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Author Topic: Empire of the Indigo Star -- Sci Fi political intrigue freeform original setting  (Read 21198 times)

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Offline NiferbelleTopic starter

The Empire of the Indigo Star

Nearly a millennia ago, humans were scattered across the galaxy, with nearly as many leaders and governments as there were stars. With nothing to unify them, they fell into a series of petty squabbles and wars that never seemed to end, and civilization nearly fell apart in their wake. It was in this dark time a leader emerged, Martius the Great, who swept through on the winds of war but left peace behind him. It took nearly his entire lifetime but on the day that he died he left a mankind that was unified under his rule with power distributed equally through nine other Great Houses, one time enemies that became his advisors and generals. Centuries later this system is preserved – the Great Houses still vie for position under the hand of an Emperor whose authority is absolute and thus mankind has continued to prosper and grow. Long live the Empire!

The Empire of the Indigo Star is a free form game set in a far future where technology is advanced but the culture is feudal. Characters will be members of one the Great Houses only to be swept up in the intrigue and cutthroat politics of business as usual in the Empire. It is an original setting that was created with the input and help of several other players in the world-building forum – an experiment come to life![/b]

There is a good chance that characters might be at odds with each other from time to time in this game so I am looking for mature players who are solid writers. It will be very important for writers to separate IC from OOC, please keep that in mind. As GM I will have ongoing plots and will try to keep them moving along though I intend to allow some sandboxing as well. I will not automatically approve all players/characters necessarily if I get a lot of submissions as I don't want to start with a huge cast. Finally, I will be placing the game in the Extreme section as those kinds of situations could conceivably come up, however, no writer will be forced into an Extreme situation by the GMs or another player -- extreme content must have the consent of the writer and will be used sparingly. Aiden will be my co-GM and should be copied on any PMs regarding the game. More information about the setting is in the next few posts. It’s a lot to read but it will give you a basic grasp of the way things are. Thank you for reading all this!

Threads of Interest

« Last Edit: January 13, 2016, 12:06:33 pm by Niferbelle »

Offline NiferbelleTopic starter


The Burden of Femininity
Women in the Empire do not enjoy the same status as men. Inheritance is a male to male proposition and as in ancient days, marriage is often the glue that holds alliances together. Women are expected to fulfill the traditional roles of wife, mother, and organizer of the household, with a little more latitude given to spinsters and widows. The highest qualities that a woman can possess in this society is fertility, a gentle tongue, a willingness to please, and diligence toward the care of her family. There are always exceptions to the rule of course but this is true of the vast majority of women from any social class. Women are expected to dress modestly and especially among the upper classes, are not allowed to be out and about unchaperoned. The notion of romantic love is of course discouraged and the vast majority of marriages are arranged.
     As always there is an underside to things. Women are of course still taken as mistresses and concubines, a practice that is accepted if not discussed though the women in those roles are generally shunned by society at large. Those that serve at the whim of more wealthy patrons have developed their own social structure with merchants and businesses that tailor to their needs specifically. Lower still are the women taken as indentured servants or slaves, whose fates are entirely in the hands of their masters. The matter of bastards is left up to the head of the household – if he publically recognizes the child as his own then it is expected that the child be accepted as a full member of that household without question even by other noble families. If a child is not recognized, they can expect no special consideration and can only be grateful for anything gifted to them by their parent.

Of Human Bondage
Slavery in the Empire is only legal in specific forms. The first is indentured servitude. Defaulting on your debts is considered a crime and courts most commonly assign the offender to work off the debt with their creditor. The second from of legalized slavery involves sentenced felons. Any criminals that are incarcerated are available for purchase. The length of their servitude depends on the length of their sentence -- if you were sentenced to ten years, you would serve ten years as a slave. If sentenced to life, you would die in servitude. Both indentured servants and felon slaves are fitted with internal trackers so they can always be located. Additionally felon slaves are tattooed on their faces to make their status obvious and also injected with nanites that will kill them in seconds when activated. While there are limitations on who can enslaved, there is virtually no regulation for their treatment and little recompense for harm done to them (short of cold-blooded murder but most find it easy to lie about that and get away with it).

Have Wormhole Will Travel
Faster than light travel was never developed rather mankind took to the stars through the use of wormholes. This become known as burrowing or to burrow. In the early days of space exploration travel was dangerous as it was difficult to determine what was on the other side of the wormhole  being created and so there was always the possibly peril of coming out too close to a star planet, asteroid, etc. and your hull being pierced. Fortunately these days it is extremely safe, Beacons have been set out at specific jump points throughout the Empire so a burrowing ship will always know ahead of time that the way is clear. Occasionally there are some who will still try a blind burrow due to exigent circumstances and to mixed results.

The Great Houses
Each of the Great Houses is assigned a sector of the Empire and all the systems and resources within it. Though most of the Houses have kept the same territory throughout most of their history, it is never forgotten that the Emperor could at any time give or take away and he does so on occasion when displeased. While ostensibly they are to be the hand of the Emperor in far flung places, of course there isn’t one of them that wouldn’t leap at the chance to win the Imperial Seat. Fraught with rivalries and alliances both public and private, wading into House politics is much like traversing a mine field. Each House has its own unique culture that sets it apart though the appearance of decorum and proper behavior.
     The Head of the House is known as Duke, his children as Prince or Princess. There is no Duchess title -- his wife is referred to as Lady or Princess if she is the daughter of a Duke. Within each House there are lesser noble families serving the Duke -- Counts, Barons, and Earls -- all of whom are referred to as Lord, their wives and daughters as Lady.
     Given the Emperor’s age and his lack of male heir, this is an especially active time for the Houses, all of whom hope to marry a male heir off to the eldest of the Emperor’s daughters. This would effectively move that House into the Emperor’s Seat and so change the fortunes of the House forever. There are few lines they will not be willing to cross to achieve this end.

