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The Razorbird Empire is a theocratic faction in the Milky Way, and it is beyond a shadow of a doubt the mightiest faction in the galaxy. It is one of two factions in the Milky Way that can be classified as hyper-advanced, in fact it is one of two factions to have ever been given that classification. However, the Razorbird people are not best known for their technology. They are best known for their incredible religious zealotry.

The Razorbirds are a species of avian humanoids. They are so named due to their wickedly sharp beaks and talons. They are well known for the fact that a substantial majority of them are green.

They originate from the system known as Ekahi. Their planet is the second planet from their sun, and it is called Noho. Noho is a very warm, tropical jungle world, dominated by endless rainforests and cyan blue oceans. Noho has two moons, a day moon and a night moon, called Ke'oke'o and Ele'ele respectively.

Though it looks like a veritable tropical paradise planet from space, the truth is more deadly. The jungle is dominated by many deadly creatures, from small lizards to immense beasts capable of uprooting trees.

The Razorbirds consider nature to be a sacred thing, and work hard to preserve their planet. There is a total of twelve cities on Noho, each quite large, and walled off to keep the jungle out.

Razorbird Physiology Edit

The Razorbirds are a frightening species for a Terran to gaze upon. They are highly reminiscent of the raptors of Terra, and in the eye of every Razorbird there is a sort of glint, as though nearly everything it sees is a tasty looking mouse. This eye is also the eye of a bird who wishes to play with its prey before dispatching it.

The Razorbirds are covered with feathers. Most of them are green, however, they are patterned with many varying shades of green. This is the easiest way for Terrans to tell them apart from one another. However, there are two sub-species of Razorbirds, originating from the moons of Noho. The only difference between them and the main species is
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the colour of their feathers and their mindset. Ke'oke'o Razorbirds, or Day Razorbirds, have white feathers and are more peacefully minded, while Ele'ele Razorbirds, or Dark Razorbirds, are black feathered and of an aggressive mindset.

The Razorbirds stand on average a few inches taller than Terrans, though their height can be just as if not more fluctuating than ours. They tend to stand a bit hunched over. Their silhouette is dominated by two large and unyielding wings, which are large even when the Razorbirds fold them in as much as possible. The only part of a Razorbird which isn't covered in feathers (beside their beaks) is their hands and feet. A Razorbird's skin is rough and grey here, a contrast to their smooth, sometimes even soft feathers. Their hands have a thumb and three fingers, and their feet have four toes, one being on the back, to better grip on to branches and prey. Put simply, their feet are as prehensile as their hands. And each finger and toe is tipped with a wickedly, one could even say razor sharp talon. Their large beaks are just as wickedly sharp, used for tearing up all sorts of things, mainly used for killing, as they try to swallow their food whole.

It is not always easy to tell the males and females of Razorbirds apart. There are very few physical differences to tell them apart. The easiest way is by taking a look at the feathers. The feathers of males generally have a more bold colouration, though this method is not always reliable. Their natural voices, being full of chirps and whistles, are extremely unreliable for telling one apart from the other. The Razorbirds know this, and as such they have their translation matrices programmed to make their voices sound like whichever gender they are.

Internally speaking, the Razorbirds have very well developed muscles, and possess many muscles that Terrans lack, allowing them to work their wings. Furthermore, they have much more powerful adrenaline systems, and hollow bones, all aiding them in the art of flight. However, even with these advantages, they cannot naturally fly. The humanoid shape was not designed for that, and it is too heavy and not streamlined enough, consuming too much energy. However, they are capable of gliding quite well, and even limited flight. On average, a Razorbird is capable of true flight about fifty feet into the air.

ReligionEdit

The Razorbird Empire worships a singular omnipotent deity called Jiral (actually, his original name is Akua, however, the name that everyone but the Razorbirds use for him is Jiral), though they tend to simply refer to him as "God" or "The Omnipotent". According to legend, he created the universe, all the stars and planets. Certain galaxies he favoured above others were designed in his image, including the Milky Way. That may seem confusing, but you must understand the circumstances.

