Around the Novus Initium Republic year of 4882 A.D., on a planet whose star system is on the edge of the Novus Initium star cluster in what is known as the Eastern Region, a nation by the name of the Royal Lykan Kingdom had discovered after being in space for over two hundred years the means of traveling to other star systems using what the Republic calls Salire Purpura Crystals, the same crystals used to create wormholes. With this newfound ability, the Lykans, a bipedal wolf-like species, set forth with a single decree: to claim the star cluster in the name of their deity. What united the Lykans so long ago was a message given by one of their most revered prophets simply known by the name Ka’Thro who stated he had received a word from their deity. This message was to unite their people who have long since been at war with each other and to claim all that they can see so that all would serve their deity with the Lykans ruling over them in his name. This gave the Lykans clarity and soon their entire planet had been united.
However, that was not enough for the Lykans who could see the star cluster at night for most of the year (the remainder of the year, there was no nearby stars visible due to them being on the edge of the star cluster). To them, the prophet was not only talking about the planet, but also the star cluster before them. This drive was what eventually led them to find a means to go to other systems using the same crystals the Republic uses at a faster rate by comparison. After managing to expand into several star systems, they came across other races who they quickly enslaved and subjugated in order for them to work off their “sins” and worship the Lykans’ deity. Among those races were the bipedal fox-like Vitams who had only managed to reach into space themselves before being enslaved. The Lykans saw some potential in the Vitams as engineers and technicians as the Vitams went from Industrial Age to Space Age within a very short time-frame. Indeed, the Vitams were keen on technology and took interest in studying as much of the inner workings of the Lykans ships as they could.
By 5326 A.D., the Lykans were the dominant force in the Eastern Region and had enslaved at least five races who were unable to fend them off at all. Many of the slave races they had conquered dreamed of the day they could be able to get free but there was no means for that to happen. This all changed as the Lykans holy mission of conquest soon came to a resounding halt in July of that year. The Lykans decided to start venturing into the Northern Region after detecting transmissions of artificial origin and decided that they have stumbled across another spacefaring race that they deemed needed to be conquered and serve their deity at his altar. This nation they came across was the Camino Star Empire, an amphibious bipedal race whose ships and technology were on par if not better in some aspects to that of the Royal Lykan Kingdom’s ships. The Lykans announced their intentions and immediately opened fire on the Imperial ships, an act that to this day they wish they did not do. The Lykan Royal Navy had never suffered a loss at the hands of anyone since its formation, but on that day, the Lykans lost 65% of their fleet to the Empire who lost only 48%, though the Lykans attribute this to the fact the Empire fielded battleships in the battle where the Lykans did not think they would need them.
This loss sent a demoralizing wave throughout the Kingdom since it was their first loss and the only response the Kingdom could come up with is to mobilize a larger force, this time with battleships in the fleet, against the Empire. This mobilization drew ships from key worlds and installations. This gave the Vitams and other slaves the opportunity they needed to finally revolt and get away from their “masters.” Suddenly seeing an uprising of slaves across the kingdom, the King at the time decided to call for an uneasy truce with the Empire in order to call their ships back to stop the uprising. Many of the slaves managed to capture navy ships and freighters in order to escape with as many of their people as they can. The Vitams led the way with enough crystals for a few dozen jumps to get away. Around two-thirds of the entire slave population managed to get away before the Lykans could regain control of the revolt. Seeing as their slave labor had drastically dropped, the Lykans had to resort to automation in areas that were completely without slave labor while at the same time halting any further means of expansion. The Navy began to set out to look for the slaves that escaped. They were eventually found over 50 years later but by this time the slaves had managed to create their own nation and military under the name of the United Vitam State. This began a long war between the Royal Lykan Kingdom who wanted their slaves back and the United Vitam State who wanted to free their remaining brethren. This war dragged on for decades as the Kingdom kept as many vessels on border defense with both the State and the Empire and can only spare so many to fight against the State. The situation changed when the Kingdom and the State encountered the Novus Initium Republic, turning the tide of what would later be known as the First Interstellar War.
Despite the advances in spaceship technology to be able to traverse the star systems of the star cluster, the Lykans’ weapons systems have not advanced much at all since they took to the stars. While the Royal Navy ships have more guns compared to Republic ships, not all of the guns can fire at the same ranges. Unlike Republic beam laser cannons which can change their modes between long range heavy strike and short range rapid fire, the Lykans still prefer the hard hitting rounds of long range artillery cannons and the quick rate of fire from the short range autocannons. However, while the principal of the cannons has not changed in hundreds of years, the ammo used in the cannons has. The principal of the guns and their abilities at those ranges is practically the same as the Republic’s. The long range artillery fires the rounds at rather high velocity to do maximum damage with maximum impact. However, they are slow to track and their rate of fire leaves a lot to be desired. However, the sheer striking force of a single volley is generally enough to take out most unshielded targets or deplete quite a bit of shield strength from those targets that have shields. The autocannons by comparison were intended for fast tracking and rapid firing of the same rounds, though with not as much force and range compared to the artillery cannons. This means that depending on the range of the target will also determine which guns are firing and thus the sight of so many guns may be more psychological than anything. The other issue with the autocannons are that they serve as anti-ship guns. They cannot track and destroy the missiles the State uses as its primary weapons unless it is done through cover fire. The Lykans have yet to develop an effective means to counter the State’s missile assaults. As for the rounds themselves, the Lykans have used lead-tipped rounds for a long time, but recently they started using other tips for their rounds for a wide range of damage effects. These include but are not limited to depleted uranium, phased plasma, and plutonium rounds. These became needed for instances where targets and enemies needed a bit more of a “lasting” effect of damage for them to realize their mistake for opposing the Lykans and their deity.
