Fictional Character
POD: May 30, 1942
Appearance(s): In the Balance
Homeward Bound
Type of Appearance: Direct POV
Species: The Race
Nationality: Home, long time resident of Race-controlled Egypt
Religion: Worship of the Race's Emperors
Occupation: Fleetlord, Author of Non-Fiction, Nobleman, Diplomat
Military Branch: Conquest Fleet of Tosev 3 (Race Invasion of Tosev 3, Race-German War of 1965)

Atvar was the Fleetlord placed in command of the Race Conquest Fleet tasked with subduing Tosev 3 (Earth) and the native Tosevites (humans). He initially managed to complete the conquest of more than half of the planet with sufficient success, but was eventually forced to renounce a complete victory against the local human not-empires as they were in possession of far more advanced technology than that observed by the spy probe sent on the planet over eight centuries earlier. This failure of his had serious repercussions on his reputation in the empire of the Race and would haunt him for the rest of his life.


Early life[]

Early in life, Atvar took his career aptitude test and was given the options of pursuing a career in architecture or the military. He chose the latter believing it would be more exciting, and was named Fleetlord shortly before the Conquest Fleet began its journey to Tosev 3. He had a symbolic audience with the Emperor in Preffilo before he left.

The invasion of Tosev 3[]

Like the rest of the Race, Atvar assumed that, on his arrival on Tosev 3 in the 20th Century, he would be confronted with 12th Century technology. Upon detecting radio transmissions on the Conquest Fleet's initial approach to the planet, the Race learned that the Tosevites were considerably more advanced technologically than when the probes first reached the planet. Neither of the two species previously conquered by the Race had shown such substantial technological leaps. Moreover, the whole planet was involved in a global war. Atvar considered suspending the conquest and awaiting further orders after informing the Emperor of the changed situation, but, fearing that the Tosevites would be able to defeat him by that point - and also that fleeing without even trying to conquer the planet would forever ruin his reputation - he decided to push ahead as planned.

Throughout the war with the major Earth powers, Atvar continually ran up against the invalid assumptions of his culture's common wisdom on dealing with "inferior" species. Eventually he managed to adapt to the changed situation, but his military leadership was marked with a slowness to escalate the war that gave the Tosevites the opportunity to adapt to what could have been an overwhelming attack. While willing to deploy explosive-metal bombs against various strategic targets, he was hesitant to damage the planet beyond habitation, reasoning that the incoming Colonization Fleet would need a habitable world to settle. Atvar was also frequently frustrated by the many culture shocks the Race suffered on Tosev 3, including ginger and the political systems of Earth's not-empires. During the war, Atvar narrowly avoided being relieved of duty by his shiplords in an impeachment campaign led by Straha.

Peace with the Tosevites[]

Following significant losses at the Battle of Chicago, the Race mutiny in Siberia, and the use of atomic weapons by various Tosevite powers, Atvar became the first member of the Race to deal with foreign leaders as equals in a hundred thousand of Home's years when he met with representatives of the United States, the Soviet Union, Germany, Britain and Japan at Cairo. In the historic agreement known as the Peace of Cairo, he agreed to let these nations and certain small nations within their spheres of influence survive; the rest of Tosev 3 would be ruled by the Race and administered by him until the Colonization Fleet arrived in 1962. Atvar haughtily believed that the Race had the time and opportunity to completely conquer Tosev 3, but this assumption was challenged when the Tosevite nations quickly developed technologies approaching those of the Race.

The arrival of the Colonization Fleet[]

For the next twenty years an uneasy truce prevailed on Tosev 3. When the Colonization Fleet arrived, Atvar constantly feuded with his fellow Fleetlord, Reffet, who, like Atvar when he first arrived, found it difficult to adapt to the shocking situation.

Atvar continued to co-administer the Race's holdings competently, and led the Conquest Fleet to a decisive defeat of Germany. Prior to the Race's war with Germany, Atvar was exposed to ginger in Australia when the Soviet Union launched a missile containing ginger and detonating it over the continent. He refused to become addicted, however. He also punished the United States when he discovered that President Earl Warren had ordered a sneak attack on the Colonization Fleet, which killed millions of cold sleeping colonists when it first entered orbit in 1962. He gave Warren three options: fight an all-out war with the Race, allow the Race to destroy an American city or discontinue the United States' military and space program. Atvar presumed that the US would opt for the latter, but to Atvar's surprise and disappointment, Warren agreed to the destruction of Indianapolis.

