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The Hengeyokai Protectorate is a confederation of worlds ruled by the Hengeyokai Clans. The Protectorate is comprised of non-contiguous star systems widely dispersed throughout the universe. The vast distances between Protectorate worlds greatly influences the culture, government and structure of the Protectorate and its people.
Typical Protectorate worlds orbit extragalactic stars, or stars that wander the deep black of space between galaxies. Here in the deep black, far from typical core galaxy civilizations and empires, the Hengeyokai have settled or claimed hundreds of key extragalactic systems, each home a Slipstream Nexus. It is control of these critical transportation and communications hubs from which much of the Protectorate’s influence stems
Accounts of the Hengeyokai people go back millennia in many cultures though out the ‘verse, however historical accounts of a single unified Government in the form of the Protectorate is a relatively new development.
It was only in the last several hundred years, that the Clans of the Hengeyokai unified and began to rule their individual worlds under one unified government. The Protectorate was established, or re-established by some accounts, to Protect the old worlds from encroachment by an every growing host of Empires, Alliances and Federations who were beginning to seek out worlds beyond their home Galaxies for exploit and conquest.
Since its founding days, the Protectorate has stabilized its initial holdings and in the last decade, begun to expand though both rediscovery of worlds lost during the ages. The rediscover and settlement of these worlds, and the opening of Extragalactic trade and communication routes seems to be a key focus for the Protectorate. The campaign of exploration and recovery of long lost Stargate and Silpspace routes and hubs has brought many once isolated galaxies back into contact with the larger ‘verse.
In rare instances, the Protectorate has reclaimed a system by force of arms, as in the case of the Delios system. In a large mobilization of its military, the Protectorate wrestled control of the system from control of a large star Empire, severing its supply lines to a neighboring galaxy which is was plundering with its superior military technology.
Stellar Cartography and Planetology
As previously stated, the Protectorate consists primarily of lone extragalactic star systems wandering in the voids between galaxies. While these stars can be of any spectral class, they tend to run towards the older, cooler and thus lower spectral characteristics. The typical star system is formed around a type M, L, T or Y class Brown Dwarf., though many systems appear to have a younger proto-stars or type O or B class super giants in a binary configuration. These old/new binary configurations make for narrow zones of life in these systems.
Within these often narrow habitual zones, the Protectorate occupies a variety of M class worlds that share some unusual common traits. Most of these worlds feature a planet core of superconductive material such as Naquadah or Unobtainum. This feature may explain the development of Slip space Nexuses within these systems. Despite these dense, metallic cores, the material is deep within the planet’s core and surface conditions run the gambit of M class conditions from temperate to desert. A handful of O and P class worlds are included in the Protectorate as well, these Oceran (O) or ice (P) covered worlds generally meet the other settlement criteria. These worlds tend to much older geologically, possibly a result of their parent star’s isolation in deep space. Protectorate worlds tend to have a healthy ecosystem with biodiverse flora and fauna.
The space and subspace around these systems tends to be full of energy and activity. The presence of a SlipNexus and large number of slippaths make the space/time threshold (or Gauntlet) much thinner. This causes a bleed over of energy between the two, which is collected or amplified by the superconducting planetary cores. This makes for easy travel for those traveling by Stargate of Slipdrive to these systems, but presents challenges upon arrival. The Electromagnetic and Subspace spectrum (EM/S) is ‘hostile’ to conventional electronics and sensors and makes navigation difficult. This can be overcome by sensitive tuning of electronic systems, but this is an intensive and often constant challenge as the EM/S environment changes constantly. The constant EM/S fluctuations make for an active gas and nebula field as well, with electrons bouncing off the many gravitational forces found at these locations.
Technology & Culture
The Protectorate’s Culture is greatly influenced by the Hengeyokai people whose name it shares. While a relatively small proportion of the total population of the Protectorate, the Hengeyokai influence can be found at all levels of the Protectorates society and culture.