Marriage is central to life in the Empire. In a time where mankind is colonizing the vastness of space, an ever increasing population is needed. As a result, marriage and children are central to Imperial life. It is considered your duty to have a large family and contribute to the growth of the Empire. There is a definite double standard regarding sexual matters between the sexes – people do not give a second thought to men having mistresses and fathering children outside of their marriage but adultery for a woman is considered a serious crime. Noble women are expected to be ‘pure’ before marriage but this does not hold true for the lower classes. In fact. For some a healthy sexual appetite in a woman before marriage is considered a good sign (though she is expected to remain faithful to her husband after).

People of course fall all over the spectrum and while male-female couplings are most prevalent, same sex attraction is considered a natural part of life though there are some unique perspectives on it. For instance, if a married woman takes another woman as a lover, that is not considered adultery (men of course can do what they want with other women so other men are certainly not an issue). Same sex marriages are not prohibited, however, same sex couples will face the same pressure to procreate and have children as any other couple would (whether through adoption or the use of biogenetics).

Do to the importance placed on procreation, large families are common. Multiple births also occur frequently as fertility drugs are used sometimes even when they’re not necessary, just as insurance.

Sacred Life
Religion plays an important role in the society of the Empire. Heresy is considered a serious offense (though the definition of it can be a bit tricky) and few have the courage to openly admit to atheism. There are three deities that are worshipped, each with its own sphere of influence, though as with most religions, there are disagreements on the details. There are hundreds of sects as a result. The basics, however, are as follows.

LUXIAN, the god of Light, the architect of Creation, the genesis of all. He is a being of action, power, control, wealth, strength and growth. He is generally associated with the positive – any outcome you would wish for would likely be attributed to him. His symbol is a large raptor clasping a fruit branch in his talon.

NYXANI, the mother of Darkness, the harbinger of Entropy, the bringer of the End. Weakness, passivity, loss, and decay are her realms. Natural disaster, illness, and accidents are said to be her work. Some honor her in acknowledgement in the importance of her role in the balance of the universe – most simply seek to appease her so as not to become a victim of her ire. Her symbol is the scarab which is known for cleaning the bones of the dead.

MYSTERIAN, the Unknown, the embodiment of Mystery, the Guardian of Transition. Mysterian is sometimes referred to as he, sometimes she, sometimes with no acknowledgement of gender. It is generally agreed that Mysterian is neither male nor female however – to some he/she has no gender, others say he/she possesses both simultaneously, still others that the being switches between genders depending on the situation. This is all considered a matter of interpretation. You pray to Mysterian for luck when it’s needed, for the answer to questions yet unfathomed, for guidance through the impenetrable both physical and moral. He is also known as the patron of space travel. His symbol is the serpent which transitions many times during its life.

The Ten Houses

House Xavendir
COAT OF ARMS: Indigo Imperial star on a field of gold (Imperial standard)
 A red fist clutching an arrow on a split field of grey and white (House standard)

EMPEROR:  Zerezaan Owynne Xavendir

HEIRS: No male heirs. Several unwed daughters.

RECENT HISTORY: The Emperor by most people's calculations must be past his 90s though he shows no sign of slowing down. It is only recently that he began presenting his daughters in public --all offspring of his concubines as he never married -- and there is a rumor being passed that he had any male infants born to him killed. There is some hope that the appearance of his daughters means that his health is failing and the Imperial Seat will once again be open which is some cause for celebration given his unpopularity.

NOTABLE FOR: A mercurial temperament coupled with a cruel streak. Seemingly  having eyes everywhere. Cunning and decisive with his enemies. Any number of rumors involving his many perversions.

STRENGTHS: Absolute power. He's the Emperor, after all. The ability to give and take any resource/system/territory etc. Can make law, pass sentences unilaterally. Personally commands legions of the Indigo Guard which is fanatically loyal and arguably the most skilled troops in the Empire. Vast intelligence resources. Zerezaan has been fascinated by the mysterious House Potemkin since its reappearance and continues to make allowances for them and in return, they are the strongest of his few genuine supporters and may be supplanting House Saiah. The technology of House Potemkin in the Emperor's service would make the Imperial House virtually unassailable.

WEAKNESSES: Has managed to anger pretty much every House and there are few who wouldn't take a shot at him if they thought they could get away with it. Inflexible. Arrogant.  Somewhat ruled by his whims.

House Atalaryk
COAT OF ARMS: Argent (silver) chevron on a field of black.

DUKE: Tarrek El'Essen Atalaryk 

HEIRS: The Duke is unmarried but has a surviving uncle and three living brothers.

RECENT HISTORY: Tarrek has only been Duke for a few months. His father was a vigorous man who died rather suddenly in what is being categorized as an accident. There are rumors of course that the old Duke was killed but speculation about who might have been responsible for that changes depending on who's telling the tale.

NOTABLE FOR: The Atalaryks, since the House's inception has been the protector of the Frontier, that is, the border region surrounding Imperial Space. They have the largest territory of all the Houses but it is relatively lacking in resources. Their status was greater at the time of first contact when it wasn't known for certain the Xeno Alliance would be friendly but since the aliens have posed no threat, this status has waned. They are seen as a stubborn bunch that is more than a little rough around the edges -- uncouth some might say -- but are also known to be straightforward in their dealings. They allow their women far too much freedom and as a result, Atalaryk brides are rarely sought after. They marry most frequently among the lesser nobility that serve the House. It is rumored that the House refuses to use GELs as a labor force.

STRENGTHS: House Atalaryk has the largest navy of all the Houses which is necessary to patrol the far reaches of the Frontier. When it comes to ship to ship combat, there are no finer tacticians in the Empire. As their holdings are so remote, no others know the Frontier so well and it is relatively easy for them to operate with few prying eyes about.

