|Military Population||Est. 100,000|
|Strategy|| Peace Talks
|- Defensive:|| Hand-to-Hand Combat
|- Offensive:|| Hand-to-Hand Combat
Wikipedia has an article on Cephalopods.
The Icenaye are an aquatic species of semi-hiveminded, Cephalopod people that utilise exceedingly advanced exosuits to traverse gravity-based environments such as land, or on a different Faction's stellar vessel. Their home planet, Kryos, was renamed Kryos Alpha when space-colonisation efforts began.
After meeting other species, the Faction came to realise Sephaloazoids was a bit of a mouthful and accepted being commonly referred to as Ceph.
When they emerged into intelligence, millions of years ago, the Icenaye were a peaceful species. Unfortunately this was because they were the only species around. No other complex life could adapt and survive to evolve intelligence in the sub-zero temperatures of their watery world.
Sometime in the year 3293, the Aeon Illuminate lost contact with an interstellar convoy en-route to form a splinter Aeon Sub-Faction, away from the Infinite War and dedicating all their time to research and development of military hardware. About one month later, the vessels crashed through the atmosphere of Kryos, their shielding keeping everything intact as they smashed into the ice and sank beneath the thick plateau and into the Icenaye's grasp. The vessels never degraded, despite the harsh environment they were now in, and the Icenaye were slowly able to learn and utilise the tech onboard.
A single scientist survived the impact long enough to attempt to scream "Cephalopods?!", but died mid-speech. The Icenaye remembered that single word they heard in an alien language, "Ceph," and have been using it since, assuming the end of the word was "(Ceph)aloazoids." They assumed any others of that species would recognise their new name.
After much debate among the Hivemind, they eventually settled for "Sephaloazoids."
About 20 generations, 500 years later (end of the Infinite War, middle of the Seraphim War), in 3846, the Ceph finally understood enough about the alien craft and how it worked that they could take off and begin exploring their solar system.
First Contact with the species was made by the Aeon Illuminate, and they have since been guiding and teaching the Ceph both The Way (which seems to in one cochlea and out the other) and how to use the technology graced upon them.
As a semi-hiveminded species, they don't actually have any governments. All desicions are on-the-spot by peer review.
Each and every member of the species is completely and totally honest with one another, not by choice, and none of them hold a concept of shame or disgust towards a fellow Icenaye. Because of their direct, honest, and at times disturbing manner of communication (telepathy), it is predicted that contact with other species is not going to go well.
There is no confirmed order among the Ceph, however some minds are more brilliant or skilled than others, and when this is recognised, those individuals tend to gain a sort of presteige, a greater amount of respect and such. It is only through mass group agreement that the Ceph choose the most skilled for a job, such as captaining a starship, or piloting a war machine.
Icenaye Castes have been recognised.
Skilled Ceph are chosen via peer review to be put in whatever position they fit best. Skilled Exosuit Fighters tend to become part of the Commando Squids (the Ceph's humourous take on Commando Squads). Skilled Stealth Exosuit Fighters tend to become either Assassins or Guardians, both of which are the most elite positions in the Ceph footsoldier ranks.
The Ceph have yet to fully grasp the concept and workings behind the ACU and ACU warfare. The greatest units available to deploy, via factories in their space craft, are Auroras, Spirits, T1-T2 Transports, T2 Specter Gunships, and Flares. All the units were modified accidentally while the Ceph attempted to construct them for personnell use. Due to the ships' onboard reactors providing very little Mass, units are only ever made and used sparingly. The only things fabricated often are Exosuits, Drop-Pods, and Transports.
The Ceph have yet to venture very far into the galaxy, and are relying on Aeon help to get them anywhere. UEF: First Contact unachieved. No information.
Cybran Nation: First Contact unachieved. No information.
Aeon Illuminate: First Contact achieved. The Aeon were grateful to know what had become of the splinter fleet, and the two Factions now enjoy physical sparring competitions regularly; Exosuit VS Powersuit. The Guardians have refrained from competing, partaking only in the "Champion" class competitions. An alliance has not been formed, however a neutral agreement has been made.
Order of the Illuminate: First Contact unachieved. No information.
Seraphim: First Contact unachieved. No information.
Void Hunters: First Contact unachieved. No information.
Deep Hunters: First Contact unachieved. No information.
Lusanki Federation: First Contact unachieved. No information.
D'Skarwen Hegemony: First Contact unachieved. No information.
Xegnathi: First Contact unachieved. No information.
Sovereign Empire: First Contact unachieved. No information.
Zasol'tar Karresh: First Contact unachieved. No information.
Angardials: First Contact unachieved. No information.
Tritonyan Consulate: First Contact unachieved. No information.