The Protectorate shares the Hengeyokai’s caste structure. While a hierarchical system of stratification the Clan and Caste system of the Protectorate is not as rigid as many such systems found throughout the ‘verse. With opportunities for Caste mobility and a robust system of testing and trials, the Protectorate’s Caste system is designed to support the Clan’s goals of Protecting its chosen worlds, knowledge and cultures by matching individuals with the tasks best suited to their personality, abilities and potential.
While the system does give more importance to those that directly serve in, and support the defense of the Protectorate, unlike some warrior societies, the Hengeyokai and the rest of the Protectorate’s citizens understand that it is a sum of all their skills and abilities, that gives them strength and makes them whole. Thus, while the Warrior castes may carry the most prestige and receive the most support from the rest of the society, even the most mightiest warrior understands that it is the farmer, the technician, and the laborer who’s shoulders they stand on. As such, the society mobilizes as a whole, to fulfill their Protectorate’s name sake mission with each caste and individual sharing risks and gaining rewards in respect to their contributions.
This may sound as if there is a lack of individuality, or capitalism within the Protectorate, this is not the case. The intensive testing and trials inherent in Clan society, give rise to a fiercely independent and motivated people. This juxtaposition of the self, and the many is one of the least understood, and most powerful assets of the Protectorate’s society.
All things, in balance, is the way of the Hengeyokai, and thus the Protectorate’s people. It starts with leaning how to balance one’s own needs and desires with what is best for the group, a lesson taught at all levels and from an early age. Individuals are encourage to succeed personally, without sacrificing the needs of others in this goal. Hard work, and innovation is expected for all members of the society and justly rewarded, and there is an expectation that when self-sacrifice is made for the greater good it will be rewarded as well.
Hengeyokai (Ruling) Caste
The ruling Caste of the Protectorate are thinly spread in Sentai throughout the colonized worlds, providing leadership and protection for the many people of Hengeyokai society.
Consisting primary of the Colonial Rangers and their Trueborn kin, the Warrior Caste provides leadership and protection in the Sentai’s absence. Often fighting alongside the Crinos warriors of the Fera, that Caste is widely respected (and feared) throughout Hengeyokai culture.
Consisting of Artists, Scientists, Educators and Physicians, the Artisan Caste is focused on the continued technological and cultural development of the Hengeyokai people as well as the protection of culture and knowledge. Many Trueborn Kinfolk are members of the Artisan Caste, as are many washouts from the Agoge’s difficult Warrior Caste training program.
Tasked with the exchange of goods and ideas between peoples, the Merchant Caste is an important source of influence and income to the Hengeyokai. The Caste counts many Romani Kinfolk among its members.
The upkeep, repair and operation of technology and equipment is the purview of the Technician Caste. Members of the Caste include important, (yet less skilled) disciples of the Artisan Caste, such as paramedics, mechanics and engineers.
Members of this Caste farm the fields, move the cargo, operate factories and provide all basic services within the Protectorate. In short, it is composed of all the common free citizens.
Bondsmen and Slaves, including those taken as isolra. The Ward Caste consists of those not free by a matter of law or circumstance to include those who would commonly be referred to as slaves in other cultures. Hengeyokai take a unique view on slavery, seeing it as a temporary condition of service and consider such people wards of the Hengeyokai. There are stiff penalties for the mistreatment of such people within the protectorate.
The criminal, outcast and disgraced. The dark caste has no voice in Hengeyokai affairs.
The Protectorate celebrates nature and the natural world, in all its forms. The desire to balance the needs of progress and tradition, science and nature, speak to the heart of Protectorate society. This gives a better understanding of the relatively high status of the Arts and Agriculture in their society. Fresh foods are the norm, rather than the exception on Protectorate worlds, as are ‘green’ buildings and infrastructure which blend of lay in harmony with nature. You will not find large cities or expanses of metal and concrete on the Protectorate worlds, a result of both their relatively small, dispersed populations and a definitive design and cultural basis.
Protectorate settlements often seem small to those of the Galagatic Core. While there is a healthy and large population, it is dispersed throughout the ‘verse. Even large Protectorate worlds of importance, have much smaller populations. The largest ‘cities’ appearing a dispersed outposts scatted over a much larger area, built in harmony with the natural world.
