Circa Universe Header
Menu Background

Tetrahedron Empire


An enlightened despotism

Political System

The highest authority, and the law of land, is the Pharaoh in the Tetrahedron Empire. The Pharaoh picks an heir from the greatest wealthiest and most prestigious families. However, it is tradition not to pick the son or daughter to become the next heir. Instead the son or daughter is usually given an advisor position.

The Pharaoh creates the laws, dictates the foreign policy, and directs the political movement of the planets. While, the Pharaoh is considered the most powerful political element in the Empire, it is often seen that he or she will not interfere in certain lower matters and leave it to certain advisors or planetary officials. An interplanetary political system would otherwise be too much for a single person to handle, and it may be that the Pharaoh is concerned in developing specific aspects of the Empire more than others.

Advisors are appointed individuals by the Pharaoh. These people are chosen from the families of past Pharaohs. It takes a long time for a family to lose its position in society once at this point. However, if through the time, the family produces individuals lacking any real skill, they will eventually slip into disfavour.

The advisors guide the Pharaoh in his appointment of planetary officials and also have great influence on the Pharaohs adoption of new laws, modifications or policies. At times, it may seem a weak Pharaoh is overly influenced by his or her advisors. Normally, the Pharaoh reigns supreme.

Planetary Officials
Planetary officials are appointed members of the Pharaoh to direct his word of law into the lands of the Empire. The area of station determines that actual regional power planetary officials earn. Those planets not under direct concern by the reigning Pharaoh are positions of higher power, while other regions with less autonomy are less prestigious locations. Planetary officials direct local law and policy.

Planetary officials are usually appointed from court officials and sometimes military officers. In more rare cases they are chosen from merchants and in the rarest situation, chosen from civilians. The position brings a high level of prestige and economic benefit.

Court Officials
The Empire's courts are of great prestige of the Pharaoh. If the courts are just and reasonable in its punishments, then the Pharaoh becomes a popular ruler. However, if the courts become corrupt or inconsistent, the people blame the Pharaoh for his poor rule. In the past, the courts have been the cause of rebellions.

Court officials are chosen by a mixed system of standardized testing and exit averages from educational institutions of individuals. People seeking to become court officials need only to educate themselves and take the standardized tests. Those who cannot become court officials may still become higher educated, more skilled workers as civilians. Education earns prestige but not necessarily economic benefit. Court officials earn more prestige and economic benefit than do civilians. As well, only court officials have the chance of becoming a planetary official and from there move their family higher up in the social ladder.

Military Officers
Instead of education, another path upward in the social ladder for civilians is to join the military. Any family attached to a person in the army is automatically higher in the social ladder. The military offers good economic opportunities for future children in the officer's family to become merchants, or enter into educational institutions.

Military officers are moderately educated and well respected. Their families gain prestige and wealth. In times of war, military officers gain even more prestige even though they may become more numerous.

Merchants are on par with in prestige with military officers. These people are the wealthy individuals of society that run the various businesses of the Empire. Under the law, they are all directly under the control of the Pharaoh, but there is rarely intervention. Only if merchants attempt to create corporation-like entities are they ever blocked from their activities.

The merchants employ the civilians to do all of the work in the society. Publicly provided services are typically funded by robotic slave labour. The merchants on the other hand produce the various luxuries, simple non-survival goods, most of the services (such as medicine and doctoring), and high tech goods (such as spacecraft).

The lowest rung of the social ladder are the civilians. Even educated civilians are still considered civilians. They provide the workforce of the Empire from shipwrights to engineers to scientists. The more education or technical skill required for their job typically translates to a higher position on the social ladder. Civilians are not necessarily poor, but on average they have very little material wealth. However, positions such as engineer or professor would earn them enough material wealth for a comfortable life.

There are many ways for a civilian to move upward in the social ladder, primarily through education or the military. It is the fluidity of the society that is said to keep the Empire in a progressive forward motion in economic and military growth. It is also this fluidity that keeps the Empire from collapsing into a downward spiralling dictatorship.

