Steve has kindly allowed me to post my faction details here, as wikia is a PITA. Sassanid Empire
1 Homeworld = 14.000 GDP (free)
1 core sector = 10.000 GDP + 1 GDP boost = 13.000
2 midrange sector = 12000 GDP + 1 hyperspace junction = 14000 GDP
7 colony sectors = 14000 GDP
= 55.000 GDP total.
The Empire borders the Bragulans to the "north" and the USS to the "west".
(note that Sectors are named after their capital world)Palmyra
Classification: midrange sector + hyperspace junction
Notable worlds: Palmyra I
Characteristics: The border sector with the United Solarian Sovereignty and thus a major fleet base. Ruled by the House of Tadmor, a lesser branch of the House of Sassan. Viewed as little but puppets of the Imperial Military. Recent attempts of emancipation of the Bragulans have led to more investment in this area, in order to take advantage of increasing Solarian trade. All trade with the USS has to pass through the Palmyra system. Shushtar
Classification: colony sector
Notable worlds: Shushtar IV
Characteristics: A colony sector that is ruled over by a minor branch of House Perseus. Due to their proximity to both Istakr and Palmyra they usually attempt to stay neutral. The current ruler is Duke Kavadh III of the House of Karen, an utterly unremarkable men except for his taste of Bragulan erotica. Istakhr
Classification: Core sector + GDP boost
Notable worlds: Istakhr Prime
Characteristics: The home of House Perseus and its Powerbase. Istakhr Prime is easily the third most important world in the Empire and the second in terms of GDP. The entire planet is a giant industrial complex, which the rest of sector Istakhr services. The planet is as famous for its heavy industry as it is for its clone factories, which produce most of the Imperial servants. No organic trace of vegetation remains on this planet, except for the duchal gardens of the Perseid Palace. Susa
Classification: midrange sector
Notable worlds: Susa Primus, Susa Secundus
Characteristics: Susa is the official capital sector of the Sassanid Empire. It was on Susa Primus that Sassanid ships first made planetfall after their exodus from Byzantine Space. Susa Primus is the official capital world and home of the Golden Palace, the official home of the Sassanid Emperor. The entire world is empty of human live save for the Imperial Servants and the Sughdian legions guarding their sovereign. The golden Palace
Susa Primus is also known for its giant worms, gigantic mutations that are considered a delicacy. It's otherwise desert appearance is as much for the protection of the Galaxy from the psychic outbursts of the Emperor as well as for security reasons. All Imperial servants on Susa Prime must wear a control collar. The main citadel of Susa Secundus
Susa Secundus is the military capital of the Empire. It is from here that the vast fleets and legions are controlled. It too is a wasteland, though rather from centuries of battle fought over it. While no House would dare to unleash WMDs on the holy capital of the Empire, Susa Secundus enjoys no such status and has been depopulated time and time again until it was decided to turn the planet into a fortress world, with no civilian population to speak off.
