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Telcharinogrod

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I utterly missed the start of this, and the end of Ü-Tsang.

A very rich and interesting start! The new diplomacy sounds like it remedies the major beef I had with Stellaris up to now - is it expansion-specific or for everyone?
 

Alex Borhild

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That is a twist- I've seen that event chain in a few games, but I don't think I've ever taken that direction. I've enjoyed the glimpses into Yldar society and culture.
 

eoncommander

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You've hit upon a really interesting way to weave in an event chain that I'm not particularly fond of usually. Love what you're doing with it.
 

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Ah yes, the Old Gods event chain. I've only gotten it a few times, but it's always darkly fascinating.
 
Part Six: Pushing the Frontier (2220 to 2237)

RossN

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YSS Othana the Benign.jpg


YSS Othana the Benign spirals out of control after a direct hit from a void cloud weapon. The corvette exploded moments later with the loss of all hands.

Part Six: Pushing the Frontier (2220 to 2237)


'Admiral the Othana's been hit,' Commander Timaphona yelled, trying to make herself heard over the cacophony of the proximity alarm. All around the crowded 'U' shaped battle bridge of the YSS Esslon the Good officers were checking their stations and calling out reports from across the corvette and urgent holos from the rest of the fleet.

'I have eyes Commander,' Darmull replied crisply but he couldn't deny the same tremor of shock his subordinate was feeling. There on the main display the Othana was drunkenly rolling out of formation, ripples of interior explosions visible across her hull. The familiar and friendly violet lighting in her viewports had gone dark suggesting a total power failure aboard. That was... had been... Captain Haghonan's ship. Darmull had known him for decades. A sardonic male with a rasp of laugh, a stomach that can handle any alcohol known to intelligent life and a famously awful luck with cards.

'Any escape pods?' He knew the answer even before the commander shook her head.

'Negative sir.'

'Assume pattern Delta, open a channel to all ships,' he said. 'We have the measure of this thing now.'

