Irden Reichs is a major galactic civilization originating from planet Zvargoff. Dominated by dwarves, it is an imperialistic faction with a heavy ideological slant. Irden Reichs rules a large part of the Accords Sector, with 89 official inhabited member worlds, second in size only to Gnadra Confederacy with 108 worlds and closely followed by the Ard Teach Réalta with 87. Although an official member of the Gnadra Accords, its relationship with the other members is somewhat cool due to ideological clashes. However, despite some internal elements seeking conflict with other major civilizations, the Irden Reichs remains peaceful to other members.
Irden Reichs was built on the basis of the Irden ideology, founded 886 years ago on the basis of Oserich Altmann's book Irden Destiny. An archaeologist working on a Titan facility of Telekinthus on Zvargoff, Altmann claimed to have deciphered the Titan language. Although many of his contemporaries found his research scientifically dubious, the heavy ideological slant of his book found fertile ground in the disenfranchised youth of his era's Zvargoff. Altmann claimed the Titans were representatives of perfect order in the universe, and as creations of the Titans, dwarves (a term he personally hated) should follow that order and do whatever they can to make that perfect plan a reality. Although this ideology doesn't explicitly call Titans gods, in practice the belief in their absolute infallibility gives them a divine authority.
The perfect order, as envisioned by Altmann, included every race 'taking its rightful place', as preordained by the Titans. Dwarves were, according to him, meant to be the rulers, soldiers and workers and should only refer to themselves as 'Irden', i.e. 'made of earth' in Zvargovian. Giants, which were subjects of many centuries of mutual racial hatred on Zvargoff, were supposed to be manual laborers and shock troopers. Every other Titan-made race, many of which were either never present on Zvargoff or extinct by Altmann's time, had its own niches it was supposed to fall into and never stray from. Therefore, Altmann's ideology, allegedly based on the Titans' own designs, segregated entire galactic society, of which Altmann was not aware, into race-based castes. Today, this ideology is used by the Irden to segregate every citizen and subject of their empire.
The most contentious - on the galactic theater - point of their ideology is their treatment of non-titanic races. As they do not come from the Titans they do not factor at all into the 'perfect order'. Therefore, as Irden see it, they can be dealt with in any way they see fit. If a 'monster' (Irden word for a non-titanic race) can be particularly useful, it can be used, although a titanic one will always be preferred for the same job. Often non-titanic subjects of the Irden are treated as little more than slaves. Even though officially slavery is illegal in Irden Reichs, their law defines slavery as 'owning people and treating them as property', where non-titanic races do not count as 'people', only 'monsters'. To avoid sanctions from Gnadra Accords, Irden avoid too public or large-scale enslaving of 'monsters', though it is painfully obvious to most observers it is only a facade.
In everyday life, an Irden's most important values are duty and hard work. Passion is frowned upon, per Altmann's third book, Arbata den Titanen, "passion is the death of duty'. Irden are supposed to follow their orders and work hard to fulfill them to their best. Wives are supposed to obey their husbands, who they were arranged to marry by their fathers. Extramarital affairs are punishable by jail time for breaking one's duty, and bachelors pay a special tax for not having a wife.
- Main article: Zvargoff#History
Irden Reichs arose on Zvargoff which had a long history of giant domination. Over 3500 years ago, all of the dominant races were various kinds of giants and the world was known as Tyrinsal. Dwarves and other smaller races were seen as lesser species and were viciously persecuted, up to and including cannibalism. Approximately 3300 years ago, a revolution arose among Tyrinsal's dwarves, led by a semi-legendary hero Buri the Giantslayer and after his death, Sons of Buri. The violent revolution turned Tyrinsal's social order upside down, exterminating most of the giants and placing the dwarves on top.
Rise of Irden ideology
Thousands of years later, Zvargoff was divided between various kingdoms and republics with little common identity and giant enslavement merely a distant historical era. It was then, around 900 years ago, that one particular dwarven supremacist and archaeologist, Oserich Altmann, became known for trying to piece together the original Titan language. While most attempted to translate the Titan inscriptions using what was known of Giant languages, he remained steadfast in the belief that dwarves are the chosen creations of the Titans. In this era, a gigantophilic movement arose, feeling the genocide of the giants was a mistake and seeking reparations for the former overlords of Zvargoff. Altmann staunchly opposed that stance, seeing giants as usurpers from the start. He finally translated some version of Titan inscriptions in the ruins of Telekinthus and came up with the now famous verse describing “the earthen” (or Irden) as rightful inheritors of the world. He published his findings in the now-revered Irden Destiny book. Although at the time his translations were widely disputed and his contemporaries brought attention to multiple dubious leaps of logic Altmann made, Irden Destiny sparked the imagination of thousands of young dwarves and a new movement was born.
