"Blessed nation of Irri" (theocratic empire)
Faction leader: Holy Empress Vai Uirv
Systems under control: 1
Planets under control: 1 (Itteri'cra, homeworld.)
The relief of Irri homeworld (which the natives call "Itteri'cra") is its main difference from most other Earth-like planets. It is almost impossible to find the "sea level" of Itteri'cra or to highlight some large geographical objects of a tectonic scale.
Relief and landscape
The entire surface of this planet is covered with bristles of mountain ranges, which consist of thin, needle-like rocks, the height of which from the foot to the top reaches an average of seven to nine kilometers. These rocks have a porous structure with a large number of spherical cavities; often inside such "mountain caves" a variety of liquids and liquid mixtures condense, forming unstable, regularly drying out lakes.
During the hot period, evaporating liquids create dense flows of gases escaping from cracks in the surface of mountains; gases, which are heavier than air, slowly flow downward, enveloping obstacles encountered along the way and gradually accumulating in mountain gorges. Light gases are slightly less common, and they rise to the upper atmosphere in the form of massive columns.
In some areas, mountain ranges are alternate with deep, narrow crevices. Often non-drying liquids accumulates at the bottom of these gorges, forming a kind of mountain lakes; they may look shallow, but but in fact the depth of such lakes sometimes reaches several kilometers.
Hydrosphere and ecosystem
As a result of seismic activity, mountain lakes sometimes come together to form huge underground reservoirs with strange mixtures of a wide variety of liquids. Despite the fact that the surface of Itteri'cra looks dry and rocky, it actually contains a huge amount of liquids. In stable lakes a large number of living organisms ihabit; a significant number of them are plants and bacteria, among which there are a lot of luminescent organisms. At the night they highlight lakes and clusters of fog, and due to the amount of them they can be seen even from orbit.
The atmosphere of the planet consists of several very different layers of the atmosphere. Irri, who live closer to the upper atmosphere, are not able to breathe air from the lower (surface) layer, and many animals from the lower layers are unable to breathe high in the mountains. Both the upper and lower layers contain a large amount of vaporous liquids, which constantly condenses and evaporates again, circulating between atmospheric layers or between floors of natural underground caves. This creates numerous and diverse air currents, which greatly facilitate the process of flying in the atmosphere of Itteri'cra.
Short faction description: arrogant space birdies using gravitational glasscannons
Flight is the main way to move used by Irri. When they fly, to the viewer on the ground they are most similar to ordinary terrestrial birds; their flying style is most reminiscent to high-speed soaring of eagles with difficult and long takeoff. But unlike the terrestrial birds, Irri have two pairs of forelimbs- both arms and wings with ~2.5 meters of wingspan.
Standing upright, Irri might reach ~1.6 meters tall, and their body mass can range from 7 to 12 kg. They have long (up to 90 centimetres), narrow legs with tarsometatarsus, that slightly taper to talons; that talons are sharp and massive, from 7 to 15 centimetres length depending on which toe they are placed.
Their arms are ~65 centimetres length, four-fingered with opposable thumbs, with tarsometatarsus from cubit to palm; males also have sharp claw-like inflexible bone growth on wrist (~15 centimetres length). Except for this growth, most of Irri's bones are hollow inside and very fragile.
Feathers and fluffy feathers cover the bodies of Irri; their heads looks like heads of terrestrial hawks or secretarybirds, with сurved beak and long distinct black feathers protruding from behind of the head, sometimes forming a peculiar halo. Irri are fastidious about their plumage, frequently tending their feathers. Males have plumage in a contrasting black and white palette, occasionally with small amount of bright yellow, pink and blue-green plumage elements, and females are mostly gray. Yellow colour of feathers is considered as a sign of holiness; also the yellow feathered phenotype is common to many noble houses. Some Irri prefer to dye their feathers, however it's prohibited for military personnel.
Irri have great binocular vision enabling very accurate judgement of distances. They have more types of colour receptors than humans (7 instead of 3), which improves their distance vision, nullifyes effectiveness of primitive enemy camouflage and allows to see in hazy conditions without any additional tools. Their visual field is ~280° in the horizontal plane and ~150° in the vertical. Irri's reaction speed is good enough to notice flying bullet and maybe even try to evade it (most probably without any success).
