In-game, the Axonian Empire is the brainchild of the Sprite Wars user CommanderCool, and is his new primary army in the various campaigns. Currently they are participating in the Global Campaign, fighting a bitter struggle on planet Earth.
The exact origins of the Axonian Empire have been a point of fierce debate among scholars across the galaxy. Many original theories concerning the near identical physiology and DNA of
|The Axonian Empire|
Head of State
Emperor, Chancellor, Senate, various Elector-Counts
Head of Military
The position of Consul (six individuals)
Unknown, presumed to be astronomical. Most recent census points to a population nearing the hundreds of billions, border vassals excluded.
Significant region in the galactic "west". Upwards of two hundred systems, including vassal states.
Humans (various denominations), Kraal, Gehennan Giants, considerable Demi-Human, Lyvek, Mobian and other minorities.
The currently respected school of thought regarding the origins of the Axonian people and their previously-worldly brother races - the Serklanders, the Gehennans, the Jisengese (who bear striking genetic resemblances to the Terran Arabic, African and Asiatic racial denominations) and so forth - is that of the "Parallel World" theory, invoking the idea that Axonium was an alternate Earth in an altogther-different part of the galaxy, one that followed much the same evolutionary path as its more familiar cousin. However, the exact point of divergence in Axonian history that lead to its most significant events and its current technological abberations has not quite been determined by even the brightest of scholars, Imperial or otherwise.
The Expulsion WarsEdit
Roughly three-hundred years ago, the various superstates of Axonium - Serkland, Llanorech, Gehenna, Vollhammer, Jiseng and the Axonians themselves - are on equal footing. Several unexpected birth booms and significant advances in medicine have caused a major population crisis, and the outbreak of several petty wars snowballs into the first great Expulsion War.
The first war cost Axonium dearly. Strategic focus on all sides shifted between chemical weapons and trench warfare to mobile tactics and saturation bombing, and back and forth. Atomic weapons, too, were shockingly common, and many cities and their inhabitants were turned to radioactive vapour by savvy generals. At this stage, scientists predicted that in fifty years from then the world would be uninhabitable, and this brought the largest nations to the table to agree on a ceasefire, but no peace treaty - they had simply become too used to the fighting. Battle erupted again not two years later.
The second great Expulsion war was shorter than its predecessor, but decidely more devastating - Gehenna, once a proud republic, fell to pieces as chemical bombs killed livestock and corrupted farmlands. Refugees flooded out of Vollhammer to Axonia, frozen out of their homes by a nuclear winter resulting from an experimental Llanorechi bomb, only to be gunned down or imprisoned. Jiseng boiled the waters of the Great Sea to thwart the U-Boat raids of Serkland, drawing back coastlines and causing water shortages. Finally, after three years of scorched earth tactics, the great powers were called to the table once more.Late in the war, Axonia and Serkland - now clearly imperialistic rivals - had been involved in a space race, which by now had led to the first ever colonisation of one of Axoniums moons. With this information in mind, the delegates proposed yet another ceasefire, and for all the great powers to pool their resources into colonising another planet, for the war had not only failed to curb the climbing population but had now devastated the ecology and fertility of the planet - there had to be somewhere else to go.
Serkland and Axonia begrudgingly co-operated. Vollhammer, its people and government broken, offered the resources it had, but nothing else. Jiseng and Gehenna, however, refused to lend their assistance. This led, unfortunately, to a third war, but one that was much more focused and deserving of the name "Expulsion War".
As the first colony ships were finished, Axonian and Serklander task forces began sweeping through the Gehennan countryside and over the Jisengi hills. Villages and towns were flattened, their militaries impotent to stop them, their people forced into massive cattle-marches across the country. The collective remaining populations of these countries were herded onto the colony ships, with some numbers having to be "trimmed" before being sent on their way beyond the stars. The people of Vollhammer and Llanorech sent many of their populations voluntarily, with the remnants merging into the greater white Axonian population.
