Valdemarian Civilization: Supernova Event
What is Left Today
Game Master Information
The Valdemarians are long gone from the Three Galaxies but at one time were a powerful group even if extremely localized. They are not one of the truly ancient races, which are in the neighborhood of millions of years old, but are much older than any of the current cultures with the possible exception of the Promethians. They seem to have lasted for quite a long period, perhaps as long as around ten thousand years. If the present cultures of the Three Galaxies last as long as the Valdemarians, they will be doing quite well.
Technologically, they were incredibly advanced especially in areas of engineering and construction. They build one of the largest starships ever known in the Three Galaxies. They seemed most advanced in the area of gravity manipulation. The ship, called by most scientists a "Battle Sphere" was the size of a small moon. As well, they had fully automated construction facilities to support their shipbuilding. Computer systems were also incredibly advanced including full artificial intelligence. Only now are the civilizations of the Three Galaxies approaching the Valdemarian level of technology and they have the benefit of a much wider trade network with many different cultures. Their bio-sciences are less advanced in general than most of those in the more advanced societies in the Three Galaxies. They also used very little in the form of cybernetics and bionics.
Something happened to the Valdemarians approximately sixty-five thousand years which resulted in the destruction of their entire culture. It was some kind of Supernova event and the stellar explosion absolutely destroyed the biosphere of the star systems which the Valdemarians once inhabited. All of their ships and orbital industry was destroyed at the same time.
Since the first planet was discovered, many missions to learn more about the Valdemarian Civilization have been sent out. The Consortium has sent out dozens of missions but other major and minor powers have sent out expeditions to explore the ruins of this once great star empire. Some have been sent out to learn more about the culture while others have been sent out to try to get intact artifacts of their technology. The systems are in space considered unclaimed so they are fair game. As such, there is a certain trade in artifacts among collectors as well. There are a few permanent scientific stations in what was once Valdemarian space.
There were originally twelve star systems which the Valdemarians inhabited. These systems are within a star cluster with multiple G class stars from G5 to G0 in class. All twelve of these systems were clustered in an area of only around forty light years in diameter and appear to have been formed around the same time. They are all around three and a half billion years old and all are within around a hundred million years of each other in age. Many of these stars support large star systems and before the cataclysm, all had life supporting planets. Because of this huge amount of territory, there seemed to be little interest in expansion beyond.
Outside of this cluster was a dead zone which stretches for six hundred to a thousand light years in all directions. There were a number of stars but they were mostly the wrong class for life supporting stars and the few stars which had a likelihood of supporting life seem to have been devastated long before the first system was settled by what became the Valdemarian civilization. Some did show that life once existed in this devastated zone and even that sentient civilizations was have arisen. These though were millions of years in the past.
The Valdemarian civilization was settled by a race extremely closely related to elves. Fossil bones have been found in a few places and through careful analysis it appears that they did share a life span similar to that of other elves. They likely shared a relatively low birth rate as well which might also explain their lack of expansion. There have been bits of written text found and their language does seem extremely similar with a similar script to the common Elven tongue. From what has been deciphered, they do not appear to have practiced magic to any large degree. There are some indications of there being some psychics in their society.
There were twelve star systems with thirteen planets which supported relatively population of Valdemarians which were all are in a cluster of about forty light years in diameter. In addition, there are thirty seven red dwarf and fourteen orange dwarf stars in the same area. There were no colonies on any of the red or orange dwarf systems. Most of the planets which were within the life supporting zone appear to have been tide locked. There are no stars larger than a G0 class star within the group. The stars are fairly close together in cosmological distances although they do not seem to have enough stars or total mass to form a true Globular cluster.
There appears to have been enough real estate within the twelve star systems and there was likely little impetus to expand beyond those systems. As previously listed, there are a wide space around the cluster where there is no planets which have life on them. Most of these are red dwarfs and appear to be mostly low metal Population II stars. There are a number of type G and K stars. There are also a few K class stars although they appear to have drifted into the area. There are some artifacts which have been found which do not appear to have been Valdemarian artifacts. There are some belts of asteroids where there might have once been life supporting planets as well. Many areas also have high levels of radiation.
Some records indicate that there was a ring of sensor outposts around the ring of star systems. A few expeditions have been sent to try to discover remnants of these outposts because they should be outside of the main effect of the nova type event. None have been discovered which has lead some researchers into believing that they never existed. Of course there are a huge number of systems which have not yet been explored in detail.
Planet: Populations is believed to have been around three and a quarter billion at its height. Believed to have been the second planet colonized by the Valdemarian civilization and believed to have been settled originally by slower than light ships from the original home world of Quenyar. As expected, it is the closest star system and is only three quarters of a light year from Quenyar. This system had the largest shipbuilding facilities in the Valdemarian civilization.
Star System: Star is a G5 class star. System has two rocky terrestrial type planets in the inner system, five relatively small gas giants in the outer system, and a number of dwarf planets. There is a surprisingly heavy pair of asteroid belts.
Planet: Planet is believed to have been around two billion before the nova event destroyed the planet's biosphere. Fairly extreme weather conditions compared to some of the other planets of the Valdemarian settled planets. Moderate industry was in orbit around the planet and in the system. The planet was settled some time after faster than light travel was developed.
Star System: Star is a G2 class star. System has four rocky terrestrial type planets in the inner system, three gas giants in the outer system, but only a tiny number of dwarf planets. There are very few asteroids in the system which likely retarded the heavy orbital industry.
