Star Empire

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The Star Empire was an alliance of nations positioned around the Gold Sea. It was formed from the union of the earlier Star Empire and Subumpam, each of which were themselves unions of smaller nations who had agreed to a military alliance. The alliance was intended primarily as a check on the power of Nama.[1]

History

The Star Empire was an alliance of states living in tropical and subtropical areas along the western shore of the Gold Sea, and extending inland up to the foothills of the mountains. Its population was entirely aboriginal, and each of its substates consisted almost entirely of just a single ethnicity. When someone moved from one state to another, they were expected to adopt a new language, religion, and tribal identity.

In 1904, a religious conversion swept through the Star Empire, saving them from a military defeat at the most opportune time

Relations with Subumpam

The Star Empire was an alliance of states living in tropical and subtropical areas along the western shore of the Gold Sea, and extending inland up to the foothills of the mountains. Its population was entirely aboriginal, and each of its substates consisted almost entirely of just a single ethnicity. When someone moved from one state to another, they were expected to adopt a new language, religion, and tribal identity. Subumpam, by contrast, was a multiethnic union. Its majority population, the Subumpamese, were recent immigrants to the area from the islands of Laba (as were all other Gold speakers). But there were also many Andanese speakers, and about 7% of the population consisted aboriginals who were closely related to the Star people across the sea. Subumpam was itself a union of several different states, but those states, despite each having their own separate ethnic identities, were thmselves multiethnic, because their state boundaries did not correspond to tribal boundaries. (e.g. aboriginals were everywhere, not just in one territory set aside for them; likewise with the Andanese, who had literally followed the Subumpamese as they arrived and began to set up cities.)

In 1950, the Imps had a power majority in occupied Wimpim.

In 1952,[2] Subumpam was invaded by the neighboring empire of Nama, which was much larger than Subumpam. Furthermore, Nama had help from further allies against Subumpam, making the war even more lopsided. In 1956, after a very bloody war, Subumpam surrendered and gave up much of its land and wealth to Nama. Nama was so large that this treaty made almost difference in the living standards of Namans, but Subumpamese were much worse off after the treaty than before it.

Almost immediately after the Treaty of 1956, diplomats from the Star Empire began visiting Subumpam and asking if they would consider a formal alliance with the Star Empire. The Star Empire was west of Nama, and Subumpam was east of Nama. The Stars wanted a new treaty that would unite the Star Empire and Subumpam into a single empire and use their combined sea power to bottle Nama up in its own bay.

The Subumpamese were very wary of the Stars' proposal, because the Star Empire had been cooperating with Nama during the war, even though they did not actually participate in the fighting. Furthermore, the Star Empire had had a history of being hostile to Subumpam, having tolerated Star ships' landing on the Subumpamese coast repeatedly during the 1700s to gather Subumpamese people to breed as slaves back home in Star territory. Although the Stars had stopped acquiring slaves from Subumpam long ago, they had not freed those slaves, nor were they willing to repatriate them to Subumpam or give them an independent homeland in Star territory.The Star Empire did not consider this to be their problem because all of the slave ships had been private ships that were never approved by the Star government even in the 1700s.

Furthermore, they saw that the Star Empire was much stronger than Subumpam, and did not want to simply switch from being dominated by one huge military power to being dominated by another huge military power. Even the Star diplomats admitted that they wanted to give Subumpam only one seat in their government, despite the fact that Subumpam was an alliance of 11 previously independent nations.

Many Star people moved into Subumpam now, figuring that even if the Subumpamese rejected the proposal, they could make a living in Subumpam focused mostly on trade with their relatives back home in the Star Empire. The Star Empire was much richer than Subumpam now, and the Subumpamese reacted with delight to the sudden appearance of pineapples and coconuts imported from Star farms. Many of the trading ships were the same ones that been used to blockade Subumpam just a few years earlier. However, Nama reacted to this by tightening its control of Subumpam's ports, and burning the Star trading ships, leaving the Stars stuck in Subumpam.

Soon the Subumpamese government signed the Two Masters Treaty with the Star Empire. The treaty stated that for the time being, Subumpam was so weak that they could only survive if they agreed to obey the wishes of a much larger master. The treaty offered them the choice of being abused by Nama or enriched by the Star Empire. They chose the Stars, and by signing this treaty they rejected the Treaty of 1956 which they had signed just a few years earlier.

