Black Sun | The Anahn
The Anahn are descendants of Adashim, infused with traits of Mal`Ash. They were created when Adashim attempted to forcefully destroy an elemental object that Mal`Ash created during the fall of the Kyru. When the artifact reacted with Adashim, it released a massive amount of psionic energy, creating four galaxies and limitless fields of Tiran ore, a unique, stable element. The remaining power collapsed into a perpetual motion of energy, which became known as the Black Sun.
Emerging from the ashes of this new world were the Anahn, pure-blood Kyru and descendents of both Adashim's and Mal`Ash's genetic footprints. Given our previous notations, this event defies the existing understanding of Kyru procreation and continues to baffle Adashim to this day. Odan Kyru, including Adashim, are humanoid in nature, but the draconic traits of Mal`Ash tinged the genetics of Anahn females and males in different ways. These trait alterations are also observed in other Kyru descendents, including the Zelconian and Zeterekkai Templar. Adashim took advantage of the opportunity provided by this unexpected event to propel the Anahn into an era of prosperity. Alas, peace was short-lived, and the demons of his homeland soon caught up to him.
Our archives divide our technological advance into four generations, each marked by specific advances until present day. From the first generation, the dawn of our birth, we were blessed with advanced fabrication techniques and genetic manipulation. The firstborn were the only Anahn to have specific genders, those thereafter soon lost such distinction to an everlasting pursuit of the perfect soldier archetype, a focuspoint of warlords during the second generation. Virtually all Anahn save the firstborn are clones based on these archetypes, including those that used Annashim's genetic markers to empower psionic sensitivity. Many of these clones ultimately assumed more Odan-like attributes, veering away from Draconic influences, and are regarded to be inferior to the first Purebloods. Rather, the clones assumed attributes tailored to implant technology at the time, were smaller in stature, and more easily processed and computed on servers. Complex bodies lead to more complicated cloning and fabrication processes, driving the need for simplified and task-specific body construction. Warlords, with limited resources, always saw the need to pursue the elusive "perfect" template. Pureblood Anahn often had manes of white to crimson hair, dark crimson to light red skin, and had skin ranging from leathery to highly scaled. Females and males both sported various horns and spikes as well as exceptional physical build. Both genders could be bulky or lithe, both stood upright, and both had tails. Certain Warlord variations saw hunched bipeds, reduction of scales, and dulling of colors. Royal Family clones eventually saw more color variation as their skin was heavily modified to exchange durability for plyability, and eventually yellow and gray-skinned Royal clones became just as common. No Anahn ever bore hair akin to Adashim's natural, golden root, however. The closest was Garjukk, whose mane of bright orange became just as symbolic as his weapon.
Firstborn Anahn aged, but not quickly. The lifespan of their kind was predicted to be around six thousand years, though only a few have survived to the end of the Retribution campaign. Clones were typically regarded to be immortal, though the average life expectancy was only a few days depending on the location, rank and Warlord. Royal clones had far greater lifespans thanks to more conservative battle strategy, but Haktish rarely shirked at the loss of life if the benefit was worth the cost. Captains and their command staff, being seated within the hearts of their ships, naturally lived the longest regardless of origin.
During the second generation, Royal technology made considerable advancements compared to most Warlords save the Myrookk, whose distance from most conflicts gave them exceptional freedom. For the Royal family, most of the civil war was rebuilding and researching, while investing in several megaprojects. Even as the first generations of Warlords began their rise to power, the Royal family was already beginning to construct the Emperors, the Khorannaroth, and the Bloodstone Battlecruisers. These projects served as a gateway to third-generation advancements. Warlords, however, were generally too embroiled in conflicts to make significant advancements, and much of their potentially valuable research was plundered by royal spies during the Breakout campaign, when the Royal Family pushed out of the inner sanctum and entered open space. Many Firstborn Anahn died before the Breakout campaign had even began, which was when the Royal Family pushed out of the Sanctum and into warlord controlled outter space. The Unity campaign signified the single-minded thrust into the heart of the Second Galaxy, marking the introduction of third-generation construction. By the time the Unity campaign began almost no Anahn that yet lived were capable of natural reproduction, although Adashim had started a secret project to create a production-capable clone that more closely resembled the Firstborn, without the influences of Mal`Ash's lineage.
