34

There is a problem with raiders. They don't build. Some historians used the label Gunpowder Empire for an empire where only the central government had the means to produce siege guns and the vast amounts of ammunition they required. (This catchphrase is a simplification, of course.) Assume that only the ruling dynasty controls shipyards and factories to ...


18

If Ray survives and prospers, it won't be because he's an architect. Ray is a world-renowned 21st century architect. He is used to designing buildings using concrete rebar, steel, glass. He's used to buildings that are straight when they're supposed to be and curved when they're not, because the available raw materials are manufactured to tight tolerances ...


11

Give them a larger threat I have two examples of this being used with pirates in culture and history. The first one you are probably familiar with: Pirates of the Carribbean 3 - the pirates of the world basically elect a unified fleet commander in response to the threat of British vessels threatening to ruin all their livelihoods. The body that enforces ...


10

Despite church teachings during the centuries following the last attack, Demons are actually an extremely lawful honor-bound warrior race. Whether in planetary scale invasions or single one-on-one combat, they never utilize military hardware which exceeds that available to their enemy. To do so would be cowardly in their eyes. They are basically Klingons ...


10

Yes but not really. Volcanic soils can indeed be highly fertile. And floods of the Nile did indeed help keep the soils of the Nile Valley fertile. But that does not mean you want regular volcanic eruptions. Fertile volcanic soils and fertile river valleys are two different things. What did the floods do? They replenished the soils depleted of nutrients by ...


8

Communication != Contribution There are a few considerations that factor in to the decision that the masters of an empire take when faced with a request for independence of a colonial state; 1) Ongoing Contributions of the Colony to the Empire 2) Ongoing Expenditure in maintaining / defending that colony 3) Reputational Damage Let's deal with these one by ...


7

"More flexible and adaptable" actually has a name -- professional. You get professional fighting forces through a combination of factors: Money: Professional forces aren't cheap. Used correctly, though, they tend to justify the expense. Professional Education: All leaders, from Generals to Sergeants, need academic education throughout their careers. They ...


6

The nomads do not settle. You do. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Catherine%27s_Monastery Saint Catherine's Monastery lies on the Sinai Peninsula, at the mouth of a gorge at the foot of Mount Sinai, near the town of Saint Catherine, Egypt... Built between 548 and 565, the monastery is one of the oldest working Christian monasteries in the ...


5

Religiously the Artarkans believe that only through raiding (to obtain offerings) and conquest that the Gods will be satisfied and will prevent the destruction of the universe (think Aztec or Assyrians) You got your answer right here. Only do they worship a god-emperor and not gods. As it happens Ar'xhir the Conqueror is, in fact, the highest of the gods ...


5

Do you even need to ask? They're alien space bats with advanced weaponry. Possession is ideal intelligence gathering. Shape-shifting for near perfect camouflage & disguise. Portals that, hopefully, can open anywhere the Demons want to attack or sequester. This also gives them incomparable mobility. Basically the Demons are trying to conquer a moderate ...


5

By not mattering enough Afghanistan has done this repeatedly since the bronze age. A bigger, stronger, richer empire absorbs them, only for them to re-emerge as an independant and uncontrolled state the moment said empire is on the ropes. This is possible for a few reasons. 1: The value they pose to the empire is outweighed by the cost of re-subjugating ...


5

The answer is quietly. The Empire's capacity for the projection of force takes a long time to implement. Locally based battalions can attack sooner. The name of the game is gradually and subtly change the management arrangements. In fact, an Empire will be mostly managed and controlled by local officials and institutions. A remote planet aware the Empire is ...


5

Is it conceivable that a fantasy empire could be built around this fertile soil? How would they survive the frequent eruptions that regenerate the fertility? It depends on the frequency of the eruptions. Look at Etna and Vesuvius, for example. They were known since ancient times for the fertility of their soils, boosted by the volcanic material deposited ...


3

Two possibilities based on two of the prevailing theories on why humans originally started living in cities. 1. Religion See Göbekli Tepe. Similar to Wilk's answer, start a religious center that doubles as a library. But rather than aiming at total self sufficiency, convince the nomads to makes pilgrimages and sacrifice game to supplement the priests' diet....


3

Well hello there, nomads! Sure, you might think you're happy now, but... ...try some of this delicious distilled hard alcohol! Take as much as you like! Come back any time!


