by Max Barry

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The Armada of
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The Chief and the Councils

The Chief and the Council of Ten
They are the leaders of the Armada and the ones charged with making sure it survives. Membership is based on individual fighting prowess. The Chief is the strongest warrior in the Armada and the Council of Ten are the ten next strongest. The Chief wields almost unlimited power allowing the Armada to take decisive action at a moment's notice and is the one that most often decides the Armada's course through the galaxy. The Council of Ten on the other hand have the power to reverse any of the chief's decisions, can declare the chief unfit, and makes up the highest court with the chief breaking ties.

There are two ways of joining the Council.

    -When a Council member dies, a tournament will be held to determine who will replace them.
    -At anytime a member of the Armada that is eligible to be a member of the Council of Ten thinks they can do a better job, they can challenge a member of the Council to a duel for the position. Eligibility is limited to chieftains or equivalent rank of fleets and captains of independent ships.

The rules for becoming chief are the same but is restricted to only councilpersons.

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Credit: Artist unknown.

He has been chief of the Armada for the past five galactic years.

Born the younger half-brother of Ridley Dragua, he grew up in his infamous brother's shadow. While Ridley was one of the most promising zravvisk, Valstrath had less expected of him. While his brother grew arrogant from the attention, he seeked solitude form his brother's reputation. He found it in meetings with sages and visiting the auxiliary members of the Armada. He joined the sages in mediation and enjoyed the thanks he got form the auxiliary members when he helped them with their work.

The Dragon Scholar

After it was reviled much of a monster Ridley was, Valstrath further withdrew from general zrvvaisk society. He found solace with the sages, the auxiliary members of the Armada, and the old stories from the archives. He began to slack off on his physical training, partially because he was tired of the constant comparisons to Ridley, and partially to spend more time on his love of history and philosophy. While he was noted for his leadership in his coming of age trial, he was decidedly average to below average in all other respects.

Seeing as he had no desire to become a great warrior nor seemed to have the ability. He doubled down on his studies and eventually petitioned the Council of Sages for an apprenticeship to the shrine keepers of the ruins of Dragua. His request was granted and left the Armada for the zravvisk's dead home world for the next several years. While he missed the wondrous sights the Armada had seen in each new system, he loved keeping the ancient shrines maintained, learning more about the zravvisk's early history, and searching the planet ruins for more clues about the zravvisk's origins. That all changed when Ridley returned.

Ridley, in his banishment had become the leader of a dreaded group of pirates and decided to strike back at his species for trying to curve his sadism. Knowing the Armada hard to track and well defended, he decided to strike at the spiritual heart of the zravvisk, the ruins of their homeworld. He and his pirates attacked suddenly, killing most of the shrine keepers and gravely wounding the rest. They then plundered and destroyed what shrines they could before the Armada return. Valstrath was one of the shrine keepers his brother left for dead and was only a few hours from death when the Armada saved him.

The Rise of a Warrior

When he came to, he swore vengeance on Ridley. He rejoined the armada and threw himself into his training fueled by his rage at his brother's actions. In between training sessions, he studied the fighting styles of every famous zravvisk to refine his own further. In the end he settled on a style not that different from his brother's, highly aggressive to throw the enemy off balance. Valstrath has tempered his style with patience through, using the moments the enemy is off balance to analyze the situation and plan his next moves. With his new style and drive, his skills started to improve quite rapidly, and he climbed the ranks of the warriors until he earned himself a seat on the Council of Ten, and finally the chiefdom of the Armada.

Rule as Chief

Having close ties to the sage and the auxiliary members of the Armada, he has made several unofficial powers of the Council of Sages official and established the Auxiliary Council. He has also gotten the Armada more involved in galactic affairs, working with galactic powers to help end piracy and hunt down Ridley. He is also interested in donating spare Armada technology to less advanced species, "So that when we have explored the galaxy so much that we become accustomed to its wonders, we can look in their eyes and remember how we felt when we discovered them." His greatest wish is to get a copy of every work of art and story saved into the archives so that all may be able to enjoy them forevermore.

Like many other chiefs, he has an open-door policy where any member of the Armada can come into his office or room freely to discuss matters with him. Any problem or concern may be discussed though he requests that they are limited to problems a chief can actually solve. He also requests that those visiting him do not touch any of the book of his hoard covering the walls and floor of his room for fear of damaging them.

So far, his polices of making the zravvisk more involved in galactic affairs and a depository for culture and history seems to be working as the number of wars the zravvisk have been in that started from a misunderstanding has gone down by 30%

The Auxiliary Council and the Council of Sages
These two councils have no official power besides making suggestions and advice to the Council of Ten and the Chief. However, they wield considerable influence in the Armada. Like the Council of Ten they have the right to duel the Chief for rule of the Armada.

The Auxiliary Council is made up of members of the Armada who are non-zravvisk. Their purpose to make sure that the zravvisk don't focus so much their own needs that they forget about the needs of the other members of the Armada and offer an outside perspective.

The Council of Sages is made up of what many consider to be the wisest members of the Armada. Whether they are known for their skills in debate or spiritual guidance, everyone respects their knowledge. They make sure that no matter what, the Council of Ten and the Chief are tempered by some wisdom. They have granted the official powers of being the second highest court in the Armada and setting the curriculum for educating the young of the zravvisk.

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Sliver Feather
"There must be balance in all things. Magic and science. Faith and reality."
Species: Chozo
Occupations: Member of the Council of Sages, Dragua II's Shrine Keeper, teacher, and former member of the Council of Ten

Born centuries ago in the Chozo Empire. Like many other chozo at the time, he decided to walk the path of the warrior and joined the ranks of the legendary chozo warriors. During this he was given the job to help instruct some of the new generation of warrior, where he found a love for teaching. He took up studying to become a teacher while maintaining his warrior training.