WEAKNESSES: Their holdings are so spread out it is something of a logistical nightmare to keep track of. Their fleet is large but also aging since a lack of resources in their space means they are somewhat dependent on the Emperor for new ships and he has been stingy in the last couple decades. They have no formal alliances with the other Houses so if they got themselves into trouble they'd have to get out of it on their own.

House Dhaaz
COAT OF ARMS: Outline of a tree in a yellow circle on a split red and white field

DUKE: Gherien Saulisonis Dhaaz   

HEIRS: Unmarried, no children, brother and many nephews

RECENT HISTORY: Like Tarrek of House Atalaryk, Gherien only recently ascended to the head of his House and is one of the younger Dukes. Gherien’s father, the former Duke, is still alive but suffering from dementia so severe that he was no longer able to function as Duke. Gherien is not the eldest son but his older brother refused to take the seat, leaving it for Gherien. 

NOTABLE FOR: Developing and still possessing the secrets to all the greatest biotechnological advances in the Empire including mechanical augmentation and genetic engineering. GELs, the labor force most Houses rely on for mass production, are available only from Dhaaz which has made them quite wealthy. Rumors abound that  House Dhaaz has even greater technology than they are sharing and that the gods only know what they have growing in their labs.

STRENGTHS: Wealth. Highest level of biotechnology of all the Houses. Produces GEL troops quickly and in great number.

WEAKNESSES: They have no standing army of their own to speak but rely on mercenaries and GEL forces for defense when necessary (GEL troops are a double-edged sword – they can be made in great numbers but are generally poorly trained and require a great deal of supervision). Plenty of other Houses would like to get their hands on what Dhaaz has and are always trying to lure their leading scientists away or worse. Gherien is an untested leader and there is some internal dissension regarding his ascension. 

*a Cyrano Johnson creation*
COAT OF ARMS: Golden interlaced septagram radiant on blue field.

DUKE: Haora (Duke) Marafeadhira Rovona V, a.k.a. "Razayana" ("The Raider"), Duke of Beyran and Protector of Sector Deonaru *

HEIRS: Xai (Prince) Tsayafa Rovona, a.k.a. "Prince Yafa," Marquess of Nabara and Acting Protector of Sector Deonaru **
Xai (Prince) Gamenkaga Imera-Rovona, a.k.a. "Prince Kaga," Marquess of Kaumara
- (m. to Othoro (Princess) Laila Rovona, a.k.a. "Ushan" ("The Cloud"), Marquise of Kaumara)

* ailing and effectively withdrawn from public life
** currently the public face of the dynasty

RECENT HISTORY: An ancient House from an obscure mixture of Terran cultural offshoots, they control a multitude of small organics- and mineral-rich planetoid settlements in the seven systems of Sector Deonaru.

The current Haora or Duke, Razayana, is a cantankerous figure close in age to the Emperor himself, but in ill health and these days seen in public only at state functions. He has an army of children, legitimate and otherwise, but his most direct heir is the glamorous playboy Prince Yafa, beloved of the masses and effectively now the dynasty's head and public face. His most clearly capable heir, though, is the elder Prince Kaga, who rumour has it is already running much of the family's data acquisition business... but who unfortunately is a more distant relative hailing from an inferior distaff branch of the House. Kaga's claim to the ducal throne comes through his wife, the Duke's young but brilliant daughter Othoro (Princess) Laila Rovona, a famous beauty nicknamed "Ushan" or "Cloud" by the people; she is rumoured to chafe at her powerless position and eager to seek influence through her husband.

NOTABLE FOR: Once proudly warlike, House Rovona has reinvented itself over the past several centuries as a conspicuous sponsor of high culture and, more importantly, a player in intelligence gathering and data-brokering. It sponsors a wide variety of scholarly, artistic and religious foundations which operate widely throughout the Empire and whose ranks are heavily-riddled with various sorts of Rovona operatives, informers, analysts, hackers and even mech-augmented assassins.

STRENGTHS: Employs a very compact but serviceable and modern navy, but by far House Rovona's greatest asset is its large, diverse and professional secret service, which provides a valuable edge in negotiating with and scheming against other Houses. The former Rovonian fame for ruthlessness in warfare has since translated to their reputation as shadow operators.

WEAKNESSES: House Rovona's financial resources are constrained by its limited territory, which makes maintaining its military and intelligence infrastructure a serious burden that is becoming increasingly noticeable to its subjects. The House's unity of purpose is extremely fragile, with a major succession struggle looming on the near horizon as the reigning Duke retreats from public life; indeed the struggle may already have begun.

Prince Yafa, Marquess of Nabara and Acting Protector of Sector Deonaru

House Prawomir

*a Flower creation*
COAT OF ARMS: A black raven flying towards a blazing sun, blood falling from its claws.

DUCHESS:  Ghalia Prawomir, Blessed and Beloved Mother of the People

HEIRS:  Djamel and Dahlia (Twin Heirs to the Church, currently six years of age)

RECENT HISTORY: The Duke has fallen. The controversial headline claimed every front page of news feeds. And, in its wake, the conspiracy theories followed. Some claimed his death was inevitable. He was a man who lived recklessly, threatened whomever did not bow before his superiority, and lived in a manner which went against the very precepts of the religion his Church held sacred. Others have whispered a possibility drenched in treachery. Blood had been spilled in the holy temple. This was no natural act. The whispers became loud enough to gain the attention of the authorities. For three long and stressful months, the citizens of the Indigo star screamed for House Prawomir to be brought to justice. Political officials however did not wish for their secrets to possibly become unearthed in the process of fulfilling those demands. Plus, if the people got it in their minds that one mighty house could be toppled from greatness, what would stop them from turning their eyes towards another?

They did not permit House Prawomir from fall.

