sed non obligant! (Latin)
The stars incline us,
they do not bind us. (English)
Nacarat, Thole System
Capital City Location:
Convocation Language: Nifendaer
Official Language: Nifendaer
National Language: Nifendaer
Secondary Languages: English, Latin
Government: Cybersynaptic Noocracy
Governing Body: Collective Chorus
Head of State: Lord Drastus D'Prieg
Greater Nifidium Convocation
Currency: Crown Tulgey
National Animal: Jade-throated Ipsedi
The Swith Witherward has grown significantly since its inception. The initial growth came from bioengineering, which was the witherward's initial purpose. Biotechnology remains the witherward's major industry. Many visitors come to the witherward to seek medical treatment for rare disorders or for comprehensive genetic screening. The Nifidium Genome Research Project is headquartered in Swith as well.
Once the witherward was established enough to fund provinces, it experienced a significant increase in tourism, investment and business. Tourism remains Swith Witherward's second major industry. The nation's large, lush forests and pristine beaches, crystal clear rivers and snow-capped mountains, and numerous restorative and rejuvenate clinics make it a popular vacation destination. An extensive fact book is provided to tourists prior to leaving the customs offices - the indigenous flora and fauna are not at all tame, and the non-human inhabitants do not take kindly to being poked, prodded or treated like non-sentient beings.
Swith Witherward performs well in several metrics of national performance, including freedom of the press, economic freedom and civil liberties. Swith Witherward is a former member of the World Assembly. The nation is a founding member of the International Red Cross & Peace Corps of Nation States (IRCPC) through its province, Thési Érevnah, and is registered as a Human Rights Haven. It serves as a founding nation for the International Arbitration and Peace Association (IAPA) and was involved with now-defunct Multi-Species Union (MSU) and is a current member of the League of Organized Territories and United Systems (LOTUS).
The Trifid Nebula (NGC 6514) is a star-forming region in the Scutum spiral arm of the Milky Way. About 9,000 thousand light-years from Earth towards the southern constellation of Sagittarius, it offers a relevant portrait showing the early stages of a star’s life from conception to birth. Violent winds and extremely high temperatures of newly kindled stars agitate and transform the Trifid's clouds into a seething cauldron of unimaginable proportions; it offers an opportunity to see the three types of nebula that occur throughout the Universe: reflection, emission and absorption.
The Trifid is a relatively new star nursery - only 300,000 years old. This makes it an ideal creche and research outpost for the Greater Nifidium Convocation. Three witherwards are established on terraformed planets within the nebula’s systems: Straka, Swith, and Tego.
TRIFID NEBULA BASIC DATA
M 20 -- Open (Galactic Cluster)
Other object types: *iC (), Rad (CTB,GRS,...), Cl* (C,Cl,...), OpC (Ref,OCISM,...), * (CSI,[SC95]), C?* (Ref), HII (LBN)
ICRS coord. (ep=J2000): 18 02 42.0 -22 58 18 (Optical) [ ] E 2009MNRAS.399.2146W
FK5 coord. (ep=J2000 eq=2000): 18 02 42.0 -22 58 18 [ ]
FK4 coord. (ep=B1950 eq=1950): 17 59 39.9 -22 58 23 [ ]
Gal coord. (ep=J2000): 007.0859 -00.2873 [ ]
Proper motions mas/yr: 2.63 -1.01 [0.92 0.61 180] D 2009MNRAS.399.2146W
Radial velocity/Redshift/cz: V(km/s) -2.13 [1.62] / z(~) -0.000007 [0.000005] / cz -2.13 [1.62]
Angular size (arcmin): 28.00 28.00 90 (~) D 2013A&A...560A..76M
THOLE SOLAR SYSTEM
The Thol (THōl) System's planetary objects are not indigenous to its system. Information regarding the system's age is classified. The composition of non-terrestrial planets is likewise classified. The star, a K5 V Orange Main Sequence, is a main-sequence (hydrogen-burning) star of spectral type K and luminosity class V. Its mass is 0.79 times the mass of the Sun, and its surface temperature is 4100 K. It is estimated that the lifespan of this star is 28 billion years.
Three terrestrial worlds were designed into the solar system. Renbir, the second planet from the Thole star, is still undergoing terraforming. The third planet, Nacarat, serves as the Swithwardian capital planet. The fourth planet orbiting Thole, Triskel, was destroyed during the Ba'a Invasion. This former terrestrial planet's remains were converted into a military orbital station, and its debris carefully maneuvered to form the asteroid belt in place today. The eighth and ninth objects orbiting Thole are ice worlds, both containing security outposts.
Nacarat (ˈnakərat) is Swith Witherward's terraformed capital planet. Located in the Thole Solar system, it is the third planet from its star. Nacarat's orbital radius is 1.50 x 10⁸ km (1.00 AU), with an orbital period of 9.87 x 10³ hours (1.13 earth years); 26 hours per day, with 24 minutes reserved for Sacred Reflection. Its axis of rotation is tilted 23.4° away from the perpendicular of its orbital plane. This tilt affords it seasons. Its gravity is 10.80 m/s² (1.10 x earth). The planet's circumference is 40233.6 km (25000 mi). The hydrosphere is 68% water and 11% ice, and biospheres are varied. Nacarat has a Primary Class II Oxygen atmosphere. Two small moons orbit the planet.
