Combat equipment in the Xyon Terrestrial National Guard.
Style Ebon is the predominant style of art, architecture and applied art, decorative arts, and general design embraced throughout The Mikaegeny. The style was introduced in 3783 YM, by the Blackstone Arts Academy, one of the leading arts studio at the time. Exemplifying the oppressing and totalitarian ideals of Mikaean society, while still emphasizing their hardcore sense of "form follows function" fashion and designs, the patterns of Style Ebon works are formulaic to a certain degree as the products of the style are sleek, domineering, and stylish in a highly austere manner, with the complete embrace of the future and technological progression. Colors are never clashing, spaces are designed to provide comfort and entertainment, and furniture are always simplistic to provide only the base needs required. In giving a short description of the style, Style Ebon combines minimalism and futurism, and yet manages to pull of a "fascinating nightclub vibe" with its tactful use of colors and lighting.
Style Ebon is an all-encompassing style, with all items involved in the structure's design, from the shell, accessories, furnishings, and landscape, subject to the concepts of Style Ebon. The artistic style of Style Ebon can be found everywhere in Mikaean society, from their cities, to their suburbs, to their installations and industrial facilities, to the vehicles and clothing, equipment and products, and simple trinkets and toys. Black and white serve as the base colors for all designs, though they are often substituted with other simple colors such as gray, blue, and red when deemed appropriate. Style Ebon structures are characterized by stark steel and concrete facades, open spaces and large glass windows, cutting angular lines and corners, bleak monochromatic colors, and strategic placement of lighting to highlight features of the structure, with Style Ebon architecture generally regarded as the apex of the Mikaeans' simplistic and straightforward approach to artistic endeavors and concepts.
The designs, features, and influence of Style Ebon have dominated Mikaean society for more than five hundred years, and still remains the primary artistic style of the species down to the modern day. Because of the sheer span of the art style, Style Ebon is regarded as the most successful art form in Mikaean history, though some critics regard this as more a symptom of the Mikaean mind rather than the intrinsic value of the style. Given the fact that Mikaeans tend to be evolutionary rather than revolutionary minded with their work, many have come to believe that Style Ebon came to dominate the Mikaeans' artistic capabilities as a result of their simplistic views on art and creativity, with its aesthetic and appealing visual appearance and simple manner of design, being a natural fit for the Mikaeans as a people. In spite of the negative views in some areas of society, most Mikaeans have come to embrace the style in its totality, and its dominance remains assured as it has for the last five centuries.
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Seal of the Soldiery of the Mikaegeny
There has been much debate as to the need for the Xyon Armed Services to remain active on a planet with no hostile neighboring powers or major conflicts worth fighting. Established right after a major internal crisis that nearly resulted in a civil war, the XAS has been at arms for the last 250 years, without any major force to oppose it. The vast budget of the military has been criticized, along with all the purchases for military hardware and equipment, some of which, invariably ends up in the hands of the very people the military has vowed to fight. Likewise, the equally vast size, some 36.5 million active personnel, employed by the military has boggled the mind of some politicians and activists. However, in spite of the criticism of its size, budget, and lack of purpose, the military establishment as well as members of the government have provided a series of explanations that go into detail as to the rationale for keeping the military. The first and most obvious one, and the one reasonable for its creation in the first place, is the aim of preventing the return of patrimonial households on the planet. Prior to the unification of Xyon, all of the Mikaean nations were – or were made up of – vast patriarchal families known as households, each with tens of millions of Mikaeans loyal to a single man who was their biological father and absolute ruler. These households waged numerous wars which devastated Xyon, and only ended following a global unification war.
When the weak Treaty of Chernaya government took over all of Xyon following unification, it lacked a unified military and security force, allowing the patriarchs of the households to police themselves. As a direct consequence of this, the clandestine Shadow Wars began; leading to a series of crime waves, protests and riots, assassination attempts, and the death of a High Patron following an attempt by one household to spark a conflict in the Eastern Region of Xyon. Indeed, a series of skirmishes between the households' security forces had been commonplace across Xyon, and it was still highly dangerous to cross into another household as a non-native, and attacks on Mikaeans from other households was rife throughout the planet's feuding houses. The Shadow Wars only ended when the federal government and the Black Cross Church crushed the fighting and forced the Blackstone Constitution through the Supreme Federal Congress, mandating the creation of a unified military and police force, and disbanding all paramilitary forces and militias with loyalties to the patriarchs and the local governments. With that act, one of the last vestiges of patriarchal rule had been extinguished, though only after fifty years of instability.