The Ceph only have access to a single Proto-Crafter on each starship, and only have access to very few units - all of which have been modified for personnell use. Some are assault vehicles, some are support vehicles. All once had an Aeon origin.
Amazingly, upon reaching space, the ships automatically re-connected to the Quantum Network and updated the stored Nanolathes for armour and reactors, bringing the Ceph's new units up-to-date with the latest standards in Aeon Technology.
Drop-Pod: Infantry Deployment Pod. Comes equipped with automatic trajectory adjustors, life support systems, emergency survival kits, a spare Exosuit powercell pack, and room for a few weapons.
Mutinitions-Pod: Infantry Support Pod. A Drop-Pod simply packed with weapons, kits, whatever is put in it before deployment. Utilises extra armour to survive crossfire and the panels can be converted into blast shield walls effiecently while in the field.
Contact-Pod: Infantry Support Pod. A Drop-Pod with a communications array onboard, and powercell packs. Also features the blacks shield wall panels. Almost never deployed in the middle of a firefight.
Bunker: Infantry Support Pod. An extra-large Drop-Pod about the size of a large shed and heavily armoured. While it can be deployed in the middle of a firefight zone, Bunkers commonly denote where the Ceph defensive line is. They have a range of uses, ranging from field hospitals and kitchens, to cover from the elements. Aside from a few cubboards with some exceptionally well tied-down items and equipment, Bunkers are usually deployed empty.
All Ceph units are manned, and tend to be slightly smaller than the standard Aeon units. Except the modified Flare, which has been bumped up to Tech 2 classification. All Ceph units are not used for warfare like ACU battles, as they are designed and deployed for infantry/counter-infantry use.
Scouter: Scout. Formerly a design of the Spirit, the topside armour has been removed and the reactor updated, and the top speed lowered greately. The Scouter features enough seats to act as an emergency ground-trasnport for injured civilians, the hover engines garunteeing a smooth ride. Now features two guns, though still weak and only effective against personnell.
Hailfire: Hovertank. With the extra space inside the chassis due to the reactor updates, there's room for two pilots, a gunner, and a small squad of six Stalkers at the cost of vehicle speed, total armour value, and headroom.
Pinger: Modified Flare. Classed as Tech 2 based on size and power relative to the Hailfire. Now with three legs, a single pilot spot, Sonic Cannon, Sonic-boom "Ping" Emitter, Heavy Gatling Laser Cannon, and EMP Disruptor "Ping" Emitter. Large and slow, but also near excessively armoured, the Pinger is the go-to vehicle for heavy assaults and position defence.
Ceph air units are again modified versions of early Aeon units, and are limited to a T1 version of the Specter, the Chaiot, and a modified Aluminar.
Blitz: Gunship. Moderately armed and armoured with a Gatling Energy Cannon and Swarmer Missile Launchers, the Blitz is a great unit for holding ground and taking more. But, being as expensive as it is, seeing one in the field is quite uncommon. Single-pilot vehicle, weapons can be aimed at other aircraft.
Dropship: Transport. Featuring room for up to eight Drop-Pods, the Dropship doesn't have much room for armour and weapons, leaving it only moderately armoured. Featuring only a small AA Flak Gun, Anti-Missile Flares, and an EMP Grenade Launcher to ward off enemy troops as the infantry in the Drop-Pods get their wits about them. A variation of the Dropship allows a pair of the transports to pick up and move a Salem.
Cluster-Crusher: Heavy Transport. The Cluster-Crusher is a heavily armoured modified Chariot, featuring no weapons whatsoever and only Anti-Missile Flares for other protection. The Cluster-Cusher is used to transport a single Bunker and up to three Drop-Pods at a time. A slightly altered version is used to carry a single Salem at a time.
Despite their origins and best efforts, the Ceph haven't got much in the way of Naval tech.
Raft: Lifeboat. A large hexagonal floating metal platform with a motor, six seats (plus driver), a retractable roof, and a small fridge. Also includes a cubboard of life-floaties and "Water-Breathers" gifted to them by the Aeon.
Blub: Underwater Jet-Pack. The Ceph would prefer not to leave their Exosuits behind unless absolutely positive of their safety, so they developed this. Features speedy jet-propulsion that feeds very efficiently off Exosuit Powercell Packs.
Salem: Amphibious Destroyer. Nanolathe bought from the Cybrans, it was then downsized enough to be used by their infantry, meaning it now had less armour and more internal space. The onboard AI and reactors were kept in order to keep each ship running smoothly. These ships are very rarely seen. Crew of around 15.
Exosuit "Heavy" Soldiers: Infantry. Classed as Experimental because of the large amounts of armour, the Rocket Launcher, the Gatling Cannon, and the small issue of the advanced Powercell Packs sometimes exploding with no warning.