After, assuming there was an after, he'd raise a glass of Kammarian kryl to his old friend's memory. Haghonan would appreciate the gesture - he'd lost the bottle to Darmull over the most misguided optimistic hand Darmull had ever seen. As the fleet began its run on the void cloud the Admrial wondered if somewhere he couldn't hear a rasp of laughter...

~~~~

Battle of Kenn Hijal.jpg


The Yldar Star Navy achieves victory in the Battle of Kenn Hijal, Firstmoth 2225

As momentous as the revelations about the Originators were the Yldar Free Traders were kept busy with mundane concerns - if contacting new alien species, star battles and the construction of a new habitat could be called 'mundane'.

Jondru had often spoken about the need to secure the borders. By that he had meant a focus on defensive space stations but with the naval buildup begun by Bemalona still in progress he authorised the construction of corvettes to continue to the original planned twenty. Though still smaller than the warfleet of the Kammarians - if perhaps a shade more advanced - the Yldar Star Navy was a well trained force with high morale. Pay was excellent to lure over the best pilots and crew from the civilian fleets and a savvy recruitment campaign played upon the perceived glamour of command against unknown threats and the chance of lasting fame. Despite being itself a new organization the Navy seemed to offer a reassuring berth for those dizzy from the changes that had crashed upon Yldar society in recent decades.

The central ship of the Navy was the Damghalla-class corvette. Surprisingly these sleek dagger shaped warships were not a particularly new design. As far back as the middle of the last century the Patrol had been equipped with similar craft that though smaller, less powerful and without hyperdrives had proved influential. The true corvettes had first been constructed in the last decade of the Twenty Second century and while they would undergo many refinements in internal systems the basic shape of the Damghalla-class proved resilient. With a length of two hundred and sixty meters and a crew of less than three hundred there were larger vessels in Yldar space including great bulk freighters but the corvettes were the most powerful. Among other improvements the invention of 'blue' lasers had made them dangerous opponents for any foe.

First blood for the Navy would come at the Battle of Kenn Hijal in Firstmoth 2225. The Yldar fleet under Admiral Darmull on the YSS Esslon the Good engaged one of the mysterious and powerful 'void cloud' entities. The bizarre being had blocked off a key hyperspace lane along the route to the Kammarians and with no way to communicate with it, or even discover whether it was capable of communication the Free Traders had decided it had to be removed. For the officers and crew of the twenty corvettes their first taste of battle was with a literal monster. The void cloud was hazily understood at best but it was known that it's 'weapons' (if such a term could be used) were powerful. Readings from YSS Mitgapp the Humble, the first ship stumble across the void cloud had suggested an immense buildup of energy. The science ship had successfully fled the field before the creature 'fired' but even the limited data suggested something powerful.

So it proved. Moments into the battle the corvette Othana the Benign suffered a direct hit from some form of 'cloud lightning' in Admiral Darmull's phrase. Neither shields nor armour seemed to offer any protection and as the other Yldars looked on in horror their brothers and sisters spiralled out of the battle line until the whole corvette exploded from within. The closest ships suffered minor damage from the blast, reporting fried secondary systems, injuries and in a few cases deaths.

As awful as the first blow was the Othana's sacrifice was not in vain. Aboard the Esslon the Admiral was able to decipher the properties of what he was facing and direct his ships accordingly. Weaving in and out in an agile attack pattern like a school of predatory fish in some alien ocean the Yldar corvettes concentrated their lasers and coilguns on the creature - and won. The menace was no more and if it had come at the cost three hundred and twenty two gallant sailors - all but twenty six aboard the Othana - the Navy could be justly proud. Darmull and his ships returned hope to a rapturous welcome.


Artisan Troupe.jpg



First contact with the Artisan Troupe, a collective dominated by the felinoid Aramathi species.

A far more benign alien encounter, if perhaps at least as unusual took place in 2235 in the Oscum system in the galactic West. This region had been particularly heavily explored both because of the search for the legacy of the Originators but also because it appeared to be a region of great mineral wealth [1]. The Hempest under Ketrilla had discovered a vast alien space station, almost akin to a Yldar haibtat in scale. Intrigued the scientist had established contact with the inhabitants, a mammalian feline species known as the Aramathi who had evolved on a forgotten ocean world. The aliens had established an 'Artisan Troupe - a collective dedicated to the finer arts of civilisation from music and poetry to culinary skills and sculpture.

In many ways the Aramathi were the ideal aliens for the Yldars to find. They were harmless and welcoming of strangers and produced luxuries that many on the Three Daughters nearly fell over themselves to buy. The fact that they still existed as living species in conditions not unlike the Yldar (or indeed the the Glost-Werheni or Vengralians) was also a welcome surprise and food for thought for some of the more intellectual members of the Free Traders. Their one disadvantages was that they were not exactly great importers and Yldar merchants looking to make credits were best advised to stick to the increasingly explored and safe routes to the Kammarians.

Of the five living sapient species the Yldars had so far encountered the Kammarians were unique in still being planetbound. The Aramathi, Glost-Werheni, Vengralians and the Vag-Orrosi (a third species involved in the Caravansary Caravan Coalition) were all beings that had made a home for themselves in space [2]. There was a lot of debate among the foremost thinkers of the Free Traders with some advocating the idea that a move into space was part of a natural evolutionary stage for sapient species while others supposed that it was the influence of the Originators [3].

The idea of habitats and of the void being a destined home for sapients was of particular importance at this time due to a momentous decision by the Chairman. As part of his reforms to strengthen the Free Trader government and help the less fortunate citizens Jondru had long planned the construction of a new habitat. The Three Daughters were immense structures, capable of holding billions between them, but they were not limitless in space or resources and overcrowding and unemployment were both real concerns. The Kammarians had successfully spread to other planets and had shown how colonies could bring greater prosperity to the entire empire.


Habitat building.jpg