The ecology is varied due to its size and is comprised of many native Nifidium species. Swith Witherward is hosts of various biomes to include boreal and temperate forests and seasonal tropical rainforests. There are subtropical and temperate deserts and large areas of woodland and shrub land. These provide Swith Witherward with a vast variety of flora and fauna.
Swith is a cybersynaptic noocracy of 11th Convocation Iteration controlled by the Septemviri - a triumvirate comprised of two Deducendae per Triumvir, and the Head of State. These seven are referred to as the Collective Chorus, the highest level of government within the witherward.
Each Zone within the witherward has an identical structure, as does each Prefecture within a Zone, although the terminology is different to reflect lower tiers. Individual cities, townships, and villages within a Prefecture are governed by a Magistrate and a Chambers. However, some xeno settlements within a Prefecture are permitted to utilize their species' applicable form of government, to include monarch, chieftain, hive, or democratic political systems. The Convocation does not recognize monarchies beyond the extent of the settlement; monarchs are bound to Convocation Law which must be explicitly followed during their reign.
The Deducendae at the Triumviri Tier (Collective Chorus) are appointed directly by the Greater Nifidium Convocation and are Nifid species; there are no term limits. The Deducendae Zone or Prefecture Tier (Voce Consona; "Harmonious Voice") are appointed by the witherward's Collective Chorus, often through recommendations from the lower tiers. There are no term limits.
Nifid names are not pronounceable by humans (the dominant species within Swith Witherward). The Triumviri Deducendae are thus referred to by color hues.
Triumvir Deducendae Scientem: Caesious
Triumvir Deducendae Scientem: Celadon
Triumvir Deducendae Proelium: Ianthine
Triumvir Deducendae Proelium: Ponceau
Triumvir Deducendae Diplomaticum: Tilleul
Triumvir Deducendae Diplomaticum: Isabelline
The Head of State (Vox Populi) is appointed directly by the Greater Nifidium Convocation, and is usually a member of the witherward's primary species. There are no term limits. The Head of Zone or Prefecture (Vox in Gradu) is appointed by the witherward's Collective Chorus, often through recommendations from the lower tiers. There are no term limits. Vox in Gradu report directly to the witherward's Vox Populi.
Swithwardian Vox Populi: Lord Drastus D'Prieg, Blood Sovereign of the First House.
Each Triumvir is headed by a Vox Triumvir (plenipotentiary) invested with the full power of independent action on behalf of the Collective Chorus; these individuals report directly to their respective Deducendae. These Vox Triumvir oversee their individual pillar as they best see fit according to the mandates or demands of the Collective Chorus. Each Vox Triumvir is directly connected to the Collective Chorus' cybersnaptic body regardless of their species; Vox Triumvir are genetically and physically altered to be psionically sensitive.
Vox Triumvir Scientem: Sir Mauzik Vesh, Ministre Plénipotentiaire
Vox Triumvir Proelium: Sir Argus Maithe, Ministre Plénipotentiaire
Vox Triumvir Diplomaticum: Madam Fiona Gualtier, Ministre Plénipotentiaire
Triumvir do not have Deducendae at Zone tier or lower. Instead, each Zone or Prefecture have two Triumvir representatives appointed by the Vox Triumvir. These individuals function as advisers.
Each Triumvir is comprised of multiple Academies. The overarching term "academy" is misleading in that it does not denote a place of learning; it is in reference to a collection of knowledge relating to a specific group of disciplines that intertwine with each other. Each Academy is governed by a Praetor appointed by its plenipotentiary.
Sketch of MAB Tulg
Swithwardian MAB: Tulg.
There aren't any MAB at Province level. The witherward MAB's psionic ability is potent enough to stretch across vast expanses.
MILITARY [back to top]
The Greater Nifidium Convocation armed forces consist of two professional service branches: Classis (naval forces) and Tagmata (equivalent to a ground forces-based army). The forces and resources for each Quadrant (and their respective witherward-controlled solar systems) are provided by the Greater Nifidium Convocation, and are overseen by the GNC Hereward Proelium through an appointed Tenth Iteration Tier Magister Utriusque Militiae.
The Convocation Classis and Tagmata are charged with externally protecting the witherward. This force does not delve into international peacekeeping efforts nor will it allow itself be held to treaties put forth between a witherward and any foreign government or a foreign governing body such as the World Assembly, NATO or other coalition operations.
Forces are commanded locally by the witherward's Proelium Deducendae through its Vox Triumvir. All Witherwards practice the Convocation custom of conscription however issues such as conscientious objection to military engagements on religious or philosophical grounds are usually handled by shifting the conscript towards an area where they can remain true to their ideals; Conscripts usually remain within their witherward although they do have the option to transfer beyond it.
