Hiver Imperium

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Hiver Imperium

The Hiver Imperium is the extended domain occupied by the Hiver species and ruled by its absolute monarch, the Hiver Queen. The Queen commands the loyalty and directs the resources and military assets of a large empire of Hiver-dominated systems, planets and stations. Her Ministers of state, Admirals and Governors may come from many clans, but all of them ultimately bow to Her authority.

Like any empire, the Queen is served by a large bureaucracy which attends to civilian, diplomatic, scientific, and military affairs. There is some overlap between science and religion within the Hiver Imperium, however, especially at the highest levels of Gate research.

Citizens of the Hiver Imperium do not have to be Hivers, and the Queen may allow civilians of other races to live alongside Her people if they are able to endure the preferred climate and atmosphere of the Hiver species. Non-Hivers are not permitted to serve in any post of real political or military importance, however, and do not have equal rights to Hivers in any social context.

When you play Sword of the Stars 2 as "Hivers", you will assume the responsibilities of the Queen. Your Ministers and Admirals will address you properly by one of your titles: "Greatmother", "Majesty", or "my Queen".

In battle, you will be addressed as a Hiver admiral or the captain of a vessel. "Brother" or "My Prince" are common forms of address. [1]

Early History Of The Hiver Imperium

The current date on the Hiver calendar is 4114. Year One for the Hiver species, and the beginning of their Common Era (HCE), corresponds to a Human date of roughly 1606 BCE. This was the year that Queen Drifting Snow became Greatmother of the Hiver species.

The story of Drifting Snow's coronation is told in a Hiver legend called "The Motherless Sons". A brief recap of the story follows:

The aging Queen Fire of Heaven felt that she had entered her last season, and called her daughters to her side to announce her successor. The Princess she had chosen was strong, wise and relatively well-liked by other clans . Her name was Crystal Shimmering, and she had maintained a long love/breeding relationship with an equally well-respected Prince, August Moon.

The Queen proposed to perform a death ceremony and succession feast right away, hoping to spare her people the bloodshed and chaos of civil war. The Warring Queens period had only recently ended, and She knew that at least one of her daughters was dangerous and likely to cause trouble. She had simply underestimated how dangerous, and how much trouble.

The Princess Fire Lotus made her move at the death ceremony. She sealed the temple with many of her sisters and their consorts within. Her plan was to kill the Queen and take the Crown Jewels herself, and thus ascend to power at swordpoint.

She had not counted on the courage and creativity of Crystal Shimmering and August Moon. As Fire Lotus gloated over the dying queen, ready to tear the gems from her body, Crystal Shimmering attacked — an action never before seen in the recorded history of the Hiver race, and completely unexpected. Even the children of Fire Lotus were aghast at the sight of two princesses in battle, clawing, tearing, snapping crown and wings in their fury.

The crowd erupted into chaos. Many Princes fought for their lives. The personal guards of many Princesses were cut down like wheat by the massive soldiers of Fire Lotus.

August Moon moved quickly. He tore the gems from the Queen's body, and gave his mate's personal guard an order to commit the unthinkable act. They were to abandon their mother and father and flee, fight their way out of the temple and the city, and escape — taking the royal gems with them.

A hundred knights of Crystal Shimmering's guard had come with her to witness their mother's ascension that day: only one of them survived the battle and won freedom, still holding the precious gems. This brave and resourceful warrior managed to make his way, badly injured, back to his brothers on the far side of the city. He was only a half-step ahead of the children of Fire Lotus, who had come to wipe them out as they had slaughtered all occupants of the temple.

Most of Crystal Shimmering's children gave their lives in a holding action, for no other reason than to allow a small coterie of their brothers to escape. These survivors, the Motherless Sons, carried the Crown Jewels with them. Their leader was the one surviving member of Crystal Shimmering's personal guard. Due to the injuries he received that day and the pain and grief he carried, he was known as Broken Breast.

Broken Breast and his brothers carried the gems around the world, fleeing the wrath of Fire Lotus and seeking a worthy successor to the throne. In the meantime, Fire Lotus operated as a de facto Mad Queen, tyrannizing the entire Hiver race. One of her most despicable acts was a mass murder of Princes, an action undertaken to weaken the clans of her sisters and make them incapable of producing children strong, intelligent and brave enough to oppose her. Only those Princes who would agree to become her consorts were permitted to live. All others went into hiding or fled, often sheltered by their own children in humiliating circumstances, or were killed outright.

In the end, Broken Breast found sanctuary with a tiny alpine Princess living in the peaks of the highest mountains of the world. She and her clan were adapted to low temperatures and high altitudes: her name was Drifting Snow. Although small, modest and almost entirely ignorant of political matters, Broken Breast and his brothers found her to be wise, brave and kind. When she heard their sad story, she agreed to become Queen, on the condition that he and his brothers would help and advise her in the days to come. Broken Breast in particular would be required to make a great sacrifice.

The Motherless Sons agreed to her terms. Broken Breast gave his life and was devoured by Drifting Snow, to be reborn as a red Prince called Sword of Blood. His brothers were adopted into her clan. Drifting Snow then swallowed the gems and became Queen.

Over the ensuing two decades, Drifting Snow and Sword of Blood bred a massive army and fought a brutal war to redeem the Hiver race. They won back the world from Fire Lotus and her consorts kingdom by kingdom, and placed their own daughters and friends in power behind them as they came.

In the end, cornered and desperate, Fire Lotus and her consorts took their own lives, burning most of the ancient capital to the ground in the process. The new Queen and her favored consort ruled wisely and well for many years afterward, and the Hiver have never again been ruled by a mad Queen, although at times it has seemed likely.

