Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech (Farscape) : The New Breed
System - Patriarch
Failing Colony of the Hyades Rim
World Name : Xu Zian “Patriarch”
Struggles for power between factions have not completely been left behind in the colonization of the stars, and conflicts on Patriarch have been commonplace for some time. The various planet’s factions vying for control here have turned to warfare to settle their differences.
Star Type : G2V
Position in System : 2
Time to Jump Point : 9.11 days
Recharging Station : None
Number of Satellites : 0
Surface Gravity : 0.96
Atmo Pressure : Standard (Breathable)
Avr Mean Temp : +32 (Cold-Temperate)
Surface Water : 70%
Political Ruler :
ComStar Facility Class : B
ComStar Representative : Precentor Gwenneth Paltrow
Population : 240,000 (3016)
Percentage and Level of Native Life : 20%, Reptile
System Data :
The Xu Zian (Patriarch) system was both a disappointment and a pleasure to its intial explorers. Its G2 V star promised a garden world, and the first sweep through the system confirmed that promise. But the system delivered little else; merely two gas giants and a failed core world. Rarely does a G-type star produce such a small brood.
The Xu Zian system centers on a G2 V star very similiar to Sol. The star is affectionately known as “Amah” (Paternal Grandmother); stellar mass, radius, and luminosity are all slightly higher than Sol, but the difference is not enough to matter. Amah has four planets;
Gaaumouhjeung (Dean of the Faculty) is a gas giant at the inner edge of the life zone; it orbits Amah at 0.8 AU.
Gaaumouhjeung has four satellites: three are inconsequential minor worlds (called Jahtsyun – Grand Nephew, Jahtsyunneui – Grand Niece, and Neuih Syun – Son’s Daughter), but Syun (Son’s Son) is a temperate desert world. With a 5000km diameter, a rocky core , and a density of 1.2, it has a gravity of 0.43 and a standard atmosphere composed primarily of nitrogen (90%), with a scattering of carbon monoxide and molecular oxygen. It is possible to breathe the atmosphere of Syun using a respiratory compressor and CO absorbent. The Chyuantii (Warlord) faction maintains a mining base on Syun exploiting a major heavy metals lode.
Xu Zian (Patriarch) is a garden world in the center of the life zone; it orbits at 1.1 AU. The Manchurian colony of Chyuantii was established in 2784. The Cantonese colony of Lihngtou was established in 2859.
Yahnhaak (Guest) is a failed core in the outer zone; it orbits at 4.2 AU.
Hongaangge (Watchman) is a gas giant in the outer zone; it orbits at 18.7 AU. Hongaangge has seven satellites, none more than rudimentarily explored.
Planetary Data :
Like all garden worlds, Xu Zian evolved its own life forms. Unlike most garden worlds, Xu Zian’s biological mechanisms are profoundly different from those of Earth. Evolution on Xu Zian has made no firm distinction between plant or animal. Instead, all life is based on a few standard building block units such as muscle, nerve, absorber, digester, and specialized forms. Single-celled life forms handle all of these functions within one cell. Higher life forms, however, are accumulations of each of these specialized cells in the proper proportions. Specialized cells adapt to specific situations and needs by manipulation at the molecular level: they create structural bones or frameworks that higher forms need, they provide direction to the whole organism, and they spark reproduction. Other specialized cells have evolved specific structures that can survive independently, but which can easily graft themselves onto other organisms in a symbiotic relationship.
Biologists differ in their evaluation of Xu Zian’s native life. Some feel that each building block unit is a separate type, and that higher life forms are colonies. Others classify each life form encountered as a distinct type.
Long research into Xu Zian’s biological processes has worked out at least a rudimentary understanding of how it works. Building block cells aggregate into organisms seemingly at random, but successful groupings are capable of reproducing not only their components, but also their arrangement.
Xu Zian organisms are unusually sensitive to background radiation – random cosmic rays, natural radiation, and even sunlight occasionally reach threshold levels. When a threshold is reached, the specialized cells release, and the organism collapses in a puddle of single cells, ready to start over in their struggle up the evolutionary ladder.
Various levels of Xu Zian organisms have developed protective measures which inhibit the effects of radiation. Some reproduce rapidly. Others have evolved a radiation-shielded core of cells (their specialized cells processing lead from their environment) that can rebuild after an encounter with radiation. Some basic structures have developed a resistance to radiation, while others have a higher threshold.