As they are the Imperial House, the entire Susa sector is ruled by members of House Hassan. Gundeshapur
Classification: colony sector
Notable worlds: Gundeshapur IX
Characteristics: Gundeshapur is the centre of learning and as such enjoys Imperial protection. Many members of the Imperial House have studied there, with the latest graduate of Imperial blood being the Princess Nasrin Irulan Sassan. Gundeshapur is - besides House Xenos - the only Imperial sector in which class differences do not apply and it is the only Imperial sector that is ruled by a democratically elected Government. The current ruler is the Head of Gundeshapur university, Prof. Dr. Dr. Hassan Malik. It is also the reported home of the secret society of historians, the practice of history being forbidden elsewhere. Ctesiphon
Classification: Homeworld sector
Notable worlds: Ctesiphon, Dura Europos
Characteristics: If Susa Primus is the nominal and holy capital world of the Empire, then Ctesiphon is the de facto capital world, the seat of the Imperial Parliament. It is here that the feudal houses meet to do business, it is here that foreign ambassadors are received and it is here that the day-to-day affairs of state are conducted. Ctesiphon with it's main city Perspepolis is a beautiful planet of oceans and vast areas of green grass, whereas Dura Europos is the Empire's main fleet base. Ctesiphon also serves as center of trade with the Bragulan Empire. Nishapur
Classification: colony sector
Notable worlds: Nishapur I
Characteristics: Sector Nishapur is the achilles heel of the empire. A constant hotbed of rebellion and revolution, Nishapur has seen no less than seventy-four punitive expeditions in the last 100 years. If one sees a neurally-conditioned Imperial servant, one can almost be sure that they were originally prisoners or booty from such an expedition. However, in recent times Nishapur has settled down, most likely due to the Imperial policy of relaxing taxation and benign neglect, or due to its new ruling House, the House of Suren. Babylon
Classification: colony sector
Notable worlds: Babylon V
Characteristics: A colony sector ruled over by House Marduk. Despite reports of unusual plans, they never amounted to much and nowadays only serve as raw material suppliers for more important imperial systems. Bishapur
Classification: colony sector
Notable worlds: Bishapur
Characteristics: Bishapur is ruled by House Parni, staunch allies of House Sassan. Bishapur largely serves as a producer of foodstuffs, but has strategic importance due to supplying a higher number of Sughdians than usual as well as having ties to House Sassan by marriage. Xenos
Classification: colony sector
Notable worlds: Xenos Prime
Characteristics: Xenos is ruled over by House Xenos. Though they claim an entire sector, so far only one planet has been settled, Xenos Prime.
A world entirely covered by water, Xenos Prime was colonized by the aliens within a year and turned into one of the most important industrial centers. It has also become a haven for people fleeing feudality, as class differences do not exist on Xenos Prime. Little is known about Xenos Prime among the Imperial leadership itself and even less among non-Sassanids. Rumors tell of vast-scale construction, the hiring of physicists and engineers all over the Empire by House Xenos, mysterious experiments and a giant AI controlling everything. Hatra
Classification: colony sector
Notable worlds: Hatra
Characteristics: Hatra is the most remote sector of the Empire, being considered mostly as a system where to make a last stand or as a starting point for new colonization. Only one serviceable spaceroute exists into Hatra system, one which has been heavily mined by the Imperial Navy. Hatra is ruled by no noble House, but instead by an Imperial Military Governor.
The Sassanid Empire is an offshot of the Byzantine Empire. During the Great Crusade against the Tau, several nobles rebelled against Imperial Rule. The Rebellion was swiftly crushed however and the Nobles were forced to flee. In need of a unifying ideology, one noble declared himself to be a decendant from the long-lost Sassanid Empire and crowned himself Sassan I. The objections by a History professor in the retinue of another noble were swiftly cut short when said Professor's ship was annihilated by a broadside from the flagship. After a decade's wandering, the rag-tag fleet (the practice of History now forbidden except for members of the Imperial family) made planetfall at Susa Primus.
As soon as he had left his flagship, Sassan's reign was cut short when his brother smothered him with a pillow. The ensuing feuds lasted for over a decade until Sassan's brother (now Sassan II.) prevailed. Starving the populace of Susa Primus to build what eventually become the central throne room of the Golden Palace was the hallmark of his reign.
Another violent uprising appeared in the reign of Sassan XI, who overthrew his nephew, Sassan X. However, he had not considered the resourcefullness of Sassan X'wife, who not only managed to escape the troops sent to rape and kill her, but also managed to gain thesupport of several nobles. Eventually she married one of them and declared said noble to be a descendant of Perseus. Thus, the Persiad dynasty was born and much of the following Sassanid history consisted of the rivalry between House Perseus and House Sassan, with emperors being named and replaced on a monthly basis during some periods.
In 3151 the nobles forced a peace on the exhausted parties by threatening to secede from the empire. Sassan XXII was declared Emperor and ushered in an era of expansion. Since then, there has only been one violent attempt to overthrow Imperial rule - the aggression of 3399, which was thwarted by Imperial forces and House Xenos.
