The Spacefarers

Posted by on May 24, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

The Spacefarers

Written by Spartan Franco | Tags:

The Oroshan Imperium

The Oroshan Imperium

Oroshan Imperium

As the Dindrenzi-Terran War intensifies, the graceful but deadly ships of the race known as the Oroshan are becoming an increasingly common sight in the war-battered Storm Zone and other nearby regions of space.

Their presence has drawn the interests of the leading powers of both sides, for the Oroshan have developed a reputation as highly effective mercenaries, as well as consummate spacefarers.

Physically, the Oroshan are humanoid and mammalian, roughly man-sized and strongly built. They have four arms, each of them terminating in a four-fingered hand. Their legs are articulated in the same way as a human, although their feet have only three broad, flat toes.

Their skin ranges in colour from rich yellow to deep terracotta, and they frequently exhibit striped or mottled patterns of a contrasting colour, mainly brown or a very deep red. The older an individual Oroshanai becomes, the darker and more pronounced these markings will be.

Their visages are humanoid, broad and squared and have a smooth impassivity that humans can find rather intimidating. The Oroshan are often described by both Terran and Dindrenzi observers as having the perfect ‘poker faces’. They have two large eyes, which are ovoid in outline, with broad irises that range in colour from grey to deep red, split by vertical pupils.

Oroshan Imperium - Armageddon Class Dreadnought

Oroshan Imperium - Armageddon Class Dreadnought

They lack a distinct nose. Instead, two bony ridges loaded with tiny olfactory sensory clusters serve the same purpose. These ridges run along the tops of their cheekbones and extend back towards their flared, pointed ears. Their mouths seem to lack distinctive lips, while the teeth behind them are strong. Some Oroshan file their teeth to appear more ferocious.

Oroshan of both genders are hairless, apart from a thick mane that sprouts from their heads in the same manner as a human. Oroshan use distinctive styles and cuts of their hair to signify their rank, status and tribal membership. Oroshan hair can be of many colours, even sky-blue and purple, but high ranking individuals often dye their hair as a further means of denoting their station.

The Oroshan are a wholly spacefaring race, but this was not always so. Their history, such as is known outside of the reclusive tribes, indicate that their original homeworld was a lush, jungle-covered planet, which was consumed when its star went nova over a millennia ago.

Other, darker legends say that it was the Oroshan themselves who destroyed their world, as a result of some terrible internal strife. Whether or not this is true is impossible to say, as the location of the world and its former star has been lost to antiquity.

Needless to say, the Oroshan do not discuss these matters with outsiders, and will quickly take offense to any attempt to question them on the subject, particularly if the second theory is mentioned.

Since this time, the Oroshan have wandered the galaxy aboard their great spacecraft, taking what they need to survive through a mixture of harvesting asteroids, scavenging, piracy and mercenary work. It is the last factor that is thought to be drawing a great many Oroshan Hwyvirna, or Bloodtribes, to the Storm Zone.

Although the Oroshan are referred to as an ‘Imperium’, unlike the Xelocians, they do not seem to have a reigning emperor. Some Terran and Aquan scholars speculate that the Oroshan imperial system effectively ended with the destruction of the race’s homeworld, and that the Imperium title has been retained by the Oroshan to give them greater weight when dealing with other species.

Oroshan Imperium - Defiler Class Cruiser

Oroshan Imperium - Defiler Class Cruiser

Certainly, Oroshan fleets seem to operate largely as independent organisations, pursuing their own objectives and running their own affairs quite without an overarching government system, let alone a monarchy.

Again unlike the Xelocians, the other great spacefaring race of this galactic quadrant, the Oroshan live aboard their larger fighting ships. Each Defiler Cruiser is home to half a dozen Hwyvirna, while the huge Reaper Dreadnoughts house upwards of twenty Bloodtribes. Each Oroshan fleet is governed by a council of its Bloodtribe Elders, known as the Gyulache.

When an Oroshan fleet goes to war, its Gyulache appoints a Gwanye, or Warchief, from amongst the most capable leaders of the fleet’s Hwyvirna. The Gwanye then serves as the equivalent of an admiral for his or her fleet, and is responsible for organising the command structure for the fleet in whatever endeavour it is to embark upon.

A Gwanye’s subordinates always serve willing, even if these Oroshan were the leader’s fierce rivals prior to his or her appointment. The decision of the Gyulache is regarded as final, and is respected above all else.

For their part of the bargain, the Warchief is expected to fill subordinate posts with individuals best suited to the job, and not to practice nepotism in favour of their own tribe at the expense of effectiveness.

This is very important for the Oroshan, who risk their very homes when embarking upon military operations, and entertain no tolerance of failure. A Gwanye who is remiss in their duties will quickly be replaced by the Gyulache. Misfortune is excusable, wilful incompetence is not.

The circumstances of the Oroshan have inevitably led to their development into a very militaristic species. From an early age, every Oroshanai learns that they must fulfil a role useful to their Hwyvirn. Not least of these is the ability to fight in some capacity, for the Oroshan have little that they can trade apart from their services as mercenaries.

When operating independently, they will pick their fights carefully, mostly preying on other groups of marauders to avoid the kind of co-ordinated armed response which can often occur if they provoke a major stellar power.

It is not unknown for coalitions of Hwyvirna from different fleets to mount a major assault on assets belonging to such a power, as both the Terrans and the Dindrenzi are beginning to learn. Because of these proclivities, and their penchant for mercenary work, it is not uncommon for two different Oroshan fleets to face off against each other.

Blood is still thicker than water for them. If the Oroshan find themselves fighting on opposite sides in the same engagement, they will fight each other as a matter of honour, but will not go out of their way to hound their rivals to complete destruction.

As mercenaries, the Oroshan do not consider it their business to fight to the death in the cause of another. While they retain enough honour not to switch sides mid-engagement, they will withdraw if a battle goes against their employers.

However, they are valued as auxiliaries by all the belligerent powers in the ongoing war, as they are highly effective fighters who will battle with inspired fury unless their cause is completely lost. Long years of living in space have made the Oroshan into very experienced star-sailors and experts in deep space combat.

Oroshan vessels tend to be armed mainly with powerful energy weapons. They favour massive pulse-laser batteries, with enough strength to chew through substantial chunks of an enemy vessel’s hull with each volley.

They also do not shy away from boarding actions, as these represent the best way to secure an enemy vessel intact, so it can be stripped of anything useful or valuable to the Oroshan.

Oroshan boarding parties are well-equipped with heavy, vacuum-sealed suits of powered armour. They are adept at peeling open the outer shell of an enemy ship with powerful vibroblades. Once inside, they excel at close-quarters combat, being hardy and capable of using all four arms to manipulate weapons.

The greatest numbers of reports of Oroshan activity have originated from the galactic northern sections of the Storm Zone, and the Wimms Corridor border regions of the Aquan Sebrutan.

A substantial number of Oroshan flotillas are believed to have been in the pay of the Directorate, assisting the sinister corporations in their operations against the Aquans.

However, several Oroshan fleets are now working alongside the Sebrutan’s forces against their former paymasters. If accounts are to be believed, some Elder Councils hit on the idea of triggering a bidding war between the Directorate and the Aquans to inflate the price required to secure their services.

Others are believed to have jumped at the chance to add the wealthy Dindrenzi worlds of the Wimms Corridor borders to their hit lists, taking advantages of Aquan operations tying up the powerful Battle Fleets of the Federation.

The appearance of an Oroshan flotilla in the vicinity of an active warzone always arouses a great deal of concern. Are the mysterious aliens available for hire as allies? Or are they hostile, already contracted by another power, and seeking the destruction of those who encounter them?