Colonial History :
Chyuantii, the Capellan Colony : When the initial colonization of a system begins, the survey squadron has effectively finished its job. When the original Manchurian investigative team searched the system , they studied its potential, but abandoned their survey, when no immediate sources of easily exploitable resources could be found. It spent the next year carefully sifting through sensor readings and the system’s potential for colonization.
In truth, the decision to place a colony on Xu Zian had been made twenty years earlier, and only if the survey found insurmountable problems would the colony not be placed. Three months into the survey, the initial reports showed no major anticipated difficulties, so final preparations and colonist recruitment began.
Manchurian elements in the Liao government placed Cyuantii, established their colony in 2784. Previous experience in placing colonies made the process smooth. By 2794, the colony was well established and thriving.
By 2818, the constant attrition of the 1st Succession War took its toll on the colony. The industrial potential of the world had been stifled, with investments drying-up as the needs for rebuilding the Liao core worlds took precedence, and within a decade, the colony was declared a useless fringe luxury, and all support from the Capellan government was withdrawn. The various colonial governments on Patrician began to scrabble for resources, and when the final Liao troops were pulled from the capital, the world became a common target of Taurian assault troops and Marik freebooters. All trade evaporated, and each community began arming itself to protect its own. In 2824, all sense of the planet’s united government was gone.
Over the last century, the planet has become more and more isolated from Capellan traditions, and the world became something of a place for free-thinkers from the fringes of Capellan society to find refuge. The planet had developed self-sufficiency and within a generation had become a beacon to other worlds nearby, embarrassing its former rulers of House Liao across the border.
In 3007, the Maskirovka uncovered hints of a Star League scientific research center buried somewhere on the planet. Immediately, a company of Death Commandoes were dispatched to the planet, and look over whatever records could be salvaged from the former planetary capital of “Jun Fa”, or “Warlord”. Initial studies shocked the investigative team; some three of four research centers were listed on a manifest dating to the Star League, just prior to the Exodus, and overnight, the entire 27th Death Commmando Company was assigned to the world by 3008, followed by a supporting cadre of various Home Guard Battalion officers from across the Victoria Commonality, in 3009. By the end of the decade, there seemed to be Capellan agents everywhere.
The Warlord Offensive :
The “Wars” began on Patrician in 3010. The spark for the conflict was provided by an unwarranted attack on the “Heimdall”, an Intruder-Class DropShip ferrying supplies and replacement personnel to Patriarch. Within moments of receiving news of the attack, Maskirovka military forces across the system moved to seize control of the key facilities in government and industry in the former colony capital, Jun Fa (Warlord).
The first and fiercest battle was fought at the starport facilities in Warlord itself, where the entire district, well-armed and privately funded by interests from the Federated Suns, saw it as an opportunity to seize all primary interface craft in-system, while still grounded. Maskirovka forces, quickly out-gunned and overwhelmed by two battalions of Warlord’s combined forces, were sent packing. With full control of the primary AeroSpace assets on the planet, Warlord began assaulting everything military along their borders, and soon devastated their neighboring district militias (Crestview, Startouch and Benedict), and supported the defenses of their allies in Laurel.
Following a winter of consolidation and the tactical absorption of the nearby communities, Warlord’s military geared-up to push into the remaining nation-states on Patriarch, Rockburg and Faultless. They began with a series of rapid strikes against the industrial heartlands of both districts, savaging their opponents industrial capacity and shattering their infrastructure. The Warlord AeroFighters paid a terrible price for their victory, however, facing an impressive force of anti-aircraft sites and the low-level raids were costly. Rockburg’s conventional forces had many successes themselves, and the “Eagles of Patrician” were instrumental in blunting the forces of Warlord.
The picture in the air changed rapidly, when House Liao took an interest in the rumors of Star League facilities lost on the world. Deploying a large number of Transgressor AeroFighters based from both Highport and their pair of mother-ship Leopard CVs, by December of 3011, they ravaged any anti-aircraft sites, airfields, and ground control sites. More importantly, the southern oilfields were sacked and the planet’s refineries torched, and when the fuel dried-up, even the Rockburg’s fine “Eagles” were taken from the skies.