Ektrain and Illaim:
Planets (Moons): This is a twin pair of planets, actually moons around a small gas giant in the life supporting zone of the star system. Each one has a life supporting biosphere. Ektrain appears to have a population of around two and a quarter billion and Illaim appears to have had a population or around one and three quarter billion in total. Both appear to have been settled after faster than light propulsion was developed.
Star System: Star is a G0 class star. System has a small gas giant in the inner system which the two planets which were settled orbit. There is a host of smaller moons as well. The is an inner system rocky terrestrial type planet, and two huge gas giants (almost brown dwarfs in size) in the outer system, and four additional gas giants which are quite a bit smaller also in the out reaches of the system. There is also a number of dwarf planet and four relatively thin asteroid belts.
Planet: Populations is believed to have been around three billion at its height and slightly edging out Tarnese as far as population. It does not have as large an orbital industry as Anselhome or Quenyar but otherwise extremely industrialized. The planet appears to have had an extremely mild climate. It also does not appear to have been very tectonically active.
Star System: Star is a G3 class star. System has two rocky terrestrial type planets and a single small gas giant in the inner system, three four relatively gas giants in the outer system (also fairly small), and a number of dwarf planets. There is one relatively heavy asteroid belt.
Planet: Population appears to have been around two billion at its height. This system appears to have been settled after faster than light ships were developed. It is also believe to have been the first star system hit by the gamma burst from the supernova type event. It is the closest planet / system to the neutron star / nebula's location. It is also the worst devastated system.
Star System: Star is a G2 class star. System has five rocky terrestrial type planets in the inner system, four relatively gas giants in the outer system (some small and some large), and a number of dwarf planets. There is one relatively heavy asteroid belt.
Planet: Population was the second smallest with a population of around one and a quarter billion just before the destruction of the planet when engulfed by the nova event. It is believed to actually be the last one settled because it was on the opposite side of the neutron star from Quenyar.
Star System: Star is a G4 class star. System has three rocky terrestrial type planets in the inner system, four rocky terrestrial type planets in the outer system, and only a single small gas giants in the outer system. There are not many dwarf planets and asteroid density is quite low with no belts of asteroids.
Planet: Planet had a modest population of around eight hundred million at its height. It was the furthest system from the neutron star at around eighteen light years. The planet seems to have been at an intense glaciation period and only the equatorial regions seem to have been settled. The orbital industry also seems the most modest. This system appears to have been settled after faster than light ships were developed.
Star System: Star is a G5 class star which has a slight orange tone to it, almost a K0 class star. System has two rocky terrestrial type planets in the inner system, two gas giants in the outer system (both fairly small), and a number of dwarf planets. Not much in the form of an asteroid belt although there were mining facilities on multiple moons.
Planet: Populations is believed to have been around four and a half billion at its height. Capital world of the Valdemarian civilization. It was the largest population of any planet within Valdemarian controlled space. Also was the most heavily industrialize system. Some signs of a pre-space culture have been found on the planet and it is believed by most scientists to have been the first planet settled by the Valdemarian civilization and quite possibly first reached the planet through a Rifts. They appeared to have taken several millennium before developing space travel. It is about twelve light years from the neutron / quark star.
Star System: Star is a G4 class star. System has two rocky terrestrial type planets in the inner system, three gas giants in the outer system, and a number of dwarf planets. There is not much in the form of asteroids belt although there are enough asteroid for asteroid mining.
Planet: Population appears to have been in the area of one and three quarter billion at the time of the planet's destruction. This planet was one of those that was settled after the development of faster than life travel. Planet is quite arid with a fairly low percentage of ocean compared to land. Even though not as hospitable as some of the planets, it has a lot of heavy industry.
Star System: Star is a G1 class star. System has six rocky terrestrial type planets in the inner system, five gas giants in the outer system, and a number of dwarf planets. There is a single asteroid belt in the system although quite heavy.
Planet: Population appears to have been in the area of three billion at the time of the planet's destruction. One of the most active biologically. It is believed that there was an intensive research facility to explore the bio sciences. The planet has some huge jungles. There also was a native population which was almost at sentient level, equal to that of the higher primates of Earth. Most scientists believe that the planet was the first planet settled after the development of faster than light travel.
Star System: Star is a G4 class star. System has three rocky terrestrial type planets in the inner system, four gas giants in the outer system, and a number of dwarf planets. There is a single asteroid belt in the system although extremely thin.
Planet: Population seems to have been around two and a half billion before it was destroyed by the nova event. The planet appears to have been settled after the development of faster than light travel.
Star System: Star is a G1 class star. System has two rocky terrestrial type planets in the inner system, three gas giants in the outer system, and a number of dwarf planets. There is a pair of moderate asteroid belts. The system has a red dwarf star is a far orbit around the primary. The red dwarf has its own family of planets.
Planet: Populations is believed to have been around two and a half billion at its height. The planet was one of the middle planets to be colonize and appears to have been settled after faster than light ships were developed. One of the less researched planets of the Valdemarian civilization. Percentage of water to land appears to have been greater than any other planet.
Star System: Star is a G3 class star. System has three rocky terrestrial type planets in the inner system, four gas giants in the outer system, and a number of dwarf planets. There is a single asteroid belt in the system.
The Valdemarian race, for all intensive purposes, were elves. A few remains have been found and genetic testing has been done on those remains and there appears to be no real difference between them and the races of elves which live in the United Worlds of Warlock and other places in the Three Galaxies. Some scholars have scoured the records in an attempt to see if there is a connection but nothing seems to indicate any knowledge of the Valdemarian civilization in ancient records.
