BroodClan Xylos is one of the oldest of the often warring Wun’Tux factions, renowned for it’s ability to control and manipulate smaller BroodClans into doing it’s bidding.
The established BroodClans are fiercely protective of their ancestral territories. Their resources are primarily geared towards self-preservation against the backdrop of competing, rival BroodClans. The younger BroodClans inhabit less favourable territory and form a ‘buffer-zone‘ between the Wun’Tux old worlds and the rest of the galaxy; it is usually these younger groups who the other sentient species of the galaxy see and fear. Xylos is unusual in that it utilises some of the smaller factions as proxies, promising their senior members territory and influence in the old worlds in exchange for fealty.
Xylos is quick to abandon BroodClans it sees as weak or failing, however, and is respected (but mostly feared) for this ruthless streak. It’s Broodmother is rumoured to be over 150 years old; she stands at seven feet tall and has only one arm as a result of one of the civil wars of a century previous. She refuses to adopt any sort of prosthetic; the rumour being that she keeps the shoulder stump as a reminder against her youthful hubris.
The Xylos seat of power is on Ehoi, the cradle of Illayko civilisation. Although the BroodClan didn’t conquer the world themselves they did lend one of their proxy ‘clans a force of ships and soldiers which gave them the edge in accomplishing it. The smaller BroodClan agreed to cede the territory in exchange for protection from their rivals.
Outside of the Illayko conflict, Xylos have attained military success against humankind; their complete victory against a prepared European Union force at Tordov V is still fresh in many human minds.
Ehoi is the single habitable planet in the Frea System. The lush, jungle world is the cradle of the Illayko civilisation. The Illayko government evacuated in the path of a Wun’Tux invasion forces, leaving behind almost 40% of the population who either didn’t want to or couldn’t leave. The Wun’Tux were quick to seize upon the planet and these remaining people, skimming off the healthiest remaining Illayko as prime slave stock.
Modern day Ehoi belongs to BroodClan Xylos, one of the more established of the Wun’Tux heirarchy. Xylos demanded the planet from the original conquerors, BroodClan Freneses in exchange for protection following one of the myriad Wun’Tux civil wars. The new denizens spent little time knocking down, building over and otherwise restructuring the original buildings, infrastructure and landmarks; they replaced intricate stonework with the drab, utilitarian buildings and drilled huge holes into the terrain to create their archetypal underground lairs. It rapidly became an industrialised and dirty world and a valuable asset for Xylos.
A small proportion of the population who refused to abandon Ehoi fled to the remote, mountainous regions to the South. Although little reliable news gets out of Wun’Tux space, it is said these people wage a guerilla war against their Wun’Tux occupiers, with bombs and traps and all sorted destruction. The new Illayko government dampen down any rumour of the survivors, lest they undermine their credibility.
To all intents and purposes the NV-7 (Nicknamed ‘Envy’) is a fighter-scale ship built around a capital-scale cannon. The main and only gun is disproportionately powerful, allowing the ship to prevail against much larger targets.
The vessel is a one-of-a-kind, stolen from the Blackmane Defence Innovations lab around Pluto by a greedy researcher but stolen again by it’s current pilot. Not a lot is known about her, but rumours abound she is one of the more successful end products of Project Atlas.
Regarded as a loose cannon, even in mercenary circles, Envy’s pilot cannot be accused of cowardice or lack of ambition.
Manufacturer: Blackmane Defence Innovations
Weaponry: 1 x ‘Razorbeam’ Rail Cannon (armour piercing)
FTL: Capable (short-jumps)
The Tiburon-class Corvette the capital ship workhorse of the Gnobo League. Similar to corvettes belonging to other races and groups, the Tiburon’s main role is to escort and protect larger ships. The Gnobo ship is remarkable in that it features zero point defence weaponry; it’s offensive capabilities centre around a pair of double-barrelled particle cannons.
The ship typifies the gun-ho Gnobo tactical approach. There is no finesse in it’s electronic systems, it’s shields are strictly average. These are not features the shipwrights prioritise. Instead, reinforced bulkhead and integrated armour plates mean the Tiburon is built to take a beating. This means the Tiburon can go head-to-head with frigates and destroyers and come out the other side in one piece.
It’s obvious vulnerability is to enemy fightercraft, so the Gnobo mercenary brigades usually field the ship with an escort of Gun Skiffs. This Tiburon-Skiff combination is the most affordable option to most people looking to buy Gnobo assistance; it is not uncommon to see these corvettes fighting against each other on behalf of their respective employers, such is their prevalence.
Manufacturer: Various Gnobo Shipwrights
Role: Ship-to-ship assault, escort
Weaponry: 2 x Particle Cannons (double-barrelled, turreted)
Above: A Gnobo warrior wielding an extended punch-cudgel
The Gnobo melee weapon of choice is the Taboor; loosely translated as ‘punch-cudgel’. Unlike the Illayko whisper hatchet, which has a utility use as well as a martial one, the punch-cudgel is utilised solely for fighting.