In April 3012, the final hammer-blow came when the Warlord 3rd Rifle Regiment crossed the frontier and began to drive the Rockburg’s border garrisons from their cantonments. The fighting raged for months, and by early May, most of Rockburg’s defenses were battered into rubble and over-run. Liao AeroFighters, backing Warlord’s ground assaults, gained complete air superiority, and flattened any remaining industrial capacity in the western city-state of Rockberg. Local militia forces and tattered remnants of the Rockburg military rallied to the city, fighting side-by-side with factory workers and housewives in the streets.
In late May of 3012, the Battle of Rockburg forced the Rockburg 1st Air Assault Battalion “Death from Above”, the last remaining military reserves, held their ground for three days while fighting against two enemy rifle battalions. Destroyed in their trenches east of the city, the Warlord 3rd Rifle Regiment sacked the city of Rockburg less than a week later. They didn’t stay long, and by mid-August, they withdrew and turned to face their remaining threat in the city-state of Faultless. In Rockburg, the city had lost its central authority, and spent the next few years passing from one marauder band to another, until in early 3018, it was struck by a plague and famine, reducing its population until only 3 in 100 of its original citizens survived.
Failure of the Ares Conventions :
As forces in Warlord prepared for their assault on Faultless, the winter of 3013-14 remained fairly quiet. It’s not known who or why, but on January 1st, 3014, several megatons of nuclear warheads rained-down across the planet, invariably targeting industrial complexes and population centers. The remaining out-lying colonial districts were eradicated. The central districts, already ravaged by years of fighting, were largely ignored, though the remaining industrial centers of Faultless and Rockberg were struck. The nature of the war had changed.
Fingers immediately pointed at Warlord, but their agents refused to any responsibility for the incident. Capellan interests in the colony evaporated, and any remaining Maskirovka or Home Guard forces were withdrawn or abandoned. ComStar, as the only neutral force still on the planet, made an appeal to bring Warlord to justice for their crimes. By the spring of 3014, no one seemed willing to avenge the deaths of millions of colonists in the fires of nuclear warheads.
In May of 3014, a task force of mercenaries from ComStar appeared in orbit of Patrician, and proceeded to hot-drop on the starport, eradicating first the remaining AeroSpace assets of Warlord, and then conducting a wide-scale destruction of its industries and main defenses. The Warlord military struggled to put-up a fight, but years of war and the over-powering thought of what had happened, allowed the mercenary forces to systematically reduce Warlord to rubble, and send its few remaining military forces into hiding. When ComStar pulled its mercenaries from the planet two months later, Warlord’s military and government was gone.
The Dark Years :
With Warlord’s systematic destruction of the planet’s military, and ComStar’s efforts to bring Warlord to justice, the planet entered a dark and harsh era. Perhaps the worst matter in the whole incident, was that the nuclear warheads had started a chain reaction that had drastically altered Patriarch’s ecology. Always susceptible to radiation of various sources and strengths, the widespread devastation had shattered the basic building blocks of the planet’s tender life, and was turning the world to ash. Basic plants seemed to be converting to “slurry”, and within a few years, the central regions had become barren wastelands of shifting dust and ash among the ruins of formerly vibrant farmlands. Soon, even the outer territories such as Rockburg and Faultless were feeling the devastation, as their own agricultural lands turned to ash and their crops to rough proto-slurry.
Destroyed along with every important industrial complex on the planet, was Patriarch’s primary starport in Warlord and its entire infrastructure. Nearly every nation-state on Patrician had suffered widespread destruction in the short, but violent war. The world’s citizens were numbed by the devastation, and ComStar was the only remaining force of relief and organization left on the planet. Even House Davion’s former supply of munitions to Warlord was ignored, as the government cut any and all ties to the planet, treating the suggestions that they had employed nuclear weapons as a deep betrayal of trust.
In the vacuum of government and central authority, ComStar became a beacon of light. Led by the Stellar Relations branch, ComStar supplied medical supplies across the hinterlands of the war-torn world, but with numerous military warlords seizing power and control in the failing colonies, they have restricted their efforts. For now, ComStar has established their center of control on HighPort, the orbital supply station while they send supplies to isolated communities and try to act as a medium between the remaining factions on the planet.
Patrician Today :
The world of Patrician remains apart from any outside government influences, though the Taurian Concordat has extended an interest in the system providing mercantile efforts to the planet and its factions, specifically its own small mining colony located deep in the northern mountains.
With no real central authority, the planet has become a place for great profit to be made through mining or even salvage operations in the ruined cities, or through the import of medical and industrial supplies for its beleaguered city-states. Even the idea of setting oneself up as a warlord has proven to have some potential, though the worsening ecology on the planet is making long-term survival looking difficult.
