“Through knowledge we will find you. Through battle we will learn your weakness. Through domination your culture will crumble. The gods demand your destruction, heretics, and we shall be the ones who fulfill their command!”
The Cognatus Empire, also known as the Cognatus Hegemony, is a theocratic civilisation ruled by Archon Vos Adamae, a ruthless and ambitious Cogsangui warlord. Commanded by Consangui traditionalists and ideologues, the hegemony also consists of numerous other species enslaved by the vast Cognatus Battlefleet, such as the Vevilog and the Hadran'ari, pressed into service and forced to worship gods and beliefs not their own. While culturally regressive in comparison to the civilisations of the galactic interior of Cyrannus, the hegemony commands some of the most advanced technology in the Cyrandia Cluster, derived from pure Oikoumene technology which has given the hegemony a reach that extends into the outer galaxies and beyond.
The origins of the current incarnation of the hegemony can be found with the First Cognatus Empire, a civilisation infamous for instigating the massive Gigaquadrant-spanning Intergalactic War against an alliance of civilisations led by the United Republic of Cyrannus. In the aftermath of the conflict, the Cognatus lost a great deal of their military might and reformed into a remnant led by Fleetlord Acetenus, who sought to unify his people in the ancient traditions of the Cogsangui. During the Dark Times, however, Acetenus was deposed and a short-lived Triumvirate formed the new Cognatus Empire, which soon fell under the sway of the awakened Oikoumene known as the Primercer. The power of the Cognatus exceeded that of the first empire during those years, though it would soon collapse in the aftermath of the Battle of Cognalorilos, when the Order of Cognalorilos usurped vast swaths of Cognatus space away from the hegemony.
Though it once held complete sway over Cognatus Space, the hegemony has since been scattered by the Sundering of the Cognatus, a devastating conflict between those loyal to Adamae and the Unified Order of Cognalorilos, led by Primarch Voro Acetenus. The hegemony has become something of a mystery even unto itself, not truly an empire and yet not simply a cult. In the midst of the Sundering and the ongoing Second Great Cyrannus War, the hegemony struggles to unify under Adamae, with competing warlords such as Xarn Senakh'tenre vying for his throne. However, given the might and fervour of the Cognatus, their threat to galactic stability should never be discounted.
In the aftermath of the supposed assassination of Voro Acetenus, the leader of the Cognatus Remnant, by the Tra'ssahk bounty hunter Garnossk, three Cogsangui clan leaders, Ther Crolun, Rha Chonchi and Thena Manee, usurped control over the remnant and reforged it into a new Cognatus Empire. However, their leadership was not a stable one.
Though the Triumvirate attempted to bring peace and order to their new domain, the Nequam, a brutish species of mammalians inducted by the First Cognatus Empire centuries earlier, rebelled against Cogsangui leadership. The Nequam, seemingly led by an uncharacteristically brilliant warlord, smashed down their Cogsangui masters and seceded from the hegemony. When the conflict ended, the Triumvirate decided not to reconquer the Nequam, instead concentrating on consolidating their power.
During this period, the hierarch Thena Manee was killed by the Phaedric Lord Moranonúngur, who brought the fledging theocracy under the watchful eyes of the Galactic Empire of Cyrannus. Though the Empire possessed technology on a par with that of the Cognatus, their numbers made a direct war unfeasible. Thus, the Triumvirate began expansions into the outer galaxies of the Gigaquadrant, such as the Borealis Galaxy, where they established the colony Glorious Pinnacle. Their arrival was soon noted by the galaxy's inhabitants, such as the Eaglartin, who decided to peacefully convert the outsiders. However, when they landed and began preaching about their deity Lud'nev, the Cogsangui governor, Thel Helmane took offence, pledging to cleanse the Eaglartin for existence for their affront.
After a short, but brutal war, the fleetlord Vos Adamae completely overwhelmed the Eaglartin capital of Fanaticus, killing its leader and indoctrinating the Eaglartin to obey Cogsangui customs and religion. In the midst of the chaos of the Second Borealis Galactic War, few other empires noticed this. However, when the allies of Borealis began to prepare for their final assault against the ancient entity known as Regnatus, they sought the aid of the Eaglartin, only to discover the Cognatus occupation of their space, causing severe hostility to immediate grow between the hegemony and the Polar Crystal Alliance.