Innocence or guilt was irrelevant in their eyes. Still, the damage had been done and their reputation suffered greatly as a consequence. Due to their loss of standing in the eyes of the public, they found it increasingly difficult to fill their ranks to the capacity. The widowed Duchess and current leader of the faith, backed into a corner, was forced to make a secret and treasonous deal with House Rovona in order to avoid ruination. Their combined efforts eventually represented her to the empire, not as a woman but a holy vessel, one who could receive messages directly from the Goddess. Where many would not hesitate to trample a woman underfoot, they hesitated to position themselves in a place which might anger the divine.

Slowly but surely, necessary changes were made to ensure House Prawomir did not become extinct as many of their enemies silently or vocally wished for. The temple, once only cared for by members of the upper echelons, now permitted lowly peasants the opportunity to aspire to heights that had not been available to them in the past. They could now dedicate their lives to the service of the goddess and, more importantly, the Duchess.

This allowance won them back the affection and devotion of the poor but infuriated the upper class all the more.

NOTABLE FOR:  Historically, House Prawomir has always cared for the temple of the goddess and acted as a figurehead, making all choices and decisions for which path the religion should take.

STRENGTHS: They hold a tremendous amount of sway over the general public.

WEAKNESSES: They are led by a woman; also, they have been practically ostracized because of their leader and recent controversy.

House Chainer

*an Aiden creation*

COAT OF ARMS: A manacled fist breaking free of its chains

DUKE: Tiberius Kane Chainer

HEIRS: Clint Kane Chainer (Eldest Son), Raynor Tyranus Chainer (3rd oldest), Jeska Rose Chainer, (eldest daughter, second oldest), Kamal Findley Chainer (youngest son) 

RECENT HISTORY: House Chainer and those who pledge their allegiance to them in their section of the empire are best known for defying logic and reason by mining the rich vespene gas and minerals of astroid belts and comets. House Chainer prefers to keep the other houses at bay unless they are in search of mineral rights or looking to establish or resign trade agreements.

Recently, Tiberius is constructing a great shipyard which will serve as a new waypoint for intergalactic travel, a feat made harder as it must find a way to both fund the project and honor its contracts and taxes to the Empire. House Chainer  has set its eyes on new uncharted space to expand its mining and harvest efforts.

NOTABLE FOR: Long ago, House Chainer was nothing but convicts, fugitives, refugees and the scum of the universe. The emperor at the time sent the condemned to work the (highly fatal) asteroid fields for resources, keeping them under heel by force. Augustus Chainer organized a rebellion and seized control of Empire holdings in what would later become territory of House Chainer.

A stalemate followed, the rich gas and mineral deposits of the area withheld while the empire embargoed and blockaded food and supplies. In the end an agreement was struck and House Chainer was born.

STRENGTHS: Rich in Mineral Ores/Metals and Vespene Gas, the lifeblood of ship construction. House Chainer is constantly hosting new trade merchants and envoys from the other houses who are looking trade. Chainer Steel is fine forged armor plating for war and work ships, all locally within the floating foundries and refineries that orbit the desolated worlds that belong to them.

WEAKNESSES: House Chainer has no lands capable of food growth or production of raw materials outside of ore and gas. Most of its population orbits the planets on large space colonies and platforms due to the hostile living environments.  House Chainer's "castle" is an orbiting space station that has a tendency to vanish (a secret that kept them in power during a civil war many generations earlier and other inter house wars). Because of this, they rely heavily on trade and alliances. Tiberius is now seeking suitors for his only daughter and pressuring their sons to find suitable houses to marry into and cement new alliances.

House Broedin
*an Amelita creation*

COAT OF ARMS: A bull's head shaped by grapes on one side and a harp on the other, topped by bull horns. Golden (and black) template on a green background.

DUKE: Carathir Broedin

HEIRS: 6 sons: Kiehm*, Dhalar**,  Jynai*, Unomir**, Nijarham** and Valair**.  A younger brother, several nephews and cousins (as well as sisters and nieces).
(16 daughters. There of only three politically eligible daughters, daughters of the woman who birthed Carathir's first son and was thereby offered marriage. The rest live with their mothers in Carathir's mansions but are not publicly recognized by him. A wife and four mistresses.)
*Sons of Carathir and his wife
**Sons of mistresses, all recognized.

RECENT HISTORY: Carathir has held steady reign over the house since his father died and he inherited the seat, at twenty years of age. He is now 63, his oldest child 42 and his oldest son 37. His younger brother, Toronak, attempted to have him assassinated six months ago and was executed in punishment by demand of the outraged common people Carathir graciously and humbly listened to. ::) The public execution was quite a show, a full week of festivals leading up to it. Toronak's sons slipped out of the spotlight and have not been publicly seen since. Some rumours are buzzing about them plotting to overthrow their uncle but nothing of that sort has been confirmed.

NOTABLE FOR: Diplomacy and hospitality, a colorful vibrant culture of arts and entertainment. Women are renowned for fertility and pleasant disposition, but also notoriously difficult to tame as wives. To some a challenge, to others a deal breaker, and some just want to be certain they'll be given sons.

STRENGTHS: Abundance of land resources, advanced farming and product processing technology, strong trading status.

WEAKNESSES: Slow military technology advancement and their meagre forces focused solely on defences. They rely on alliances, GELs or mercenaries to keep them from being one big booty for plundering, depending on how the trading winds blow.

House Saiah
COAT OF ARMS: Golden raptor clutching a fruit (the symbol of Luxian) tree branch on a purple field

DUKE:  Ruel Xin Saiah

HEIRS: Numerous sons and grandsons

RECENT HISTORY: Duke Saiah and his wife, A-Li are noted and popular figures throughout the Empire and are often held up as the standard to which all marriage couples should aspire. In their youth they were quite the glamorous couple, lauded for their religious convictions, their deep commitment to each other and the ever gracious and docile A-Li’s ability to pop out baby after baby. In all they had seventeen, each birth celebrated in the popular media.

