Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech (Farscape) : The New Breed
The Free-City of Peregrine
The Free-City of Peregrine is a tentatively independent nation-state in System – Dumassas, though was closely allied with The Free-City of Von Doom’s Downport until the latter’s collapse. Located on the south-east coast of the fresh-water Sea of Tragnar, Peregrine consists of a rugged mountainous interior with extensive portions of coastal desert.
The nation-state has around 790,000 population according to a 3021 census, with its largest city and capital at Rabat. While there are several other small towns, Rabat is a port-city of 80,000, hosts all of the nation-state’s industry, and dominates the economy. It shares little in common with other nations on the planet, having been settled by colonists from the Islambad districts of the Federated Suns, attracted to the sparse beauty of the land, and the isolation which allowed them to worship how they may.
Since the foundation of the city-state, the country has been ruled by a series of independent dynasties, reaching its zenith under the Almoravid dynasty, that first struggled against foreign domination by the Federated Suns in 2798. In 2921 the state was declared a “Protectorate” under Federated Suns rule, and it regained its independence in 2965. Peregrine culture is a unique blend of Arabian, Spanish and French influences from its Islambad, Taurian and Davion origins.
Peregrine has claims on the vast desert regions south across the equator that run along the southern coasts of the Sea of Tragnar, having annexed the Rio de Oro (Spanish : “River of Gold”) territory in 2984, leading to scattered conflicts with the local settlers in the region until a cease-fire in 3000. Peace talks in the decades since have never really resolved matters, but their conflict is very low-key and many of the settlers of that region have simply abandoned their claims and accepted military occupation.
Peregrine’s interests in The Commonwealth of Nations since 3026, has been constant and direct. The collapse of its traditional allies of Von Doom and Tragnar have made this nation very interested in new trade forums and the potential of a world-wide defensive force capable of ensuring their continued independence.
In mid-3030, the nation-state formally petitioned for admittance into The Commonwealth of Nations, expressing an interest in both the military technologies being offered the nations of this nascent planetary government, as well as the potential to seek new allies and markets for itself.
Peregrine is a constitutional feudal state with an elected parliament. The Baron of Peregrine holds vast executive and legislative powers, especially over the military, foreign policy and religious affairs. Executive power is exercised by the government, while legislative power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of parliament, the Assembly of Representatives and the Assembly of Councillors. The baron can issue decrees called “Dahirs” which have the force of law. He can also dissolve the parliament after consulting the Prime Minister and the President of the Constitutional Court.
Peregrine’s predominant religion is Islam, and the official languages are Arabic and French, though most also speak a little English. The Peregrine Spanish dialect, referred to as Darija, is also widely spoken. The nation’s economy is fairly stagnant, and it does not hold an important economic position in the world, beyond certain key industries in the manufacture of military-grade electronics, and the production of phosphates for the world’s fertilizers and munitions.
A fairly large port city of 80,000, Rabat supports the local nation-state of roughly 790,000 people (Census as of 3021) as its economic and industrial hub. All major corporations in the nation-state (most of which are owned by the royal family), have their operations and headquarters in Rabat, and the seaport is one of the largest artificial ports in the world. It is also host to a tiny drop-port at Peregrine-Anfa Airport and the nation’s small space navy of K-1 Class Dropshuttles.
Health and education have long been a problem for the nation, with fresh water its primary limiting issue. The large heat deserts of the southern and western portions of the nation do not help matters, and most water purification and distillation services are built in and around the capital of Rabat, in support of its industry and urban population. The only significant university, is the Hassan II Agriculture and Veterinary Institute, which provides a capable post-secondary education to all who can afford it, but specializes in the agricultural and veterinary sciences.
Most communities outside the immediate grasp of Rabat do not have mechanized water purification, or even proper sanitation and health care available, depending on simple methods that while capable of getting drinking water, do not promote wide-scale agriculture or industry. Education is very spotty and dominated by religious institutions for support and instructors.
The major resources of the Peregrine economy are agriculture and phosphates production. Sales of processed fish and seafood are important as well. Industry and mining contribute about one-third of the annual GDP. Peregrine is the world’s largest producer of phosphates, primarily as fertilizer, and the price fluctuations of phosphates on the international market greatly influence city-state’s economy. Workers’ remittances have played a critical role in the economy since independence. The production of textiles are part of a growing manufacturing sector, but remains primarily a cottage-level industry with a large export base in hand-woven rugs and broad-cloth linen clothing. In 3011 it was estimated that textiles amounted to 30% of the nation’s non-agricultural exports.