Jiral is a being of pure energy. He technically has no true form, but he envisions himself as this. He resides in something called the Ether. The Ether is hidden under the very skin of reality, and is imprinted upon by the life energies of people in the real world. In places where there is no life, the Ether beneath is still. In places where the faithful of Jiral reside, the Ether beneath flows pure and clear. In places where demons reign, the Ether beneath is dark and murky. The Razorbirds tell of how this was all that existed before Jiral created the universe. And it is said that the souls of those who die travel there and are judged by Jiral. Some swim through the Ether for eternity. The faithful reside in Hemolele Kulanakauhale, an infinite city of golden splendour, where each moment brings about something amazing. The damned are sent to Uhane ho Omāinoino, a galaxy of shadow and eternal torment pulled into the Ether long ago.

Jiral, as a being of pure energy that resides in the Ether, cannot enter the physical world. However, he did find a way around that, by infusing the universe's first faithful Razorbird with some of his own power. That Razorbird became known as the Most Holy, essentially Jiraal's will made manifest. The Most Holy technically rules nothing, and is simply a being of extreme psionic power capable of warping the flow of the Ether to manipulate the real world. The Most Holy has no rank, however, he is considered a symbol by the entire church, and even the Archlord Inquisitors listen to him.

In addition, Jiral does have a godly servant. An angel, if you will. His name is Drinal (though once again, his true name is actually Kala, and he is simply known as Drinal to the wider galaxy), the Silver Reaper. While Jiral is day, Drinal is night. All followers of Jiral are expected to respect Drinal, for he is death. It is his job to reap souls and show them the path to the Ether. The legends say that Drinal has the ability to pass over into the world, and that he can mow down entire civilizations with a sweep of his crescent moon scythe.

It has been said that Lustinia has taken a place in the religion as another "angel", though this idea is facing some resistance from the Archlord Inquisitors.

The symbol of Jiral is a radiant golden eye. Every Razorbird has this eye drawn into their feathers, and all other servants of Jiral have it tattooed or stamped onto them any way they would like. This radiant golden eye has also become the flag of the Razorbird Empire.

The teachings of Jiral are very easy to find. Their holy book is carried by just about every follower of Jiral that there is. The very first copy of the book was found in a stone temple on Noho, by the Razorbird which then became the Most Holy. That book contained the story of the creation of the universe and all of Jiral's teachings. Modern books also contain the history of Jiral's followers and inspiring stories.

There are many many teachings in the book, but I will attempt to water it down and put some of the more important ideas down here.

Be an exemplar of the faith. Let the march of your feet grant hope to your allies, and make the faithless cower in their dirty hovels.

Respect other members of the faith. You both follow the true religion, and in the end you will both reside in paradise. You must grant those of the faith fellowship and treat them as you would treat your friends.

Other members of the one true faith have the right to live. Those who refuse the faith have that right revoked.

Reject not the traveller, until you know their purpose.

Others who follow the one true faith are your allies. I have brought you together in good fellowship, and you must aid and protect your allies. The galaxy is nefarious, and full of dangers, but the strength of faith binds you together, and together, you are stronger.

Always try to convert the faithless peacefully at least once. If they continue to resist, you must teach them the faith through force. They may protest, but in the end it is for their own good.

Be wary of demons. There are creatures of power who would seek to corrupt the minds of others into believing them gods. These are creatures of evil, trying to keep my creations away from my loving light. These creatures must be found and exterminated.

Those who continue to resist the one true faith even after being given every reason to accept it are too far down the path of evil to return. These people have all rights of life revoked, and must be exterminated.

To dare claim ownership over another sentient being is a despicable act. Those who attempt it may be given the opportunity to convert and seek redemption for their evil ways, but if they resist, destroy them.

If a being who claims ownership of another sentient being attempts to use said being for sexual purposes, they must be annihilated, along with the rest of their race, for they are the worst form of scum that there is. They will face torment everlasting.

Have a great degree of respect for those who birthed you, for you owe them everything.

Love is a wonderful thing, and should not be restrained. Let none of my children feel limited in their capacity to love by paltry things like gender or race. I created all that you see, so let your love be boundless. So long as it is a union between two beings of the faith, it is a union in my eye.

Fear the coming of the Great Devourer, for it is an anathema to all that is holy and good. It hunts and consumes. It never fails, it always takes what it wants eventually, for it is a force of nature. Only the Faithful can survive its unending march.

