Aeran Ascendancy

7.2 Portfolio: The Aerans

Ships overview for all groups (Work In Progress): Ship Overview

Art-style Guide (Work In Progress): Artstyle Guide

Species overview: Species:Aera

Faction overview: Faction:Aeran Ascendancy

7.2.1 Origin

• Gravity: 1.3x Earth-normal

• Atmosphere: Nitrogen-Oxygen (24% O2), with minor nobles (neon, argon), carbon dioxide, and

water vapor

• Primary liquid bodies: water, 80% surface cover, continents small, large islands frequent

• Average temperature of homeworld (pre-industrialization): 300K

• Sun: Orange

• Primary challenges (pre-industrialization): Extremely competitive and invasive ecology.

An intelligent centauroid species which developed on a misbegotten hell of a jungle world, the Aera

are oxygen-nitrogen breathers, with a strong internal skeleton, smooth ashen-gray leathery skin, a decided

lack of psychiatric assistance for their obviously repressed dissatisfaction with natural ecology and, at least

according to the Cult of the Devourer on Mishtal Seven, a flavor remarkably similar to that of a human with

a high protein diet, but only if both have been served with a nice Chianti.

Unfortunately for the Aera, their region of the jump network offers no known paths towards significant

further expansion. To expand they must go coreward, passing through Human or Rlaan controlled systems.

Requests to do so have been denied by both the relevant parties of both species. Opting for another method,

the Aera tried to sneak a colony convoy through Rlaan space, but a lack of comprehension of the Rlaan

mentality regarding civilian casualties caused this ploy to be not only a failure but a disaster, provoking the

Rlaan into a military response.


The Aera homeworld was, prior to changes imposed by the technological advancement of the Aera, a nearly

seasonless planet with an oxygen-nitrogen-neon atmosphere, on whose surface were a single large landmass

and many large and small islands. The mainland was nearly entirely covered with jungles and marsh-groves,

with only small belts of more sparsely overgrown land on the northern and southern reaches of the continent.

The rich jungle land was home to all sort and manner of parasites, predators, diseases, and competitors for

food. It was in this vast, dark jungle that the Aera arose into sentience, tool use, and civilization.

7.2.2 Physical

• Dimensions: 2-3 meters in length from the head to the end of the balancing tail. 1 - 1.25 meters high

at each of the the four leg-shoulders.

• Mass: 200-250 Kg

• Skeletal system: Multi-vertebrate(4) with interleaved rib arrangement, bilateral symmetry

• Major divisions: Tail, midsection (hind-limbs to mid-limbs), fore-section (mid-limbs to arm-shoulders),

neck, head

• Senses: Audio, visual, chemosense (all in head). Tactile (skin, strongest at hands, rear-feet, tail)

• Visual acuity: Aera cannot see in the dark, but do have excellent low light vision. Long distance focus

is inferior to that of humans, but motion sensing and clarity of short and medium ranges is superior to

human norms.

• Chemosense: Aerans have both external (lower face) and internal (mouth) chemosense organs. Aerans

are mouth breathers, and do not have nasal passages. External chemosense organs are used primarily

to assist in lending directional information to scents picked up by the internal chemosense organs.

• Locomotion: The ancestors of the Aera ambled about amid the lowest layers of a continent-spanning,

towering jungle. The Aera prefer to scamper as often as walk, and move on their mid and hind-limbs,

their fore-section parallel with the midsection, arms tucked in, and tail extended for balance.

• Manipulators: Two hands, each with a 2+1 finger/thumb arrangement

• Textural appearance: Leathery skin, thick over most parts of the body. Ashen gray, with darker gray

striations and amorphous, blotchy, yellowish patches in a pattern unique to each individual Aera

The Aera are a centauroid species measuring 2-3 meters in length from the head to the end of the

balancing tail, and 1 - 1.25 meters high at the four leg- shoulders. The four stocky, sturdy running/gripping

limbs provide support, and the front two limbs end in three-digit hands, with two fingers and an opposable

thumb. When active, the upper body bends up from the rest of the body just past the middle limbs at about

a sixty-degree angle, with the forelimbs sprouting from about two thirds of the way up the upper body, and

with the head bending back down so as to be parallel with the main trunk and the ground. Aera tend towards

slim, muscular builds, and are usually both quick and agile. They have two genders, each of which is similar

in appearance. Among the space faring races, the Aera have one of the shorter natural lifespans. Prior to the

advent of advanced life extension technologies, it was as rare for an Aera to reach 60 years of age as it was

for a twentieth century human to reach 100.