The third generation is hallmarked by the introduction of extremely primitive energy-to-matter conversion drivers based on Proteus reactors, but the first military applications of third-gen technology can be see in the Patriarch, Bloodstone Battlecruiser, and several other prototypes. Both second-generation and third-generation Anahn technology derive advancements from several different sources, such as specific scientists, warlords, or entire engagement-driven advancements. Royal ships present during the final phases of their unification crusade varied greatly in armaments and shapes. Old relics of the Breakout campaign were greatly outclassed by the highly advanced vessels designed specifically for sieging the second galaxy, and it was speculated that these new designs would soon be outclassed as well. Anahn technology continued to advance greatly, even during the Myrookk crisis.
Fourth-generation Anahn technology completely abandoned all dependencies on foreign resources and became entirely self-sustaining through artificial elemental emulation and energy-oriented fabrication. Anahn also began to incorporate elemental weapons into their arsenal. These advancements were first present in the Great Knight, which served as a testbed for many experimental concepts later finalized in the Emperors. During the brief period of solace offered by the third generation fleet's sacrifice, the Anahn were able to fabricate an entirely new fleet of tremendously superior scale and firepower from existing factories. At the time, this was the deadliest fleet ever forged by mortal hands.
By the rise of the fourth-generation, the physical characteristics of cloned Anahn only vaguely resembled the firstborn. Their skin is ashen-gray, losing all of the crimson tinges of their more dragon-like ancestors. Their skin is less leathery, but maintains its resilience to heat and high pressure. Most importantly, Anahn organ structure has changed and many specific organs became plant-like in that they have no single individual heart, liver, or other vital organs. Anahn thus became significantly more resilient than their Firstborn counterparts, and though they lost the physical strength and raw psychic potential of their forebearers, they became innately more communal. Psionic potential that they could never take advantage of to begin with was replaced with much greater control over a lower potency.
Anahn are trained much more heavily in defensive techniques rather than offensive, with the intention that their technology should provide sufficient means of fighting their foes. The goal of their evolution in the Royal bloodline was simply to make them less vulnerable to psionic attack. It is speculated that Adashim wants to attempt to re-introduce gender genetics later on, to take advantage of the psychic potency that females possessing Kyru genetics can attain. Such creatures would have been terrible foes if consumed by the Undead before the Royal Family was prepared to deal with them.
Kyru genders are tied to genetic traits not understood by Anahn science that Adashim believes comes as a result of Mal`Ash's influences. Kyru are in a constant state of evolution, and all of their descendents save the Anahn also possess this trait to an extent. Adashim's genetic endeavors sought to restore this attribute to his children, bringing him into a conundrum asking questions about the very origins of the Kyru themselves. Questions he would not soon have the answers for, and so throughout the Anahn's existence he sought to empower his children through the use of technology. And at the heart of the Anahn were its many Captains. We shall now take a glimpse at some of the various ranks and types of Anahn, those that helped most to shape their image as a species.
==== CAPTAINS =====
A ship is worth only the value of its captain, as Haktish would often tout. While there were many ships within any given fleet, he often determined their worth through their captains and not their specifications. A Captain is the heart and brain of a machine, though vessels are often thought of as extensions of their Captain's limbs. Although his commands were passed down to staff, a vessel's myriad of details were ultimately that individual's responsibility. A good captain with an experienced crew could maximize the many variables of Anahn warfare and exploit the potentials their world offered. However, ships smaller than a hundred KM often had a combat life expectancy of less than a month, simply due to the scale of battles. To maximize the potential of every ship, bioengineering constantly sought ways to pass on the wisdom of previous captains to newer generations. While this was often impossible simply due to the existing captains being eradicated in quick succession, the skills of legendary captains were often documented in lengthy doctrines fed into training regimes and efforts in genetic memory manipulation.
