Faction Profile: Union for the Defense of the Nexus (UDN)
The UDN, depending on who you might ask, is many things. Perhaps the most objective way of putting it is that it is latest in a long line of mutations of the same core government, from the Altaran Revolutionary Front to the Empire to Remnant and the Irregulars to what we have now. It is generally referred to as simply 'the Union' in shorthand, or perhaps, if someone felt rather contrary about what it formed from, 'the Empire.'
The UDN currently consists of Inside and other former territories of the Empire that either accepted the Empire's rule peacefully or, if they did not, now feel they have no choice.
A notable fact about the UDN is that its holdings are very frequently left to police themselves outside of military matters. Inside itself is subject to this, and Remnant remains Inside’s official law enforcement body. UDN membership comes with fairly loose obligations, including:
Spoiler: UDN Charter StuffUDN members must not allow certain basic, obvious crimes. Slavery, murder, that sort of thing. Use your imagination.
UDN members must keep their civilian police force at an acceptable level of performance, or the UDN military will step in to repair it. Beyond this and the first provision, members are permitted to run their own civilian police forces and legal systems as they wish.
UDN members must pay certain taxes to the central government. It is notable that these are not exorbitant, but some may chafe under the matter nonetheless. One notable tax is on imports from outside the Union, while internal trade is not as heavily taxed.
UDN members may not raise separate military forces. The UDN military is unified, and shall remain so.
UDN members are subject to the central government’s policies and actions. Obviously, a UDN member is not allowed to engage in trade with any organization subject to an embargo or war by the central government, such as the Chimera Syndicate. Were the central government to institute a draft, all UDN members would be obligated to follow it.
UDN members can be considered to have an extradition agreement with each other. While their local laws may differ, a criminal in one town cannot flee to another with different laws. While his actions may not be illegal there, he is a criminal in a UDN holding, and will be persecuted as one.
And so on. These are most likely not limited to those alone (I’m hardly going to write up every law and policy ever), but it provides a decent enough idea. Local laws may vary wildly, and the central government does not dictate them. The exception on the note of local police is the capital city, Inside: As the capital and an exceptionally chaotic place due to its very nature, UDN military forces may supplement Remnant in police actions, much like the Altaran Irregulars did. However, it is unlikely that heavy forces will be deployed outside of exceptional circumstances, unless the disturbance is directed at or very near directly UDN-controlled property, the Spire, for example. The other exception is that many holdings of the Union did not make large claims to the territory around them, leading to a loophole wherein the Union's forces are essentially left to police large swaths of land outside any given settlement.
The UDN’s government and military are inextricably linked, as it is, effectively, an unusually light-handed military dictatorship. The head of state and commander-in-chief is the High Commander of the UDN, currently Vyrn Altaran. The second-in-command, whose duties include managing the diplomatic corps and intelligence, is the Vice Commander of the UDN. The Vice Commander is selected by the High Commander and takes over the role of the High Commander if the current holder of the title dies. The current Vice Commander of the UDN is the former Emissary of the Altaran Irregulars, N'alae t'Lhoell. The UDN's capital city is Inside, and its headquarters there is the Spire.
Although formed from the more loosely organized Altaran Irregulars, the UDN, in expanding to fill the shoes of the Empire once more, has formalized its subdivisions.
Spoiler: ArmyThe UDN Army covers standard ground deployments, and contains subdivisions such as:
Hunter Project: A force specializing in takedowns of unusually powerful creatures, the Hunter Project is also a scientific endeavor with scientists on the payroll Union Defense Intelligence. It is small, and relies on the UDN Air Force for deployment support, but does control the Huntside Outpost. The Hunter Project consists solely of volunteers, for members’ bodies may very well become altered and mutated in the course of their activities in the Grounds. One notable member is Sergeant Doern Hill.
Revenant Corps: The UDN Army's special ops division, covering all that you'd expect. Stealth missions, sabotage, spec ops in general.
