The Protectorate is a colonial fleet detached from its former home by stellar disaster. Nearing a millennia in age, the number of of Llrynni that can attest to the striking landscapes of their ancestral home can be counted on one hand. After having founded the first known Llranni extra-solar colony, the Protectorate set about building the infrastructure and knowledge base to reach out to the stars in search of their centuries-lost brethren and the guidance of the Imperial Family.
Llrynni evolved into a global society late into their home star's life cycle, attaining the ability to send out STL colony ships in time to evacuate the entire planet in search of a sustainable home. Run by an interim military government, the Protectorate has pushed itself and its people to constantly break barriers to their people's discovery of the stars. Recently developing faster-than-light capability, the Llrynni are taking their first manned steps towards their neighboring stars.
The Llranni Protectorate is a jumble of ethnicities and foreign cultures packed into cryostasis for several thousand years to be dumped onto an alien planet and forced to get over old rivalries and survive without ending what may be the last of their kind in a petty squabble. It has been a long time, even for the eldest Llrynni, and under the looming watch of the Protectorate the old ways have mixed together into a motley whole. Llranni worship focuses around several previously inimical deities, and the jumbled faith reflects this, each sect frequently arguing over which holy books take precedence and how each of the often contradictory edicts should be interpreted. Devout faith has fallen out of favor with the last few generations of youth, who tend to pick out the harmonious verses that promote the ideals which founded the Protectorate; nationalism is slowly taking over deism.
Warlike in their past, and led by an expansionist military government, Llrynni regard occupants of habitable worlds as impediments to their species' continued survival. Scientists' and doctors' use of what would amount to biological weapons doesn't help engender an eco-friendly attitude either. So far, the Protectorate has yet to meet or acknowledge a sapient species, but fiction on the topic is a budding curiosity among the whole population. Younger generations espouse the ideal of military dominance, while elders in all walks of life tend to be more philosophical in regards to first contact, and the Protectorate's official opinion on how to deal with fellow starfarers is unknown to all but a few in the Admirality whose job it is to plan as many diplomatic and military scenarios as possible; theoretical biologists have occupied their spare time in constructing treatises on advanced bio-organic technologies and the mass destruction such super weapons could unleash against a weaker Llranni Protectorate.
Civilians are heavily integrated into military culture and function more like a contracted labor force than a true civilian population. Pastimes often take the form of physical sports or attending university lectures, both essential to serving the well-being of the Protectorate. Deliquency is harshly punished, recreational drugs are prohibited, and subversion is also punished under the penalty of public defoliation; defoliation is equivalent to skinning, but without permanent scarring, damage, or loss of sensation that comes from a Nepleslian having its tactile organ ripped off. Execution is rare, reserved for extreme cases of repeat or unabashed deviancy. All executions are telelvised and, performed according to ancient sacrificial rites to gods of war, are tantamount to cruel and unusual torture. Their rarity and gruesome severity reinforces the need to uphold the Protectorate and its mission of reuniting with the Imperial Family. The lash may be barbed, but the rewards for performing exceptionally in service to one's people are supposed by those in power to outweigh their infrequent cruelty.
Reproduction is closely monitored as well, community creche are indoctrinated from early youth through apprenticeships and well into one's official employment. Family-reared individuals, Narrya, whom are most likely to enter into scientific fields, are given access to exemplary tutors that ensure each child is given the appropriate dosage of propaganda and that the parent is not instilling rebellious or destructive ideals in secret. The cost of living under the Protectorate is expensive, but basic necessities and entertainment is provided even for criminals waiting for a death sentence to be carried out.
The internal and external social supports of a creche are provided by administrative officers, specifically by community morale officers who organize athletic and scholastic events with the assistance of experts in the requisite fields. For all the advantages offered to Narrya, they are often on the edges of most social cliques, belonging casually to several groups of peers of varied interests, further grooming them for leadership and administrative duties no matter what career path they follow. The average Llranni, raised in a creche, often deeply shares the convictions and interests of their crechemates, staying with the group into adulthood. Social organizers use community events to mingle creches and foster a sense of community support in addition to the tight-knit and sometimes isolationist creche, allowing Narrya to mix into society without being shunned, and teaching individuals within a creche a limited sense of the social mobility that Narrya are raised with.
Intimacy within a creche is discouraged despite the natural inclinations towards such an occurance, again to reduce the prospect of isolated and independent groups. Mating outside the primary group but within career paths is the most common association, but inter-creche romance is not unheard of or even very rare. Inter-creche mating is the most evolutionary desirable outcome, but is not endorsed by the Protectorate because it promotes tribalism within the creche, which is viewed as dangerous to the stability of the Protectorate. The rarest mates are those pairs of Narrya from different career paths, who tend to more often group-mate with a creche they have been associated with since youth, adopting into a favored creche and mating exclusively among them.