For a year after, a tense nuclear standoff between Axonia and Serkland existed, the two powers now figuring out their mutual discontent with one another. Eventually, Serkland bit the bullet and left, realising the devastated world was not worth fighting for. They settled on an arid planet, not far from their homeworld. The Axonians were now kings of the ashes.
Roughly a hundred years after the Expulsion Wars, the Great Axonian Spacefaring Empire had rebuilt its homeworld in its own brutalistic, utilitarian image, and had done the same with the colony worlds of the various superpowers it once forced away - without the proper groundwork for colonisation, many of the evacuees had floundered on their new homeworlds, and were either happy to bow down and recieve support, or simply could not muster the strength to resist. Only Serkland stood strong on its own two feet, but after a series of brief skirmishes in space, its government realised it couldn't contend with the new Axonian Empire and accepted vassalage. Fifty years after this reunification, around 30 systems now called themselves Axonian territories.
However, the spring of conquests disturbed another power - the Kugestaldt Republic. Having fallen from grace at the death of its leader and the loss of the Sigma Wars, the newer, less moral-bound superpower lashed out at the Axonian frontier worlds that bordered it, devastating the Imperial effort. Even as the Axonian Empire put itself onto a full war-footing, the war was still a series of laughably one-sided encounters - plasma cannons against bolt-action rifles, supersonic interceptors against turboprop-engine fighters, muscle-bound supersoldiers against 16-year-old boys in chainmail. The Axonian military was devastated, and the Empire was thrown back by almost a system a day.
Their luck changed, however, after a brief counterattack by a remnant fleet against a Kugel GEHDI-spawning ship. Although largely depopulated by several lucky torpedo strikes, the Axonian boarding party found on board one surviving GEHDI child, comparatively no more than a child. The embittered soldiers wanted to kill it, but the then-Colonel Siegfried Straxus chose differently - he took the gene-augmented child and decided to raise him as one of them. As if to compound this success, the Ishuda Industrial Pantheon - long-time rivals of the Kugestaldt - heard of this daring exploit and offered, to the Emperor, the application of their land and space mercenary forces for a princely subscription to their services. The Emperor, desperate for options, agreed.
The Axonian Civil War Edit
The Rise of General Crawn Edit
Four years after its beginning, the Kugel-Axonian war ended with a decisive defeat for the invading Kugestaldt forces. Pincered between the well-funded military-industrial complex of the Ishuda Pantheon and the sheer resolve of the Axonian people in the face of extermination, the rogue states armada was crippled by a series of total routs and cunning maneuvers. Wheeling back to their home systems disgraced, the Kugestaldt conceded defeat - and the Pantheon, satisfied with this success, demanded payment.
Years of stress and terror leading what seemed like a doomed effort, the ruling Axonian Emperor, Corbulo the Fourth, was a shadow of his former self, beaten down to a suggestible, withered old man ripe for exploitation by his peers. Day and night, the Lyvek ambassadors of the Pantheon whispered in his ears, and he gladly emptied the Axonian treasury, bit by bit, into the pockets of his benefactors. All the while, the devastated Axonian infrastructure was left unmended, causing whole systems to fall into poverty and for dissent and rebellion to cultivate.
Central to this early period was the once-decorated general and former Consul Tobias Crawn. Second-oldest son of a noble military family, most of Crawns brothers were sent to their graves by the Kugels, while the increasingly-blinded Corbulo misguidedly blamed each disaster and defeat squarely on his shoulders. Stripped of his honour and shafted by his Emperor, Crawn was forced to watch as the Empire he had fought for and loved was robbed under the table by a different group of alien marauders. Disgusted, Crawn resigned from the Consulate and led a mass desertion of forces loyal to him to his ancestral homeworld of Kersand. By this time, General Severus - a rising star in the officer corps and a hero of the Kugel-Axonian war - was leading the bulk of the Empires crack troops on a crusade force following the fleeing Kugestaldt armies, which left the disorganised and poorly-staffed interior forces impotent to quash the Consuls rebellion.
