Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
The Duchy of Horn
Colonial Province of Gollere
The Duchy of Horn is an isolated, northern colonial province of the national city-state of Tharn, in System – Gollere.
Population : 72,000
Governor : Duke Jemmas of Horn
Economy : Agriculture, Fishing, Timber, Textiles, Furs, Micro-Fusion Batteries, and Light Industry.
The Duchy of Horn is an isolated region of relative isolation on the planet of Gollere, that has flowered and expanded over the last decade under the despotic, but clever Duke Jemmas of Horn, “Warder of the Duchy”, whose military has maintained its independence from the planetary capital in the * Duchy of Tharn, whose industrial efforts have demanded more and more raw resources, and have granted the realm more autonomy through the need.
The realm is largely unexplored and outside its rebuilt trade roads, consists of rough forests and hills, swamplands, and nuclear wastelands along its borders, both protecting it from invasion, but also limiting its own growth.
The Fortress of Horn : The stronghold of the Duchy of Horn, the Fortress of Horn is a growing frontier industrial town. The community dates back beyond the Shadow Years, to a time when Taurian troops conquered the local Star League fortress and well before the Succession Wars. While tales continue of the colony’s importance in the time before, many of its buildings are very old and can be considered relics of that bygone era. Most of the buildings in the town are individual residences, but are also of more modern construction employing fieldstone, brick and local timber. The community numbers over 6400, with nearly a thousand being recent colonists trying to find land around the town, and in the realm to develop and work. Another few hundred are skilled technical personnel from Tharn who operate the Micro Lithium-Fusion battery line on the outskirts of town, while more are slated to do work on the Sonic Blade line opening next year. There is an increasing attraction of educated workers moving to Horn from the capital and other core nations, especially with the imminent activation of a pair of new industrial production lines.
Around the town is an earthen rampart, atop which is built a finely crafted stone wall. Strengthened by an earthen embankment on the inside, the walls rise an impressive seven meters above the ditches. Stout stone towers are being built to overlook the walls, rising another 3 meters to survey the surrounding fields and pastures for miles. The entrances to Horn are cut through the embankment, secured by heavy plated iron doors at all three points.
The people of Horn are quite clannish, taciturn, and generally resentful of strangers (except for those with money to spend). Most of the western portion of the town is a mass of small residences, once filled with refugees from the northern villages, now occupied by colonists from elsewhere on the planet. Positioned next to the Baronial Palace, is the town Plaza, where local farmers, tinkers, peddlers and their like set up booths to sell their produce and wares. Regular staging of Militia drills and military reviews also occur on the large open area before the Palace. Several casinos, saloons and other entertainment venues are located around the market.
The Ducal Palace lies on the upper eastern side of the town, and dominates the community. Ancient and remodeled from its Star League origins, built with thick ferrocrete walls and rising several levels above the community, it also drops at least three levels deep under the town. In the cellars are the Baron’s personal armada of military vehicles and handful of VTOL aircraft. He also has a pair of Small Agricultural Robots, used on the local fields to produce generous amounts of surplus grain and vegetables. Vast stocks of fuel are kept in reserve tanks beneath the Palace. These lower levels of the Palace are off-limits to visitors, but are believed to include a substantial fusion reactor, an armory and an impressive barracks and war complex (with extensive communications) for maintaining ties across the Barony.
Duchy of Horn “Old Blood” Bolt-Action Rifle
Additional important buildings include the local Foundry, a place filled with blacksmiths, iron workers and gunsmiths, producing the locally improved revolvers and their improved Old Blood Rifle and other important ironmongery that (until recently) represented the sum total of light industry available to the community. Recent improvements in technology and design, have upgraded these munitions into stunningly beautiful weapons becoming popular as a trade good across the planet. They have also begun manufacturing a shotgun, as well. Given Gollere’s governance through The Mangai, trade and guild matters tend to take a high priority in their activity. As a result, the town has an extensive records storage and its attached License Bureau occupies an important role in realm administration.
Built just north and east of the town, along the swift-flowing river east of town, is a new complex of factories. Initially provided by * “The Iron Dingoes”, the complex is being installed with two highly automated production lines; the Sonic Blade line, modified to produce “Cosmic Blades”, and the LIF-CK “LIFer” Micro-Fusion Battery Pack line, which opened its doors mid-3025 to begin limited production. Built partially into a stone foundations along the river, the factory complex is powered by water funneled under the complex which drives a buried series of generators, granting power to the facility for its own utilities and for charging the micro-fusion batteries. The facility also has a small mooring facility for both boats and airships, to provide direct goods transfers.