Incest is extremely rare, as scent messages passed during pre-coital intimacy as well as during day-to-day interactions identify a prospective partner's genetic differential, the most attractive partners are those with the greatest difference in hereditary lines and those with a differential too close to the interested party's own is actually slightly repulsive in an intimate context, but are highly desired as associates and adoptive crechemates. This drive sorts individuals in a creche into two groups: those who are desirable as allies; and those who are desirable as mates, with a greater desirability placed towards the acquisition of potential mates. To this effect, Llranni larva move among different creche in their hatchery until they undergo metamorphosis, instinctively sticking with whomever is in their final creche upon hatching into their nymph form.
There is no official religious belief among the Llrynni, their states and churches having been mixed up in the evacuation. The Protectorate has absorbed the gods of most faiths into a single whole, the only difference is how those gods are viewed and worshiped.
Both the Hivunna and Dalyrri Cults are named after their founders, Hivunn and Dalrri, respectively.
Most Llrynni pay homage to all four gods and while a few worship only a single deity, especially those who ascribe to one of the popular sects, many favor one with extra attention according to their vocation or philosophical tendencies.
Annterras is the only deity with a distinctly 'feminine' aspect, having given birth to Sarett without the presence of a father-entity; the closest Nepleslian or Yamataian archetype is the 'virgin mother'. Llrol, being an ascended Llranni, and Shhotarri, one who carries and deposits wind-borne seeds, are given the hermaphroditic qualities common to the Llranni species and are seen as the most present in mortal affairs. Karrthass is genderless, texts speak of it as “barren, birthing only ideas and the words to carry them to others”. Study of the deity's slumbering head, Sarett's moon, Karrthass proper, before the great exodus of the Llranni people lead many scientists to conclude the rock had been an extra-solar body captured many billions of years after Annteras had calmed and Seratt was able to support life.
Having rushed the first colony ships into production to escape their home star's death throes, the Great Fleet was separated and sent in multiple directions based on the best observation technologies available at the time. In the rush, members of the Imperial Family were never attached to the Protectorate's expedition. The Llranni Protectorate acts as both the military and interim government while the whereabouts of the Imperial Family remains unknown. Governed by the ageing Lord Protector Mallan yn Bakall, former Admiral in Chief of the Admirality commanding the Protectorate fleet, a position now held by jen young and accomplished negra, Gen ag Bakall'n. Government officers serve primarilly as administrative support in civilian sectors, while the military performs most judicial, legislative, and executive functions including law enforcement, civil service, and public works projects.
The Protectorate is descended from the Llranni Imperial Air Force, Navy, and Stellar Exploration Program. After the colony ships arrived at a suitable world and revived its frozen cargo of Llrynni, the Protectorate was formed within the first months of colonisation efforts and has ruled to this day. The military controls most aspects of fleet life as a necessity and most Llranni express little to no dissent on the subject, though grumbling about the small inconveniences are common enough. Protectorate forces are divided into three sectors: civilian support and administration, including law enforcement and civil engineering; aerospace forces, including fighter and shuttle pilots; and stellar forces, including ship crew and the naval college of the Admirality. There is no differentiation between ship-board crew and a marine as all enlisted personnel in the stellar forces and aerospace forces are trained to serve as provisional infantry forces should the need arise. On Naval assets, Damage Control & Combat Engineers and Security Officers make up a greater proportion of the crew as they are the most likely to serve as combatants with vehicular support from aerospace personnel who might also serve as light paradrop infantry.
Llranni technology is completely bio-organic in nature, plantid specifically. Llrynni are, as a whole, medically specialised, boasting lifespans numbering into the centuries. The Llranni Protectorate is also quite accomplished at agriculture, growing plants being their sole means of production and development.
The pinnacle of Llranni bio-organic technologies is their numerous biological weapons packages, from viruses to protozoans, Llranni microbiologists have a library of devastating and alleviating organisms at their disposal. Any Llranni ship or colonial habitat is well-stocked in the case of a biological event.
Llranni structures are living organisms similar in nature, if not resemblance, to terrestrial trees and are grown instead of built. Modifications to a building, item, vehicle, or spacecraft are induced via mutagenic retroviruses; everything used by the Llrynni is a biological organism. This reliance on biological fabrication blends the medical and engineering professions, though specialists still exist.
Below are general descriptions of some of the Protectorate's basic technologies, the list here organizes all specific examples of materials development.