Switherward's Proelium concerns itself with internal matters; it can engage in international peacekeeping efforts provided it does not engage in hostilities. It maintains both the Triskel Space Station in the Thole system and the Pax Terra Space Station in the Sol system, and shepherds Swithwardian ships along Convocation held shipping routes or trade lines. The Swithwardian Classis operates a large operational fleet of ships within space but also serves in suborbital and atmospheric roles, tasked with the same responsibilities as a contemporary air force. It is overseen on a witherward level by Madam Niera Vance, Ministre Plénipotentiaire (Plenipotentiary Minister).
The Magister Utriusque Militiae is Sir Grundle Baconni, Greater Nifidium Convocation Legate for the Trifid Naltatap 10th Iteration Hereward Proelium.
FOREIGN RELATIONS [back to top]
The Greater Nifidum Convocation will not allow itself to become beholding to any outside body of governments to include the World Assembly, NATO, the Council of Europe, or the OSCE.
Swith Witherward, like all witherwards, is permitted to join non-allianced multi-national organizations. It was briefly involved in the World Assembly but withdrew in 2013.
The Witherward does involve itself with humanitarian missions and is a founding member of: the International Red Cross & Peace Corps of Nation States (IRCPC), Thési Érevnah Province on Earth; the Multi-Species Union (MSU); the International Arbitration and Peace Association (IAPA).
Any attacks on a Greater Nifidium Convocation territory (outpost, station, research facility, witherward, withwardian province) usually result in a lethal response from the Convocation as a whole. Swith Witherward has no control over the Greater Convocation's decisions to protect its interests thus the witherward maintains a neutral and pacifistic demeanor when interacting with the nations of Earth and beyond. The Convocation's policy is to destroy a witherward rather than let advanced technology fall into the hands of younger, less knowledgeable races, ergo the Convocation will collapse the witherward's star. Witherwards are considered expendable for this reason; no attempts to evacuate will be made nor will apology be given to the innocent beings beholden upon that star for their existence.
HISTORY - NIFID [back to top]
It is a rarity to hear anything of the Greater Nifidium Convocation's actual origins. Few images of them exist. The veracity of the statements comes into question dependent upon the speaker and the way in which the history is described. The history of the Nifid species is never disclosed outside the walls of the Academies.
In the late summer of EY 2012, a veiled accounting was given by an ambassador during an international gathering on Earth. It is possibly the first and only time that such a thing has transpired; it is firmly believed that the listeners assumed that the ambassador was speaking of a physical chain of small islands rather than alluding to something on a more cosmic scale.
When questioned in regard to his actions, the ambassador himself laughed off the notion that a group of dragons would have understood the story had he not replaced facts with concepts that they could easily grasp. An island in a vast ocean would make more sense than dark matter and cosmic filaments.
Transcript of an Oration given by Lord Grevin Sage before King Tyroth of Dyste:
A long time ago, there existed an island, and on this island were a proud and intelligent people. They were isolated in their own little world, cut off from other civilizations by a vast ocean. Their culture developed sans influence from any other cultures and their passion was the island itself and all its inhabitants.
One day, a boat drifted towards their shore. The new people emerged into a strange land far different in customs and technology. They grew jealous of the inhabitant's technology and abundance and became bitter when told that they were not ready to receive the islanders' knowledge; the natives were fearful that the knowledge might be turned to ill use. The visitors left but returned with war ships. The island's queen called her advisers to her.
Her heart was troubled. "What shall we do?" she asked.
"Placate!" the advisers responded.
The queen set out to make peace with the invaders, seeking common ideals and conceptions that might be shared between them. There was peace for a brief time but it soon grew stale; the invaders grew resentful that the islanders wouldn't share their knowledge. And so they sent more war ships.
Again, the queen called her advisers to her and this time they responded, "Dominate!"
The queen bent the will of her people towards war, and the advancements in their technology grew in leaps and bounds. The island was thrown into dark. Nightmarish creations sprung up on land and sea. The invaders were destroyed. But war was also good to the invaders and their own technology evolved to the point of being a threat. And so the queen ordered her people to take flight and find where the ships were coming from. The queen ordered complete annihilation because she felt it was the only option.
Her advisers said, "This will happen again and again. Let us seclude ourselves."
Great pains were taken to sequester the island from outsiders. Mists were cast upon the ocean so that boats could never cross over. But 'never' is a misleading word, and stray vessels did indeed find their way to the island. These new visitors were refugees from other lands.The queen reluctantly granted them mercy upon arrival, but would never allow them to return home. Peace reigned once more but now there was a great curiosity about what dwelt beyond the island. The inhabitants population grew too large and technology began to grow stale.
The queen heard her people's desire to gain knowledge and expand and so she dispatched their ships to colonize other islands. Having learned from the past, she bade her explorers to conceal their knowledge and respect the people they encountered. Remembering the devastation she caused upon a foreign land, she also bade them to not reveal the location of the home island or its sciences.
