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On one side of the valley, an army of scaley-skinned, horribly-beweaponed humanoids boiled out of a walled city, swarming in a tide of anger towards the other side of the valley. 

On the other side, two five-sloped mountains that hadn’t been there an hour ago now squatted, bristling with gleaming weaponry and sensory antennae, metallic shapes starting to emerge from cavernous openings in their sides and gather around their bases. 

Several miles away, on a low promintory, but still with line of sight on the plain, two oni ninja watched, unseen by the belligerents below. 

“What are they waiting for? An invitation?” The younger ninja groused. “Their formation...it is laughable! Why didn’t they come in on top of the ‘port, if they mean to take it? If these ‘Shemarrians’ mean to take the spaceport away from the Brodkil, why do they land outside it, like they came to picnic, not make war?!”

The senior of the two ninja let the younger one rant and ramble for a while before he held up a finger, indicating patience. 

“Wait for it.”

They didn’t have long to wait, watching the Brodkil armored reinforce their positions and consolidate their encirclement of the Shemarrian positions. Armored phalanxes were forming up to strike at the beseiged ships.

Then it seemed as if the two starfish-like ships exploded in a blaze of light. Even the Oni-nins’ flash-visors overcompensated for a moment, going black for a moment, before readjusting, but even then, the curtain of fire that rose was blinding to look at. 

A curtain of fire that rose and arced, and finally swept down upon the Brodkil positions. Once, twice, three times the plasma tide rolled across the Brodkil, incinerating monster and machine alike, dropping into trenches to melt the soil into molten glass, drowning those who had take refuge in the earth in instant lava, cooking off munitions still on their racks and in their weapons. Previously invisible Brodkil flickered into sight as the murderous brightness washed over them, revealing them, before they vanished again, but not into the concealment of their naural cloaking ability. Brodkil formations didn’t so much break as they EVAPORATED under the onslaught.

Then, there rose a yell that could be heard even over the still resounding shockwaves of that bombardment. The Shemarrian cavalry, now suddenly formed up in their own formations, charged into the still smoking maelstrom, the thundering of the hooves of their warmounts audible even from where the ninja watched. The sharp supersonic crack of their guns punctuated the air.

“Flaming tears of Amaratsu....” the younger ninja breathed in awe.

“And that is why one ignores artillery...and the perfect open field deployment for it.... at one’s risk. If the enemy wants YOU to come to THEM, it is reason to be suspicious.” the senior ninja wisely stated. 

She-Mar Hitode-class Troop Transport[]

Hitode
Type ESheMar-CV-01
Class Heavy Troop Transport Carrier
Crew 8200
Number Troops 1600 Cavalary or 16,000 Infantry/arm
Number of Warmounts 1600
Number of Shuttles 20 Scarab Assault Shuttles
Original Tribe Blood Rider
MDC By Location
Bridge 9000
Main Body 95,000
Main Engines 2000 (5)
Armatures (6) 76,000
Force Field 1500 per side (6000 total)
PHKT Launcher (2) 900
Plasma Torpedo Launcher (5) 800
G-Cannon Turrets (15) 800
Physical Size
Length 2200 ft
Width 2200 ft
Height 500 ft
Weight 560,000 tons
Cargo Variable
Powerplant Nuclear 30 year
Atmospheric Speed Mach 3
Transatmospheric Yes
Sublight Speed Mach 10
FTL Speed 7 LY/hr
Sensors Comms
Standard Sensors Standard
Special Systems
Special System 1 Sensor Baffling
Special System 2 Tractor Beams (5)
Weapon Systems
Primary Weapon Heavy G-Cannon (30)
Secondary Weapon Plasma Hunter-Killer Torpedo Launchers (2)
Third Weapon Plasma Torpedo Launchers (5)
Fourth Weapon Point Defense Rail Gun/Laser (35)

These distinctive-looking Shemarrian capital ships have only been sighted twice in action, both times operating near Bushido Confederation-claimed space; the Oni scouts who observed them dubbed them ‘Hitode’ (‘Starfish’), and the name stuck (it is unknown what the Shemar call them).

Description[]

Hitode-class transport cruisers have a distinctive appearance giving them their reporting name. They do indeed resemble massive, thorny, five-armed starfish. In this case, though, the armatures are large troop transport bay-blocs, and the ‘thorns’ a bristling array of armaments. Heavily armed and armored, but decidedly slow compared to other Shemarrian vessels, the Hitide does not rush to engage enemy vessels, but comes in behind a screen of other ships, protecting its advance on a planetary body or targeted space station. Once landed, the Hitode acts as a strongpoint and artillery support for its deployed troop complement.

Appearances[]

Hitodes have been sighted but rarely; twice in landing operations, and four or five times in flight, traveling in convoy with other Shemar vessels, and not more than two or three at a time, so it is not known how many are operational in the Shemarrian fleets. The vessels engaged in the observed landing operations apparently belonged the Blood Rider (made clear by the bright crimson color scheme) and Horrorwoods (green and gray) tribes. It is not known if these vessels are exclusive to these clans or are operational with the other known tribes as well. 

Abilities[]

Cargo[]

Each arm of the Hitode can hold ten companies of Shemarrian cavalry (that’s 1,600 troops, plus their mounts) or twenty companies (3,200 effectives) of dismounted infantry, for totals of 1,600 cavalry/100 warmounts, or 16,000 infantry.

Alternatively, they can each hold 40,000 tons of cargo. 

Special Systems []

Hanger[]

The Hitode has hanger space to launch and recover 20 Scarab Assault Shuttles.