Llrynni frequently use power assisted biosuits called 'symbiont sheaths', due to the frailty of their own biology, from form-fitting EVA suits to the imposing Assault Symbionts. In addition to aiding ship crew, stellar workers, and infantry, symbiont sheaths are used in almost every profession as well as items of casual or formal dress and can be found tailored to almost any potential need or want. The ability to modify one's body by simply wearing an outfit has long fueled a bio-chauvinist “Retrograde Movement” that espouses the sanctity of the Llranni form, restricting research in cosmetic or functional body augmentation and use of drugs and organisms that affect the function of one's body for reasons other than maintaining one's health. Conventional modes of thought tend towards nudism, leading most symbionts to be purely functional in nature and worn only when necessary. There is a thriving underground of casual-wear symbiont sheaths and further down the rabbit-hole are sexual deviants that make use of symbionts, drugs, and retro-organisms in creative ways to enhance or alter the mating experience, increasing the stigma against non-essential symbiont use. This deviancy is equivalent in legal status to Nepleslian or Yamataian clubs of the more illegal type that traffic in prohibited substances and slaves.
The Admirality's view of the battlefield does not recognize any one front to a battlefield, and instead perceive land battles, where such a visualization would be only partially appropriate, as restricted stellar engagements. Llranni defenses reflect this, most installations are squad-portable plasma barricades and shelters, using multi-layered plasma to effectively stealth the structures; only the largest are vehicle-ported devices and require being broken down into separate barrier projectors, though such installations are only deployed in the event that a piece of terrain is critical to the strategic effort.
Ground forces are mechanised, mobile, and rely on other elements for support from air zone defense to ground artillery and aerospace bombardment; the entire Admirality has a role in every engagement, whether it be a division-level skirmish or a raid on a city block, support elements and relief units are always organized.
In order to keep military readiness, the Llranni Protectorate under commission by the Chief Admiral is engaged in a seven decade-long strategic exercise in which a significant portion of elements in the Protector Fleet is divided into three factions with conquest of the other two being the only stated goal. The active ships and personnel within each 'Laterate', a linguistic corruption of 'side', are generally selected from the top-ranking graduates of the Naval College and Aerospace Academies, though any Captain or Squadron Commander may petition for their vessel(s) to be selected for the next rotation in the wargame. Active patrols have been subsumed into these operations and provide a means of keeping crew focused and alert despite a lack of interstellar neighbors. The preeminent faction that has so far demonstrated control of Protectorate starspace and thus boasts the largest deployment of 'game assets' have received the official title of “Karrthylla” which closely translates to “Iron Dragons”, though the meaning behind the name employs iron not as a measure of strength or resilience as is common to Nepleslians and Yamtaians, but as a common poison to Llranni biology coupled with the imagery of the Hivunni deity, Karrthass, the star-snake said to have brought the path of enlightenment and intellectual pursuit to the Llranni peoples.
Subjunctive operant intelligences (SOI), equivalent to nonvolitional artificial intelligence, within ship communications and targeting networks on ships playing in the Trilateral Project constantly identify themselves and occlude any incoming identification from other game assets. Similarly playing ships that fire on each other deploy only low power particle/laser pulses and dummy missiles designed to 'tag' the target which SOIs interpret as damage and react accordingly, providing a realistic simulation of combat. The symbiont sheaths worn by the crew are wired into this tactical network and notify their wearer if they have been 'killed' in action. Complex situations such as boarding actions and bombing runs are simulated through VR interfaces aboard the offending craft rather than risk deploying crew and materiel into open space. Training to repel boarders occurs in the naval academies and uses scenarios developed through play in the Trilateral Project, which themselves provide data to simulate the defending forces during a skirmish.
Ship's Captains and their Executive Officers are the only personnel fully informed of each skirmish's status and have the authority to disengage the ship's 'wargame mode' and bring full power to weapons and alert the crew to full stations. This is frequently done with ghost targets simulated by the SOIs or in a double-bluff against the crew with a drone-operated weasel boat putting out hostile signatures and 'game fire' while the crew launch live fire operations, including light craft strikes up to and including boarding operations, to destroy the drone. While the knowledge of the absence of an interstellar alien power is known to dull reactions to these events, the Admirality expects the desire to perform well within the game and compete against the opponent factions to keep the naval and aerospace crew prepared for the potential of an actual war.
Sensor technology within the Protectorate has just reached FTL subspace transmission speeds, though they use a ship's Mass Effect Coil Array Distortion Drive to transmit or receive, leaving the vessel far less mobile and projecting a large signature. Communications have better range than sensors and can just reach nearby stars within three light years with the best technology, prompting the construction and deployment of an unmanned communications and sensor relay network to the nearest systems in order to support colonisation efforts. Dedicated communications and sensor boats are also being designed with a secondary Distortion Drive Array, making them fast scouts and reliable messengers for a taskforce on the move.
Power generation is environmental, most often solar, and long-term energy storage is performed by highly compact and efficient chemical batteries. As such, only a tiny fraction of Llrynni tree-ships are built for war, using fission fragment reactors to power their interstellar drives. FFR powerplants are seeing experimental civilian use, however, in an effort to expand colonisation efforts, but a majority of interstellar shipping takes place with the aid of military FTL tugs.