There exists an appreciation and celebration of tradition and the ‘old ways’, throughout Protectorate society, with the celebration of ancient holidays. Many citizens share the Hengeyokai’s Cosmology and beliefs. These customs and mores mesh well with the society’s other cultural values and reverence of nature and the natural world.
The Protectorate celebrates the following holidays on the Pan-G common Calendar:
Mōdraniht – Winter Solstice
Imbolc – February 1st
Ostara – Vernal Equinox
Beltaine – May 1st
Litha – Summer Solstice
Lammas – August 1st
Mabon Autumn Equinox
Samhain – October 31st
This earthy regard for the natural world is balanced against an advanced technology level. Generally considered to have a Tech Level of 18 – 21 on the G4TL tech scale, the Protectorate possesses numerous advanced technologies that it uses for both day to day, and military applications.
Energy is generated though a variety of means including Matter/Antimatter Plants, Micro Fusion reactors, Quantum Singularity and Zero Point power systems. Travel between the far distant worlds of the Protectorate is accomplished via Slip Capable vessels as well as a network of Far Dialing Stargates. Larger vessels can traverse the slipstream via a limited number of Slipgates.
The Protectorate Military has access to advanced hard suits, weapons, shields and cloaking technology. Not a industrial powerhouse, the Protectorate is likely to trade for larger items such as ship hulls or spacecraft frames, then retrofit proven designs with upgraded technology and systems.
An extensive medial and biological science industry does exist and the most well known Corporation known outside of Protectorate space is GiaGen and its subsidiary CRASH (Colonial Regional Ambulatory and Surgical Hospitals).
Citizens have access to advanced robotics and cybernetics, though the latter is rare to come by in the Protectorate as damaged body parts are regrown, rather than replaced, and augmentation is more likely to be by robotics or removal hard suit, than surgically attached, another nod to their closeness with nature. The Protectorate also produces surprising advanced AI’s rivaling those of the Systems Commonwealth and other cutting edge races.
Beyond they own technology, the Hengeyokai and their Kin appear to have access to the technology found in the ‘lost’ installations of the ancients or forerunners of the 4th and 5th ages a catch all term for the race, or races who first settled the worlds the Protectorate now appears to be reclaiming. This would include many outposts and colonies long left dormant and forgotten. Some of installations possess unique technologies who’s construction has been lost such as Slip Gates, or Gate Routers.
Utilizing these many tools, these advanced technologies stich together the widely dispersed worlds, allowing the Protectorate to be one people, despite the massive distances between them. With such extensive technology at their disposal, the people of the Protectorate choose to live in a world enhanced by, not dominated by it, seeing technology as a tool, rather than an end upon itself.
The Protectorate Military is charged with defense of the widely dispersed Protectorate worlds as well as offensive incursions throughout the ‘verse in support of the Protectorate’s interests. To accomplish these goals the Protectorate fields a robust Military Touman consisting of a tiered force structure.
At the peak of the Warrior Class, are the Hengeyokai Ahourn themselves. Feared combatants, the Hengeyokai take many forms and wither Homid, Dryet, or the feared Crinos they have been more than a match for the Protectorates adversaries most elite forces including jedi, sith, and reapers. The small number of Hengeyokai mean that rarely will more than a full war sentai of five true Hengeyokai present at any time.
Working with the Hengeyokai Warriors are the most notable compoant of the Protectorates Troutman, The Colonial Rangers. Part of the Warrior Caste the Rangers undergo training from childhood at the Agoge, a large training facility on Wolfhome. Rangers are an elite, full time military. Well trained, and equipped with cutting edge technology, Rangers serve as the project of force for the Protectorate’s interests. Usually operating in small groups, Rangers becomes the means of the Protectorate’s will, when diplomacy is exhausted.
Fleet maintains the Warship and transport assets of the Touman. A unique service working with both the Rangers and House / Colonial forces, Fleet prioritizes warship assets and works with other forces to ensure that ground operations are supported, and potential adversary’s aerospace assets are countered or neutralized. Fleet also works with the Merchant class to to ensure the Clans’ military transport needs are met.
