Alcubierre drive Technology / Science in Imperia Triplica | World Anvil

Alcubierre drive

Caesar Immortalis, May He Live Forever, is not only a great leader and tactician. Before that, he was a brilliant scientist, and developed the drive in secret, and used it to overthrow the corrupt Senate.

Sometimes when I see those huge Legions, I wonder what it would be like to pilot it during a jump. To use the drive. To slip through space outside the grasp of physics.

The ancient Imperians who first arrived into the Europa System through the Lost Postern possessed only the theoretical equations for the Alcubierre drive. The drive, theorized to be able to achieve faster-than-light travel by creating a "bubble" around itself that stood outside of spacetime, was considered unachievable because the energy required for its use would be impossible to gather. However, a legionnaire engineer would find a power source with the immense energy needed to operate the drives, and would use it on the Legio I Germanica to overthrow the Senate and become Caesar Immortalis.

Defining Features

The first working Alcubierre drives were manufactured on their respecive Legions using material gathered from planets under Imperian control. The drives require ships over a certain size to use without burning the ships up during deceleration, and the pilots that are qualified to use the drives must also be physicists in order to manage the changes caused by the bubble. The drives enable enormous Legion ships to travel extremely quickly within their own System. Although an Alcubierre drive cannot be used in conjunction with a postern, the drive can be disengaged during postern travel and reengaged once reaching the other side.   The energy source for the drives remains a secret known only to Caesar Immortalis and an unknown cadre of select physicists.


A young engineer who would later become Caesar used the drive to jump the Legio I Germanica to his advantage in skirmishes with other Legions. Once the revolution was complete, the new Caesar installed these drives into all Legions to ensure they would be available extremely quickly in the event of Mariner uprising, or environmental emergency.   During jumps, anyone aboard the Legion itself is unlikely to feel any change in acceleration. However, upon looking out of a window or porthole, the universe around the ship will appear to be moving in reverse, as the bubble outside the ship is traveling faster than light. During a jump, the pilot is unable to steer the ship, and must make all necessary navigational calculations prior to jump. When decelerating at its destination, the bubble bursting at the front of the Legion will annihilate any matter it comes into contact with. Theoretically, if this matter exists beyond a certain threshold, it could cause the generation of a black hole.

When he did the impossible, he did the unthinkable.
Ask yourself enough, and you can answer:
Where have they gone?
What was their crime?
The price for the impossible is unthinkable.
— The Historian


The ships that aren't large enough to house an Alcubierre drive are outfitted with Mariner-developed solar drives or ancient Imperian combustion drives. Solar drives are sub-FTL and suitable for long distance travel, and are most efficiently utilized aboard Europa class solar transports and similar vehicles. Combustion drives remain unable to spend much time away from planet-based fuel sources, and are best suited in vehicles that remain planet bound or only venture briefly into orbit.


  • Amidst the debris atop a physicist's messy desk, the party agrimensor finds a piece of paper with a very interesting series of formulas on it.
  • The party sagittarius can totally turn on the Legion's drives . . . as long as they have a plan to be able to stop.
  • The Sicarii would do just about anything to figure out what the Alcubierre power source is.


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