Spiral wars

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Krim poisons Earth
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  • books are set in the Milky Way galaxy
  • some species live “out there”, beyond even Croma space:

“The sard are bad,” said Romki. “The krim were worse. The reeh are worse again, and many times more powerful than the krim and sard at their very height combined.” (Defiance -32)

The Vanished Ancients[]

The Ancients — A mystery. Lived millions of years ago. Little is known. Are they extinct or have they ascended, moved elsewhere...?

  • Ancients built the mysterious Meridian on the sacred temple moon Merakis 3 million years ago. (R-20).

“the Ancients’ Meridian modelled much of the near Spiral.... The whole thing was more than three million years old. What had happened to the race that built it, and other monuments like it across the Spiral, no one knew. Their homeworld remained unknown, and no working settlement, nor sign of actual civilisation, had ever been found. There were countless theories, but no one even knew what the Ancients had looked like.” (R-20)

"Merakis — for reasons unknown to anyone — had found the favour of the Ancients, a fact that had in turn made it a magnet for every spacefaring species to rise to prominence in this part of the Spiral." (R-19) Long after the Ancients, Merakis changed hands from The Fathers to the parren to the chah'nas to the tavalai and is now in human space (R-19).

Mirakis and The Spiral Progression: “ Erik knew of the Spiral Progression. It was what Merakis was famous for — a succession of temples and monuments...built by each successive ruling species.” (R-20)

  • The Ancients and one-species theory: Seeing Milek in civvies was almost enough for Dale to reconsider his disdain of those crazy conspiracy-cultists who insisted that all humanoid aliens had a common ancestor whose seed had been spread about the galaxy by the Ancients many millions of years ago...(KV-21)

The Extinct Fathers[]

They disappeared “fifty-thousand years ago” (R-13), exterminated by the machine-race they created

  • more precisely: “forty eight thousand years ago, when they annhilated their original creators.” (KV-33).
  • They built the AI machines as server droids, but "they held us back" so the machines wiped them out, according to Styx (D)
    • and also because they knew too much about AI design (R-3)

The Extinct Krim[]

  • See Krim page. Hive species that poisoned Earth and killed 9.9 billion humans after Tavalia State Department gave the krim space-faring tech and ownership of Sol system space.
  • Krim are believed to be extinct after human Fleet ship Lien Wang v-dumped their homeworld, about 700 years ago.

Major Living Species[]


alo — See alo page

barabo — see barabo page. This species played a large role in Drysine Legacy, book 2.

chah'nas — See chah'nas page

corbi - See Corbi page. First appeared in Croma Venture

croma - See croma page. First appeared in Croma Venture

dogreth — First appeared in Qalea Drop guarding the ancient lestis temple… enormous shoulders and meaty fists, compound eyes that glistened like the shimmering glass....narrow yellow eyes....short snout (QD-9) Reptilian-eyed dogreth ... chattering and snorting to each other as they worked, with powerful arms and brawlers' shoulders, never seeming to laugh or smile. (QD-9) Dogreth served the reeh offworld, as did other Eshir species, and those networks of reeh servants and slaves worked to feed information downworld through informal and often dangerous channels.“(QD-24)

    • The Dogreth resistance is called Akcho: Twelve dogreth, in tough vests and neck chains, wandered the projections, pointing and talking amongst themselves. Their leader was Chasa, bigger and stronger than the rest, in the simple logic of dogreth leadership. All men, Trace had learned. (QD-24)

humans — see human page

kaal — See kaal page. Minor role as tavalai allies. However, the heavy descender pilot in Kantovan Vault was a kaal

kuhsi - Tif and Skah. See kuhsi page

lestis — see Lestis page. This species first appeared in Qalea Drop, book 7.

parren — See parren page

qwailash — First appeared in Qalea Drop. Qwailash Sector. Fighting Pit beneath the city. Kinda nocturnal. Physically slow. thick-shelled and round-shouldered qwailash, hard-shelled... Both qwailash were tall, giant land crustaceans with triple-segmented bodies. The rear segment was flat to the ground, with four scuttling legs for propulsion. Above that, the main body stood, with four more big arms, two of them huge with wide claws, and a head that was barely recognisable as belonging to a sentient being, mostly compound eyes on stalks, multiple long antennae and a cluster of small claws about armoured mouthparts. Awkward on land, they preferred water...

reeh -- See reeh page

sard — See sard page

sulik — Ambassador Tua of Kantovan Vault. For more info, see sulik page

synthetics / AI —See machine-race page

tanifex - See tanifex page. Tanifex first appeared in Rando Splicer

tavalai — See tavalai page

Toulemlek / toulies undersea on Cephilae

toulemlek / toulies — Featured in Defiance as fascinating aquatic creatures who genetically encode memories, passing them down through their descendants for millennium. They may possibly be sentient, or just specifically gifted but non-sentient animals. Squid-like, with wings like a ray. Communicates with flashing lights. Remembers patterns forever, to the nth digit. Live in the sea on the moon Cephilae, Cason System, in parren House Fortitude space. “Cephilae is a scientific curiosity. There are interesting life forms there animals that live in the seas. Intelligent animals, but animals all the same. Scientists study them” (D-7). Sergeant Lai of Phoenix Company dubbed them "toulies" (D-10)

trento — brief appearance in Qalea Drop. A trento just sat, looking over the bikes on the landing zone, a blanket over his legs and smoking a long pipe beneath his long snout.