They appears to have been slightly less tall on average than the standard for elves of the Three Galaxies. There was also far more homogeneity them than for the humans of the Three Galaxies. Their builds tended to be slim and athletic with quite pale skin. The most common eye color seems to have been green. Lighter hair colors seemed to have been most common. There were pictures with blue eyes as well and those with red, brown, and even black hair.
Life spans do appear a bit longer as well although is likely due to their medical technology. While not extremely advanced by Three Galaxies standards, it still allowed life spans to commonly be between eight hundred and one thousand years. Towards the end of their civilization, these tended to become longer. Their birth rate was low like most elves which kept their populations relatively low.
For language, their language is definitely derived from the Elven language with a simplified written versions which is also designed to be able to carry complex engineering concepts. It appears as if they had a written language since Quenyar was first settled. Most of the words in the Valdemarian language which are not derived from Elven are engineering and scientific in nature. Some seem to indicate a language known as "Old Quenyar" which seems to refer to a language much more like the elf tongue.
The population of the entire Valdemarian civilization seems to have been almost thirty-one billion just before it was destroyed with about one in six living on Quenyar. There are only a handful of references to other races living on Valdemarian planets and there has never been any direct evidence discovered through archaeology. As such, it is believed that no more than one percent or so of the Valdemarian population could have been other races. As well, these populations were always transitory not settlers.
Because of the homogeneity of the Valdemarian population, there seems to have been little cause for conflict in that direction. As well, from the earliest times, it appears as if the sexes were treated more or less equally. This is quite common in Elven societies. The big distinction in the household seemed to be age. The elder, whichever sex, seemed to make most of the decisions of a household.
The culture seemed to be quite organic in the way they constructed their buildings. Virtually no dwelling places survived the gamma radiation fire which destroyed their home worlds but old records indicate that homes usually melded as part of the landscape. This did not stop them from making some impressive structures.
For some reason that is not completely known, there does not seem to be much in the form of magic practiced by the Valdemarian civilization. While the magical energies appear to have been fairly low compared to some other areas of the Three Galaxies, they did not seem to be incredibly low. There does not seem to be any material which supports an actual hatred of magic. One of the more common opinions is that there simply were no practitioners of magic in the group of elves which went through what was likely a Rift to the planet of Quenyar. Other opinions are that the planet of Quenyar or the whole stellar area had some kind of anti-magic field. It could even have been just a small area on the continent first settled. The opinion of an anti-magic zone is supported by some records which indicates that those of ancient times might have been trained in the magic arts but when they came over to this world, it just would not work anymore. The source is highly dubious though and many scholars dismiss it.
There appears to have been no supernatural creatures on any of the Valdemarian planets. While there does not appear to be much in the way of other sentient creatures on the Valdemarian planets (Ther is a few which seem to have come close), there were many native species and domesticated creatures brought with the first settlers. Domestic animals include horses, cats, various birds, and some others. Still, they seemed to have a mythology which had a large number of supernatural creatures. These included Unicorns, Pegasus, Phoenix, Dragon, Sphinx, and others.
Religion is an interesting subject which there have been attempts to explore in detail. These is mention of supernatural being, perhaps from the cultures original settlement. If they were ever formalized, this seems to have faded with time. There are no real references to anything resembling temples. There did seem to be something of an ancestor worship and there was something akin to ancestor shrines. Even they don't seem to have been of extreme importance. Most oaths though seem to have been in the name of or by the grace of the individual's ancestor.
Bits of history have been deciphered from surviving records although research is still ongoing. The population is definitely not native to any of the planets which all of the life forms except a handful having been build to an entirely different body plan. A small band, perhaps with a few live stock animals, appears to have come across something like a rift.
The culture seems to have started in a small place on a single continent on the planet of Quenyar. This is near where the ruling capital was located. This seems to have started as a small village and grew into a town. The town then split into a number of smaller towns which eventually unified under a single lord. All of this seemed to have happened relatively peacefully.
It continued growing until this nation became unwieldy for a single ruler. A series of civil wars occurred as the nation broke up. The history was not all wars but there was a number of problems throughout the history of the planet. Later, more continents were settled. Due to the time required for communications by ship, their were even more independent.
Somehow, a single ruler first unified the largest continent on the planet. Already larger power blocks had been joining together. The planet seems to have entered the technology period equal to Earth's industrial age and communication through something extremely similar to telegraph seems to have allowed almost instant communication. Still, wars continued to be fought between the various continents. This seemed to be a time of gunpowder, cannon, and steam. Huge ironclad warships battled with each other for centuries.
It was left to this ruler's great grand daughter to unify the rest of the planet of Quenyar. By this time, primitive radio had been invented which allowed for almost worldwide communication. It took a number of major wars and over two centuries to actually unify the planet. The technology by this time was approximately equal to that of the Earth in the early Twentieth century. While the weapons were destructive enough, nothing like nuclear weapons had yet been invented.
Valdemarian, just like elves, tend to be more stable than humans. Even so, hundreds of years without any outlet for their frustration would lead to wars or other violence. This is impossible to curb completely but instead the ruler channeled it. Channeled into exploration instead of war. First, it was channeled into the exploration of the space just outside of the planet. Communication satellites were up within just a few generations. Space stations and the exploration of the remainder of the solar system soon followed.
Once it was discovered just how close the nearest star system was, much research was done and it was soon discovered that the system had multiple planets as well. A starship was build which could bridge the gap. It was the work of several generations before the expedition was sent. That planet, which was named Anselhome, was the second planet colonized. Due to the time required using slower than light drives, the planet had to be completely independent. New discoveries could be transmitted but even those messages took three quarters of a year to reach the other system.