Solar Sails are the primary civilian propulsion device, requiring a network of boosting platforms scattered across a system to facilitate faster travel; a few experimental models mount ion-based particle impulse drives and MECA Distortion Drives. Military vessels move faster by magnitudes with particle impulse drives that use charged fissile matter for propulsion, which, unlike solar sails, must be replaced as the fuel disks eventually wear down, but can last for several months.
Heavy electromagnetic and hot-plasma fields are the primary defense of any Llranni vessel, though civilian ships do not generally carry plasma shielding because of the technology's stealth capabilities. Several frequencies of cold-plasma fields are used for their active optical stealth abilities.
Llranni ships lack internal gravity. A few prototyped designs include gravitic tractors and active shield systems with theoretical plans for inertial damper systems. Currently such technology is limited to the general damping effects of an active continuum distortion bubble and prototyped personal gravity couches.
Where advanced particle weapons are too costly or cumbersome to mount, and missiles take up too much space, lasers provide a fast, compact, and reliable weapon system for the expanding Protectorate. Lasers have always been the mainstay of Llranni forces and fill the role of defensive, and light anti-ship weapons, packing long range and moderate firepower in a cheap package. Particle weapons pack a big punch, and the heaviest magnetic accelerators are capable of punching through the toughest shield barriers, the downside is their slower than light velocity and penchant for scattering after several megameters limits the weapons to close-range engagements below a lightsecond whereas a laser system can be used reliably out to three lightseconds. Gravitic 'railguns' are a compact refinement of particle cannon technology, providing significant punch at a short range for ships that don't have excess power-generation capabilities to power even lightweight laser systems, thermal-to-electric energy capacitors allow Llranni railguns to achieve small sizes at the cost of a low rate of fire, fixing the weapon firmly as a supplemental armament and commercially available weapon system.
Particle shock cannons are some of the heaviest defensive weapons ever fabricated, packing a wallop against even moderately shielded craft and capable of engaging whole starfighter squadrons, these cannon even outmass heavy particle guns, but have an abysmally short engagement range. Particle shock cannons work by projecting a massive wave of high-energy plasma that rapidly expands after leaving the barrel, allowing it to cover a wide area, but limiting the engagement range to a few tens of thousands of kilometers, even shorter-ranged than railguns, because of rapid dispersion. Missiles fill a variety of rolls, but all use plasma fusion reactors for propulsion and power, the biggest are anti-ship hyper-cruise torpedoes that use a miniaturized continuum distortion drive to reach trans-solar velocities, with an effective engagement range of several AU. Theoretically, hyper-cruise warheads could be launched at neighboring star systems, but are next to useless for the surgical strikes favored by the Admirality due to the limited range of subspace sensors and the transit time between systems.
Military weapons pods carry variable strike packages, designed to alleviate the restricted firing arcs of turreted weapons in space battles. Still highly experimental, these shuttle-sized orbs carry a small dynamic chemical reactor cell that powers a weapons pod for several minutes of activity before needing a recharge. Lasers are the most common package installed, providing energy-efficient long-range lightspeed firepower from rapid-firing interception pulsers to armor piercing lances, lasers have always been the staple of the Llranni military; pod-mounted lasers are up-rated, firing faster and hitting harder than hard-mounted models to make up for the limited flight time of the weapons pod.
Particle weapons packages hold high-energy particles in an electro-magnetic magazine belt and when needed, hurl the particles near the speed of light at a target through a magnetic barrel. There are usually two to six such barrels on a single weapons pod, because of the limited flight time, pod-mounted beam weapons are typically built to pack high power or scattering shots at shorter ranges. Munitions launchers are regarded as one of the most powerful strike packages, though there is some debate as to whether the already limited magazine capacity of rocket-powered munitions makes them an improper weapon to mount in a weapons pod. Whether it fires a cloud of fast and short-range rockets, or long-range kinetic-kill warheads mounted on a small MECA Distortion Drive, munitions launchers have the longest flight time because their ammunition requires so little energy to fire, but also have the smallest and quickest-firing magazines, generally being capable of launching every munition in one salvo.
Weapons pods are all the same size and only differ in the amount of punch they can deliver, weapon type, and how rapidly the cannons and launchers cycle between each shot. A separate magazine holds plasma in a linked coil for unidirectional propulsion; the entire pod maintaining coherence with its parent ship via experimental graviton-beam tractors. Each pod has an external recessed docking bay on its mothership for refueling and storage, essential given the limited flight time of the pods. While most mainline vessels use flexible-spine mounted cannon and launchers hard-mounted to their hull, the newer ships are testing remote turrets as primary armament.
All weapons use magnetic shielding on their ammunition or project a magnetic funnel when firing to bypass its own shields, weapons pods deploy outside of the parent vessel's shields and rely on constant course adjustment and stealth to avoid damage.