On Kersand, rebellion seethed in earnest. Bordering the Ishudan Commercial Frontier, the world and its neighbouring systems were swept up in the propaganda machine Crawn and his lieutenants had devised. Alien businesses and homes were pillaged, their inhabitants driven out or killed by mobs of reorganised fascist militias, backed by the local planetary forces and the Consuls own Imperial Army units. The Ishuda Pantheon, caught in a wedge and their pockets filled, decided to pull out its forces from Imperial territories and fortify on its borders, expecting the rogue leaders forces to make attacks and raids on their home turf, but this did not materialise. Crawn had other plans in mind.
Consolidating his forces, Crawn carved out his own smaller Empire throughout much of the Imperial "Heartland". The many core-class worlds in this sector had felt the sting of what Crawn came to call "betrayal of the Axonian people at the highest echelons of power", and were eager to join his secession, providing him with funds, resources and manpower. The industrial worlds of Odno and Tannhauser ousted their loyalist overlords, and also swore their allegiance to Crawn. Only Gehenna, whose people had endured hardship even during times of prosperity, were unmoved by the secessionists words, and remained independent.
Secession and Strife Edit
By the time Crawns disloyalty became fully apparent, the Empire of Serkland - having long languished under elitist Axonian rule - was going through a major revolt of its own. The Council of Five, the governoring body of Serkland territory, had already declared independence midway through the Kugel-Axonian war once the Empire appeared to be losing. With the many signs of weakness in the Empire that followed, the Council members were content to live in opulence and indifference to the strife that wracked the lands of their former masters. Soon, however, a champion of the Serkland people stepped forward - a giant of a man, raised in the illegal fighting pits that dotted the sectors backwater worlds. During the late years of the war, he had cultivated a secret movement composed of Serkland nationalists and disgruntled military officials, and when Crawn declared his secession, this champion executed a plan that rang across Serkland space and saw each of the five Council officials murdered in one night, and the government replaced with his own extremist movement. This man would live in infamy for decades to come - he was Mohc-Al Qassim, the Barbed King of Serkland.
Having once served as the backbone of hot-climate operations for the Axonian military, the secession of Serkland and the loss of its soldiers crippled the Empires ability to respond to the encroachment of separatist forces. This loss of flexibility inspired Emperor Corbulo to form the Axonian-centric Tropika Korps from handfuls of conscripts and volunteers as a replacement for the lost component, led by the young colonel Castor Ferdinand.
Though ambitious, the reality was that this Tropika Korps was seriously understaffed and underequipped in comparison to the regular army - furthermore, Crawns lightning revolt saw them trapped on Gehenna, where they were halfway through mustering their forces for an ill-concieved attack on Serkland territory, masterminded by the fool Corbulo himself. However, their military strength - unsubstantial as it was - allowed Gehenna to maintain its independence from Crawns encroaching empire, and the Tropika Korps was called up to turn back many attacks in the later stages of the Civil War.
Meanwhile, in the galactic west of Imperial territory, further strife was brewing. What remained of the Empires wealth was being poured into reorganizing and rebuilding the frontier into what would soon be called the Century Gate, a massive network of fortress worlds and dense garrisons built to protect the Axonian Empire against further Kugel incursion. Between there and the Imperial Core, however, lay the Silver Straight territories, largely composed of civilian and low-technology worlds left in ruins after the Kugestaldts march towards Axonium itself. Left devastated and neglected by their rulers, many of the Silver Straights inhabitants turned to the austere policies of their previous conquerers, namely the utilitarian social views and ruthless collectivist attitudes the Kugestaldt Republic had enshrined.