Exports include phosphate, preserved (dried) fish, building materials, glass, textiles, electronics, leather work, processed food, and cigarettes. The high cost of imports, especially of petroleum, is a major problem. Peregrine suffers both from structural unemployment and a large external debt.
Often ignored, and representing only a slim margin of the local economy, is the export of dangerous narcotics from Peregrine; the production of these goods represents a significant portion of the organized criminal economy and their efforts, and with the collapse of other sources of narcotics in the wake of Sangrian unity, the Peregrine sources have become vital to organized criminal income.
Overall, the royal family holds a large percentage of the economy firmly under their control, and profits greatly from their interests. Their presence is in every aspect of the citizen’s lives, from the images on their currency to the mark of their national flag.
Attijariwafa Bank : The conglomerate bank of Peregrine, that is part-owned by the royal family of Peregrine, and controls all financial transactions by the government and most local companies. Its currency, the Dirham (PD), rates fairly low on planetary currencies, ranking 0.13 PDs to a single (1) C-Bill, but the bank remains one of the few national banks remaining on the world markets. Most off-world currencies are openly accepted in most national markets, namely Davion Pounds and Comstar C-Bills, and the general lack of electronic currency transfers requires one of these currencies (as cash) to be used.
Les Domaines Agricoles : Known until 3013 as Les Domaines Royaux, LDA is the largest agribusiness firm in Peregrine, and belongs to SIGER, the holding company of Baron Mohammed VI. The company controls 3000 hectares of irrigated lands in north Peregrine, and is considered the largest source of luxury fruits and vegetables in the region, often supplying select sources in Tragnar as well.
Nareva : The premier energy company of Peregrine, it is a wholly-owned corporation of the Baron’s family. It specializes in developing non-bio-fuel energy resources, having built several wind farms and has restarted the ancient Star League solar plant HELIOS One, which provides the bulk of the nation’s electrical power. Technicians from Gaia in Von Lord were key in assisting with this project, and still maintain a presence in the country and at HELIOS One. Its subsidiary, SAFI-Energy owns the few remaining coal plants, which are slowly being replaced with wind and solar energy plants built by its parent company, though this project is expected to be complete sometime in 3036. The company is a chief component of SIGER.
Nemotek : Nemotek is a high-tech manufacturing company that produces wires, cabling and military-grade electronics packages. Though small in the global scale of things, it is the premier supplier of military electronics chips and optics to global military forces. Built in 3018, it has quietly developed the production of these goods from its single factory and testing facility in Rabat, which is considered state-of-the-art, and unique to the world industries.
Office Chérifien des Phosphates : OCP is the world’s leading producer of phosphate rock and phosphoric acid as well as one of the leading global fertilizer players, with more than 90 years of history serving agriculture. The OCP Group has access to Peregrine’s phosphate rock reserves – the largest global reserve base. Fully integrated throughout the value chain, the OCP’s activities range from mining mineral resources to producing high value-added products. OCP has a global footprint and serves every key agricultural market in the world, and has improved its profile with the collapse of Tragnar’s own phosphate production.
Orange Peregrine : The lead telecommunications firm of Peregrine, was originally founded in 3009 as Peretel, and changed its name in December of 3024. It offers commercial and residential phone communications, with satellite access through its three (3) communication satellites, serving the region around Peregrine, and linking it with both Tragnar’s and Von Doom’s networks. One of these is believed to exclusively serve the government and the military.
SIGER : Evolved from the Baron of Peregrine’s personal family holdings, SIGER was founded in 3011 as a wholly-owned private corporation. The company owns interests in virtually every industry in the nation, as well as many interests outside the nation, but primarily dabbles in construction, energy-development, phosphate production, and finance. It is easily the wealthiest and most powerful corporation in Peregrine, and funds the opulent lifestyle of the royal family.
Dacia “Logan” SUV
Somaca : The Société Marocaine de Constructions Automobiles is a Peregrine car manufacturer founded in 2968 and currently owned by the Davion automotive company Renault. In addition to their production of the military’s “Desert Iris” Jeep, they also produce the Dacia Logan SUV for the domestic market. A second factory was established in 3021, producing cheap Light Utility Transports for the military and domestic markets.
Both vehicle plants are part-owned by the Baron’s family, and with the collapse of the automotive markets in both San Marcos and Tragnar, have become important as an export to many regional warlords. The company has begun examining foreign licensing and production in either Buntar or Von Lord.