The second reason was the formation of organization rebel and terrorist groups across the planet, unhappy with unification and the mandated association and non-discrimination against other Mikaeans. Separatist groups, religious fanatics, political ideologues, and hate organizations, all formed after unification, and took part in the violence that marked the first half-century of unification on the planet. Without an organized force to combat them, the terrorist groups murdered tens of thousands, and the federal government was powerless to stop them. When the military and security forces were established, the reign of the rebels had been curtailed almost overnight, as soldiers poured into hotspots and areas of conflict, and crushed the fighters. Though some estimated fifty terrorist organizations are known to remain active across the planet, thanks to the actions of the armed forces, these groups rarely reach the interior regions of population and industry on the planet, and have been mostly confined to the rural and underdeveloped areas of Xyon.
The final reason for the formation of a military was the threat of the feral and houseless Mikaeans, whose numbers grew rapidly during and following unification. Beginning with the ferals, prior to unification, feral Mikaean accounted for 1-2% of all females spawnlings across the planet. However, due to a lack of resources and the physical and mental stress on the patriarchs – directly effecting the health and quality of their eggs – saw the number of ferals as a percentage of the spawnling population increase to 3-4%. This directly resulted in the feral population increasing by the millions, due to longstanding rules that feral spawnlings cannot be killed by Mikaeans due to their age and innocence. As a consequence, feral attacks exploded when these youth reached maturity, and entire cities were targeted in the attacks. As for the houseless, with many households expelling members of their ranks for serious crimes such as murder, rape, and torture, among other violations against their own sisters, the number of houseless increased, leading to vindictive attacks against their own families.
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The Mikaeans are a sentient humanoid species which dominates the entirety of Known Space, inhabiting hundreds of star systems and thousands of planets, moons, and habitat stations throughout space. The Mikaeans originate from the planet of Family Pride, which was colonized by their ancestors some ten thousand years ago, led by Mikael O'Neill, their creator and the individual from whom the Mikaeans take their namesake. Related to a much older though long forgotten species known as humans, the Mikaeans share many physical traits with the ancient species but through the actions of their creator have large diverged from the elder species.
The rationale for developing devastators is linked to the desire of the Mikaean Directorate's desire to create a compact weapons platform that could operate in various terrains and climates, all while remaining largely impervious to conventional weaponry and countermeasures. Furthermore, such war machines could be easily crewed by a few individuals while still possessing the firepower of several armored fighting vehicles. When the first prototypes were developed, though maintenance was a source concern, the devastators produced by the military were relatively affordable and possessed considerably more capabilities in the way of greater fluidity and adaptability in the battlefield. A single devastator at the time of serial production in TBD cost about ₢35 million credits, whereas a contemporary heavy land destroyer of the time cost about ₢8 million credits. As the technologies for the devastators were improved, the cost related to their production decreased. By TBD, the most common devastator, the TBD, cost ₢22 million credits, compared to the primary HLD which cost ₢9.5 million credits.
Given the versatility of the devastators, they became more and more commonplace in the battlefield, though they never replaced HLDs given that in the latter was still relatively inexpensive and well-integrated into the strategies and tactics of the military. However, the ability to better perform in the increasingly urban battlefields of known space, integrated shields and greater power supplies, as well as the less team-oriented and thus swifter response times of the devastators, made them indispensable to the needs of the Mikaean Armed Forces. In an economic sense, though devastators as a rule typically cost three to four times more than a land destroyer, the industrial complexes responsible for their production made them highly useful as a source of employment for the Mikaean populace. Many corporations have benefited from the production of devastators and their spare parts, as well as the underlying equipment and accessories required to maintain and assemble the war machines.
Vespian architecture has been defined by the vast deserts of Zhakar, playing a major role in the manner in which the Vespians have designed their buildings, homes, and places of worship. The architecture of the Vespians has traditionally been defined by notable features such as onion domes, pointed arches, flying buttresses, dark ceramic or metallic roof tiles, spires, and stained glass windows of dark blue and green hues. All of these are constructed from the ubiquitous sandstone readily available at any location on the planet, and decorated with various blue tiles made from local minerals for areas hosting fountains and gardens. Interiors are as a rule, dimly lit with a few areas of lighting, and much of a building's interior is simply left dark as a consequence of this design choice. Windows typically vary in design based on their location on the building, and its intended function. Windows are long, narrow, opaque and glossy, and sit just above ground level on most buildings.
The buildings constructed in the style of Vespian architecture typically invoke a dark and foreboding image toward individuals in their presence, often appearing ancient and withered husks to those unfamiliar with their designs.
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