The resources needed to build a habitat stretched the Free Traders to their limits.

Even at a period when Yldar society was not trying to absorb the discoveries about the Originators this was an ambitious plan. The Yldars had spent thousands of years studying their habitats and though there were still elements that eluded their science, such as the arcane replicator at the heart of Oros they had developed a sophisticated understanding of their own homes. Habitats were sometimes thought of as simply large space stations and in a manner of speaking that was true. A habitat was an artificial, inhabited structure with its own internal atmosphere and power supply constructed in orbit around an existing planet. The key difference was scale. Even the largest space station did not contain vast 'open' areas to farm crops and animals, lakes to breed fish, entire separate cities. A habitat contained all of these in a metallic shell the size of a small moon. Even aside from their size habitats were built to endure; Oros, Pirgak's Freehold and Lastagarvin's Shelter were millennia old and still functioning perfectly and any new habitat would be expected to endure.

Jondru knew that building such a structure would require mind boggling resources. The political capital alone he had to spend made the war of attrition his predecessor had waged to build up the Navy look like a petty feud between rival shopkeeps in a trade district. Most of the merchant princes had entrenched power bases in the Three Daughters and the prospect of a fourth habitat - at least theoretically equal to the other three - provoked suspicion. No one wanted extra competition. Jondru also found himself facing opposition from partisans of the individual habitats, frightened at the idea that they would be the ones to lose people and resources while their rivals thrived.

The Chairman lacked Bemalona's unorthodox and slightly shady skills but he talents and allies of his own. To ambitious merchants below the level of the golden circle of the Board the opportunities offered by a brand new habitat were boundless. To those who were eager to follow the path of the Originators building a new habitat was akin to following in their footsteps. To the more secular xenophiles Jondru's choice of location in the now safe Kenn Hijal system was closer to Kammarian space [4]. Slowly he built up a coalition to force the Board into agreeing to his platform.

The political battles to establish a fourth habitat fell into insignificance next to the material resources required. Alloy production was diverted for years on end towards the project, slowing down the expansion of Yldar space into potentially rich mining systems. Ambitious plans for (regular) space stations and expanding the Navy had to be put on hold as had a proposed campaign to destroy the ancient and hostile mining drones in the western fringe of Yldar space, though at least this last had the silver lining that more research could be done on the 'enemy' before the shooting started.

Beginning in 2232 the great construction ship YSS Kaaguul the Righteous was permanently employed in the Kenn Hijal system as the colossal structure slowly took shape in orbit around the molten second planet in the system. For half a decade the work continued, with endless delays, shortages, replacement of key personnel and all the other headaches in doing something no one had tried in millennia. Perhaps surprisingly the greatest task was not even the superstructure itself which was all but identical to the Three Daughters but the interior and specifically the artificial biospheres. In the Three Daughters these were expanses of land beneath domes that were used for farming and to a certain extent were kept as the illusion of 'wilderness' - Oros had forests and mountains, Pirgak's Freehold rolling hills and Lastagarvin's Shelter was famous for its lakes that teemed with marine life. As the new habitat neared completion in late 2237 the Board erupted into an almighty row over whether it should be based on the existing biospheres from the Three Daughters or draw inspiration (and lifeforms) from the Kammarian worlds and various planets known that lacked sapient life but had abundant flora and fauna. Jondru eventually agreed with the traditionalists, feeling that establishing a new colony was quite radical enough without trying to render the habitat even more of a leap for the first inhabitants.

In Tenthmonth 2337 the last work was completed and the habitat was christened 'Madragon's Stronghold' after a legendary hero of the distant past. A million colonists assembled and mixed from across the Three Daughters boarded the mighty colony vessels and set out for their new home.


Mandragon's Stronghold.jpg



The Kenn Hijal Habitat, soon to be named 'Madragon's Stronghold' is completed, Tenthmonth 2237.



Footnotes:

[1] The presence of ancient mining droids in this region also encouraged the idea that it was full of riches simply waiting to be plundered.

[2] The Vag-Orrosi (singular Vag-Oross) were a diminutive reptilian species of arctic origin whose distinctive appearance drew the nickname 'fairy dragons'. To date they had not been seen in the flesh in Yldar space but the Free Traders knew of them as the sapients who actually ran the Caravansary as against the nomadic fleets of traders.

[3] There was a growing divide between those Yldars who saw their creation by the Originators as marking the Yldars out for special status and those who believed that they were simply one of a multitude who had been visited by the ancient beings.

[4] Hannakona was one of the strongest supporters of establishing a habitat along the the route to the Kammarian Centralized Systems. The aging envoy would not live to see its completion, passing away at the age of seventy two in 2236. She had spent half her life in a planentary atmosphere, a unique feat for a Yldar.
 

RossN

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To say these last few decades have been revolutionary for the Yldar is to understate the case.

In just one lifetime they have become one polity with the Glost-Werheni, met other strange and fearsome folk and phenomena, and now their very understanding of their place in the cosmos is brought into play.
Exactly. It must be dizzying.

In some ways the particular conceit of the Yldars - that the Originators are or were fantastically advanced but not supernatural as such - has helped them cope. Even the most mystical of the old Outsiders would tend to see the ancient aliens as beings the Yldars can eventually live up to or join.

Hoo boy, that's certainly going to be a lot for Yldar society to digest. Still, they seem to be adapting to their new circumstances rather well, all told. I do have to wonder what's going to happen when they finally make contact with a proper Fallen Empire, now that a certain baseline of expectations has already been set.

I do have to admit, though, I'm a little surprised you didn't go with "Monetize the findings" ;)

The Limbo event chain is one I've always enjoyed whenever I encounter it. Looking forward to seeing how that one is resolved down the line.

