expected it to happen this swiftly. The Beast War and Bentusi exodus caused their numbers to dwindle, and they slowly began to hand off their responsibilities to others. However, the Vaygr Invasion was a curveball that no one saw coming, and Makaan specifically hunted down the Bentusi to harvest their Hyperspace Core.

Unlike when they battled the ancient Hiigaran Empire, the Bentusi had a number of things working against them. The aforementioned dwindling numbers from the Beast War, their overall Demilitarization, Makaan's element of surprise, superior numbers, the closed technological gap, and the Bentusi's own arrogance and aloofness contributed to their downfall. Essentially Makaan spent quite a bit of time chasing the Bentusi across the galaxy with his far jumper, slowly but carefully whittling down their fleet after a series of ambushes and maneuvers. Bentus managed to stay one step ahead long enough to contribute to the HW2 campaign, but of course, sacrificed itself to scatter the Keepers of Abasiid.

Their sudden and abrupt disappearance from the Galaxy's effect on the other races cannot be overstated. For almost ten thousand years, the Bentusi were paragons of interstellar trade, politics, diplomacy, and science. Their fall would be mourned by most of the races of the galaxy, but the political and economic consequences would be disastrous, and likely more profound than the Hiigaran monopolization of Progentech.

The Yomi and (to a lesser extent) Nalthorans both had extensive trade relations with the Bentusi. Much of the Yomi's advanced AI technology and bio-neural networking abilities are based on that of the Bentusi. This always gave them a competitive edge over the markets and allowed the relatively resource-poor nation to become a major economic powerhouse without huge expenditures on military forces. Their dependence on certain Bentusi imports and use of their exchanges and diplomatic umbrella for trade would have lead to a panic in their economic sectors. This would have dire implications, since more expansionist and opportunistic elements of their government may start to rear their ugly heads.

The P3, while technologically self sufficient even without direct Bentusi intervention, would have been profoundly emotionally affected. While, like the T-MAT, their psychology is alien and unknowable for the most part, they mourn. They feel sorrow. And more ominously, they feel anger. Some of them have begun to lash out against the Vaygr (or what they percieve as Vaygr), which has complicated a number of diplomatic issues, especially between the HGN (their nominal allies-by-proxy) and IVF.

The Bentusi were the preeminent race of the Galactic Council for all of it's existence. The T-MAT's reclusiveness and the P3's difficulties in perception and communication preclude their taking up of the Bentusi's mantle, and the few other 'unbound' races and individuals are few in number and obscure to get much done. By default, the Hiigarans are the new arbitrators of the Council's will, by virtue of possession of the Hyperspace Cores and Sajuuk. This doesn't sit well with certain races who's relationship with the Hiigarans is relatively cool (especially the Frrern Aggregate).

Effectively, this means that the Galactic Council is little more than a 'rump state', a shadow of it's former self. It still technically exists, but there's no guarantee the Frrern, Yomi, Hiigarans, P3, etc will get along enough to make it work. This situation is being capitalized upon by the Imperialist Taiidan, who are emboldened by the fall of the Bentusi (of whom their general opinion is 'good riddance'Wink, who are releasing as much black propaganda as they can to rile up Anti-Hiigaran sentiment, and possibly turn the Frrern and other races against Hiigara, or at least undermine their ability to conduct galaxy-wide diplomacy.

It is probable there are Bentusi in another Galaxy, the ones that escaped through the Slipgate node. However, since the slipgate was destroyed, there would have been no way to contact them or know where they went. Presumably, people have tried, but failed to make contact. It is possible that when the Eye of Arran network is opened, it may lead to a gate somewhere where the Bentusi can be found, and hopefully make a comeback. So there's still some hope.
Going back to T-Mat I wonder how Makaan managed to get his hands on 3 starfish.

Was it through his own brute and cunning power? I doubt that even Vaygrs had enought numbers to overrun Taiidan Republic,fight with HGN chase Bentusi and poke T-Mat in the same time.

More propable that it's ultimate T-Mat trolling - "hey Makaan you capped our 3 defenceless ships - Great work! Did we mentioned they are defencless?"
The question is what was their agenda if S'Jet wouldn't crash the party with Sajuuk. Maybe they wanted to wait for Makaan to assemble all 3 cores and then suprise him with backstab with activated 3 Starfish showing their true power. Unpredicted Sajuuk appearance caught them off guard and they didn't had enough time to activate them.

I think that 3 cores would be something worthwhile even for T-Mat.
Well, the idea is the Planet Killers were demilitarized, aside for basic systems. All the cool weapons were taken away, and the Vaygr simply outfitted them as indestructible planetary bombardment platforms.

