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Family background: Black, Weber, Kurst
Colony Ship: The Black Eagle
Capital World: Kurst
Quote: Befriend Death. Walk with Him all the days of your life. Fly with Him in your eyes. Embrace Him. Only then can you fight without fear.
Art inspiration: Prussians, with a side order of Cossack
Brief Overview: The Black Eagles are generally seen as a weaker faction compared to the Romanovs, Europans, or Arkwrights. They have limited industrial capabilities, little political influence, a smaller population, and a lower level of technology than the others. What they do have, though, are the toughest, best trained, and most determined fighters in the galaxy. Black Eagles make up the bulk of the Grand Fleet’s gunners, pilots, and crew. Black Eagle warriors have accomplished the impossible time and again.
History: Six Black Eagle colony ships left Earth, but only two survived the long sublight crossing of interstellar space. Of these, one landed on the metal-poor world of Grunwald. Unable to maintain their technological base without resources, they adopted an agrarian society. The other surviving ship landed on a hostile world named Kurst. Rather than try to tame that hellish world, the Black Eagles of Kurst took flight once more and settled in space stations, asteroids, and moonlets across the system.
For centuries, the two branches of the Black Eagle civilization — referred to as the Western and Eastern Wings — developed independently. It was not until the Romanovs gave them access to Gate technology that the two colonies rediscovered each other. Their common culture and common interests made them natural allies, and for a time it seemed as though the Black Eagles were in the ascendant.
Then came the First Interstellar War, and the disaster of the Pandoran plague. The xenophobic Pandoran colony used a virulent bioweapon as a last resort, and the Black Eagles were nearly wiped out. Grunwald became completely uninhabitable. The Eastern Wing survived only by instituting strict contagion control protocols on board their various stations and orbital habitats, quarantining any station that showed any signs of infection. They held out against the disease until the Romanovs developed a cure. The Romanovs rescued the Black Eagles from annihilation, and on that debt the Mandate was founded.
Politics: The Black Eagles are fanatically loyal to the Mandate and to the Romanovs. They have been the Romanovs’ strong right hand for generations, striking down the enemies of the Mandate and shielding the Romanovs against every threat from pirate fleets to Arkwright machinations.
By long-standing tradition, the various Eagle colonies and stations elect a Star Marshal, and that Marshal’s rank is then ceremonially confirmed by the Imperator of the Mandate. In the two centuries since the foundation of the Mandate, fifteen Star Marshals have been elected by their peers and blessed by the Imperator of the day. The current Star Marshal-elect is Razen, a young and notoriously blood-thirsty captain. He won election by a narrow margin, buoyed by the recent Rebel advances. He is seen, correctly, as a leader fit best for a time of war.
Imperator Anastasia refused to give Razen her blessing, the first time such a snub has ever happened. Some rumors claim that her advisor, Suvarov, mistrusts Razen. It is also likely that the young Imperator feared that her reputation might be stained by all the blood the aggressive Razen would doubtless shed in her name.
Without a confirmed Star Marshal, the Black Eagles are in disarray. Is Razen still their leader without the Mandate’s blessing, or must they put forward another soul?