Irri reach maturity by age 2 in Earth years; they usually die at age of 20-35. Female Irri usually have 2-6 children. After coming of an Sacred Era attempts of governments from Era of Delusion to regulate home planet's population were declared a sin and cursed in the name of Vai Uirv, so nowadays Irri have big problems with overcrowding of their home planet.
Irri arе much weaker and much more fragile than humans and most of human-like creatures, but in close combat their natural weapons like claws or wrist growths and also excellent reaction speed sometimes make them a dangerous opponents.
1) Gravity manipulations
Fundamental technology that made possible the existence of many Irri inventions. The first samples of gravity-defying devices were created in the Era Of Delusion, ~130 years ago; at that time Irri used electromagnetic gravity-nullifying fields, generated by two huge superconducting coils, connected to a complex of powerful cooling and energy-generating systems. Those machines were fragile, terribly expensive and heavy, but they allowed Irri to reach the space. Nowadays Irri use much more elegant devices.
Typically they are a spherical superconducting core made of ceramic-metall alloy, covered with a protecting fractal case connected to container filled with liquid coolant and powered by a rechargeable plasma cell. During operation this device consumes plasma and coolant. This machine, called "Uitoo," is important part of Irri battlesuits and airships; it helps to compensate gravity (not only lessen, but increase too), and because of that Irri can easily fly in almost any conditions as good as they fly at their home planet.
1.1) Gravitational Well Generator
Advanced spaceship technology, commonly used for avoiding enemy fire or for fleeing from battlefield. Strong gravitational field both pushes ship forwards and repells it from back, accelerating it to incredible speed. This maneuver can be performed only once per ~20 minutes.
1.1.1) FTL-jumping with use of GW Generator
The power of the Irri devices allows to create a gravity well strong enough to accelerate spaceships to superluminal speeds. However, the speed puts strain on the gravitational field, acquiring too much acceleration can abrutly end the jump, and release the ship violently and unshielded from the FTL, causing catastrophic damage. Gravitational Well Jumping is not very reliable FTL-tech.
1.2) Gravitational Well Routes
Software that allows to calculate optimal route for GW FTL-jumps. Series of jumps without pre-calculated route most probably will be an equivalent of suicide.
1.3) GraviLens Shield Projector and GraviLens Telescope
Shield projectors are massive and expensive devices, that slightly redirect incoming projectiles or missiles and diffuse laser beams. Also here is variation of GraviLens Projector that can redirect photons, making the target invisible for the human eye, but only if target doesn't move or move with negligible speed.
GraviLens Telescope System is huge half-spherical space object, which creates a perfect gravitational lense and allows to visually see nearby star systems, like when you using ordinary telescope. Zoom and view direction of GraviLense telescope can be changed very fast and precisely to observe smallest and most inconspicuous details or to spy on moving targets.
1.4) Universal aerospace movement systems
Gravitational manipulations, yay! In that case Irri massively use aerospace fighters like Orri'uit or Lei'tava. That ships combine both plasma or chemfuel thrusters and gravitational movement systems. Because of that Irri fighters are able to hover in the air motionless or take off vertically upwards without acceleration path.
Moreover, personal gravity stabilizers negates the difference in gravity, allowing Irri to fly with help of wings in atmosphere of almost any planet. Irri can spend days or even weeks in flight because of possibility of sleeping when flying; personal gravity stabilizers allow them to conduct massive combat operations with use of infantry units AND at the same time without landing on ground.
1.4) Weaponry, based on this technologies
(but sometimes Irri still use cheap chemical weapons like firearms and primitive explosives)
1.4.1) Mass Accelerators
Weapons, the action principle of which is similar to the principle of operation of the Gravitational Well Generator. Mass accelerators have extremely high projectile speed and fire range, but long reload time.
1.4.2) Weapons using gravitational stabilization of plasma
Gravity manipulations™ allows to produce plasma grenades and bombs, and also allows to shoot stable plasma projectiles instead of creating useless short-lived plasma flashes.