Even now, hundreds of years later, the strong blood of Drifting Snow and Sword of Blood can still be seen in a few Hiver royals. The current Hiver Queen, Radiant Frost, is a direct descendent. White is a rare pigment in a Hiver.

Immaculate Pearl

Born the year 3096, Immaculate Pearl was a daughter of the Storm Queen, Iron Tempest. She served many years as Princess-Mother to the Cresting Wave Clan and had become a powerful and popular figure in Hiver politics before becoming Greatmother upon her own mother's death in 3340.

Sadly, Immaculate Pearl was not to rule long. She and Her escorting fleet vanished during a diplomatic visit to Tarka space in 3392. In the panic and uproar that followed, supporters of the Queen put forward Her own Aunt, Autumn Twilight, to serve as Princess Regent until Her return.

It was at first assumed that the Tarka were holding the Queen hostage, or perhaps had murdered the Queen and Her fleet. Hiver scientists quickly announced, however, that the matter might be much more serious: radical changes had taken place in the space-time continuum surrounding the Tarka home world. Several systems colonized by the Tarka seemed to have disappeared entirely.

A war fleet was dispatched nonetheless to demand the return of the Queen and Her children unharmed. It met with no success. Communication with the Tarka broke down almost instantly upon arrival, and battle was joined. All ships of the Hiver fleet were lost, but not before they had inflicted enormous damage on the Tarka home world.

Strangely, over 600 years later, a portion of the Crown Jewels of Immaculate Pearl were returned to Her younger sister, Radiant Frost in 4040. They were delivered by an unnamed, apparently clanless Hiver worker.

The true fate of the former Queen and Her place of burial is still unknown.

Autumn Twilight

Autumn Twilight was the sister of Iron Tempest, and Princess Mother of the Red Leaf Forest clan. Born in 2990, she was an aunt to Queen Immaculate Pearl and well loved by many families for her gentle spirit and unshakable sense of justice.

When the Queen disappeared, Autumn Twilight was named Princess Regent by popular vote. Despite her best efforts, she was never able to locate her niece or the Crown Jewels that might have secured her rule as Greatmother, or given legitimacy to a stronger candidate. Instead she struggled for centuries to keep the peace and to protect the Hiver people from the bloody chaos of a true Interregnum.

In the end, the strongest candidates for the throne were polar opposites, and despised one another at a nearly biological level. Radiant Frost, the White Queen, was a sister to Immaculate Pearl, a daughter of Iron Tempest and Princess-Mother of the Spring Frost clan. She was favored by many for her ancestral relationship to the royal line of Drifting Snow. Obsidian Crown, the Black Queen, was the daughter of Immaculate Pearl and the infamous Black Prince Iron Razor. She was Princess-mother of the Burning Mountain clan, and although many called her an upstart, she garnered significant support as the strongest surviving daughter of the true Queen.

Eventually Autumn Twilight was unable to keep the two rivals from acts of open war. She was assassinated by Princess Obsidian Crown and the Burning Mountain clan in 3768.

Obsidian Crown

Born in 3356 to the Queen and the Prince Consort Iron Razor, Obsidian Crown took after her father in many respects. Her jet-black chitin and ruby red eyes were considered very rare and beautiful markings in a Hiver. She also inherited her father's love of power and his ruthlessness. The victor of over 100 royal duels, Iron Razor never spared a rival when he had the advantage. His daughter was much the same.

As Mother of the Burning Mountain clan, Obsidian Crown pressed her claim to the throne in 3750-3790 with a series of political assassinations, up to and including the Princess Regent Autumn Twilight in 3768. This last killing was apparently the straw which broke the camel's back: her rival Radiant Frost was able to garner enough allies to drive Obsidian Crown, her father and her sons into exile.

Bitter, angry and fleeing as far from possible from the settled core of Hiver space, Obsidian Crown led her people into exile with a significant military force. She and her clan attempted to settle Terra, the Human home world, by force in 4014. Although they did great damage and cost many Human lives, Obsidian Crown and her fleet were repelled by a barrage of ancient Human planetary missiles. She was forced to limp away from the battle with her surviving dreadnaught, seeking some place to settle and birth new warriors.

The Black Princess did not count on the resourcefulness, determination and technological aptitude of the rising Human race, however. She and her remaining sons were killed by Humans in 4018, at the Battle of Mjolnir.

Radiant Frost

Born in 3305, Radiant Frost ruled as Princess-Mother of the Spring Frost clan during the reign of Her older sister, Queen Immaculate Pearl. A brilliant politician and strategist, She successfully navigated the stormy waters of the Interregnum until 4025, when She was finally able to reunify the divided Hiver clans to face a mounting Human threat. In 4040 She became Greatmother, when the Crown Jewels were finally returned, and in 4042 signed the Hiver Armistice with the current rulers of the Human, Tarka and Liir empires to secure peace for Her people.

Her reign has continued to the present day, and She sustains peaceful relations with Her non-Hiver neighbors for the most part. She is not without challengers to Her rule, however. Anti-Human and anti-Tarka sentiment is still very strong in some clans, and these sentiments find their voice in Golden Moon, the last known daughter of Immaculate Pearl and Princess-Mother of the Moonlit Pool Clan.

Although she was once a staunch supporter of Radiant Frost, the two parted ways politically with the signing of the Armistice. Golden Moon is a violent xenophobe, and does not condone peaceful relations with any non-Hiver species.

References

  1. Erinys in Forum Post