The second home system of the Erynies was destroyed in a cataclystic event that ripped entire worlds apart and caused the third Exodus. Eya was one of the warlords at the eve of the destruction and she is said to have forewarned the warring factions of the event and abandoned the world with her followers. There are conflicting versions ad to what her part in the coming disaster was but after the destruction the broken shards of the destroyed ring world was called her Regret.
Three centuries later the Erynies had started settling Elys in the Sheil.
The Chenai are an advanced race with a high status within the League of the Ascendancy. They have a vast populated demense outside Nimbus and are the most populous species of the Acendancy.
They belong to a taxonomy most relatable to birds and reptiles with their body being covered by scales that turn into colorful featherlike analogues on their head and other parts of their body in place of body hair. The manipulation of their feathers is their complex way of mimickery. They have a broad spectrum of body shapes, scale hue as well as vibrant colors of their plumes.
Due to their early expansion they developed into a very pronounced array of environmentally adapted sub species that due to their very structured social systems developed into a very structured caste system that was only alleviated after the fall of the Hierarchy to the Erynies Master of War Ileth whose bloodline rules the Hierarchy since then and ensures the submission of the largest faction of the Chenai civilizarion.
Their political landscape is dominated by several interstellar powers with differing standing towards the Ascendancy:
– The Hierarchy: Once the central empire of the sprawling Chenai civilization they tried to challenge the Erynies Ascendancy three hundred years ago. It followed a technocratic feudal system driven by genetic selection which put every citizen to his most efficient position within the empire. The war was long and bloody and followed what the Erynies termed the 13th Crusade to the point that the Erynies resorted to ruthless covert campaigns of subterfuge and assassination to break the Hierarchy’s capacity to pursue the war by destabilizing the Chenai civilization and smash its unity apart via infighting. In the end peace was achieved through a decapitating blow against the Hierarchy’s leadership by an Erynies armada that made the general of the campaign the new Matriach. Since then the Hierarchy is ruled by a genetically merged phaenotype of the Baevos line of Erynies: The Sakkhae. Using the strong hierarchical bonding of the Chenai people they installed a new leadership caste of Erynies on the top of hierarchy. While perceived as rogues and halfway outcasts by the Ascendancy the Sakka ensured Hierarchy loyalty and cooperation to the League which makes it the largest contributor in ships, planets and economic assets.
– The Communion: Within Nimbus many Chenai live independantly of the Hierarchy as part of the Erynies electorate where they form loosely connected communities but otherwise submit to Erynies law and customs.
– The Wild Cabal: When the Hierarchy lost their bid to defeat the Erynies a large array of outer colonies and worlds broke away from the Hierarchy, taken over by local governors, warlords or simply declaring independance. They put a constant challenge on the Hierarchy as they reject its subordination to the Ascendancy and its ruler being an Erynies usurpator, a title which stuck as a degarotory in the Ascendancy as the Erynies themselves reject this authoritarian rule.
-Elys / Sheil: The spheroid Dyson cluster inset with 76 inhabitable planets in stable positions within the Shell. The planets are mostly garden worlds with a rich biosphere while most inhabitants of the Shell live in the dyson platforms forming the Shell itself while most of the industry and also population lives on congregated clusters of stations on the shell usually facing the Vortex. The dyson cluster forms the Ascent the de facto center of the Erynies civilization.
– Maelstrom: Instead of a Sun the center of the Shell is a complex wormhole cluster that is the pin connecting the Nimbus to the rest of the universe. Using so called gate carriers the Ascendancy directs the destination of various vectors to create its web of wormhole connections.
– Fyr: the large wharves, docks and heavy industry flaring in the fires of a dozen planets and moons being broken up and disassembled for building materials, ores and precious elements used to further expand the shell, build starships. At its core lays the Cauldron, the large machine works used to fire up the reactors used for FTL flight.
– Nimbus: The spacetime pocket of the Ascendancy. As the extension of this isolated spacetime bubble is limited the void beyond the Shell and furnace is filled not with the stars but a halo of infinite refractions from the Shell itself turning the space into a hue of purple and blue.
Scryers are a particular caste of Erynies and particularly mysterious. They wield great influence within the Ascendancy, their council swaying large numbers of the electorate with ease. Their basis are supposed powers of precognition mankind would dismiss as myths if the Ascendancy were not a civilization with technology bordering on magic and myths.
Some theories assume the Scryer are simply extremely attuned analytical minds capable to dissecting facts on such an intuitive level their advise appears to come natural without conscious thought to them.
Scryers seem to come from a select few bloodlines but strangely do not appear to be limited to a specific genetic phaenotype supporting the assumption such individuals get modified during gestation, not conception.