The union betweren the Star Empire and Subumpam was called the Gold Empire, named after the Gold people who lived in Subumpam. The Star government specifically insisted on putting the imperial capital in the East, in Subumpamese territory, because they wanted to bend the Subumpamese people to their will and essentially dominate them. The Subumpamese government agreed because it was smaller, militarily inferior, and felt that even if they were being yoked to the will of a larger empire they could at least stop worrying about being attacked by their other enemies to the east. They realized that despite the empire being named after them, they would not be equals in the new empire and that the new empire was for all intents and purposes simply an expansion of the Star Empire.

Early problems in Subumpam

The treaty expanding the Star Empire was unpopular in Subumpam. Even though more than 80% of the population of the Empire was located on the western (Star) shore, the founders chose to build their imperial capital in the extreme southeast, near the eastern border of Subumpam, where the population consisted mostly of Pabappa speakers who were loyal to Nama and had even been offered the chance to join Nama during the war. Even though Subumpam was not a democracy and its people were used to being exploited, the sudden appearance of a foreign power forcing the Subumpamese to build castles and fortresses from which they themselves could be even more strictly controlled led to a conflict. This was the Kaivi Riot (Kaivi Maniyi was the city in the Subumpamese state of Pipaippis which they had chosen for their capital).[3]

The Star rulers were forced to admit that they could not build their capital here, and Pipaippis soon seceded from Subumpam and joined Paba, the nation of their ethnic majority, even though by doing so they made both themselves and the rest eastern Subumpam much poorer, as there was no longer free trade along the Pipaippis River. Trade was so important in Pipaippis that the official president, Kisapu, had handed over most of his power to a woman named Afunyū who had more money because she controlled most of the shipping industry. Afunyū even promised Nama that her people would prefer to be enslaved and oppressed by Namans than to remain in a union controlled by the Stars.

In a state of shock, Nama had abolished most of the Treaty of 1956 in a last chance effort to get the Subumpamese to expel the Stars and be loyal to Nama again. But the only points of the treaty that were still possible to undo were to release the Subumpamese slaves trapped in Nama and to promise not to depend on food aid from Subumpam in the event of a famine. Nama still retained control of some strips of Subumpamese territory, however, because they felt that those lands would be important in the event of a war, and realized the Subumpamese were so anti-Nama now that they might even give this land to the Star military.

Embarrassed by their defeat in Kaivi Maniyi and the resulting loss of territory, the Stars looked for a more central location for their imperial capital. Even so, they still chose a location within Subumpam, this time the city of Wabula Pipem. Since word of the revolt had spread among the peasants, they told the Pipemese people that they were not merely a "second choice", as they felt that would weaken their rule, but that they were chosen because they were already the capital of Subumpam and that it made sense for the subimperial capital and the high imperial capital to be in the same place.

The Pipemese rulers realized immediately that they had essentially been removed from power, since they were under the control of foreigners even in their own imperial capital, and began to regret signing the Two Masters Treaty. The loss of Pipaippis, which had been their richest state, made the Subumpamese realize that they had alienated their most valuable allies and made themselves much weaker in the process. Soon, the Star legislature voted to disband the Subumpamese military, since they didn't want to worry about the threat of any more revolts, and threatened to invade and occupy Subumpam with the much larger Star military if they did not immediately comply. The Subumpamese representative agreed to vote with the majority because he didn't want Subumpam to be invaded for having a different opinion. Subumpam thus became the only member of the Star Empire without a military. (Although Subumpam was represented in the imperial government, they were coerced into voting against their interests by the larger Star states, since the Stars could threaten Subumpam with military invasion or economic blockades if they did not vote like the Stars, and the Subumpamese could not threaten the Stars in any way. This was especially painful when the Stars disagreed with each other about some issue, and the Subumpamese representatives had to choose which side to support knowing that they were liable to be punished for their vote either way.)

The Stars occupied all of Subumpam's ports, placing them under direct control of the Star military. Nama's blockade attempt had had the advantage of being based in a part of Nama immediately adjacent to Subumpam, but the disadvantage that Nama's coast was so small that they needed to house most of the navy in Subumpam just to have room for their ships. When the Star Empire signed the pact with Subumpam, they refused to allow Nama's navy to remain and Nama was forced to flee in order to avoid having to fight yet another war so soon after their last one. Thus the Naman blockade was replaced with a Star blockade. Still, the Stars wanted the Subumpamese to be materially prosperous even if they were militarily impotent, so they continued to import tropical foods such as pineapples and coconuts into Subumpam at surprisingly low prices.