The physical appearance of the Aera reflects upon their origins. The Aera have a smooth, leathery skin

not dissimilar in appearance to the bark of a birch tree, with occasional yellowish patches reminiscent of

lichens. The hinged portion of the mouth is, in contrast to that of Terran species, the upper portion. The

mobile portion of the mouth is also notable in that it does not consist of a bony arch, and is actually a solid

bony plate. Inside this mouth are two rows of teeth, the second moving forward to replace the first as they

naturally fall out, and a new second row is grown. The front teeth are razor sharp and are obviously for

tearing flesh, and the next sets of teeth are likewise designed for the chewing of meat, but the rearmost few

teeth have grinding surfaces, allowing the consumption of nuts, seeds, and other such vegetable matter. The

corners of the mouth are usually open, and provide the normal breathing route. When exerting itself, an

Aera will pull back its lips, increasing the size of the airway. The wide, narrow eyes are almost universally

a milky green, with wide, narrow pupils, and are largish in size relative to the head. The eyes are above the

terminating point of the downward slant of the lip-line, but below the bony jaw plate. Just below the mouth,

on each side of the head, is a row of small pits that are used for chemoreception. Beneath each eye is a

kidney-shaped patch of lighter skin that marks the location of a tympanum. On the underside of the Aera

head are a pair of organs, each capable of producing variable amplitude, low frequency vibrations, which the

Aera use to communicate.

NOTE: depiction of head in Figure A-1 is non-canonical, picture otherwise highly informative: Basic

body plan is captured reasonably by Aeran Body Plan but the head is entirely wrong, and the coloration is a

bit off (so ignore the head and the coloring should be closer to gray than white).

7.2.3 Mental

The Aeran thought processes mostly operate at speeds comparable to that of humans, but with some notable

distinctions in process, efficiency and valuation of concerns. On average, Aerans possess demonstrably

superior quantitative reasoning skills compared to human norms. While not completing most subtasks at

remarkably faster speeds, Aerans are much less likely to make mistakes or become lost or distracted. Compared

to humans, Aerans are at once chronically hyper-alert, but capable of obsessive levels of focused

concentration on the task at hand. Aerans do not degrade in mental capacity as readily due to exhaustion.

In general, the entire Aeran body will operate at near-full capacity through extended non-rest and stress

periods, collapsing in a step-function, rather than gradual manner. Indeed, the Aeran existence is one of

nearly constant stress, as they work themselves to death in lives far shorter than that of Humans, Klk’k, etc.

Humans would consider all Aerans to have a thoroughly paranoid mindset. Aerans feel their concerns are

entirely rational, as, historically, most things have been out to get them. Aerans have extremely strong hierarchical

loyalty arrangements, and, although possessed of individuated desires, excel at subverting them to

the demands of the hierarchy. Through countless wars of successive integration and the institutions supporting

the Aeran cultural and political hierarchy, the loyalty structure of the Aerans has enabled them to map

their natural pack/clan bond affinities onto a profound species-wide affiliation. The primary goal of Aeran

society is what it has always been: group survival above all else. All that has changed is the parameters and

implementation details. While the Aera are not innately belligerent, they are innately non-trusting and tend

towards presumptions of negative intentions on the part of the other species they have had relations with.

Moreover, when the Aera feel threatened, it is easy for them to justify arbitrarily extreme measures if they

believe said measures will at all increase the odds of their long-term survival. As such, the policies pursued

have often been seen as startlingly aggressive by the other parties involved.

7.2.4 Technological

• Tech:

Aerans excel at most applied mathematics and the physical sciences, but lag noticeably in biological

sciences. Aerans clear-cut their own homeworld, driving back their ancestral jungles to make room

for their industrially-oriented civilization, and prefer living entirely apart from the ecosystems of the

worlds they colonize whenever possible. Aeneth-forming relies heavily on cleansing the host-planet

of its native ecologies before introducing Aeran ones. Aeran colonization is a very infrastructureintensive

task compared to the techniques deployed by humans and even more so in comparison to

the Rlaan. Aeran society in general is very resource intensive. While the Aeran rate of population

increase and technological progress is very rapid, they left their homeworld much later than the other

interstellar powers, and the further reaches of their empire are much less developed. While the planet

is being rendered amenable, the Aerans will tend to focus on developing orbital infrastructure even

while little-to-nothing exists on the ground, and will do so to a greater degree than other groups. The

Aera shun fully autonomous AIs, as they view them as more likely competitors than allies. They view

biological AI constructs in much the same light. AI research is therefore somewhat stunted in Aeran

society, and certain tasks are thus much more labor-intensive. Aeran research in weapons technology

is excellent, and frequently somewhat superior to that of the other factions. However, a bias toward

excellence has skewed the quantity-quality trade-off somewhat toward quality over quantity. While

the Aera will not forsake economic or practical efficiency wholesale, they are innately comfortable

with the notion of problems being solved by the introduction of superior technologies and engineering.