One Taboor (or two for experienced pugilists) is strapped to the user’s dominant forearm. It sits underneath so that the line of the weapon is closest to the wielder’s little finger. When inactive, the unit is folded in on itself and forms a not unwieldy bump on the forearm. When activated the ‘neck’ and ‘head’ extend forward past the user’s hand and the control prong folds out into their hand.
On the most fundamental level, the Taboor works like an old-fashioned ton-fa, albeit it swaps adaptability for strength in being strapped to someone’s arm. The weapon can be used to deflect attacks as well as pummel opponents at longer range than mere fists alone. Advanced models have a length control, allowing their users to reduce the effective length of the weapon if they are caught in the confines of a small passageway; perfect for ship-to-ship action.
Gnobo tend to wear a Taboor as part of their battle dress; it’s use is taught in basic military training and emphasised throughout military or mercenary life. When disputes between individuals necessitate settlement by combat, Taboor are almost always the preferred implement.
The Wun’Tux Gunship is the second most common warship fielded by the BroodClans. Legend has it that the first humans abducted by the invaders whispered about gunships coming to rescue them and the Wun’Tux took the idea very literally, creating a ship built literally around a gun.
The Gunship is crewed half by young Wun’Tux and half by slaves. The slaves work long, back-breaking hours in the most dangerous parts of the ship, particularly it’s largest cannon. Poorly manufactured fragmentation shells can explode and kill the slave crew; the Wun’Tux are quick to source another.
The gun in question is one of the spinally-mounted fragmentation cannons the Wun’Tux prefer. Large-bore and devestating when used against thin armour and hull plating, the weapon is adept at targetting enemies in space but can destroy terrestrial targets from orbit, too.
A pair of pulse cannons complete the arsenal, a fearsome combination for such a small vessel. It has flaws to match, however. With no turreted weapons, the Gunship is vulnerable from various directions; this is most readily exploited by nimble fightercraft.
Soril Tulaco (aka the ‘Merry Major’) is a pariah from the people for whom he was once a figure of hope and survival. Soril cut his teeth as a P-22 pilot during the Illayko–Gnobo conflicts, becoming an ace at a very young age. His skill in battle combined with his loquacious, friendly character led to a peacetime role as head of recruitment and training. He was drumming up new recruits for the Illayko Defence Force (IDF) on a outlying colony world when the Wun’Tux invasion began. His small staff of soldiers marshalled the recruits and civilians against the interlopers; Soril himself took to the sky in his P-22 to battle the incoming fightercraft. His unit, meanwhile, concentrated fire on the troop carriers; destroying them before they could drop troops and equipment. This stern resistance was witnessed by thousands of colonists and broadcast on newsreels to hundreds of thousands more – Soril and his tight-knit team became heroes overnight.
Glory is fleeting, however, and as the tide of war turned against the Illayko, Soril’s fortunes followed. When the border fell his unit followed the Wun’Tux invaders deeper and deeper into Illayko territory, conducting hit-and-run attacks at the Wun’Tux weak spots as they went. All of their work, however, was for naught – Ehoi fell following a brief siege. As the Illayko struggled to evacuate civilians and politicians, the Major’s group were one of the units covering the huge airlift. They paid heavily for it – 80% of his men dead, his right eye and left leg lost following a near suicidal attack on a Clanship.
Following their slow limp to a new home the Illayko had little need for soldiers. Worse still, an irrational and angry surviving population blamed the military for their loss and the following devastation. Soril joined many other veterans on the galaxy’s mercenary books.
Oddly, Soril lacks the bitter resentment which characterises his old comrades-in-arms. The original war reports followed his exploits in part due to his upbeat nature and irrepressible cheer in the face of adversity. Even following the conflict and the treatment by his own people, Soril’s garrulous spirit seemed undiminished – hence his nickname “the Merry Major”. When spoken to about the war, his losses and the terrible fallout he airs towards the philosophical.
The present day ‘Major’ leads an elite band of Illayko veterans as soldiers-for-hire. Their expertise with Illayko weaponry (the whisper hatchet, particle projectors and the like) make them highly desired in close-combat situations. They field a pair of P-22 Warspites for operations necessitating aerial or astral support. Unlike other Illayko mercenaries, the Major and his men don’t give preference to work targeting the Wun’Tux.
Above: The Major’s P-22, with custom paintjob and ECM suite.
The Illayko Defence Force (IDF) are the military arm of the Illayko people. Historically formed to protect against the nearby Gnobo League, the IDF was a capable sword and shield against local aggression.
The Wun’Tux invasion changed all of this. Illayko space had lay in the path of one of the frequent Wun’Tux civil wars and accidentally became a prize to be fought over. Outnumbered and out-gunned, the ships and soldiers of the IDF protected their people with blood, sweat and tears. Their final battle occurred over and on Ehoi, the lush jungle homeworld of the Illayko people. Although a tactical rout and disaster, the IDF achieved it’s aim of protecting the giant civilian flotilla escaping to a new territory in the galactic ‘South’.