1.4.3) Gravity-changing bomb
Highly-armoured and amortized analogue of "Uitoo", which nullifies gravity within a twenty-meter radius for a couple of seconds, using same amount of plasma and coolant as "Uitoo" consumes after a few days of work. Weird (but effective) way to fight against heavy vehicles.
2) Sublimated highly-nutritious powder.
Birdies need a lot of energy, and food consumes too much place, so I decided that I have to add magical technology of producing cheap lightweight stuff for eating.
Planetary warfare doctrine I. The sky belongs to the birds
Irri do not use any ground vehicles, navy or stationary artillery. They rely on small squads of flying sharpshooters, on fast and maneuverable fighters, unattainable for most types of armoured vehicles, and on nimble tactical bombers.
The aircraft conducts combat actions in close cooperation with the spaceships on planetary orbit and with the marine corps. Infantry extensively uses atmospheric conditions and supremacy in visual field to obtain an advantage over the enemy troops.
Group of 9 soldiers in standard battlesuits with "Uitoo" gravity stabilizers, armed with long range hand singly-charged mass accelerators for fighting against infantry and vehicles. Also all of them have a pair of plasma greanades for destroying fortifications and eliminating groups of enemy infantry on the ground.
"Heavy weapon squad"
Pair of Irri soldiers. They have standard battlesuits with "Uitoo" and one additional gravity stabilizer to compensate heavy weapon's mass or/and recoil.
Also with help of additional gravitational stabilizer they can use heavy weapon in air without landing, but probably they will not be very successful trying to shoot using HW in motion (expect of lance-cannon, wich was created for shooting during the flight).
Heavy weapons list (only one weapon per squad):
•Multi-barrel mass accelerator
Heavy anti-tank mass-accelerator, capable to commit several shots before recharging.
•Rapidfire plasma rotor cannon
Weapon designed to compensate the lack of fire density performed by the Irri infantry squads.
•Small plasma lance-cannon
Flamethrower-like weapon for short distances, which can easily melt tank armour or concrete walls.
Group of 9 Irri servicemen, scientists, engineers or clerics. Their equipment and role in the Irri army can vary depending on which order they belong.
•Order of the Awed Ones. Paladins from the Order of the Awed Ones are judges, orators, military police, theologians and warpriests all at the same time. They are usually responsible for maintaining discipline in the army squads and in the crews of the starships. Nowadays the inspiring sermon of a paladin before a major battle is an important part of the Irri army traditions.
This paladins are armed with low-power compact plasmaguns and ceremonial melee weapons named "Oi'Ya Rri", which are something like ancient Irri spears. In addition, their equipment includes massive sound systems for playing sacred birdsongs during the battle. Colours of this order are yellow and purple.
•Order of the Fourth Word. The main task of this order is to prevent leakage of Irri technologies. Paladins of the Fourth Word are ones who fight with defectors, renegades and spies; for this task they are authorized to use secret weapons or even untested prototypes. Sometimes they also can act as combat engineers or as tactical stealth-troopers. Colours of this order are black and green-blue.
•Order of the South Wind.
An order whose task is to study xenotechnologies and continue the Great Work of the First Emperor. Paladins of this order mostly are explorers, scientists and engineers. They are also engaged in maintenance of equipment, starships and battlesuits. Colours of this order are orange and white.
"Lei'tava" aerospace fighter.
Very fast and maneuverable, but fragile aerospace fighter without FTL drive or shields, mostly used for planetary defence and patrolling around military objects in space or as a deck spacecraft on carrier ships. Adaptive gravitational stabilizer allows "Lei'Tava" fighters perform almost impossible tricks.
Weapons: Two separately working plasma cannons, able to destroy most of normal sized ground and aerial warmachines. Their optimal fire range is normal for the planetary combat (~750 metres), but in space it's something like melee.
Overall dimensions: length 17 m, wingspan 13 m, crew 4 souls, mass 20 tonnes.
"Soi'ull" aerospace fighter
Heavy aerospace fighter, created for ambushing and snipering. Extremely fragile. Faster than all other Irri fighters, but also larger. No shields, but instead it have cloaking GraviLens Projector. No FTL-drive.