3

The details of how (or whether) interplanetary war could work is a giant topic in its own right. But as user535733 points out in their comment, it is likely that if Planet A just wants to destroy Planet B, they'll always be able to. The mere fact of interstellar travel implies being able to accelerate a large rock to a good fraction of light speed, and ...


3

In the modern world, there are places where people go out to relieve themselves in the fields. See open defecation. Water for drinking and cooking comes from wells or streams and is fetched in buckets or pots. No plumbing. A more advanced form is an outhouse. This is basically a hole in the ground, possibly with a seat above the hole. Outhouses are ...


3

I think the back history and the geography are almost completely irrelevant. Two navies. One with 1990s technology (except for aviation, which is missing). One with 1960s technology (except for aviation, which is missing). The lower-tech navy has twice the tonnage. If both navies have submarines, the 1990s navy will win. The modern subs will first hunt ...


3

What you are describing very closely resembles feudal Europe. Lack of reliable communication and transit meant that local lords were very autonomous in their day to day activities allowing them a lot of freedom go out raiding and fighting among themselves, but everyone was sworn to a lord who was sworn to a higher lord who after so many layers was sworn to a ...


3

In the real world, Denmark and Norway were in a union from 1536 to 1814; but Denmark decided to side with Napoleon in the Napoleonic Wars and was ultimately forced to give Norway up to its arch-rival Sweden. Sweden had a few years before lost Finland to Russia in the Finnish War 1808-09. In an alternate world, Denmark could have chosen to instead side with ...


2

The Emperor has a Big Red Button for each clan. Way back, when Ar'xhir the Conqueror brought the clans under his sway and had them swear fealty, they were also made subject to a system, process, or scheme by which Ar'xhir gained the power to irresistibly destroy them and all their descendants. Perhaps Ar'xhir infected them with a genetic trait that makes ...


2

Status Quo By and large, magical and non-magical worlds tend to operate under similar Natural Laws. Gravity makes shit and water alike fall from high to low; makes water flow downhill along a slope. This is a Good Thing because magic shit doesn't smell any better than non-magic shit. Thus, plumbing in most magical worlds will be very similar to plumbing in ...


2

You have a solution built in. Your flying ships are far more restricted than you realize. A flying ship cannot sail into the wind, ships on water rely on the differential drag between the air and water to tack but if a flying ship tries this it just ends up sailing WITH the wind even faster. They may not even be able to sail perpendicular to the wind. so ...


2

Suicide skiffs Your keels, if I understand their fundamental operating properties correctly, can also be used as oars (in a smaller capacity) by fastening small ‘keels’ perpendicularly to a long wooden spar and using them to push off the aether on the backstroke, then turning and sliding them through the ether on the forestroke. This means that a small, ...


2

The best play may be to simply wait for an opportunity to present itself. Decadent empires by definition often have many domestic problems. These could range from widespread corruption to very serious affairs like civil wars over the throne. With enough corruption present and many layers between the local administration and the core imperial bureaucracy, ...


2

You mentioned it in a comment, but I think one of the most important reasons to settle down is medical care. If only for help during childbirth, this can draw in a lot of travellers, if you're the only site on the world than can provide adequate care. Same for the elderly, who'd be less able to travel as they grow older, and they'd be more suited to "help ...


2

Might makes right Like all empires do. The leaders have power over others, be it firepower, numerical superiority, wealth, information, influence, resources, a super weapon or pure charisma. Perhaps the leaders have control of the only starship building facilities. Maybe the only fuel refinery capable of producing starship fuel. A vast network of spies so ...


2

Deception. Take over the FTL communications. "Everything's fine here, no problems, don't need any more security." Stage shows or bribes for any official inspectors. Have a robust counter-intelligence to capture or subvert spies.


2

Mutually assured destruction The lesson from Ender's Game is that you plan your attack in advance. The first act of the newly-independent planet would be to construct a battle fleet and send it to the Imperial Core, crewed with people prepared to die for their independent planet. (I'm assuming some kind of cryosleep exists and these aren't generation ...


2

The enemy of my enemy is my friend By using the advanced method of communication, the rebelling planet could attempt to utilize their rebellion as a means of incentive for others to act out against the Empire. Supposedly, the rebelling planet has some resource that's valuable to the empire (otherwise, why be there?), which is now being deprived from the ...


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