The new Illayko lands were far from anywhere and anyone; the military which had faced decimation in the war was effectively disbanded into a small defence and policing force. This reduced IDF keeps the peace within their borders but is a military threat to few. The majority of the survivors and veterans turned their hand to mercenary work; the bitterness of the loss of their homeworld and history makes them angry, unpredictable enemies.
The P-22 Warspite was the most common IDF and Illayko mercenary vessel.
The Illayko Military was once a proud protector of order within their star systems. Before humans were even settled on Mars, the Illayko Defence Force (IDF) bested the three major Gnobo Mercenary Brigades in battle, convincing their galactic neighbours they were not to be trifled with.
These skirmishes were nothing compared to the assaults of the Wun’Tux. The reptilian race were at war with themselves, the outlying BroodClans were hungrier than ever for resources and Illayko worlds became the new prizes in their civil war.
The P-22 Warspite was the most numerous ship fielded by the IDF. A rough equivalent to a human Strike Fighter, it was manoeuvrable enough for dogfighting and could travel Faster-Than-Light independently. The design necessitated two crew: a pilot and gunner working in harmony. And the Wun’Tux War created a whole lot of work.
The P-22s were needed all over the border. They usually faced 3-to-1 odds against forces of Twinfangs and came out on top – at least in the beginning. When the border crumbled and Wun’Tux warships raided where they pleased, small groups of Warspites struck in reply, making the reptiles pay in blood for every victory. And masses of Wun’Tux ships set their sights on the Illayko home world, P-22 crews died to cover the exodus escape.
The remnant of the Illayko struggled to build itself a new home. Politicians, builders, miners, planners; all of these people came together to create stability. There was no place for warriors. Feeling bitter and betrayed, most of these soldiers took their ships and expertise away to the galaxy at large. They ply their trade with a grim determination and particular hatred for the Wun’Tux and Gnobo.
Warspites are capable in a range of roles, but their biggest strength is in attack. Their crews fight as if with nothing to lose; it is said their bloodlust kills more enemies than their particle cannons.
Manufacturer: The Illayko Forgeworks
Role: Attack, patrol, assault
Crew: 2 (1 pilot, 1 gunner)
Weaponry: 2 x Particle Cannons
FTL: Capable (short-jumps)
The Illayko race were travelling the stars long before humans. Physically tall, muscular and humanoid, they evolved from tree-dwelling omnivores on their home planet. The Illayko grew to controlled a large area of space to the Galactic East, their behaviour to other species neither overly aggressive or pointedly peaceful. Their most famous planet was Ehoi, their lush jungle homeworld. Large, stable and teeming with life, the planet is still spoken of in hushed tones – but nowadays for all the wrong reasons.
Above: Typical Illayko male
Ten years before humans reached Alpha Centuari, trouble came a-calling. A civil war within the core Wun’Tux worlds meant the outlying BroodClans could expand in only one direction – outwards still. The Illayko became the next resource in this Wun’Tux civil war – they were attacked by numerous factions on several fronts. Distant colonies were besieged, their populations harvested as slaves. With no allies and no apparent hope, the leaders fled ‘South’ with a fleet of colony ships, the surviving Illayko military paid heavily to protect them.
Ehoi was left virtually unguarded. Those not airlfted in the retreat became the largest ever single slave haul of a Wun’Tux BroodClan. A small proportion of those left behind resisted, using their knowledge of local geography and conditions to flee the Wun’Tux, to make every invading step painful. The majority became slaves in their own homes as the Wun’Tux civil war expanded onto their doorsteps. Modern day Ehoi is situated well within Wun’Tux territory. It’s towering palaces and walkways are rubble, replaced with the drab, ungainly structures of the Wun’Tux.
The new Illayko worlds were chosen in haste – they remain under-developed and isolated from many trade routes. The government is loosely organised and poorly led – politicians lack the confidence of the population. The soldiers who protected the retreat from Ehoi are held in similar contempt, treated as failures for their unavoidable defeat; the surviving veterans of the war are bitter and twisted. The fledgling government could offer them little work, opportunity or chance to retaliate and their anger simmers under the surface, undiminished. Now they scour the galaxy for work suitable for their skillsets: bounty hunting, assassination and hired muscle are the most common roles.
Above: Typical Illayko bounty hunter
Their tragic story has had unexpected fallout. The most angry of the Illayko are vocal in their feelings of betrayal: by their leaders and the rest of the galaxy. They accuse the Gnobo and Vonn of presiding over their near extinction and seize on any opportunity to do either race damage. Indeed, whatever ethical code they originally had has disintegrated; instead they pursue profit and power over others to extreme lengths. Some are so lost and jaded that they are even known to keep slaves of their own in some odd vengeful twist to the universe at large.