Most islands were uninhabited and the queen was pleased. Some islands were inhabited. If the inhabitant's ideals were too radical or warlike, the explorers moved on. Other islands had like-minded people and were favorable.
The queen said, "We must exist within, if we are to exist at all."
They concealed their ways and strove to quietly improve the lives of others rather than taking advantage of them or destroying them; on the surface they behaved no differently than the people who dwelt there. Trade relations were formed. Benevolence was extended by the colonists for the sake of good will. They respected the locals' concepts of morality, ethics and reason even though the colonists did not embrace it for themselves. They bristled just enough to make a point if provoked, but never for the sake of dominating. They were respected.
In time, the colonies became [viewed by native populaces as] nations. They were known to be an agreeable and peaceful people, neutral in politics and always polite when refusing to participate in other people's conflicts. Underneath it all, the colonists lived as they always had, and maintained their concealed sciences and defenses. There was no attempt to make peace because, on the surface, there was never any disagreement with the rest of the world. They welcomed people to visit because they were confident in their ability to protect themselves on their own soil, but also because they were selective in who they asked over for tea.
I can't speak for your own people or their methods of approach, King Tyroth. I can only share things from the Wreaver people's perspective. But at least you can see where each of the three options might take you. We chose to blend our options to a point although we are particularly seclusionist on the inside.
HISTORY - SWITH WITHERWARD [back to top]
TIME AND DATES: For your convenience, the dates provided on this translated page are in an easy-to-understand format and reflective of your homeworld or species' timeline. In some cases, as when your species is unknown to us, the dates default to Earth Year (EY), specifically Before Common Era (BCE) and Common Era (CE) rather than Galactic Unified Time (GUT) or Convocation Standard Time (CST). The Greater Nifidium Convocation follows a unified format throughout its territories - each witherward's local time is based upon the rotation of the planet and its orbit, and is combined with CST.
PROTOHISTORY - SPOREFALL
2.9 bya SPOREFALL Sagittarius Arm
2.4 bya: SPOREFALL Orion Arm
2.1 bya: SPOREFALL Sol System
100,000 BCE: SPOREFALL Trifid Nebula and outlining territories
SPOREFALL is a naturally occurring method of cosmic-scale propagation. It is believed that the Nifidum utilizes "tatters" from SPOREFALL as beacons when penetrating new quadrants. The estimated date of SPOREFALL does not indicate the date the Nifidium arrived at that location.
ESTABLISHMENT OF THREE PROVINCES, TRIFID NEBULA - NOTABLE DATES IN HISTORY
- 82,000 BCE: Artificial genesis of Trifid stars' planetary systems
470 - 462 BCE: Vitellary, Nacarat and Liard Provinces established in Trifid Nebula
106 CE: Vitellary Province becomes Straka Witherward
128 CE: Straka Witherward engineers C-Series constructs
144 CE: Straka Witherard produces MAB First Line
342 CE: Liard Province becomes Tego Witherward
580 CE: Nacarat Province becomes Swith Witherward
744 CE: Swith Witherward charged with continuing development of seeded Earth
784 CE: Terraforming for Earth province begins
789 CE: Straka Witherward Engineers M-Series
1162 CE: Swithwardian Vox Populi, the Wreaver Vardimin Swith, destroyed on routine flight to Earth;
Nardana Sage appointed Vox Populi
AGE OF BELLICOSITY
- 1186 CE: Nifidium turns inward
1201 CE: Invidis ("the jealous ones") expelled from Nifidium Core
1202 CE: Nifidium heals, reforms the Greater Convocation
1204 CE: The Great Purge - Invidis routed from coreworld Collatis Mentibus holding territories within Inward
1221 CE: Contagion arrives in Trifid Nebula
1222 CE: Adomovi Trilb born in Straka. Dr. Trilb is known as one of the greatest contributors towards
artificial intelligence and construct design
1240 CE: Straka engineers N-Series
1242-1246 CE: N-Series S-Strain vatted
1258 CE: Ba'a attack Straka Witherward; Adomvi Trilb dies in attack on the Triumvir Scientem Research
1259 CE: N-Series fully amalgamated into Exoskeleton Program. NSA 9v1 ("Nessa", GNC registry Mayhem);
NSL 3v1 ("Nessle", GNC registry Grim) and NST 3v1 ("Neste", GNC registry Malice) tethered as third
1262 CE: Unholy Trinity reallocated for Invidis eradication effort
1410 CE: NSA 9v1 damaged during attack, removed from Trinity. Sister-Union paired with MAB CTG 1v1
(GNC registry CarTulg). CTG paired with two other MABS to form the Enneagonon 437
1614 CE: First Earth immigrants arrive in Swith Witherward
1732 CE: Swithwardian Vox Populi Nardana Sage refuses continuing personal eugenics
1734 CE: Swithwardian Vox Populi Nardana Sage passes quietly in her sleep; Loriis Marga appointed Vox Populi
1734 CE: Invidis contagion spreads to Swith Witherward capital planet Nacarat
TIMES OF OPPRESSION
The contagion remained concealed, with changes occurring so slowly that the average citizen remained unaware of them. Unknown to Vox Populi Nardana Sage, the Nifid Deducendae were subjugated and imprisoned, and replaced with Invidis Deducendae. Subtle shifts began with the appointment of wreaver Lord Loriis Marga to the position of Vox Populi following the death of Sage.
