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The Archeaons are a xeno race that was almost destroyed during the 31st Millenium but managed to survive by using primitive near-light speed ionic engines to cross the galaxy. Once they completed their journey in the early 41st Millenium, they found the galaxy to be a very different place.
The Archeaons used to be the dominant species in their part of the galaxy, and at the peak of their power they had colonies on each of the 27 planets that were part of their solar system. However their empire was attacked by a species that had discovered warp travel technology. The Archeaons did not have any need to develop effective interstellar travel as their system was very large, and 24 of the 27 planets had sentient species living on them. The Archeaons, despite possessing advanced weapons and powerful psykers, were slowly being pushed back to their home world of Nasan. The Veran'shi at that time ordered that the moon of Jaran be converted into a massive spaceship. Progress progressed quickly, as the moon had already been hollowed out in a previous mining operation and a massive reactor was already installed in it to produce power for the home world. Ships were scuttled for parts and 5 enormous ionic drives were fitted to the moon, and the interior of the moon was remodeled to accommodate self sufficient life support systems on a titanic scale. Finally, 2 orbital defense lasers were fitted on the north and south poles of the moon, and a large research and developement complex was installed inside the moon. Once the evacuation of Nasan was complete, Jaran powered up its engines, and left the Archonate home world to the coming invasion.
As warp technology was not yet developed by the Archeaons, relativity came into play on their journey. What took 10,000 years to everyone else only seemed like 500 years to the Archeaons. During all of that time researchers were tirelessly working. Unfortunantly, most technologies require much resources and access to exotic materials, almost none of which were aboard the moon. However, laser technology was already well understood by the Archeaons, and they had aboard many tools and weapons that made use of lasers. In time, the scientists were able to modify the lasers to not only be able to fire continuously, but also to emit radiation similar to that of a star. The 2 lasers on the poles of Jaran were modified to harness the power of this technology, and time and time again, these powerful weapons have proven to be the savior of the Archeaon race.
Near the end of The Journey, the 4th caste of the Archeaons, who were both the mechanics and the intelligence operatives, found themselves at odds with the Veran'shi. Increasingly they had been becoming detached from the other Archeaons, even to the point of being isolated from the other castes. This was due to the fact that not all of them practiced the same form of religion as the others. The 4th caste, or fallen caste, as it is called today, had a much different inturpretation of the teachings of Qara, and they did not follow the traditional code of ethics that defined much of the mainstream Qaran Religion. Eventually the tensions broke into a full fledged revolt by the fallen caste, who were determined to have the freedom that they so desperately sought. The revolt was put down quickly, and the fallen caste was collectively sentenced to be exiled. They were all put aboard a fleet of 2 carriers, 3 drop cruisers, and a collection of transport craft and set adrift in the midst of a system not far from where the archeaons eventually settled. The fallen caste established their own government in that system and to this day are a functioning political unit, calling themselves the Conventius Qaranus, or the Sisterhood of Qara, which most Archeaons see as an insult to the Archonate Religion. However, exiling the fallen caste might have been one of the biggest mistakes the Archeaons have made. The Conventians had a large head start in establishing their colony. Indeed, they had already been building up their infrastructure for a century before the Archeaons set up their base.
Upon reaching thier destination, Jaran launched a huge swarm of observer probes to scout the immediate area. The Archeaons soon discovered that almost every world their observers came across was inhabited by the same creatures that attacked them 10 Millenium earlier. Seeing that the so called "Imperium of Man" was a force to be reckoned with, the Archeaons decided to find a sector of space that was more isolated. However they decided to first capture a ship and study its warp drive in addition to any weapons or technology it might have. Soon they seized a civilian vessel and managed to jury rig it's warp drive to a light cruiser, which was loaded up with civilians and taken to the nearest uninhabited world. After much time, Jaran arrived at the planet to find a prospering colony, and it promptly set into orbit around the planet.
Soon they took revenge upon the Imperium, attacking the border outpost of Karjak. While raiding the colony they saw a flash of light and 5 terminators of the Revenant Tigers chapter teleported into their midst, tearing a bloody swath through the lines the Archonate Forces. Drop pods filled the sky, and soon the battle lines of the Archeaons disentigrated. One marine in particular seemed to possess a devastating weapon that converted the targets mass into energy. The Platoon Commander, not wanting to be punished for such a failure, seized the opportunity and ordered his troops to recover the weapon. Several Qasar charged the marine, and after slaying him they attached a teleport beacon to the corpse and teleported to the drop cruiser Nasan's Revenge, which fled back to Jaran. Unfortunately the Archeaons have not been able to reverse engineer the weapon, much to the disappointment of the ruling class.
In the century the Conventius Qaranus had before the civil war restarted, they prepared to launch a massive attack on the moon of Jaran. Every aspect of their society was centered on this goal. Agricultural production was sacrificed in favor of establishing factories and science facilities. The planet where they settled had a sentient society already living there. These poor beings were enslaved to help support the Conventian war machine. They established their main base on the dark side of a small moon, but still maintained outposts on the surface to control the indigenous population and transport raw materials and food to the moon.