Razorbird TechnologyEdit

As mentioned before, the Razorbirds are the most advanced foes that the Alliance has ever encountered, seemingly able to bend the laws of reality itself. With this incredible power, it is often wondered what the Razorbirds are really using it for, as they don't seem to be actively trying to win their war with the Alliance.

General TechnologyEdit

Teleportation matrix:

Teleportation is a central pillar of the Razorbird’s battle strategy and allows soldiers and vehicles to be deployed, rerouted and extracted in a matter of seconds without ever risking any lives. This incredible technology has allowed them to completely dominate land-based warfare for a long time. They are slippery and formidable, and their strategies are unlike any other that the Alliance has ever faced. This technology is achieved by a teleportation network along which the atomized army is sent, composed of troopships, orbital nodes and land-based nodes. Generally depending on the size and quality, a node will have greater teleportation range. The nodes all feature a ring of focusing devices around a central core, which often resembles an orb. The mothership actually holds units until they are needed on the ground. In the event that this is among the first landings and no ground nodes have been established, the teleport begins at the mothership, and from there the army is sent through an orbital node, and from there they materialize on the ground. If there are land based nodes, the army is sent from the mothership, through the orbital node to the ground node, then through the ground node to their location, allowing for even greater accuracy and range. The materialization time of a Razorbird army via teleportation is almost nil. There is only a momentary crackling of green energy to warn the foe that their execution is nigh at hand.

Vehicles:

Razorbird vehicles appear highly impractical and absurdly ornate to most Terran commanders. Their armies are highly distinctive, famous (or infamous) for their geometric complexity and splendour. Some Terrans have likened their appearance to gold jewellry laced with emeralds. However, they are killing machines unlike anything the Terran Alliance has ever faced, and each apparently ornamental feature has a purpose. Though this appearance means that they completely lack any form of camouflage, that doesn’t really matter to them. After all, with their lightning speed and maneuverability plus powerful shields, who needs camouflage? Almost all Razorbird vehicles are piloted by only a single Razorbird, aided by numerous limited AI systems. Razorbirds only make use of three kinds of vehicles: aircraft, generally designed to appear similar to birds and insects native to Noho, their striders, which is their only vehicle that ever touches the ground, designed after the great beasts native to Noho, and jetbikes.

Armour:

Razorbird armour takes on a shining golden hue, though it is clearly not made of gold. In fact, Terran scientists have never figured out how to replicate whatever it is that Razorbirds make their vehicles and armour out of. Whatever it is, it has a phenomenal strength-weight ratio, which enhances efficiency and speed. However, Terrans have noticed something. Though it does have amazing strength in comparison to weight, they don’t appear to use much of it. Once a Razorbird vehicle’s shield is bypassed, their vehicles are relatively fragile compared to their human counterparts. Razorbird infantry, on the other hand, make use of armour more extensively than their vehicles. Razorbird armour is just as stunningly ornate and geometric as their vehicles, though power armour itself is a very rare sight among their armies. Helmets are also more comparable to the helmets of the Terran Alliance’s Legionnaires.

Vision canopy:

The fairly obvious, insectile appearing dark canopies appear similar to conventional cockpits, they’re actually some kind of advanced opaque optical membrane. Terrans aren’t entirely clear on how it works, it appears to transmit a staggering array of tactical information to the pilot, allowing for unparalleled clarity of vision and situational awareness. These canopies are of a somewhat bubbled appearance, and provide a far wider field of view than most vehicles.

Generators:

Power cores of the Razorbirds are exceptionally confusing and complex, not to mention amazingly advanced. Thermal scans indicate that a Razorbird land unit power core is never larger than a 1/3rd of a cubic metre. Vehicles have a networked series of small power cores, increasing efficiency and providing redundancy in the face of damage or system overloads. If the vehicle is destroyed, these cores collapse in a strange manner, taking most of the inner workings of the vehicle with it, meaning that the Alliance has never managed to really study their tech. The same goes for just about everything else. It is also believed that the power generators can be remote detonated.