Sensor Baffling[]

The Shemar ships can partially mask their sensor spoor, making themselves difficult to detect at long range. This acts as Stealth (-70% to detect while stationary, -30% when moving) 

Tractor Beams (5)[]

Effectively each rated for 700 tons dead weight, but can be used for imparting small changes in momentum/direction to ships/structures several times that mass. One emitter is mounted in each claw, and the third is mounted in the tail. 

Range: 5 miles in space (NOT usable in atmosphere)

Weapons Systems[]

Heavy G-Cannon (30; 15x2)[]

Range 8 mile
Range2 16 mile space
Damage 2d4x100 MD
Damage2 4d4x100 MD dual barrel
Rate of Fire EGCHH (4-6)
Payload 2000 bursts per cannon

The Hitode mounts no less than thirty heavy G-cannon, in fifteen twin-mount turrets; two each on the dorsal side of each arm, and one on the underside. 

Payload: Additional drums can be brought up from cargo and reloaded; process takes 20 minutes.

Plasma Hunter-Killer Torpedo Launchers (2)[]

Range Varies by missile
Damage 2d6x100 MD 100 ft area
Rate of Fire Volley 1-10
Payload 60 missiles per launcher

This weapon, first seen on the Hitode, appears to be either an earlier version of the Plasma Torpedo Launcher, or a later version of the same weapon. Rather than launch a bolt of pure plasma, the weapon launches an actual material projectile; a missile-borne electromagnetic generator that wraps a shell of weapon-temperature plasma around itself. The generator/sustainer missile has its own onboard sensors calibrated to see through its plasma shell, allowing it to home in targets independent of its firing vessel, and at far greater range than direct fire weaponry. Though this weapon is dependent on a supply of specialized munitions(rather than the infinite capacity of the regular PTL), and the plasma-shrouded projectiles show up on energy sensors more readily than standard ‘cold’ missiles, the PHKTL has superior range, speed, and accuracy. The plasma shell also gives the PHKTL superior penetration capabilities against point defense systems. 

  • MDC of Projectile: 60
  • Range: Varies by Missile Type (Long Range)
  • Payload: Additional missiles may be carried and loaded from cargo, but will take at least 30 minutes (1 ton of cargo per 12 missiles) 

Note: Projectile anti-missile point defense systems are unable to penetrate the plasma shell, rendering them useless, and energy-based laser and plasma systems do only HALF damage due to interference from the plasma containment fields. Ion and Particle Beams suffer no such problems. 

Plasma Torpedo Launchers (5)[]

Range 25 mile
Range2 100 mile space
Damage 2d4x100 MD 100 ft area
Rate of Fire Volley 1-10, 3 volley/melee
Payload Unlimited

Located between each armature around the hub is a Shemarrian PTL battery. These unusual weapons fire volleys of plasma bolts like missiles, and are even able to ‘curve’ (up to 90 degrees) the shots somewhat to skip around ships and obstacles to envelope a target, but this control seems ballistic in nature, rather than active control (though there is evidence that the Shemar are able to actively direct the bolts within tractor beam range). The bolts themselves seem to have been endowed with a weak magnetic field that contains the plasma in a tight’packet’, allowing the plasma to travel farther without losing cohesion and damage potential, and allowing the plasma to explode with area of effect on target. The result is an energy missile with superior range to normal energy weapons (though still well short of comparable missile weaponry) and potentially unlimited payload. However, the plasma packets CAN be grabbed/deflected by tractor beams (likely how the EShemar manipulate their energy projectiles at short range and correct their course....each of the Hitodes’ armature mounted tractor beams being able to grab and direct a volley of plasma bolts), or destabilized by ion or particle beam weapons fire (takes 20 MDC to disrupt the plasma containment).

Point Defense Rail Gun/Laser Turrets (35)[]

Range Rail Gun 2 mile/4 mile space
Range2 Laser 1 mile/3 mile space
Damage Rail Gun 4d6x10 MD
Damage2 Laser 3d6x10 MD
Rate of Fire EGCHH (4-6)
Payload 2000 rd drum railgun

Standard Shemarrian-pattern rail gun/pulse laser combination in a common turret. The turrets are not designed to fire both at the same time, generally one or the other is used, depending on the type of target, allowing for extended endurance and versatility.

Payload: (Rail Gun) 2,000 rd drum. Additional ammunition can be stored as cargo, but will take 45 minutes to reload from stores.

Variants[]

No known variants of the Hitode are KNOWN to exist, but blurry long-range video of one of the observed Horrorwoods Hitodes seems to show one of the three grounded transports sporting several hangar bay hatches on its armatures in place of the normal troop bay ramps, suggesting a possible fighter carrier. If converted as a fighter carrier, it’s estimated that a Hitode could carry 24 fighters per armature, for a total of 120 fighters altogether.

Alternately, these hatches could be launchers for long range missile batteries. Estimates based on the hatch size lead to speculation that each armature could accommodate six ten-volley launchers each (for a total of thirty), with ammunition capacity for over twelve thousand missiles in each armature! 

Finally, another speculation based on the known qualities and properties of the Shemarrian Plasma Torpedo Launcher offers the possibility of each armature being fitted with six additional PTL batteries similar to those carried by the Remora Medium Cruisers. Thirty-five batteries would severely tax the powerplants of a standard Hitode (or ship of comparable size and function), so any such ‘Supernova’ conversion would likely replace all troop and cargo capacity in the arms with dedicated auxiliary powerplants to serve the launchers. However, the conversion would create a heavy gunship/weapons platform able to pump out one thousand and fifty plasma bolts per melee!

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