“Storm, Winter, Blood, Dusk, Void. We alone remain. Home is lost, but the Architect our God is kind, sustains us against the long, cold dark. We must not fall to the petty quarreling of our ancestors, no, we must have unity. An infinity of resources awaits us out among the stars; if we survive long enough, it will be ours.”
- - Akins Tetrik, former Storm Chrill
A loosely united squabble of mercenaries, pirates, scavengers, and thieves, the Saviki Metafleet wanders the space between galaxies, plundering what resources they need from whatever they come across and leaving for the next possible target. The five Combines—Storm, Winter, Blood, Dusk, and Void—maintain a relatively peaceful union in service to their Chrills and the mechanical Regulators, with each content to mind its own business and not provoke the vengeance of the rest.
The Metafleet is ultimately servile to the enigmatic Metix Null the machine-god of the Saviki and sole means by which all Regulators are produced. Because of their general worship of Regulators and Metix, many in the Metafleet have turned to a more generic technology worship in addition to their heavy reverence of their sentient life support. This has thus left the Saviki with very little choice with regards to leaving or remaining in the Metafleet, though a number of Saviki have successfully done so.
The Metafleet is current extremely spread out across the Gigaquadrant, with Storm still predominantly in Mirus, Dusk and Winter scavenging in Andromeda on the fringes of the Teyan Subjugation War, Void participating in the Second Great Cyrannus War, and Blood moving into Tuuros.
Thousands of years ago, the Saviki rose from their homeworld of Elekzil to build an advanced spacefaring civilization. It was during these Shining Days that the Saviki augmented their bodies to process Mana, a liquid substance produced by Metix Null and distributed by the mechanical Regulators that to this day keeps the four-armed pirates alive. The Tribes that dominated their society became less authoritarian and more culture-focused Combines, universally led by a fair-ruling King or Queen elected by the Chrills. However, corruption, infighting, and an outside threat remembered only as the Blizzard extinguished the Shining Days and forced the Saviki to abandon their world. Much of their advancements were lost, their historically noble Combines warred for the Architect's favor and for resources, and billions of Saviki were cast out into the vacuum during purges. Thus began the Lightless Days.
However, after the extermination of several weaker Combines over the 332 years following the Blizzard, in a series of conflicts known as the Saviki Fracture Wars, the remaining Chrills decided to set aside their quarrels to ensure their survival. Akins, Chrill of Storm, proposed a loose union in which each Combine would remain functionally independent, but in attacking any of the others would risk vengeance of all of them, and in the event of an outside threat they would stand as one, unlike their ancestors during the Blizzard. The rest agreed.
Pheras Conflicts Edit
The Saviki, in their wandering and raiding, have often come into conflict with the Eovinjai Sovereignty, with first contact occurring on the planet Pheras. The Saviki's distinct lack of planets has made them a surprisingly difficult foe for the Sovereignty, but the latter's vast resources kept the pirates from total victory over any whole planet. Many of the currently well-known Saviki have become renowned champions of their people in these sporadic confrontations.
Second Great Cyrannus War Edit
Following the Pheras Conflicts, the Void Combine and New Cyrannian Republic began talks regarding the former's entry into the Second Great War, with Rikken Eksil, Chrill of Void, proposing a rather unorthodox form of repayment: assistance is creating a permanent home for the Saviki. As the war progressed, Rikken would reach out to the other Chrills in hope of assistance, which he was denied. However, Metix Null itself directed Rikken to a lost but functional arkship formally owned by the Cloud Combine, which subsequently saw action in the battle with The Corruptus above Vasuband. The reemergence of Cloud would lead to Rikken declaring the Saviki Star Realm as a union of the two, made in preparation for their resettlement. However, building resentment among a number of Void's less satisfied members, among them Qurik Skel, led to the breakaway of a separatist faction known as Sojourn.
Government and Politics Edit
With the five Combines having next to no bureaucracy and being ruled by iron-fisted Chrills, there is very little to say in the matter of Saviki politics. Every Saviki is either a fighter, an engineer, a member of a ship's crew, or a leader of some kind. Of significant note, though, is the tendency of Saviki to contest with each other in various ways for a higher rank in a crew or fleet or on a ship. That is, for all situations in which "various ways" means orchestrating an opponent's death, imprisonment, or defamation. Trickery and deception are commonplace when vying for a higher position, though it has often been the case that the last two competitors for a particular rank will agree to a semi-honorable duel to the death, especially if the attempts of both to eliminate the other beforehand have failed.
