Tarkasian Empire

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Tarkasian Empire

The Tarkasian Empire is a playable Faction dominated by the culture and technology of the Tarka race. Although citizens of the Empire do not have to be Tarkas, only Tarkas are permitted to hold political office and only Tarkas may become members of the military clans.

The leader of the Tarkasian Empire is a benign dictator known as the Supreme Commander. The Supreme is the leader of the military clans and receives fealty and obedience from the ancient ruling caste of the Tarka race, the Kona, also known as the Nine Emperors.

When you play Sword of the Stars 2 as the Tarkas, you will assume the role of the Supreme Commander. Your Admirals, Ministers and advisers will address you by your titles: "Supreme", "Supreme Commander", or Var Kona, "Father of Emperors". In battle, your commanders will also be addressed as superiors. The men and women under your command will call you kaan dai, "master of the field", or more informally daiko, "boss".

The Supreme Commander is the leader of the Tarka military clans. He rules by superior intellect, strategic and tactical acumen, leadership ability, charisma, and sheer dumb luck. To understand how such a person rises to the top in each generation, a Human might well ask how a Julius Caesar, an Alexander, or a Napoleon comes to exist among Humans: then imagine that the position those men occupied was traditional rather than self-created.

The Supreme Commander has been the absolute ruler of the Tarka race for many centuries. The military clans in Tarka society are typically the most powerful and influential branch of the Urdu caste, the middle class of the Tarka people. After the Industrial Revolution, the numbers, financial wherewithal and political power of the Urdu caste had grown to far outstrip that of the Nine Emperors, the traditional Tarka elite. It was only at the dawn of the First Tarkasian Space Age, however, that the Kona clans finally bowed and pledged fealty to the first Supreme.

Like any leader of a great Empire, the Supreme relies upon Ministers to handle many affairs of the state. He employs a Dai Taru, a Master of Admirals, who serves as his proxy in the design and building of ships and Naval Stations. The Master of Scientists, the Dai Nuruku, is responsible for imperial Research and Development, and takes responsibility for the science stations built by the Supreme. The Dai Kegenu, or Master of Listeners, is the empire's leading spy. Colonial administration and Civilian stations are managed by the Dai Na'an, the Master of Sustenance. Diplomatic affairs are in the hands of the Dai Radu, the Master of Aliens. [1]

Sara Ja'Dur and the Silver Imperium

The woman later known as "the Silver Queen" was born in the Year 21 to the Pon Kona clan, a child of the Pon Emperor Ka'am. At the age of 20 she had renounced her royal heritage to become Sara Ja'Dur (Jar Doka), "the Sword Without a Sheathe". As such she was permitted to become a member of the Council of Nine, the inner circle of advisors to the Throne of Steel.

By the Year 43 she had become the first female Supreme Commander in history. In the course of her sixty-year reign she would oversee an unprecedented flowering of Tarkasian civilization, an outpouring of innovation, experimentation and progress in technology and the arts which the Tarka people had never witnessed before and have not seen since.

In her lifetime, the Tarka people entered the Space Age and developed the earliest Warp technology. By her death in the Year 104 the fledgling Tarkasian Empire consisted of multiple colonies and had already begun to experience border skirmishes with the neighboring Hiver Imperium.

According to the ancient texts, the Silver Queen was buried at the top of a White Mountain on the legendary jewel world of Ko'Para. Chroniclers report that she was laid to rest in a palatial tomb of great opulence, a shimmering confection of silver domes and white columns, the floor of its innermost chamber inlaid with a map of the ancient Tarkasian Empire made of black marble and sparkling gems.

Her tomb, like the planet itself, has never been found by modern explorers; many scientists believe that Ko'Para and its star system no longer exist in our universe.

All that Silver Queen left behind was a slim volume of poetry, and the many generations of Tarka who have named their daughters "Sara" in her honor.

The Var Kona

Attributed to the Silver Queen herself, the Var Kona is a collection of 23 meditations in Urdu Kai. The poetic form is known as thaa'du-kao, "fortress verses".

In general thaa'du-kao poetry is written to be recited by men and women walking a patrol beat or stationed to a wall. The rhythm is martial and steady, the metrical beat of the strolling march. The subject matter tends to be the things that are of interest or concern to common soldiers. Many lines have an ironic twist or a contradiction at the end, symbolic of the moment when a soldier turns the corner or makes an about-face to retrace his route along the wall.

Such poems are typically written about military history and tactics, strategic principles, family and clan life, proper conduct, honor, humor, and how to get ahead. On the last topic, the Var Kona is considered the peerless example in all Tarkasian literature. The 23 cantos of the book are all concerned, one way or another, with how to advance and achieve victory in various pursuits and in various situations.

The major philosophical statement of the book is found in the opening canto, "Hatching", in which Ja'Dur discusses the nature of power and the circumstances of one's birth.

"Power has no clan name. Power has no ko. Power has no sex, no nation, no temple, no treasury, no fane.

Power belongs to those who dare to wield it, even as it seduces and comforts those who surrender to it.

From the lowest to the most high, there is none without it.

None of us chose the place of our hatching; we choose instead the place where we will end, whether it be in the gutters or upon the tallest mountain.

Listen well, my sibling and I will make you the Most High."

--Sara Jardok, "Var Kona, Canto One: Hatching"


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