While Aeran technological and engineering progress is rapid, they are making up for lost time relative

to the other species, and their advancement is uneven.

• Weapons:

Aerans have a notable preference for shield-piercing weaponry and tend to ignore options without

significant shield-piercing effects. The Aerans wish to make every shot count, and are thus more

limited in their potential array of death-dealing options. Most smaller Aeran weapons are ammunition

based, utilizing complex warhead designs that emit a brief, intense pulse of radiation upon contact

with an enemy craft’s shields. The preference for shield-piercing weaponry extends to Aeran capital

vessels and missile designs. Aeran craft tend to prefer using larger numbers of smaller missiles over

smaller numbers of larger missiles.

• Tactics:

– Small groups: smaller Aeran craft, while purposed, are capable of generalist missions and are

often tasked with recon and commerce raiding

– Large groups/Fleets: Aerans prefer large engagements to skirmishes, as they tend to be more

direct in attempting to achieve their goals.

The primary use for small craft in Aeran fleets is as a screen for larger capital vessels. Aeran interceptor

craft are defensively oriented. In contrast with many other groups, the vast majority of the

superiority fighters will also remain behind to guard the fleet. Corvette class vessels are the primary

implements of Aeran assaults on other fleets. The Aerans do not rely on what would generally be considered

bomber class vessels, and instead utilize a mix of assault corvettes, F/A light craft, and escort

corvettes, the latter two acting as the primary escorts for the torpedo-rich assault corvettes. Capital

vessels engage at maximum distance, and attempt to remain at distance from enemy fleets until the

enemy’s organization has been broken, or the fleet’s missile supplies have been exhausted. Larger

Aeran capital ships, even in their non-missile load-out, generally prefer a role more artillery than

cruiser in nature. While Aeran destroyers are capable generalists, the majority of their armament is

tailored to engaging assault vessels and other larger, less maneuverable sub-capitals. However, Aeran

destroyers do tend to have very solid forward acceleration and the ability to orient all primary turrets

in a forward direction for chase maneuvers. Aeran craft built specifically to counter threats in the

Rlaan-Aeran conflict have a disproportionate number of weapons designed to deliver maximum damage

over short time periods at short distance. Larger Aeran capital vessels are on the larger side, and

significant economic investments for the Aera, even relative to most other major factions. The Aera

will readily sacrifice smaller vessels to allow their larger assets to escape a losing engagement. While

the Aera operate what is arguably the largest carrier currently in use (the Agesipolis), it is used more

as a mobile base, moving in to hostile systems only after initial combat operations have subsided.

The Aerans instead rely on jump-capable small craft, even for purely defensive scenarios, and a larger

number of much smaller tender craft (currently, the Dorissus class) to repair, refuel, and rearm them.

This is in keeping with the much larger role of sub-capital (non-fighter) craft in the Aeran fleets, and

their ability for self-management relative to fighter-craft.

• Installations:

Almost all Aeran installations are armed, and any sizable one armed heavily. The Aera are very reliant

on their orbital infrastructure, and will go to great lengths to defend it.

7.2.5 Culture

Aera culture is highly organized and decidedly hierarchical, but in the form of a meritocracy rather than

an aristocracy. While what has constituted merit has morphed over the millennia since the first Aera tribes

selected work crews to cut back the encroachments of the jungle upon their early settlements, given the

relative position of the pre-technological Aera in their local food chain, there has long been a favoring of

cleverness and determination over raw strength. The current social and vocational position of any Aera is

immediately indicated by the color and pattern of an individual’s coverall. The Aera are ruled by a subset

of the highest caste, with membership in the oligarchy changing whenever either an individual steps down,

or a third of the other members call for a member’s replacement. New members must be confirmed by two

thirds of the current oligarchy. It is much more common for members to voluntarily remove themselves

from power, believing themselves more useful elsewhere in society, than to be cast out. An average stay in

the oligarchy lasts a few Aera years.

The long struggle of the Aera against the erosion of their society at the hands of the natural world has

instilled in them a deep respect for that which has enabled them to conquer their environment: technology.