The Circumstances of how he acquired them and from who are best left an open question. Lets just say there are very manipulative forces working in the background, affecting both Makaan and the T-Mat.
Interesting question for Second Taiidan Empire (technically it should be the 3rd Empire) - do they have new Emperor or Crown Prince to formally restablish the Empire?

I'd bet that current Imperial Governing body would not like to have second mad or incompetent Emperor, but they would need some figure for the public.

There could be general consensus that the new Imperial line should occur on the battlefield against Higgaran like former Riesstiu line.

Basically the best Admiral, who drive the Empire to victory would be crowned (on Higgara) as next Emperor. This would keep Taiidan commaders highly motivated (sometimes even too much).

I laso think there is general consensus among populace that the new emperor should not have the absolute power to prevent "Riesstiu IV" all over again (so the military and industrial families would have power to block the Emperor if needed).
Hmm, well my thinking was that the Taiidan would have a Figurehead Emperor; someone young and attractive, and ostensibly related to a past imperial line (this is a fabrication of propaganda). In reality it's some random teenager they grabbed off the street and dolled up to be the Emperor, who is left to wallow in wealth and spleandour and father as many illegitimate children as humanly possible to create a new imperial lineage from scratch.

In reality, the 'Emperor' would basically be a Propaganda Figure/Reality TV star with a cult of personality, but with no political power (specifically to avoid centralization of power around Riesstiu). The real power is divided up between the Navy, the Intelligence Service, and the Industrial Cartels.

The problem is, more often than not, all of these parties are squabbling over limited resources or petty personal feuds. For the most part, I'd imagine the Intelligence service as being the ones the most 'in charge' of the situation, considering that they both have mountians of blackmail on everyone else, are symbiotic with Taiidani organized crime, have vast networks of contacts and agents across the galaxy proper, and are quite ruthless in assassinating potential rivals. Essentially 1930's Imperial Japan, if you will.

The figureheads in the Imperial Intelligence Service though are essentially in it for their own personal gain. A mix of professional spies and mob bosses in persona. It's all about control, money, and power. However, the IIS are mostly trained and experienced enough in espionage and have control of such a powerful information network that they have a very far-sighted view on how best to pursue their agenda. They're always playing several moves ahead, and planning for any possible contingency.

This is at odds with a lot of the hotheads in the Imperial Navy, many of whom are driven by old-fasioned Riesstiu-era dogma who want a full scale open war with the Hiigaran Federation (The Belmiid, as Yasotay would put it); and the Industrial Cartels, who want (and desperately need) territorial expansion, more resources, and more labor to expand their profits. All three parties are sort of in equilibrium at this point, since the IIS' plans are actually unfolding perfectly: The Republic is more or less ripe for the Taking, both the Vaygr and Hiigarans are distracted and weakened, and there is no longer any chance for Galactic Council intervention.

Overall, the Emperor is more a mouthpiece for the IIS and a political propaganda figure for the Taiidani population to rally around, and to provide a thin veneer of legitimacy and make it look like the Empire is far more politically stable than it actually is. WWII Imperial Japan is a good example of this: Where the Emperor has little political authority, and there is a chaotic cabal of factions and militarists behind the scenes running the show. The difference being, the IIS is far more pragmatic, far-sighted, and not bound by any sort of political or quasi-religious dogma. They know what they're doing.
I must say that Imperial Japan crossed my mind when I was thinking about current Taiidan Empire.

All together it sounds quite like a mix of Imperial Japan and modern day Russia.
Yeah, it kind of is. There's a bit of North Korea in there too. What with the manufactured and deliberately inflated cult of personality around the Emperor and all.

I'd imagine the Industrial cartels to also be ruthlessly exploitative of large segments of the population. Paying them in scrip only redeemable in company stores, limiting their mobility and educational opportunities, and keeping them segregated from the outside world and under an Orwellian level of surveillance.

The somewhat smaller 'middle class' of Taiidani people would be somewhat better off. Depending their level of perceived 'loyalty' to the regime, they would be given various rewards and privileges, but would still be subjected to media and an educational system which is more or less a propaganda machine.
In my version of PDS'verse those who were the Imperial Taiidan are now Industrial, Trades, Technology and Military families that survived the Apocalypse that was the death of the Emperor and the dark times after. Of note they do not consider themselves Imperial. They are THE Taiidan. The traitors that sided with the "Belemiid "(ancient name for the Hiigaran/Kushan) are dead and or Hiigaran now.
My version is a mix of Japanese and Roman cultures (in gross terms they would have understood each other very well). The Industrial families are cautious of the five remaining military families (don't need another four thousand years of that), and play them off each other with favor. The technology familes play the side that seems to be winning, while the trades just rool their eyes at the continued antics. They are only third tier Senatii anyway so very little they do impacts the greater Taiidan.