Hah! :D I suppose "Monetize the findings" the findings would have made some sense but the rewards were pretty paltry. Also I had established the mystical side to the Yldars early on even if this event chain caught me by surprise. That is an excellent point about Fallen Empires!

I found the Limbo event fascinating but it left me with a bit of a bind as to where to go with that. 'Spiritualism' in game terms doesn't handle investigating AI well.

I never saw this event before. :eek:
I've come across it occasionally, though not in my previous AAR.

It's odd but I'm much more invested in a lot of these random events than the Vultaum event chain i also have going on.

Digging this so far! Subbing along for the ride.
Glad you like it! :)

Those are some frightening mysteries of the past coming to the fore - it must be a very troubling time to be a (former) atheist.
Indeed! Though I'm sure the Yldars would insist their 'religion' is entirely non-supernatural!

Really must be hard to be an Yldar at this point in time.
And/or exciting! :D

It is to Chairman Jondru's credit that he did not attempt to suppress or monetize the findings.
Yes. I'm not sure quite how his predecessor might have acted but perhaps less openly.

Once again, enjoy reading and seeing how you make the culture and society come to life.
Thank you! :) The game has been a lot of fun to play and interpret so far!

I utterly missed the start of this, and the end of Ü-Tsang.

A very rich and interesting start! The new diplomacy sounds like it remedies the major beef I had with Stellaris up to now - is it expansion-specific or for everyone?
Thank you. :)

I'm not sure you get everything without Federations, but I think even vanilla diplomacy is enhanced.

Well done weaving that event chain in.
Thank you! As I've said it was a fascinating if daunting series of events!

That is a twist- I've seen that event chain in a few games, but I don't think I've ever taken that direction. I've enjoyed the glimpses into Yldar society and culture.
Thanks! :)

You've hit upon a really interesting way to weave in an event chain that I'm not particularly fond of usually. Love what you're doing with it.
Thanks!

I think if I hadn't already woven in the idea of the Outsiders and their belief in ancient astronauts I would have handled it differently. As it was I couldn't ignore it.

Ah yes, the Old Gods event chain. I've only gotten it a few times, but it's always darkly fascinating.
Very much so!

I also really liked the Limbo event even if I've never played far enough in previous games to see that play out.
 

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Very much so!

I also really liked the Limbo event even if I've never played far enough in previous games to see that play out.
I've only gotten to the point where I can download their brains into robots once. In my case I allowed them to settle on a planet in my empire, but I know they can form their own empire if you let them. Though since you're spiritualist now, the former may not go over so well...
 

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I found the Limbo event fascinating but it left me with a bit of a bind as to where to go with that. 'Spiritualism' in game terms doesn't handle investigating AI well.
Very true, unfortunately.

The construction of the Yldars' fourth habitat, for all the toils and travails it took, is certainly a watershed moment in their history. Even if it would pale in comparison to what their Originators would have been able to accomplish, the mere fact that they have the resources and the wherewithal to take on a task like constructing and populating a new habitat in a new system demonstrates that they're capable of taking their destiny in their own hands. The settlers of Madragon's Stronghold will almost certainly have their own issues to contend with as they try to carve out their own place in the bigger scheme of Yldar society, but by the same token they'll be paving the way to the Yldars' future as they move forward themselves.
 

Nikolai

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That laughter will roam the stars now... A sad story, which also humanize the involved. Good job!
 

stnylan

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It is a very interesting perspective, about whether being void-dwellers is a natural stage of evolution. And, from the Yldar perspective, it seems a not unreasonable hypothesis.

And the habitat sounds like a suitably titanic undertaking. Hopefully not metaphorical icebergs.
 

Viden

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Still waiting for devouring swarms, rogue exterminators and genocidal neighbours to spice up the life of the Yldar. :p
 

Arithmetician

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It looks like the Void Dwellers origin is pretty popular right now among AAR writers here. I just started one on my own Void Dweller game. Still, very nicely written! I'm looking forward to seeing how the rest of your game went.
 

Henry v. Keiper

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So they've had to do some fighting, but now they're in luck! They've met the lion dudes from Twilight Imperium!
 

DensleyBlair

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Just read the first couple of updates. Really great stuff! I love the conceit of a protagonist species whose own history is not only lost to them, but virtually irrecoverable. Sets everything up in a lovely way for a Stellaris AAR; something genuinely alien about the idea of these guys just out in the void, even the very date unknown to our human perspective. And the Yldar themselves have been brought to life with a great level of economy. Enjoying the light touch history book style a lot!

Excited to keep reading! :)
 
Part Seven: The Birth of the Galactic Community (2238 to 2246)

RossN

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Galaxy Map 2238.jpg


The known galaxy, 2238.


Part Seven: The Birth of the Galactic Community (2238 to 2246)

Vak B'Eren curled and uncurled his tail in a unconscious habit. The russet furred Glost-Werheni envoy had years of practice in the Free Traders diplomatic corps and until very recently had served as Senator Listhim's aide in his dealings with the Galactic Community. That had been daunting enough being in the Senate Chamber and watching a dozen alien species projected in real-time, life sized holos as they debated, argued and bragged. Even so the distance of light years separating everyone had been oddly comforting.

Now he (and his mostly Yldar team) would have to negotiate with the Kammarians in the flesh. As proud as he was to be the first Glost-Werheni to reach such a rank in the Free Traders it would be the height of hubris not to be a little nervous. By rights it should have been Timpaphona who together with Chairman Jondru and the Kammarian Emperor had crafted this organisation but the silver scaled female Yldar was still in the embassy on Kamdor.

Steeling himself the envoy whispered a silent prayer to Numa, stepped through the door, shook the Kammarian envoy's hand and took his seat at the first formal meeting of the Golden Monetary Compact.