However, with the Imperator having no male heir, the question of succession is still open....Society
Imperial society can be classified into five classes:
a) The noble houses. There are currently sixty-three major noble houses, of which eight rule over planetary sectors. The number was fixed at 62 for over two centuries before House Xenos was declared the 63rd major house. To qualify as a major house, a noble house has to rule over at least one planetary system. However, aside from the eight houses ruling planetary sectors, most of the major houses are negligible in wealth and power, being subordinate to the eight houses. There are also over three thousand minor noble families, though they matter even less and are considered little better than commoners.
b) Commoners. The vast majority of citizens. The rights of commoners vary astonishingly inside the empire - from Gundashapur being a democracy to the non-rights of Istakhr, the lot of commoners in the Empire depends largely on where they are born. As a general rule, commoners of the House of Sassan enjoy more rights than those of House Perseus.
c) Soldiers, psykers, scientists and administrators
These classes are considered an exception due to their talents, with some of them even being planetary rulers themselves. Their legal rights are the same throughout the empire and by Imperial decree can appeal to Imperial courts. They also form powerful guilds who have the right of audience to the Grand vizier.
d) Sughdians. Sughdians are the elite Imperial Guard. The requirements of joining the Sughdians are strict enough for only 0.000001% of the Imperial population meeting them. As a result, most of them are either gene-manipulated or cybernetically enhanced in some way. After a service period of 25 years surviving Sughdians are given lavish retirement benefits and play an important role in their local communities. Some Sughdians have even risen to the rank of Imperial Princes.
e) Servants. After smothering his brother in his sleep, Sassan II. recognized the need for loyal servants. This need still exists today, even though the method of Sassan II. (forcing servants to wear explosive collars) are no longer employed. One becomes a servant via these methods:
- Voluntary entry. Each year an Imperial-wide census, the dilectus is held. Those members of society who distinguish themselves in it are given the option to join the Imperial service. After a period of 25 years they too are released from service like the Sughdian. It is not uncommon for families to pride themselves on having several children in the Imperial service or in the Sughdian legions.
- prisoners of war. During the Nishapur insurrections, it was not uncommon for whole planetary populations to be pressed into servitude. Servants of that method are usually neurologically re-conditioned. Today, there are almost no servants of that sort in the Imperial service, though the penalty still serves as useful deterrent against pirates and criminals.
- gene farms and clone vats. The strength of House Perseus for many years were the servants they produced on Istakhr. In fact, a whole subset of science is only occupied with creating the perfect servant on that wretched planet. It was the strength of these clone farms which allowed House Perseus to challenge Imperial authority over and over again. House Perseus however was restricted by Imperial edict to a slow production of less than ten thousand per annum after the attempt of 3399, with the vast majority of production now going to the Sughdian legions and the Imperial service. As a result, servants of that type are becoming more and more important to the Empire.Government
The Sassanid Empire is an absolute monarchy with strong feudal tendencies.
a) The Emperor
The Emperor is the ultimate authority within the Empire. However, since the time of Sassan XXII the Emperor resides all year on Susa Primus. He spends six months in a drug induced haze, using powerful drugs that reportedly let him achieve transcendence and turn him into the most powerful psyker in the empire. The other six months are spend ruling the Empire.
b) The Vuzorg Farmadar ("Grand Vizier")
Usually the brother or a close relative of the Emperor, the Grand Vizier is responsible for the day-to-day affairs of the Empire and rules during the time the Emperor is unavailable. It is he who sets internal and foreign policy. He is responsible for the Imperial legislature as well as the executive and presides over the Parliament.
c) The Eran Spahbod
The Spahbod is the military commander of the Empire and commands the Sughdian Legions. It is the highest rank in the Empire available to non-nobles and the position is usually filled with a career soldier of non-noble origins (as no such soldier could ever hope to become Emperor himself).