Sonasid : A steel manufacturing company jointly owned by the Baron of Peregrine’s holding company SIGER, and the national bank. Originally founded as a state resource, the company was privatized in 3006, and taken over by the Baron’s own corporate entity. It operates two small smelting facilities, mostly for domestic production.
Compulsory military service in Peregrine was officially suspended in September of 3015, and Peregrine’s reserve obligation lasts until age 50. Peregrine’s military consists of the Royal Armed Forces, which includes the Royal Army (the largest branch), the Royal Navy, and the Royal Air Force. The Royal Guards, and the Royal Auxiliary Forces are much smaller branches of the military, as is the Royal Space Navy. Internal security controlled by the Royal Gendarmerie is generally effective, and acts of political violence are rare.
Von Doom maintained a small observer force in the western deserts, where a large number of Peregrine’s army troops are stationed, but these forces were withdrawn in mid-3025, with a waning of ties between the two nations. The Polisario insurgents maintain an active militia of an estimated company of guerrilla fighters in the region and has engaged in intermittent and fairly ineffective warfare with Peregrine forces since the 2980’s.
Royal Peregrine Army : Highly modernized, the RPA is equipped with the traditional Dumassas Militia Field Kit and AN-94 Battle Rifles, and about a third of its twelve (12) battalions are equipped with Tracked APCs, to make them “Mechanized”. The rest lack more than a handful of vehicles, though “Desert Iris” Jeeps are common as command vehicles. There are few anti-armor or heavier support weapons other than the typical Infantry Support MGs.
Additionally, this branch has a single Maneuver Battalion with two companies of mechanized infantry, and a third armored company equipped with Vedette Medium Tanks. The infantry in the maneuver battalion are liberally equipped with Light Utility Transports and SPM-18A3 “Backblast” Recoilless Rifles, and are well-trained in anti-armor tactics. In particular, they also received a fairly extensive education in anti-Mech tactics from The White Asp Training Cadre.
Under the aegis of the RPA is the Royal Gendarmerie, a force of roughly three (3) battalions of motorized rifle infantry who act as police forces within the nation. They rarely maneuver together as a united troop, but are scattered across the nation as counter-insurgency and internal security forces, usually no more than a company in size, though Rabat has one of the battalions garrisoned at the branch’s headquarters. They are equipped as regular “foot” infantry with few vehicles beyond “Desert Iris” Jeeps..
The Royal Guards are another branch of the Army, a light security force of two (2) motorized rifle infantry battalions, whose primary task is the protection of the Baron’s family. Although equipped and trained as standard rifle infantry, they also have paratrooper training and some special forces platoons within their number. They are easily identified by their red berets.
The Auxiliary Force is a reserve group of three (3) battalions of standard (light foot) rifle infantry, that answer when either the Gendarmie or regular military needs a few extra troops. Mostly “part-time reserve” soldiers, they regularly train, and are otherwise equivalent to a traditional planetary militia.
Royal Peregrine Air Force : The national Air Force has been carefully modernized over the years since its creation, and now consists of only four (4) Angel Light Strike Fighters and four (4) Defender D-35 Strike Fighters, purchased less than a generation ago. It’s helicopter fleet consists of six (6) Warrior H-7 Attack Helicopters. Transport is provided by a dozen (12) Pegasus Utility Helicopters and six (6) Victory C-3 STOL Frontier Transports. All their older conventional planes and helicopters have long since been scrapped for spare parts.
Among the military forces, the air force is the branch of service most seen as an elite force, and is highly publicized in local news media. Significant attempts have been made to acquire AeroFighters, but lack of finance and proper training has limited these efforts.
Royal Peregrine Naval Force : Assigned the protection of Peregrine’s waters, the royal navy is small, but considered sufficient to protect its substantial coastline. Consisting of two light frigates, the Mohammed V and the Mohammed VI; each commanding a fleet of two smaller patrol ships and a single missile corvette. These fleets spend most of their activities hunting smugglers.
In addition, the Royal Peregrine Space Navy is attached to this branch of service, operating six K-1 Class Dropshuttles, a single Tramp-Class JumpShip, the “Hassan II”, and an escorting pair of TRB-D36 Thunderbirds. Although this fleet operates mostly as a merchant marine, it is in a significant position on the global stage, and figures prominently in interstellar trade out-system.