Atvar later created a commission to examine the reason the American government chose to sacrifice their city. The result from the commission concluded that Warren had known exactly what he was doing and had the misfortune to get caught. This conclusion was much to Atvar's displeasure since he had believed the President to be addled and thus less dangerous.

Another urgent matter Atvar faced was the revelation that the Americans were weaponizing meteors from the asteroid belt in which they had tested an artificial meteoric impact on Mars. He questioned U.S. ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge on this, to which Lodge replied that it was a purely scientific matter. Atvar swore to visit serious retaliation on the U.S., even admitting that he would destroy Tosev 3 to keeping the Tosevites from leaving their planet - an action that he was very hesitant to take as this would also meaning killing all of the Race colonists on the planet.

Return to Home[]

Nonetheless, Atvar was recalled to Home in 1973, where he found himself in "bad odor" with the Imperial government. He was scapegoated for the Race's many difficulties on Tosev 3 despite his naysayers not fully realizing or understanding what he and the colonists had been through. Bitter and unapologetic, Atvar published his memoirs under the title I Told You So, which harshly attacked his critics and his unjustified defamation.

When word reached Home that an American starship, the Admiral Peary, was en route, the 37th Emperor Risson asked Atvar to enter into his third period of cold sleep so he would be available to take part in Home's diplomatic contingent to deal with the American ambassador (who wound up being his old acquaintance, Sam Yeager). Along with Ttomalss and Kassquit, Atvar made a genuine effort to negotiate with the Tosevites, even arranging an audience with the Emperor for Yeager. However, he was hampered by his people's continued reluctance to deal with sovereign aliens as equals, and an interstellar war seemed inevitable.

This was averted by the arrival of the Tosevite FTL ship Commodore Perry, a clear sign that Tosevites had eclipsed the Race in terms of technological advancement. Atvar convinced the Emperor not to attempt to destroy Earth before the humans wound up even farther in the lead. He returned to Tosev 3 on the Commodore Perry as an observer for the Emperor to confirm that the Perry could indeed fly faster than light. As a result, Atvar grew disenchanted with his species' ideology. After returning to Home, he met with Straha. Atvar grudgingly admitted Straha had probably been right all along in calling for aggressive tactics against the Tosevite not-empires.

A capable leader in a difficult situation, Atvar was respected by humans but generally underestimated and scapegoated by his own people. Atvar showed an admirable amount of flexibility for a member of the Race, despite his tendency for nostalgia--as evidenced by his frequent viewings throughout his career of the obsolete hologram of a knight which he had originally expected to find as his most dangerous Tosevite military opponent. Also, despite his wartime experiences, Atvar continued to carry a naive mindset subsequent to the invasion. He refused to believe Britain's implicit warning of using poison gas, with horrifying results for the forces that invaded Britain. He was dismissive of the concept of democracy ("snoutcounting"), and was genuinely surprised that the United States did not collapse with the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Nor did Atvar ever quite grasp concepts like treachery.

Atvar's legacy[]

Atvar had fully expected to become Atvar the Conqueror when he set out for Tosev 3. The title was not awarded to him because of his failure to conquer the entire planet. However, he did add significant territory to the Race's empire by building several colonies on Tosev 3.

Thanks to Atvar, the banners of those not-empires were raised in the Emperor's Palace in Preffilo. Atvar was the first male to add banners to the palace since Hisstan the Conqueror conquered Halless 1.

At times, Atvar had worried that he would be referred to and remembered by his people as "Atvar the Brutal" for his harsh tactics against the Tosevites. "Brutal" was an unworthy title for a person who committed very harsh and violent acts, who are reckoned as bloody savages, and immediately sacked.


  • "If you must blame anyone, blame the planners who sent a probe to this miserable world sixteen hundred years ago and assumed it would not change in the meanwhile. A probe a hundred years before we set out would have warned us and saved us much grief. I have already recommended that this be made standard practice in planning any future conquest fleets."

See also[]

Military offices
Preceded by
A Period of Vacancy Following Hisstan the Conqueror
Fleetlord of the Conquest Fleet
Succeeded by