While Seraphim warriors are frightening in their physical prowress Scryers are mind boggling tacticians who seem to get away with breaking rather than adhering to military textbooks. While they can make split second decisions in combat about their immediate surroundings the more elite advisors and elder councilors will spend long times in introspection and meditation to come to decisions about far reaching decisions in politics and society.
Phaenotype: Iceni Nyseen
Occupation: Mediator of the Ascendant League Navy
Born from an union of a politician of the Sine bloodline – renowned as negotiators and their charismatic ways – and an unusual bond with an Baen Von she is torn between the very different personalities and ideals expressed in these two bloodlines.
While she followed the influence of h er mother most of her life her father kept contact and when reaching adulthood she decided to break with her predetermined career path in studies of science, culture and art and followed her father’s footsteps instead.
The Seraphim are a type of Erynies assault infantry that derive their name from the massive powered suits that allow these warriors to operate in all environments from sub orbital to zero-g environments. This means they operate as infantry, combat aircraft and space fighters all in one highly advanced armor though in the later roles in particular they are outperformed by dedicated craft.
With their camouflage systems scattering its shape and directional thrust systems and secondary robotic appendices rising from their back they were perceived by human military forces encountering them as large, etheral beings with wings made of pure light which was a primary reason to call these combat units and the entire race after angelic figures and spectres. The war saw limited clashes over ground installation but the few engagement that took place had the questionable honor to be with Seraphim special commandoes which did cause major casualties several orders above their own numbers.
The soldiers and armor form a union necessitating an extensive amount of cybernetic augmentation to allow the wearing and usage of the suit. This is one of the main reason why Erynies in those formation are considered elite and extreme. A complete suit is escorted by up to six combat drones being used for reconnaissance as support weapon systems. As such a group of only four to six Seraphim can operate like a whole tank platoon.
The Hisshe are a race encountered by the Erynies some one hundred years ago on a swamp planet with very dense atmosphere. They are the only example of a lifeform forming a compound intelligence via a symbotic cluster of individuals joining into a collective hive. The Hisshe are indvidually an eel like creature with a very rudimentary nervous system and digestive system. However their biology is a very adaptive system of stem cells and cells being capable to be repurposed for different functions. While as individuals this allows these creatures to adapt to a wide array of environments their particular reproduction system led them to congregate into large clusters of biologically merged organisms in which then individuals started to specialize to take over particular tasks within the cluster. As they progressed this allowed them to create compound organisms which were superior to the sums of their parts. As more Hisshe could develop cognitive specialization as the clusters grow they managed to arrive a level of intelligence comparable to a human or erynies.
While they never developed space faring technologies the Ascendancy recognized them as a cognitive species and allowed them status among the assembly. While they form large hive clusters of thousands of Hisshe on their home world as the biggest intelligences on the planet the usual spacefaring Hisshe will be a hive of several dozens individuals capable to form a vaguely humanoid specialization with about average intelligence and capable to move about in an erynies defined environment.
Jael Ys Zhial
Phaenotype: Bael Van
Occupation: special forces, group leader
Augmentations: Seraphim combat enhancers and suit interfaces
The Zhial family and its origin from since the beginning of the communal bindings is renowned throughout the Ascendancy. Not only does it belong to the hard core of the military but it has provided over thirty generations of war heroes, generals and fleet commanders to its ranks and the history books.
While the Bael Van is a preferred Phaenotype for an Erynies joining the armed forces the Zhial bloodline follows the most traditional initiations and only passessment it’s traits along direct descendants.
Enhanced strength, reflexes and spatial awareness as well as high physical and psychological resistance give every individual an edge as simple soldiers as well as commanding troops.
The Ys prefix indicates that Jael is a clone daughter of previous Jael Zhial but did not inherit her mother’s memories. As such she joined the ranks as a recruit and followed the common career paths.
During the Human War she was part of the only detachment of commandos engaging human ground forces. The resupply depots on the conquered world of Tarsus was defended by an entire brigade of marines. Over the course of severy months she and her comrades numbering less than two dozen engaged the defense forces with hit and run attacks killing inflicting hundreds of casualties, the biggest loss of life caused by the sabotage of the fuel depots and the largest losses to mankind in all engagements against the Ascendancy, mostly since virtually all other battles happened in space and the Ascendancy followed common policy to not engage ships with primary power disabled which in most cases left the fighting comparatively bloodless.
Because of the battle the fifth marine expeditionary brigade had to be withdrawn from combat. Jael and her unit gained the honorary title of Jinnan Zhosha, which designated them as masters of war against humans. After the armistice she returned to the Bastion as teacher. On request of her mother’s life friend she joined the frontier fleet academy to be protector of the daughter who joined the frontier fleet from the Dijal family, similarly old to the Zhial but more renowned for their cultural and political endevours.