During the second generation, such memory manipulation was only vaguely successful. However, by the fourth generation, almost every Captain in Royal service had the combined experience of all of his major ancestors, rendering their combat tactics extremely potent.
A Captain's primary tools were typically his Navigator, his First officer, and a networked fire control console that offered three-dimensional overview of a battlefield. Beyond individual stations, most vessels offered the ship's details through iterations of the Strategic Operations Program, a large front for the operating system responsible for distributing computations throughout the ship's units. From his vantage, a Captain could overview and override any individual function of the vessel, and for this they required exceptional training so they could be prepared to do just that. The First Officer was the Captain's primary link to command and control staff onboard their flagship, who answered directly to Haktish's own staff. Command structure in the Royal family demanded little abstraction when the rules of operation were heeded correctly. The SOP network allowed Haktish to directly contact individuals and issue them specific commands. In the rare instance of network interruptions, SOP typically allowed Captains to overview simulated mission profiles, or document unexpected events for future analysis.
What the Royal SOP did not offer was advanced tactics simulation. With vessels of such scale armed with so many weapons, unforeseeable circumstances influenced even the most favorable predictions. This is when an individual's experience was most valuable, and where Haktish drew the line between man and machine. Although some warlords produced impressive perspectives on this protocol, Haktish did not allow automated control over individual ships all the way until the Third Generation, when fightercraft were replaced with drone networks to grant them temporary resistance against the Undead.
Captains traditionally manipulated the SOP physically, but advanced implants eventually allowed them to communicate mundane operations with their thoughts and eye movements. These implants and the research behind the Emperors lead to development of biocomputers. The reduction of barriers between a Captain and his charge provided predictably impressive results, but distanced themselves from the rest of their kind, as they had to sacrifice individuality to interface with the operating system directly. Such Anahn had to be designed for this system from the ground up, producing an individual incapable of functioning outside of their vessel. A direction Haktish openly detested but had little choice to deploy throughout the Wastelands campaign.
The Royal Fleet is divided into Squadrons, most notable during the first generation being the Black Squadron. Commanded by Alyr, daughter of Ferynya, the Black Squadron was first formed by a group of Firstborn Captains who set up a garrison drawing the line between the inner sanctum and the remainder of the bloodstone caverns. Once their network was formed no Warlord entered or left the sanctum again. There they remained for the duration of the Royal Family's reconstruction, later to be deployed as a hunter killer group that spearheaded the Breakout campaign. The Black Squadron only accepted accomplished captains into its ranks, and it was said that Alyr was granted considerable freedom over her operations than most fleet commanders as her experience exceeded that of Haktish's. Several books were written by Alyr and her staff, and she helped shape Royal doctrine for all captains throughout their various campaigns in the civil war. The Black Squadron was not supplied any of the Bloodstone Battlecruisers once they were completed, however, despite eventually becoming the largest Royal battlegroup.
==== NAVIGATORS =====
As Anahn ships became increasingly large and mobile, precision control over their movements in the corridors of Royal space became all the more important. Although most Royal ships exceeded hundreds of kilometers in length, they were generally piloted by a single crew member known as a Navigator. Navigators were either cloned with specific traits tailored to specific types of high-function implants, or they were veteran Anahn with existing implants used to supplement pseudo VR control suits, known as Navigator Gauntlets. These gauntlets, once the pilot was trained in their usage, could be utilized to manipulate specialized operating systems that granted nearly unparalleled control over the ship. The gauntlets were often used with existing control mechanisms, the brain's hand impulses were simply rewired to the ship's control when the pilot desired, thus the necessity of implant interfaces. As most of the ship's mobility and external functions could be controlled through impulse in such a manner, a Navigator rarely had to actually move physically, but sometimes complex functions or emergency situations required use of his control deck. This deck generally interfaced directly to the Captain's own, who could plot out beacons and pathing for his pilot. Some specific crews even linked implants to central computers to allow for direct mental communication, but these rare and dangerous setups were avoided by Royal standards, especially with the rise of the Undead and psionic warfare.
The Navigator was often easy to point out in the bridge, with his heavier gear and string of cables coming from his head to the computers around him.