~~~~~~

Birth of the Galactic Community.jpg


The 'Birth of the Galactic Community', 2238.

In late 2237 the Free Traders picked up the first signs of unidentified vessels on their eastern fringe. This region of the galaxy was less charted by the Yldars but they had long suspected that one or more alien civilisations were present for the simple reason that the Caravaneers had to be trading with someone. Therefore when reports arrived on Oros from the Hempest they were met with excitement but not surprise. That surprise came when it was discovered that more than one civilisation might lie immediately to the galactic east. Many more than one.

The 'Birth of the Galactic Community' as historians would later term the confused period from 2237 through 2240 when the various galactic powers came into contact with each other was not quite as sudden as it is sometimes made out. Most of the dozen or so major starfaring powers had already had extensive contact with one or more of their neighbours as we have seen with the close relations between the Yldar Free Traders and the Centralized Kammarian Systems. What happened was that this knowledge appeared to have reached a critical mass or tipping point. One civilisation sharing interstellar charts and the all important hyperlanes became aware of at least two others.

Not including the Caravaneers and other very minor powers a picture emerged of a galaxy dominated by twelve starfaring empires. There was a wide array of species and forms of government but the bulk of the galaxy appeared to belong to peoples of roughly similar technological process, size and living requirements. For some in the Yldar Free Traders this was more than coincidence and suggested that the Originators (or perhaps another similar group of allies or indeed rivals) had seeded the galaxy at certain point in the dim past. Even those sapient species that could claim to evolve naturally, as the Kammarians did could still have been influenced by the enigmatic ancients.

