Daveth Tweaks

Daveth Tweak Ship
Image from Anders Sandberg
Daveth Tweak Habitat-Raper ship

The true origins of the Daveth Tweaks are unknown and since their complete eradication over five thousand years ago, it seems unlikely that it will ever be known. In fact much of Daveth history comes from fragments of Daveth myth and legend forced upon their many victims. Historians have tried to interpret these myths in the form of historical events. Though much is still debated and a lot of the so-called evidence is highly controversial, there are some aspects of the story that are widely accepted as true in principle even the details are unverifiable.

The Daveth tweaks are named after the system of Daveth (HIP 95340), a B class star some 1,132 light years from Sol and about 284 times as bright. Contrary to popular belief, the Daveth tweaks were not a single clade but rather a confederation of a number of different tweak clades inhabiting the system together. The system was probably settled around the same time as the Danyello M'lund cluster, sometime in the 3300s. What their original culture was is anybody's guess, but by 4000 at, they had formed a culture in tune with the harsh surroundings in which they lived. While the Daveth system was not resource poor, it was not an easy place to live in. The 3 small metallic worlds were hot, radiation blasted wastelands, with minimal atmospheres. The single gas giant and its 7 moons are where the Daveth tweaks are thought to have first set up base.

The Daveth Tweaks called themselves the Da Bhith, the Fearless Ones. All the tweak clades were adapted to survive in high temperature, high radiation environments, some with vacuum adaptations. Though near both Biopolity and Cygexpa spheres of influence, the Daveth system itself was left virtually undisturbed for a long time. The tweaks created a hardy, minimalist culture, living off mining and building large solar power arrays and later amat farms. According to later legends, warfare, or at least aggression was rather common in the Daveth sytem. Clades would often fight each other for the more scarce resources like water and advanced technology. However for almost a thousand years, none of the tweak clades made any attempt to leave the system, probably because they no longer possessed intact any of the vessels they had used to come to the system in the first place.

Sometime in the early 4200s, a series of events led to a quick change in Daveth culture. A large tweak clade called the Rav Anav Tar managed to seize control of the gas giant and its moons. The other clades inhabiting the moons either joined the Rav Anav Tar or were enslaved. The leaders of the Rav Anav Tar declared themselves as the rulers of the Da Bhith and ordered the other colonies of the system to join them as vassals or be enslaved. Some of the space borne colonies, especially those near the planet, sided with the Rav Anav Tar, but the clades on the three inner planets and many of the space-borne amat farms refused and formed a coalition to fight them. As a result the outer colonies lost much of their amat supply. Warfare continued for almost half a century, but then another event abruptly ended the war.

Later Daveth history records this event as a vindication of the Rav Anav Tar's right to rule, and the recognition of that right by the "divine powers" of the universe. According to various myths, a Divine Herald was born in one of the second planet, the center of the opposition of the Rav Anav Tar. The Herald declared that Rav Anav Tar were legitimate rulers, with Divine Sanction and that under their rule the Da Bhith would take the Universe from the control of the Hai Bhith (the Fearing Ones, or the Cowards). Those who had fought against them had committed supreme heresy and so were condemned to death and slavery. As punishment, the Hai Bhith of the second planet were wiped out and the rest of the opposition were eventually either killed or enslaved. The Herald then joined with the leaders of the Rav Anav Tar and so further legitimized their rule.

Soon after, they began their holy war against the Hai Bhith of the surrounding star systems. Their ships, which came to be known as habitat rapers, were powered by conversion drives carrying a wide variety of devastating weaponry which proved to be very effective against the surrounding systems. They would attack fast, in large numbers, sweeping away any opposition. If they found interesting technology they would take it. In resource rich systems they would leave occupation forces, enslaving the local inhabitants under brutal conditions. Many local systems fell, as those which had wormholes had been damaged during the Version War.

Eventually they attacked the Danyello M'lun Cluster, where they met their first defeat. Their ships were routed and over the next century, Daveth advance in the direction of the Dumbbell Nebula was mostly halted due to the growing strength of the Dawn Mutual Protection Treaty Organization. Eventually the DMPTO started counter attacks against the Daveth Tweaks, liberating worlds they had enslaved. The Daveth tweaks decided to end the "Hai Bhith conspiracy" once and for all, using the Dumbbell Nebula as a base for a multi-pronged attack against the DMPTO.

But at this point the tweaks were betrayed by one of the Rav Anav Tar's closest allies: the Ram Arj Un. They alerted the DMPTO to the buildup of Daveth forces in the Nebula and gave them information regarding the strength of Daveth Forces. In return, they would be allowed control of the Daveth system and be allowed to retain control of some of the uninhabited systems that now fell inside Daveth territory. In the Battle of Dumbbell (5250), much of the Daveth forces were wiped out. Once news of the defeat reached other Daveth systems, the Ram Arj Un began to subvert the remaining Daveth forces and attacked rival tweak clades. The DMPTO used this clade war to quickly move through the enslaved worlds, ridding them of any remaining Daveth occupiers. By the time DMPTO forces reached the Daveth system, much of the system had already been destroyed by civil war and the fighting clades eventually fought each other to extinction. The few remaining habitat-raper ships were either hunted down or disappeared into deep space and were never seen since.
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Development Notes
Text by Basu, based on original material by Anders Sandberg
Initially published on 09 October 2001.