With the advancements of third and fourth generation command implants, interface gear dropped out of style and Navigators relied entirely on implants to manage thought impulses. Their console decks were used for anything manual, especially when intending to fight Undead, who were discovered to be capable of exploiting impulses from mental implants and killing Navigators instantly. The exception to this rule were ships controlled by biocomputers, primarily the Great Knight.
===== FIRST OFFICERS and ASSASSINS=====
All captains of value within Warlord or Royal fleets were assigned First Officers. The First Officer was not merely a member of the command staff, but also a designated bodyguard. Assassination was common during the fueds between the Anahn, for surely being able to cripple an armada's command staff before an attack would help attain victory. The research arms of infantry combat were comparatively stunted in the face of fleet warfare, but the value of a well-equipped, well-trained assassin was still immense. It was possible for assassins to sneak onboard Anahn vessels using small, concealed shuttles or interceptors that lacked elemental reactors or rode inhibitor bands, and from thereon few crew would be able to notice them, much less stop them.
Anahn crew had one function – service their ship. Their cloning designs were geared to this purpose alone, and so it was rarely expected that a ship would be boarded by armies, only individuals – individuals they couldn't afford to try to sniff out. Assassins had their own purpose as well, and for them the First Officers were their only quarry. Oft times skilled in the Saber as well as the pistol, a First Officer of traditional capacity could handle dozens of heavily armed infantry alone. They had heavily-invested implants and armaments so they could ensure their Captains fulfilled their duties without concern. They were the supersoldiers of their era, the investment of what infantry advancements existed at the time, as were their foes.
The most valued of Haktish's Captains were assigned squads of officers with custom-crafted weapons and gear. Not a single one was felled by the hands of an assassin through the civil war. On the flip side, Garjukk and the Crimson Bannermen sowed terror across all who sought to challenge Adashim. Guided by Adashim's mental eye, they could find targets of value far in advance of an attack, and succeeded in eradicating Warlords through both violence and fear.
We can now take a step back and take a deeper look at the tools the Anahn and their captains utilized to make their glorious civilization and fight for its survival. Anahn technology is divided into the aforementioned generations, marking their advancement.
ANAHN FIRST GENERATION
First-generation Anahn warfare is defined largely through the inner system battles that took place upon the arrival of the Song of War, an Undead superweapon that exploited the untrained minds of the Anahn and allowed momentary connection with the Great Undying. This exposed them to alien emotions and horrific experiences if not outright killing them. Royal control weakened and the resulting chaos resulted in all-out war between several Warlords, of which only a few survived the first week of fighting, the loyalists, later to be known as the Royal Family, and several smaller factions including the Alzerians. Although this event was known as the civil war, Adashim eventually came to see it more as a culling of the weaker mental strands of the Anahn. Those who survived the initial bloodbath were enthralled in a violent, personal struggle for survival amidst the claustrophobic cavern interior.
First-gen Anahn technology predates Railcannons, fast-action cannons, and Proteus patterning technology. However, before the fall of the regime and the beginning of the civil war, several designs for fourth-generation technology had already been formulated within Adashim's inner circle. Several of the designs, including those of upper purity Proteus emulation drives, jump drives, and fabrication techniques, as well as several ship chassis designs, had been stolen by the Alzerians, as they contained many high ranking officials who had access to sensitive information. The Alzerians also stole one of the Firstborn who had yet to be awoken, whom they later named Kironai.
The Alzerians, lead by the promising but troubled captain Thelroy, managed to escape Royal custody during dawn of the civil war and rallied a considerable number of followers to his side. Although Adashim's retaliation against his faction was violent, the Alzerians nonetheless fled Royal space and eventually our galaxy entirely. It was this event that lead to the full deployment of Alyr and her limited assets to blockade the inner sanctum's exits. From thereon, the Inner Sanctum was sealed from the warlords, and both worlds began to evolve towards the second generation.
