This article covers various concepts and terminology related to Honorverse, a series of military science fiction novels written by David Weber.


Beowulf Code[]

The Beowulf Code is a code of ethics for medical practictioners (within the Honorverse, a series of military science fiction novels written by David Weber). It is similar in many respects to the Hippocratic Oath, especially in basic approach.

The Beowulf Code originated on the planet Beowulf, in the Sigma Draconis system. The planet is renowned for its long-standing medical traditions. Its practictioners developed a code of ethics in the wake of Earth's Final War. It supplanted the Hippocratic Oath in the Honor Harrington universe.

One of the provisions of the code is Practitioner-Patient Confidentiality. However this clause has stipulations on circumstances where confidentiality can be involuntarily violated, or can be waived by one party without consent of the other party.

Cherwell Convention[]

In the Honorverse, a series of military science fiction novels written by David Weber, the Cherwell Convention is an agreement outlawing slavery in the space controlled by signatory nations. Almost all major star nations are signatories, though that does not prevent many from ignoring the provisions of the Convention when it suits them. Historically, the star nations that most reliably enforce the Convention over their spheres of control are the Star Kingdom of Manticore and the (People's) Republic of Haven. On the other hand, the Silesian Confederacy and Solarian League have often suffered from deep corruption on the issue, despite the fact that they are official signatories of the Convention.

The conflict between the slave-breeders Manpower Incorporated of Mesa on one hand and the official position of nearly all governments in human space has evoked considerable conflict for centuries. Manpower has attempted to evade or subvert official polciy in practice, and save for the notable exceptions of Manticore and Haven, has largely succeeded. Their efforts have included bribery, subversion of politicians and civil servants, and even assassination. In the case of hostilities between Manticore and Haven, Manpower has, surreptitiously, encouraged the conflict which has had the effect of reducing opposition to its enterprises elsewhere.

One notable provision of the Cherwell Convention is its equipment clause, which states that possession of equipment that can be used to contain or transport slaves is a violation of the convention, even if the equipment is not being used to hold slaves at the time of its seizure. Not all signatories of the Convention support this clause (most notably Solarians and Silesians), but Manticoran and Havenite navies enforced it strictly since its very inception.

Code duello[]

The Duellists Code, or Code Duello, is the legal convention used in the Star Kingdom of Manticore for legal duelling using duelists pistols, in the Honorverse, a series of military science fiction novels written by David Weber.

The Duellists Code provides for two duelling protocols.

Ellington Protocol[]

The Ellington Protocol of the Duelists Code, is generally regarded as more suited for pistol experts. Many lawmakers have long sought for it to be outlawed in the Star Kingdom, because of the possibility of 'unfair' exploitation by such experts. However it remains that any man or woman of the Star Kingdom who is challenged may choose this option before they meet an adversary. In Landing City, there is even an officially prescribed Dueling Grounds, supervised by members of the Landing City Police Department.

Under these rules each duellist faces his or her opponent at a distance of forty meters, and upon the command of the Master of the Field, may fire at a sustained rate until:

  • one duellist is killed.
  • one duellist drops his/her weapon in surrender.
  • all twenty rounds have been expended.

Dreyfus Protocol[]

The Dreyfus Protocol the Duelists Code demands less pistol experitise. Any man or woman of the Star Kingdom challenged may choose this option. This Protocol is thought to benefit expert shooters less than the Ellington Protocol and so to be 'fairer'; it also results in fewer deaths. Both are factors in political opposition to duels; if they cannot be eliminated, this Protocol is the least unappealing.

Each duelist is limited to five rounds and may fire only single shots. Unlike the Ellington Protocol which requires a distance of forty meters and begins with one signal from a neutral party, the Dreyfus Protocol commences with the opponents standing back-to-back. At the Master of the Field's command of "Walk" the two duelists each walk thirty paces and stop. Upon the command of "Turn", each faces around, and fires one shot only, after which each must lower the pistol. If neither has been hit, the Master of the Field must ask if honor has been satisfied. If one or both reply "Yes", the duel is over. If neither does so, then at the command of "Walk" the duelists will take two steps forward, waiting for a command of "Fire" before they may fire again. This procedure is repeated until the duel is over, which occurs:

  • at first blood, regardless of whether a duelist is killed or not.
  • the honor of either duelist is satisfied.
  • one duelist is killed.
  • all ten rounds are fired.

If the command of "Turn or "Fire" has been made, and a pistol is dropped after firing a shot, the other duellist may still return fire. You must await the opponents return shot before you can surrender the duel.

In addition, if either party violates the specific terms of engagement under either protocol, the life of the offending party is forfeit, usually by means of a pulser dart from the Master of the Field. Such an incident is recounted in the novel Field of Dishonor.

Coup de vitesse[]

Coup de vitesse is a fictional martial art that is practiced by Honor Harrington and others in the Honorverse, a series of military science fiction novels written by David Weber. It is sometimes shortened to the Coup.