With Imperial attentions turned elsewhere, Socialist uprisings sprung up across the Silver Straight, and were met with little resistance from local authorities who found themselves drowned in a sea of popular upheaval. The most powerful of these movements, calling itself the Axonian Peoples Collective Union, sprung up on Vollhammer and began absorbing the diverse rebel groups in the surrounding systems. Eventually, the Collective Union established primacy and dominance over the many systems of the Silver Straight, and started to raise an army of volunteers and former veterans, arming themselves with weapons taken from the nearby fortress world of Victor's Point. Though cornered between the core systems and the worlds of the Century Gate, who remained loyal to the throne with the military power to assert themselves, the Collective Union remained largely unmolested in the early stages of the war, and were able to launch successful invasions of Raxx and Muspelheim, two key industrial worlds whose loss crippled the Loyalist Core even further.
A Stage, Set Edit
By this time, the largest and most active forces were as follows;
- The Loyalist Core was formed from the star systems making up the Iron Cradle, surrounding the capital world Axonium and remaining loyal to the throne. Though largely outnumbered by their enemies, the Core was able to crack down on civil panic and instate martial law, thanks to the quick thinking of what remained of the Consulate and loyalists within the Senate. By this time, mass conscription was also in effect, bolstering by little the depleted Imperial forces enough to form a ring of iron around the core worlds, that would unfortunately be pushed further backward as the war progressed. Though the worlds of Gehenna and the Century Gate remained loyal also, they were cut off from the Loyalist Core and therefore were of little help in the early stages of the conflict.
- The Patriotic Axonian Republic became the public name of Tobias Crawns secessionist movement. At this point, the P.A.R was fervent in expressing popular distaste for its alien neighbours and those who would bend the knee to them, and backed these words with a substantial, well-armed and highly-motivated army formed from a surge of nationalist paramilitary groups and traitor Imperial Army forces. Their objective was loud and clear - they would take Axonium and establish a new order, free from the meddling of alien interests and those who would crush the Axonian identity underfoot. These goals led them into antipathy with Serkland and the Collective Union, to whom they were nationally and ideologically opposed respectively.
- The New Empire of Serkland, led by the self-appointed Mohc-Al Qassim, asserted its will to carve out an undefined chunk of Imperial territory with which to re-establish itself as a great power in the galaxy. This, of course, included the neighbouring Heartlands, where the P.A.R drew its borders, as well as the throne of Axonium itself to truly and finally quash its rival's status. Having quickly overrun the border worlds of Standorf, Gallow and Coldreach, Serklands armies were at this time engaged in a strike against the fortress world of Tannhauser, a lynchpin in the plans of Tobias Crawn's P.A.R.
- The Axonian Peoples Collective Union established itself later than the aforementioned powers, but was no less significant in the war that was to come. Their armies were the first to reach the core worlds of the Iron Cradle, sweeping over Llanorech only to be stopped by a diehard defense at Lyubov. Known shorthand as the A.P.C.U, or simply the Collective Union, they were highly assertive in their beliefs in the Kugestaldt ideology of total collective utilitarianism, and thus alienated themselves from the other major secessionist groups who held their national identities in high esteem.
While the war began in earnest between these four factions, others remained less active in its early stages;
- The Krall Subjugate, lacking in a significant, organised military, profited little as a state from the chaos that gripped its masters. However, Krall mercenaries, traders and other unsavoury enterprises consorted frequently with all bidders, and groups of private soldiers, pirates and raiders were frequently seen amongst all factions, fighting alongside them or wreaking havoc in anothers name.
- The Ishuda Pantheon had, by this time, pulled out of the Axonian Empire to protect its interests and profits from the grasping hands of the secessionists, deserters and pirates that now plagued Imperial territories. Mercenary groups in Ishudan employ, however, would occasionally be seen fighting against P.A.R forces in isolated actions, causing further problems for Crawns secession.