Anahn metallurgy is built on the element Tiran. The Tiran ore within Anahn space is impure, and host to several other elements, but was abundant enough to sustain thousands of civil wars if necessary. The vast quantity of Tiran to be sired by the Black Sun spread across galaxies worth of space and condensed around the Inner Sanctum in a tremendous cavern, shielding the Anahn from prying eyes and all but the most potent of psychic influences.
Tiran is a stable element descending from the Proteus arm of the Spectral tree. Its most noteworthy attribute is its exceptional threshold for heat and extremely low kinetic profile. Once shaped, even the most impure of Tiran armor can withstand the heat from the surface of a star, or the impact of being launched from orbit. The more impurities removed from the ore before processing, the more stable and resilient the end result.
However, with limited processing capabilities, Anahn quickly turned to reactivity rather than purity. By utilizing layered grids of electronic magnets, they could condense the atoms of hull and armor tighter, creating a more dense and resilient surface. Reactive armor allowed impure plating to defeat kinetic impacts that otherwise could split the ship in half. As a rule of thumb, however, the more pure the Tiran plating, the more dense it was. The greater the weight, and the greater the difficulty in making it reactive. Reactive armor remained a staple Anahn defense all the way until the Wastelands campaign, but only in the Fourth Generation were the Anahn able to fabricate pure Tiran. Pure Tiran does not naturally occur.
Tiran does not readily conduct, making it a poor choice for power networks, rails, and other material demands. Some of its subelements do, however, making the purification process all the more important for extracting valuable metals and improving defensive capabilities.
During the first generation, Anahn were still drilling, melting, and forging ore. The Firstborn factories would only become capable of current-based patterning towards the lockdown of the inner sanctum, making the loss of every shipyard during the first months of fighting extremely painful. In the end, only twelve of the Firstborn factories survived, and they were the ones to receive the three-thousand year mission to create the Bloodstone Battlecruisers.
==== ANAHN IMPLANTS AND BIO-ENGINEERING =====
Bio-engineering is often closely tied to the introduction of advanced mechanics and implants. A simple example is a reinforced bone structure capable of repairing itself, introduced early into Anahn clones intended to fight in close quarters during the civil war. More advanced and difficult to employ, implants may serve as mental bypasses, allowing the soldier to direct thought impulses for a limb into a computer that reads them as operative input, capable of controlling anything from firearms to entire ships. Such implants were difficult for any regular Anahn to use or adapt to in reasonable time, leading to specific subtypes of clones who were tailored to these modifications and served specific roles. However, given the extremely lengthy lifespan of Anahn outside of combat, most soldiers could eventually be updated with new advancements in gear.
The concept of a single individual harboring the responsibility for a large piece of equipment is integral to Anahn engineering. Although a ship could have a large crew, their function was to service the ship, not control it. Furthermore, individual weapons were always the responsibility of the pilot or Navigator. The operating systems of Anahn computers were simple and direct, with the input of the Captain acting as a voice in the Navigator's operations, while other crew may observe and report on the ship's vitals. The concept was that an individual with the right mental capacity and physical ability to act as a ship's mind would outperform a crew of a thousand officers. The responsibility of the Captain and his crew was to ensure the ship, as an extension of its pilot, was serving its mission as best as it was able. Similar concepts exist throughout the Anahn, including research divisions and fabrication, where responsibilities of advancements and ideas were shouldered on individuals, and the individuals were assigned teams who functioned merely as arms of their influence. In that sense, Haktish was the central brain for the Royal Fleet, and while many brilliant captains served under him, they were merely manifestations of his individual and very specific commands.
Bio-engineering ensured that crew and servicemen were not only capable of performing their tasks, but performing them better than their last generation. They had to be tougher, faster, smarter, and capable of enduring extremely inhospitable environments while performing their tasks. Anahn ships were unpleasant environments that at the best of times would have spelled certain demise for the unprepared, with extremely high heat, little to no breathable air, and rapid changes in pressure. Anahn had to be able to survive amidst the destruction of their vessel, for the vessel itself could oft times function even when mortally wounded. The ability to analyze their environment and perform quick and accurate assessment and decision making was perhaps the paramount skill of a crewmember. Such traits couldn't simply be created. Exceptional crew were rewarded with rank and further studied for their genetic mutations. Self-improvement was highly valuable to Haktish and his researchers, alluding to his emphasis on individual responsibility on the tactical level. Haktish saw his interactions with his captains as setting them up for challenges. He placed them in specific and calculated circumstances, and then observed the results. Implants and other such things were seen as tools for self-improvement. After all, like their Kyru ancestors, all Anahn possessed the ability to continue to evolve long after their birth. Mutations of all kinds were carefully documented by the Royal Family.