Coup de vitesse is a fusion of several western and Oriental martial arts, developed primarily as a hard style where emphasis is placed on offense sometimes at the expense of defense, resulting in a very brutal and effective style.

Coup de vitesse lacks the elegance of judo or aikido. It is an offensive, hard style which borrows from every martial art, from savate to t'ai chi, and distills them all down into sheer brutality.

Practitioners of Coup de vitesse use belts to indicate ranks. As of the book War of Honor, Honor Harrington is ranked eighth-level black belt (the highest rank is ninth), and often uses her skills to dispatch enemies that underestimate her. Those with ninth-level black belts are simply referred to as "Master Grade".

Coup de vitesse appears to be trained through full-contact fighting with either human or robotic opponents, making it likely more similar to modern-day mixed martial arts training than more formally systematized martial arts. It is taught at the Royal Manticoran Navy Academy at Saganami Island, but the books suggest that the largest group of Coup de vitesse practioners are to be found in the Royal Marines.

Neue-Stil Handgemenge is another fictional martial art of the Honoverse which is much less frequently mentioned. Both styles are taught at Manticore's Saganami Naval Academy. Neue-Stil Handgemenge appears to be more formal and with deeper formal roots in oriental martial arts, and is more common in the Adermani Empire and the Solarian League than in the Star Kingdom of Manticore.

Coup de vitesse can be roughly translated from French as blow of speed.

Deneb Accords[]

In the Honorverse, a series of military science fiction novels written by David Weber, the Deneb Accords are rules of war. They were sponsored by the Solarian League at a conference held on Deneb, and are generally accepted if not always followed in practice.

The Deneb Accords are similar in spirit to the Geneva Conventions in that they are meant to protect the rights of military personnel in times of war, preventing outrages of treatment if captured. The Accords regulate, among many other things, the exchange of prisoners of war between belligerent parties, the supervision and inspection of POW and internment camps by neutral third parties (usually representatives from the Solarian League).

The Accords also forbid trial of captured enemy military personnel during wartime, except in special cases including conviction of crimes prior to the beginning of hostilities.

A notable provision of the Accords is Section Twenty-Seven, which prohibits any trial of enemy personnel in time of war. There are two subsections, Subsection Forty-One and Subsection Forty-Two. Subsection Forty-One provides that the Accords' protections and safeguards do not apply to captured combatants who were convicted of crimes prior to the outbreak of hostilities. Capturing nations may carry out the pre-existing penalties if any. This was an early amendment to the Accords, following the their abuse when convicted criminals were used to prosecute wars against the nations which had convicted them. Subsection Forty-Two specifically provided for wartime trials of individuals for violation of local laws (eg, the Courts Martial of captured State Security forces on the prison planet Hades in the Cerberus system by Allied officers who had captured the planet. They used Haven's Uniform Code of Conduct, since Hell had been sovereign territory of the People's Republic of Haven at the time of the alleged crimes). The accords nevertheless prohibit ex post facto trials under the municipal law of whoever captured them; violations must be of existing law.

Subsection Forty-One's most infamous use was in the case of Honor Harrington's execution. She had been convicted by a Haven court in absentia as a political act following her successful defense of the Basilisk system against an attempted coup de main by Haven prior to open hostilities between Manticore and Haven. The Committee of Public Safety found it politically convenient to honor the conviction by the regime they had replaced.

Eridani Edict[]

The Eridani Edict is a rule of war in the Honorverse, a series of military science fiction novels written by David Weber.

The Eridani Edict is one of the most significant restrictions on military or quasi-military behaviour. The Edict is intended to outlaw and penalize indiscriminate orbital bombardment of a populated world, or any form of bombardment against a planetary population which had not first been given the opportunity to surrender. It also covers the use of any kind of weapons of mass destruction. Kinetic bambardment is considered a weapon of mass destruction, so accidents involving system asteroids are not immune. Even an accidental and unintended impact on a planetary surface by a missile (usually traveling at high speed, perhaps even relativistic speeds) is an Eridani violation.

The Solarian League is the primary enforcer of the Edict, taking onto itself the authority (and responsibility) of enforcement. The usual penalty is unrestricted military intervention and open war by the Solarian League Navy which, given its size and power, is likely to produce destruction of the offending party. In fact, enforcement of the Eridani Edict is the only foreign policy issue not subject to vote or veto by members of the Solarian League since the Edict is actually a part of the League's Constitution.

As the Solarian League is the most powerful star association in the Honorverse, whose military power is so great compared to any other, or combination of other, political entities that there has been little practical chance of resisting it, belligerent parties are usually extremely careful to avoid anything that may be construed as a violation of the Edict. The Edict is also taken into account in naval engagements taking place in the vicinity of an inhabited world; fleet commanders are usually quite wary of launching missiles too close to such a planet for fear that one may go astray, impacting the surface.

