The Sirian Union is an interstellar nation founded by the inhabitants of the planet Siria.
Beginning on Siria, the nation traces its origin to the early nation-states that occupied the planet. The sirians were absorbed by a more advanced space civilization which utilized the sirians as a warrior caste until the sudden dissolution of the partnership left the sirians to fend for themselves. Reorganized as the Sirian Union, the nation began aggressively expanding and consolidated the worlds of the former empire under their rule. The Sirian Union is the third largest nation in terms of systems, behind the Verandi Empire and Solar Republic.
Siria is the name of the world of origin for the Sirian people.
The Sirian home planet is called Siria. The climate is extremely varied, with some regions and island chains sweltering under the system's star and others buried under deep layers of permafrost. The temperate areas of the planet - which are slightly on the cool side - experience changeable weather, with it not being unusual for a bright day or week to be followed by several days of rain, fog, etc. as air masses shift and move across oceans, mountain ranges, and other significant geographical features. It has been suggested that the Sirians first evolved in these temperate regions, remaining deep in the ancient forests and occasionally venturing out to the open meadows and mountains when resources permitted. Generally, the early Sirian societies followed the migrations of prey animals (whilst simultaneously avoiding predators; part of the reason they evolved their great strength and height was to deal with the constant harassment by animals at the apex of the food chain). Curiosity and an unrelenting need to keep feeding their families kept the Sirians pressing on to the next horizon.
At some point in the distant past Sirian tribes settled down where they could, and it was here that the seeds of their current society were sown. Conflict after conflict between territorial neighbours wore down those who could not keep up, and shortly after inventing nuclear weaponry the largest nations found themselves locked into the grim struggle for global dominance referred to simply as "The Silent War". Much like Earth's own Cold War, this was a battle waged via proxies and brinkmanship, a nuclear sword of Damocles poised to end the Sirians forever in an apocalyptic war of annihilation. Limited spaceflight had been achieved, and a tiny colony had been established on Siria's moon.
Just as tensions seemed to reach their breaking point, an old alien empire decided to intervene. What happened next is not clear - the Sirians' documents of this time period were intentionally widely dispersed, aside from those referring to the movement of materiel and soldiers - but what is known is that the empire found a solution to the Silent War and accepted the Sirians into the fold as warrior vassals, a race whose only purpose as far as the aliens were concerned was to be ready, willing and prepared to fight.
To this end their technology was artificially fast-tracked and the race genetically modified by their benefactors to be more physically capable. They participated in many of the empire's campaigns with great success. However, an unknown event (vaguely referred to as "The Great Dissolution" in Sirian archives) caused the Sirians to be abruptly discharged from their service, leaving them to grope their way blindly back home. It was during this time period that some systems were conquered in the name of empire by disparate fleets - though this time not under the banner of the precursors, but the Sirians' own. Whether they could hang on to these far-flung assets was the elephant in the room, but they soldiered onward because war and conquest was all they had known for a long time. Biological warfare, chemical weapons and nuclear means were all employed to scour resistance from planets. Eventually the Sirians re-consolidated in their home system; the loss or damage of records makes it difficult to ascertain how many of the newly acquired systems they actually retained.
Thus began a long period of demilitarisation, along with grappling with a new issue: namely, as part of their genetic modification the aliens had skewed the male-female birth ratio significantly in favour of the latter, short-sightedly reasoning that they made superior physical specimens and thus superior soldiers. This is a problem that has dogged the Sirians to this day.
At some point in the past, a Sirian patrol fleet sweeping an area of space near a former Sirian colony world were stumbled upon by the Rakasha. Attempts at peaceful communication failed, and the patrol fleet were fired upon.
From the Essllean Incident began the Essllean War, a conflict that ended as abruptly as it started as the Sirian Packs outmaneuvered the Rakashan war fleet and struck at will. Perhaps foolishly emboldened by the war, the Sirians began a slow expanse, pointedly ignoring the sectors from which the Rakashan had emerged. This new direction has brought the Sirian Union into tensions with the Verandi Empire, which has claims on the same region of space.
The Sirian government is run by the Sirian Assembly, a conglomeration of Sirians from various nations that convenes frequently to discuss major issues. Above them is the Sirian Council, which consists of several individuals on a rotational basis from each nation and colony. The leader of the Sirian Union is simply known as the Chairwoman - to date there has never been a Chairman - though there have been male representatives on the Council and in the Assembly.
There have been rumbles of displeasure on occasion from the constituent nations - the colonies are for now at least too awed by their home planet's military might to cause any serious ruckus - especially from the Queen of Efiem, a country that had been one of the major power blocks in the Silent War and later.
At first relations between the Sirian Union and Verandi Empire were tense, due to the nations' confrontations with one another during the Uplifter Wars, Reconquista, and Six Year War. However, with the signing of the Treaty of St. Anne relations rapidly improved as the two nations realised that they had more to gain from partnership than confrontation. However, this does not prevent some Sirians maintaining a friendly rivalry with their Verandi counterparts.