- The Century Gate Holdout wielded possibly the most substantial military force in Imperial territories by the time of the wars outbreak, but without sufficient ships, high-ranking personnel or communication with the capital, this force was largely impotent in the wars early stages. However, the Holdout established itself early as a force to be reckoned with during the Battle of Hammerzeit, where they utterly turned back numerous assaults from much larger Collective Union forces, thanks to their superior training and weaponry.
The Modern EmpireEdit
The Axonian Empire today is a vastly diverse realm of many planets and cultures, from cosmopolitan core worlds to harsh factory planets and backwater colonies. Though its ethnicity is predominantly human, many client races and immigrant populations form a substantial xenos presence within the Axonian realm.
Axonian SocietyEditThe Empire, in spite of its territorial and scientfic advances, is rather antiquated in terms of politics and everyday life. Few outside the bustling core planets enjoy the high-society lifestyle enshrined in Imperial culture, but those that do often find themselves living in quaint cities of redstone buildings, towering monuments and thriving infrastructure, with access to the many boons of imported alien cultures, personal technologies and respectable standards of living. For the majority of the Imperial populations, however, life is spent toiling on the agricultural worlds or factory planets they are born on, serving the planetary government and the highborn lord in charge. Many of these unfortunates seek adventure, however, and for this reason the Axonian armies and fleets - merchant and military - swell with eager volunteers every year.
The established order of Axonian society rests in a quasi-feudal system of planetary governors and officials elected from highly-regarded dynasties, many of which trace their roots back to the days of the Expulsion Wars, be they Axonian, Serklander, or one of the many other former inhabitant races of the planet. Elected by and from the most powerful dynasties is the position of Emperor, the semi-hereditary title that rules over the Axonian Empire - rather than a single individual, the whole family in question takes up the reign of "royal family" based on the decision of their peers, with the father or eldest son assuming the position on the throne, which is then passed down to the younger sons and eventually the daughters (with frequent exceptions, however, as the heir is also judged and reviewed by the electing families, and many an incompetent son has found himself supplanted by his more capable sister.).
For such a large and ponderous civilization, a great number of large, capable organisations are required to prevent the Axonian Empire from simply collapsing overnight. Effective governing institutions and battle-hardened armies are but a few of the many wings that keep the Empire aloft.
- The Imperial Throne - Seat of the Emperor and his royal family. Presides over the many offices of government across the Empire.
- League of Elector Counts - The highly-select group of dynasties that controls the rotation of the Imperial office. Arguably more powerful than the throne itself.
- The Senate - Composed of representatives from all across Imperial space, from the oligarchs of star systems to individual colonial overseers. Here are many of the Empires decisions made.
- The Consulate Offices - Where the six acting Consuls meet to carry out the plans made by the Senate. One of the smallest offices of government, but possibly the most powerful.
- Ministry of Peace - Where the ambassadors of the Empires fellow states meet with Axonian representatives and discuss ongoing relations.
- Ministry of War - The overall head office of the Imperial military organisations, excluding H.O.U.N.D.
- The Grand Axonian Imperial Army - The planet-based armed forces of the Empire.
- Supreme Army Command - The top of the command chain for the Imperial Army. Easily divided into sixths, for personal use by each acting Consul.
- Grenadier Korps - The iconic foot soldiers of the Imperial Army.
- Fusilier Korps - The typically non-combat support elements of the Axonian ground forces.
- Panzer Korps - The Empires vast mechanised divisions, from armoured cars to city-crushing superheavy tanks.
- Air Korps - The in-atmosphere airborne forces of the Army.
- Sea Korps - The various ocean-based fleets that support Imperial planetary efforts.
- The Grand Axonian Imperial Fleet - The space forces and fleets of the Axonian Empire, also linked to the Consuls and the Imperial Army.
- H.O.U.N.D - The intelligence/espionage/deep science/internal affairs organisation of the Empire. The translation of the H.O.U.N.D acronym is unknown.
- "Basora" Branch - Responsible for the discovery, retrieval and reverse-engineering of alien technologies to further benefit the Empire.