Faster than light travel was discovered just a few generations later. Ships were slowly sent out to the various other stars clustered around in a group. While most did not have planets with biospheres, a number did. These became the core worlds. The last was a planet on the opposite size of the cluster which had what appeared to be a neutron star between the Quenyar system and the planet. Thirteen colonies around twelve yellow stars were eventually settled. Because of the relatively slow population growth, there was no fighting between the various planets and populations on the planets.
It appears to have been some time before they appear to have had contact with some other races. Sometimes this seems to have taken the form of peaceful trade while at other times it seems to have been war. Over the years, they appear to have found a couple of dozen wars, some minor and some major. Still, there military seemed to be up to the challenge. The Valdemarian worlds seem to have been at war with a new enemy just before the destruction of their planet by the nova event.
From reconstruction of surviving written materials, there has been an attempt to decipher the government of the Valdemarian. It appears to have been something similar to a constitutional monarchy. Many scholars like to use the term Imperium. This Imperium appears to have been centered on the planet of Quenyar. The Imperium appears to have been ruled by an emperor and a supreme council.
There have been the remains of a massive castle/ fortress and city discovered on one continent of the planet of Quenyar. It seems to have been the most massive ground structure in the entire Valdemarian Imperium. Even the nova seems to have been unable to completely destroy it. It is believed to have acted as the seat of government. Several massive defense facilities also flank this huge edifice. Many for the surviving records on the culture have come from vaults deep underground of these ruined buildings. Some these seem to have been specially built vaults.
The Emperor (or it could be an empress) appear to have always been a descendent of the king of that first fledgling nation on the planet of Quenyar. This emperor had to at least be around two hundred and fifty standard years old when taking the throne. If the child of the emperor was not old enough, another family line would be found for the position of emperor. At first, the previous emperor decided who would take the position of emperor after them. This could be to take position after death or the ruler could decide to abdicate. Otherwise it would be for life.
It was usually the eldest child of the previous ruler but not always. Some notable exceptions hacve been found in the fragmentary records. Sometimes, the eldest child would not be right for the role and there seem to have been a handful of cases where there was hatred between the ruler and their youngest child. As well, there appear to have been a tiny number of cases where the position was refused.
One important stipulation was that the ruler had to marry a non-noble. This person would then become co-ruler and was a check against too much control by the nobility. How much power this non-noble co-ruler had depended very much on their own abilities and charisma. These seems to have been cases where they were effectively the chief ruler. The emperor could stay without spouse but if they did marry, it had to be a non-noble or they would have to step down.
The elevation of the emperor seems to have been later changed so that the supreme council would have to approve the choice for the next ruler. A super majority, at least two thirds, could also vote the emperor out of position. This was changed yet again so that it was a Imperium wide vote. A simple majority would have to vote in the new emperor. Again, the emperor could be voted out by a super majority.
The supreme council was a body of around sixty although their number could vary . There were two council members from each planet. These were nobles and were chosen by the other nobles of their planet of origin. This tended to give Ektrain and Illaim more power than their populations would indicate because of being a twin moon system. The remainder were elected internally by various industries. The industries represented changed as time went on. Some would be added while others were removed. The creation or addition of a new council seat had to be by a majority of the council and be approved by the emperor. A super majority could overrule the emperor. They number from the various industries usually at least equaled the number of nobles on the supreme council although rarely reached a super majority by themselves. This could mean that the emperor and nobles would lose all control.
Each planet was divided up into the domains of various nobles. At first, they received their title by birth but later it was changed so that the population of the domain would have to vote to approve the elevation of the noble to their position before their could become lord. They also could be removed from that position by a two thirds majority. The emperor could create a new domain and appoint a noble to that domain. In that case, the emperor would have to get council approval.
In addition to the Supreme Council, the emperor had a group of advisors which were not council members. In no ways were these advisors chosen by the Supreme Council. In some cases they were chosen directly against the council's wishes. These could be other nobles, could be from industries which were not represented, and usually would include representatives from the military. The imperial advisors had no official or mandated power but still could be extremely influential. Some of them practically steered the emperor.
There is a final branch of government which are the courts. There was a series of courts with the senior court elected by the emperor. There was one high court and a planetary court on each planet. After being chosen by the emperor, they had to be approved by the council. If they disapproved of the choice, the emperor would have to chose another. The Supreme council could not force a choice but could recommend which the emperor may or may not follow. The noble domains each had their own judges. They were each chosen by the noble who ruled the domain. Usually the emperor would not get involved but could deny a choice. The emperor would also sometimes recommend a choice.
They are most advanced in the area of gravity manipulation and include more advanced gravity manipulation than the present cultures in the Three Galaxies. They also had gravitonic based weapons which only now the most advanced technologies are working towards. Their technology also seems to have advanced far slower than the technology of the younger races which presently dominate the Three Galaxies.
Artificial Intelligence: The Valdemarians used a large amount of artificial intelligence in their daily life and had fully sentient computer systems especially in military hardware. Their largest warships and defense stations all mounted fully self aware computer systems. Their smaller hardware was less advanced but still quite advanced. There was civilian artificial intelligence as well.
Automation: The Valdemarian went into automation to a much larger extend that most of the present civilizations of the Three Galaxies. Virtually their entire industry, most of which was orbital, was completely automated including ship building industries. They made heavy use of robotic aids, both large scale and small scale (in the form of nanites.) Heavy warships had their own self repair facilities and the largest of their warships, the Battle Sphere, could produce fighters and missiles from raw materials.