NOTABLE FOR: For generations House Saiah has been a staunch supporter of Imperial power and a bastion of traditionalism and conservatism. You do not want to commit a crime in their territories for their punishments are harsh. Rather than dominate any one industry, they dabble in several and try to remain as self-sufficient as possible and due to their influence are also known to win Imperial contracts over Houses far better equipped to fulfill them. The Saiah consider themselves agents for Luxian and wear their piety like a crown. 

STRENGTHS: Saiah is almost as wealthy as Dhaaz but in their case due primarily to savvy investments and strict fiscal policies. They often make their investments through third parties and so occasionally will pop up in other Houses’ financial affairs unexpectedly. Though their military is not particularly large, their troops are comprised of career soldiers who are disciplined and considered second in skill only to the Indigo Guard in skill (rumor is they train with them). They have the Emperor’s ear.

WEAKNESSES: As the Emperor gains enemies within the Houses, so does House Saiah. They will feel the repercussions of his actions and anyone who moves against him will assume they will have to move against House Saiah. Outside of the Imperial House, they have no allies to speak of with the other Houses.

House Novari
COAT OF ARMS: White starburst on an orange field

DUKE:  Jennit Mioris Novari

HEIRS: His eldest sons (twins), Jalen and Jurien

RECENT HISTORY: After Jennit’s first husband passed away, he wasted little time in remarrying. His new husband is a much younger man and long-time courtier in the Novari court. Rumors abound about this of course as well as speculation that the Duke’s sons are sleeping with the new husband and that this is some kind of coup in the works. There is no evidence of this of course. Jalen is a popular figure among the elite of noblemen’s children even given the House’s current lack of status and is known primarily as a peacock and a wastrel. Jurien appears to be the opposite, a serious-minded young man who is considered a workaholic and is heavily involved in House administration.

NOTABLE FOR: The current Duke’s father was discovered to have genetically altered himself which led to the downfall of the House. The Emperor chose not to execute him but essentially gutted the House, appropriating most of its assets and taking back the most choice systems in their territory only to distribute them to other Houses. The House that benefitted most from this turn of events was Potemkin who received several mineral rich worlds as a result. Novari resentment toward House Potemkin exists to this very day as a result.  Jennit’s father killed himself from the shame of it all shortly after these events and thus Jennit was quite young when he became Duke.

The Novari are still borderline pariahs in the current political climate except for Jalen who is popular on a personal level with others his age.

STRENGTHS: Despite having the funds for more than just the minimal upkeep, Jennit has devoted what resources he can toward building a relationship with the emissaries of the Xeno Alliance. Strangely enough, this seems to be working as Novari is the only House that will be hosting a Xeno consulate – all others exist in Imperial Space. It will be opening in the coming months and is sure to be a big event. Given society’s preoccupation with the aliens, this is sure to draw some business back into Novari territories and the Duke is hoping it will also lead to an influx of alien goods to give the economy a boost. 

WEAKNESSES: Almost too many to list, lack of financing being at the top of the list. The denizens of House Novari territories are and have been suffering from high unemployment and scarcity for quite some time. There is always grumbling but thus far the Duke has been adept enough to forestall any serious revolt, always finding a way to mollify the masses when things get too heated up.

House Potemkin
COAT OF ARMS: A golden bear cracking open the nucleus of an atom with it's claws before a red field.

On star ships, cruisers, star fighters, Potemkin Troopers, the coat of arms has been abbreviated to the golden atomic symbol with the nucleus in the centre having a lightning bolt - like crack down it.

DUKE: Count Gabor Petrovich Potemkin III  (The esteemed House of Potemkin does not acknowledge the Empire's ascribed title of Duke)

HEIRS: The twins Prince Ilya Ivanovich Potemkin & Prince Obrecht Piotr Potemkin || Princess Esfir Ekaterina Alexeyevna Potemkin || Prince Artyom Oberon Potemkin

RECENT HISTORY: One of "youngest" houses to have joined the Empire, House Potemkin had been all but forgotten before arriving from a wormhole with the entirety of their fleet seventy-five Earth years ago.  As it turns out, Potemkin R&D Teams had been on the cutting edge of wormhole research.  They were years ahead of most research based primarily on their "exploration and discovery no matter the cost" mandate.  Being torn apart at an atomic level by warped time-streams due to failure in the coterminous equations was a small price to pay for the betterment of "the people".  This belief manifested in a spectacular fashion when the entire House of Potemkin and their home planet, Odessa simply ceased to exist.  Empire researchers and investigators would find an intricately woven pattern of cosmic strings with a black hole in the very center of the pattern.  Within that black hole came readings of the most powerful singularity ever recorded.  There was absolutely no evidence that House Potemkin, the planetary body of Odessa and it's seven moons ever existing in that galactic quadrant; and shortly thereafter it was declared forbidden to simply be found in that quadrant.  The Empire's Primus Admin Sofian Reza classified the Odessa quadrant as Crimson-7 and there is no shortage of strange tales coming from crews and captains about what goes on in the Odessa quadrant and at times and what manages to break its way through the blockades from time to time. Despite the fear and disbelief that met with House Potemkin’s return, The Emperor was fascinated by this reappearance and held many secret meetings with House leadership. There were ten Houses as a new one had been exalted to replace the disappeared all those centuries before so Potemkin’s return would have made them an 11th. Instead, rumors of rebellion and treason suddenly abounded about one of the current Houses and in punishments, the Duke and the heirs were executed, the House seat taken back and soon presented to Potemkin and thus they once again became one of the ten. Later when House Novaris was punished for its Duke’s transgression, many systems were taken from him and added to Potemkin’s territories.

House Potemkin was gone for nearly six centuries and where they went and what they experienced is shared only amongst themselves and no others. Attempts to hold them accountable for what had transpired in the Odessa quadrant and accusing them of scientific misconduct on a galactic scale seemed of little concern to them. House Potemkin had returned for the benefit of the Empire from itself as well as the threat that they believed the xenomorphs would prove themselves to be.

