Kzer-Za • Kohr-Ah
Second Doctrinal War
|Kzer-Za • Kohr-Ah|
|Path of Now and Forever|
Ur-Quan Hierarchy • Battle Thrall • Fallow Slave • Oath of Fealty Doctrinal Conflict
|Dreadnought • Marauder • Sa-Matra|
|Excruciator • Slave Shield • Talking Pet|
The Ur-Quan Hierarchy, also known as the Hierarchy of Battle Thralls or simply the Hierarchy, is a system created by the Ur-Quan Kzer-Za to manage their series of conquests that perpetuates the Path of Now and Forever. As the name implies, it is an external expression of the Kzer-Za's philosophical view of the universe, one in which all other races exist for the purpose of protecting the existence of the Ur-Quan species, and are therefore assigned importance in proportion to their value to the Ur-Quan. The Hierarchy as we know it consists of the races in our region of space which, after being conquered by the Kzer-Za, offered to obey Kzer-Za commands and act as Kzer-Za agents to help subdue other species, and thus keep some degree of political autonomy and freedom to travel through space rather than being confined under a slave shield.
It is unknown how this system has operated in past regions conquered by the Kzer-Za. Some speculation assumes that the Hierarchy is a construct intended only to allow the Kzer-Za to efficiently subdue a whole region of space, and that their intention is always to eventually slave-shield all species in a given region, though the process of fully subduing such a region may take centuries. Such a proposal seems more likely than the alternative supposition that the Kzer-Za administrate a series of permanent Hierarchies that rule various regions of the galaxy. The congenital Ur-Quan distaste for the dealings of "inferior" species and the small, streamlined size of the Kzer-Za fleet seem to discount this possibility, since it appears that the whole of the Kzer-Za fleet travels through the galaxy in each conquest cycle, and we can find no references to ancient conquests of the Kzer-Za that did not, eventually, end in slave-shielding. The growing instability of our own Hierarchy near the time of the Doctrinal Conflict suggests that, had it not occurred, a phase of slave-shielding of the Battle Thralls might have followed. All this remains speculation, however, as the Alliance has still not yet traveled to any region of space previously conquered by the Kzer-Za or observed the functioning of any other Hierarchy but our local one.
All species that decline to formally join the Hierarchy as Battle Thralls are relegated to the status of fallow slaves and immediately slave-shielded. Fallow species, while a war remains ongoing in their region of space, are still required to indirectly serve the Hierarchy by providing resources and labor in the form of Starbases maintained around their planets for the construction and repair of Hierarchy vessels, transport to and from planetary surfaces performed only under Ur-Quan supervision, since only Ur-Quan vessels are given the ability to travel through slave shields. After local hostilities cease and the Kzer-Za move on, this system is assumedly to be disbanded.
The Kzer-Za have a policy of modifying alien cultures to varying degrees in order to pacify them and make them useful to the Hierarchy after conquest. The extent of this most likely depends highly on the situation; for instance, the Kzer-Za were forced to take radical steps to prevent a nuclear war among the Thraddash while apparently leaving the Yehat clan system intact after both of those species became Battle Thralls. Their most extensive known cultural modification program occurred on the slave-shielded Earth, where they destroyed all Human dwellings, monuments and archeological sites older than a few centuries, including some of which the Humans were not even aware, apparently to forcibly uproot a culture they found troublesome and allow it to be completely replaced with a more Ur-Quan-friendly one. How often this was practiced for fallow slave worlds is unknown, though the Spathi claim to have undergone a similar process.
Hierarchy Battle Thralls during the Ur-Quan Slave War (Star Control I):
- Mycon - only known race to actively seek out the Ur-Quan and request Battle Thrall status.
- Spathi - intended to become a fallow species, but were tricked by the Umgah into becoming thralls.
- Thraddash - did not directly participate in the Ur-Quan Slave War.1
Hierarchy Battle Thralls at the beginning of Star Control II:
- Yehat - the only former Alliance member to choose Battle Thrall status, the Hierarchy Veep-Neep government can later be overthrown by pro-New-Alliance Starship Clan Revolutionaries.
- Spathi - can defect to the New Alliance of Free Stars, then will soon after encase their homeworld in a slave shield.
- Thraddash - the Hierarchy's Culture 19 government can later be overthrown by pro-New-Alliance Culture 20 government.
- Umgah - eventually enslaved by the neo-Dnyarri, but revert to Battle Thrall status once freed.