The Assembly of nobles, guild elders, wealthy merchants and heads of planetary systems is the legislative body of the Empire. The stronger the Empire/Vizier, the weaker the Parliament and vice versa. Parliament members have the privilege of being tried only in Parliament and of carrying weapons even in the presence of an Imperial family member, which usually means that Imperial family members tend to avoid stepping foot into Parliament.
Sometimes, even foreign dignitaries like ambassadors have been given seats in the Imperial Parliament. This was first used to allow the Bragulan ambassador to speak with the Grand Vizier, as he would no doubt not have conceded to having his claws amputated and teeth pulled beforehand. Foreign relations
The Sassanid Empire enjoys good relations with the Bragulan Empire
, which is the largest trading partner of the Sassanid Empire. They also trade with the USS
. Other than these two nations, the Sassanids do not tend to involve themselves much in galactic affairs, being primarily occupied with domestic matters. And besides, they are of the opinion that expansion is best done via colonization, not military expansion.
Of course, said strategic dogma might also be the result of them being one of the weakest states in the galaxy. Imperial military
The Imperial military is composed of the Sughdian legions and the Imperial Sassanid Navy. System defence is provided by the forces of the noble families. For example, the Perseid fleet is strong enough to challenge any Imperial task force, but under nominal Imperial control for the purpose of defence against invaders. As nobody has ever invaded the Empire before, the main threat the Imperial Navy prepares for are the noble forces and vice versa. This strategic balance was greatly upset with the addition of the Xenos into the galaxy. Sughdian legions:
60 legions a 30.000 men = 1.800.000 men
Point cost total: 360 (36 cost for elite, 10x tech multiplier)
The Sughdian legions are the only ground forces allowed to the Emperor according to the accord of 3151, ensuring the Emperor is able to occupy some rebel planets but not a majority of Noble houses. They were the first to profit from Xenos weapon tech and have started an extensive retraining program.
12 Superdreadnoughts (modernized with Xenos tech) a 600 = 7200
12 Dreadnoughts a 400 (non-modernized) = 4800
24 Battleships a 200 = 4800
6 Heavy carriers a 200 (carrying 100p worth of fighters) = 1200
24 Carriers a 120 (carrying 60p worth of fighters) = 2880
48 Cruisers a 100 = 4800
48 Light cruisers a 60 = 2880
24 Light carriers a 60 (carrying 30p worth of fighters) = 1440
192 Destroyers/pickets a 20 = 3840
33840 points total.
The Imperial Navy was limited by the accord of 3151 to a total of 72 ships of the Line (battleships and above). As a result and due to the need to quickly batter a planet into submission, the Imperial Navy focuses on building large, heavy units, eschewing capbilities in the cruiser area. As a result, it is not a Navy built for extended operations far from home, but rather for internal security and quickly reducing hostile (noble) fortresses to slag. Xenos military
The xenos military is composed of one ship and one ship only. However, said ship was unlike any the Sassanid Empire had ever seen.
Heavy Cruiser XMC II Andromache Ascendant
Point value: 20000 points.
Armament: 12000 points
40 ELS missile tubes
12 PDL turrets
12 AP cannons
Carrying 4000 points worth of crafts:
36 RF-42 Centaur tactical fighters a 20 points
76 RA-26 Shrike strike fighters
12 AF/A-29 Phoenix atmospheric attack craft
16 ES-115 Oracle heavy sensor/attack drones
8 ES-14 Janus light sensor/attack drones
Other: 4000 points
1 AI command and control entity
Stealth system (mostly hull designed to fool enemy sensors and no emissions).
1 Avatar (included in other total above).
800 points worth of missile pods spread around the system.
While the numbers are impressive, the Xenos military suffers from several weaknesses:
- Slipstream. While the slipstream drive is their greatest strength within the Empire, allowing them to travel nearly instantaneously from one sector to another, it also is their greatest weakness. For the Xenos need scouted routes for moving their ships and of course, no foreign nation would ever allow the Xenos to scout out possible routes through their territories. Thus, the Xenos ship is limited to Sassanid territory (one possible solution being carried by other ships, but this of course is no real alternative for the loss of the carrying ships would leave the ship stranded=
- Replacement parts. While nanobots and the ship factories do their best, if the ship is seriously damaged it may be damaged beyond repair. Thus, the Xenos ship has to stay out of immediate combat and is a reason why the Xenos prefer combat over a distance of several light-minutes, as it allows them full usage of their long-range missiles.