Unknown -- lots more species out there...

also mentioned in minor roles—[]

  • Chiri — First appeared in Qalea Drop. “…barely up to Trace’s knee, they wore irregular scraps of clothing, some hoods, others small cloaks or vests, and alternated between two legs or four, long-eared and beady-eyed. “They’re not much brighter than your average five-year-old. They get real rough down in the lower zones…”
  • chu — an animal resembling a large deer, but domesticated, to ride upon it like a horse. Not sentient. (CV-15)
  • kratik - “small with bony, reptiloid snouts and carnivorous teeth” (KV-16), beady eyes (KV-17)
  • shoab - wide, flat head. Nasal voice. "Shoab were big, but not nearly as big as kaal. The heavy-worlders lumbered forward, big fists on the ground in a four-limbed walk, shoulders broad and heads thrust forward, low and flat between those powerful shoulders." (KV-17)
  • peletai -bugs, exoskeleton armor / chitinous shell

“I count eight,” Jokono confirmed. “I see two kratik, three shoab, one kuhsi, and… I don’t recognise those last two.”

“Peletai,” said Tooganam. “You’ve never seen peletai, wise old human?”

Peletai were insectoid, Dale saw, catching a glint of chitinous shell past loose clothing. He’d heard of them, but like so much of the tavalai-sphere, it was all so far away from humanity.

“I have never seen peletai,” Jokono confirmed without a hint of bother. “Tell us of them.”

“Bugs,” Tooganam said grimly. “Just bugs.” (KV-17)

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Literature / The Spiral Wars

A Military Science Fiction series by Joel Shepherd.

1,000 years after the Earth is destroyed in an unprovoked attack by an alien species, humanity has finally won a long and grueling war to carve its own place in the larger galaxy. However, in the middle of celebrations on the new Homeworld, renowned war hero Captain Marinol Pantillo of the flagship carrier Phoenix is abruptly arrested and killed, and his junior Lieutenant Commander Erik Debogande is framed for the murder. Rescued by Major Thakur of the Phoenix's Marine detachment, Erik must flee with his ship and crew from their former compatriots, as they uncover a conspiracy that led to their captain's murder. Eventually, they stumble onto an even bigger plot that not only threatens war but the end of everything they love.

The series thus far is comprised of the following novels:

  • Renegade (2015)
  • Drysine Legacy (2015)
  • Kantovan Vault (2016)


  • Ace Pilot: The 'Phoenix', being a carrier with multiple shuttles, has several.
    • Erik Debogande pilots Phoenix itself and, sure enough, pulls of some crazy maneuvers.
    • Lieutenant Hauser, pilot of shuttle PH-1, is a classic "hotshot fighter pilot" type.
    • Tif ends up regularly piloting PH-4. Less showy than Hauser but extremely good at her job.
  • Action Girl: Major Trace Thakur is a standout example.
  • Badass Adorable: The Kuhsi come off as basically human-sized teddy bears: furred with large, floppy ears... and long, razor-sharp, retractable claws.
  • The Cutie: Lisbeth Debogande, as the sole civilian non-combatant on the ship, is this in spades.
  • Field Promotion: A major point of contention during Drysine Legacy - Trace insists that Erik should declare himself Captain already (and then resolve the logjam of underranked-for-their-actual-position Lieutenants under him), while Erik remains unwilling.
  • Fish People: The Tavalai have a frog-like appearance.
  • Funetik Aksent: The named Kuhsi characters understand English just fine, but have some difficulty pronouncing it.
  • Humans Are White: Notably averted. With the near-destruction of the human race, there are relatively few Caucasians, especially among the named characters.
  • Gender Is No Object: For human spacers and marines, anyway. Mainstream Kuhsi society doesn't seem to agree.
  • Insectoid Aliens: The sard have a spider-like appearance and hive-like behavior.
  • Mechanical Lifeforms: In the pre-history of the series, an alien species known as the Fathers created sentient AI lifeforms now called "hacksaws" by organic species (named for the deadly sharp appendages they use in melee combat).
  • Posthumous Character: Captain Pantillo, for the most part.
  • Robot War: A particularly bloody one was fought millennia in the past, before humanity joined the galactic community. Sapient AI is banned as a result, and even organic civilizations at war would call a truce to exterminate a surviving nest of Machines.
  • Tagalong Kid: Skah - I'm sorry, the Furball - definitely qualifies.
  • Team Mom: Trace Thakur for her Marines, although one who is actually younger than most of her "children".
  • The Caper: Kantovan Vault has, as its centerpiece, a robbery of the eponymous vault to retrieve a MacGuffin.
  • Unusual Dysphemism: The team refers to airgapped devices as "Autistic."
  • Walking Disaster Area: Where the Phoenix goes, explosions and massive property damage are almost sure to follow.
  • Warrior Monk: The Kulina have aspects of this.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: The Phoenix Marine Company is hyper-competent in combat, but quite bad at basic guard duty, which they (at least initially) consider beneath their dignity. This causes problems on a regular basis.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Colonel Khola is summarily dispatched (and put back in the med bay) by the end of Drysine Legacy, and hasn't been mentioned since.
Sours: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Literature/TheSpiralWars


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