In the following century, many Irden parties and local movements sprang all across Zvargoff, demanding recognition of ideologies espoused by Altmann in Irden Destiny and his later, even more propaganda-laden books. Although many governments tried to show some good-will towards these movements, the disagreements soon turned to violence when the first militant Irden circles attempted to take over their nations. Over the next thirty years, persecution of the radical Irden movement caused civil wars all across Zvargoff. 773 years ago, Union of True Irden Power finally succeeded at toppling a local government in Harz and established an absolute monarchy, with a king claiming descent from Buri’s son, Vay. Over the following fifty years, more governments were brutally toppled. 716 years ago, all the Irden kings met in Telekinthus with the remaining non-Irden leaders to unite most of Zvargoff under the rule of one Kaiser, ruling from Harz.
The newly-formed Irden Reichs began tightening its grip on Zvargoff and making sure giants stayed in their isolated reserves, or using them as shock troops against the few opposing forces. Irden archaeologists continued Oserich Altmann’s work on deciphering the Titan language and at this era, they finally completed one of the devices for which blueprints Oserich found in Telekinthus – an aether-traversing engine that allowed Irden to leave Zvargoff and bypass the vast swathes of empty space to quickly get to other worlds. Using this and other new technology reverse-engineered from Titan technology, Irden caused an industrial revolution that saw their numbers quickly boom. Irden began spreading to other, unoccupied worlds in their system, always looking for trace of the Titans, believing them to be responsible for all order in the universe.
In thirty years, Irden were beginning to colonize nearby worlds, paying little heed to previous inhabitants. Non-Titanic creatures were seen as little more than beasts and monsters. If it didn’t have a place in the Titanic Order, as deciphered by Oserich Altmann, it had no humanoid rights. When they found remains of sphinxes on an arid, unpopulated world now known as Lamienheim, they found first proof of the fabled creatures from Altmann’s writings and became even more convinced of their Titanic Order. Their expansion continued until, 640 years ago, they found the world of Gnegav, dominated by a race of religious rock gnomes. Gnegvis were allowed entry into the Irden Reichs, although they found little attraction in the ideology which gave them the position of inventors at best and menial laborers at worst. The two factions parted peaceably, for a time.
For the following twenty years, at Irden insistence, Irden citizens were allowed to settle on Gnegav. Because of the world’s abundance of natural resources such as wood, coal and very nutritious fauna, soon dwarves began swarming Gnegav and quickly straining the ecosystem. Having great respect for nature, seeing its balance as very important in Light’s demands for them, they demanded the Irden government to rein in their citizens. Unhappy with the turn of events, Kaiser ordered a provocation where a few gnomes working for them attacked Irden citizens of Gnegav, justifying Irden’s declaration of war. In a brief war where Gnegav’s towns and temples were bombed from orbit or invaded by troops dropped from orbit, the gnomes had to surrender after just a few months.
As Irden continued to explore space, they also decided to put the Gnegvi “where they belonged as gnomes”. The great temples of Gnegav were destroyed or turned into civilian facilities and the gnomish race was put into diaspora all across the Reichs, where they were refused most jobs that weren’t involved in engineering, manual labor or economy. Despite that decentralization, Gnegvi managed to maintain a level of their own identity, united by their religion, practiced in the seclusion of their homes or led in small prayer circles by the local priests.
One other populous subject race of the Irden are Yotvian humans. Their homeworld of Yotvia was shaken by an ancient cataclysm and became barely habitable. The Elder Things' curse had more drastic effects on the locals, leading the dominant race of humans to have flaps of loose skin around their body, leading to many comparisons between them and pugs or other similar breeds of dogs. Because Yotvia was disorganized, with no central authority, the Irden began simply colonizing it. A few Yotvian groups opposed them for a short time but in a series of short, brutal wars most of those groups were summarily destroyed. Afterwards, Yotvians were incorporated into the Titanic Order as humans, serving mostly as soldiers and personal servants of dwarven nobles.
Joining the Galactic Community
The Irden met other major members of the galactic community shortly before the emergence of the Xa'tac over 450 years ago. For that brief period, the antagonism between the Irden and other factions was rising quickly, with the Gnadra and some other powers gearing for potential war. It was then that the Xa’tac struck, forcing everyone to divert their attention to the new, active threat. Over the course of the war and its final conclusion at the hands of the unified alliance of sentient races of the sector, the Irden worked out a sense of cooperation with the other powers. When the Gnadra Accords were first signed 417 years ago, the Irden happily joined this community, seeing more prospect for expansion in the unclaimed and mostly uncivilized sectors, as opposed to tangling with factions that could actually damage their own planets.
Although this situation continues to this day, the Irden are distrusted because of their fanatical devotion to the Titanic Order, which sees all their allies “rightful places” as either servants or enemies to be destroyed. Although the Kaiser and his Reichstag have always voted for cooperation for centuries, there are growing dissident voices that want confrontation and “Final Ordering” for the whole Galaxy. Irden and Gnadra have both very active spy rings which constantly make sure the other isn’t a threat. This animosity manifests in popular culture of both states, with Gnadra-made popular combat simulator including Irden as an enemy faction together with Xa'tac and Elder Things, and in Irden politics where a radical faction openly agitates for the Final Ordering and promises to put it in action if they’re voted into office (even though such final decision would belong to the Kaiser).
This article is a stub. It is yet to be expanded with more canon information.