The Sirian economy is a patchwork one - a good chunk of it is supported by the proliferation of Sirian owned or led PMCs, which are often in demand in wartorn systems. Secondly, Siria and its colonies are rich in material wealth, bringing extra cash into the Union's coffers. Heavy industry is one of the prime movers of the Sirian economy, particularly weapons manufacturing.
Feted and feared in equal measure, the Sirian Army is the premier Sirian fighting force, drawing upon the combined experience of previous campaigns to prosecute further wars. They are extremely well funded thanks to their pride of place in Sirian life. The Army Space Corps controls the various liakarrs, which are usually designated "[#] '[name]' [type] Liakarr" - i.e. the X "Ossear Highlanders" Strike Liakarr. They rely upon extreme durability and their relatively hard hitting weapons to carry the day - a trait that is present to a greater or lesser degree throughout the Army. The Army Air Corps deals with the airborne element of an operation, whilst the Army Naval Command has control over the seas. Overall, 3% of the population - 660,000,000 - are on active service at any one time.
The Tactical & Strategic NBC Squadrons are responsible for the oversight and employment of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, as well as the development of defences against such strikes - indeed, one of the Sirian Army's stated objectives is to maintain a high tempo of operations in heavily contaminated environments. After enjoying a high point during their time in the empire, their funding has been cut somewhat as the need for these weapons has fallen. Delivery methods include spaceborne, airborne, naval and missile deployment.
On the ground, the Sirians have precisely two advantages: thanks to their immense strength, they can wield large railguns that might otherwise be crew served or vehicle mounted in other militaries, and they also make use of powered armour to protect and enhance their infantry. They come in all sorts of forms to suit different roles, such as the "Fox" Scout Armour and the KV-34 Banadiya Medium Combat Armour.
The command of Sirian military forces is surprisingly simple, with an Azosseil at the top and an Ezijir at the bottom.
Despite all of these advantages, there is one significant area in which they lag behind: the employment of energy weapons. Though there are some in service, they are predominantly vehicle mounted and it looks like it will stay this way for now.
Soldiers are professionally recruited.
Law and Order
There is a strong tradition of lawfulness in Sirian space, not least because disobeying it often leads to harsh penalties. The police, if not loved, are at least respected. Foreigners are often given a lighter sentence or just a warning as an allowance for the fact that they may not be familiar with the Sirian justice system.
Sirian telecommunications often make use of a video/audio hybrid function; in public places its generally considered polite to use only the audio function when talking using cell phones (which are generally rather small and compact). At home and at work video conferencing programs are often a popular method of communication, using a semi-holographic projector to display the image.
Sirian vehicles are generally forced to rely on tyres made of advanced polymers and rubbers rather than "flying cars", which are mostly the preserve of the elite.
The Sirian culture is as varied as its creators, though the one constant is that it is rather matriarchal as a by-product of the physical differences between genders. Less physically taxing pursuits are seen as the ideal choice for men, whilst women are encouraged to take more active roles. This can lead to some culture shock when, say, interacting with humans.
The military is almost venerated in Sirian culture; almost anything and everything has some sort of military connection (it is not unusual for major corporations to offer workers a chance to visit the local base, for example). Insulting the military is usually seen as more than a little rude - and a bad idea as many Sirians are armed (albeit only with things such as pistols or knives, both of which are widely available on Siria and its colonies).
The arts tend to be overshadowed by the obvious military connection; Sirian art usually makes use of various scents in conjunction with very high frequency sound and images. Music also uses frequencies that humans and similar races struggle to hear. This has often failed to strike a chord with races that do not perceive the world similarly to Sirians.
The major religion is known as Ebenism. It revolves around the creator-goddess Eben and her sister Ataf, the first creature to experience death. In a fit of pique after realising that society had moved on after her death, she cursed all of Siriankind to die as well. She is associated with wrath and vengeance. There are several religious festivals related to her and Eben, who is associated with the sun and lives in the paradise of Eid, a world of perpetual daylight. Ataf lives in a world of eternal night, known as Tafri, and holds the keys to the underworld - she is associated with the moon.
Due to the shortage of Sirian males they are rarely let out of Sirian space; when they are, they are inevitably accompanied by a female.
Unlike some other species in the galaxy, the Sirian Union does not distinguish between different "races". Instead, the four major demographics (in rough order of social standing and power wielded) are officers, NCOs, enlisted, and men. This is a reflection of the Union's militarised nature. Incidentally, this means that racism is all but non-existent in the Sirian Union. The vast majority of discrimination is in the form of sexism towards male Sirians.
The Sirians hold fifteen or so systems outside of their home system, though not all of these systems have more than a couple of planets (or less) that can sustain life.
- The Sirian Union celebrates Unification Day on the 14th of September each year. Traditionally, celebrations are supposed to only start at 12:49AM, sometimes rounded up to 12:50AM. This is because this is officially when the Sirian Union was founded. However, over the years it has become very common to celebrate all day. Unification Day celebrations are well known for their scale and spectacle.