While each Combine is mostly content to take care of its own affairs and ignore the others, they are occasionally forced to interact in some way due to the Chrills' betting and favor-trading, as was the case when the Storm Combine came to Blood's aid in the Pheras Conflicts. Thankfully, no violence has occurred between two or more Combines as a whole since the fall of Cloud Combine at the end of the Fracture War, but recent scuffles between low-ranking raiders and the Captains of smaller craft have rather severe implications, and with Winter's throne nearly ready for a new Chrill, the future of this loose unity has come into question for the first time. The defection of Sojourn has only served to lend more to this possibility.
Society & Culture Edit
The Metafleet is made up of five Combines: Storm, led by Vekin Sirex, Winter, led by the aging Dedrin Surkris, Blood, with Orsik Corvosa at the helm, Dusk, led by the manipulative Pravis Skerisan, and Void, under the guidance of Rikken Eksil. All five owe allegiance to the Architect, their mysterious god that resides somewhere in deep space.
This quasi-religious loyalty is not founded out of awe, but out of dependence. The Mana that has become vital to every individual Saviki's survival is distributed by the Architect-controlled Regulators, with no alternative source. Thus, to provide their god with the matter and energy to be converted into Mana, they raid and pillage entire systems, taking any compatible mass and leaving when the victim worlds are stripped of anything useful.
No biological, sapient species other than the Saviki are known to exist in the Metafleet. The Regulators and various other machines are mostly incapable of higher thought, and are not counted as specific members of the society. The Blood Combine, meanwhile, has begun fielding domesticated war beasts since the rise of Orsik to the throne of Chrill.
The Saviki of the Metafleet follow a universal class system most prevalent at the bottom of the spectrum. An individual's place on this scale can be roughly inferred by height, with taller Saviki having access to larger rations of Mana due to their social status.
- Class - Scullion
- Height - 1.9 meters
- Function - Cannon fodder
Scullions are the cannon fodder and dregs of Saviki society, taking care of almost every job their superiors consider themselves above and providing a disposable fighting force on the battlefield. Their smaller rations of Mana result in a strange physiological reaction in which their lower arms are shed to conserve energy. They normally wield Bolt Pistols and Shivs in combat. Non-combatant Scullions are often menial physical laborers under the guidance of Techpriest engineers or the Captain of a ship.
- Class -Reaver
- Height - 2.2 meters
- Function - Variable infantry
Reavers fulfill the role of soldiers, snipers, scouts, brawlers, and enforcers of their marshal's or captain's will. They collect what the scullions and Rimmers of their crew have salvaged and bring it to their leader for redistribution. In combat, they are the most adaptable Saviki troops, using their deadly arsenal of weapons to great effect. On ships, they often man non-autonomous weapons and other systems necessary to the ship's ability to function.
- Class - Marshal
- Height - 2.5 meters
- Function - Ground crew commander
Marshals exert totalitarian control over their crews, with little to no restrictions on how they treat their subordinates. Brandishing deadly Mine Casters or pairs of sharp Sabers, marshals rule through fear and their own ability to sniff out potential mutineers, though the smarter ones are often wary of igniting a potential rebellion within their crews. If a Combine becomes involved in a major conflict, one or more War Marshals will be appointed to lead the bulk of the Combine's ground forces.
- Class - Captain
- Height - 2.7 meters
- Function - Ship commander
Captains are the naval equivalents of marshals, commanding ships of all sizes, from the leanest skiff to the brawniest brigantine. Many skiff and gunboat captains may owe allegiance to the captain of their attached larger vessel (such as a man-of-war or similarly large ship). While generally having solitary control over their ship, some Captains have been known to command in pairs, particularly if they have a large crew to oversee.
- Class - Count
- Height - 3.2 meters
- Function - Command fleets
Counts are the admirals of the Saviki fleets, commanding anywhere from ten to sixty to over a hundred vessels. As opposed to being chosen by their predecessors, Counts are appointed by their Chrills, and there tend to be six to twelve per Combine.
- Class - Chrill
- Height - 4.5 meters
- Function - Combine leaders
Chrills are the rulers of individual Combines, wielding near-complete authority over them and directing their efforts to survive. They receive the largest rations of Mana and are the pinnacle of the Metafleet's resourcetithing system. While historically looked to as kings and cultural leaders, they are now little more than glorified pirate lords barely bound by loose codes of honor.
- Class - Reaver
- Height - 2.2 meters
- Function - Specialist
While most reavers are flexible and reasonably useful in most situations, many of their number are adept and equipped for more specific roles. Stealth reavers act as spies and assassins, hiding behind cloaking fields while they gather intelligence or fire upon unsuspecting foes. Pilot reavers are a blanket designation including the mostly non-combatant ship crew members and pilots of Shrikes. Rangers are equipped with jump packs, magnetized boots, and EVA suits for exoatmospheric combat, and are invaluable for boarding hostile or derelict vessels. Welders are mostly non-combatant field engineers who repair vehicles and machinery, but they can become a significant threat in an instant with their partially weaponized welding torches.