Supplementing the Colonial Rangers, each Clan maintains a well-equipped, but less capable House Forces. Focused more on home defense and garrison of Protectorate worlds, House forces are high quality formations, on par with many of the militaries found in the core.
Security Forces, Police and Militia are considered to be part of house forces. Depending on the world size they may be integrated into other military formations, or operate separately. SecFor goes by many names throughout the Protectorate, but its common mission is policing and internal security. Security Forces are well equipped for their role, but lack the firepower of dedicated military units.
Governance and Political System
The Protectorate is ruled by a ruling Caste of Hengeyokai. Each clan ‘elects’ a pair of senior leadors, or “Khans” to represent them in the Grand Councils. The IlKhan and SaKhan of each clan then ‘elect’ an Elder IlKhan and SaKhan. Elect is a loose term, as the actual process includes a series of tests or trails which vary from clan to clan, but usually include combat at some point. The Grand Council votes on all major policy issues for the Protectorate and adjudicates disputes between the clans. The Grand Council Meets at the current capital of Fenris.
Each Clan holds its own Elder Council, which functions much as the Grand Council does, but with matters pertaining to individual clan issues. The Elder Councils are made up of Senior Khans from the clans.
The Protectorate itself is divided into Khanates, administered by a Khan. Each Khanate includes the Buhr and several out laying colonies and outposts. Due to the dispersed nature of the Protectorate’s holdings, this may encompass several galaxies of a small local cluster. Khans are responsible for protecting their holdings and seeing to the civil and military interests of the Hengeyokai and the Protectoarte throughout the Khanate.
Individual Colonies and Outpost host a Sentai of Hengeyokai as well as the Protectorate’s citizens and colonists. These worlds are governed by an Administrator or Magistrate who carried the title Gaia’nan. Like Khans, Gaia’nan are responsible for both civil and military interests within their area of responsibility, which include the world they are located on, as well as several nearby galaxies which have the closest ties to the worlds slip nexus.
Within this framework, each Caste operates a council or assembly to deal with matters specific to their Caste’s interests and responsibilities. These councils each send a representative to sit on an advisory council, often call the ‘Hand’. The Gaia’nan Hand would meet at a colony level, while the Khan’s Hand may meet at the Khanate level. These councils have broad authority over specific matters, yet the Khans and Gaia’nans may overrule their decisions. Khans and Gaia’nan often sit on these councils and either they, or their designate, serve as a tie breaker vote. Council and assembly members are elected to their stations though trials as well, but rarely do the lower castes include combat in these trials, as they are catered to the skillset, knowledge or ability of the Castes themselves.
In new outposts and colonies, when there are not yet fully established castes, a less formal advisory council may be formed by the Khan or Gaia’nan. Made up of both citizens and outlanders who are stakeholders in the colony, these councils provide the same functions as their more formal cousins. Seats on these councils are rarely won by trial, and are often a mix of popular vote and appointment by the administration.
Its worthy to note, that the various trials by combat, play a significant role in Protectorate politics, with the most contentious issues often being decided, or reversed by Trials of Refusal or Grievance.
The Protectorate addresses the Law in general terms, with much fewer specific codes and regulations than may other cultures, or multi system governments. The legal code focuses more on right from wrong, rather than a detailed list of ‘offenses’ or codified torts. Protectorate laws provide for, individual rights and liberties, the right to enter into contracts and own property, service and protection of the Protectorate and its people and good order and discipline.
When a party is grieved, a law broken, or to adjudicate disputes between parties, the Protectorate utilizes a tribunal system. A tribunal can be convened by any Caste to hear cases that pertain to that Castes are of influence and expertise, tribunals held by the Hengeyokai themselves have applet authority and serve as the final legal venue outside of a Trial of Refusal.
Minor disputes are often adjudicated on the spot by members of Caste Councils or Assemblies, or duly deputized representatives, though often these are appealed to a council tribunal. Tribunals are short affairs, usually overseen by one to three council members. Parties plead their case and present evidence and witnesses. Tribunal members then deliberate in private and return with a ruling. Sometimes, at the request of the injured parties and with the tribunal’s consent, a jury of peers is used to adjudicate the ruling. Utilization of a jury is at the discretion of the tribunal. A council tribunal can be appealed to the administration, in the form an Admin tribunal. Admin tribunals are convened by a colony administrator and senior members of the council. The administration retains the right to hear a case on appeal.