Social Concept

The concept of the enlightened despotism is built upon the presumption of the general political apathy of the populace. Highly idealistic preoccupations are rare amongst the common civilian, and rarer still if not bred into their mindset during education. It is not the government that should be the concern of the people but rather their personal lives. A person is most concerned with living a comfortable life as defined by the local cultural values. If this cannot be achieved, then the person will be most concerned if it can become a future possibility. Barring that, the person will ponder if his/her children can achieve a good comfortable life.

As such is the case, a dictatorship provides no nationalistic idealism for people revolve their lives around and forgo their own well being. Instead, social mobility must be built into the enlightened despotism lest it be overcome with class antagonism and an overly oppressive regime. People must be able to move upward in the social ladder even if it means that people could possibly move downward. Movement must also be smooth and stable, not erratic and spontaneous. The citizens of the Empire must earn their social rank through dedication and focus. Hereditary positions should not exist. Every person is expected to prove themselves for the position they hold.


The Tetrahedron Empire greatest power lies in its space fleets. The technology utilized by its great starships are unparalleled by the Earth Alliance (later the Federation). The Empire spends a great deal of its wealth into the grand space fleets. However, its land forces are usually under equipped.

Moving upward in the chain of command can be earned through combat, but since war is not a continuous prospect, there are many other methods of earning rank. Merely being in the army earns individuals nothing. Skill tests and practice mock wars are staged regularly to give soldiers opportunities to earn higher ranks.

The Empire's military is rigid. Each planet is expected to follow the Pharaoh approved military technologies, so that the entire military utilizes the same technology. Strict obedience to command is expected. However, orders are meant to be vague enough to allow individual officers to show their cunning and guile in combat. These are usually rewarded with promotions. Disobedience is met with execution.

Pharaoh's Eye
The Pharaoh's Eye is the Imperial space fleets. They are headed by a single grand commander. The grand commander then hands off fleet command to individual fleet commanders. Then the command chain moves downward through the ranks until it reaches the ship captain.

Typically, a fleet has a large number of capital size ships escorted by fighter craft. In combat, each group of capital ships are manoeuvred into various positions to strike the enemy from multiple directions. Surprise attacks and traps are a mainstay of tactics used by the Empire. Generally, head-on attacks are only used when their numbers are far greater and victory is virtually assured. Officers know that low losses mean promotions.

Superior technology and skill usually earn the Imperial fleets victory over the much more rag tag Alliance (and later Federation) forces. However, the lack of specialized starships for combined arm tactics used by the Federation offsets many of the benefits of superior technology.

Pharaoh's Hand
The Pharaoh's Hand is the Imperial land forces. The command structure is styled like the Imperial space fleets, with the lowest commanding position as the platoon commander.

Normally, infantry platoons are head by a platoon commander, with two higher ranking officers. These individuals are well armed, and more heavily armoured. The rest of the soldiers in the platoon wear poor armour and are given basic weaponry.

Each platoon operates under a higher command, and so on, however depending on the scale of battle, the small command unit possible is given autonomy. While overall strategy is still guided by the highest commanding officer in the field, the vague orders given are meant to give opportunities for officers to present their superior tactical prowess.

Phoenix Infantry

The most elite infantry are grouped into the Phoenix Infantry. They are given the most advanced equipment available for infantry. They number roughly a meagre hundred thousand individuals. However, they are the most elite forces in the Pharaoh's infantry component and thus are worth many more in number.

The role of the Phoenix Infantry changes from Pharaoh to Pharaoh. At times, they serve as the Imperial guard, others they spearhead land campaigns. During the Second Slip War, the Phoenix Infantry acted as ship-board infantry aboard the Imperial flagship Phoenix's Resurrection.

Civil Technology

Plasma Net

Based on the same technology the Federation employed for gaining energy off super heated plasma, the Tetrahedrons also employed a form of plasma net as an energy grid. Super heated plasma would regain heat as it was propelled in special magnetic tunnels across distances. The kinetic energy would maintain the heat of the plasma, or serve to increase it. The thermovoltaic generators worked in an otherwise similar manner.

Robotic Slavery

The Empire practiced, what is called by the Federation, robotic slavery. Imperial officials name it a more positive robotic automated labour force. Semi-sentient AI drones are employed by the Empire to work all of the menial jobs in public service positions. These include basic farming, sewage cleaning, irrigation, water purification and other rudimentary but life-giving positions. Few labour positions in the Imperial public workforce were held by humans. The robots are paid nothing, only maintained for the sake of continuing the labour.