Spoiler: Air ForceThe UDN Air Force, having inherited the Altaran Irregulars’ air power, is arguably the most prestigious branch of the UDN military. With a mobile headquarters in the form of the IAV Sanctuary, which has kept its old Imperial registry mostly in the interest of others not confusing it with unmanned aerial vehicles, the UDN is certainly the fanciest branch of the military. The Army and Air Force cooperate very closely, with the Army stationing troops aboard Sanctuary for rapid-deployment purposes. The UDN Air Force’s overall commander is the severely-promoted General Anthony Cross, who now also serves as Sanctuary’s commanding officer. Subdivisions within the Air Force include:
1st Fighter Squadron “Gorsk Shots”: Nicknamed after a potent beverage distilled from engine coolant from a grim world in dark galaxy, the UDN 1st Fighter Squadron is (unsurprisingly) commanded by Major Noelle Xanatov. The Gorsk Shots are the UDN’s best known operators of the EvAV-3 Imperator Fighter-Gunship and its new Accuser variant, and use it and its variants to great effect. Its leader is best known as an eccentric ace, and the Gorsk Shots also frequently make use of auxiliary support of craft controlled by the Autarch Entity, due to the Major’s unofficial role in wrangling it.
Spoiler: Enforcer CorpsThe UDN Enforcer Corps exists in a bit of a loophole of the UDN Charter. While individual holdings of the Union are allowed to police themselves more or less as they wish, the territory between them is not necessarily patrolled or claimed by them. This is where the Enforcer Corps come in. Equipped with lighter and often older gear and vehicles, the Enforcer Corps operates mainly out in the Union’s ‘wilderness.’ The Enforcer Corps is populated disproportionately by recruits from the Union’s outer territories away from Inside, by those who seek to bring order to their lands and others who remember the benefits of the Empire.
The UDN does not have a separate naval subdivision. Instead, this role is mixed between the Army and Air Force, with the Army operating amphibious combat vehicles and the Air Force operating the EvEXV-1 Exploration Vehicle, and potentially others in the future.
A technically-separate branch that recruits from all UDN military and intelligence groups is the Ironwatch Unit, in charge of the defense of the High Commander, Vice Commander, and other high-ranking officers. Ironwatch answers to the High Commander and Vice Commander, and when not directly covering them, has a great deal of autonomy in its actions. The Ironwatch Unit is an elite group with the most advanced gear in the UDN, and is vaguely analogous to the Remnant Praetorians, albeit on a larger scale and not nearly as utterly insane.
Other UDN Subdivisions
Union Defense Intelligence is the intelligence agency of the UDN, in charge of espionage and other clandestine operations. Its head is the Vice Commander. Notably, UDI is also charged with technological and magical research.
The Union Diplomatic Corps is also headed by the Vice Commander, and obviously is in charge of the Union’s diplomatic efforts. It performs the important service of trying to convince foreign entities to join the Union. Note that in the case of both UDI and UDC, the High Commander can still override the Vice Commander, being the one in charge of the whole mess. They're just kicked down to the Vice Commander to spread the work around.
With the creation of the UDN came a large boost in military power as the core of the Altaran Irregulars was expanded with new technology. Items you can expect to find in use in the UDN include, but are not limited to:
Spoiler: Personal ArmsEvR-1 and EvP-1 Blasters
SpoilerEvolution Industries blaster weapons largely replaced K-Corp pulse weaponry in the Empire's later days. These weapons' energy projectiles are not quite as powerful as the discharge from pulse weapons, and their power cells are limited. A rifle is limited to 30 shots before its power cells run out and must be replaced, akin to reloading. Pistols, being smaller, only have 12.
However, EI blaster power cells slowly recharge on their own over time. The blaster rifles also sport adaptable frames, suitable for numerous customizations. Should there be any of the magically-inclined around, the cells can be enchanted to use other more magical energies, and will automatically recharge with those instead.
EvIR, EvIP, and EvAT Ion Weapons
SpoilerSpecialized energy weapons, these are specifically made to be extra-effective against high-tech foes, and are adept at scrambling circuitry and shattering energy shields. Unlike other EI energy weapons, these are not reliant on MACE tech, and so do not recharge, being limited to a number of shots depending on the specific weapon type before needing to be reloaded. They generally come in the same types as conventional EI weapons, sans exceptionally MACE-dependent examples like the heavy assault blasters and sustained-beam weapons.