===== INFANTRY =====
Anahn infantry were built for speed more than armor. As the Civil War escalated into major ground combat, weapons had already advanced to the point where plating soldiers in fabric and metal couldn't save him from the kinetic forces of impacts. Anything smaller than a CAU had to be extremely fast, preferably fast enough to avoid being acquired at all. Therefore, Anahn infantry typically donned extremely little armor, and all of their weight-bearing strength was devoted to their armaments instead. Royal infantry in the first generation were akin to rifle ninjas capable of impressive acrobatic feats necessary to navigate the confusing and dangerous ruins of their homeland. In addition they avoided being targeted by weapons that could easily score single-shot kills across kilometres of distance. This lead to the rise of two major Royal infantry archetypes – Rangers, akin to Snipers, and Emissaries, something best imagined as a mix of a swordsman and a gunslinger. Anything that required more attention was immediately handed to the responsibility of the Royal Navy, which dispatched either entire ships or Armored Combat Units. The Royal Family had little desire to draw out unnecessary fights, and Haktish was very willing to apply what may be considered excessive force to a resistant quarry. Some statistics suggest his tactics may have resulted in nearly as much destruction to inner sanctum facilities as Warlord sabotage, but none can deny the swiftness in which his heavy-handed response settled confrontations.
The armaments of Anahn infantry are equally hard-hitting as their brutish designers. The Firstborn cared little for efficiency in their designs, opting for power first and foremost. Since battlefields were close to home, Infantry weapons could be inefficient in ammunition usage. Royal rifle designs commonly sported ammunition the size of fists or heads, capable of firing only in short bursts and with limited magazine capacity. It was enough for them to clear hallways or dispatch lightly armored opponents. Reloading was something expected to occur after the opponent's defeat, and if the user ran out of ammunition mid-fight, the weight of rifles added excellent torque to bayonets and spears. Any fighting undecided by sniping was generally extremely close quarters, so most infantry had at least one tempered melee weapon on their person at all times. Common were spears and curved blades, but some favored more exotic weapons such as straight edged swords or throwing weapons, including axes or chakrams. Those determined to exercise Royal decree in person had machine-assisted melee weapons, including heated or vibrating spears and swords, that were designed to cut through armor with minimal resistance.
As fighting continued to escalate and the battlefields grew more distant from the inner sanctum, optimization of firearm technology ensued. Larger magazines, smaller ammunition, and more dedicated ammunition types began to appear. However, at this point armored warfare settled in vacuum was becoming more common, and the ability for infantry to influence those battles without armored support was quickly diminishing. At this stage, ACU's and CAU's almost entirely replaced foot grunts.
ACU's & CAU'S
Armored Combat Units and Compact Armor Units are two types of mechanized infantry developed by the Royal Family to suppress the inner systems of the Bloodstone Cavern, particularly to retrieve ships and facilities through extreme force.
The distinction of ACU's and CAU's lie in their size and respective design goals. ACU's are large mechanized units with their own reactors and subsystems that are capable of mundane space warfare but are generally designed to subdue large numbers of infantry and ground vehicles. They generally lack weapon capacity large enough to harm capital ships, but they are usually able to destroy fighters if the pilot is skilled.
ACU's operate favorably in low gravity environments such as those throughout the cavern exteriors and damaged facilities or subdued ships. In gravity their weight can be prohibitive depending on the chassis and armaments. The most advanced of ACU's have mundane Proteus reactors and can sustain limited shielding and/or anti-gravity. Their armaments are typically Battlecannons and Powerguns along with melee options, such as concussion axes, vibration blades, heatblades, flamespears, claws, hydraulic hammers/spikes, and their tails.
