Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
The Tortuga Dominions
Minor Periphery Power
The Tortuga Dominions
Number of Worlds : Six (6)
The Dominions occupy a close cluster of star systems many jumps anti-spinward of System – Pirate’s Haven Star Cluster, but only two jumps behind System-State – “The Bellguardian Sojourn”. Befitting a pirate kingdom, all of the planets in the Dominions are named after either locales or personalities famed from the classical age of piracy in the Caribbean of Terra, with the exceptions of Fletcher’s Feast, which seems to commemorate Fletcher Christian, the leader of the mutiny aboard HMS Bounty in 1789, and New Gascony.
Over the last two centuries, the pirates of the Tortuga Dominions have struck deeply into both the Federated Suns and Taurian Concordat. Already known for depravity and ruthlessness, it appears the Tortugans have become even more desperate as their planets are finally beginning to run out of easily exploited resources, the ecology of their planets collapse, and their markets in the Inner Sphere disappear. The primary world of the Tortuga Dominions, is the planet Tortuga Prime.
Flag of Tortuga Prime
Political Ruler : Dame “Murderess Extraordinaire” Paula Trevaline
Star Type : G2IV (Yellow Main Sequence) – (183 Hours)
Position in System : 3
Time to Jump Point : 9.12 days
Number of Satellites : None
Surface Gravity : 1.0 Gs
Atmo Pressure : Standard. (7400 kms)
Avr Mean Temp : +32.0C (Temperate)
Surface Water : 40%
Recharge Station : None
HPG Class Type : None
Highest Native Life : 10%, Plant.
Socio-Industrial Level : Non-Industrial, Non-Agricultural, Desert World.
Population : (3025) 1,200,000.
A world of vast savannahs and once-abundant materials, Tortuga has the dubious distinction of being in the center of the Tortuga Dominions. The ruler of Tortuga is the self-styled Dame Paula Trevaline, also known as “Lady Death” to friend and foe alike. The descendants of the original settlers, the remnants of a Federated Suns Light Cavalry regiment, the colonists have degenerated into a tight band of pirates who prey upon anyone or anything that enters their sights.
Over the years, Tortuga has been stripped of almost all its easily accessible ores, and is nearing ecological collapse. An estimated sixty-thousand (60,000) brigands of various descriptions inhabit the planet’s capital of Raven’s Roost, which dominates all industrial and agricultural efforts on its planet. Most live in conditions near destitution, as the major share of loot goes to Dame Trevaline’s most experienced cutthroats, who pilot the heaviest machines.
Tortuga Prime has a single major continent named Torment, which stretches from pole to pole across the surface of the planet. Tortuga Prime is dominated by the Cook Sea, a single large ocean that covers forty percent of the surface of the planet; dotted around the Cook Sea are various chains and clusters of small islands. More than a thousand small islands of varying sizes exist in total, and all of them are uninhabited because of the high alkaline content of all surface water. Running up the center of Torment is a single long mountain range named Caparazón de Tortuga, and the mountains are rich in both copper and coal. The northernmost region of Torment contains an area referred to as “Raider’s Redoubt”, whilst an area in the southwestern region of Torment is referred to as “Llanuras de la Muerte”.
Dame “Lady Death” Trevaline
There are believed to be two (2) Battalions of Mechs under the control of the Dominions, along with numerous battalions of rough infantry militia. The entire population of the planet is essentially a large camp of bandits and armed thugs, desperately holding onto whatever they possess. At any cost.
The real strength of the Dominion military, however, is its AeroSpace navy, with with a half-dozen JumpShips and nearly a dozen DropShips of experienced combat crews. The marines of the Dominion are renowned for fanatical loyalty to Lady Death, and have a great deal of experience in boarding operations of all kinds. AeroSpace Fighters are in great abundance, and piloted by experienced pilots. Far more than its BattleMechs, its navy is a force to be reckoned with.
Founding : The beginnings of the pirate realm known as the Tortuga Dominions were laid during the later stages of the 20 year campaign against the Taurian Concordat conducted by the Star League as a part of the Reunification War. A unit from the Armed Forces of the Federated Suns, the 237th Light Cavalry Regiment, was all but destroyed as a result of a wasteful raid against the Taurian world of Sterope. The survivors of the 237th found themselves unable to hold their position and generally unwilling to return to Federated Suns space only to be thrown back into the fray again; instead, the members of the 237th decided to head out further into the Periphery.
The group found a small, pleasant world well outside the borders of both the Federated Suns and the Taurian Concordat and settled there; shortly afterwards, they began raids against Federated Suns worlds as the newly-formed “Pirates of Tortuga”.
Star League Era : Buoyed by equipment snatched, stolen or captured from a half dozen different Federated Suns worlds, the Tortugans began to expand their holdings on their new homeworld, Tortuga Prime, and within a century the pirate band had reached a point where they were self-sufficient enough to begin efforts to colonize worlds beyond Tortuga Prime. By the early twenty-eighth century the pirates had expanded into five additional systems, and the resources found on those worlds – particularly raw materials and radioactives – fueled the rise of a pirate nation, the Tortuga Dominions.
The Succession Wars : As the Succession Wars engulfed the remains of the Star League raiding forces from the Dominions would conduct raids that stretched deeply into the Concordat and the Federated Suns, earning a reputation for utter depravity, cruelty and ruthlessness; towards the end of the 3rd Succession War these raids were driven by a lack of easily-scavenged resources on the various worlds of the Dominion, and although the pirates had been forced to cannibalize elements of their navy, the “Jolly Rogers” fleet of roughly fifteen (15) vessels constituted the largest pirate navy in any of the bandit kingdoms of the era.
First Prince Ian Davion of the Federated Suns used the Wolf’s Dragoons mercenary brigade to teach the Tortugans and their leader, Lord Kalvin Bar-Dyness, a punitive lesson in 3007. Gamma and Delta Regiments landed on New Haiti in September, with Delta Regiment concentrating on wearing the pirates down while Gamma Regiment took to encircle the brigand’s positions. The pirates managed to stage a breakout, but took heavy losses before escaping, and the attack effectively discouraged the Tortugans from raiding the Federated Suns for a generation afterwards.
Dame Trevaline : Dame Trevaline, or more correctly, “Dame Murderess Extraordinaire Paula Trevaline”, is a Tortugan native herself, one who had begun killing at the age of eleven (11) before fighting her way into the position of Senior Mate on Tortuga City’s “Council of the Damned”; she then killed the ruler of Tortuga Prime, Lord Kalvin Bar-Dyness in a duel in 3015 to seize control of Tortuga Prime and the rest of the Dominions.
Dame Trevaline is the first ruler of Tortuga Prime to be considered broadly successful; she imposed a caste system on the population, a system notable for both it’s unfairness and it’s harsh nature. The caste system is supported predominantly by the practice of capturing people from other nations to press into slavery, which hints at her association with the The Starlords – “The Brotherhood”, at least since her taking power.