Faster Than Light Propulsion: Valdemarian faster than light drives were similar to the Contra-Grav Propulsion used by many of the major civilizations presently in the Three Galaxies. Their versions were further refined to increase speeds up to sixteen light years per hour. This drive system is commonly called a Gravitronic Slip Stream Drive. Civilian versions were a bit slower but even they had a maximum speed of around eight light years per hour - faster than most present military contra-grav drive. Communication speeds were about ten times faster than ship travel with transmissions traveling at 160 light years per hour.
Force Field Technology: The Valdemarian's force field technology was only slightly more advanced than the force field technology of the major powers within the Three Galaxies. They did have personal force field technology which the generators were slightly lighter than Naruni force field generators.
Gravitonic Weapons: Valdemarian were also masters of gravity based weapons which work by alternating gravity fields which rip apart the target by switching gravity fields extremely rapidly. They also had gravity wave generators which could actually be used to pull a ship out of faster than light travel. Finally, they had heavy gravitonic missile warheads similar to the "Singularity Missiles" that the Trans-Galactic Empire uses (Inflicts 1D6x1000.)
Grazer Technology: Instead of lasers, the Valdemarian used grazer technology for their main beam weapons. Instead of light, grazers use tightly focused gamma radiation as the main batteries of their largest warships. Smaller weapons tended to be gravity, tachyon, and fusion weaponry.
High Density Fusion Power: While the Valdemarian civilization had mastered anti-matter but high density fusion reactors were the preferred power systems. They used gravity forces close to that of a black hole to create a fusion reaction which could produce power almost as efficiently as anti-matter systems. Of course the high density fusion plants are far safer than anti-matter plants. These power systems were both in civilian and military service.
Medical Technology: Medical Technology was not as advanced as other areas of technology and are below the standard of the Three Galaxies, especially the medical technology of the Consortium of Civilized Worlds. They were approximately equal to lesser powers on Rifts Earth. Still, they used nanites quite a bit which did aid in many medical fields. They did not have cloning technology and there was much in the form of bionics. There was some cybernetics available for those who were badly injured.
The Valdemarian Military was quite large for as small an entity as the Valdemarian core systems appear to have been. They likely would be a tough enemy for even the Consortium to take on when the Valdemarian military forces were at their height. There seems to be the idea that they believed in the idea that the best way to have peace is to prepare for war. Even so, without their automated ship facilities, it is unlikely that they could support a force as large as theirs.
From partial records and reconstructions, it does appear that they did fight a number of wars against enemies over the millenniums of their existence. Some of these wars appears to have lasted hundreds of years themselves. While fragmentary, it appears as if the Valdemarian civilization was in a limited war with an enemy at the time of the civilization's destruction. The name of the race / civilization appears to have been named the Meklaron by Valdemarian records. Unlike the Valdemarians, the race seems to have used bionics and cybernetics heavily. They seem to use it so heavily that they could be described as bio-mechanical. What happened to the other civilization is unknown and no direct evidence of the race has been discovered.
While there has been some attempt to determine the number of warships in service although the numbers are still quite rough. There has been no attempt to determine support forces. In general, both the Battle Sphere and Heavy Cruisers appear to be general designs which could support massive ground attacks operations. The smaller ships appear to have lacked ground force detachments although there seem to be little in the way of ground assaults ever performed by military forces. As such, there might have been seen no need for additional assault forces.
In addition to mobile forces, each planet was protected by one or more orbital defense facilities. The planets with larger populations tended to have more actual defense facilities. They do not appear to have been as large as the Battle Sphere type ships but were still extremely impressive structures and had quite a bit more firepower than one of their heavy cruisers. If there were orbital mine facilities, this is currently unknown. None have been found thus far. Planetary defense also included multiple fighter squadrons and missile bases backing up the orbital defense facilities. Some of the mining facilities had light defenses as well including missile launchers, fighter squadrons, and a small number of beam weaponry. These defense facilities seem to have been designed as self defense until heavier forces to be able to respond. Some of these defense facilities were built into asteroids which allowed them to be partially protected and be more intact that other.
Eacch of the Battle Spheres seems to have been named after a mythic creatures including Unicorn, Pegasus, and Phoenix. While there appear to have been one Battle Sphere built for each planet, they do not appear to have been exclusively assigned to that planet. Instead, the often seemed to form a strategic reserve along with the majority of the other vessels. Usually anywhere from two to four heavy cruisers were assigned to each planet and were supported by numbers of smaller vessels. A number of ships, including heavier vessels, tended to patrol the dead zone around the core systems. Their ships tended to be large for the roles that they deployed them in. Their "Heavy Cruiser" would likely have been considered a battleship by the Consortium and carried around the same firepower of a Protector class. One item which is unknown is how much of the fleet was in active service at any one time and how much of the fleet was considered reserve or mothball forces. There has been wild speculation in this area from military minds.
Research into the structure of military including ranks is still in its infancy. There appeared to be a kind of senior captain who was in command of Battle Sphere with lesser captains in charge of the smaller ships. There would appear to have been at least four grades of captain as a result. How command of a group of smaller ships was ranked is still elusive from available sources.
Valdemarian Fleet Forces:
|13||Battle Spheres (750 Million Metric Tons)|
|106||Heavy Cruisers (8.5 Million Metric Tons)|
|440||Destroyers (250,000 Metric Tons)|
|1500||Corvettes (20,000 Metric Tons)|
There has been a lot of research done about exactly what happened. With the ability to travel faster than light, there is the ability to find a point where the light from the actual event can be observed. There are special starships which are space borne observatories. These have been used to observe the event. Special studies have been done
What is known is that while the stars which the Valdemarians inhabited are visible, there is no large star in the position where the high energy event appears to have occurred. There is a lot of intervening dust but a star should be visible. There was a source of X-Ray radiation and stellar radio signals which does indicate that there seems to have been a neutron star at that locality.