NOTABLE FOR: Recklessly pursuing scientific and research goals no matter the cost and pushing the limits of what is considered legal for biomechanical augmentation.  The great House of Potemkin recognizes the law that no more than 40% of the human form can be converted. They would like to state clearly that any citizens that have exceeded these thresholds did so prior to Emergence (Emergence a self-given title that is the date in which House Potemkin returned to "Universe One"). House Potemkin apologizes for these transgressions and are still working to bring offending citizens to within acceptable Empire parameters. Despite these assurances it's rumored that there are whole battalions of Potemkin troopers that far exceed the Empire's threshold of 40% conversion, even that there are "full biomechanical" conversions kept well out of sight from Empire investigators and inspectors.

Nearly all citizens of the great House of Potemkin are modified with a throat modulator and aural receptors.  This allows them to speak to one another in a heavily modified form of binary code that sounds to others like an unsettling, whispered droning. It is forbidden for any of these citizens to use these enhancements in the presence of the Emperor or his sanctioned agents.

While highly advanced, Potemkin technology looks anything but, especially in comparison to Dhaaz’s easthetically pleasing biomechanical work. Potemkin tech could never be described as elegant or subtle -- rigid, angular and imposing, each piece of tech tends to have only one purpose but also tends to satisfy that purpose exceedingly well.

Removed from the evolution of the Empire for a great many centuries; the great House of Potemkin acknowledges the role that women play in the galaxy now but they acknowledge the culture of the Empire and seem to be bringing their women in line with expectations since their return. Every citizen of House Potemkin worships Mysterian and often portray Mysterian as a female.

STRENGTHS: Burrowing. There are few that have as firm a grasp on time and space. Ruthless advancement of technology and science. Seemingly of one mind in all things. Very effective, single-purpose technology. Militaristic

WEAKNESSES: Inelegant tech that is sometimes dismissed or underrated. Lack of subtlety in general. Having a society that is of "one mind" takes a good deal of work, resources, observation and manipulation. Militaristic. The divide between the Haves and the Have Nots is quite vast.

Count Gabor Petrovich Potemkin III
Princess Esfir Potemkin

The 11th or Lost House
House Orzorone

Coat of Arms: An argent (silver) balanced scale on a field of deep blue]

Once upon a time House Orzorone was in its rightful place among its fellow nine Houses. Well-run and  prosperous, it rarely had enemies due to its adherence to diplomacy over confrontation. In fact, the House was so known for this quality that it was often called in by other Houses as a neutral party to help settle disputes. The last Duke of the Orzorone, Damiano, was a perfect representative of his House. Keen in both wit and tongue, Damiano was straightforward man who believed in speaking his mind, even to the Emperor himself though with humility and tact of course. The unimaginable happened when the long vanished House Potemkin reappeared, stunning everyone, even the Emperor. Representatives of House Potemkin met with the Emperor in secret for several days and shortly after, Duke Damiano disappeared much to his family's dismay. Frantic searches turned up nothing other than rumors that the Duke was at the Imperial Palace.

About a month later the Emperor went on all the newsfeed to announce that the Duke of Orzorone had been executed and that henceforth the Orozone family had lost its House seat and were being evacuated from their home. This announcement was timed with the arrival of the Indigo Guard at all the Ozorone holdings, rushing them out and allowing them only some personal keepsakes and their clothing. Anyone who resisted (or in some cases looked like they might resist) was killed, the rest were herded onto a ship. Eventually all the Ozorone were dumped at a spaceport, dazed and grieving, soon to find that the Ozorone accounts were frozen save for the personal accounts the Emperor felt were minor enough not to bother to track down.  Most chose to seek refuge within the Houses. This wasn't hard as Duke Damiano had been an honorable man and nobody really believed he would commit treason. They would not, of course, confront the Emperor about it but they would hospitality at one level or another (all but House Saiah and the newly appointed House Potemkin).  House Atalaryk, House Rovona, and House Broedin (who would step into the diplomacy vacuum left by the fall of Orzorone) welcomed any Orozone to settle in their territories and even gave them holdings so they might retain a lesser but still noble standing (they would be become the equivalent of barons who are answerable to the Duke of the House). The other Houses would offer members of the family a comfortable residence and enough funds to start over, to varying degrees depending on the House.

At present, the Orzorone are scattered throughout the Empire in a variety of roles and occupations, from simple worker to Baron. They could pop up practically anywhere. The descendants try to keep in contact with each other and occasionally have reunions, but they are mindful of still being watched after all these years.


The Xeno Alliance
About a century ago mankind made its first contact with alien intelligence. A delegation from an amalgamation of alien races made formal contact to open diplomatic ties and thus this monumental revelation was remarkably peaceful in nature. Since that time alien diplomats have been welcomed in the Empire though surprisingly little is known about them. No man has yet visited their home systems and while it is believed their technology is slightly superior to human, they are not generous with any of the details regarding things of that nature. They have brought some goods into the Empire primarily as gifts but they are primarily novelties such as foods, liquors, textiles, jewelry, items of that nature. It is considered a sign of status to welcome a member of the Alliance to your House and any gifts received from them are proudly shown off. There will be more info on the races on an information thread to be set up later.