Colonization from Earth affected population during this time. The predominantly wreaver colony shifted into human majority as Marga sent more and more of his corrupted people into the Convocation's Inwards. The shift caused the Convocation to begin reconsidering the Vox Populi position, with some thought given to transferring Marga to a wreaver witherward. Marga appealed their decision and was allowed to remain in Swith.
In the third season of 1871, Marga suffered an accident while engaged in personal recreation. The Convocation considered the need for a future replacement regardless of where Marga was positioned. The selection and appointment of Drastus D'Prieg, the first human to serve as Vox Populi, came as a complete surprise to the witherward's government and to the Trifid Nebula Collatis Mentabus. Relations between Straka and Tego witherwards severed under ill-founded claims of specieism; in fact, it was because they, too, had been overtaken by contagion. The Invidis sought to keep the witherwards divided.
Drastus D'Prieg was sent to Core for augmentation and indoctrination Inward. Accompanying him was The Magister Utriusque Militiae, Sir Grundle "Bacon" Baconni, Greater Nifidium Convocation Legate for the Trifid Naltatap Sixth Iteration Proelium. A friendship blossomed between the two.
They returned to find a new MAB appointed, and policies implemented that weren't reflective standard practices formerly followed in Trifid. Baconni was called away to deal with incursion upon the borders, and D'Prieg found himself isolated. As recorded in his personal journal, "I am no more than a sane man walking in an insane parody of what once was my home. The walls have ears. My paranoia grows. I am adrift, and long to hear the reassuring laughter of my dear Bacon."
Lord Loriis Marga was assassinated by Vartoff Harg-Sage, a self-proclaimed prophet, in 1901. Lord Drastus D'Prieg assumed the Vox Populi office and met with the Deducendae in summer of that same year. There was an immediate distrust of them on his part. "They are not the same as before. Though they bear the names I remember from my childhood, their manner of behavior bespeaks that of something entirely "un-Nifid". I grow more wary, though my suspicions are based only on hunches. Call it human intuition."
Unbeknownst to all within, the Trifid Nebula fell under complete Invidis control. The Deducendae restricted all communication beyond the Trifid level. The Vox Populi found himself slowly pushed out of government process by the Deducendae, and regulated to nothing more than a head of state. It was decided that he should directly oversee projects in the witherward's Thési Érevnah Province. Left to his own devices, regulated to only diplomatic title, D'Prieg began to quietly question everything, and established ties with former foreign enemies at neutral diplomatic functions. Living conditions on the capital planet became more oppressive in his absence, reaching total citizen oppression by 1970.
It was during this time that the Deducendae banned citizens from owning property or businesses. Books came under scrutiny, with only Deducendae-approved texts used to indoctrinate offspring in schools. All youth groups were disbanded save the Kvechnith, an organization which promised the brightest students a future in the three Triumvir. Local governments were dissolved and oversight managers implemented in order to curtail any citizen activity that could be deemed inappropriate or contrary to the "new Nifid standards". Conformity was imposed, tourism ceased, and every effort was made to outwardly make the witherward appear sleek and well-heeled. Those that failed to comply were taken away for the Citizen Integration Project. It was soon discovered that this Project did little to integrate anyone; the facility was nothing but a death camp.
Swithwardians of all species attempted to organize resistance against what they thought were their Nifid oppressors, but were repeatedly met with betrayal by members of their own groups. This did not prevent them from harassing via sabotage, though their efforts were frequently met with brutal force. The resistance movement was veiled by various religious bodies. Known as the Holy Underground, it operated under the guise of helping the poor and destitute, or those unable to contribute to society. The Deducendae banned all organized religion in 1979, but it could not entirely stifle the Holy Underground's activities.
In the autumn of 1979, the Trifid Naltatap's corrupted Collatis Mentibus was able to reroute a a transport in order to surreptitiously procure the fabled Enneagonon 437. The Naltatap's Migister Utriusque Militiae, Sir Grundle Baconni, attempted to contact the Greater Convocation to express his concerns; the Enneagonon's purpose is solely system invasion and not for maintaining civil order. The Collatis Mentibus intercepted the message, arrested Baconni for treason, and divided Enneagonon 437 into three units, each headed by its respective MAB. Each unit was dispatched to a Trifid witheward and placed under direct control of each witheward's Deducendae.
By winter of 1979, nearly all Holy Underground cells had disbanded, either by force or through fear. Only one cell remained active - Liberty. Based out of the capital city itself, Liberty had curtailed the majority of its operations before year's end, though it maintained the underground railroad and continued its efforts to spread propaganda within the city in the hope of gaining Academy-based sympathizers.
