Cytania is a small planet within the Aire System, being about 0.3 Lantao Masses it orbits the star at about 10 million kilometers further than the larger planet. Almost the entirety of the planetary surface is covered in salt water save for a few rocky peaks and a network of megstructures known as Arcos. The planet’s climate is polar and seasonal and it is orbited by two moons, Valtomi and Soratha. Valtomi is small (1/800 Lantao Masses), has a long distant orbit and is home to a scientific research and mining station while Soratha is large (1/30 Lantao Masses), orbits very close to Cytania and is home to the huge luna arco and space station Jhora, which serves as the base of Cytania’s astral navy.
The planet is home to roughly 500 million sentient individuals comprised of two humanoid species, the Ruthar and the Gallids. The average Ruthar stands at 5’10’’ tall, has a pinkish, rough and oily skin, sparse hair, long, fine fingers and their nose takes the form of a small, bulbous hump flanked by two breathing tubes. The Gallids in contrast have greyish skin, stand an average of 6’6’’ tall, are much broader and stronger, have large, flat noses with a single nostril and much smaller ears. The two species do not have enough chromasomes in common to breed a fertile offspring and no such individuals as are created are permitted to exist on the planet.
The entire planet (as well as the settlements on it’s moons) is governed by the UAC (United Arcos of Cytania), a political structure that has been in place for several millenia and comprises hundreds of delegates from the 27 Arcos on the planet’s surface and one on Soratha. The political system is one of multi layered democracy, with the vast majority of the population only electing a local representative for their neighbourhood, these representatives then come together to elect the next official up the line and so on. Political parties do not exist, all officials work for the Ministry of Cytania (known as the MoC or simply the M) and most are only given privilege enough to vote on local issues where the only options are dictated by their superiors. Neighbourhood, district, sector, arco, regional and hemispheric assemblies regularly convene to thrash out legislation for their areas but the reality is that strategic direction in all areas of Cytania is massively influence by The Congress, a huge assembly of all the most senior delegates from the 28 arcos and the military that convene in Arco Krozan, the world’s capital.
Cytanian society is extremely racist and while nominally the Gallids have the same life chances as Ruthar and are recognized as having the same rights under the legislative structure the reality is quite different. Gallids have a natural life expectancy that is roughly 10% longer than the Ruthar but tend to live far shorter, more menial and brutal lives. This is largely because of innumerable social engineering projects enacted by high ranking Ruthar throughout the ages to keep the Gallids ignorant and suppressed. Their access to education, healthcare and rewarding work is extremely limited and almost no Gallids serve in high ranking positions in the M, the military or in private enterprise.
Arcos are massive structures that can reach several kilometers into the sky and are home to between 5 and 30 million people, the largest of which are Arco Krozan, the planet’s capital, set in the Temperate Zone and Arco Karpulsan, nearer to the equator. There are 28 Arcos in total, 27 of which are on the planet’s surface and 1, Arco Jhora is on the surface of the planet’s largest moon, Soratha.
Many Arcos are quite different from one another and perform specific functions for the planet. Two examples are Arco Syzet, angular, pyramid-like, fortified against the raging polar storms and covered in metres of ice is set at the planet’s magnetic north, harvesting valuable minerals for export, and Arco Falconan, sprawling across the warm seas at the planet’s equator it is home to hundreds of miles of tropical reef, kelp forests and fish farms. Life in the two Arco’s is extremely different Syzet’s denizens tend to be austere, reserved, traditional and quick to anger, life is hard there and a broad back and a tight lip are the most prized of character traits. Conversely those living around Falconan are laid back, creative and exist very much in harmony with the abundant life around them, it is seen as a “progressive” place to live and many Gallids try to emigrate here in search of a better life, Congress has severely limited this practice as a result. The majority of Arcos are, however, rectangular structures that tower up into the stratosphere, where the (by an large) Gallid population live in the industrial bowels, farming, manufacturing, mining, cleaning, maintaining and trading in cramped, dirty and bustling conditions. As one travels through the system of lifts to the upper levels of the Arco technology gradually becomes more advanced, space more available and thoroughfares light and airy. The highest levels of Arcos contain universities, botanical gardens, museums and other beautifully landscaped public spaces, properties on the outside of the Arco are reserved for the most senior officials, military officers, politicians, scholars and captains of industry. Even though the view they afford is seldom anything other than endless blue oceans and skies, securing a real window over a holograph is an acquisition of huge prestige in Cytanian society. Conversely the lower levels support the teeming population in huge blocks of metal and stone, with no windows and only basic holographs that are all controlled by the M. The streets are high, narrow and dark by night. The diurnal rhythm is also controlled by the M, using huge floodlights that hang from the roof of the level above. Day breaks from creeping darkness to harsh iridescence at the flicking of a switch and may be staggered in different levels and neighbourhoods to suit the complex plans of the captains of industry. Although every person technically has a vote the whole of the lower levels is awash with propaganda and every step is taken to ensure that the right man gets into office, this includes brutal kidnap of political dissidents and constant misinformation by the M. Most Gallids go through their short, brutal life without ever really knowing or caring anything about the political structure of their Arco or Cytania at large.