Genetically Engineered Labor (GELS)
The Empire has become quite adept with genetics and there are large labs scattered throughout its many systems. Early in its scientific development, the Empire favored Bioengineering over robotics and as a result, robots are still fairly rudimentary and really only handle basic tasks. Instead the Empire has come to rely on a labor force comprised of beings grown in a laboratory, often tailored for specific conditions and function depending on the work they will do. Most commonly animal genes are spliced into a human embryo and so these beings are set apart in appearance from natural born humans. In addition to giving them different abilities, the animal DNA serves to set them apart from natural born humans at sight. GELS are almost universally viewed as subhuman with reduced mental skills and poor communication skills that would leave them ill-suited for society anyway. There are no regulations regarding the treatment of GELS -- they are treated as a commodity or a necessary piece of equipment. 
     Of late there have been rumors of a GEL run amok, a leader of some persuasion who has been skirmishing in various systems to liberate his fellow GELs. The very thought of such an organized rebellion would strike fear in the hearts of most if they believed it but it is nonsensical of course to think a GEL would have either the means or the intellect to pull such a thing off.
     Genetic modification of those not created for this purpose is strictly forbidden. Occasionally there will be a rumor that one House or another has genetically modified an heir to be superior in one aspect or another and indeed, some of these rumors have been born out which when discovered, has dire consequences for the House in question. If there are any progeny out there who have been so modified, their lives would be forfeit if they were discovered. What is acceptable is for parts of the body to be regrown to replace limbs or organs that have been damaged by disease or misfortune.

The Mechanically Enhanced
Though most prefer to have limbs regrown, there is a small number of people who voluntarily become mechanically enhanced. The law is that no more than 40% of the body can be replaced with mechanics. These enhancements are varied and can involve just about any part of the body. Among this minority are those who have had their brains augmented to increase reaction time, computational ability, and memory. This is a difficult procedure however. Few have the capacity to adapt to it and the cost is prohibitive to all but the most wealthy. Most noble families would never risk doing this to one of their own – more commonly a suitable candidate is found, the House pays for the procedure, then the newly augmented individual pays off the debt through service.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2015, 12:13:01 am by Niferbelle »

Offline NiferbelleTopic starter

Some things to Keep in mind before you begin on your character sheet…

*Take a deep breath. I know this is a lot of information to get through. If you find it overwhelming, please PM myself and my co-GM Aiden so we can help you out. We will be able to help steer you in a good direction. A question like ‘I know what kind of character I want, I’m not sure what House they would fit in’ can be easily answered and options presented to you. We’re here to help!

*Some concepts have only been touched upon. If you want more information about something, please ask in this thread. It will not only benefit you but others as well!

*I am specifically asking for certain NPCs to be adopted as player character. They are Tarrek, Duke of House Atalaryk; the eldest daughter of the Empire; Princess Laila of House Rovona; and the mysterious GEL who is out there stirring things up.  Just keep in mind that there will be some backstory with these characters that you will have to work within but otherwise you are free to develop them. A special note for the Emperor’s daughter, she had a rather harrowing childhood so please be aware some issues could be raised.

*You are allowed to create as a character Dukes (or spouses) of the following Houses: Novari, Rovona (in this case, the Prince and public face of the House) and Saiah. The Dukes of other Houses may open up but if you’re interested, please PM me before filling out the character sheet. House Potemkin and the Emperor’s House are not available for PCs (with the exception of the Emperor’s eldest daughter). Any other House, if there are relatives listed (sons, daughters, etc) you can play any of those. Some are named, some are not – chances are I will let you change the name if you hate it. In some cases, only the heirs are alluded to (i.e. the males). That isn’t to say there can’t be daughters in those Houses as well (I was being lazy in some cases). You can also make characters from lesser noble Houses that are under the Great Houses (like a Baron under a Duke). I haven’t fleshed any of those out yet so keep in mind if you choose this option you will need to have input into building the house 

*When you’ve decided what character and which House you’d like to be from, please PM Aiden and I before completing your sheet. We went to prevent any doubling up on character. I will likely be posting in this thread when positions are taken. We also ask that you PM the completed character sheets to us rather than post them here. Once it’s approved we will have a character sheet thread where it can be posted.

Roles current payers have asked to be filled:
Protector for a Princess of Broedin -- requested by Amelita
Female partner in intrigue to Orozone exile employed by Rovona -- requested by Cyrano Johnson
Acquaintances/contacts of a Princess of Atalaryk who was fostered with House Rovona -- requested by Caela[/I]

Characters in development by other players:
Princess of House Chainer

Completed Characters:
Princess Illyana Atalaryk -- Caela
Diarivo (Baronet) Kairitsu Sundosa-Zurun (nee Calixto Medani Orzorone) (with House Rovona) -- Cyrano Johnson
Princess Maleida Broedin -- Amelita
Princess Rhebekka Emanuelle Atalaryk -- Crash
Duke Tarrek El'Essen Atalaryk -- CShades
Prince Jalen Novari -- Ontan
Crown Princess Azurine Udele Xavendir -- Emjay

OK, here we go!

Code: [Select]
[b]SECONDARY SKILLS (3-5):[/b]
[floatright][img height=300 padding=5]***url here***[/img][/floatright]





Example Character Sheet
PLAYER NAME: Niferbelle (NPC)
CHARACTER NAME: Hana Rossielle Atalaryk
CONCEPT: Unmarried Lady of House Atalaryk, secret bad-ass
PRIMARY SKILL: Spacefaring
Bladed weapons
Planetary Survival
Counter Security

AGE: 25
DESCRIPTION: Hana is unmistakably a daughter of House Atalaryk with her ebony hair and steely grey eyes. Her face is pretty enough upon inspection but a sullen or challenging expression usually mars the effect it might otherwise have on young men. Though not entirely lacking in feminine appeal she has an athletic body that lacks the lush curves preferred these days. In her rare appearances she looks as if she put no thought into her wardrobe at all and appears ill at ease in the gowns she must wear at these times.

PERSONALITY AND MANNERISMS: Hana is blunt, sometimes to the point of rudeness, but never simply for the sake of hurting feelings but rather in the interest of the truth. A woman who is forced to keep a lot of secrets, she makes a point of keeping her personal interactions free from deception. Amongst her people she is lively and good humored though you would never know it if you met her outside of Atalaryk space where is apt to be dour, tight-lipped, and miserable. Something of a firebrand, she has learned to bite her tongue for the greater good no matter how much it might make her blood pressure skyrocket.