In the spring of 1980, Grundle Baconni's aid, Jarat Nighsha, sent an encoded message to Drastus D'Prieg warning him of Nifid plans to use Enneagonon 437-1 and other means to destroy Tulgivuld It was hoped that such drastic measures would finally shatter the morale of all resistors. The message, delayed by the MAB, did not reach the Vox Populi in time.
Easter Sunday, 1980, marked the beginning of witherward citizenry annihilation. The story is best recounted by Madam Aubrey DeStephano, who witnessed it directly.
"It began, for me, the night they took my father away. Religion had been banned the previous year. He was conducting an illegal Easter service in an old warehouse before dawn when they rolled in. Enneagonon 437-1. The N-Series are mindless war machines when they're amalgamated in their exos. Massive, quick monsters that run along like bitter spiders. I was awoken from my bed by the vibration of their steps, and I poked a finger through my blind slats to see the warehouses on fire in the distance. They slaughtered the congregation, to the last, and then worked their way outwards in a kill zone a half mile in radius. I was only twelve. My mother took me from our room and fled to the Holy Underground."
Two hours later, the corrupted Trifid Nebula Collatis Mentibus ordered Enneagonon 437-1 to fall back, and then it released a directed energy blast on Tulgivuld. The total death count numbered over 2.5 million citizens, and 1.1 million constructs.
D'Prieg returned to the capital planet only to find his former home in a state of near-devastation. He was met by what was left of Liberty, and taken to their last remaining stronghold: Pallata Station. In the early morning hours of Monday, 8th of April 1980, he spoke to the remnants of Liberty and the survived gathered by them.
"Good morning. There are no words to describe the depth of my despair. I don't need them. Not when I see my grief mirrored upon the faces of you standing before me. We who have assembled here do so at the darkest period of our history. To the west is what little remains of Tulgivuld. To the east - to the east lies the dawn. In less than an hour, the first rays of light will pierce this present darkness. We will peer out upon the blackened ground to witness the brutal degree of our loss. Some will falter in spirit. Others will be overcome entirely. Know this: our pain is the genesis of our resolve. We will welcome that dawn. We - we who stand here united by circumstance, shall rise together in unity of spirit. We will not let them annihilate us. We will not succumb to their wont. We, united, are drawing a line in the sand and proclaiming our independence. This is our crucible. From it we claim the purity of our freedom. Embrace the dawn, and let this be our mantra: 'Oderint dum metuant. Astra inclinant, sed non obligant!'"
Vox Populi Drastus D'Prieg
April 8th, 1980
From the private collection
of Madam Aubrey DeStephano
The movement became known as Freedom's Crucible. D'Prieg himself joined the ranks of fearless resistance fighters. The first order of business was to free Grundle Baconni from Foxwald internment camp. The mission, dubbed Operation: Rose, was successfully completed on 12 May, 1980. Operation: Rose was pivotal in bolstering the resistance movement's resolve and in gaining supporters. By it, D'Prieg had done what no one else had dared to - take on Greater Construct forces and win.
[WIP: list of important battles]
Oppression increased in response to each new attack but the efforts did little to sway the hearts of those fighting so desperately to exist. Though it was in the Trifid Collatis Mentibus' power to destroy the planet itself, such extreme measure would gain the attention of the Greater Convocation. Unwilling to expose its operations and reveal the contagion, it pressed onward using ground forces to beat back D'Prieg's forces. Oddly, it sequestered the Enneagonon 437-1, and this unit saw no action after July of 2001. The witherward's Freedom's Crucible movement slowly spread to its sister witherwards, giving the Trifid Collatis Mentibus more than they had bargained for.
Freedom's Crucible lasted well into the autumn of 2009. It was during this time that Aubrey DeStephano and her small guerrilla band were able to infiltrate Enneagonon 437-1's creche, whereby they discovered that the unit itself had long ago grown suspicious and thus were kept imprisoned by the Deducendae. MAB CTG 1v1 expressed his concerns about a possible contagion regarding the Deducendae at the Triumviri Tier, and the Nifid at Trifid Nebula level. This message was related to D'Preig. DeStehano's band returned the the creche a second time in order to liberate Enneagonon 437-1 itself. For the first time since the Times of Oppression, the freedom fighters finally had Nifid technology on their side.
DAY OF RECKONING
On 6 January 2010, D'Prieg launched the largest resistance operation to date. Comprised of not only his own freedom fighters, but also Ba'a and Thade forces, it was a final stand against the contagion. They took the battle to the Collatis Mentibus, arriving in ships to the Null where the Trifid's governing body had entrenched itself.
A small suicide cell breached the Trifid MAB's creche. Lead by Major Fiona Gualtier, their role was to distract the MAB in order to quickly shut down the Construct Thoughtwash. That distraction came at great personal sacrifice for Gualtier, but her actions were enough to buy the others time.
