Preamble IV: Axe-tails Picture

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From the EVN:UGF homepage [link] :

At first glance, Axe-tails look like humans, until you notice their tails. They are long and sinuous, and end in bony blades which they keep wickedly sharp. The Axe-tails, though they have a deeply ingrained warrior culture and an entrenched noble class, are surprisingly egalitarian, politically speaking. An Axe-tail warrior earns merit by deed, not by birth; even the Emperor's whelps (as the Axe-tails call their children), must spend time at the bottom of the heap. Located on the northeast corner of the Andromeda Galaxy, they battle both the UGF and the Klavarese.

About three thousand years ago, the Axe-tails fought a war with the now-defunct Holy Sathu Commonwealth and lost badly. In the aftermath the Axe-tails fell into a backward state of tribal warfare which lasted two millennia. Then twin priest-queens, Ra'kor and Ravirr, used both diplomacy and military might to unify their people. Ra'kor's descendants lead the Empire now, as Ravirr, though the elder, bore no heirs. First contact with the UGF occurred only seven years before the start of the game, and sadly ended in bloodshed. Nowadays the border with the UGF is heavily fortified and a constant war zone. The Axe-tails also fight the Klavar Republic to their southeast, and the renegade Axe-tail warriors inhabiting the wastes to the east.

The player becomes a catspaw for the creative, liberal-thinking High Admiral Lord Valdor Kurrukh. The player takes part in three military campaigns: one against the Klavar Republic, one against a renegade Axe-tail warlord, and then the player must help Kurrukh foil a coup by the Ministry of Intelligence.

This preamble, in the style of the faction preambles for the original EV Nova, has two parts. The first is a retelling of the Axe-tail legend of the twin queens Ra'kor and Ravirr, adapted by Dr. Allison Lear, a linguist and anthropologist for the Galactic State Department. Though the mythological aspects of the tale are obviously unprovable, the rest is established fact.

The second is a declassified after-action report by a Galactic destroyer captain who helped fight off an Axe-tail incursion into the Braz Andul System on March 13 Earth Date, 998 GSD. More than anything else, it stresses that the Galactics and Axe-tails are evenly matched: though the total forces of the UGF are far greater in number -- over 500 million active-duty servicemembers and nearly 8 billion reservists, which is still a miniscule fraction of the UGF's total population -- by necessity the UGF's military is spread over a far larger area since it controls such an enormous territory. By contrast, the Axe-tails control a much smaller territory and can focus their 35 million troops more tightly (though not as well as the Ministry of Defense would like, since they also have to stop incursions by the Klavarese and renegades).
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