In space, the presence of no military force has improved the potential for banditry, and the handful of remaining colonial communities are under the slow emigration of its citizens to the relative safety of HighPort or off-planet. Patriarch’s shattered industry, coupled with the widespread failure of its ecology, has kept off-world forces from taking too much interest in its status. On the planet’s surface, various factions struggle to secure the remaining resources, trying to construct a viable military force to solve the planet’s fractured and deteriorating state. The future remains anyone’s for the taking. Mercenaries, in particular, are flocking to the planet in small groups, each finding their value rewarded for simple contracts, and always the potential of carving their own little kingdom from the wreckage.
“HighPort” : A 100,000 ton orbital station, HighPort is little more than a an orbiting fuel tank for DropShips and shuttles, before their return to the Zenith and Nadir Jump-points. The facility provides a small trade community for the system, and its former manufacturing complex now provides sanctuary for the hundreds of refugees who could afford to get away from the ravaged ecology of Patriarch.
The facility has few defenses, and its former hangar bay for six AeroFighters has been converted to hold the remnants of Patriarch’s noble’s shuttle fleets. Everyone on the station is well-armed, but the facility has become one of the only neutral locations in the system; primarily due to ComStar’s influence and its supply of medicines and fuel to anyone in need.
“Iron Springs” : The industrial needs of Warlord drew them to establish the colony of “Iron Springs” in 2857, on the Mars-like planet of Syun in the system’s inner orbit. This colony has remained fairly aloof from the activities on Patriarch itself, but is suffering from the disruption of its markets and the acquisition of both food and water supplies. It is believed the colony will likely fade within a generation, but some of the colonists refuse to move from their home, and may adapt to a lesser quality of life.
The mining facility has very few security personnel, and often simply holds visitors the respect to carry their weapons, but anything heavier than traditional small arms is typically taken or asked to be kept in the visiting ship’s locker. A handful of MiningMechs have been armored for use in defense of the facility.
“New Tauria” : In 2814, a research base was established studying local lifeforms for their potential as an agricultural commodity. The settlement “New Tauria” was primarily Taurian in origin, and its location in the deep northern mountains isolated it from everyone else on the planet. The settlement soon exceeded its original mandate, when Taurian production interests established light manufacturing facilities such as canning and hydrogen fuel processing for local needs. The community remained isolated and avoided contact with the planet’s other colonies, even building a low-level starport providing little beyond raw fuel and a place to park your DropShip.
Defenses of this isolated colony are in the hands of a local “Guardia Civlia”, or Citizen’s Militia. Attempts to forge a freestanding military have been spotty, and raids from bandits hiding in the forests south of the colony, and preying on trade along its main trade road have been harmful to trade.
“Lihngtou” : An isolated settlement located on an island off the Chyuantii coast, the site was settled by contract negotiation with Warlord’s corporate industrialists. The settlement is 90% ethnic Capellan, and evenly divided its economy between mining and farming. The colony was dependent on Warlord’s starport and supplying its industires, and has since become rather small and forgotten.
Beyond a handful of police militia, there are no defenders of Lihngtou, and it has been that way since its founding. Its one great defense, is its isolation and a need for aircraft or boats to invade. Should that difficulty be overcome, conquering the island would be easy. The colony is overseen by a typical Capellan Caste System, ruled by Lady Lao Ma, a noblewoman of the old caste, who has re-integrated many Liao traditions during her regime. Ruthless, she secretly builds her arms and manpower, hoping to stay under the radar of whatever powers rise from the ashes of Patriarch. It boasts no real armor or artillery forces, and has only a few police battalions available. She rules from her palace overlooking the vibrant town below.
“Barony of Rockburg” : Situated at the end of the venerable trade route across the modern-day “Badlands” to Warlord, or looping south along the hills and the Blood River through Faultless and Laurel and then north to Warlord, Rockburg is an ancient city-state and important community on Patriarch. The district has sufficient to feed itself for small export, but coal is the primary industry of the town, with much of its production sent east to Faultless to fuel their need for industry. Local breweries produce sufficient bio-fuels for their own vehicles and merchant convoys.
