The Elite

Posted by on May 18, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

The Elite

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Zenian League

Zenian League

The Rense System Navy (RSN) has been a potent military subdivision, as well as a powerful political faction, within the Dindrenzi Federation for a long time. The RSN was founded when the Dindrenzi won their independence from Terra, not long after the Terran destruction of the planet Dramos, the former capital planet of the Outer Reach colonies.

In the light of that catastrophic event, the government of the then newly-inaugurated Dindrenzi Federation sought a way to prevent such a tragedy from being repeated.

The result was the creation, by Chairman Markus Rense, of a naval force wholly dedicated to the protection of the Federation’s new capital: Raven’s Citadel in the Rense System.

Initially, the RSN was nothing more than this; a sub-unit of the Federation Navy more or less confined to the Rense System, and under the direct command of the Federation Chairman. Over time, however, it increased greatly in prestige and importance.

Successive Chairmen began to use the organisation as a means of reminding some of the more belligerently independent Federation systems that their declarations could be backed up with action and, if necessary, firepower. RSN Task Groups began to be despatched on missions all over Federation space, and sometimes beyond.

Zenian League: Rense System Navy

Zenian League: Rense System Navy

In the process, the RSN developed a new role. It became the Federation’s primary intelligence organisation. Standing outside the main Dindrenzi military establishment, and wholly in the hands of the Rense government, the RSN took a Federation-wide view in the execution of its duties.

Dindrenzi fleets increasingly came to be accompanied by RSN assets, which would often undertake recon missions and deep infiltration of unfamiliar or enemy-occupied systems. The RSN soon came to excel at these types of ‘black’ operations, and many of its officer corps became skilled covert operatives, the cream of the Dindrenzi fleets.

The RSN continues to play this role today – in fact, with the Dindrenzi offensive into the Storm Zone, it has become even more important. It is frequently remarked that the company of covert ops specialists aboard a large RSN vessel are as useful and deadly an asset as any of its conventional weaponry.

There is perhaps more truth to this assumption than is believed. The RSN is said to have spent years prior to the Dindrenzi offensive flying top secret covert missions into the Storm Zone. Their diligent reconnaissance activities are likely to have included scouting out the best routes of travel in the volatile region, optimum muster and Fold Space jump points and the strength and disposition of Terran and other assets and defences.

Their efforts paid off. It was not simply the weakness of the Storm Zone’s defences that made the first Dindrenzi thrust so successful. At every stage, the Federation’s fleets were one step ahead of their opponents, out-thinking as well as out-fighting them. A huge part of this was almost certainly down to the work of the RSN.

Zenian League: Rense System Navy - Spook Class Cruiser

Zenian League: Rense System Navy - Spook Class Cruiser

However, in spite of their undoubted effectiveness, the RSN inspires considerable apprehension in the rest of the Dindrenzi military. Much of this is down to their activities as spies and agents of the Federation central government.

The RSN recruits from all over the Federation, specifically to avoid its officer corps from holding too much of an attachment to their home planets. Despite its reputation with the rest of the Dindrenzi military, large numbers of regular fleet officers request transfers to the RSN.

A combination of rigorous training and tough assignments mean that service with it is a sure means of achieving fast promotion. However, the entry process is difficult, even by Dindrenzi standards, and not all applicants make the grade.

As well as its other functions, the RSN also has an important ceremonial duty. This is the responsibility for the Long Watch, the honour guard fleet that stands sentinel over shattered Dramos.

Although no longer permanently inhabited, the former capital planet holds an immense moral and spiritual meaning to the Dindrenzi, as a symbol of their defiance of Terran tyranny and the terrible sacrifice that was required to win their freedom.

Part of the Long Watch’s duties is to ensure the safe transit of visiting ships to the many orbital stations surrounding the monument-studded planet. Tens of thousands of pilgrims from all over the Dindrenzi Federation travel to Dramos to pay their respects to the blasted world and its martyred population. Even the advent of war has not stemmed the flow of visitors as yet.

Zenian League: Rense System Navy - Argus Class Carrier

Zenian League: Rense System Navy - Argus Class Carrier

However, it is the Long Watch assignments that have added a new dimension to the RSN’s political philosophy, one which was greeted with distinctly mixed feelings by Chairman Rufus Rense, his advisors and the rest of the Dindrenzi military and political establishment.

Many RSN officers and ratings have become devotees of the Church of the Dramos Angels, the religious organisation which oversees the maintenance of the thousands of monuments on the dead planet, and the care of visiting pilgrims.

In particular, the RSN has become permeated by the Church’s harsh Xerxean Doctrine, which preaches not only conquest of the Storm Zone, but the total subjugation of the Terran Alliance, including Terra itself, as the destiny of the Dindrenzi people. Because all RSN units are rotated through the Long Watch as a matter of honour, these views have spread far and wide through the Federation.

The Church has no official power, and is ostensibly dedicated to the Dindrenzi Federation and the Rense family. Its doctrine looks upon Ignatius Rense, Rufus’ ancestor, as a saintly figure.

Despite this, the Chairman does not fully trust its motives, or the idea that political cool-headedness within the Federation could potentially be disrupted by religious zeal. Although not wholly opposed to the idea of totally subjugating the Terrans, Rufus views this as an objective to be considered in favourable circumstances, not a duty according to holy writ.

Zenian League: Rense System Navy - Spectre Class Battleship

Zenian League: Rense System Navy - Spectre Class Battleship

In particular, the Chairman is disquieted by the Church’s popularity within his primary intelligence service. For now, however, he is content that the RSN’s command structure remains loyal to the Federation, and pragmatic rather than dogmatic in outlook.

Rufus still has enough faith in the RSN to have placed upon it another important role. Namely, the co-ordination of the allied support fleets composed of vessels belonging to the members of the Zenian League.

The intimidating presence of RSN Task Groups will, the Chairman believes, instil much greater discipline amongst the often-fractious aliens, offering a potent reminder of who, as well as what, they are fighting for.

Rufus also thinks that this role plays to the strengths of many RSN commanders’ dedication to the Church of the Dramos Angels. Their ‘humans first’ outlook ensures that they will not hesitate to blow apart any alien dissenters from the Zenian League cause if necessary.

The RSN’s ships are as impressive and intimidating as their status and the elite training of their crews. Unlike the vessels of the Dindrenzi Battle Fleets, the RSN’s ships are built to Dindrenzi specifications by yards in the Directorate.

Their sleek, shark-like lines stand in marked contrast to the blunt, heavy cruciform that normally characterises Dindrenzi ship design. This is wholly in keeping with the predatory nature of their favoured tactics. RSN captains prefer stalking their prey with the patience and expertise of skilled hunters, isolating unsuspecting opponents before closing in for the kill.

The Rense System Navy is currently operating all over the Federation and the Storm Zone. The Rense Defence Fleet and the Long Watch represent the greatest concentrations of RSN warships, but individual Task Groups are scattered far and wide.

Some are co-ordinating support fleets, while many are deployed alongside the Battle Fleets and Planetfall Groups on the front line in the Storm Zone. Here they scout out new invasion routes and key targets, ensuring that the Dindrenzi offensive keeps rolling onward.