The Crescent Corps

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The Black Moon Union enforces its will through intimidation, threat and fear. The capable assassins of the Crescent Corps killers are one of the many tools they use to do so. They are able to infiltrate heavily guarded locations and abduct or eliminate high value targets at the behest of their masters. Few rivals and rebels against the Union live to tell stories of the Crescents and their grizzly work.

They are highly trained; lithe, acrobatic and strong. Their armour is flexible enough to allow them to climb and vault varied architecture and their most iconic feature (the facemask ventilator) means they can survive hostile atmospheres and even short periods in vacuum. Rumour even indicates the Crescents flood target areas with poison gas before starting their hits, sowing fear and confusion before they move.

Their only weapon is a cruel, sickle-like blade. It is sharpened to the nanometre, capable of cutting through a wide range of materials with ease. The ‘corps use these blades not only for killing but climbing and sabotage to boot.

The few shadowy individuals working in the Crescent Corps are more myth than man; their deeds and feats have led to rumours they are something more than human, even graduates from a post-Project Atlas experiment, created by the exiled Professor Yacof. These rumours remain unconfirmed.

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The Magpies

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The 24th Irregulars, aka the Magpies, are a group of British privateers named for their love of precious materials and shiny things. They have an old fashioned letter of Marquee to the crown and raid on Her Majesty’s behalf around the Rim, striking enemies of the crown and taking their loot as fair reward. This puts them into conflict most with the various human bandits, like the Black Moon Union, as well as the Wun’Tux and Hirudin.

The 24th are a motley crew; motivations for joining differ greatly from person to person. The lion’s share of Magpies are retired Commonwealth servicepeople; forced out of the service by age but still full of vigour. They also accept people who have been ejected or forced to resign from the armed services and give them another chance. They are forgiving just the once; anyone caught abusing this second chance are seldom heard from again. Unlike your common mercenary, a Magpie has a sense of honour and allegiance to more than money. Their letter of Marquee guarantees such.

The group uses a mixed bag of military surplus; mostly British cast-offs. It’s most recognisable ship is painted the black and white of their namesake and features sweeping, bird-like wings to hammer the point home. These were once Type-34 Minelayers but have been re-purposed into warships capable of carrying externally racked fighters from raid to raid. These fighters are almost always reconditioned T-27s given a second lease of life under a new banner.

The Magpie T-27

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The British Leyland Type-27 fighter became outmoded during the Third Age of humanity; it was superseded by the superior Keepsake. This upgrade programme led to an increasing amount of defunct Type-27s – a significant proportion of which were available as military surplus.

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The Magpies – a notorious group of British privateers – bought all the 27s they could lay their hands on and set about retrofitting the fighters to serve in the modern age. The ships were given a shiny new coat of sensor-baffling stealth paint. Additionally, a suite of modern targeting and counter-measure electronics was installed in the white bundle, just behind the cockpit.

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Although incapable of independent Faster-Than-Light travel (the Magpies transport and deploy their fighters on external racks) these Magpie-27s have proven themselves quite capable in the opportunistic pirate actions of the privateers and gained a second life and reputation after their first round of military deployment. Many of the Magpie pilots are retired British military personnel; their familiarity with the ship made them just that bit more deadly behind the controls.

The Half Nova

The Half Nova

The Half Nova is a combat dropship utilised by The Long Draw Mercenary Company. It is named after the most risky bluff in a Gurdergen game of chance. The Half Nova is a strategy involves convincing one’s opponent that your hidden tokens match the visible tokens at the centre of the table to make a ‘Full’ Nova – when they do no such thing. A very high stakes Half Nova hand won the ship’s captain, Yllo, requisite funds to buy the ship and he named it in the hand’s hounor.

The Half Nova

Yllo is a rare type of Gurdergen; a proverbial ‘adrenaline junkie’ (though his race lack the ability to produce the substance), he thrives on adventure over commerce. This risk-happy behaviour first presented in his gambling which went on to finance his education as a pilot and finally his pride and joy: The Half Nova.
The ship is base to mercenaries of diverse origins; humans, Gnobo and Illayko. Yllo is known to take his ship into very hazardous conditions and his band of mercenaries are paid well for the danger they face, meaning the Long Draw attracts high quality and highly unstable individuals.

The Half Nova

The ship isn’t heavily armed; its main weapon the combination of speed and the reckless endeavour of its Captain. Its straight line speed is unrivalled by all but the fastest fightercraft and its suite of ECM and other countermeasures can ward off quick-moving agressors. It also features armoured airlocks for quick and safe infantry deployment and extraction.

The Half Nova has its own landing pad on the Seven-Seven Gambling Rig on the Gurdergen homeworld; when not on mission the crew can usually be found there, spending their (very) hard earned currency.

The Gurdergen

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The Gurdergen are a race of fish-like humanoids who reside on a handful of planets scattered throughout the galactic ‘West’. They are known predominantly as traders, merchants and marketeers with a general aversion to violence and war. Their savvy control of several important markets and resources grants them importance despite their lack of military might.

The Gurdergen did not achieve trade supremacy through diplomacy and niceties, however. They were dealt a reasonably lucky hand to begin with; their homeplanet is rich in the so-called ‘rare earth’ elements required for advanced computing and technology. Even the most conniving of the human megacorporations had no choice but to do business with them in order to secure a supply. The Gurdergen displayed a natural talent for negotiation (be it for official funding or bribes, bungs and otherwise) and milked these deals for all they were worth.