However, the net effect of the Star occupation on Subumpam's economy was negative. The Stars created a special tax on the Subumpamese people to pay for an armed police force that watched cities and inspected people to make sure that peasants were not able to buy or produce dangerous weapons. Many positions in the Subumpamese governtment were abolished or replaced with figureheads reporting to the Star government. A lot of the people promoted were of the small aboriginal minority (Sukuna) in Subumpam, even though these people had been separated from the Star nations for thousands of years, had no common language, and did not consider themselves Stars. The Star governors told the aboriginals that they were indeed Stars and that the Subumpamese had stolen their territory. But very few Sukuna people agreed with this, partly because they distrusted the Star Empire as much as the Subumpamese did, and partly because they and their relatives were often married to Subumpamese people, and did not want to start a war that would pit them against their wives.

The Star people reaslized that Subumpam, the only non-Star member of the Empire, had lost many of its statelike characteristics, such as a military, control of its borders, a strong voice in government, and to some extent, a native language, since most of the people in control of its government did not speak Subumpamese, and often did not speak the same languages as each other. They considered renaming Subumpam "Star Capital Territory" and abolishing the official recognition of the Subumpamese language and its native cultures and religions, seeing that the whole purpose of the Subumpamese people now was to serve the Stars and help their Empire function. But for the time being, they still allowed the Subumpamese government to remain in service, even if its opinions were not respected.

Due to the lack of a standing army in Subumpam, the Star governors worried about invasion from Nama, and so they blocked the major roads leading out of Subumpam. They did not actually do this, as was commonly perceived, to prevent Subumpamese from escaping their torture; in fact, for a small fee, anyone in Subumpam could leave so long as they relocated to somewhere still within the Star Empire. They promised not to discriminate against Subumpamese if they moved to a western Star nation and adopted the native language and religion. However, almost none of the Subumpamese accepted this offer; most who did intended to attack the Star societies they were entering, but found that they were indeed discriminated against by the Stars, and denied the right to own weapons. Some of the aboriginals living in Subumpam did accept the offer, but the Stars were reluctant to let them leave because they wanted to use the aboriginals to spoil the national identity of the Subumpamese. They promised extra power in government for any aboriginals who chose to stay in Subumpam, but not did extend this offer to any other peoples, not even the Stars who had immigrated to Subumpam before the official handover of power.

The Star governors ordered the roads blocked off because they realized they had just deliberately created an extremely weak open wound in their Empire, out of the fear of the native population rebelling, and did not want to put their new preferred home territory in a weak spot. They were afraid to allow the Subumpamese to create another military, even if it was more strictly controlled than before, because they felt that would mean admitting that disbanding the military had been a mistake. They also did not want to force the Star military to waste time and resources occupying Subumpam, but realized that they might in the end be forced to do just that. As a temporary solution, they allowed people from southern Nama to occupy various key areas within Subumpam.

The shock of seeing Naman soldiers occupying Subumpam, when Subumpam had been promised from the beginning that the whole purpose of the alliance was to protect Subumpam from being crushed and oppressed by Nama, was too much for the Subumpamese to bear. Some Subumpamese formed a secret society promising to get Subumpam back out of the SS Union, even if it meant surrendering control to another union such as Paba, or even to Nama itself. A throng of unarmed Subumpamese attacked a Naman security guard, who responded by killing them all. The new secret secessionist society was depressed when they heard the news, not only because of the many helpless victims who had been killed but because it showed that the Subumpamese were far weaker at resisting occupiers than they had been just a few decades before, when the people of Pipaippis successfully resisted the occupation altogether and pulled out of the Union.

On the other hand, despite being massacred by Namans, many Subumpamese actually preferred the Naman soldiers to the Gold/Star occupiers, since the Naman soliders at least were not commonly seen abusing their power. Nama had been adjacent to Subumpam for hundreds of years and had never invaded except in self-defense.