- Class - Techpriest
- Height - 3.2 meters
- Function - Scientist/engineer
Techpriests are the revered engineers and scientists of the Combines, often found experimenting with salvaged alien technology in the bowels of ships. They enforce worship of the Regulators, and serve as intermediaries between Saviki leadership and Regulators. Though they rarely serve combatant roles, they are fully capable of defending themselves if necessary.
- Class - Honorless
- Height - 1.5 meters
- Function - Suicide trooper
Disgraced Saviki with no hope of even becoming Scullions, the Honorless have committed unforgivable crimes against the Chrills or the Architect, and are kept on the brink of death with barely enough Mana to survive, if they are not killed outright. In a humiliating "ceremony," their arms are stitched to their backs at torturous angles and their feet are replaced with pegs. Their sole function becomes that of living bombs, as mines are strapped to them before they are sent to charge enemy fortifications, motivated by the sole desire to end their own suffering.
Code of Honor Edit
The Saviki as a whole are known to raid and loot within the bounds of a loose code of honor, the most notable aspect of this being their refusal to directly attack pre-spatial sentient species. They also refuse to consume any kind of "replacement" for Mana, save for those who have chosen to live among more civilized empires away from the Architect and Regulators. Besides these two surprising standards for a survivalist people, several general rules of honor exist, among them: a compulsion to sacrifice oneself for the good of their Combine if one has already lost any hope of surviving, but distaste for commanders who needlessly send their subordinates on suicide attacks, a standard that any combatant Saviki, male or female, may only have as many sexual partners as enemies he or she has killed, a tithing system for raw materials, in which the Marshal of a crew has total authority over how collected materials are distributed, and a standard that the successor of any commander should be chosen based on merit alone.
Saviki are widely regarded as little more than tech-worshippers when it comes to matters of faith, but the truth is far more complex. Their worshipful behavior toward the godlike Architect and its Regulators is based on necessity, as they are the source of Mana keeping all Saviki alive. The Architect, located on an ancient Arkship somewhere in deep space, converts metal and circuitry brought to it by Techpriests into Regulators, fielding out a full generation of them every century or so. The Regulators, in turn, take in ritualistically offered matter and energy and produce Mana. This total dependence on the Regulators means that any attempt to damage them or the Architect will be met with ruthless brutality.
Alongside the Regulators, a subset of the Blood Combine know as the Perfection Cult is known to put initiates through induction rituals that involve replacing many of their natural limbs and organs with machinery, believing that merging with technology is a form of "ascendance." This has won it many convert from the technophilic Winter Combine, and is the source of much dispute between Orsik and Dedrin.
Rumors also exist of pre-Blizzard cults and religious sects surviving into the present day. Such is the case of the Corvosa family, which currently consists solely of Orsik, Chrill of Blood, who have historically revered Angazhar, unbeknownst to the rest of the species or much of the Gigaquadrant.
Technology and Arsenal Edit
Ship Classes Edit
- Class = Reef-class Arkship
- Function = Capital Ship
- Length = 9.2 km
Gargantuan relics of Shining Days, arkships are a rare sight, functioning as command ships on which each of the five Chrills reside, though Blood and Storm are known to possess two each. As the power centers of each Combine, they are hidden in the depths of the intergalactic void, sending out orders to the Combines from deep space at the heart of their escort fleets. At 9.2 km in size, they are effectively mobile city-forts, holding millions of Saviki, mostly in cryostasis, hundreds of Regulators, countless Mana stores, and one built-in foundry each. The Eovinjai Sovereignty, in an effort to combat the Saviki, has placed bounties on every existent arkship, particularly those belonging to the Blood Combine.
- Class = Chimaera-class Man-Of-War
- Function = Heavy Battleship
- Length = 3. km
The man-of-war is the most common of the larger Saviki ship classes, built to decimate enemy defenses and pave the way for raiding crews. While often sent to attack alone or in pairs, the Pheras Conflicts demonstrated their collective prowess as battleships during encounters with the Federation's navy. Alongside the standard array of turrets and torpedoes that most Saviki vessels are outfitted with, men-of-war are built with versatile short-range warp drives that allow them to ram enemy ships at FTL speeds, often bisecting them in a matter of minutes.