Protectorate law is designed to prevent anarchy and provide property rights in order to promote commerce and good order. If the Protectorate became so chaotic and lawless that commerce could not transpire, then traffic and revenue would dry up. At the same time, if law and order became over bearing, and intrusive, it would also drive away the traffic and commerce that keeps the Protectorate thriving. As such, the Security officers and deputies of the Colonies and Outposts, and the system of law they enforce becomes a tricky balancing act. Generally, one person’s rights end, where another person’s rights begin. This can change with the situation, as determined by the tribunal.
There is no presumption of innocence, or rights to remain silent. What people say can and will be used against them. However, the property rights do demand a reasonable search. Besides those at port authority and the scanning of incoming vessels for harmful or explosive material or conditions, the Administration’s security forces are expected to use restraint and have probable cause for searches and scans of colonists and visitors.
The Protectorate displays a much greater tolerance of different behaviors and actions than many other people and governments. Being such a diverse, and dispersed people, citizens and colonists alike understand that what might be deviant, immoral, or illegal behavior in one galaxy, may be the norm in the next, giving rise to a more accepting, get along, to go along attitude among much of the populace. That said, when offenders display an utter lack of control or respect for others or the common good, legal action may be taken, in in a society where that may find you defending yourself under arms for your infraction, most visitors learn to curb their more disruptive behavior. In essence, the cost of this tolerance is harsh punishment for abusing it.
Trial By Combat
Trial by combat is a custom and tradition of the Hengeyokai and has become part of the Protectorate’s culture. Instead of a tribunal, adjunction of disputes between two parties may be decided via trial by combat. Generally Both parties must agree on the trial, unless the trial is being called by a representative of the Protectorate’s Government. Aggrieved parties retain the right to name a champion to fight for them by proxy.
When the dispute is between two warriors the Trial is often referred to as a Trial of Grievance: Also called an “Honor Duel”. A “Circle of Equals”, consisting of a ring of warriors defines the boundaries of the combat. The two warriors involved determine through bidding how the battle will be fought. The first warrior to leave or be knocked from the circle or knocked out or otherwise unable to continue is declared the loser, and the disagreement is forgotten. This can be an on-the-spot resolution, or may have to be arranged through the Council or Administration.
Tribunal rulings can be appealed though combat as well in a Trial of Refusal. This trial allows the losing side to demand the issue to be settled by combat.
The forces used in the Trial of Refusal are determined on a pro-rated basis. The faction rejecting the decision declares what forces they will use. The side defending the decision (the attacker) can field a force equal to the ratio of winning to losing votes. For example, if the contested vote carried by a three-to-one margin, the attacking forces can field a force three times the size of the force challenging the decision.
The Protectorate utilizes several means to obtain compliance, or punish offenders.
The preferred means of compliance and adjudication of wrongs are hefty fines. It has been found that hefty fines are a persuasive deterrent to the traders and merchants that pass though the Protectorate, and cut into the profit they count on to survive. The amount of the fine often varies with the ability of the offender to pay, and the offense itself; the greater the offender’s ability to pay, and the greater the offense, the greater the fine. This sliding fee scale makes fines an effect tool regardless of how many credits the offender has to toss at the problem. Fines can include the confiscation of property such as slaves, starships, or land.
Penal Service and Bondsmen
In Cases where fines are not an appropriate, the Protectorate turns to a system of penal service to punish offenders, or adjudicate wrongs between parties. A form of slavery, convicts are considered bound by law and become wards of the state. Stripped o their freedom, Bondsmen are assigned duties or work, for a sentence determined by the tribunal.