Even the Star government itself was suspicious of its decision to hire soldiers from their chief enemy, Nama, to help keep peace in their most unstable part of their empire. This decision had been done originally because the Star military did not want to waste its resources just to occupy its own territory, and because Nama was diverse enough that they felt there was no common "Naman" interest that could possibly be advanced even if the soldiers they were importing decided to try their hardest to cause trouble. Most of the standing soldiers were from southern Nama, which was culturally similar to the northeastern Star Empire.

First World War

In 1989, Nama declared war on the Star Empire. This was the widest war the planet had yet seen. It was soon shown that Naman soldiers within Subumpam had indeed been spying for their homeland, and that the Star governors had been wrong to think that Nama was too internally diverse to have a common interest. However, they were correct at least in that not all of Nama was united in supporting this new war; much of Naman territory consisted of coastal strips isolated from even the other coastal strips by mountains and surprisingly deep water. These settlements had little interest in Nama's wider affairs, and many did not even know of them.

The invading Naman army decided to make itself explicitly pro-Subumpam, even though they realized that the Subumpamese people were physically weak due to their lack of weapons and lack of skill even if given weapons, and that in this new war it was likely to expect Subumpamese deaths to be far out of proportion to those of any other nation. They enrolled Subumpamese citizens into the Naman army, giving them preferentially nonviolent jobs so that they would not be frightened or overwhelmed being chased by much more powerful soldiers.

Many Star people believed that the invading Namans had magic powers, and secretly hoped Nama would win the war so that they themselves could gain those powers. This was largely due to confusion on their part between Nama and Paba, as up until this point, almost all Pabaps visiting the Star Empire had come to it by way of Nama. Some Pabap priests claimed to have magic powers, and this was the source of the rumor that had now in a distorted form reached the Star Empire.

Early on, Nama signed treaties with various nearby nations, such as Paba, and Paba effectively became a part of Nama. Note that the Pabaps, so famous for extreme pacifism thousands of years later, had not yet adopted that trait, and in fact had a strong army and an even stronger navy. Nama was very generous in these treaties, in that they did not require the other nations to contribute any efforts towards fighting the war, but only required them to allow Namans to enter their nations so that they could establish reliable supplies of food and medicine for their soldiers. As the war went on for a surprisingly long time, these countries became poorer, but nevertheless were much better off than Nama's enemies.

During the early stages of the war, a new party called the Crystal Treasurers (usually referred to as Crystals) came into being. They created a new religion, believing in "the Gems of Tebbala". This is the same religion that the Khulls people held to about two thousand years later. They believed that it was only the Crystals who could conquer Nama.

As the war geared up, the Star Empire lost battle after battle. Most of the battles were fought in Subumpam, as that was where the Star military was weakest. Many Star people had remained in Subumpam, but they were mostly governors concentrated near the capital city of Wabula Pipem or the children of traders who had immigrated into Subumpam in the 1950's. Neither of these groups was able to contribute much to the war effort, and both of them were concentrated along the south coast, whereas Nama had invaded from the north. Most Stars by this time had decided to give up all pretense of being loyal to the Subumpamese and focused their efforts on attacking Subumpamese civilians, particularly women and children. This, they felt, was their only hope given that they did not have an army of their own to protect themselves against the Naman army.

However, they were soon replaced by a conventional army from the Star homeland, which had reached Subumpam by taking a wide path around the bay in order to escape any attempts at disruption by Nama.[4] The Star army invaded Subumpam from the south while Nama invaded SUbumpam from the north.

The Stars had hoped to stir up support among the Subumpamese people. Even though the Stars knew they had flagrantly abused the Subumpamese people, there were many people still alive that could remember being abused by the Namans forty years earlier, and many of these lived in the very parts of southern Subumpam where the Star military had aimed their invasion. But the Subumpamese people had united amongst themselves, with all internal divisions forgotten. Subumpam had many ethnic minorities, but not one of them broke from the ranks to help the Star invaders. Even those Subumpamese people who had been enslaved by Nama forty years earlier were now fighting for Nama alongside their children. The Stars had disarmed Subumpam's entire population, but the civilians still fought back instead of immediately surrendering. They were given some supplies and weapons by Paba, but the Stars had deliberately invaded a part of Subumpam that was far away from Paba.