ACU's generally have tail or tail-like modules designed to help stability as bipedal vehicles were traditionally unwieldy. The tails often contain tools that would otherwise be vulnerable on the ACU's hands or arms, such as components designed to interface with standard Anahn electronic access points, certain types of weapons, and other utilitarian devices, usually mission-specific.
ACU's range in height from roughly ten meters to forty for large siege variants. They were rarely deployed in defensive measures as their destructive capability could damage already compromised locales. However, some locations were deemed unrecoverable throughout the cleansing of inner space. In these locations, ACU's were equipped with the most devastating of weaponry and given extermination orders without care of the environment's survival. No inner system warlord lived to tell the tale of these bloody crusades to the outside world, as Garjukk hunted down all those who remained before they could escape the closing curtain of iron.
CAU's are smaller suits that generally aim to increase an individual soldier's effectiveness in any given surface role and may be used for both defensive and offensive solutions. After the first days of the civil war, CAU's were employed to protect captains as well as critical points of ships and stations. CAU's offer significantly less protection than their counterparts and thus often serve more as a means to increase the pilot's other abilities, such as speed. They often possess advanced sensors that implants were incapable of providing alone, and their armaments can be excessive, since the suit can handle the weight of ammunition and the effects of extreme recoil.
Some CAU's possessed battlecannons, and the most advanced suits were given small Railcannon systems. Such weapons could easily clear a hallway of opponents with a single shot, as the concussive force released by their shells would turn airspace into a meat grinder. Once such weapons were introduced, boarding and theft of Royal ships rapidly depleted. Throughout the civil war, only the rarest of attempts were made to board ships, in part due to armor thickness, in part due to crew defense capability. Therefore, infantry combat in general remained largely unexplored throughout the majority of the second generation. CAU's fell out of popularity and First Officers rarely used them as the added bulk made them easy to single out in a crowd.
Garjukk possessed a custom CAU that possessed a mechanical bow of unusual design. It was a personal design choice, even though it lacked effectiveness compared to the advanced long-ranged infantry weapons at the time. This suit was used in the more bloody of his assassinations.
Despite the rapid decline of infantry combat, Haktish kept the infantry corps of the Royal Family constantly updated with the changing eras. He knew the time would eventually come when the Prince would once more have need of them.
The traditional kinetic delivery system of the Anahn, nicknamed the Battlecannon, undertakes many forms, although most are based on the concept of utilizing chemically modified powdered Tiran ore, however. Tiran ore, once its properties have been diluted and certain trace subelements extracted, becomes extremely volatile. This powder is extremely stable under normal circumstances, but a repeating electrical current can excite the atoms and incite a chain reaction that releases tremendous energy. Used as a gunpowder, Tiran powder can accelerate kinetic projectiles to a recorded maximum of half the speed of light in the most advanced delivery system of the fourth-generation.
Powder was used for explosive shells, but as Tiran plating advanced, the effectiveness of explosive charges rapidly declined. Instead, specialized slugs were continually developed, and gave rise to reactive armor in kind. As individual cannons had little hope of dealing noteworthy damage, Battlecannons were employed in collections on their individual turrets, and commonly sacrificed reload speed for size. The alternate variation, nicknamed the Powergun, sacrificed size for reload capacity, and commonly took up the shape of a rotating series of barrels assigned to a rapid-action reloader. Hybrids between the two designs became known as Fast-Action turrets. Both Fast-Action and Powergun designs fell out of popularity in large scale ships where the complexity of their mechanisms became more difficult to service and the lack of projectile speed reduced their ability to damage heavy armor. Hulking Battlecannons, however, dominated Anahn ships all the way until the end of the Third Generation.