Captain Aubrey DeStephano pressed on. Accompanied by Enneagonon 437-1, DeStephano's forces were able to break through the outer barrier. Grim was utilized in blocking the Wash and scrambling signals, while Malice conveyed beyond the barrier. It was she that reached the Convocation proper, and through her Drastus D'Prieg was able to finally convey their plight.
In the early morning hours of 7 January, the Greater Convocation arrived. Enneagonon 437-1 joined with several other units in order to annihiliate the Null and everything else within the sector. Nothing remained of Invidis Collatis Mentibus. Death trailed in the Convocation's wake as it made its return to Swith. D'Prieg was reinstated as Vox Populi, and the imprisoned Nifid Deducendae liberated and restored to power. The Invidis were ferreted out and purged over the course of the year.
In the summer of 2011, the Greater Convocation forces departed Swith in order to focus more on Straka and Tego witherwards, where the contageon ran much deeper. The Swithwardian government and the Nacarat population temporarily relocated to Earth in order for the Convocation to cleans Nacarat of infection. Many of the freedom fighters became leaders within that government.
In the absence of direct Convocation rule, and recognizing their needs to stand strong as a nation, the people moved to become liberated. The Convocation agreed, but insisted upon protectorate status rather than turning the witherward completely independent.
The rise of the citizen's liberties came at the cost of the Constructs'. Hatred and mistrust of them remained. Aubrey DeStephano fought to have Enneagonon 437-1's N-Series pardoned (its MAB had already been installed as the witherward's MAB, and renamed Tulg). Malice and Grim were sent to the Triumvir Scientem where, unbeknownst to her and to other leadership, the pair were tortured and reprogrammed. They remained abandoned, regulated to menial work.
Both were discovered by DeStephano in spring of 2012. She promptly concealed their registry callsigns and renamed them according to their original designation lettering. Nessle was sent to Madam Gualtier, and Neste reassigned to Ambassador Greven Sage. It is said that neither creature was entirely happy after their reprogramming, and Neste went missing in late summer of 2012 (it is believed she was destroyed while assigned as a diplomat to the Confedration of Agymnum). Sadly for her, not more than a year later the Convocation granted all remaining enneagonon freedom to return to their former glory, a process known as doxi which requires physical death in order to purge them from prior programming.
Swithwardians soon found themselves in a state of malcontent. They longed to see Nacarat again. Earth, while pretty, wasn't something that charmed them. The people grew more restless as the years dragged on. Finally, Lord D'Prieg put their current state to vote, and the people spoke loudly.
ASCENDANCY OF RAPPROCHEMENT (OR THE WELCOMED RETURN)
In 2016, the Greater Convocation returned in full force to reclaim Swith witherward. Their return, while anticipated, was not expected to occur for another year. However the people, overjoyed to have full support again and a reason to return home, welcomed them with open arms, though they knew their prejudices against Constructs would need to be put aside.
It was not all without a hitch, however. The Convocation's sudden return meant a complete shutdown of existing government, and this came at a time when Lord D'Prieg and Madam Aubrey DeStephano were away. In fact, Sir Grundle Baconni, the Legate for the Trifid Naltatap, and the Tulg MAB were with them. All communication with the plane had been lost only hours before. Records indicated that it was a holiday trip of sorts to a small Earth country known as Highfort. A quick check of the news feeds indicated that the tiny nation had fallen from within. Her former government had gone underground, and possibly brought the Swithwardiand with them. Further digging revealed an order for agri-equipment to be shipped. As it was already underway, and seeing no reason to hamper it, the Convocation officials paused in their daily routine in order to quietly observe.
This was, after all, the same crew that had brazenly taken down a variant of their own species.
The Witherward's sophont population is predominantly human closely followed by Higher Constructs and Wreavers. Centuries of open immigration gave rise to small pockets of other species however these are dwindling due to low birth rates amongst those groups. There were two population periods in Swith Witherward's history. The first occurred during the the height of the Roman Empire between the first and second centuries AD. The second wave was a smattering of immigrants between 1300 AD and 1902 AD. The majority of the human population now hail from the British Isles and are primarily British origin. Smaller populations immigrated from Italy and Greece in the early part of the last century with a small influx of Jews during the 1930's. There are a smattering of Asians (Indian and Japanese for the most part, and a small Chinese community resides in Tulgey proper).
The human population has increased slowly over time, much of it due to birthrate rather than immigration (which is now severely restricted). Swith Witherward, like many other developed countries, is experiencing a demographic shift towards an older population. The average age of the human civilian population was 37.5 years as of 2013, with an average lifespan of 130 years, although this number is difficult to estimate due to that small portion of the population which works directly for the government. The life expectancy for those individuals is higher due to an unnatural increase in lifespan.
For writing systems (including NiScri, Empiricus Method, and Construct writing) please see Niefedaeridae Writing Systems.
The official spoken language of all Convocation territories is Nifendaer. It is the Swithwardian governmental and national language. Latin is the first foreign language to arrive in the Witherward, and contributes to a variety of descriptions, including government positions. It should be noted that it isn't spoken authentically.