Weapons: Heavy mass accelerator, able to easily liquidate fortifications, slow spaceships and ground vehicles from long distances. Perfect for sudden attacks on enemy military bases or motionless spaceships. Vulnerable in fight with multiple targets, but still can be effective in air or space duels.
Overall dimensions: length 32 m, wingspan 42 m, crew 12 souls, mass 290 tonnes.
"Ivi'Rri" aerospace fighter
The main and most common aerospace fighter used by Irri Faith Defence Forces. Good enough both for ambushes and face-to-face battles. Has GraviLens Shield Projector (halfsphere) in front part of ship and cloaking GraviLens Projector. Still no FTL.
Weapons: Two rapidfire plasma rotor cannons with less firepower and range than ordinary plasma cannons of "Lei'tava", but with far higher rate of fire. Also heavy plasma lance-cannon, elder brother of hand lance-cannon, shooting short beams of superhot unstable plasma, devastating in close combat (~40 metres).
Overall dimensions: length 16 m, wingspan 18 m, crew 6 souls, mass 50 tonnes.
"Orri'uit" plasma bomber
Small and nimble invisible bomber, with bottom part protected by gravishield halfsphere. What a nightmare of any fortress... Has cloak & shield projectors. Can not perform FTL-jumps.
Weapons: Four light plasmaguns, providing defence against infantry and low-armored aircraft; storage for fifeteen plasma or gravity-changing bombs, used against fortifications and enormous vehicles.
Overall dimensions: length 9 meters, wingspan 15 metres, crew 9 souls, mass 75 tonnes (without bombs).
"Yerr'vi" universal transport ship
Biggest and heaviest aerospace ship in Irri fleet. Slow, but durable. Workhorse of Faith Defence Forces, used as bomber, or gunship, or landing ship, or as ship for transportation of ammunition, supplies and auxiliary military tools. Finally, this ship can perform FTL-jumps.
Weapons: Four rapidfire plasma rotor cannons (same ones installed on "Ivi'Rri"), mostly used for covering infantry and defending against enemy aircraft, but sometimes also against spaceships or armored vehicles. I will count place for marines as weapon; so, place for 180 marines (2 marines from Heavy Weapon Squad counts as 9 marines, and 9 paladins in full equipment counts as 9 or 18 marines depending on Order) with supplies for 3 days of autonomous survival in any conditions, and storage for 40 plasma or gravity-changing bombs which can be replaced by storage of ammunition, water & nutritious powder, in case of emergency providing supplies for crew and marines for an additional week. Also all space taken by marines, rotor cannons and small storages can be replaced by one huge storage. Even FTL-drive can be replaced for extra cargo space.
Overall dimensions: length 32 meters, wingspan 41 metres, 180 marines, crew 9 souls, mass 500 tonnes (without bombs or cargo)
Planetary warfare doctrine II. Honorable Discharge
Xenoscum do not deserve to examine or even touch Sacred Blessings of Irri Engineering- their weaponry, auxiliary military tools and spaceships. Savages will never be able to capture that holy relics as a trophy, because almost every spaceship have perfectly-balanced selfdestruction system, that can be also used for entering kamikaze mode, and Irri infantry rather annihilate themselves and their sacred equipment by detonating plasma grenades or try to disable their machines and kill themselves, using bayonets (yes, mass-accelerators have bayonets), claws or personal melee weapons than be taken as prisoners.
Space warfare doctrine. Flock fleets
In space here are no halftones and other games of light and shadow. It's not an atmosphere, and chaotically moving molecules do not rise on the path of photons in the endless emptiness. When moving in space the photons almost do not change their trajectory.
Irri has mastered in the art of redirection of photons with help of cloak projectors. Their motionless ships are almost impossible to detect without the aid of special sensors and the tiny size of Irri ships only complicate the task. Pilots of the Blessed Nation rely on the element of surprise and disorientation of the enemy, who will not be able to determine the location of the bird fleet. Their tactics involve a risky "all-in" and hope that when the enemy will understand from where it is attacked, it will be too late for him.
