Mars is an old world; the gardens of its youth are now deserts. Its once great seas have desiccated to brackish morass. The Martians are an equally old culture. Their technology is in advance of any others in the Cosmos, save the angels and spirits. They care nothing for the pursuits of art or love that move and vex younger races. The Martian spirit and their entire society is bent toward the only thing they deem of value: the perfection of the arts of war.
The inhospitable nature of the Martian surface is made worse by the eternal war among the Martian factions. Thick, war-miasmas creep across the surface, stirred by something other than the thin Martian wind. Living war machines and vat-born monstrosities roam the wasters To avoid these horrors, Martian live in domed complexes with bunkers running deep underground. Few genuine Martians are left (though they are all but immortal, many die in war, and infertility is high among them), but all that are raised in common, in military-style barracks in a manner similar to ancient Sparta.
Martian war efforts are directed by the War Minds, electric brains built from the synthesis of the most brilliant Martians who have passed before. The direct Martian society in the most efficient way they can calculate. The Martians themselves form the officer corps of their armies. The common soldiers and servants come from the ranks of the vat-grown, near humans made from Martian science.
On the peak of Olympus Mons, the highest mountain in the known Cosmos, dwells the Oyarses spirit of Mars, Phaleg. Phaleg is said to be a war mind to dwarf the combined intellects of all the other Martian brains together. He sends giant, copper-color automaton, dressed in the manner of the hoplites of the ancient Greeks as observers to all the great Martian battles. His palace is said to be a Valhalla where replica soliders replay battles from across all of time.