As a result of immigration, British English is the most widely spoken language in Swith Witherward after Nifendaer. Several other Earth languages have found their way into the Witherward, including German, French, and Italian. Many citizens are therefore bi-lingual or, in some cases, tri-lingual. Primary school students are taught both Nifendaer and English.
Swith Witherward does not have a national religion. Rather, it embraces the Philosophical Practice of Tolerance. It has been likened to Taoist philosophy in its nature.
There is only the Way, the Cosmic One. All things are part of that Way. When there is harmony, there is One. It is not tolerance of other religions or of other societies or ethnicity. It's tolerance of one's own mistakes. It directs one to have acceptance of self, forgiveness of self, and a desire to find harmony between the Cosmos and the individual. It's a humbling belief and the ego must die in order for the essence - the soul and body - to thrive.
Swith Witherward itself is an overly (at times painfully) polite society which places emphasis on intellect, oneness and harmony, and adaptation to external elements. It is more focused on the whole rather than the individual. Swith Witherward does not construct houses of worship for this belief system. Rather, the practitioner spends time in deep meditation and reflection. There are wonderful parks and natural sanctuaries to help believers and non-believers tune themselves to the Way. Much care is given to these places.
Swithwardian ambassadors to other nations always request that they be housed in a place that can provide a garden space. Ambassadors will happily invite people to meditate with them. Swithwardian consulates function in the same manner, usually with an inner sanctuary for those seeking asylum from everyday stress.
A small population of humans embrace Abrahamic or other faiths. Similarly, Hinduism and Buddhism can be found within the Witherward but these populations are equally minuscule. Temples, mosques and churches serve as glorious structures dedicated to their God/gods and allow tourists to feel more at home. There are earth-based beliefs and primitive beliefs as well. The preponderance of Swithwardian Christians are Roman Catholic. Protestantism never gained a foothold.
The national philosophy is taught in schools.
Five prefectures on Nacarat are open to tourism to foreigners outside the Greater Convocation.
Garment District; Tourism
Govt Seat; Tourism
Tourism, Biomedical Research
diplomatic use only
CULTURE[back to top]
The culture of Swith Witherward is as varied as her citizens. Social behaviors primarily reflect England, which is best exhibited by not only their accent but also in the national fondness for cricket, football, and tea. This is tempered slightly by the Wreaver population which operates under a mentality often compared to that of Asian humans. Several hundred years this mix have produced a society that is painfully polite while going about its business; hardships are met with a stiff upper lip and a proud determination to not only survive the situation but to possibly write a best seller afterwards. This mentality, coupled with their religious beliefs, makes Swithwardians as a whole a difficult people to unsettle.
Most of the pastimes are human-centric and reflective of many other societies on Earth. The smaller xeno populations are viewed as another colorful tile in the mosaic, and their various literary works, music, and theatre are recognized by the population as equally vital to the culture as a whole.
Literature and Performing Arts
Swith Witherward is a significant contributor to Convocation literature in both the Nifendaer and English languages. Modern Swithwardian fiction began with the publishing of series of short poems, titled Daedonary, by Edna Collier in 1632 SWGNC. It was shortly followed by The State of Margaret Pryne, by Basil Hopson, in 1635. Margaret Pryne is considered a definitive work; it explores the trials and tribulations of an immigrant newly arrived to an advanced civilization. The work received accolades from the Convocation itself, and was utilized by the Trifid Nebula Collatis Mentibus in order to reevaluate treatment of persons hailing from Earth.
Theatre was introduced to Swith Witherward as early as 1580, although the pieces were reproductions of Greek tragedies. Elizabethan theatre was introduced in 1638 with a production of Shakespeare's The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. The performance was well-received by the immigrant human population, but Hamlet was judged by the Nifid as "insulting to the intelligence", and the Gravedigger scene was deemed "base", citing that only N-Series Constructs would talk to a skull. Shakespeare's work was subsequently banned until 1750. More notable is the effect the Nifid commentary had on N-Series in particular; they adopted the practice of claiming enemy skulls in order to display and converse with them.
Swithwardian modern theatre continues to extol the classics, but has grown to include locally written plays and musicals. Brumt V'Nish, which features the comedic adventures of a Wreaver caught up in a destiny that clearly wasn't to his liking, is still a popular musical. Written and composed in 1921 by Linvin Sage, and similar in flavor to Earth's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, it still draws large audiences and has been the subject of several adaptations.
Cricket is the official Swithwardian sport. Identical to Earth's version, it is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, at the centre of which is a rectangular 22-yard-long pitch with a wicket, a set of three wooden stumps sited at each end. The laws of cricket are maintained by the Swithwardian Cricket Council (SCC). The preferred format is Test cricket, which is played over five days with unlimited overs and the teams playing two innings apiece. Cricketers wear team colors reflective of their prefecture or province rather than the traditionally white uniform utilized on Earth. Players don't wear any protective gear. All prefectures have facilities to accommodate both day and night matches.