From a strategic perspective The Taiidan are very happy with the results of the Vaygr incursion. All of their enemies have been significantly weakened and in the wake of the destruction they have been able to very rapidly increase their holdings which makes all of the families happy. At this point four of the five military families have raised Taiidan Legions. The fifth is in charge of the logisitics of the Legions and works with the Senatii.
I am ancient
Ahh, a very nice perspective on things. I would like to integrate some of that into the version of the Taiidan I was thinking of, since I haven't really thought too hard on Military organization or Chain of command, and I can easily change things. Granted, I want (for fluff purposes) to keep the Intelligence Service as one of the prime movers and shakers within the Taiidani, simply for story purposes (they are the 'great link' between the more martial Taiidan and the Vaygr, and are pulling a lot of strings in a lot of places).

Perhaps have the IIS exist as a 'state within a state'; a relict of the old "Imperial Guard" units that acted as the Emperor's eyes and ears. Granted, alot of the hard-line fanatics would have been purges following the Beast Wars (the ones insane enough to try and ally with such a creature would have been publicly executed in show trials to try and salvage some PR). I've always imagined there would be elements of the Taiidan who were honorbound by old dogma or fanaticism, with others being cold, logical, pragmatic, and with a lot of realpolitik involved in their maneuverings. The IIS would be the latter.

Perhaps there would be a more overt struggle of power between the Intelligence Services and the Military families? The former quietly weaving networks of informants, paying key figures off, blackmail, or forging alliances with the Industrial and Technology families, as well as having a much more pragmatic attitude toward the former republic (promoting the Empire as a beacon of order and safety against the chaotic Vaygr Barbarians and loathsome Belemiid), while the Military Families are attempting to secure territory overtly and ensure their primacy over the Taiidan people, and generally try to hold onto a (self-idealized) version of the old order of things.

One thing I was considering is I want to write in the Frrern Aggregate (replacing Elyassia, who are somewhat poorly defined these days, unless there's a big boatload of written lore on them I've missed), who are themselves a more traditional nation state. They are however, quite Fascist, Authoritarian, and Militaristic, similar to the late Empire. Unlike the Taiidan (who have a millenia-long shared ethno-cultural identity), the Frrern state is both young, and highly authoritarian. It's border systems are rife with secessionist thought (especially on many of it's frontier mining colonies, where labor conditions range from 'below average' to 'appalling'), and there are deep-running ethnic tensions between a number of the Aggregate's constituent populations (since it was, well, aggregated from several pre-existing nations, with about a thousand year interval from the last period of unification under a previous Empire) who are consistently at each others throats for perceived (or real) oppression, or simple rascism.

The Aggregate and it's media had to essentially bank on the lingering (and very real) threat of the Taiidan Empire, up to the point of it's collapse. They also (deliberately) maintained a rivalry with the nearby Yomi empire, both of whom wanted control of the large area of neutral space between their territories. They could never fight an open war over it though, due to the enforcement of the Neutral Zone by the Galactic Council and a Taiidani 'peacekeeping' (read; occupation) force in the region, and the presence of the ever unpredictable T-MAT to the south. Essentially the Frrern and Yomi have been in a continuous cold war since the latter's foundation, with brief interludes of co-operation during the late reign of Emperor Riesstiu (the Taiidan were making provocative moves toward both parties) and the Beast War (the aforementioned neutral zone was the scene of some of the bloodiest fighting of that conflict).

Currently, the Frrern are in a tough situation. The Galactic Council (who previously mediated the Yomi-Frrern saber rattling) is impotent, and the Yomi (who largely didn't care) are now modernizing and gearing their armed forces up. The Frrern government is wise enough to realize that, while good for propaganda purposes, a war against the Yomi would devolve into a bloody war of attrittion, that would quickly erode their ability to police the secessionists or defend against encroaching Vaygr to the east. Therefore, they have settled on a plan that involves striking northward toward the IVF-held Nalthoran Exclaves and Ravinder Democratic Republic.

The Aggregate wouldn't be aware of any Hiigaran support for the IVF, and aren't particularly caring about the distant Nalthorans or seemingly Extinct Republic. This may bring them into conflict with Hiigara and/or The Nalthor if the situation escalates and deteriorates. It is unclear what the result of such a conflict would be, but it could very easily destabilize the already tense situation in the area (Nalthorans are pressuring the HGN to clear the IVF out of their former territories, while the IVF/RDR are attempting to gain recognition by Hiigara to defend themselves against the Armada).
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