EvR-4 Beam Rifle and EvR-4B Modified Variant
SpoilerThis weapon is a favorite of Evolution's head, and is certainly an odd one. It fires small but deadly sustained beams that can last for several seconds before the weapon has to stop firing, or it can be stopped by simply releasing the trigger. It's useful for sweeping through multiple targets. Its large (for a weapon of its size) power cells recharge at a decent rate, though constant use of sustained beams will drain them faster than they can recharge. This version of the weapon does not have DC's version's variability.
The EvR-4’s original form is mostly here for reference’s sake. Most EvR-4s used by the UDN are EvR-4Bs, with the modifications described below.
EvR-4B: A version of the EvR-4 modified by UDI, the 4B adds a number of features to the basic weapon, including a collapsing stock, an output adjuster, and a mid-range scope. The output adjuster allows the weapon to discharge its power either much faster or slower, providing variable settings and uses. The EvR-4B is very popular in the mainline UDN army, especially among garrison forces that may wish to take a target alive. The Enforcer Corps, due to somewhat limited funding, does not have EvR-4s of any variety in large numbers.
EvAT-1 Precision Laser Cannon
SpoilerAn extremely powerful and accurate man-portable anti-tank laser cannon, somewhat similar in appearance to a rocket launcher. It has a scope mounted on one side, and a faint silvery glow is visible in stripes running down part of the length of the weapon at the very back of it. Were you to look into the weapon's barrel, you would see a number of focusing lenses in front of a brightly glowing silver device that powers the weapon.
EvAT-2 Beam Cannon
SpoilerA bulkier EvAT-1 in outer appearance, this weapon has a larger power core but a slightly less intense initial blast, and lacks a scope. Its strength is in the intense beam it fires being able to maintain itself for a murderous sweep through masses of enemies, or multiple lighter vehicles.
EvHW-1 Assault Blaster
SpoilerThis weapon is what happens when you take a variable blaster, remove the variability, put it in a much larger, heavier frame, and give it significantly more rapid-fire capability. It's a very brutal weapon, spewing searing energy at a very high rate. It's similar to the EvAT-1 in appearance, only bulkier, lacking a scope, and the barrel is divided into a number of sub-barrels to allow more shots to be fired at once. This weapon is very simply designed to cut down huge numbers of infantry, and can fire for a long time before having to stop.
EvAM-1 Magic Scrambler
SpoilerResembling a spherical high-tech grenade, the EvAM-1 detonates to create a highly unstable field of various magical and not-so-magical energies, derived from a low-intensity MACE overload. This tends to play havoc with spells and other things, though it does not prevent their use entirely. It merely 'scrambles' them, meaning casters facing units equipped with it might want to be very careful about whether or not that next spell is worth risking.
PAT-4 Anti-Materiel Rifle
SpoilerIn the wake of Vyrn Altaran declaring war on the Chimera Syndicate, Evolution Industries and Altaran Intelligence (later UDI) began an R&D project known as Project Anti-Trust to produce weapons that could help turn the tide against the Syndicate. The first result of the project was the EvAV-5 Dominion Ground Attack Craft, followed by the EvAV-3B Accuser variant of the Imperator Fighter-Gunship and the EvCV-2 Omni-Tank. The fourth is the PAT-4 Anti-Materiel Rifle, a weapon that is in essence the personal-scaled version of the PAT-1 used by the Dominion Ground Attack Craft. A heavy gauss rifle loaded with charged crystalline projectiles derived from Evolution MACE systems encased in a metal shell to allow magnetism to do its thing, the PAT-4 is the sniper’s best friend when an enemy vehicle comes into view. Or when most anything comes into view, really.
SpoilerThere are a few melee weapons of note in the UDN’s armory.
One is the Supercharger combat knife, dating back to the early Empire. A device in the knife's hilt transfers electricity into the blade, electrocuting it and allowing for greater power. This feature can be turned on or off at will by the push of a button.