Mass Repulsion Drives:

Also known as anti-grav drives, this technology, while considered rare and advanced in the Alliance, is near ubiquitous in the Razorbird Empire. It is believed that even their walkers use limited anti-grav drives to climb and move swiftly. These drives essentially repel the vehicle against the mass of a planet. It is also used by Razorbird aircraft, though this means that they cannot fly higher than a planet’s atmosphere, generally. They are inserted and extracted via teleportation. The Razorbird people even have personal antigrav systems to allow true flight.

Shield boosting relay:

A strange device the Terran Alliance hasn’t quite wrapped its head around. For whatever reason, through whatever method, it seems capable of boosting the shield strength of nearby Razorbird vehicles.

Shield Systems:

Razorbird vehicles employ powerful, all-encompassing energy shields, the best the Alliance has seen. They protect against everything from infantry trying to throw a punch at the vehicle to the laser turrets on a Tyrant tank.

Hardlight Armour:

Hardlight Armour is, generally speaking, the most common form of armour in the Razorbird Empire. It works by actually projecting the armour onto the body of the soldier. Armour created in this way is light, cheap, and virtually indestructible unless you destroy the projector, which is actually protected by the armour. The downside is that while it protects the most important areas, there’s no helmet, and unarmoured space in between the hardlight armour plates.

Biomodification:

Through seemingly arcane processes, Razorbirds have mastered the art of modifying and improving the body without the use of technology, purely through biological modification. The extent of this modification ability is unknown, and it would appear that every Razorbird has access to it. The benefits that biomodification brings appears to be quite varied, and boasts a seemingly limitless number of options. It is unclear if the biomodification process replaces organs with super-organs, adds new tissue onto what is already there, both, or neither.

Ether Drives:

The Razorbird's FTL drives were named Ether Drives by the Alliance technicians after their method of transportation. While Alliance ships fling themselves about the galaxy using spacetime manipulating drives, the Razorbirds seem to use something entirely different. They appear to be able to tear holes in reality and travel across space via the Ether, the realm beneath the skin of reality where Jiral resides. It's unclear why that's faster than light, but many things about the Ether are unclear. What is certain is that the appearance of a Razorbird fleet is heralded by a plane of crackling green energy, from which the death of the Razorbird's foes arrives.

Vehicular Weapon SystemsEdit

Plasma pods:

A rather common, ubiquitous weapon found on the nose of just about every Razorbird battlestrider and warstrider. It has an impressive field of fire, being essentially an orb. It is used as a secondary weapon, firing a beam of plasma. It is considered quite accurate, however, it is lower in power. Generally speaking, it’s used to destroy fast, lightly armoured vehicles at any range. It doesn’t have quite enough power to attack tougher vehicles, as most of their power goes to their devastating main weapons, though sometimes, if they’re close enough, it can target weak points on heavier vehicles.

Antimatter cannons:

This is a relatively common sight on the battlefield. This double-barrelled weapon is generally mounted on the rear turret of a battle or war strider. It is normally deployed in an anti-air role, though it is more than capable of targeting ground units, though to less impressive effect. They fire off small capsules at a rapid pace. These capsules are proximity-detonating, and release a small amount of antimatter. And of course, even a small amount of antimatter can be devastating.

Radiation cannon:

This is perhaps the most terrifying weapon a Razorbird can bring to bear upon the heathens. It is shorter ranged than most Razorbird weapons, but the effects are devastating, especially against infantry. It projects beams of high energy microwaves towards targets, causing blood to boil and skin to cook in a matter of seconds. This is an undoubtedly horrible way to die, and thus this weapon has the greatest psychological impact upon the allies of those hit by the beam. There are also handheld versions. Some of the warstriders equip larger twin, long-barrelled microwave cannons called Dragon cannons. These can also be concentrated on a single target, creating a focused torrent of hyper-agitated molecules, a beam of molten air that immolates whatever it touches, that can boil crews inside armoured vehicles, obliterate electronics and fuse moving parts into lumps of inanimate matter. This gives it powerful (albeit short ranged) anti-armour firepower.

Disintegrator Cannon:

Another antimatter based weapon, this is the most common device of war used by Razorbird vehicles. These weapons are rarely turret-mounted, and are more frequently pintle-mounted. The Disintegrator fires off pulses of antimatter. These weapons are capable of a burst firing pattern, unleashing two shots instead of one, but in the interest of power conservation it is generally kept down to one unless they’re firing at something large or tough, or both. The shot explodes brilliantly upon contact with its target, or with anything really. It is the reliable damage-dealer of the Razorbird Empire.