Thus, the entire welfare of the Xenos state depends upon one ship. Thankfully, as the capabilities of the ship are unknown to the galaxy at large and the ship lines are so unlike the blocky lines of the Sassanid battleships, most people classify it as a pleasure yacht, a perception the Xenos are only too happy to foster. Social standings and customs
The Imperial society is in many ways patriarchal, but only in the upper levels of society. Among commoners women enjoy the same rights as men, but the deeply conservative aristocracy views women rulers with distrust.
The aristocracy is also extremely protocol-fixated. Each Sassanid Noble has two given names, except for the Emperor. As a sign of the Patriarchal society, usage of the second given name to females is reserved for either lifelong friends, close family, betrothed or lovers. Males however rarely bother and use their names interchangeably. Dramatis personae:House SassanPahdishah Shapur XIV
Ruling Emperor since 3399, after the previous emperor died of a heart attack (allegedly). As usual, spents half his time in drug-induced psychosis. No surviving children. Has so far made three Imperial proclamations/prophecies:
1. "I bestow Imperial Grace" (pointing at the Xenos).
2. "A great rift will be upon us." (unkown subject)
3. "Oh Crap. Oh crap. We're all gonna die." (never released to the public). Banebshen (Empress) Mohri Nasrin Perseida
A daughter of the House of Perseus and Empress. No surviving children. She spends most her life dedicated to religious duties in the service of the Emperor, as penance for the misbehavior of her house. Vuzorg Farmadar (Grand Vizier) Ardasir Narses Sassan.
The Grand Vizier of the Empire, brother and right hand of the Emperor. In charge of the legislature and of foreign affairs. The go-to-guy of the Empire. Father to the only two surviving imperial heirs. Spahrbod Shahrbaraz Farrokhan
Spahrbod Sharbaraz Farrokhan is the Eran Spahrbod of the Sassanid military. Formerly the commander of Legio III Sughdia, he was rapidly promoted after his predecessor was flayed alive for failing to gain intelligence of the Perseid attack in 3399. Farrokhan is a commoner by origin and a Royal Noble by marriage. Princess Poran Nasrin Sassana, Lady of Murder.
The husband of Farrokhan and the head of the Imperial Intelligence Apparatus. Considered the next in line after the rapid ascension of her husband and the deaths of other relatives. Daughter of the Grand Vizier and Godchild of the Empress. Princess Nasrin Irulan Sassana
Graduate of the Imperial Academy of Gundashapur and daughter of the Grand Vizier. Considered something of a lightweight and seems to spend most of her time writing the history of the empire. Godchild of the Empress. House PerseusDuke Chosroe Kyros PerseusDuke Xerxes Kyros Perseus
The two joint rulers of House Perseus. Many had expected the house to fracture, but to everybody's surprise the two have ruled jointly ever since the execution of their father. Both are ruthless and extremely intelligent. If there is a difference between the two, it is in the various degrees of hedonism they practice. House Xenos
Korvettenkapitän Georg Sänger, Head of House Xenos.
Berliner Nachrichten, 21st June 3206 ADAIHoloAvatarWarrant Officer Andromache Ascendant-Hunt, Command&Control AI of Heavy Cruiser Andromache Ascendant.
After more than three weeks, the Imperial German Navy has called off all further SAR operations in the case of missing research ship SMS Natasha, which vanished during a test flight of the new hyperdrive. Reichskanzler Erich Sänger was unavailable for comment on the loss of his nephew. Georg Sänger was the only scion of the family in six generations who made a career out of the Imperial Navy....
Sample quote: "I have only met three intelligent people in this universe so far. Too bad they were all me."