EvM-1 Infernal Edges also appear, mostly in combat knife form as well. These have extra-sharp black blades that can be further amplified by a different device in the hilt that superheats the blade to a deadly degree. They can, however, take a variety of forms.
Newer is the EvM-2 class of melee weapons. These are much rarer and take the form of weapons that look almost mundane. This is deceiving, however, as built-in systems allow them to generate a disruptive energy field that discharges when the weapon comes into forceful contact with something, giving the weapons significantly more power. The hilts and hafts, of course, don't have this effect, otherwise it'd be supremely dangerous. These weapons are very good at punching through armor, though it's sometimes impractical. Stabbing tanks isn't that great an idea.
Spoiler: Personal Armor
Basic Powered Armor Type 1 (AT-01)
SpoilerAn armor type inherited from the Altaran Irregulars’ alignment with Remnant, the AT-01 remains a mainstay of the UDN’s military forces. I won’t pretend that this is mine, so I’ll just link to Wolf’s writeup regarding it in this old thread. Just mentally replace Remnant-specific terms where needed.
EvA-1 Light Armor
SpoilerA lighter armor type originally meant for Imperial Army scouts, it offers little protection against stronger attacks (though it'll protect against lighter weapons provided one is not under sustained fire) and is designed with maximum mobility in mind. The EvA-1 armor comes with a full helmet with a number of scanning features, including x-ray, infrared, night vision, and magic-detecting settings.
Due to its still quite useful scanning abilities, EvA-1 light armor remains in use with the Enforcer Corps and security details.
EvA-4 Stealth Armor and EvA-4A Enhanced Stealth Armor
SpoilerThis armor type, colored jet-black, is suited for special forces, and is fully sealed with some life support capabilities for extreme environments. It has a built-in cloaking device and its helmet comes with EvA-1-level scanners. On top of this, it is more protective than the EvA-1 armor, holding up better against sustained fire, though it will still not stop armor-piercing or heavy weapons. The downside, of course, is that it’s rather uncomfortable and expensive.
The EvA-4A is an updated variant of the EvA-4 made by Evolution Industries. Incorporating a thermal underlayer to protect against infrared scans, the 4A works well, but is often considered uncomfortably heavy compared to even the base EvA-4.
EvA-5 Powered Flight Armor
SpoilerThe EvA-5 is a newer type of powered armor created with the interests of the Altaran Irregulars in mind: Effectively doubling the user's strength, offering similar levels of protection, and coming with built-in flight systems in the form of a propulsion pack on the back and similar boots, it is arguably superior to the Remnant AT-01 inherited by the Union. The downside is that it is less customizable and theatrical, lacking the cape for instance, but that's just fine for many.
‘Unity’ Powered Battle Armor
SpoilerA design put out by Altaran Intelligence/UDI with fairly little Evolution Industries support beyond arranging for power systems, the 'Unity' power armor suit's exact technical specs are heavily classified by UDI. Featuring triple strength amplification and a slight edge in protection over the AT-01 and EvA-5 while retaining similar mobility, it is clear that the Unity suit incorporates some kind of new technological advances, and is not as bulky as one might expect. The Unity suit also incorporates unusually advanced scanning systems in its helmet, on par with the EvA-1. The suit even incorporates an AT-01-esque medical unit.
The Unity suit is compatible with a number of attachments, including a variety of back-mounted systems (a propulsion pack, an ammo or power pack for a heavy weapon, a cape similar to the AT-01’s…), flight boots, and potentially even wrist-mounted weaponry. Due to its overall superiority and similarity, it is sometimes referred to as the AT-02, but the UDN Army and UDI have denied that this is its designation. Due to the expenses involved in the suit’s production, the Unity suit is limited to elite forces like the Ironwatch Unit.