Simultaneous to the Taming of the Eaglartin, the hierarchy of the Cognatus recalled Fleetlord Adamae back to Cyrannus to command an expeditionary force into the heart of the Neraida Gigamatrix. On route, Adamae struck up an alliance with the Bisistar Domain, who likewise sought the destruction of the Gigamatrix. The resulting Battle of the Core abruptly ended when the Oikoumene artificial intelligence known as the Licent, herald of the Vector of Chaos, departed from its sanctuary in the Neraida Core and translocated aboard Adamae's vessel. Taking command of the flagship, the Licent took the ship back to Cognalorilos, where it ousted Moranonúngur, killed the remaining members of the Triumvirate and gained command over the hegemony. In the ensuing months, the Licent ordered Adamae to locate the prison of his master, the Primercer, the ancient leader of the Oikoumene. After several long weeks of tireless searching, Adamae's fleet discovered a world deep in the Unknown Regions, home to the Pact, a powerful alliance of two species, the Draiocht and the Hadran-Ari. The Pact launched a desperate attack against the Cognatus invasion force, but failed to cause any substantial damage. After the brief battle, the Cognatus accepted the Pact's unconditional surrender, with the Draiocht and the Hadran-Ari becoming the newest members of the theocracy, with the Draiocht being placed in administrative roles and the Hadran-Ari conscripted to the military.
Several weeks later, Thel'Vicliquam of the Shadow of Liberty discovered the ancient Atlantica construct known as Aecor and engaged the Rambo Nation vessel USS Enterprise, in a battle for ownership over the world and the Zevian Skull it hid. Though the Shadow of Liberty outmatched the Enterprise, it was destroyed by the Atlantican defenses, thus forcing 'Vicliquam and his surviving crew to search for the Skull without a ship. Soon, they found the Skull but were stopped by Shiplord Rtas'Shagili, who brought news from Cognalorilos that the Cognatus would work with the Rambo at Aecor in exchange for a prisoner transfer. Several weeks later, the Rambo returned Han'Ateeshe to the Cognatus, though he would later escape to rejoin the Rambo as an officer. Around this time, the Cognatus allied with the Greater Zarni Empire.
Vos Adamae soon managed to gain access to the tomb of the lost Oikoumene god on the planet Rossa. Pleased, the Primercer quickly consolidated control over the Cognatus, who regarded him as a god that would lead the Cognatus to greatness. Under this new leadership, the Cognatus Empire exceeded pre-Intergalactic War power levels. When the New Cyrandia Wars broke out, the Cognatus once again began to expand beyond their core territory; this time with the aim of wiping the Galactic Empire of Cyrannus, or more specifically, its Emperor off the map. To accomplish this, the Cognatus began scouring the galaxy for ancient artifacts that they could use to complete this goal, ultimately leading them to mysterious planet of Amphryssos, which would later prove to be a great turning point in the history of the Cognatus.
“We understand the power of reason, the benefits that allies no matter the species can bring. This is why the false Cognatus will fall. Their hubris will be their undoing.”
The Battle of Amphryssos would ultimately lead Shiplord Thaur Vicliquam to the New Cyrannian Republic, where his suspicions about the Primercer were confined by the ancient Oikoumene AI known as the Adjunct. Resolved to fight against the Cognatus Empire, Vicliquam was directed to the Quadrant Galaxies, where after he stole the Harbinger of Truth along with his allies, located Voro Acetenus, the former leader of the Cognatus Remnant. Together, the Cognatus Rebels eventually formed the Unified Order of Cognalorilos, which sent out a declaration calling for all Cognatus to rebel against the False Primercer. Though the Cognatus Empire vowed to destroy these "heathens", in reality it continued to concentrate on its conflict with the Galactic Empire.
However, when the Order launched a joint invasion of Cognalorilos with the Empire, the hegemony was forced on the defensive. To Adamae's fury, Primarch Acetenus and the ancient Cogsangui fleetlord N'thavo Xellunaion managed to convince Fleetlord Theu Vandon and a large portion of the Cognalorilos defence fleet to defect to the Order. Simultaneously, the dreaded Blade of the Primercer was struck down by the Phaedric Lord Maethoruin, while on the surface of Cognalorilos, Adamae faced Acetenus in single combat. During their clash of blades, the Primarch proved to be the more worthy combatant, cutting down Adamae, who nevertheless managed to escape. However, the mysterious disappearance of the Primercer brought an end to the golden age of the Cognatus Empire, which was scattered across the stars when Acetenus claimed Cognalorilos as his own.
Sundering of the CognatusEdit
- War of Cleansing
- Wyvex: "The Eaglartin are taking arms against our forces. Burning buildings and vehicles. Chanting about how the Order are their... "saviors"... I would expect such a movement to be brewing at Fanaticus as we speak."