While traveling the stars for his studies, his ship broke down and he was stranded. He activated a distress signal, and the Armada arrived on the scene. The Armada offered to drop him off at the next chozo planet they visited, and he accepted. Not one to be idle, he looked for jobs around the Armada he could do as thanks. After a few odd jobs, he found a job instructing the hatchlings of the Armada. His days were filled with teaching, sparring with zravvisk, studying the archives, and meditating at the shrines.

Eventually, the Armada reached a chozo world. However, Sliver Feather couldn’t leave. The culture of the zravvisk was similar enough to the chozo to be comforting, but distinct and unique in its own ways. Besides he couldn’t leave his students. He picked up some books from the planet and become a full member of the Armada.

After a few years, he came to disagree with a member of the Council of Ten that he regarded as foolish. As an important council vote was coming up, he decided that the councilwoman was unfit to vote on it and he needed to duel her for her position. However, he wasn’t eligible as only captains of independent ships or chieftains of fleets were eligible, and the duels need to become eligible would mean he couldn’t duel her until after the vote. So, he turned to the millennia of laws the Armada had created looking for any loopholes. He found them and used them to challenge the councilwomen. He won the duel and became the first and only auxiliary to ever serve on the Council of Ten.

As a member of the Council of Ten, Sliver Feather received many challenges from zravvisk that thought he’d be easy to defeat. He defeated them all, showing that he had the skills to hold on to his seat. He began a legal reform to go though all the millennia of laws and close contradictions and loopholes like the ones he used. He also looked though education to pass reforms in it to make it easier to get high quality education in the Armada. With his increased workload from his planned reforms, council meetings, and duels for his spot, he no longer had time to teach, much to his regret. Throughout all his years serving on the council, he never once tired dueling the chief for their position. “Most of the Armada is zravvisk. Only one is chozo. It makes little sense for a chozo to be the head of state” as he said.

Unfortunately, back in the Chozo Empire, had broken out. An attempted coup by the war faction had failed and fighting broke out. Sliver Feather returned to the empire to join the fight for the loyalist with the Armada by his side. The war was long and bloody. By the time it was over, the chozo were on the brink of extinction and the Armada had lost countless ships and crews.

The Armada began questioning why they had to spend their ships and lives in another power’s war. Sure, they liked the chozo, but nothing good came out of their war. And so, the Armada began a period of isolation. For Sliver Feather, he resigned from the Council of Ten and locked himself in of one the shrines for days to meditate on everything, not even coming out for food or water. When he came out, he had lost his taste for fighting and went back to teaching.

He never regretted leaving the council. Teaching the next generation, changing your approach to what each student needs, being patient with a student struggling with a problem to make them better, that was what he loved. It was about this time that he gained the nickname “Sliver Feather” from his students to his greying feathers. As the nickname spread throughout the Armada, he never had a problem with it. As he said, “A name is a name whether it is my chozo one or the one my students love.”

It was not long after he started teaching and debating with shrinekeepers about the differences between chozo and zravisk spirituality again that he was invited to be a member of the Council of Sages. He takes the council’s role as advisors very seriously. He makes sure he always has relevant examples from zravvisk and chozo history when the Council of Ten is making a decision, relevant laws and previous decisions when they’re tiring a case, and all the laws making or changing a law will impact. He does hope the Armada will break out of their isolation soon and help keep galactic peace. He often requests that the Armada helps mediate any conflicts they come across.

While Sliver Feather is long past his prime and one of the last of his species, he strives to still be useful in every situation. The chozo expertise in things beyond the physical world often proves helpful as well as his visions during his mediations. If he ever needs to fight again, he maintains his body and hidden a glaive and blaster in his walking stick if needed. If that’s not enough or he needs to take down a rogue zravvisk, he still has his power suit from the Chozo Civil War.

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Alexander Jackson
"The blood of tyrants is a wonderful fertilizer for the tree of liberty."
Species: Human
Sex: Male
Religion: Atheist
Occupations: Member of the Auxiliary Council, Vice Admiral of the Xenibar Remnants, former vice admiral of the Xenibar Republic

Born in the egalitarian Xenibar Republic. He was a bright young lad and eventually enrolled in the Xenibar Naval Academy to become an officer in the Xenibar Navy. He served with distinction and was promoted to the rank of vice admiral. When the Xenibar Republic was conquered, he was tasked with escorting civilians away from Xenibar while the Admiralty made their last stand. After completing this task, he harassed the occupying forces until his fleet was cornered and forced to join the Armada for protection.

He now is the Armada’s resident firebrand and reformist agitator. He believes that the Armada could do so much to make the galaxy a better place if they broke their isolationist attitude and opposed tyranny instead of just avoiding it. He also constantly pushes for reforms in the Armada’s government, namely to make it more democratic and stop having duels so important for choosing leaders. He has also proposed to end the very long standing zravvisk tradition to loot whoever they defeat in a war. While there has been pushback against even considering his changes due to tradition, the anger around falling to catch the space pirate Ridley has lent him more of a voice.

He is popular among the auxiliaries since if they have a problem, he will make damn sure the Armada knows about it. He is the most outspoken member of the Auxiliary Council since he refuses to be intimidated by anyone, man or zravvisk. He also works on making the auxiliaries more useful to the Armada by trying to make the auxiliary marines somewhat decent, improving tactics to make use of the auxiliaries advantages, and trying to get the unofficial auxiliary armored core some official support. There is some tension between him and the Council of Ten with his constant bending and twisting of the Armada's policy of neutrally by supporting guerrillas on Xenibar and other freedom fighters, however.