Servants of Holy Empress have no real combat experience in open space. Moreover, they had never encountered other intelligent species nor have they heard about the technology and tactics of the major space empires. However, the religious worship of knowledge and extreme caution led Irri to the fact that even before the beginning of the first-ever space wars they had already formulated their own doctrine of warfare in open space. This most pessimistic set of rules and assumptions imply that Irri, in any case, will be faced with superior enemy forces, which will have the advantage in numbers, knowledge and equipment of the spacecraft. Starting from this constant, the authors of the doctrine have included in their tactics these methods of achieving superiority over the enemy:
1) The element of surprise. You need to use the potential of the visual invisibility with maximum effectiveness, waiting until the last moment and, if necessary, using diversionary or distracting tactics to avoid detection of the main mass of hidden ships.
2) Start a fight in all three dimensions simultaneously. Ships must never be massed in one place, they need to be divided into small tactical groups. Ships from one group should concentrate firepower on one target, and, in addition, they should attack the same target in different planes, depriving the enemy of the opportunity to avoid fire with help of speed or maneuverability. 3) It is very important to avoid direct fire exchange. When getting under a frontal attack of an enemy vessel, it is recommended to use the generator of the gravitational well immediately. Irri ships are almost completely devoid of armor, and they are simply unable to openly fight the alien analogues. Gravitational shields can, to some extent, redirect enemy missiles and shells, completely preventing damage, but they deplete quickly under concentrated fire, leaving the Irri ships defenseless against even the lightest of guns. In addition, the redirection does not always mean a complete avoidance of damage; sometimes redirected projectile still reach the ship, which can be fatal for the Irri. Recommended distance for the first strike under normal conditions - approximately two million kilometers, with an immediate regroup after a volley. The velocity of shell fired through an Irri gravitational mass accelerator is about three thousand kilometers per second; so, the target will take a damage after approximately ten minutes. It should be clarified that this rule applies only in the conditions when you attack motionless enemy ships, with only easily calculatable trajectory of inertial motion. To fire at moving targets at a distance of more than thousand kilometers is not recommended because of the unacceptably high probability of miss. In addition, even if you fight with motionless targets sometimes the best solution would be to reduce the distance to a minimum and only after that open fire without the risk of miss. 4) Use cosmic objects and their gravity in military interests. Irri's favorite trick is to use the gravity of planets or large space objects to accelerate their ships or to change the flight path of shells. Shoot at a motionless (or very slow) target with a projectile that will change direction due to the influence of gravity of some planet. Remain out of reach of enemy guns and sensors (somewhere in an asteroid field, for example). Continue to fire, distracting and confusing your victim. The classic model of behavior in battle, described in all the textbooks for Irri pilots.
And final, most important part. Retreat is welcome. Victory at the cost of all ships is not. Irri have a very small battle fleet, and they rarely can afford to sacrifice their valuable ships. After completing the main combat mission or after inflicting sufficient damage to the enemy, Irri will choose to leave the battlefield. This does not apply to aerospace fighters - their main purpose is to provide cover for large vessels. Fighters are not so expensive, their weapons are unable to fire at great distances, and the lives of pilots in conditions of overpopulation of their home planet mean almost nothing.
"Ai'urri'va" main spaceship
The most used battle spaceship of the Irri fleet. Extremely lightweight, fast and not too large, it was created to conduct combat operations in accordance with the basic tenets of Irri military doctrine. The ship is equipped with FTL-drive (a generator of gravitational well), gravity shield projectors and invisibility projectors.
Weapons: Four heavy mass accelerators, which are a kind of core of the ship. Their length is almost equal to the ship's total length. For a projectile fired with an Irri mass accelerator, movement speed alone is enough to inflict significant damage, and also the speed of the shells allows to fire from long distances without misses. Among other things, the ship has a set of software that allows crew to calculate how the space object's gravity will affect on the trajectory of the ship or shells fired from its guns. If necessary, the mass accelerator can fire with less force than usual in order to make the shell more dependent on gravity.
Overall dimensions: length 170 meters, maximal width 65 metres, crew 40 souls, mass 2500 tonnes