The event was definitely supernova like. Massive amounts of gamma radiation were released in all directions although there were two more powerful beams of massive amounts of gamma radiation. Luckily, there does not seem to have been any civilizations further out in the direct path of these focused areas of gamma radiation for several thousand light years. Of course, the released energy seems to have been lethal out to at least a couple of dozen light years.
There are several theories about what might have happened. All involve the neutron star one way or the other. It is kind of ironic because the neutron star, when it had been a large "B" class star, might very well have seeded the smaller stars with heavier atoms so they could bring forth life. The object might have been both the birth and death of the star's ecosystems.
The most common idea is that the neuron star collided with a smaller mass although something still quite large. Theories include a fairly large white dwarf, perhaps the core of a smaller "B" type, or a red dwarf. A brown dwarf is likely to have been too small and even an orange dwarf should have been visible to the research. Two fairly small neutron stars might have also collided. If their mass was not great enough combined, they would not have produced a black hole but is would still be quite an event.
A second idea is that the neutron star slowly built up mass until it reached a point where it collapsed into a quark star. A third idea, and the most radical, is that the neutron star was messed with either by the Valdemarians themselves or by an enemy. With the large size of their fleet, they appeared to have had enemies although information about them is fragmentary at best. There are some experiments by Scientists which point the the possibility of being able to trigger a star into Nova or Supernova. What might happen if one is used on a Neutron Star is quite scary.
One subject that has been argued about is why a society with faster than light drives could not escape the gamma radiation blast and wall of super hot matter. The only explanation seems to make any sense is that there was some sort of gravity fluctuation which prevented any ships from escaping. Scientists have given this a term called "Hyper Flux" and some experiments support this concept. It might have even taken years for this flux to "heal" itself. This also likely prevented any form of faster than light communication. With that, there might very well have been no idea what would befall the home worlds of the Valdemarians in a few years times. Even if they prepared shelters at first, the several years which elapsed might have let the population relax. The nearest formerly inhabited star system to the supernova type event is six and a half light years away with the furthest being around eighteen light years away.
Today, none of the star systems support any kind of complex life although there is some bacteria and other single cell organisms deep underground. The supernova event stripped the life planets of virtually all of their atmosphere and because of that, most of the water evaporated from the planets as well. There is a bit of thin atmosphere surrounding most of the planets but this seems to be mostly from volcanic activity. A bit is caused by the single cell organisms deep in the planet's crusts. There is some discussion in the distant future about bringing terra forming equipment and atmospheric renewing systems to make them once again support life.
On the planets themselves, most of the structures have been blasted out of existence. Only the toughest of structures, mainly military, survived the cosmic blasts which scoured the planetary surfaces. Even they have been badly damaged basically to the point of being wrecked. Not much of value seems to have also been found in these structures. Underground, much more seems to have survived, although even there almost everything has been destroyed. Only the deepest underground areas seems to have survived relatively intact. Still, these have been the best place for scientists to discover more about the Valdemarian civilization.
In the orbital community, everything was shattered. Ships were twisted and melted like butter. Bits of ships survived more intact than others. This litter orbits the planet which once supported life along with the orbits of the stars themselves. Among the most intact of facilities are various defense facilities but into asteroids. The trillions of tons of rock was the best protection just like it was on the planets. Expeditions usually concentrate on these locations and quite a bit has been discovered through exploration of these locations.
There are permanent research facilities on the planets of Anselhome and Quenyar. These facilities are fairly small and have permanent staffs of less than a couple of hundred scientists each. These numbers do sometimes swell into the thousands. There is a small number of heavy fighters kept at the facility for defense purposes. Pirates and others have sometimes shown an unhealthy interest. As well. one or more research vessels are often in-system. In addition to the staff of the research facilities, there are large numbers of robotic explorers used to examine the surface of the planet. When something interesting is discovered, a team is sent out to see what is discovered. The other planets do not have permanent manned facilities but are often visited by research vessels as well.
The stars themselves were not much effected by the nova blast although surprising amounts of the upper layers were ripped off. Gas giants also had huge amounts of their atmosphere ripped off, likely several percent of each, but their huge size meant that they survived more or less intact. Huge storms were created by the blasts and it will take hundreds of thousand of years in many cases. Tremendous lightning also blasts across the atmospheres of many of them as a result.
There is a stellar object which appears to have been the center of the nova blast area. It has been nicknamed "Nemesis" by many scientist. The object appears to have a mass around two times that of a G2 class star. The object is not massive enough to be a black hole and it does not appear to be radiating any form of X-Ray radiation or radio signals which are common to Neutron stars. Because of this and because of the mass of the object, some scientists consider it likely that it is a Quark Star not a Neutron Star.
Around the Neutron / Quark Star is a cloud of relatively heavy debris several light years across although the debris has not reached any of the G class stars that once supported the Valdemarian population. A couple of red dwarfs have been engulfed though. The area is still extremely hot and radioactive materials. Because of that, it is considered far too dangerous to send expeditions into that area. Even without the debris clouds, it would likely to be too dangerous to explore that region. No ship is known to have ever come within two light year of the neutron star. Some unmanned probes have been sent out to take readings but all have been destroyed before being able to get any meaningful readings.
Please do not read if you are a player who wishes to play in a game involving the Valdemarians.
What Actually Happened:
Scientists researching the Valdemarian Civilization have some of the facts correct while other facts incorrect. Most scientists are looking for a natural explanation for the Nova Event which destroyed the civilization with only a minority thinking it likely to have been the results of some kind of enemy action.
