The Arceans aren't evil, but they are not completely good either: while they care about honor, they also take pride that they are the physically toughest race in the galaxy, standing 12 feet tall. Because of their stature, the Arceans want to conquer and control the galaxy. Naturally this puts them at odds with some of the other militaristic civilizations such as the Drengin Empire, whom they despise (though pretty much everyone at least fears the Drengin).
It was through the Arceans that humans managed to get faster-than-light travel in the form of stargates. In the year 2117, an Arcean probe came to Earth, drawing celebration from all of humanity.
The Arcean probe provided plans on how to build a "stargate," which would allow ships to travel great distances. The world celebrated this too. The major catch was that stargates can only send ships between any two of them. That is, the humans' stargate would allow them to travel to Arcea and allow Arceans to travel the opposite direction. The other problem was the size and expense of constructing one. They were huge and even then, a ship traveling to Arcea would take over 10 years to get there via the stargate. But that's still a lot better than hundreds of thousands of years.
But the real kicker to the stargate is that it couldn't be turned off. The plans for the humans' stargate included an ON switch but not an OFF switch. In fact, the plans made it virtually impossible (and in fact somewhat fatal to our solar system) to turn it off. In what has to be the greatest attempted scam in history, the Arceans were providing humans the means to open themselves up for interplanetary invasion. This is the part where we mention that the Arceans are an advanced, militaristic race that had years to build a fleet of warships that one presumes could only be used to travel through stargates.
Few victims of invasion have spent so lavishly and worked so hard in order to pave the way for their own conquest, but humans were up to the challenge. Unfortunately for the Arceans (and luckily for us) the key thing that the Arceans (as well as other galactic civilizations) were missing in their various technologies was energy. While constructing the stargate, the humans noticed that it still relied on fission-based energy. Humans by the 22nd century had long since figured out fusion and with that technology, energy consumption became less of an issue. The basic theory behind the stargate was the warping of space which requires immense amounts of energy, which humans had. This technology was adapted to create a new type of ship propulsion called hyperdrive.
Hyperdrive is like having a stargate on a ship. The individual ship could travel anywhere in the galaxy in far less time than through a stargate. As a result, construction on the stargate stopped, thus depriving the Arceans of the pleasure of conquering the most gullible race in the galaxy.
The Arceans, now equipped with hyperdrive, have a far greater variety of potential invasion targets. As for the humans, the naiveté of 22nd-century humanity has given way to the cool and cunning 23rd-century humans, who have taken their place amongst the Galactic Civilizations.
- Official Name: Arcean Empire
- Alignment: Neutral (50)
- Short name: Arcean
- Leader: Lord Vega
- Homeworld: Arcea - Class 10 (13 when fully terraformed), has a moon (+10% manufacturing bonus)
- Adjacent Habitable Planet: Hammer - Class 5 (8 or 11 when fully terraformed in TA)
- Homestar: Athol
- Morale: +20
- Social production: +20
- Military production: +20
- Hitpoints: +10
- Soldiering: +10
- Logistics: +7 (inherent bonus, not removable)
- Left over points for customization: 0
Inherent bonuses are special bonuses that each preset race has on the top of the standard 10 points. In Dread Lords, the inherent bonus will disappear if you try to customize that ability by selecting an option (whether higher or lower in value) in that category. In the expansions, the bonuses will stack.
Twilight of the Arnor
- Speed: -10
- Hitpoints: +20
- Soldiering: +10
- Logistics: +8
- Inherent ability point equivalency: 0
- Left over points for customization: 10
Note that the Arceans get a penalty to their speed, in Twilight of the Arnor. This penalty, points-wise, negates all the other bonuses they have, which aren't all that great to begin with, excepting logistics. Having a larger fleet enhances the first strike ability. The overall hit point + logistic + first strike combo makes their enemies think twice, provided they can catch them. ;)