The actual impetus for setting up the Galactic Community lay with an alliance three powers in the galactic south west. The Glirr Hierarchy, the Pelisimus Free Union and the Haddam Star Confederation. The Glirrs, the most numerous and advanced of these powers were a 'species' of sentient silicon based life. These 'lithoids' hailed from the frozen world of Hjossun and had remarkably evolved in similar patterns to organic life elsewhere, establishing a feudal empire and eventually becoming starfarers. Their neighbours the Haddams from the equally cold planet Allox Haxizabb were bipedial arthropoids of fearsome appearance and military caste, ruled by a longstanding junta who nevertheless conducted themselves according to an exhausting code of honour. The final members of this triumvirate were the plantoid Pelisimians of Pelisimus Primus who had thrived in the bleak tundra landscape of their homeworld and established a military commissariat form of government with a near fanatical zeal for democracy.


Pact Species.jpg


The Glirrs, the Haddams & the Pelisimians - the founder species of the 'Mutual Assistance Pact'.

Very early in their history of spaceflight the Glirrs had made contact with the Haddams and the Pelisimians. Though all three cultures had strong martial traditions they had discovered common ground and during a period when then the first primitive starships might take over a year to reach even the closest stars they had forged a federation: the Mutual Assistance Pact. This organisation had served them well; individually none of the powers were any stronger than the Kammarians or the Yldars - less so in some ways - but collectively they represented an economic and political bloc. Fortunately for their neighbours the three powers were xenophiles so there was scant chance of this galactic union sweeping across the galaxy just yet. What it did give them was experience in multispecies diplomacy. As the initial flurry of first contact excitements and nerves settled it was the emissaries of the Mutual Assistance Pact who proposed a formal conclave of the galactic powers.

The Galactic Community fell far short of the level of organisation that marked the Mutual Assistance Pact. The Glirrs, Haddams and Pelisimians had been cooperating for over a century, had a certain common culture and were happy to share powers. The states of the Galactic Community had in most cases only the barest knowledge of some power on the other side of the galaxy. They had often vividly different politics and beliefs. However there were still rules that most of the powers could agree to. Piracy, rogue machines and hostile fauna like the void clouds were universal threats. There was also an added incentive to mercantile powers like the Free Traders for some recognition of merchantmen.

From the start it was realised that intergalactic relations were far too new and far too fragile for a formal 'capital' for the Galactic Community, even assuming a centralised location could be agreed upon which it couldn't. Once again it was the charismatic Glirrs, old hands at this game, who came up with the notion of meetings being held over holo [1]. It was far from perfect with some species like the Yldar, who relied heavily on their sense of smell in negotiations, having to adapt to a strictly aural and visual format. Still it was acceptable to most and by 2240 most of the galactic capitals would have receiving chambers were the delegations of the powers would 'meet'.

Each of the original powers had specialised envoys or diplomats ('senators') who cast a vote on behalf of their nations. The criteria for choosing these 'senators' was as varied as their backgrounds from being a scion of the royal family, through a career civil servant to an elected politician.

The Yldar Free Traders were proponents of the Galactic Community but they were not as enthusiastic as the Pact powers. Chairman Jondru and the rest of the Board were intrigued by the opportunities that a known galaxy provided and the Yldar were particularly fascinated by the distant (and annoyingly isolationist) Irenic Kazam Compact who dwelt in a ring world structure which strongly hinted at interference by the Originators [2]. However they mainly saw the Galactic Community in economic terms. The standardization of buzzwords, an early initiative proposed by the Haddams was backed by the Yldars but the most significant proposal put before the Galactic Community was the notion of a Galactic Market and in 2238 that goal seemed far away. The other powers were more focused on (to Yldar eyes) petty bureaucratic issues.