Since the Subumpamese did not resist the Naman invasion, the Naman army advanced more quickly than the Star army, even though the Stars were torturing Subumpamese civilians now in the hopes that at least a few of them would break down and help the Star army intrude further north. The two armies met up only about six miles inland from the coast; the Namans had had a head start, and had swept over the land more than five times faster than the Stars, and with the help of Paba, they had swiftly occupied more than 90% of Subumpam for themselves. Here the war's first actual army vs army battles began.

Namans had moved most quickly in the east, and many battalions there had actually reached the coastline without ever encountering a northward-moving Star battalion. Thus they occupied the coastal cities there and killed any Star civilians found in the area. The Star navy fled when they saw what had happened, and actually moved eastward into Paba rather than trying to move westward to join the rest of their military. Even though Paba had joined the war on Nama's side, they hoped they would be safer surrendering to Paba than trying to fight out the war in Nama. Paba accepted their surrender and adopted their ships into their own navy.

In western Subumpam, Nama's army was stopped about six miles from the coast by the northward-moving Star army. The Stars were expecting to lose most of their battles, but they wanted to ensure that if they won any of them, that they would win in the west, as that was where resupply from the Star Empire would be easiest. The Star Empire was winning battles at sea against Nama's tiny navy, and the Namans had not yet been able to break through the Star naval blockade except in the extreme east near the border with Paba.

Cooperation with Paba

From this Nama realized that they needed to rely on Paba's navy to help them out. Paba had been an ally of Nama all along, and did not need coercion in order to cooperate, but Paba had been spared from three bloody wars in a row and did not want to fall on the fourth one. Nama was forced to sign a pact with Paba stating that Paba could participate in the war without risking any Pabap soldiers' lives; instead they only needed to turn over some of their ships to Naman control, and Nama would add them to the Naman navy. Nama also was allowed to take food and supplies from Paba and carry them over land routes to reach Naman soldiers fighting in Subumpam. In return, the Pabaps got nothing from Nama except the pleasure of knowing that they were the only one of Nama's main allies that was not being massacred in this war. Thus Paba's Thoussand Year Peace (Paubabi Pumau Bapababe) was continued. (The Star Empire never seriously considered invading Paba, as Paba had always been heavily armed, and had increased its military development even further in response to the Treaty of 1956.)

Piloting Pabap ships, Naman naval captains (accompanied by some Pabap volunteers) crashed through the eastern half of the Star navy, thus breaking the lines of resupply. The Star soldiers in Subumpam realized what had happened when their food supplies were suddenly gone. They retreated back downhill towards the coast as Nama fought them simultaneously from above and below. The naval side of Nama's force was almost completely unharmed here, and their ground troops had the advantage of height and also suffered few deaths as they chased the Stars towards the coast.

From then on, Nama repeated the same strategy as they moved west. However, they were still weak at home, where the Star Empire's navy vastly outnumbered the native Naman navy, and thus Nama could not send any ships out eastward from Naman harbors to meet the expanding Paba-Nama navy that was moving westward along Subumpam's coastline. Thus Nama realized that they might actually win the war in Subumpam but suffer a catastrophic defeat in their own homeland.

The Naman army's progress in eliminating all Star soldiers in Subumpam slowed somewhat as they began to divert their attention towards building escape routes in the event that Nama would have to evacuate some of its citizens into Subumpam. Normally, they would have preferred to evacuate north into deep Naman countryside, but the parts of Nama that were under threat here were those weak open ones that were separated from the rest of Nama by tall mountains.

Nevertheless, the Star soldiers by 1995 were relying on an ever-sparser line of supply from the Star Empire, as the Namans had completely routed them on the mainland and they could not survive even if they were to give up fighting and survive by hunting animals in the wilderness. Eventually the Stars abandoned the attempt to control Subumpam altogether and focused its efforts on directly attacking Nama.

The Star government of Subumpam never officially surrendered, but as they had no military, and the only military in Subumpam was already Naman, the Namans never bothered seeking any official admission of defeat from the Star government. They declared martial law and worked on creating a new military-led government with mostly Namans in control, but with better representation of Subumpamese than they had had under the Stars. Note that, as above, Subumpam was never a democracy, so a new Naman-led government was not seen by the common people as inherently unfair.