Jael is unusually tall and athletic for an Erynies, passing 1.75 meters. As what humanity called Seraphim for their blistering and confusing energy suits her cybernetic enhancements are a broad array of implants allowing her body to seamlessly meld with her combat suit. The obvious markers of such a fundament and extensive augmentation are almond-shaped inlays in her skin of obsidian color which she sports all over body in her joints to serve as direct neural interfaces to the skeletal augmentations boosting resiliance, strength and speed. The most prominent of those is on her forehead. To humans it eerily resembles a third eye.
Her eyes have a purple cornea with crimson specks. In contrast to Erynies she has little skin decorations except for a black combat Marke etched into her right cheek indicating her affiliations to her elite combat unit and her veteran status of having killed in combat.
The shattered body of the last wannabe gangster was laying twisted and distorted in a heap of broken glass and concrete. Syffn checked the inputs of her suits sensors and her scout frames buzzed through the area in search of any unexpected surprises. A quick tally chalked off all the armed threats their reconnaissance had identified and the scouts quickly lit up all dark corners of her plot to ensure she was not missing any surprises.
She relaxed a bit but remained alert. She noted the concrete crumble under the sole of one boot and somewhere bits and pieces of the building were still trickling to the floor. For humans this might have seemed a decent solid construction but it certainly was no military grade holdout. Her pulse blasts had bored a jet of molten metal through every cover she had wished to. These human thus had seriously overestimated the duration of the firefight they would get into with an Erynies commando storming the place.
Her attack was too swift for them to even come out of cover and take potshots at her and given the brittleness of Earth concrete she had depended on the speed, camouflage and stopping power of her suit instead of worrying about a few bullets from their rifles. The perks of facing terrorists instead of soldiers she missed with a grim satisfaction.
A lamp pole cluttered to the floor as the remnants of a loose ceiling tile gave way. With little more than a wink the blast visor of her power suit shifted from its opaque shielding to a translucent canopy that gave her an unimpeded view of her surroundings. She was about to validate the assessment of her slaved ai when a loud rattle and a pitiful groan broke the deafening silence. She shifted into a combat stance with seamless grace and the two nearest weapon frames rushed to her sides taking aim at the origin of the sound.
“Humanity will never surrender to devils like you. We will rather die! ” the young man spit blood and bile in more ways than one. Syffn looked on as the man – more a boy really- struggled to grab the rifle that was buried with him in the rubble. “I Don’t think you should make blatant statement in the name of your whole people.” She hissed through her translator.
“Kill me already, you…” a triade of incomprehensible remarks followed that made nonsensical claims about her anatomy and genealogy. Human taunts apparently. Cute.
“This suggestion is an entirely acceptable resolution to this situation and I am inclined to conform to your request.” She paused to give this pitiful, broken foe a modicum of respect. It couldn’t hurt to teach these people proper manners for a fight. “There is honour in making a choice and standing by its consequences. Vievenne inshal.”
Her fingers moved ever so slightly and a thunderous echo Tore through the building as a single shot from a pulse blaster hurled a plasma jetzt supersonic speed at the dieing man with a collision point right on target. She ended his life cleanly. It was time to give the all clear that the locals could play their little charade of control and decisiveness that seemed to keep the lid on the brewing and boiling kettle that was their society.
What the hell are they doing here?” – Dan, a gruff dockworker pointed to a trio of Erynies entering the “Pit”, one of the more shady places along the seventh pylon of the Lagrange station Serendipity. The massive docking yard was the jumping off point for passengers to switch to local transport to the moon bases or Earth herself as well as the anchorage of most interestellar traffic that headed from and to Earth. As such some of these aliens moved through here on occasion. None of them ever stayed long enough to get lost on some seedy spacer bar on one of the lower deck pylons. His companions like him and half the bar turned to ogle at the newcomers.
It was difficult to tell who these aliens were but their eerie black eyes sparkled with distinctive purple and red irises
Dan got more than he had bargained for. The tallest of the three was still half a head smaller than him but she moved with the self confidence of a panther. It was the one with the strange marks on the cheeks. She walked up to him and was in his face staring him down with eyes like obsidian daggers but instead of answering him her nose slits flared like picking up his scent and she just snorted in a dismissive manner. The next moment out of nowhere her fist bored into his solar plexus like a sledge hammer. Before he realized what was happening she had him twisted his arm till he feared the bones would break out of their sockets but instead her shin finished his left knee and he found himself in a gimbal lock, helpless.
She spoke with etching disdain and his heart made a jump as he caught the alien’s fangs nearly bared close to his face. Her synthetic voice echoed her stinging words.
“You should have chosen your opponent more carefully, little man. The only reason you still stand here today is because my elder kind chose to out of charity. If I had my way me and my sister had studied you by disembowling your stinking entrails on Theres Zeal and our fleet had burnt your world. You better realize that you pitiful apes aren’t the center of the universe and let the grown ups be. You wouldn’t last playing our games a cycle.”