By this time the Yldar Free Traders and the Centralized Kammarian Systems were firm diplomatic and financial allies and effectively represented a north-western bloc in the Galactic Community. The groundwork for this alliance had been achieved by the much missed Hannakona and her successors in the Yldar embassy on Kamdor but it would be unfair to ignore the work of the Emperor Moz I. The Emperor's long reign had begun immediately before the hyperspace era and in the early years he seemed to embody the unchanging nature of the Kammarian state - autocratic and ferociously traditional. In fact he proved himself much more flexible and imaginative than anyone might have assumed and while the Yldars with their flattery and diplomatic gifts had opened the door Moz was the one who walked through it. Many of the treaties binding the Kammarians and Yldars together came directly from him.

In traditional Kammarian culture the merchants had occupied a low caste. They were at best seen as social inferiors, held little to no formal political power and faced a vast array of sumptuary laws controlling their displays of wealth, attire and food. None of this had prevented the various merchant 'clubs' (guilds and conglomerates in all but name) becoming absolutely vital to the economy. The Kammarian merchants tended to be feverently pro-Yldar, looking with respect and some envy towards a civilisation where the merchant prince rather than the noble ruled. By 2238 many Kammarians had taken the logical next step and actually emigrated to Yldar space were they formed a fast growing minority, much admired for their ingenuity in business (a trait born out of centuries of working around the stratified Kammarian society.) [3]

Moz's particular genius had been to find a way to work with the merchants without undermining the rigid constraints of Kammarian life. He was not a radical by any means and was determined to keep his throne and pass it on to his son the Prince Imperial. Rather he saw that a Kamdor that reached out to other powers would be stronger and richer than one that did not. In his final years he even managed to strike up a working relationship with Jondru, the most progressive of Yldar who like his Kammarian opposite could prove surprisingly flexible. It was to be these two, despite their many differences and disagreements who turned the Yldar-Kammarian alliance into a federation.

Jondru knew he was fighting against time. Though he had won a second twenty-year term as leader in the 2240 election few expected him to live to complete it. Yldars were not a long lived species and the Chairman had been hatched in 2168. He had achieved much in forging a centralised government for the Free Traders and the success of Madragon's Stronghold had proved wrong the grognards among the merchant princes who had questioned the expense of a fourth habitat. From 2240 on Jondru began turning his hard won experience and reputation into a push for an even closer relationship with the Kammarians.

Though the Mutual Assistance Pact served as a model for his ambitions Jondru neither wanted, nor thought possible a replica of that sort of galactic union. The differences between the laws of Kamdor and the Three Daughters were too wide and the nationalistic sentiment too strong to contemplate a primarily political union. Instead he proposed something far more agreeable, at least to the Yldars: a trade league. The focus of this league was firstly economic and to a secondary degree protective. In effect the unified economies of the Yldars and the Kammarians would become a giant free trade area in the galactic north west. As Jondru explained to the other merchant princes this sort of a federation would build upon the existing treaties without ceding anything more than a shadow of political autonomy (though the possibility of a combined league navy at some future date was raised as a defence against pirates and greedy foreign powers.)

For the Kammarians the economic benefits were obvious but there was some hesitation in taking the final step into a permanent union with the Yldars and a great deal of diplomacy had to go towards wooing the aristocrats of Kamdor. The death of the Emperor Moz in 2243 almost ended negotiations before they truly began. His son and heir the Prince Imperial Yoz was an unknown quantity to the Yldars, having been kept away from the riff raff during his long apprencticeship. The new monarch was believed to be far more conservative than his late father. Fortunately Yoz proved the pessimists wrong; the new Emperor saw himself as a great patron of arts and science and with the right show of respect merchants could generously be counted under that label. In early 2246 he agreed to Yldar proposals.

A new federation.jpg


The Golden Monetary Compact is born, Ninthmonth 2246.

The negotiations proper took place on Madragon's Stronghold, the closest habitat to Kamdor. In a sign of the times the 'Yldar' envoy was not a biological Yldar at all but a Glost-Werheni male named Vak B'Eren. More predictably the Kammarian envoy was an aristocrat. His aide on the other hand was a humble but very crafty merchant who for one reason or another did most of the work for the Kammarians. Appearances had to be maintained.