Not only is the advancement of technology greeted without fear, the social position of the artificer and the

engineer is one more greatly elevated than that seen in any pre-Diaspora human society. What is feared is the

unmastered and uncontrolled. Even after the last war between Aera and Aera was fought, bringing the last of

the major islands under the control of the mainland, the Aera only slightly relaxed their military investment.

Perhaps in large part due to their short lifespan, and the consequential rapid dying off of adherents to old

theories, science advanced quickly, and with the understanding of their place in the universe came a belief

that just as they had been forced to fight back against the jungle to keep themselves alive, so would they

likely have to push back against all that waited for them beyond their world. Thus, eight centuries ago the

Aera burst forth from their homeworld, not afraid, but determined that nothing would stand between them

and their indefinite existence.

Factions and Organizational Groups

Listed below are noteworthy Aeran sub-factions and organizational groups:

• Aeran Merchant Marine


The nature of the Aera homeworld never inspired much belief in any sort of loving deity. What began as a

collection of local deities coalesced, through conquest by what was to be the dominant group on the entire

planet, into a single pair of entities, one force of creation, and one of destruction, both abstract, and both

uncaring. As time progressed, and the Aera advanced, these entities progressively lost entity status and

drifted into the realm of spiritual concepts. Becoming more self-centered in their exploration of existence,

destruction morphed into personal death, and creation into species survival. Organized religious activity

among the Aera, such as it was, ceased centuries ago, but the impact on their culture of the concepts of

death and survival is still quite strong. Indeed, Aeran mausoleums are said to be, quite possibly, the only

pieces of Aeran art that might ever be considered beautiful. The Aera respect death, but value is placed on the

accomplishments made in the face of one’s imminent demise. All Aera are cremated, and the repositories

for such remains are vast public works, filled with displays of the accomplishments of those entombed

within, those who contributed greatly to the species being rewarded with physical space devoted to listing

their deeds, and the rest consigned to a rotating schedule of intermittent holograms and access via terminal

displays. It is in such places that an Aera would go to ponder, in silence and solitude, relenting briefly from

the near tireless schedule of a short-lived species, the nature of its existence.

Cultural Aesthetics

Aerans like clean, uncluttered structures. Aeran ships are often described as having an overall appearance

much as if they had been carved out of a single block of wood or sculpted down from a large stone rather

than looking built up piecemeal, as some human designs are.

7.2.6 Writing, numbers, and insignia

The Aera use a redundant numbering scheme: Radix 3, digits drawn from the set of values -2,-1,0,1,2

7.2.7 Faction: Aeran Ascendancy

A Brief History of the Aera

The Aera homeworld was home to extremely competitive ecosystems. It was not a supportive environment.

If one considers Earth the ”mother” of the human race, then, in comparison, Aeneth was an abusive parent.

The Aera evolved in an environment where a slew of things really did want to kill/eat/infest them. Beginning

with the early harnessing of fire, and ending with industrial might, the Aera remedied this problem by

destroying the vast jungles that bore them. However, their outlook on the universe was fundamentally shaped

by their beginnings in a direction that humans would consider paranoid, or at least profoundly pessimistic

and somewhat untrusting, though the Area merely see it as prudent recognition of how the universe works.

This outlook was greatly reinforced by the Aera experience with the nano-plague. The precocious Aera,

unlike humans or Rlaan, developed jump-based FTL before having otherwise left their solar system. The resultant

reactivation of the nano-plague and the devastation it wrought on their population, served to gel their

concept of an inherently antagonistic universe. Aeran society greatly increased its militarization, heretofore

on the wane since global unification, so as to better prepare for potential conflicts in what, evidenced by the

nano-plague, they presumed was an inhabited galaxy.

The Aera are the youngest of the three currently dominant space-faring major groups, but are also

the most expansionist, fastest breeding, shortest lived, and devote the highest fraction of their economy

to military and military related R&D spending. They are not evil, they are not delusional, they are not

irrational, but they have some fundamentally different assumptions they are working from that make them

somewhat difficult to get along with. Finding out that their section of the jump network had them pinned by

the Humans and Rlaan, they first attempted to negotiate passage, and were rebuffed. They then attempted to

sneak a colony convoy through Rlaan space, but this turned into an utter debacle after Aeran escorts killed

Rlaan Civilians, sparking a war lasting several years, that churned the Rlaan-Aeran border into an abattoir.

