The Lyrans are a feline species, genetically similar to the Kzinti and Caitians. A clannish,
feudal society, they had little concept of “democracy” until they encountered the
Federation. They achieved a world government early in Earth’s 20 th century, through a
combination of diplomacy and outright conquest, the leader responsible proclaiming
himself Emperor. Subordinated kings and clan-chiefs were granted Imperial titles as
Dukes and Counts, and competition among them was encouraged – the Lyrans are a
naturally aggressive race, and it kept them from plotting against the Emperor’s clan.
The pressure of inter-clan competition and the increase in population lead swiftly to the
beginnings of space exploration in the Lyran home system. Younger sons of noble
families carved out realms for their own with domed settlements on suitable planets and
moons. The first armed spacecraft were constructed, starting with primitive lasers and
particle beams for weaponry. Warp drive opened up the galaxy to the clans, and they
began to spread out from their homeworld in droves.
While the clans subjugated several minor races in their expansion, the first major power
they contacted would prove to be their genetic in- laws, the Kzinti. The two felinoid races
hated each other on sight, and have ever since. (It is highly recommended that if one ever
attends a diplomatic function at which both attend, one should make sure never to stand
directly between the Kzinti and Lyran delegations.) The first major star-faring race the
Lyrans had encountered, the Kzinti shattered the fledgling Lyran offensive. The Lyran
ships were found to be too small and too poorly defended to deal with waves of missiles
from the Kzinti ships.
The now-traditional “catamaran” design emerged as the easiest for Lyran shipyards to
construct, and were put into construction quickly. Deflector shielding research would lag
behind, however, as research wandered down a blind alley. To the surprise of everyone,
they would soon find something quite interesting down that blind alley: the “Expanding
Sphere” generator, allowing instantaneous production of a short- lived deflector shield
capable of intercepting a full barrage of missiles. Over time disruptor technology would
be “acquired” from the Klingons, and in 2224 weapons researchers would make
significant breakthroughs in phaser technologies.
By the time of the Hydran Conquest, the Cheetah frigate and Panther cruiser had become
the mainstay of the Lyran fleet, watching warily across the border as they and the
Klingons partitioned the Hydran Kingdoms between them. Border squabbles between the
two empires would continue for decades to come, even after the Hydrans rebelled and
threw off both of their conquerors.
Lyran ships would go through a continuing series of refits, redesigns, and enlargements.
The Leopard destroyer and Tiger heavy cruiser were the first follow-ons to the Cheetah
and Panther, with hulls enlarged about 30 percent to allow for tougher structure and a
heavier weapons loadout. By the late 23 rd century the limitations of the catamaran hull
were beginning to show, and trimaran successor designs came into vogue amongwealthier clans. Technological advancements made refits possible for the older catamaran
designs, allowing poorer clans to maintain a naval presence (if not a highly significant
Diplomatic relations with the Federation were generally cool, but open hostilities never
occurred. With the Kzinti and Klingons between them and the Federation, the Lyrans had
enemies closer to ho me, including an internal matter that erupted into outright rebellion.
A sector Count in the Duchy of the Enemy’s Blood clan, on the Klingon border, was
overthrown by rebels enamored of the Federation’s egalitarian ideals. The Lyran
Democratic Republic was declared. Recognized quickly by the Federation (perhaps in
hope that the ideals would spread in that sector), they found their closest allies in the
Hydrans, who saw the LDR as a way to undermine the Imperial government.
Equipped with gatling phasers purchased from the Hydrans, the LDR’s small but capable
fleet engaged the Imperials sent to put down the rebellion. Though they had relatively
few ships, they had been wealthy enough to ensure that a large proportion of them were
of the newer trimaran designs. The overconfident Imperial fleet got its nose badly
blooded. After a month of inconclusive skirmishing, the Emperor abandoned the effort,
declaring it an internal problem of the Duchy. The Duke’s fleet was no more able to bring
the LDR to heel than the Emperor was. Two years after hostilities opened, the duke came
to an agreement with the Republic: He would recognize whomever the electorate
presented as the official and legal “sector count”, allowing the Republic internal
autonomy so long as it renewed fealty to the Enemy’s Blood duchy and the Empire in
general. The proposal was accepted by both the Republic and the Emperor, and the Lyran
Civil War ended as peacefully as all internal Lyran conflicts do. (I.e., not very.)
The growing friendship between the Klingon Empire and the Federation was a source of
both hope and worry for the Lyran leadership. While this left the Kzinti potentially
squeezed between three unfriendly states, the Federation was unlikely to go to war unless
seriously provoked, and their influence kept the Klingons unusually restrained as well.
The hoped- for Triple Alliance War never took place.
Despite all this, the Lyrans were engaged in yet another of their interminable border
squabbles with the Kzinti when news of the Borg arrived. The initial reports were met
with disbelief, especially associated as they were with the occult “Q” entity. Lyran
observers were present directly for the battle of Wolf 359, however, and at least one ship
is said to have participated in the battle (and been destroyed as easily as its Federation
counterparts). Following this the Lyrans took the stories much more seriously, and began
a heavy naval expansion program.
Fortunately for the Lyrans, the Dominion offensive stalled within Federation and Klingon
space, never reaching their borders. A small expeditionary fleet was sent through Klingon
space, engaging the Dominion twice there and once in Federation space, the ESG proving
a valuable defense against the polaron weaponry of the Dominion ships. With the war
ended, the Lyrans are left with a powerful fleet, ready to take a new role on the galactic
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