Spoiler: Other Gear
EvD-1 Guardian Drone and EvD-1a Power Beamers
SpoilerThe EvD-1 Guardian Drone and EvD-1a Power Beamers are meant to operate in tandem. The former, a skeletal humanoid robotic drone, is the main system. The Power Beamers use technology seen earlier in the Light of Evolution in Westside to beam power to the Guardian to grant it power levels normally impossible for a humanoid platform of its size. The Guardian, subsequently, has the power to project a powerful forcefield around itself that makes it nigh-impervious to small arms fire. Offensively, the Guardian's forcefields inflict electrical shocks on contact, and it can project an electric blast attack. Its main prowess is in its resilience, however. The Power Beamers are small, harmless hovering drones, and serve only to power the Guardian. Four go with a given Guardian. Obviously, destroying them tends to weaken the main drone, and as such, they have a tendency to zip around and generally be as evasive as possible while maintaining their power link. Guardian Drones generally supplement UDN Army forces and defend high-importance installations.
Spoiler: AircraftIAV Sanctuary
SpoilerFor a detailed description, see the current thread for the UDN's major bases, currently the old Irregular one. However, the ship's current aircraft complement will be noted here.
Following the formation of the Union, the ship's aircraft complement underwent a drastic modernization and expansion. Older aircraft were relegated to garrison forces and the Enforcer Corps, leaving Sanctuary's complement as the best of the best.
30 EvAV-3 Imperator Fighter-Gunships
-Of these, 10 are EvAV-3B Accuser Interceptors.
30 EvAV-4 Savior Shuttles
15 EvAV-5 Dominion Ground Attack Craft
10 EvEXV-1 Exploration Vehicles
K-Corp Harpy Gunship
SpoilerThis VTOL craft is old even for Imperial materiel, dating back to when K-Corp still supplied the Empire.
These resemble Orca gunships, only with a rapid-fire laser turret on the nose and wing-mounted turbolasers instead of missiles for weapons. In addition, they are jet black and come with extremely quiet whisper engines. The K-Corp Harpy is extremely rare among UDN aircraft, two relegated to the Inside garrison.
Evolution Industries EvAV-1 Gunship
SpoilerA VTOL aircraft very similar to the older K-Corp Harpy Gunship, the EvAV-1 unfortunately lacks its predecessor's whisper engines, that technology not being in Evolution Industries' possession. Instead, it uses a more advanced repulsor drive similar to those found in hover vehicles to move and remain aloft, emitting a loud, low-pitched humming noise when active. It is also black in coloration, and is armed with twin heavy laser cannons and a single rapid-fire blaster turret, arranged very much like the Harpy's armaments.
These seem to be inferior overall compared to the older K-Corp craft, however.
Following the formation of the Union, production of EvAV-3s and 4s increased, and 1s and 2s have increasingly been relegated to the purview of garrison forces and the Enforcer Corps.
Evolution Industries EvAV-2 Transport
SpoilerThe EvAV-2 is simple-a transport variant of the EvAV-1. It's more boxy and less well-armed, sporting only the blaster turret. However, it contains room for up to 12 troops. Some EvAV-2s come in stealth transport variants originally used by Imperial stealth commandos.
Following the formation of the Union, production of EvAV-3s and 4s increased, and 1s and 2s have increasingly been relegated to the purview of garrison forces and the Enforcer Corps.
Evolution Industries EvAV-3 Imperator Fighter-Gunship and EvAV-3B Accuser Interceptor
SpoilerA newer model of gunship with significant extra versatility compared to the older EvAV-1, the EvAV-3 combines the advantages of conventional VTOL craft and jets, able to fly about like a plane while retaining full VTOL capability like the older gunships. While it is not as maneuverable as conventional fighters and lacks missile armament, some say this is an advantage, for missiles and bombs are very hard to use in urban areas. The EvAV-3 thus offers superior precision in cities. It is armed with twin sweeper beam guns and a single powerful laser cannon. The EvAV-3 is also equipped with a point defense laser turret for shooting down missiles. Like the EvAV-2, it has a stealth variant, replacing the Vengeance fighters.