Typical Student of the Barony of Horn’s College
The Baron has also instituted a college for the education of his citizens, teaching all citizens to read & write, and do basic sums. Advanced education teaching trades skills are then made available, and the town produces its fair share of skilled tradesmen and craftsmen as a result. The brightest of the community are granted the ability to enter advanced educational courses, teaching administrative, military and technical skills needed by a modern state. The two dozen instructors of the college are becoming world renowned for their school. The school also has an extensive library of books, documents and other archived materials dating to the Star League era. Much of the data stored in the library has been reorganized, largely with assistance by Iron Dingoes administrative staff, and can be accessed by anyone with permission of the Baron or one of the school’s teachers.
Typical Horn Village
During the REAPER attacks of 3020-21, the northwestern communities of the barony suffered destruction, and have been an important location for resettlement. This effort has mostly concentrated on the communities of Fort Aletta, Fort Siobhan and Bear. Each has grown quickly, as land offers from the Baron spread across the world, bringing many hopefuls looking to settle the rich and increasingly powerful realm. Fort Aletta was once a thriving market town, and has been rebuilt with a stone fort and a garrison platoon of the Baron’s elite guards. It is primarily an agricultural community, but the 650 local citizens are also developing into craftsmen and merchants. Fort Siobhan has a population of 500 farmers and fishermen, and also a stone fort for a platoon of the Baron’s elite guards. Bear is a small isolated community of 420, tucked away in a valley amid the distant western hills. Teeming with game, the village is very independent, and known for its many hunters and foresters, that export furs and dried game. Many of the locals actually survived the initial attacks by REAPER and his Legion, fleeing into the nearby woodlands, only to return when the threat had passed.
While the ruined communities of the north-west are being re-settled, several other important communities are located around the realm, that are vital to the Barony and its economy. The port trade towns of Djinn City and Mucktown were relatively untouched by the REAPER conflicts. Djinn City is an active trade and fishing town of 3500, with trade passing south to the more civilized provinces. The town is also the site of a foundry, and its ice water is bottled and exported widely. Mucktown is a busy seaport of around 1320 citizens, with shipping and seasonal fishing its primary activities. Seasonal labour (mostly originating from the planetary capital) doubles the local population.
The towns of Whitter, Murce, and Devn are located within a day’s ride from the capital, all numbering around a thousand (1100) citizens. Whitter is an agricultural community, noted for its stonemasons and quarries, and the town has a miniature version of the Baron’s own college built to support its own small economy. Murce is an agricultural and lumbering community in the process of supporting the expansion of the local economy, and produces charcoal for export. Devn is a small craft community that specializes in weaving, pottery and leather goods. The site is also a remnant of some sort of Star League lab, that has been looted, though the local fort is very substantial as a result, acting as a training base for the Baron’’s cavalry and growing Wind Dirigible fleet.
The last notable community in Horn, is the small village of Shopp. Located 30kms west of Horn, on the eaves of the nuclear devastation. Nearly 600 residents of this community are typical farmers, hunters and the like, but a large number of technically minded citizens derive their income by daring to salvage into the radioactive ruins to the south-west. While they are officially independents, they sell all the salvage they encounter directly to the Baron’s buyers, and are typically equipped very well in high-tech survival gear and weapons. Their citizens are also well-travelled and rather more cosmopolitan than typical Horners.
Typical “Reserve” Soldier of Horn
The Duke’s military tends to deploy as platoons throughout the realm, though sometimes in double- and triple-strength formations in appropriate communities. They serve as both security troops and general military forces, and have a wide range of powers accordingly, though ultimately capital offenses must be brought directly to the Duke’s own attention. The Duke’s Army does not contain any heavy ordnance or armored forces as support vehicles.
There are three (3) “regular” battalions of infantry deployed in Horn, along with twelve (12) “reserve” battalions of infantry available. All of the Duchy’s motor assets are deployed with the active battalions, making them effectively “motorized”. One additional battalion of “Guards” is deployed, and typically use horses for parades and during training out of tradition, and are often referred to as “Royal Cavalry”.
The typical trooper in Horn once wore studded leather armor, and bore a heavy shield, a short sword and the locally produced Old Blood Rifles, and most “reserve” formations in the Duke’s military are still so-equipped. They should otherwise be considered equivalent to Gollere Militia Field Kits.
Regular armed formations of the Duchy of Horn are increasingly equipped with Iron Legion “Colonial” Infantry Field Kits, HG-762 “Holy Grail” Assault Rifles and Nighthawk M3009s, much like the . Unlike those forces, the techs of this military force are quite savvy, and troops generally deploy in locally produced Light Utility Transports and springers, rather than the traditional horses of most of the resource colony militias.
The squads of the Baron’s infantry always include a single technician equipped with technical tools, a light support weapon such as the Milkor MGL, and the obvious Engineer’s Tool, a tradition which is seen as having developed from their close association with the Iron Dingoes own military traditions.