On the tenth day of Ninthmonth 2246 the Golden Monetary Compact was officially signed by Emperor Yoz and Chairman Jondru. It was the crowning achievement of Jondru's career and one of the last. Exhausted by the efforts of trying to steer his dream into existence he died less than three years later in 2249 at the advanced age of eighty one.

Golden Monetary Compact.jpg


The Golden Monetary Compact, 2246.

Footnotes:

[1] Holographic technology was a widespread though not universal method of faster-than-light communication across the known galaxy.

[2] The Kazam and other civilisations will be covered shortly.

[3] The migration treaty between the Free Traders and Centralized Systems applied in both directions but the overwhelming bulk of migrants were Kammarians bound for Yldar space. A Kammarian might find the atmosphere of an enclosed habitat somewhat strange but they could adapt far more easily than a Yldar could to the vast savannas of Kamdor.

 

RossN

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And so we find out exactly what kind of galaxy we are in.

The next update will be an appendix style post detailing the various alien races and powers as of the 'Birth of the Galactic Community.'

~~~~


I've only gotten to the point where I can download their brains into robots once. In my case I allowed them to settle on a planet in my empire, but I know they can form their own empire if you let them. Though since you're spiritualist now, the former may not go over so well...
That is interesting. I guess it is an issue I'll have to consider in time!

Very true, unfortunately.

The construction of the Yldars' fourth habitat, for all the toils and travails it took, is certainly a watershed moment in their history. Even if it would pale in comparison to what their Originators would have been able to accomplish, the mere fact that they have the resources and the wherewithal to take on a task like constructing and populating a new habitat in a new system demonstrates that they're capable of taking their destiny in their own hands. The settlers of Madragon's Stronghold will almost certainly have their own issues to contend with as they try to carve out their own place in the bigger scheme of Yldar society, but by the same token they'll be paving the way to the Yldars' future as they move forward themselves.
Well said! :)

Constructing a habitat takes an immense amount of resources even compared with 'normal' colonisation but it gave me a genuine feeling of accomplishment. As you say this is a culturally profound leap for the Yldars.

That laughter will roam the stars now... A sad story, which also humanize the involved. Good job!
Thank you!

I'm found of writing naval battles, space battles much included, and I wanted to give a more human (sorry, Yldar) feel to this one.

It is a very interesting perspective, about whether being void-dwellers is a natural stage of evolution. And, from the Yldar perspective, it seems a not unreasonable hypothesis.

And the habitat sounds like a suitably titanic undertaking. Hopefully not metaphorical icebergs.
Hopefully indeed! :confused:

As I noted in my most recent post one of the alien civilisations the Yldars encountered began on a ringworld, which will certainly give the Yldars food for thought.

That's some very bold ambition; let us hope it pays off without bankrupting the Yldar.
Yes. Going bankrupt would be embarrassing for a Megacorporation civilisation!

Still waiting for devouring swarms, rogue exterminators and genocidal neighbours to spice up the life of the Yldar. :p
You old optimist you! :p

It looks like the Void Dwellers origin is pretty popular right now among AAR writers here. I just started one on my own Void Dweller game. Still, very nicely written! I'm looking forward to seeing how the rest of your game went.
Thanks, and I really like how you are handling your own AAR! :)

I had completely missed this, @RossN! Glad to see you back so soon after Kingdom in the Clouds. Will catch up over the next few days. :)
Thanks and hope you enjoy!

So they've had to do some fighting, but now they're in luck! They've met the lion dudes from Twilight Imperium!
Hah! :D

Glad I'm not the only roleplaying/board game fan here. I've certainly drawn some influence from the Star Fleet Battles Universe (especially their roleplaying sourcebooks.)

Just read the first couple of updates. Really great stuff! I love the conceit of a protagonist species whose own history is not only lost to them, but virtually irrecoverable. Sets everything up in a lovely way for a Stellaris AAR; something genuinely alien about the idea of these guys just out in the void, even the very date unknown to our human perspective. And the Yldar themselves have been brought to life with a great level of economy. Enjoying the light touch history book style a lot!

Excited to keep reading! :)
Thank you very much! :)

I was initially sceptical about the Federations DLC but I have to admit the different origins really inspired me. The void dwellers just seemed so thematically strong and interesting to work with.
 

Nikolai

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