Bondsmen are utilized in lieu of a state run prisons or camps for all but the most violent offenders. The Clans believe that removing convicts from society, does not serve to reform them, but that removing freedoms, while keeping offenders a productive part of the society leads to a much better chance of reform. Bondsmen can serve in a variety of capacities determined by their offense, skill set, and attitude. The worst offenders are sent to work in the mines or mining refinery. Bondsmen can be remanded to custody of the colony administration, the offended party, or a third party such as New Nippon mining, depending on the circumstance and the tribunals ruling. Bondsmen are treated based on their behavior, in accordance with the established laws for wards and slaves.
Situations which may warrant penal bonding include:
Capital Crimes such as Murder
Lack of ability to pay fines
In conjunction with fines and penal enslavement, a tribunal can also banish offenders from the Protectorate. Often this is utilized for repeat offenders. Banishment can be permanent or temporary, again, depending on the offenses and tribunals ruling. Banishment is particularly effective against businesses that rely on the Protectorates location and passage to conduct trade. Citizens who are banished, are considered Dezgra and forfeit all property and titles, becoming members of the Bandit Caste.
The Protectorate does utilize jail, prisons or confinement on a limited basis.Generally imprisonment is short term, used only while other means of punishment or adjudication can be determined by tribunal. The Jail cells are also used for protective custody, or for temporary holding of dangerous persons until such time they can be rendered safe, or deported from the Protectorate. Many individuals have found themselves tossed in the cell overnight, to cool down after a brawl, awaiting their fine and release.
While the Protectorate is focused on defending the worlds they lay claim to, they understand a strong economy is vital to any successful Government. The Merchant Caste take the lead, of ensuring the Protectorate’s economy sustains its people and mission.
Much of the economic strength of the Clans comes form their control of ExtraGlagatic trade routes, and providing safe harborages and a stable environment for many dissimilar races and people to conduct business.
The Merchant Caste operates on all Protectorate worlds, operating a trade and commodities market and guild. Due to regular communication between Guilds throughout the protectorate, the Merchant Caste is able to capitalize on moving items from sectors of excess, to sectors of need, utilizing both the slipstream, and Stargate networks to quickly match buyers with sellers. This massive business intelligence operation is a great boon to the Protectorates economy.
The Merchant Caste also operates a Merchant Review and Bonding Commission. The MRCB vets merchants and traders, and bonds transactions between member merchants. This extra layer of insurance can be an important factor for those trading in expensive, complex goods with others who may be three galaxies away before they find a material defect for fraudulent delivery. Merchants register with the MRBC for a reasonable fee and the MRBC charges a small reasonable percentage for transactions which it bonds and oversees.
Working in hand with the Trading Guilds, the Merchant Caste also operates a Banking Consortium to set the exchange rates, and arrange monetary transfers between parties from different sectors and galaxies. Setting exchange rates between thousands of currencies from ISKs to Republic Credits, the Banking Consortium’s work allows for the many dissimilar currencies to be traded at a fair and equitable value, greatly enhancing dissimilar peoples to trade with each other. The Banking Consortium’s fincial interests are another stable source of revenue for the Protectorate.
While not a manufacturing powerhouse, the Protectorate does export limited items, making up in quality what it lacks in quantity, Clan goods are often sought out by slip-travelers. Most exports are modifications of goods imported from elsewhere, being retrofitted with more advanced upgrades. Clan engineers also produce slipdrives, that can be easily retrofitted into existing vessels with FTL capabilities. The Clans trade in a very limited number of stargates each year.
The Clans do a brisk trade in biomedical devices and medical services. GaiaGen is well known company tough out the ‘verse and its products are superior to many competitors. The Clans also trade in a limited volume of high quality fresh foods, an unfortunately rare commodity in many reaches of the ‘verse.
Providing services to spacers who ply the back between galaxies is also a lucrative source of revenue. Docking and landing fees, repair, refueling and rearming vessels from thousands of systems keeps the Protectorates Engineers, Technicians and Port Authority personnel busy and profitable. The Protectorates safe harbors for privateers and other armed raiders is a boon to some and a curse to others.
During times of conflict Clan Raiding parties can contribute greatly to the economy. Organized by both the Warrior Caste and though Letters of Marque and Reprisal, the Clans military prowess can be turned into a profitable enterprise which both enriches the Protectorate while harming its adversaries.