- "Zotan" Branch - Charged with investigating, neutralising and/or exploiting possible extradimensional or paranormal threats.
- "Kochek" Branch - For the gathering and networking of intelligence, for use in external and diplomatic affairs as well as to benefit H.O.U.N.Ds field operations.
- "Mortis" Branch - In charge of the various assassins, agents and mission personnel that H.O.U.N.D employs.
- "Midian" Branch - Solely dedicated to the investigation, maintenance and protection of [DATA CLASSIFIED]
- "Ushabti" Branch - Founded to control the movement of information and inhibit certain knowledge from the public, as well as from other factions.
- "Cerek" Branch - In charge of monitoring and executing internal affairs operations within the Axonian military, government and society at large.
- Red Labs - Developers of the "Red" series of agents and other projects, through the use of [DATA CLASSIFIED]
- Axonian Industrial League - The organisation put in place to monitor and confer with the largest corporate elements in the Empire.
- Stetsnung Motor Corp - The foremost developer and supplier of vehicles, civilian and military, in the Empire at a glance. Also deals in waste management and large scale farming operations. Based on Muspelheim.
- Fuschtutz Incorporated - A future-tech corporation notable for openly consorting with alien traders and engineering products based on xenos technologies, such as starships, computers and terraforming gear. On permanent contract from the Empire to produce advanced military equipment. Dually-based on Odno and Prask.
- Hauser Military Concern - Produces the astronomical amount of firearms and weaponry needed in the Imperial Army and Fleet. Also operates various restaurant chains and media subsidiaries. Based throughout the Iron Coast.
- Stummel Munitions - Primarily manufactures ammunition, explosives and artillery weapons, but also deals in rocketry, flammable substances and public heating services. Based on Raxx.
The Voltor EmpireEdit
The Axonians have only encountered the Voltor a small number of times, mostly confined to run-ins with mercenary raiders, patrol ships and tiny splinter fleets crossing Imperial borders. The devastating losses inflicted by even these small elements is known to have caused the greatest spike in military production, recruitment and research in the Empire since the Kugel-Axonian war.
The Mobian KingdomEdit
Relations began between the Mobian Kingdom and the Axonian Empire after the two factions met during their respective campaigns on Earth. Attitudes towards one another were tense at first, but became cordial and even friendly after both parties signed the "IRON Alliance" treaty, and began to openly co-operate in various theatres across the planet. Trade and technology exchanges with the Kingdom have resulted in a tremendous boon for Axonian science.
The long-destroyed Worldbuilder civilization is viewed differently across the Empire - some view their accomplishments with awe and praise, while others condemn the hedonistic, arrogant lifestyle that brought about their downfall. Many in the military, including General Severus himself, view the Worldbuilders - living or dead - with a seething distrust in the wake of the Severine Verge campaign, in which the General led a large army and fleet to conquer and destroy several rogue Worldbuilder strongholds that clung to the edge of the Screaming Sea. Knowledge of the campaigns has been largely purged by H.O.U.N.D.s "Ushabti" branch, but what little is known describes worlds terraformed into actively hostile monstrosities, presided over by psychotic Worldbuilder overlords and their horrifying creations.
Their technology, though loathed and viewed with suspicion for its properties and uses in dimensional movement, time travel and other "forbidden fields" of science, is highly sought after by H.O.U.N.D, particularly the "Basora" branch, who tirelessly disassemble, test and adapt whatever scrapings of tech they can get their hands on. Recent developments and encounters in the Earth campaign, however, have yielded exciting - and frightening - new horizons for research and development of "Worldbuilder magicks".
Territories and LocationsEdit
The Axonian Empire spans a great many planets and systems, and rules over most of them as part of its dominion. Others are governed by their vassal states, who are bound to the Empire through resource taxes, regular military levies, and economic subjugation.
The Iron CradleEditThe birthplace of the Empire, and home to some of its most developed and prosperous worlds. This is where most of the Empires administrative offices and seats of power are located, and by extension, from which the realm is almost entirely governed. Axonium and Jiseng are two of the most notable systems.