Baron Julian Phillips rules Rockburg, and is seen by most as one of the bright lights of the planet. His vision and reconstruction efforts have lifted the ravaged city of Rockburg from its descent into anarchy and placed it as one of the few surviving city-states on the planet. He formed the local militia around the 4th Rockburg Rifle Battalion, the unit he once led in defense of the town, and the military has grown to include two militia battalions of rifle infantry, several companies of armored APCs and Jeeps, and a brace of towed artillery. Notably, his “regulars” have formed four battalions of horse-mounted rifle infantry, known as “Knights of the Realm”, and its lead element, the “Rockburg Lancers” have distinguished themselves as bandit-hunters. A small estate outside of town has been fortified and is known as “The Castle” to locals, and the center of local government.
“Barony of Faultless” : Built along a winding river (The Wistula River), Faultless once sported a technical college and light industry. Today, Faultless has declared itself a “Free-City” and willingly trades with whomever it can. Its industries have developed into small cottage-crafts, but nonetheless produces ammunition, explosives, simple tools, re-fabricated vehicles and engines, leather goods, alcohol fuels and clothing. More importantly, it produces small amounts of surplus food, a highly important fact that hints at its ability to actually feed its own population. The technical college has developed small amounts of medical supplies for export, and the town has become a central market for the southern portions of the continent.
The Baron of Faultless, Joseph Kurtzeba is well-loved by the troops and citizens of the city-state, affectionatly known as “Little Jospeh” by the public. The local garrison consists of a militia of at least two companies of armor, a battery of artillery, and more than a dozen battalions of infantry, consisting of a company of regulars and two companies of citizen’s militia, each. Local defenses have been built-up over the last few years, and the central fortress is rather substantial. The city is rumored to have a Union-Class DropShip in its possession, and uses the vessel to trade with HighPort.
“Barony of Warlord” : Formerly the most important city-state on the planet and its economic powerhouse, Warlord is today a flattened ruin, filled with scavengers and bandits. It exports occasional relics of the past, engines and parts, and other valuable salvage, but serves little other purpose. There is no real trade, though scattered scavenger groups are known to live among the ruins and hold something resembling a market.
Local defenses are almost non-existent, with handfuls of militia guarding small enclaves throughout the ruins. Rumors have begun to spread about a new powerful “Warlord” taking control of the city through a large force of Mechs, armor and infantry mercenaries. It is believed he operates from his large DropShip in the former center of the city, and is known to be ruthless to his “subjects” and anyone who intrudes on his operations. Various bandits have been seen travelling from the Badlands to the ruins of Warlord, hoping to take service with him, but are never seen again.
“Barony of Laurel” : A valuable repair yard and machine shops provide the basis for this small city-state’s economy, though formerly it was a major manufacturing and agricultural center. Among its primary industries, was the “Okotar MotorWorks” Plant, a heavy production facility, it produced the valuable Wheeled APC, Scorpion Light Tank and various busses, land rovers and other line hauling trucks. Now sporting an intact military force, the number of refugees have increased its labour force and the city produces beer, light foundry parts and ammunition. Its merchants are commonly encountered connecting the scattered communities of the Badlands, and are welcome most places. At one point early in the planet’s history, it served as the capital, but was soon eclipsed by Warlord, and its small starport is ancient and abandoned.
The Barony is ruled by General Vaas Surov, who controls the military and has placed power in the hands of a town council, avoiding the trappings of a noble title. Local defenses consist of a few battalions of well-armed infantry, and more scattered around the surrounding agricultural lands watching over the fields. Despite the community once having been the site of a large vehicle manufacturing plant, the military has few of the machines in its employ, though support MGs and ammunition is plentiful. The community has a central fortress (known locally as “The Castle”)that dates back several centuries, and is a powerful symbol of its authority over the surrounding lands.
“The Badlands” : Formerly the territories of the colonial city-states of Crestview, Startouch and Benedict, these territories are now little more than ash-covered radioactive wastelands. Bioagents run rampant, and disease and bad water are commonly encountered everywhere. It is suggested, that the outlying territories remaining might soon resemble the Badlands, but for now they remain the haunt of raiders, bandits and worse. There are small, isolated communities within the region, but they tend to be scavenger camps or hidden collections of refugees barely surviving through a still working farm or other agricultural resource in the mountains. Not a place for the timid.
There are no formal forces controlling anywhere in the Badlands, though scattered marauder bands and travelling raider nomads are often encountered “along the roads”. What few mercenaries remain on-planet, tend to base from the region, and are commonly encountered serving one new Warlord or another.