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Colony Ship: Osman
Capital World: Isyer
Quote: Everything changes, but nothing is truly lost.
Art Inspiration: The Osmani are cyborgs. Their cybernetics might look more like jewellery, or sculpture - beautiful and elegant. If we can get some Ottoman Empire influences in there too, beautiful. Circuits as calligraphy, maybe.
Brief Overview: The Osmani are cyborgs. Unlike the other factions within the Mandate, who permit only limited genetic and cybernetic augmentation, the Osmani embrace cybernetics. They remake themselves to suit different tasks and challenges. They are distrusted and feared by many within the Mandate, and this mistrust is returned with equal intensity by the Osmani, who were forced to join the Mandate at gunpoint.
History: As with the people who left Earth in the other colony ships, the Osmani used cryogenic capsules to survive the long journey across the void. While they slept, they were tended to and watched over by servant machines. In all the other colonies, these robotic servants were decommissioned and recycled after landing. However, the Osmani vessel malfunctioned at the end of its voyage and crash-landed on a harsh and barren world. To survive, the Osmani were forced to embrace cybernetic augmentation, replacing vulnerable flesh with radiation-proof metal, lending human adaptability to inflexible machine code.
The Osmani colony thrived. They colonized their new home system, then expanded to reach several other worlds using sublight engines — a feat no other civilization in the Mandate achieved. They even discovered the fundamentals of Gate physics, although they had yet to construct a working Gate before making contact with the Mandate.
90 years ago, a Mandate scout discovered the Osmani homeworld. After fraught negotiations between the Imperator and the Sultana, and a series of skirmishes between the Grand Fleet and the Osmani colony worlds, the Osmani agreed to join the Mandate.
Because the Osmani can tolerate conditions that normal humans cannot endure, they can colonize a much wider range of worlds than the other civilizations. The Osmani sphere has expanded hugely since recontact, as they were able to make good use of uninhabited worlds within systems already colonized by others. There are now Osmani outposts throughout Mandate space.
Politics: The Osmani are ruled by a Sultana. In each generation, one Osmani is chosen to embody this leader and is cybernetically connected to the archived mind-states of all previous Osmani rulers. After more than fifty iterations, the aggregated wisdom of the Sultana verges on the divine.
The Osmani are distrusted and discriminated against by the other powers of the Mandate. The Arkwrights and Europans see them as threats to their industrial and scientific preeminence. The Black Eagles are naturally belligerent and suspicious to all newcomers. Even the Romanovs, who insisted that the Osmani join the Mandate in the first place, support the Osmani only out of a sense of duty to humanity.
Osmani traders are barred from the lucrative markets of the core worlds. Osmani scientists are excluded from conferences and universities. There are only a handful of Osmani officers in the Grand Fleet. Little wonder, then, that Osmani-built weapons, ships, and even Gate components have been seized from captured Rebel ships.