Fending off Destruction
The Archeaons realized that with thier small numbers and now average technology, they could not afford to go on a campaign of conquest. Instead they decided to ally themselves with whomever they could, excepting, of course, the Imperium. They formed alliances with several xeno species, and currently lead an alliance of 6 races called the Archonate Coalition. This alliance is temporary in the minds of the Archeaons, once their strength has been bolstered, their allies will be the first to fall.
Due to inbreeding amongst the castes, and due to the fact that male and female Archeaons are so different, it is common to mistake the Archeaons for a collection of different species. This in turn means there is no "average" or "typical" Archeaon, but I will do my best to describe them.
All Archeaons have skin that ranges in color from blue-purple, and all Archeaons have black pigment in their corneas, except for a few rare cases in which the eyes are bright gold (this is seen as an omen of greatness). They are humanoid, with 2 arms and 2 legs, 5 slender, long fingers on each hand (3 fingers and 2 thumbs on the same side), and elongated heads. They also bear a feline countenance, but have little hair.
Ruling Caste: the ruling class of the Archeaons stand 5-6 feet high, and have almost no muscle mass, relying on telekinesis to levitate and move. Most are powerful psykers, and each new generation seems more powerful than the last.
Warrior Caste: the warrior class of the Archeaons stand 3-4 feet high, which gives them an advantage piloting the dreadnought-like walkers the Archonate Forces use as the mainstay of their army. They are muscular, but not to much so, and only a few that have been descended from royal families possess weak psychic power. The ones descended from royal as well as military families stand 4-4.5 feet tall and they pilot the 1 man walker suits reserved for commanders.
Worker Caste: the worker class of the Archeaons stands 7-8 feet high, with huge muscle mass and tougher skin that rivals leather. None are psykers, but the worker class possesses a strange affinity for technology, a trait which has elevated them from their historic place of abject slavery.
Fallen Caste: members of the so called "Fallen Caste" stand about 5.5-6 feet in height and have muscle mass comparable to the warrior caste. Most have some minor psychic talent, but few are powerful psykers. They have a sleek profile and are genetically disposed towards spying and developing new technology, particularly in the development of body armor and stealth technology.
Female Archeaons: female Archeaons generally stand a little bit shorter than their male counterparts. They also have a short tail. Female Archeaons tend to have much more psychic affinity than males do, and this is the predominant reason the Archeaons are a matriarchal society.
Male Archeaons: male Archeaons tend to be slightly taller than females. They do not have any tail, and most are null to the warp.
The Archonate military is a well ordered unit divided into Kassars of 250 soldiers. These Kassars are assigned to a drop cruiser, and are broken up into platoons of 50 each. Each unit is issued 100 2-man walkers called Qasar, 9 5-crew tanks, and 5 1-man Qasar for platoon commanders. To supplement the low volume of soldiers, robotic infantry squads were created off of the observer chassis. These are composed of 20 robots, and in total a unit carries 500 robotic warriors into battle. Due to the low number of pilots, several units have been experimenting with remotely controlled dreadnought suits. Though these are often unreliable, units that have started using them have drastically improved their mortality rate.
The Archonate forces believes in using heavy weapons platforms supported by drones that are essentially cannon fodder, but do provide some disruption capabilities. They also make heavy use of teleporters to make surgical strikes. Due to the small number of the Archonate Forces, the military tries to make the most of all their troops.
The Archonate Forces teaches that versatility and persistence are the 2 keys to victory. This is largely why most all soldiers are equipped with solcannons, and also why the Archonate Forces avoid weapons that require ammunition as primary armaments. For the large part, this doctrine has been successful, especially since the Archonate forces have started using mass drones as a screening force.
The Archeaons use Qasar suits as the mainstay of thier army. These walkers are equipped with 4 solcannons and 2 small lasers not unlike the lasguns of the imperial guard. The solcannons are mounted on 2 arms, 2 to an arm. The arms can pitch up and down, and can also turn slightly side to side. The lasers are mounted case-mate style just below the cockpit, and can pitch up and down in a limited fashion. There is one gunner that controls the turret rotation, the pitch, and also the 4 solcannons. The other crew member is the pilot, who controls the speed, turn rate, and the 2 lasers.
There is only 1 type of tank in use by the Archonate Forces. It is about 9 feet tall, and has 2 decks. It is 15 feet long, and has sloping armor. It only has one turret, but there is a separately rotating turret on top of it. The main turret is equipped with 2 heavy solcannons, and the top turret has a multiple missile launcher mounted to it.
The robotic drones in use by the Archonate forces are equipped with 2 small lasers and small blades on either side for use when the ammunition of the lasers has been exhausted. They are about the size of Tau drones, and have a small frontal shield that is tilted upward. The drones hover, and are shaped like a teardrop, with the large end in front.
The Archeaons use captured civilian grade Imperium warp drives. They are trying to find better technology, but most Imperium forces are to powerful for them to raid.
Ionic engines that have been developed by the Archeaons are in use within the Archonate Forces. These give increased speed over Imperium ships while in real space and are thus useful for the hit and run attacks the Archonate Forces has been reduced to performing.