Military Technology

The Empire was a heavily centralized regime, able to command its member worlds to build technology to a standardized regimen. The Tetrahedran military consisted of a standard set of equipment.

Gauss-Nuclear Staffs

Gauss nuclear staffs were in use by the early 2700s, a feat of technology over the Federation. While the staff design is merely ceremonial in the Empire's culture, the length of the weapon cannot be readily changed.

The gun propels a uranium (typically U-235 in earlier days and Pu-239 in later designs) pellet along a magnetic rail inside the long stuff. The end of the staff consists of an energy envelopment unit. It forms a glob of cohesive ionized particles about the uranium pellet as it exits the staff. Upon impact the cohesive energy glob compresses to cause a critical chain reaction in the uranium pellet through sheer pressure. It also converts the electromagnetic radiation produced in the fission reaction into heat. The result is a miniature nuclear blast without significant portions of the gamma radiation turned into less permanent explosive damage.

Mag Field Guns

The use of mag-field weapons began in the early 2700s, and would continue to inspire a similar set of weapons far into the future. This gun was usually a small device mounted onto the palm of ones hand, but supporting pieces extended up the arm. It was made much more light and with much more ammunition in the 29th century.

The gun fired micro-explosive pellets that were directed by magnetic fields. The user could then create explosions seemingly out of thin air anywhere within a certain radius, at first about 400 metres, using the magnetic fields to detonate the explosives. Later designs in the 29th century extended the range upwards to a kilometre. The second option available was to create a shockwave of air, by blasting only a minute amount of explosive but using the magnetic fields to direct the force of the explosion. These were highly accurate, if short range, weapons.

Electric Field Defence

The first to develop shielding was the Tetrahedrons. They began use of electric field defences in the early 29th century, and saw the greatest effect during the Phoenix Run of the Tetrahedron War. These electric fields were very rudimentary and offered little defence against the projectile weapons the Federation favoured. This is one of the factors that pushed the Federation to continue its use of projectile weapons far into the future.

An electric field would be formed with great intensity, locking within it a layer of electromagnetic energy. This would block EMP, radiation, magnetic, and even some thermal energy. However, it only deflected projectiles of matter in a minor way.

Star Tracking Tech

The early beginnings of energy envelopment tracking are usually traced back to star tracking technology. While the Federation employed frag warfare to counter the highly accurate and powerful Tetrahedran technology, the Empire used self guided weapons in space combat.

In the early 2700s, torpedoes fired by Imperial warships consisted of the warhead, a propulsion unit, and an AI guidance system. (Note, in this day and age, the term AI implied some form of sentience) As the torpedo is launched the weapon is covered in an envelopment of energy, in a special form, first derived back in the early 24th century for energy weapons, for its cohesiveness. This energy can then be converted to motion, a process automated by the AI guidance system, to guide the missile toward its target. The amount of energy enveloping the torpedo determined the amount the missile path can be changed, thus the amount it "tracks". These were truly smart missiles, as the computer control systems were in a way semi-sentient.

Takya Energy Weapons

Takya energy is an intermediate form between heat, light and motion. This new form of energy can be stabilized, turned into radiation and its direction affected by magnetic fields. However, when fired out of a weapon, it immediately begins to "bleed" into the other forms of energy, hence the ability to see Takya energy bolts. This is considered a close range weapon, useful for broadsides or fighter size weapons. The large equipment necessary for its operation make it awkward for infantry use.

Scanning Technology

The Tetrahedron Empire uses mostly the same types of scanning technology as the Economic Bloc (also known as the Alliance). There are some improvements in the gamma-ray pulse but curvature pulse, radar and passive image recongition are basically equivalent.

Diffracted Gamma-Ray Beam

A sweeping beam of Gamma rays meant to diffract around objects to reduce the ability of large objects from blocking scans. This is an active sublight speed scanner.

The Circa Universe by Alex Wong. Sketches by Alex Wong or indicated artists. Dont steal my shit.

I'm confident there are copyrights here and every right is reserved.