The EvAV-3 now comes in an interceptor variant known as the EvAV-3B Accuser, stripping out the heavy laser cannon and its heavy power plant in favor of mounting a Project Anti-Trust PAT-2 gauss weapon in its place (see the EvAV-5’s description below). The PAT-2 weapon uses similar ammunition to the PAT-1 (see the Dominion below), but smaller and with a high rate of fire. The combined high-speed projectiles and blasts from the PAT ammunition make short work of…well, a lot of things, really. Due to the lesser stress on the aircraft’s power systems, the Accuser’s engines were upgraded, granting it greater speed and maneuverability compared to the standard Imperator. The Accusers are now a favorite of the Gorsk Shots.
Evolution Industries EvAV-4 Savior Shuttle
SpoilerThe EvAV-4 is to the EvAV-3 as the EvAV-2 is to the EvAV-1: A lesser-armed transport variant. The EvAV-4 sports only a single sweeper beam, trading the necessary power and equipment for the other beam and laser cannon for a transport compartment. It does, however, sport a second point defense laser turret, better to protect its precious cargo with. It also has stealth variants.
Evolution Industries EvAV-5 Dominion Ground Attack Craft
SpoilerThe EvAV-5 is the first result of Project Anti-Trust. A craft similar in design to the Imperator Fighter-Gunship and Savior Shuttle, the Dominion is vastly more heavily armored and is not as maneuverable as a result. It mounts a point-defense system much like them, and has a single sweeper beam turret for defense. Its main weapon is an Altaran/UDI PAT-1 heavy gauss cannon mounted on the underside of the craft that loads unusual crystalline ammunition encased in a metal shell. The ammunition is in actuality EI power-tech derived bombs, with the main weapon a Union in-house design and the ammunition supplied by EI. When the ammunition impacts and explodes, its stored power is released. This can come in multiple varieties as EI ground weapon power systems do, though the standard is a typical energy blast. The PAT-1 cannon essentially makes the Dominion a precision bomber, able to adapt its ammunition for any attack role.
Evolution Industries EvEXV-1 Exploration Vehicle
SpoilerResembling the EvAV-3 and 4, the EvEXV-1 is a larger, bulkier craft without built-in weapons or a major transport compartment. Instead, it is a heavily customizable exploration vehicle, able to be made to operate in a number of different environments. It can be fitted with parts to allow it to operate underwater, shielding systems to protect it from extreme temperatures, self-defense weaponry, and yet more attachments. It might even be able to operate in the void of space...if anyone manages to launch one up there. The weaponry varies depending on the environment it is currently exploring. It seats four, and boasts reinforced environmental seals and sensitive sensor systems by default.
Spoiler: Other VehiclesEvCV-2 ‘Omni-Tank’ Amphibious Combat Vehicle
SpoilerA heavy hover-tank mounting a Project Anti-Trust turret as its main cannon (termed the PAT-3), the EvCV-2 gets the name ‘Omni-Tank’ partly from the secondary repulsors that deploy from its sides over water, allowing it to act as a patrol craft over water as well. The other part of where it gets its name is its modular secondary weapon, currently coming in three variants:
An anti-aircraft rocket pod mostly intended to fend off VTOL craft like helicopters.
A similar rocket-artillery pod.
And finally, a heavy anti-infantry rapid fire laser turret.
The final variant is the most typical ‘tank’, as it essentially provides a classic ‘cannon and machine gun’ combination. Due to the disuse of more specialized assault tanks and other heavy vehicles in the Empire, the EvCV-2 was designed to fill a variety of roles without the same expense as maintaining entirely separate vehicles. It is not frequently used in cities, aside from some use as a patrol boat.
EvPC-2 ‘Rocket Coffin’ Patrol Craft
SpoilerAn unfortunately nicknamed two-seating skimmer craft designed to operate in pairs or trios, the EvPC-2 is the standard patrol vehicle used by the UDN’s Enforcer Corps in the lands controlled by the Union. The vehicle has precisely one thing going for it, and that is simple speed. For a ‘ground’ patrol craft, the EvPC-2 is extremely fast. However, it equips only a single beam turret for defensive purposes, and its armor is very light, leading to its nickname among the Enforcer Corps. It does have some sensor capability for the sake of its use as a patrol craft, but this does not do much to calm its operators.