The Eridani Edict is named after an incident known as the "Epsilon Eridani Massacre". During a military conflict, the Solarian League-member world of Epsilon Eridani suffered a massive planetary bombardment by enemy forces which resulted in the death of over seven billion of its inhabitants. This took place some five hundred years before the events of the bulk of the Honorverse stories.

Amendment Ninety-Seven of the Solarian League Constitution, commonly referred to as the Eridani Edict, unilaterally declares that any power carrying out wholesale and wanton slaughter of civilian populations using any weapon of mass destruction is subject to punitive attack. The Solarian League Navy is under standing orders to destroy any government, star-nation or mercenary outfit which carries out such indiscriminate attacks. The Edict is, perhaps, the only matter which bears even a remote resemblance to a unified foreign policy for the Solarian League for which essentially all joint foreign policy is subject to veto of members. There are provisions for the restricted use of orbital bombardment strikes against discrete surface military targets once an attacker controls a planets orbitals and the defenders have refused a summons to surrender.

The so-called Eridani Edict has been implemented by the League Navy five times since 1410 P.D.

Final War[]

The Final War, or Earth's Final Wars, refers to a protracted conflict which nearly wiped out human life on Earth in the Honorverse, a series of military science fiction novels written by David Weber.

The Final War was started and fought by a small number of genetic supermen against the rest of the Earth's population using viral technology as one of its apocalyptic weapons. A group of genetically enhanced humans, the Ukrainian Supermen, launched a war of conquest, and used biotech diseases as one of its weapons. As the conflict was launched after many off-world and interstellar colonies had already been established, and colony ships to others launched, the devastated Earth was able to get help during the aftermath from some of those colonies. Particularly, the planet Beowulf sent medical missions and conducted medical research to help with the diseases; it partly this effort which underlies its reputation as the leading world for medical science. The conflict is also the origin of the most strongly based aversion to human genetic engineering throughout most of human space in the Galaxy, and of the very common view that genies (genetically engineered humans) are to be avoided and may be dangerous.

Neue-Stil Handgemenge[]

Neue-Stil Handgemenge is a fictional martial art practiced by several characters in the Honorverse, a series of military science fiction novels written by David Weber. It was developed on Potsdam, the original planet of what became the Andermani Empire. The most prominent practitioner in the stories is Helen Zilwicki

Like Karate or Coup de vitesse, Neue-Stil Handgemenge is an offensive, hard style of unarmed combat.

Coup de Vitesse is another fictional martial art of the Honoverse and is much more frequently mentioned. Both styles are taught at Manticore's Saganami Naval Academy. Neue-Stil Handgemenge appears to be more formal and with deeper formal roots in oriental martial arts, and is more common in the Adermani Empire and the Solarian League than in the Star Kingdom of Manticore.

Neue-Stil Handgemenge can be roughly translated from German as new hand-to-hand fighting style.

Operation Thunderbolt[]

Operation Thunderbolt is a fictional military operation during the Manticore-Haven Wars of the Honorverse, a series of military science fiction novels written by David Weber.

It was launched on November 10, 1919 P.D. by the Republic of Haven and reopened hostilities with the Star Kingdom of Manticore and its allies. It either continued the First Havenite War or started the Second, depending on perspective.

Thunderbolt was conceived in part by Thomas Theisman, Javier Giscard, and Lester Tourville. It was a multi-pronged assault that was highly successful in some areas, namely the destruction of a great number of Manticoran warships, an important shipyard, and other installations. It failed spectacularly in other respects, primarily in the attempted destruction of Sidemore Station to which Honor Harrington's command had been assigned.

North Hollow Files[]

The North Hollow Files refer to a database of blackmail material on many members of Manticoran society and political parties, assembled by the Earls of North Hollow, especially by Dimitri Young, the 9th Earl, and used by him and his successors (Pavel Young, the 10th Earl, and Stefan Young (the 11th Earl)) to collect support for Conservative Association policies. They were destroyed by Stefan’s wife, Lady Georgia Young, Countess of North Hollow after Catherine Montaigne, and Anton Zilwicki came into possession of information identifying Lady Young as Elaine Komandorski, a former genetic slave who bought her freedom by selling a shipload of escaped slaves back to slavetrafficers. Even after their destruction, fear that the files might still exist allowed Stefan to continue to coerce support for Conservative Association for a time.

Post Diaspora[]

Post Diaspora (P.D.) is the dating scheme used by most of the planets in David Weber's novels and stories of the Honorverse. Most planets also use a local calendar based upon the orbit of the planet around its star, which often uses the date of landing on the planet as its beginning year. The year 2103 AD is equal to the year 1 P.D. On September 30 of that year, the first interstellar ship, Prometheus, departed the Sol system, beginning the era of sublight colonization.

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