- Xarn: "Foolish beasts. Make this decree known; for every Eaglartin seen to take up arms against us, kill fifty. For every city overun by the rebels, destroy two. Let them know that the price of their freedom will be the abject destruction of their kind."
- ―Wyvex Dar'uantan and Xarn Senakh'tenre
In the aftermath of the Battle of Cognalorilos and the end of the New Cyrandia Wars, Fleetlord Adamae declared himself the Archon of the Cognatus Empire, resurrecting an ancient title from the faded history of Cognatusi past. While the ongoing Sundering of the Cognatus was largely restricted to border skirmishes with the Order, in the outer regions of the hegemony's dwindling territory, disparate warlords rose to challenge Adamae's leadership.
In the Borealis Galaxy, warlord Xarn Senakh'tenre, the brutal commander of the Eaglartin territories, was forced to contend with the War of Cleansing when the Order's fleet of Majestic Integrity, in coordination with the Polar Crystal Alliance, launched a liberation of Eaglartin space.
During the months-long conflict, Xarn razed dozens of Eaglartin worlds that dared rise up in defiance, though his efforts to repel the invaders failed. Nevertheless, when faced with certain defeat during the Battle of Fanaticus, Xarn's flagship, the Shadow of the Cleansing Sun, began bombarding Fanaticus from orbit, utterly annihilating it and rendering the Eaglartin an endangered species. Though the war ended in a defeat for the hegemony, Adamae used Xarn's failure to limit his influence within the remnants, and instead concentrated his efforts on expansionary efforts into the Milky Way Galaxy. When the Second Great Cyrannus War erupted however, he began conspiring against the Order once more, seeking to take advantage of their hostilities with the Empire.
Society and CultureEdit
The Cognatus Empire demands that its citizens hold a strict and unwavering belief in the Gods, failure to comply with these beliefs often incur the wrath of the hierarchy, who have no qualms in executing heretics, though re-education problems are much more common. Turning it's back on the more liberal policies of the Cognatus Remnant, the Theocracy in many ways serves as a true successor to the Cognatus Alliance, albeit slightly less xenophobic. However, there is a clear hierarchy in the Cognatus, with the Cogsangui holding themselves higher than the other races, who have varying degrees of power. Nevertheless, the Cogsangui still greatly respect their subordinates and have begun to let them serve in higher ranks of the military and government.
Before the Licent's takeover the Cognatus Empire was a theocratic cultural hegemony in which the ruling class, the Cogsangui dominated other species through their shared culture and religion. In the aftermath of the plot to kill Voro Acetenus during the final weeks of the Cognatus Remnant, three Cogsangui rulers came to power, becoming known as the Triumvirate. However, the rule of these new hierarchs was short as their rule was soon supplanted by the ancient Oikoumene AI known as the Licent.
“The grace of the Thirteen shall protect us.”
- Name - Ata'maan
- Homeworld - Monataci
- Affiliation - Cognatus Empire
A member of the Cognatus theocracy, the Ata'maan have long been worshippers of the Atlantica and the Oikoumene and have joined their like minded brotherhood in the hope of feeling closer to the gods. Native to the mountainous planet Monataci in the Unknown Regions, the Ata'maan joined the Cognatus Remnant in the Great Cyrannus War, making its first major expansion since the Cognatus' disappearance at the end of the Intergalactic War.
When the Cognatus Empire was reformed, the Ata'maan reviled in their newfound power and gladly helped to form the diplomatic section of the hegemony, while many more of their kind joined the Cognatus military functioning as intelligence operatives and spies in the hopes of bettering their beloved Hegemony.
In the hierarchy of the Cognatus, they are relatively well-off and generally have good relations with the Draiocht and the Cogsangui.
“We hunger for more knowledge about the Thirteen Divines.”
- Name - Bugahoulger
- Homeworld - Houlga
The Bugaholger are a race of three-headed creatures who have a fascination with the legends of Atlantica and the Oikoumene. This fascination would lead them into becoming members of the Cognatus Remnant. Despite their intimidating appearence, they are actually quite friendly and welcoming.
Bugaholger are very intelligent, this intelligence being tripled for their three heads. They compose the technical section of the Remnant, where they study new technologies to be used by them and their allies.
“We must wade through the blood of our enemies to reach salvation”
- Name - Cogsangui
- Homeworld - Cognalorilos
They are known to be deeply committed to the Gods of the Cognatus and have never delved from this worship. The Cogsangui are very intelligent and their adeptness in combat has lead to the extinction (or indoctrination) of thousands of species.