The majority of the Archonate forces are equipped with solcannons, incredibly versatile weapons that are similar to lascannons but project radiation in addition to light and heat, similar to the emissions of a star. They can be set to fire continuously, or, if being used against armored targets, set to release all of the built up energy in a single instant.
Jaran: A moon that has been converted into a massive spaceship. It has fully self sufficient life support systems and can travel at near-light speed using its ionic engines. It has a large research and development complex as well as a huge hanger bay where it can store the entire Archonate Fleet. It is equipped with countless point defense arrays and torpedo launchers, but it's main armament are 2 massive solcannons mounted on the poles of the moon.
Carrier Qara's Light: the flagship of the Archonate Fleet, significantly larger than most carriers, it also has docking space for 4 drop cruisers or 2 battle cruisers.
Carrier: large vessels used to spearhead attacks and act as mobile fortresses. Equipped with torpedo bays, solcannon batteries, and numerous strike craft. Has docking space for 2 drop cruisers.
Battle Cruiser: medium sized vessels used as mobile fire bases and long range fire support. Armed with massive solcannons and point defense systems, but lacks torpedo bays.
Heavy Cruiser: medium sized vessels used as capital ship killers and escort craft. Equipped with many large torpedo bays and solcannon batteries.
Drop Cruiser: small vessels used to deploy ground troops and provide orbital bombardments. Equipped with large teleporters and grappling cables.
The Conventuis Qaranus has its own military that operates under a significantly different doctrine than the Archonate Forces. The Conventians have developed stealth technology that allows them to become virtually invisible for short periods of time. This works by using a chemical coated suit that when electrified bends all colors of light around the wearer so that a short distance away the observer will see the image on the other side, similar to a rock in a stream, which leaves a small imprint but further on has no noticable trace. This makes it ineffective at extremely short distances, however at ranges down to 30 feet there are no traces of the wearer and beyond that it takes a keen eye to spot a person "cloaked" in this manner. The Conventian Military has also developed advanced jetpacks that leave little to no visible signs when set off, through the use of alternate chemicals and placement in the suits.
All this stealth technology enables them to preform hit and run attacks at lightning speed, and also enables them to sow confusion and discord in enemy ranks. The Conventian Military thus makes heavy use of snipers and sabatours, as well as advanced melee infantry. They do not use very many tanks or walkers, most of their vehicles being strike aircraft and larger walkers with much more armor and weaponry than would normally be seen on such a chassie.
Archeaon society is based on different classes and superiority. The Veran'shi is at the top, as she is the living embodiment of the great goddess Qara, and as such is a powerful psyker. The position is passed down through the female line of the royal family.
Next below the Veran'shi is the ruling caste, which sees themselves as superior to the other classes. The ruling class carries out the orders of the Veran'shi, and passes them along to the other classes. The other classes see them as glorified middle-men, but respects their psychic prowess. Only time will tell if the Archeaons adapt to be a more equal society.
The warrior caste is almost as powerful as the ruling caste, and in case it wasn't obvious they fight the battles, win the wars, and command the spacecraft. Warrior caste members that also have relation to royal families are the commanders, and those that display great tactical skill are put in charge of the units; if one is found to be a genius of the battlefield, the current High Commander and the challenger will fight a simulated battle between the 2 units they first commanded.
Worker caste members historically have been looked down on as slaves meant for menial labor. However during the Great Journey their status has been elevated considerably as in the absence of manual labor they proved to have a strange affinity for technology, and they were the caste that was mostly responsible for the breakthrough of solcannon technology.
Religion and Beliefs
The Archeaons see the Veran'shi as the living embodiment of the great goddess Qara. Qara is the protector of the Archeaons, but she in truth is using them to gain power over the other gods, by depriving them of worshipers. Nevertheless Qara has guided the Archeaons to a better future time and time again. Qara is the goddess of advancement and progress, and as such her most blessed followers, such as the Veran'shi, are gifted with sight into the future.
The Archeaons see themselves as the true rulers of the galaxy, and they see other races as inferior. This notion of manifest destiny has stretched back to before recorded history, and will not be going away any time soon.
Legend says that Qara first came to Nassan when the Archeaons were in a state of civil war. The goddess came to them and told them of their great future, and how they were the chosen of her. They ceased their fighting and began the conquest of their solar system. After they had united, Qara ascended back to the paradise of her realm, but when the Archeaons are in their darkest hour she will return to them. This had made them sort of downers because they know the worst has yet to come for the Archeaon race.
Imperium of Man
The Archeaons bear a deep hatred of all humans, as they were the ones that almost wiped them out in M.31. Still they do bear a respect for the military might of the Imperium, and are cautious when attacking worlds in Imperium Space. They also have gained an enemy in the Revenant Tigers, as they were responsible for both the death of their Master of the Forge and the stealing of an ancient weapon that the Master possessed.
The Archeaons are in a lose confederation with 5 other races that inhabit the southern part of the galaxy. These races cooperate in military endeavors and engage in trade.
The Archeaons have been constantly at war with the Zynith since 463.M.41 when the Zynith attacked an Archonate world. The Archeaons found them to be formidable opponents and have been in a stalemate with them for the better part of a millennia.