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These funds were used to finance new enterprise; mining, exploration, infrastructure – anything which would lead to more profit and their continuing existence as necessary trade arbiters. The strategy was led by a powerful group of the richest Gurdergen, known only as The Five.

Although not themselves inclined towards violence, the deep pockets of Gurdergen merchants means they can afford to buy muscle. Their usual armed assistance comes from Gnobo mercenary brigades, although several human ‘corporate security’ companies have successfully horned in on this business. These hired guns provide security around the Gurdergen homeworlds as well as for the convoys and merchant traffic through the galaxy at large. These merchant vessels remain tempting targets for pirates and malcontents regardless. Such criminals are punished harshly by Gurdergen if caught; The Five have a particularly nasty reputation for revenge.

Mercenaries are also used (less successfully) to protect from Wun’Tux, who occasionally probe as far ‘West’ as to reach Gurdergen territory. Gurdaergen are viewed as very poor slaves; they have low tolerances to heat and hard labour. This doesn’t stop their capture by the Wun’Tux, however, and they view the reptilian invaders with a suitable amount of fear.

To refer to the Gurdergen as corrupt is an exaggeration featuring a grain of truth. Transparency in their business affairs is rare, bribes are commonplace and their system of trade and commerce certainly relies on an ‘old boys’ network.

From the outside looking in they operate a very complex and tangled string of operations. This secrecy enables the race to mix legitimate business with more illicit trade; members of The Five are known to run cargo for the mysterious Hirudin; particularly cargo too important to trust to the often naive Trinax thralls. Although the major human players consider this shadowy alliance with the Hirudin a betrayal, they have neither the will nor the ability to ban trade with the Gurdergen cartels.
They maintain well-appointed embassies and keep up diplomatic relations with most modern civilisations, excluding the remote Illayko government and the Wun’Tux and, in spite of their reputation as double-dealers, are known as hospitable hosts who rarely discriminate against other races (providing they have adequate funds, of course.)

Container Transport

Container Transport

The Gurdergen are a race primarily concerned with trade and commerce. This container transport is one of their most common craft and can be seen in friendly ports throughout the galaxy.

Container Transport

Its most recognisable feature are the four underslung cargo attachments which augment the internal cargo capacity. Various types of containers can be attached here via magnetic means; hazardous materials in particular are favourite candidates for external carrying as they can be easily jettisoned in case of contamination.

Container Transport

The ship is unarmed and slow; it requires escort to keep it safe. The high volume of cargo capacity makes it an attractive target to pirates and other economic raiders.

The SAA-H

The SAA-H

The SAA-H is an Illayko vehicle officially designated as the Strategic Armoured Artillery (Hover) and has seen various upgrades since its introduction to active service.

It features just one weapon, a high-output particle cannon capable of inflicting high damage at medium to long range. The combination of this weapon and the high manoeuvrability made the armour an flexible and effective battleground asset.

The SAA-H

The SAA-H has seen action in a number of major historic battles of the Illayko people. Most famously, regiments of SAA-Hs launched an ambush against dropships of the Gnobo League during their assault on Ompolor VII, blunting the assault and starting the counter attack against the invaders.

Conversely, the SAA-H was outclassed and outgunned during the Wun’Tux invasion of Illayko territory. Its agility and manoeuvrability were wasted when under siege or sustained assault from the heavier armour of the reptile forces.

The pictured example is seen leaving a Forward Operating Base during the battle of Ompolor VII.

Dau III

Gold Mining on Dau III

Dau is a five planet star system situated on the ‘east’ edge of human space. The third planet was discovered and developed by Blackmane Industries, mainly due to the rich veins of gold ore discovered close to its surface.

Gold Mining on Dau III

Aside from being a precious metal, gold remains a useful element in electronics and power regulation. Eager to keep the place a secret, Blackmane kept the discovered world a secret until they had fully deployed resource gathering equipment on the length and breadth of the major ore deposits. Although this contravened several corporate laws and led to million dollar-pound fines, the cost to the company’s monetary reserves and reputation was far offset by the cash boost from Dau III.

Gold Mining on Dau III

Gladiator Mechs

Gladiator Bots

GIAT Industries manufactured the ‘Gladiator’ over a decade ago as a front-line, multi-functional battle walker to be deployed along the border of the new colony line of the European Union

An entirely versatile walker, the ‘Gladiator’ has a set pair of legs and armoured torso but the arm-based weaponry is inherently swappable. The two models who the ability to equip long range rifles, short range fragmentation weapons and even shoulder-mounted energy throwers.

The patents to this design were bought (for a song) by SDI who have began to produce modern upgrade and augmentation kits for remaining operators.

The Gladiator is old enough to have been partly phased out of the European frontline, and can be seen in the hands of mercenaries, bandits and the prize fighters of certain tournaments on the Galactic Rim. Easily bested by modern technology, it is preferred by the more old fashioned mech pilot.

The Sunken Library

The Sunken Library is a site of cultural importance to the Oroso and the galaxy at large. It contains the ancient texts and records from thousands of years before the Oroso discovered Faster-Than-Light travel.

Some of the oldest tomes reference visitors from other planets. Others document ruins and artefacts found beneath the Serrovir tundra containing alien structures and writing, now lost beneath glacier drifts. These references are cryptic, however.

Academics disagree on many of the meanings and connotations – some scholars even think the concept a fairy tale or a hoax.