Space Defense Legion
The monolithic Space Defense Legion holds the forefront of non-magical technological achievement. They lead an insular existence, defending their territory from unauthorized incursion and rarely venturing openly outside their own borders.Rising from the remnants of those opposing release of the hidden magical knowledge behind The War for Enlightenment, the Space Defense Legion serves as a well-defended reminder that even magic has its limits. The Legion is admired across the universe for their technological achievements and refusal to succumb to the Sparnell Confederation's attempts to conquer their space, while their closed nature and disinterest in others have given them a noticeable air of mystery.
The Legion relies on non-magical technologies, eschewing Magic whenever possible. This has led to considerable technological advances beyond the capabilities of the more magic-reliant Sparnell Confederation and Hydell Order. Legionnaires believe that life in the mortal realm was only meant to be lived once, and that the Afterlife is a place of joy and self-discovery as the soul explores its next phase of existence. This is not viewed as a religion but more of a scientific philosophy, one which nonetheless permeates every branch and walk of life within Legion space. Mortality is a gift, and every day is meant to be appreciated. Due to their origins, the Legion holds a higher percentage of humans than the other major factions, as humanity's lower genetic aptitude with magic placed many at odds with the hunger for advanced and dangerous magical knowledge which led to The War for Enlightenment. This especially high concentration of humans has served as a point of curiosity for the rare visitors allowed to visit Legion territory, but has not seemed to change their treatment of other sophont lifeforms. At least if the prevalence of Legion technology directed at improving the quality of life of fae, even despite the insectoids' low numbers in the Legion, is taken as an indication.
If their public actions are to be believed, the Space Defense Legion wishes to be left alone to pursue their own interests, separate from the rest of the universe. Their successes in defending their territory from the Sparnell Confederation, particularly in light of their brief but fierce war against the Hydell Order after their short-lived annexation of Kriea, have shown the Legion a capable and disciplined military force despite their weaker grasp on advanced magic. Most point to this as proof the Legion is genuine in their desire for a peaceful yet isolated existence, as they have not made any efforts to conquer the universe themselves. There are some, however, who claim this is merely a front to hide their true intentions. These detractors claim the Sparnell Confederation is the only reason the Legion has not sought to expand their own borders, citing examples such as the SDL's decimation of the peaceful farming planet of Yarva as proof of the Legion's bloodlust.
The War for EnlightenmentThe Space Defense Legion began its existence as the Human Defense League, the largest human force involved in the defense of the Golding Library on Fillimet during The War for Enlightenment. Pledging to defend the Library at all costs, the League attracted other like-minded individuals including the ancient Librarians and Archivists, each eager to contain the forbidden knowledge within the Library and prevent its dispersal into the world. They lost. Faced with the release of countless magical secrets, many locked away for centuries due to their potentially catastrophic impacts on the world, the remnants of the League compiled their own knowledge of the forbidden technologies. Encouraging all those fearing the worst to join them, the League rebranded themselves into the Space Defense Legion, becoming the first to make their way to the stars.
FalloutThe few discovered texts remaining after their departure begin to paint records of changes to magic itself, the magical fields shifting, weakening the full powers wielded by even the mightiest of mages. Many of these records blamed the newly formed SDL, accusing them of sabotaging magic itself in revenge for their loss in the war. Most modern historians consider these texts a record of the impacts resulting from a large-scale release of the formerly forbidden knowledge, although some debate remains regarding how literal of an interpretation is warranted.
TodayOver the years the Legion had grown more insular in nature, sending the Active Defense Legion to defend their territories against incursions from the Sparnell Confederation as they grow ever more distrustful of outsiders. The exact nature of their current technology remains unknown, although judging by the SDL goods available from the Vardan, coupled with the faction's successes against the magically superior Sparnell Confederation, there are no end to theories of the wonders awaiting those who manage to sneak into – and survive – Legion space.
The Active Defense Legion guarantees the safety of planets within Legion space, relying on their advanced portal drives, high-speed technology-based interstellar communications array, and well-drilled familiarity of their home territory to outmaneuver potential invaders. A special branch of the ADL focuses on intense study of enemy tactics, encroaching even into Sparnell Confederation space to gather knowledge and destroy key targets. The ADL does not rely upon the higher level magical spells used by many, instead using their smaller size and agile tactics to wear down their opponents before taking on their primary target.
GovernmentThe Space Defense Legion uses technocratic government, with political hopefuls submitting their employment packages for review to a panel comprised of volunteer representatives from each planet, plus a board of five currently-serving experts in the targeted field. Applications are graded on a rubric initially, with the top applicants then passed to the panel of experts for final selection. In the event of multiple highly qualified candidates up to three finalists may be selected to fill the role, with the expectation they will work together to fulfill the duty of their position. The applications themselves are time consuming to submit, requiring an wide range of technical topics as well as collaboration experience, drawing on the candidate's full professional experiences and requiring multiple letters of recommendation from coworkers and mentors. All applications and judgements are kept public for review by the citizenry, and review boards have been known to take into account commentary and recommendations from other known experts in the field when making the final selection.
The Space Defense Legion continues to foster research and technological advancement through an assortment of government-funded programs and corporate competitions. Employees of companies with the most breakthroughs are often indirectly rewarded with more government offices due to public recognition of their successes, but smaller organizations have still been known to successfully disrupt larger businesses who have allowed themselves to grow complacent or bog down their members with paperwork. By law all new discoveries and technological applications must be made public, allowing competitors to improve upon their work. As a result it is often creative thinking and implementation of a new discovery that determines success within the Legion, while the promise of government postings serves as the largest incentive to push for newer and greater advancements. Military technology stands as a stark contrast to these rules due to the possibility of information theft from opposing factions, most notably the Sparnell Confederation. Organizations wishing to keep their discoveries private will focus on furthering the defensive and offensive capabilities of the Active Defense Legion, only forced to share their discoveries with other military entities as dictated by the government itself.
Courtesy of the importance of technological advancement, primary education is free to all Legion citizens, as is secondary education in the form of trade schools. More advanced knowledge can also be obtained through one of the many apprenticeships, internships, or grants available throughout Legion space, or through formalized education either paid out of pocket or with a commission to the Active Defense Legion.
To find the possible within the impossible.
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