The vast cosmopolitan centre of the Empire, where the majority of international trade takes place through the neighbouring Ishuda Commercial Frontier. The richest core worlds, many second only to Axonium itself, are located here, thriving hubs of merchantry and technological research. It is bordered by two of the Empires vassals, who are sometimes able to eke out a cut of the Heartlands prosperity - but not often. It was here that the infamous rebel, General Crawn, carved out his miniature-empire from which to strike at Axonium and other loyalist territories.
Carved out by the famous Gjallar dynasty of Emperors after the Axonian Civil War, the Frontier arcs around the Savant Systems and through towards Free Space. The Gjallars were of Llanorechi descent, and so the first world they conquered became "New Llanorech", which in turn thrived into the centre of this region. Many of the worlds colonised here are still being developed, with those at the edge of the frontier becoming trade hubs and fortified worlds to defend against incursion from alien marauders.
The Century GateEdit
The most heavily fortified of the Imperial regions, the former Banhoff Frontier became The Century Gate after the resolution of the Kugel-Axonian war. It was from here that the Kugestaldt made their invasion, and after their retreat the devastated worlds they left behind became home to colossal fortresses, brutal training grounds and massive military production centres to provide a defense from future incursion. The Gate strategically flanks the Krall Subjugate, guarding it from a side-on attack.
The Silver Straight and The GillsEdit
The border region known as The Gills stands on the brink of the Free Systems, where Imperial rule ends. Instead of its worlds being converted to fortified wastelands like those of the Century Gate or Gjallars Frontier, however, they became trade hubs for the many neighbouring planets across the border lines. The influx of capital and the resulting prosperity that resulted made the Silver Straight, the region bridging the Gate and the Cradle, second only to the Heartland in its incomes and living qualities. This, in turn, makes up for the relative defenselessness of the Gills, as their neighbours can freely hire and equip experienced mercenary fleets to defend both world and trade route from pirates and marauders. Though now at peace, the Silver Straight was once dominated by the Collective Union secessionist group during the Civil War, and a visitor to this region would be hard-pressed to find evidence of the bloody battles that were once fought here.
The Empire of SerklandEditMost infamous of Axoniums former inhabitant civilizations, the Serklanders were, for a time, the Axonians only true contenders in terms of size, military strength, and economic power. Centuries of conservativism in the government, apprehension of colonial expansion and a general stagnation in policy, however, eventually left them in the dust of the Axonians starborne advances. As their Empire began to shrink, the Serklanders succumbed to vassalage by the Axonians, and despite brief antagonism during the Civil War remain one of its most powerful assets, providing some of the best soldiers and most valuable resources the Axonians now posess.
The Krall Subjugate and the Savant SystemsEdit
The Krall, like the Axonians, were a technologically backwards race that slowly carved a small empire in the stars. It wasn't long before, in the early years of the Imperial Age, the two races met and engaged in a short space war, which left the Krall fleets decimated and the Axonians pushing headlong into Krall territory. Eventually a treaty was signed at Victors Point, leading to the vassalisation of the Krall and all their holdings. Their worlds are mostly underdeveloped and barren, left toxic by their brutal terraforming methods, but the Krall Subjugate still finds use by the Empire as a cheap source of reserve troops and a buffer zone for any future invasion from the Kugels.
The Savant Systems, on the other hand, folded into Imperial rule under more peaceful circumstances. The Systems were an organisation of single-planet species collectively dubbed "the Savants", highly advanced but generally welcoming and avoidant of warfare. They struck the deal first, a treaty of protection from the Empire in return for resource and technology trading. Savant worlds are generally well-developed and resource-rich, if bizarre in appearance to human visitors.