Troopers are led by “Squires” (non-coms) and “Knights” (officers), each armed with typical weapons and armor for regular troopers in Horn’s military, but also carry laser pistols, and often imported stun pistols. Knights also tend to prefer the locally produced heavy caliber pistols that are quite well-made and popular. Rather than the traditional Gollere saber, most officers deploy with the locally produced Sonic Blade in their field kits.
“Guard” troops of the Duchy are equipped with heavy ballistic/ceramic armor and carry both Sonic Blades and AER-9 Laser Rifles; their heavy support weapons are typically Heavy SRM Pack Launchers. These troops represent the “elite” among the Duchy forces, and are kept close to the capital, or deployed to watch over important resources to the Duchy, such as the Devn shipyards, and the salvage facility in Shopp. Their presence in other parts of the landhold represent something important is about to happen.
There are six (6) Wheeled APCs in his armory, along with a modified Hover APC that acts as the a command & communications vehicle, improved with advanced communications equipment instead of its traditional armament. The units also commonly deploy with Light Utility Transports and Springer Light Utility Vehicles, though horses (and wagons) are also used on occasion, particularly among the reserve formations.
The Duke’s Air Force includes six (6) Warrior H-7 Attack Helicopters, two (2) Titan Combat Helicopters and a single heavy-lift Frontier-Class Air Transport; all imports and important to his personal prestige, and deployed from Devn. His fleet of a dozen (12) Wind Dirigibles are deployed from Devn, but travel widely in patrols around the Duchy borders, and to bring supplies and personnel across his realm.
At their head, is the Prydwen, the flagship Prydwen-Class Carrier Airship deployed to lead his air force, and commanded by his eldest daughter and heir, Lady Siobhan Jemmas. Another, the “Traveller”, is deployed in patrols of the southern border on a regular basis, and often oversees the salvage work near Shopp. Both have attached a quartet (4) of their own Warrior H-7 Attack Helicopters for recon operations. He is constructing a third in Devn, but it is not slated for completion until late-3029, and its future disposition remains unknown.
He deploys no known naval force, and has no aerospace forces.
The district’s past is closely tied to the nation as a whole, but until recently was a back-water district with few resources. Settlement of the district led to its prosperity and increasing freedoms over time.
At present, the realm continues to recover from the losses it took during the invasion by The Gold Legion, and most of its efforts were bent towards that goal. As a result of that conflict, they have established trade relations with * “The Iron Dingoes”, and keep regular contact with that group through visits of its JumpShip fleet whenever they pass through the system. In particular, the crew of “Betty” have been smuggling them more advanced weapons from System – Tequila Beach, in exchange for their excess resources. Over the last years, this has given the Baron’s troops a technological edge over their rivals.
In mid-3023, Lady (Captain) Heather Jemmas, the youngest daughter of then Baron Jemmas married * “The Iron Dingoes” commander, tying that powerful mercenary unit as a potential ally to the realm. It should be noted, trade agreements signed as a result of this marriage, have brought a sudden influx of cheap resources to the Iron Dingoes landholdings, and brought with them an increase in educated colonists to their lands, in exchange for arms, munitions and hard currency, something in definite shortage in System – Gollere. The realm’s wealth has certainly begun to improve in the months since, including re-investment by the Baron to his capital’s industrial efforts and military equipment.
Several months later, in late-3023, the then Barony was granted the damaged Sonic Blade and LIF-CK “LIFer” Micro-Fusion Battery Pack production lines by the Iron Dingoes, in exchange for a 20% production share. Employing many of the Barony’s brightest and sharpest technicians, the lines have brought something of a boom-town attitude to the local region. The facility is located outside the town of Horn’s walls, with access to the local river and boasts a Wind Dirigible mooring station for supplies and goods transfers. The battery pack lines began production in mid-3025, while the more substantial Cosmic Blade lines are undergoing heavy rebuilding and modifications, and are not expected to begin production until sometime around mid-3026. A small underground electrical dam was also being built here to provide the power the plant and its lines will require, and is integral to the complex.
In early-3026, then Baron Jemmas made his play for the title of Duke, employing his allies the Iron Dingoes in a duel over the slight offered by Almaviva of The Duchy of Lovelace against his daughter Lady (Captain) Heather Jemmas on the day prior to her marriage. After the success of the duel he made his claim, but was denied by the Mangai, which precipitated the Battle for Tharn, and a minor revolution of the planet’s society.
Today, the Duchy continues to place great emphasis on technological progress and education. Its school is considered the second-best educational facility on Gollere, after * Duchy of Tharn‘s own * Lanseal Royal Military Academy. The realm’s military has increasingly improved its status and equipment to what its allies in Tharn deploy, and is considered the second-best armed force on the planet, and also the second-largest military formation if one considers its militia reserves. Economically the realm is diverse and is quite well-off, with resources and industrial development easily rivaling its fellow Duchies of Windward and Lovelace. Horn is considered the most capable of the colonies on the planet.