A widely-used classification system for starfaring ships of war
The Firststar Classification System was established in centuries past to classify starfaring warships. It rates them according to size and capability in war. Credit for the invention of the system is hotly contested.
The course load would have been crippling if he didn’t love the subject matter, but as it was, his first week at Aces High was just gruelling. The first two hours of every day were devoted to scholarly studies: navigation, metaphysics, language arts, sociology, natural history, planetology, astronomy, ship recognition and design, tactics, and so forth. They were even allowed to study from copies of Firststar's Fighting Ships, despite the expense of this respected book, and were quizzed on its contents.
The following chart provides a list of warship classes according to the Firststar System, and the designations of those classes in various large navies of Known Space; along with the number of crew members needed to safely operate the vessel, the maximum crew capacity, the number of marines, soldiers, and/or passengers it can carry in addition to its crew, and its cargo capacity. These designations represent examples of the workhorses of each Navy fleet, not the entirety of its compliment. For example, it isn't unknown for elves to make use of constructed ships that resemble birds, as well as their trademark Starseed Ships.
Each year, the Symmerin University publishes the Firststar's Fighting Ships Recognition Guide, updated with all the information the military scholars of the university have been able to acquire (which means that often, information that has been classified by the various Navies of Known Space is absent). The guide includes tactical analysis, technical schematics, and keys to recognition at a distance, including ship profiles. Most experienced spacefarers value it even above the "official" recognition guides produced by their Navies. A wise ship's captain will be sure to spring for a copy at least every few years, even though the coloured illustrations and the sheer thickness of the tome make it somewhat pricey.
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Who, or What, Was Firststar?
The Firststar Classification System has been around long enough that not even the elves remember where it came from. Perhaps somewhat ironically, almost every major spacefaring civilization claims to have created the system:
The elves claim that Silasnilee Firststar, an Alfar Captain in the early days of the Avalonian Imperial Navy, was the inventor of the system, to be used for Naval intelligence gathering
Goblins claim that the system was invented by the members of the Firststar Cartel, who needed some method of keeping an eye on more warlike civilizations
The gnomes claim that Schwoonock Firststar, a great scholar, developed the Firststar Classification System in order to complete his Treatise on the Starfaring Warships of Known Space, all 35 volumes of which were completed about 900 years ago
The orcs claim that Grok of Clan Firststar created the system in order to make a systematic study of what other species were using in warfare, so that they could build their own variants of each ship class. Orcs are further divided as to whether Grok was male or female, since the name is a fairly common one, and can be used by either gender
The space dwarves of the Firststar Clan claim that it is obvious that they developed the system, and they are known to fight anyone who disagrees with them; although they can offer little to support their claim except the name
The Inkali Lizardfolk of the city of Firststar, a port on a watery asteroid in the Caer'Thunian System, claim to have developed Firststar as part of their library classification system
The Arapata claim to have not only developed the system, but to have invented the first dreadnaught, which was a ship named Firststar
The allyri claim that Arzhider Ilari-Bolivar and his companion, a celestial dragon named Firststar, invented the classification system to help the nation of Alarah build its own Navy
There are countless other examples, but these are some of the most prominent. The only ones who don't claim to have invented the Firststar System are the various human cultures, since they are relative newcomers to space, and they don't claim otherwise.
If you couldn't tell by the elves, orcs, and magic flying sailing ships in space, this is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to people or locations, living or historical, is purely coincidental, with the exception of Alberdingk Onestone, who may actually be an alternate dimension's version of a famous scientist, only as a gnome.
The Toy Soldier Saga is copyright (c) 1995 by Diane Morrison. All rights reserved.
John "Paladine" Baxter