Cytania generates energy through a mixture of sources, many of the Arcos have giant tidal or wind farms spiraling from their bases, others burn minerals, fossil fuels or harness nuclear fission in giant reactors within their bellies. Most food is created through fishing (stocks are managed by the M) or through hydroponic farming within the Arcos. The M has ensured that certain limited types of basic food for a balanced diet are ubiquitous but luxury food and drink are highly prized rarities, especially those that are unsanctioned or from alien worlds.
Since the UAC have no land to fight over their military forces are fairly small in number; employing a variety of highly technologically advanced vehicles and weaponry they tend to focus on infiltration and hunting. This is largely because the armed forces only domestic use is to hunt out political dissidents and resistance spies. The bulk of Cytania’s forces are fairly ceremonial, doubling up as crew on it’s giant space faring vessels and only showing themselves in full battle regalia on ceremonial visits to other worlds in order that the UAC might flex is muscles for the benefit of other planets’ governments. Most of the fighting is in fact done by fairly small groups of highly trained individuals, one such example is the Warlords.
Only the brightest and most capable students at any of the four military universities (2 each on Arcos Krozen and Karpulsan) may apply for the intense 10 year training process known as the “Path of War”, it is extremely long and difficult but the benefits for successful recruits are numerous. Excellent scores in xenophysiology, weapons, field engineering, psychometrics, tactics, physical training and martial arts must be achieved. Every year of the course involves live combat exercises that become increasingly more difficult as the trainee progresses. These combat exercises take place in the open air on the ice caps around Arco Syzet or in quarantined mountainous regions populated by captured xeno creatures and heavily armed prisoners. This is a favoured disposal method of political dissidents, Controllers from the M often enjoy watching from afar as the traitors that sought their downfall are torn to pieces by the warlords’ state of the art firepower. Those that fall in the combat exercises are buried with full military honours and their families provided for, to be accepted onto the Path of War is one of the most admired accolades in Cytanian society, for the rigours are well known and only the most dedicated would give themselves to it over the prestigious career their exception would doubtless afford them.
Over the course of the 10 years the recruit must have built up enough muscle mass to wear the Empyron Battlesuit (named after its designer). These high tech suits are individually crafted to fit the Warlord and require numerous implants and jacks to be installed all over the body, and huge slabs of fleshy muscle are necessary to properly bear its weight. Many parts of the suit are jacked in to the Warlord’s nervous system, allowing automated regulation and stimulation of bodily systems via a complex array of instruments and chems to a range of predefined settings. The Warlord himself may override these settings at any time, although overusing the expensive and rare chems contained in the suits is dangerous and the soldiers can expect a stern chastising from their unit’s quartermaster should their reasons be deemed too trivial. The battlesuits are extremely diverse in use and contain numerous weapons, supplies and capabilities, helping the Warlord follow a heat trail, keeping him alive for weeks on end in harsh environs and camouflaging him in a coverless desert are just some examples of the suits’ myriad uses.
Many of those who begin on the Path of War drop out along the way to perform other important roles in the ministry or die in the exams, the dropout rate is so high that there are only around 200 fully fledged Warlords active at any one time. Those that have passed the 5 year exam are designated Champions and may also be used in less critical combat missions, there are usually a further 600 of these available to the army’s generals. All Warlords are Ruthar, a handful of Gallid applicants are selected for training each year, but none have ever made it through the 10 years.
Warlord units are currently deployed in protection, special ops, disruption, counter terrorism, assassination and occasionally as honour guard for important dignitaries. As well as being fearsome and merciless fighters, they are all extremely intelligent, politically savvy and loyal, and to have even a single one assigned to a mission speaks volumes about it’s importance to the UAC.