PERSONAL HISTORY: Hana was born into a House that allowed a unique experience for a young girl. The women of Atalaryk are not only allowed to pursue the same activities as their male counterparts they are expected to be productive so her tomboyish tendencies were welcomed and encouraged. Hana was doted on by her father and from ten time she could walk well enough to keep up, was her brother Tarrek’s constant shadow. When her parents adopted a young man near her age, he quickly became inseparable with the twosome and together the three of them had many adventures growing up.

Her father’s unexpected death really rocked Hana to the core and set off a series of consequences that have made her life and that of her brothers far more complicated. She is somewhat more pensive these days but no less determined. Currently she is the commander of the supply fleet and has her own personal ship with a hand-picked crew though she isn’t on it as often as she’d liked given the pull of her duties to the House.

CHARACTER’S AMBITIONS: Mainly to keep her two brothers alive, something that seems to be getting harder and harder. To seek justice for her father and those that need it most.

RUMORS: Who? Oh, that Atalaryk woman. She’s certainly past her prime though I can’t say I’m surprised. The woman has no social graces at all regardless of her breeding. The women of Atalaryk have always been a little rough around the edges, of course most of the other Houses find them unsuitable for brides. What a waste. She should have had two or three children by now.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2016, 11:56:24 am by Niferbelle »

Offline Amelita

-plants a flag-


Offline NiferbelleTopic starter

*ties a little bow in the flag to make it pretty*

Offline Crash

*Snatches up flag and waves it around*

I have an idea for a lesbian wife, but I need a player to play her gay husband.  ;D

I may just make him an NPC if necessary....hmm...
« Last Edit: November 11, 2015, 11:19:53 am by Crash »

Offline NiferbelleTopic starter

I like that someone is interested in that kind of a relationship. I think it could be a very rich one.

Offline Crash

Yeah there is plenty to mine there.

If no one is interested in her other half I will leave him as an npc. 

Offline Caela

~peeks at Ame's flag and tosses a comfy chair into a corner to curl up in to read all the info~

You have been busy Niferbelle!! At just a glance this looks really interesting, am looking forward to reading the info section.

Offline NiferbelleTopic starter

Hello Caela!

Yes, it's a lot to read. Original settings leave a lot to be explained I'm afraid and I wanted everyone to have enough info to make an informed choice of characters.

Offline Caela

Oh I wasn't complaining, it's fantastic! :D

Offline Cyrano Johnson

  • Lord
  • Seducer
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2012
  • Location: The Occidental Wilds of the Realm of Canadia.
  • Gender: Male
  • "Do what thou wilt" shall be the whole of the law.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
You know, it's been a while since I got into a game on here. I think I wouldn't mind giving this one a whirl if Nif will have me. An exiled Orzorone baronet working for the Rovona might be fun.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2015, 11:33:18 pm by Cyrano Johnson »

Offline NiferbelleTopic starter

We'd love to have you Cyrano! I like your idea already. While you're here can I ask how you would feel about people playing the characters in Rovona that you created?

Offline Cyrano Johnson

  • Lord
  • Seducer
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2012
  • Location: The Occidental Wilds of the Realm of Canadia.
  • Gender: Male
  • "Do what thou wilt" shall be the whole of the law.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Sure, as for playing Rovonians, anyone should feel free to have at it, absolutely.

Offline Amelita

I'd probably be looking at either the heir to House Broedin (Kiehm Broedin) or one of the three non-bastard daughters.

Offline NiferbelleTopic starter

Excellent Ames! I'd love for you to represent that House in one form or another.

Offline NiferbelleTopic starter

Hi kc! Nice to see you. I will probably seek Amelita's input on Broedin characters, yes, but as GM I'll be approving everything.

That's an interesting question about languages. Pretty much everyone speaks the same language but there are probably many, many different dialects of it from House to House or even system to system. There is likely unique slang used by various groups that might be confusing to those outside it. There could also be code languages, intentionally created to allow communication that couldn't be understood (as in a military unit or a criminal organization or a House, etc.) There might not be a need for an interpreter except in very specific situations but I can see a professional class that acts as a cultural interpreter - someone who knows the slang, knows the etiquette, customs, and culture of a very specific group of people.

There's room to play around with it but perhaps that gives you a jumping off point.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2015, 03:13:53 pm by Niferbelle »

Offline Kokaine

Expressing tentative interest though i have no clue what I'd play >.<

If anyone has ideas or a role connected to theirs that they wouldn't mind seeing filled, I'm all ears!

Offline Crash

Nifer- Linguistic anthropology

Koka - Are playing male or female.  I have a need for a gay husband to my lesbian lady.  I could also use a mistress for her, but I know most people like to sort that stuff out in game.

Offline NiferbelleTopic starter

Expressing tentative interest though i have no clue what I'd play >.<

If anyone has ideas or a role connected to theirs that they wouldn't mind seeing filled, I'm all ears!

Hiya! Most people are very much in the early stages of things and might not have an idea on this. I'll keep it in mind though.

I was asked a question that I thought might be useful info for everyone.

Quick question, with the society being feudal in nature, do the Houses foster children with each other for a time during their teen years?

Yes, this is a common practice. Again, the experience is different depending upon who is fostering whom but it occurs regularly.

Linguistic anthropology -- I like it Crash. Makes sense.

Offline Caela

Working on a bastard Atalaryk daughter and want to say THANK YOU to our lovely GM for all her help while I tweak the concept and her sheet.

Offline Crash

So we have an older and younger sister and now a half sister of Atalaryk.  Nice, peeps to plot with.

Offline Caela

So we have an older and younger sister and now a half sister of Atalaryk.  Nice, peeps to plot with.

Who is playing all of these? I thought the only person I'd actually seen name a House was Ames.

Offline Crash

Older sister myself and younger sister Niferbelle.

Offline Caela

Ahhh, gotcha. You hadn't actually said which House your girl was going to be from so your comment threw me! :)

My half-sister is going to be 27, don't know how that lines up with your gals age.