The Cogsangui see themselves as the greatest lifeforms in the galaxy and generally look upon other races as being inferior in terms of intellect and strength. They have a military centric culture and place great credence in their religion, worshipping the ancient structures left behind by their gods, the Oikoumene.
“We serve our new empire with loyalty.”
- Name - Draiocht
- Homeworld - Róssa
The Draiocht are a race of humanoids native to the planet Róssa who were once the leaders of a dual-species civilisation known only as the "Pact", which held over 100 colonies in the Unknown Regions of the Cyrannus Galaxy. During the third year of the Dark Times, he Draiocht homeworld of Róssa was attacked by the Cognatus, who sought the location of a god claimed to exist by the Licent.
Along with their warriors, the Hadran-Ari, the Draiocht surrendered to the overwhelming Cognatus fleet, eventually becoming its newest members. Upon their entry into the Cognatus, they were given leadership roles due to their history of precise organisation.
“It's only going downhill for us...”
- Name - Eaglartin
- Homeworld - Fanaticus
The Eaglartin are a race of large fish-like creatures natives of the Borealis Galaxy who once controlled an empire known as Zealot Commando. They were aggressive and employed a very violent worship of Spode, exterminating species who were deemed as heretics. During the Second Borealis War, however, the Eaglartin were conquered by the Cognatus, being forced to discard their old culture and worship the Oikoumene in enchange of survival.
- Name - Scavenger
- Homeworld - None
Scavengers are still, like their Vevilog rivals very low ranked and mistreated.They are naturally without emotion and have sworn their already large space forces to the Cognatus army. They originally opposed Cognatus rule, however they were tamed by the more powerful Cogsangui armada, which destroyed their homeworld and their culture. The result of this was a broken species, without remorse or mercy.
“Join the Cognatus they said. Live in happiness they said.”
- Name - Defiler
- Homeworld - Vevil
The Vevilog, more commonly known as simply Defiler were the smallest and lowest of the Cognatus races, before their kind being split between the brainwashed fodder of the Catharsis and those who remained in Cyrannus, under the protection of the Cognatus Remnant.
While generally not a threat in combat due to their weakness, during the Intergalactic War, the Cogsangui often sent hordes of them charging relentlessly toward an enemy, commonly on a suicide mission. Despite their fear of the other Cognatus races, they were often seen fleeing from a fight.
As members of the Cognatus Remnant and the Cognatus Empire, the living standards of the Vevilog are much higher, with the Cogsangui showing them more respect than their peers did during the Intergalactic War.
Despite being hampered by internal struggles and border conflicts with the Galactic Empire of Cyrannus, the Cognatus have managed to conquer much of their old territory, now numbering eight sectors in the Unknown Regions, about five thousand light years from the nearest Imperial outpost. However, their location also often brings them into conflict with empires such as the Saurornithanta and the Neraida Gigamatrix. As well as holding swaths of space in their home galaxy, the Cognatus also have space in the Borealis Galaxy and have begun to express interest in reclaiming their former territories in the Milky Way Galaxy.
The Cognatus military is one of the most feared and advanced in the Cyrandia Cluster fielding thousands of fully armed warships capable of melting enemy planets and ravaging entire sectors of space. Many scholars believe that the Cognatus field the third most deadly fleet of warships in the Cyrannus Galaxy, after the Galactic Empire of Cyrannus and the Neraida Gigamatrix, though even these civilisations know not to underestimate a Cognatus fleet.
- Bisistar Domain - We will slay the machines alongside you.
- Greater Zarni Empire - They should free themselves from the shackles of the demons.
- Rambo Nation - We share the secrets of Aecor.
- Cyrandia Alliance - Joining you was a mistake. One we shall not make again!
- Confederacy of Free Planets - Bah!
- New Cyrannian Republic - Stay out of our way weaklings.
- Galactic Empire of Cyrannus - Your power is nothing compared to the ancients.
- Neraida Gigamatrix - Their very existence is blasphemy!
- Eaglartin - Heretical currs!
- Unified Order of Cognalorilos - Villainous beasts
- - Apollo
“Bah! My brothers have chosen dishonour over honour. Shame on them!”
“You are pawns, no matter what name you choose for your nation!”
“Your insolence will not be tolerated.”
“Oh, powerful indeed. Yes, this empire will do nicely in our crusade.”
- - Krill of Níl An Tsíocháin Inghlactha
“Bastards. Supporting Níl An Tsíocháin Inghlactha will just get them on our shit list.”
- - Vertigo of the Pseudopath
- The Theocracy is the third Cognatus faction to exist, after the original Cognatus Alliance, followed by the Cognatus Remnant.