- Class = Megamouth-class Brigantine
- Function = Carrier
- Length = 3.8 km
The brigantine fills the role of a heavy carrier, deploying thousands of crews to board trading ships or raid worlds after the men-of-war have cleared out any defenses. While a brigantine's captain is technically equal in rank to the captain of a man-of-war, frigate, or corvette, they will typically be selected to command larger raiding groups. This, and the large number of crews and vehicles they tend to hold, makes brigantines a priority target among those who have dealt with the Saviki. Counts tend to favor brigantines as command ships.
- Class = Hammerhead-class Frigate
- Function = Escort ship
- Length = 600 m
Frigates are a common class of escort and patrol craft in the Saviki fleets, rarely found on their own and used primarily to support larger vessels such as brigantines.
- Class = Thresher-class Galliot
- Function = Armored Cruiser
- Length = 1.5 km
The smallest class of Saviki ship capable of acting on its own, the galliot is effectively a heavy cruiser, used for a variety of roles from scouting to hit-and-run attacks. These are often the first Saviki ships encountered by potential victims of their raids, sent in to probe for weaknesses and, if deemed possible, conduct single-ship raids. Cargo ships with inadequate escorts are easy prey for individual galliots, as are young colonial outposts, backwater mining operations, and poorly-defended space stations.
- Class = Hatchet-class Corvette
- Function = Escort ship
- Length = 350 m
Corvettes are escort ships built on a smaller frame than frigates, often found accompanying galliots or men-of-war. The size of their base chassis makes them and other ships built on it relatively easy to build and staff.
- Class = Angler-class Prowler
- Function = Stealth ship
- Length = 350 m
Prowlers are Saviki stealth ships built on the same chassis as corvettes, albeit outfitted with advanced cloaking capabilities and radar/communications jammers.
- Class = Viper-class Blockade Runner
- Function = Fast attack craft
- Length = 340 m
Blockade runners, built on the corvette chassis, are the fastest ships in the Metafleet, both inside and outside of FTL travel. Despite their size, they are capable of turning on a dime and can often outrun enemy projectiles not based on lasers.
- Class = Nautilus-class Skiff
- Function = Troop Transport
- Length = 60 m
Skiffs function as ferries for boarding and ground crews, slipping out of larger ships to deploy their contents onto whoever the chosen victim is. Equipped with an extendable boarding tube that forms an airtight passage into the victim ship, the skiff is often considered the perfect boarding craft.
- Class = Goblin-class Gunboat
- Function = Gunboat
- Length = 70 m
Built on a larger version of the skiff chassis, the Saviki gunboat functions as a large battlewagon, slower than shrikes but packing the firepower of three.
- Class = Urchin-class Prison Ship
- Function = Mobile prison
- Length = 320 m
The Saviki will, on occasion, take hostages for a variety of reasons, keeping them on their prison ships. Some captains and counts have cut deals with slavers and will order their crews specifically to capture prisoners during raids. In addition, the Saviki are aware of the benefits of ransoming high-profile individuals, and taking them captive is not uncommon when the opportunity is presented.
- Class = Shrike
- Function = Multirole Combat Aircraft/Spacecraft
The shrike is a fast, agile combat vehicle that can function in and out of an atmosphere. Equipped with splinter cannons and torpedoes, they are relatively easy for reavers to pilot, and the four arms of a Saviki allow them to pull off incredibly complex maneuvers that put two-armed races to shame.
- Class = Skimmer
- Function = Rapid Assault/Reconnaissance
The skimmer, at first glance, looks like little more than a gigantic wheel. A cockpit sits in the center, with rapid-fire bolt cannons on either side and wheels capable of gripping onto most surfaces, even being able to move at full speed while upside-down.
- Class = Superskimmer
- Function = Infantry Support
The superskimmer is little more than a large version of the ordinary skimmer, albeit equipped with rocket mine casters and heavier armor.
- Class = Sunderer
- Function = Mobile Artillery Platform
A sunderer is one of the deadliest Saviki land vehicles currently in use. Featuring a large central wheel much like a skimmer, two smaller wheels, a spiked front that slopes down to the ground, and three large cannons, the scourge is both terrifying and effective, and will often be seen plowing through bodies and buildings whilst firing upon any who dare challenge it.
Ships and Vehicles Edit
“Raiders and pirates all! If not conversion at our hands, then destruction at the hands of the policing Powers awaits you for your damnation and fall!”
- - The Supreme Warmaster of the Mirusian Theocratic Congregation
“I can't help but feel more then a pang of sympathy for them. It's not like they can help being raiders and pirates anymore then I can help being a vengeful destroyer. If they could get a more stable source of this Mana that they are dependent on then perhaps they might not be so bad.”
- - Speaker of Speakers Auvia of the Stellar Outreach Sovereignty