The Western Front

Nama's navy was very weak, but with their success in the land war in Subumpam they were able to create an unbroken chain of supply from Paba westward throughout all of Subumpam into Nama. The Star Empire made several attempts to invade mainland Nama, and although they did conquer some territory, and managed to occupy important coastal areas, they could not progress up the mountains at this time. The Namans who had been living in these areas and were not killed had evacauted eastward into Subumpam for the time being, leaving the mountains occupied by the military only as it was not an easy place to live.

This fighting in Nama went on for several years, while Subumpam began to slowly recover from the war and the last Star soldiers were disarmed and put into slavery. This was Nama's weak point, but even so, because the war was fought on their home territory, and they had the advantage of heights, they killed more Stars than the Stars killed of them, and it seemed like the war was slowly turning better for Nama.

Around the year 2000, people from Nama began a direct invasion of Star territory. This army was composed mostly of people from the deep inland areas of Nama, who called themselves Lobexoŋô and had the biological trait of women being taller than men. Thus their army had soldiers both male and female, and behind the advancing front whole families and even whole cities coming to make the Star Empire their new homeland, and to enslave the natives. Immediately food supplies ran short in the Star Empire, but the advancing Namans were generally still able to keep contact with the supply lines running throughout Nama and thus did not face the threat of starvation.

The sight of the advancing front of female soldiers actually weakened Star soldiers' resistance somewhat, as although they had known from legends that such people existed, none of the Star people had ever seen them up close. Despite knowing that their lives were in danger, they were reluctant to take up arms against a female army, even a heavily armed one. The Star soldiers figured that even though they were likely to lose the war, at least their abusers would be fairly good-looking. However they were disappointed to learn that the Namans did not have magic powers.

Nevertheless, the fighting went on, and the Star Empire was not subdued fully until the final peace treaty in the year 2057, declaring Nama the winner of the war and giving it the right to piece off any parts of the Star Empire that they desired, and press them into Nama. Most of the nations voluntarily joined Nama, but others preferred independence. It was only now that Nama finally felt comfortable releasing Subumpam and Paba from their obligations to allow Naman ships to use their territory to raise a navy, as they now planned to use the Star coastline for the same purpose.

Nevertheless, the treaty still did not give the Subumpamese all that they had wanted; Subumpam was among those nations that wanted to be independent of Nama, but Nama forced them in anyway, primarily because the many Namans who had occupied Subumpam and remained for almost a hundred years did not know what would happen to them if Subumpam suddenly broke away. (Although the war had been sparked by the Star Empire's abuses of Subumpam, as it became clear that Nama was likely to win, Nama shifted its attention to aggressive landgrabs in the more populous west, and used Subumpam as a military home base).

Nama's diplomatic language, Gold, began to take over all of the Star territory. However, the Naman people were still a minority; the population of the Star Empire had actually been higher than the population of Nama all along, despite Nama's victory, and it was only a small subset of the Naman people who had moved in. Namans thus became a hereditary upper class in Star territory, which they renamed Lobexon, and drove the Lobexonian economy into poverty by doing many of the same things that the Stars had done in Subumpam 100 years earlier: abolishing the native military, raising taxes to pay for extra security in the cities, and allowing only Naman ships to use the Star ports.

Later Star Empire

See Gold Empire.

In 2436, Nama formally pulled out all of its troops from Lobexon and ended the naval blockade. The slave system was still as firmly entrenched as it had ever been, but the slavemasters no longer held any allegiance to Nama.

The Goldies never achieved full control of their territory, and so the Star Empire persisted in the rainforests of the equatorial zone. However, the rump Star territory was never as well organized as it had been at its peak. For example, the language of the capital territory was useless even a few miles eastwards because the locals refused to learn that language.

Star Empire II

In 2689, after a war that had killed most of the populations of Subumpam and Paba but affected Lobexon much less dearly, Subumpam nonetheless conquered Lobexon navally and annexed it into yet another new empire, called the Merar Empire or Star Empire II.

See also

  • Taryte, a much later state occupying much the same territory as the Star Empire

Notes

  1. Nama is a "universal" name. The name at this time was Nəʕma, which became Nyŋma in Thaoa, Nama in Poswa and Pabappa, and Bʷă in Khulls. The original meaning of Nama was "apple farm" or orchard.
  2. This might be a typo for 1992, and the 1956 a typo for 1996.
  3. Also known as Peep.
  4. These ships did not have guns, so ships could only be destroyed by fire or by being bumped into a solid object.