The Valdemarians had fought multiple wars over the millenniums of their existence. Some of these wars were quite minor while other were extremely major and tested the military forces of the Valdemarians. When not at a war footing, the Valdemarian Military kept seventy five to ninety percent of the starship forces in inactive reserve. Almost always, at least two Battle Spheres were kept active and often four would be kept active. Depending on how powerful an enemy they were dealing with, they would activate as much of their space forces as need. On the outside of the "dead" zone, there were a number of sensor and communication facilities fitted. These allowed for an early warning if attacking ships appeared.
Extremely young compared to the Valdemarians, the Meklarons were considered a relatively a relatively minor enemy. They did grow population wise much faster than the Valdemarian race and they already had a population of several hundred billion. As well, they use bio-mechanical technology which gave an advantage in some situations. Still, the Valdemarian technology was far in advance of the Meklaron in most areas. Their home system were around three thousands away from Valdemarian core systems.
Expansionist and overconfident, the Meklaron attacked the Valdemarian to their regret. The leadership of the race had to keep expanding because otherwise they would turn on each other. The battle was quite one sided with only a handful of Valdemarian ships destroyed and virtually the entire Meklaron forces destroyed. They did not appear to have learned from that battle and several additional battles ended almost as badly for the Meklaron as the first battle. Only about one quarter of the Valdemarian military forces were ever even activated to deal with the Meklaron.
Luckily, the Valdemarians did not seem to have any special interest in attacking the home planets of the Meklaron. If so, there would have likely been nothing left. Still, the Meklaron would have been forced to surrender soon but they found an ancient artifact which changed everything. Several million years old, it was a device which could trigger a star into a Nova. Something similar was produced by the Consortium known as a "Star Hammer." This artifact was slightly more advanced and such weapons had been used to devastate many star systems.
After figuring out what the device did, the Meklaron came up with a plan. There was no way they could copy the weapon luckily. Even the Valdemarian would have had trouble understanding the technology. Using the ancient device on one star system of the Valdemarians would only destroy that system. Instead, they decided to target the neutron star in the approximate center of Valdemarian space.
To this end, they offered to make peace with the Valdemarian government. The Valdemarians had no problems with a cease fire, never being all that interested in the war anyway. This was followed by more formal negotiations along with a peace envoy being sent to the Quenyar system to complete the agreement. The Valdemarian military was extremely cautious with the possibility of there being some sort of trap. Still, they did not even consider the need to protect the need to protect the neutron star in the center of their star cluster.
The weapon was send into the neutron star and caused it to collapse into a quark star. The main effect was a virtual wall of gamma radiation spreading out in all directions. A side effect was that it shredded the gravitic fabric which allowed faster than light travel through contra-grav propulsion. Faster than light communication was also made impossible by the same event. The forces in Quenyar destroyed the peace forces which were a sacrificial goat anyway. Not many of the members of the envoy group even knew of the plan.
All ships which were in faster than light travel within an area of forty light years from the neutron star were violently pulled from contra-grav space. In some cases, their contra-grav drives were even destroyed. The Gravitronic Slip Stream Drive seemed to be especially vulnerable to this. Faster than Light communication systems were similarly effected. It would take years for any ship to return home and any which did not have the supplies aboard would die from starvation.
Ships outside of around forty light years from the neutron star were not effected and neither were the facilities near the outside area of the dead zone. Many of the ships though, losing communications from their home worlds, dashed back towards the core worlds. They got caught in the same effect which had paralyzed the home worlds and most of the fleet. Only a handful of captains decided to avoid the trap of returning home. Responding by turning towards danger is almost instinctive in many of the best officers.
Even though individually powerful and much more advanced, those ships and stations remaining could not fight the entire Meklaron military juggernaut. The various outposts were soon destroyed and most of the surviving ships were also destroyed. Even though most sensor installations were hit by multi-megaton nukes, there is far more left in these facilities if one could be found. The Meklaron were without mercy in how the hounded the ragged survivors. A few ships managed to escape including the one heavy cruiser which managed to be outside the effects of the quark nova and did not attempt to return home. The Meklaron force was not eager, even though fanatical, to catch such a powerful ship. This same ship was later salvaged by the Free Worlds Council and rebuilt. If a single Battle Sphere had been outside of the area of effect from the Quark Nova, it is most likely that the entire Meklaron forces could have been defeated. The same ship would have allowed the civilization to rebuild on a new world.
One the planets within the core, there was no knowledge about what had happened to the forces outside the main systems. Reactions were mixed in the actual systems. No one really knew what happened beyond all Faster Than Light travel and communications were gone. There was some belief that they were heading for a doomsday but the main population was far more cautious. The leaders took a wait and see attitude. Some even were relieved because it would stop the continuous wars which the planets had fought over the millenniums. Of course they did not have millenniums any more.
While mostly self supporting, each of the system could previously get cargo between each other within hours. This forced their industries and agriculture to quickly adapt to the new situation. Light speed communication was possible between the closer together worlds. Eventually, ships could have transits the distance between systems and there was some discussion of the idea. Military forces were put on alert but as years went by, the military relaxed to a large extent.
When the gamma radiation torch struck the systems, there had been little in the way of preparations. Nothing could have likely protected the majority of the people. Star ships, space stations, and orbital industries were melted and twisted by the massive energies. Even the incredibly powerful shields of a Battle Sphere could not hold on for very long. They could hold on for maybe a few minutes at best.