The Severine Arm and The Screaming SeaEdit
Grim and numerous are the legends and tales of the Severine Arm. Few are habitable worlds there, and fewer are those inhabited by non-military or non-H.O.U.N.D personnel. The Arm refers to the ring of territory carved out by General Severus, cutting around the Screaming Sea nebula and returning to Imperial territory bordering the Serkland Empire, in an attempt to bridge that once-insurmountable obstacle and continue expanding Imperial space. What he and his armies encountered there is largely covered up by the H.O.U.N.D organisation, but many stories tell of hellishly terraformed worlds, their surfaces mutated into living, breathing cities of bone and flesh, their halls patrolled by shrieking, scuttling monstrosities. It is said that they were ruled over by mad Worldbuilder warlords, who clustered around the shores of the Screaming Sea and settled there permanently, only to be rooted out by Severus and his taskforce one by one.
The Screaming Sea is a vast gulf of space, smothered in a massive solar cloud of ion storms, system-jamming pulses and moon-sized asteroids that make almost all forms of starship travel through it impossible. It is almost entirely empty of solar bodies, save one - a dead world, void of any flora, fauna or even atmosphere, dubbed "Midian" by those who first discovered it. Little is known about how or why this world is there, but probes deployed by H.O.U.N.D into the Sea have logged colossal energy readings coming from deep within the planet. Theories and rumours suggest that the warlords Severus dispatched were converging on Midian and the Screaming Sea, for reasons unknown.
In-game, the Axonian Empire has been drafted and redrafted several times in terms of backstory and visual appearance.
They were first introduced as the "Axon Sturm-Reich" in a short-lived mini campaign on the Metal Slug Database. The Sturm-Reich was portrayed as a generic, military-driven Pan-European nation directly inspired by the Imperial nations of the First World War, particularly those of Germany and Austro-Hungary. This would become the foundation for the Axonian visual style, which would later morph into more general dieselpunk themes. Only one comic was produced in this campaign before CommanderCool lost interest/motivation in the affair.They were reintroduced in the fondly-remembered Seventies Campaign on the Sprite Wars forums. This iteration of the Sturm-Reich was more WW2-themed, being directly reminiscient of Nazi Germany, with anti-semitism replaced by anti-xenos sentiment and pure world-conquering ambition. Some elements of WW1 Germany were merged with this iteration, including the concept of a hereditary leadership, and the general modus operandi of trench and zeppelin warfare. The Sturm-Reich more openly participated, also, in grisly experimentation on the living, occult research, and open war against a Neo-Communist Russia, again reinforcing and inflating many of the themes that came with the Nazi associations. They also allied, in-campaign, with the Axis America faction and the similarly-styled Wasteland Confederacy of Scandinavia.
The third redraft came with the arrival of the Verdant/Exodus campaign, where they were first rewritten and adapted as a spaceborne empire with little to no ties with Earth. The Nazi-esque elements were removed entirely, and the Germanic influences somewhat reduced in favour of a more generally dieselpunk aesthetic. The moniker of "Sturm-Reich" was also dropped, and replaced with the general name of The Axonian Empire. Early references to the larger scope of Axonian organisation, such as the idea of planetary governors and elector-counts, appeared in the Verdant campaign also. Their visual appearance, in terms of sprites and military units, was also gradually rounded out in terms of modernisation and disassociation with Nazi stereotypes - for example, the main battle tank of the Axonians was a carbon-copy of the infamous Pzkpfw V "Panther" of Nazi Germany, but was subtly replaced, along with most of the Axonian vehicles, with a visually-unique tank that bore a somewhat-similar design and a different name.
The latest redraft is easily the most solidified edition, which you now read on this page. This iteration was cemented in the popular Global Campaign, which at the time of writing is now closing its first season for the opening of the second. Broader lore and background information was written behind-the-scenes by CommanderCool, and used to write his comics to keep them in-continuity and coherent where background references were concerned. This is where, for example, the concept of the "H.O.U.N.D" organisation was born, among other details of Axonian organisation, history and visual style.