If there is one aspect of defense the Lykans excel at, it is their shields. Knowing that they had to make room for all of the ammo needed, the Lykans had to sacrifice a lot of armor compared to Republic ships in order to accommodate. However, to compensate for this, the shields of the Royal Navy ships are some of the strongest shields found in the star cluster. Every ship is equipped with both a primary and secondary shield to help prolong any damage the shields will take. However, once the shields are gone, there is little armor protecting the ships and anything that can hit a well-placed shot to either the reactors or the ammo supply will result in that ship’s destruction. The only exceptions to this issue are the battleships which are big enough to allow for thick armor and still have room for all of the ammo. Armor repair systems don’t exist for the Kingdom so any damage to the armor of a surviving ship will take a long time to replace, especially in light of the fact of the reduced slave population and the reliance now on automation.
The design of the Royal Navy ships has not changed in centuries. The philosophy behind this is that the ships have proven themselves time and time again that they are quite powerful and have only needed minor upgrades to their systems over the years. Even though the Royal Navy suffered a loss against the Camino Star Empire and have had some of their warships lost in the Slave Revolt, they blamed those losses on the incompetence of their commanding officers rather than the technical aspects of the ship. The Lykans had an accelerated ship construction system in place which called for the strip-mining of several uninhabited worlds in order to build up the Kingdom’s war machine. This however has slowed down considerably after the Slave Revolt as there were not as many slaves to help maintain the ships and thus the Kingdom has taken a more conservative approach to building ships. This has unfortunately led to the prolonged war with the United Vitam State as the Kingdom cannot field as many ships on the battlefield against the State whose navy, while rather small, is on par with the Kingdom ships. To help make maintenance on existing ships easier, the Kingdom reduced the number of types of ships, using the ones they were getting rid of as scrap metal to build new ships of the types they are keeping. They brought them down to destroyers, cruisers, and battleships deeming them the most effective designs in their arsenal.
When the first Salire Purpura Crystals were found by the Lykans in their system and what they could do, the Lykans took and strip-mined every planet and moon in their system for the crystals and starting using them to go from system to system. However, even though they found more in other systems, they soon realized that they would need to come up with a better solution to go between systems as the crystals were being spent faster than they could be found. They eventually found out that the crystals would not dissolve if their energy for creating wormholes was directed from a structure that doesn’t go through with the same crystals. This led to what they would call “jump gates,” which is their version of the Republic’s star gates. They still keep crystals on board, especially in light of the war with the State in systems where star gates are not present. Usually the amount of crystals on board is good for two jumps. Any further jumps would only be allowed if their supply of crystals is resupplied by logistical craft that would enter the system once there were no other enemy vessels present considering the logistical craft have no weapons.
The largest of the three hulls built by the Royal Navy, the kilometer-long Thrasher-class Battleship was both a sight and a nightmare to behold on any battlefield. This bulky behemoth was the fewest in numbers compared to the other smaller hulls but the roles it fulfilled are well known among both Kingdom and State naval officers: serve as the flagship of a fleet and bring total devastation to the Kingdom’s enemies on the battlefield. The size of the Thrasher along with the armaments allowed the ship to have the ability to perform the latter with its shields being powerful enough to take massive amounts of punishment from State ships. Unlike the Stabber-class Destroyer or the Impaler-class Cruiser which were intended to engage targets in the same size class, the Thrasher is equipped with weapons to handle all ranges of vessels. Among the anti-battleship guns, the Thrasher utilized 12 1200mm dual artillery cannons for long-range assaults and 12 425mm dual autocannons for close to medium attacks. For anti-cruiser weapons, the Thrasher fielded only 20 800mm quad-barrel artillery cannons, deeming the need of autocannons against such targets as unneeded as that much firepower should be able to destroy them before they get close enough. For anti-destroyer/frigate combat, the Thrasher is equipped with 28 280mm twin artillery cannons for use against long-range targets and packs 44 125mm twin gatling autocannons for close-range targets. Finally, to round out its arsenal, it also was equipped with two 800mm heavy artillery cannons but these weapons are forward firing only. The bulk of the ship allowed it to hold massive amounts of ammo for all of these guns so a battle of attrition is ill-advised leading to many deaths and ships lost before that happened. Indeed, even after one manages to get through the shields, the Thrasher had 1200mm thick rolled tungsten plates to allow it the chance to take further damage while giving the ship the opportunity to withdraw. It was a moot point of contention that if Thrashers were in the battle against the Camino Star Empire, the battle would have gone differently. However, the Kingdom did not have a chance to prove this claim against the Empire in light of the war with the United Vitam State. The Kingdom also had only deployed three Thrashers in total in their engagements with State forces, of which one of those battleships has been destroyed. Another lost its shields and relied on its armor for protection before it fled the battlefield but not before decimating several State ships and severely damaging one of their battleships. It had been claimed that if a Kingdom and a State battleship went toe-to-toe with each other the Kingdom would win. The results of such engagements showed that they resulted in a tie between them as the State’s battleships were just as effect as their Kingdom counterparts, a fact the Kingdom did not want to acknowledge.
After the First Interstellar War, the Royal Lykan Kingdom was reformed into the Holy Lykan Republic after the destruction of the orbital city of High Charity and the death of their corrupt king. During this transition, the Thrashers were decommissioned and recycled into the Harbinger-class Battleships based on the prototype Harbinger that was developed near the end of the war. However, it generally took two Thrashers to be recycled into a single Harbinger, and thus the number of Harbingers in the Holy Lykan Navy is half as many as there were Thrashers in the Royal Navy.