The atmosphere of the planets were of little protection. The ecosystems were shattered in moments. Any but the toughest structures were vaporized. A few military defense facilities survived and a few others but little else. Otherwise, only a few areas underground survived. The atmosphere was stripped off the planet. There was a handful of survivors which survived sheltered underground but there was no way that they could survive for long. Because of the radiation, few would survived anyway even if immediate rescue was available. It was a manner of hours at best before all but a few single cell organisms deep underground died.
Still, the Meklaron did not win. Not having an enemy, they turned on each other. They no longer had the super weapon but they had nukes. They never had much hesitation and nuked each other. Thousands of multi megaton nuclear weapons rained down on the planets of the Meklaron and it was from their own race. Only a comparatively small number of planets remained and their technology was shattered.
As well, s single Battle Sphere survived. It had no crew but did not need one. It single handedly pushed the remaining planetary populations back down to the surface. Some even gave up all technology whatsoever and went to a much more primitive means of living.
Surviving Battle Sphere:
Against all odds, a single Battle Sphere survived the gamma blast. The events which allows the one ship to survive were incredible. The ship, interestingly named the Phoenix, was in the Oranei system before the hyper space flux shut down all contra-grav travel.
The planet had the smallest population of any planet and it was decided to put the warship in what amounted to a virtually unmanned reserve status. Most of the crew of the huge vessel disbursed around the system, some on the planet and others on smaller ship. It was decided that smaller ships would be more effective for a wide system defense and the ship could fight on its own without a crew if needed.
The ship was parked in orbit around one of the small gas giants in the outer system. The ship remained virtually unmanned but acted as a fully automated factory facility manufacturing various military hardware. The manufacturing facilities of the planet were the most limited and the ship was quite a boost to the system's industries.
The star system was the last to be hit by the blast. Being the furthest away from the Quark Nova, the energy of the blast was much weakened. It would still have been overwhelming to any less protected warship. Somehow, the Phoenix was able to get its defense shields up fast enough to resist the blast. Huge amount of radiation still flooded into the ship and the few crew aboard were killed or would not live long. Life support failed as well.
Already dying herself from the radiation, the Phoenix's captain quickly ordered her command to dive into the gas giant. An order of desperation because these warships were never meant to enter an atmosphere. The hope was that the atmosphere of the gas giant would give at least some protection. She quickly dove several hundred kilometers into the atmosphere.
The gas giant was incredibly disrupted and a huge amount of atmosphere. Still, unlike the smaller rocky terrestrial planets, the planet's atmosphere survived mostly intact. Winds far faster than the speed of sound buffeted the Battle Sphere. Lightning with the energy level of nuclear weapons struck the shields and hull. This was all on top of the gravity forces trying to crush the huge ship.
By the time the huge gamma burst was over and the ship could escape the gas giant, the vessel had been battered to a virtual wreck. Also, not a single crew survived the gamma radiation burst and the huge forces the gas giant threw at the Phoenix. The ship had just enough power to pull itself out of the gas giant. The ship’s main drive died just as the ship managed to clear the atmosphere and the main fusion plant failed as well. Only a fraction of the backup fusion remained operational.
The Phoenix began receiving distress calls from the planet from a small number of survivors deep underground. Under navigational thrusters, the ship made best speed towards what was once a green world. At the same time, the Phoenix attempted to repair some spaces for survivors, decontaminating those same spaces, while trying to get a few shuttle operational. Unfortunately, all was without success. By the time the Phoenix arrive, the last signal had faded before the ship could arrive for a rescue and all where dead.
The ship just sat in orbit of the dead world for a while. It slowly repaired itself. It required almost a year to repair itself while it scavenged raw material from the wreckage of the ships that once orbited Oranei. All the while, the vessel contemplated what happened. The ship was able to decipher much of what actually occured over the time it had. Its masters were dead and its core programming was to serve the Valdemarian people. Years went by and the ship waited.
Eventually the gravity disruption faded and the Phoenix could once again travel the space lanes. It was over a hundred years but the ship does not see time the way that any being of flesh sees time even one like the elves. It visited each system which was once part of the Valdemarian sphere. There it found more only ruin and destruction. There were the remainder of the giant ship’s sisters which it was not immune to morning. It then checked on each of where there were once outposts. There, the destruction was not from the massive gamma bust but from nuclear fire.
The ship went after the Meklaron. Even though a being of circuitry, the ship did have emotions. They had already decimated themselves in a series of civil wars. It went from system to system, destroying virtually every ship of theirs. Military or non military did not matter. The planets which the Phoenix encountered had their orbital facilities wrecked. There was little left anyway. The ship had in its core priorities not to kill civilians which were not a threat but the ship was determined that they would not do this to another. Its core priorities considered all orbital and space asset to be fair game. Many of the surviving planets gave up space all together. Others gave up virtually all technology.
Eventually, it tired of this fight and went back to what was once Valdemarian control space. It waited quietly many long millenniums in what could only be considered in human terms as a half doze. The ship was still aware but just allowed time to pass without effect. New civilizations rose from the ashes of old ones. Humans, Wolfen, and Kreeghor, among others, rose to prominence. Those same civilizations eventually discovered the territories which had once been the Valdemarian home worlds.
The ship was amazed at how fast technology among many of these younger races evolve. At first the ship could observe any of them with impunity but was soon almost spotted by one of the ships. Even these young races civilian technology seems to be improving by leaps and bounds. Now the ship has to be extremely careful when dealing with the ships of the younger races. It has been spending less time in the core areas and instead has been spending more time on the periphery. It has intercepted enough communication to be fluent in this new cultures languages but has yet to attempt any form of communication.
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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).
Copyright © 2009, Kitsune. All rights reserved.