Fay'lian are a humanoid race, with large eyes and generally pallid skin. They are tall, with long limbs. A set of fleshy, gray protrusions sprout from their foreheads, looking much like antenna. Their eyes tend to be either very dark or very pale colors, looking from far away as if they have no pupils. This is an optical illusion, however, and closer examination will show that they merely have colored sclera.
There is little difference between castes save that the higher classes tend to be taller. Lower caste Fay'lia, if they shaved their heads, could be mistaken for "grey" type aliens.
Fay'lian society is an extremely efficiently layered, caste-based society. Within it, everyone knows their place. You will probably be born and die within the same caste.
Castes are divided not by profession (as in most caste-based societies) but by the individual's relationship to their work.
The castes are:
- The fer'diagul, who are individuals who are in debt slavery, prisoners, those deemed mentally unfit and others who are at the very lowest end of the economic scale. These are individuals who have absolutely no control over their work. Unique among the castes, an individual has a good chance of rising out of this caste without passing an exam.
- The ther'nlia, which covers those who are ostensibly free to work where they please, though bound by migration laws and their station. Essentially, they are proletarian wage slaves. This caste includes peasants, regular troops in the military, lay clergy, street level police and common laborers.
- The creeria, who are artisans who are bound to a place or person. Any artisan whose family is hereditarily employed by a noble house, priests bound to a specific church and military specialists are included in this caste.
- The aurian'i are artisans who are not bound to a place or individual as well as individual traders. Traders with no or few employees, architects, freelance magitechnicians, mercenaries and most computer specialists fall into this caste.
- The thau'ia are those who make their livings commanding or 'managing' others. This caste includes military commanders and managers of all kinds. Friendly local elites of newly conquered universes are often inducted into this caste.
The Fay'lian also have two classifications for those who aren't imperial citizens: semaiful, "friendly barbarians", covering uncontacted peoples, allies and the ordinary citizens of dimensions where the Fay'lian are not public knowledge, and gler'aiful, "hostile barbarians", covering pirates, rebels, terrorists, enemies and uncaught criminals of all kinds.
For an example of how this works in practice, an imperial regiment would consist of:
- fer'diagul suicide/shock troops.
- ther'nlia grunts
- creeria specialists
- a thau'ia command staff
- a fay'lia kisharn political officer/commisar
Formerly Fay'lia intelligence was handled by three separate agencies: The Vithiles (police), handling domestic intelligence, The Ministry for Betterment of Barbarian Stars (BetterMin, the agency tasked with subjugating conquered worlds and bringing them into line with Fay'lia policy and demands) and the Meliar'th hi Basthton (needle within the staff of authority), the secret police/spy corps that reports directly to the Infinite Hierophant (Fay'lian head of state). Recently the Infinite Hierophant has brought all intelligence under the command of the MhB and ordered the agency modernized.
The ambitious young commander responsible for this task is Cethialos Ha'ali, princeps of a small, out of the way universe and the only publicly known member of the MhB. He has revamped training of the spy corps, brought all three agencies into the fold, forced them to at least pretend to work together, and most shockingly, studied and even imitated the methods of barbarian (that is, non Fay'lian) intelligence agencies. There are rumors he has even hired barbarian special agents, experienced only with solving intradimensional missions, to help instruct his spies.
Fay'lia spies use all the tactics of their profession, including breaking and entering, clandestine recruitment, entrapment, etc.
The MhB is always looking to find the current location of the station and to place agents upon it.
The United Front In Resistance To Empire, AKA The Resistance is a Popular Front organization. That is to say, it unites, officially, almost all the organizations and governments opposed to the Fay'lia Empire.
Most of these organizations keep in touch only textually (via Ansible), excepting when they send delegates to the semi-regular clandestine meetings.
Obviously since the only requirement for joining is an opposition to the Fay'lian Empire, vastly different groups, many of whom dislike each other or are even in states of warfare with each other are brought together under the banner of the Resistance. These groups span the spectrum of politics, strategy and tactics. They are left and right wing, pacifist and militant, true freedom fighters and opportunists hoping to forge empires of their own.
A few operatives for the shadowy organization known only as "The Blades" head front groups under the Resistance's banner.
Following are some of the groups under the Resistance banner:
The Ekumen originated from the Hainish universe. After uniting most of the worlds of their universe, they independently Awakened (discovered the existence of other universes) and began sending NAFAL (nearly as fast as light) ships to other universes, expanding their peaceful league of worlds on the spinward edge of the Hub.
Unfortunately for them, the Quiet Nebula Incident happened while this was going on, prompting the 2nd Expansion. The Fay'lian had no patience for what they saw as a rival power, nor were they keen on anyone that might be harboring Proteans.
The poor Ekumen. They were sent fleeing through the hub, begging shelter from whoever would take them. Their pacifism prevented them from fighting the Fay'lian...not that it would have made a difference. Many were captured, many of those executed. A few Ekumen NAFAL ships can still be found in the hub, but they are skittish.
The only good thing for them out of the affair was that the Fay'lian never found the gate for Hain.
Senburu-Trati'salan Democratic Collective:
That's you, buddy. It's the official name of the station your character calls home base.
[More to come about Resistance groups in this space]
This shadowy organization seems to have cross factional membership. Very little is known about them. What is:
- Their symbol is (natch) two crossed blades. This symbol often shows up on the cryogenic pods quite a few new arrivals to the station are picked up from.
- A foreigner who rose to the position of Promise Chief (an elected tribal leader) on Iksilar was a member.
- Their symbol was also found encrypted inside data-crystals inside the wrecked ship in the Quiet Nebula.
Calibration of Harmonious Order:
A mysterious group that rarely sends out representatives, though all indications point at it being a species, or an organization of species, that works very hard to maintain that secrecy. It's unclear where they stand in relation to the Fay'lian, but information they let slip occasionally suggests that they may have spies among the Fay'lian themselves. (Of course, espionage work being what it is, this itself might simply be a ploy...)