ANAHN SECOND GENERATION
The Second generation has no true defining moment of its arrival, but is marked by a gradual advancement of all Anahn technology. Since the Royal family lost much of its exterior facilities and suffered extreme structural damage not only to personnel, but to factories, their technological advancement stagnated for many years. However, production of the Emperors had already begun by the updating of the Firstborn factories. These enormous Proteus pattern-capable facilities would set to constructing the first of many planned superships, the Bloodstone Battlecruisers. It wouldn't be for three thousand years before these projects were finished. Their equipment was heavily modified and later fused to the chassis for the various Emperors, eventually serving as their power sources. Of course, these would not be seen for some time, but the other hallmarks of the Second Generation soon made their mark on Warlord and Loyalist alike.
Railcannons, short burst-jump capable drives, crude but effective Tiran "carving" techniques, and other such advancements lead to a global increase of ship scale and fighting capability. At the time of the Second Generation's peak, the average warlord possessed corvette classes averaging ten to twenty kilometers in length. However, only the most skilled, advanced, or dominant of warlords possessed the ability to construct factories capable of producing large ships, such as the Razzador. Notably, the warlords who moved to the second galaxy and had much greater freedom to expand, and had few neighbors to contest with.
These second galaxy warlords formed a temporary alliance when word of the Prince's return reached them. When they met the Prince's forces on the battlefield, they were faced with a third-generation fleet that had been built specifically to break down the second galaxy. These warlords were butchered in a matter of months, as opposed to the thousand-year bloodbath that the Royal family drowned the first galaxy in.
Of the factions to survive the civil war, only the Myrookk and the Alzerians could be named. The Myrookk were later destroyed by Gandresh's advanced stealth battleship by self-destruction near an experimental proteus singularity. The resulting explosion consumed the unnamed "fourth" Anahn galaxy and awakened the Undead through the life energy released by the Myrookk's destruction.
ANAHN THIRD GENERATION
Marked by introduction of shield technology that could be mass produced, advanced beam weapons, flame lance cannons, and other Proteus-powered armaments, the third generation is defined by the Royal Family's unification of Anahn space and the subsequent destruction of the Myrookk galaxy. However, in the grand scheme of things, the third generation fleet was greatly held back by lack of numbers. The destruction and absorption of Warlord resources left the Anahn with an enormous second-generation fleet, but upgrading and modernizing it would take a long time. The Anahn had no time, and the Undead Myrookk would decimate their unprepared forces. Worse yet, the remaining outdated ships were later to be hurled against the Undead's third-generation fleet, a force of unspeakable destructive power, and the Xy`Kranasha expedition, whose technology boggled even the greatest of Anahn minds at the time.
Only by the strength of the Anahn's will, their strategy, and the backbone of a few fourth-generation assets did they survive this campaign.
The following roster contains both Second and Third generation Anahn vessels from the Retribution project.
RN - Royal Navy variant second-generation classes.
WL - Warlord variant second-generation classes.
ANAHN FOURTH GENERATION
Anahn fourth-generation technology is defined by the introduction of robust energy-to-matter conversion using Proteus cores. Such technology completely eliminates the need for supply ships or rearmament, and ships can devote more of their hull space to armor, since all of their guns can fabricate ammunition on the fly. All Anahn vessels can be fabricated with pure Tiran from nothing instead of needing to purify mined or carved elements. Energy weapons become more common, particularly the major advancement of particle emulation drivers into what Anahn science nicknames "Quantum" drivers, cheap Proteus hybrid particle weapons. This was the fleet Adashim desired four thousand years past, and only now could bring to life.
However, Proteus cores and their related assets take an exceptional amount of time to fabricate, even with the most advanced of shipyards. Even though Fourth-Generation ships are extremely advanced, they remain costly and time consuming to produce. The Anahn only have a month to scrape together some fifty thousand units they would break into the Abyss with. There they faced a new foe - the DyiithJhinn, as well as an advanced Xy`Kranasha swarm fleet. Adashim's new technology gave the Anahn a defensive and offensive edge against the DyiithJhinn, who favored numbers over individual strength, but they could, at best, just barely keep up with the Xy`Kranasha's newer vessels. The Wayward Daughter proves to Adashim that his children are still incapable of fighting the world's demons, and instead he plays a dangerous gamble to save them from certain destruction.