Gravitic Magnifier:

This weapon is more commonly known as simply a grav-cannon. This weapon is an esoteric device that delivers crushing force to an enemy. And the bigger they are, the harder the magnifier hits them. Once again, the Alliance remains uncertain in regards to exactly how this weapon does what it does. What is clear to them is the fact that the gun turns the mass of their target against them. The bigger they are, the more power the gun seems to be able to direct on them. With the sound of shrieking metal, sections of tanks may crumple like a tin can, or expand like a balloon.

Spatial Disruption cannon:

The Spatial Disruption Cannon, using mysterious etherial principles, projects a region of unstable reality ahead of the muzzle, inducing a variety of unpredictable yet deadly contortion and warping effects on anything caught in the weapon’s area of effect. Said effects are utterly unique, frequently horrific and occasionally darkly comic to witness. Bizarrely twisted vehicle hulls, stretched objects and shredded corpses are what can be found in the wake of a blast from the Spatial Disruption cannon. Indeed, the effect of such a weapon on organic matter is best left up to the imagination. The nature of this weapon is quite strange. The power output seems to limit its range (though said range is quite long), and the closer the target is to the cannon, the wider the area of effect.

Particle cannon:

The particle cannon is quite simply the most powerful directed energy battlefield weapon yet witnessed by humankind. This awesome beast measures around 35 feet in length, and can annihilate a Tyrant class tank with ease at incredible range. This absurd killing power is achieved by projecting a vacuum tunnel ahead of the muzzle, through which a torrent of highly energized particles is sent at near relativistic speeds. The effect this has on an unfortunate victim is staggering to behold, as even large, heavily armoured targets are sliced to molten wreckage in an instant. All forms of countermeasures, such as Terran shields, are inconsequential in the face of such volcanic devastation. The only upside to facing a weapon such as this is the comparatively slow firing rate. A weapon of this power puts stress on even Razorbird power cores.

Infantry Weapon SystemsEdit

Battlestaves:

A battlestaff is the most common infantry small arm in the Razorbird Empire. They never really thought to make the whole gun-with-a-trigger-and-barrel thing that the Alliance did, not until later, and by that time the idea of using battlestaves wa already well embedded, and actually quite effective. These days, a Razorbird’s battlestaff can come in many forms. They are (surprise surprise) quite ornate and decorative, almost fragile, in appearance. The staff’s head is always bladed and can use their shooting energy to deliver melee attacks, though comes in varying shapes and sizes. Clerics have spearheads, while an Inquisitorial Archlord’s staff head would, frankly, have no Terran comparison to make. Furthermore, battlestaves have different energies and can fire different beams. The Cleric’s staff fires a green ray which disintegrates its target. A Judicator’s staff will have a miniature wave cannon installed in it, with which to punish the guilty.

Wave pistol:

The Razorbirds did actually develop something similar to the guns of other races, but only after observing certain other races in practice. However, they are no replacement for real battlestaves, and are only used in pistol form, in tandem with purely melee weapons. The most common of these is the wave pistol, a smaller modified version of the Radiation cannon, one which is designed not to kill, but rather incapacitate and cause immense pain.

Energy Sword:

The Razorbirds actually make use of melee weaponry, and I don’t just mean in the way that their staves can channel their power into melee attacks. Razorbird energy swords seem to be made of solid material and are covered with some sort of matter-disrupting energy sheath when activated, similar to Veydreth power swords. This energy sheath causes the blade to glow blue, and emit strange misty wisps of some kind of blue energy. This is even more obvious when the blade is swung. Overall, the blades bear a striking resemblance to Terran katanas, though the blade is usually straight. Furthermore, the sword hilt is very different. The hilt is designed for the blade to be held parallel to the arm, rather than perpendicular to it. While this is unnatural and unwieldy to Terrans, the Razorbirds feel the same way about the Terran method of holding weapons. After all, their way the sword becomes an extension of the arm. These are normally only given to elite soldiers. Their blade can carve through nearly any armour, and is also capable of deflecting strikes from Veydreth swords and even Aetanii plasma blades.

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