Although formal peace has never been brokered between the two, a cease-fire has been in effect for several

years. The Aera have now turned their sights toward Human space, invading Forsaken territory, hoping to

push through toward the less defended Forsaken/Confederation border crossings, carve a corridor through

to the other side of humans space, and keep it open long enough so that they can send enough colonization

fleets through to the other side to make the venture worthwhile.


Compared to contemporary 33rd century humans, the Aera are comparable or somewhat more advanced

in some of the physical sciences and their applications, notably so with respect weaponizations of certain

technologies. They are noticeably behind in life sciences and AI.

Having been wandering the jump network for the least amount of time (among the Rlaan/Humans/Aera),

the Aera, though occupying the same order of magnitude of systems as the Humans or the Rlaan (Rlaan/Lmpl/Nuhln/Saahasayaay

have most, followed by Humans/Klk’k/Dgn/Purth/Mishtali, followed by Aera/Bzbr, then the much smaller

Uln, Shmrn) have not occupied many of them for nearly as long. The Aera expanded in territory faster than

that territory could be developed up until running into the Uln. After one last push then brought them to

the Human and Rlaan borders as well, the Aera have been racing to build up their newly settled colonies

nearer the borders, but the bulk of their industrial potential remains concentrated in systems closer to their

homeworld than to alien space. This difference was especially clear during the Rlaan-Aera conflict, wherein

many newly settled Aeran colonies along the border fell to the Rlaan assault, but the same Rlaan fleets

were badly bloodied when they tried to push into Aeran systems with more matured defenses. Due to the

war, Aeran military spending and infrastructure development has been extravagant in comparison to human

budgets, but the Aera also had to cope with sizable losses in personnel and materiel.

While there are key differences between the level of population and industrial development between the

core colonies and the newer colonies, due to the very strong central organizing forces in Aeran governance

and economy, this is not a deep political divide, nor an economic one - it is merely a matter of the more

fringe planets growing as fast as they can into states undifferentiable from the more core worlds. This

centralization should not be taken as evidence that Aerans are a selfless society of collectivists. Rather, the

Aera have a strong natural ability and desire to sublimate personal interests to higher authority, a trait left

over from their more pack-like origins. Success, however, is still judged at individual granularity, and Aera

are entirely opportunistic about personal advancement when the opportunity either does not come at the

expense of the dictates of higher authority, or places them into a position of higher authority.


The Aera are a bit culturally dour, although they do engage in organizational events, such as rallies, sporting

contests, and Military parades. Entertainment pursuits, such as music, for personal pleasure are not a significant

thread in Aeran culture. Such pursuits are seen as necessary avenues of release, but to devote oneself

to pursuing purely entertainment oriented activities merely because they are pleasant is seen as wasteful,

wantonly hedonistic, and a reckless abandonment of one’s duties. Entertainment with physical components,

such as sporting competitions, are viewed in a more favorable light.

In Aeran culture, mortality is to be pondered and meditated upon in its inevitability. It is worth noting

that it is not so much those that came before them that the Aera cherish as the accomplishments of those

who came before them. The Aera perspective is that it is only though accomplishment on behalf of the Aera

that the Aera can continue, and the dead, thereby, can continue to live in the memories of the Aera.


Aera culture is highly organized and decidedly hierarchical, but in the form of a meritocracy rather than

an aristocracy. While what has constituted merit has morphed over the millennia since the first Aera tribes

selected work crews to cut back the encroachments of the jungle upon their early settlements, given the

relative position of the pre-technological Aera in their local food chain, there has long been a favoring of

cleverness and determination over raw strength. The current social and vocational position of any Aera is

immediately indicated by the color and pattern of an individual’s coverall. The Aera are ruled by a subset

of the highest caste, with membership in the oligarchy changing whenever either an individual steps down,

or a third of the other members call for a member’s replacement. New members must be confirmed by two

thirds of the current oligarchy. It is much more common for members to voluntarily remove themselves

from power, believing themselves more useful elsewhere in society, than to be cast out. An average stay in

the oligarchy lasts a few Aera years.

Need to more usefully carve up faction vs. species information. Will do so later.FIXME

7.2.8 Faction: Aeran Merchant Marine

The Aera don’t really have a civilian sector. All Aera resources are controlled by the state, and ruled over

by the Oligarchy. The Aera do, however differentiate between combatant and non-combatant forces, and the

Merchant Marine, while armed, are designed to transport goods through dangerous space rather than conquer

said space. (It may be duly noted that the Aera are predisposed to consider all space to be dangerous).