I dug this out of the Red Dragon Inn archives.
I put together this fictional dossier when I was intending to play one side of an inter-dimensional invasion (the defending planets.) Sadly, the attackers never got their
together to invade. The invading army was intending to capture locals as slaves, among other things, hence the repeated (and non-explicit) references to the existing slave trade. If anyone would like to invade Tek-World, its jealously guarded riches await plundering; bring your own army!The Inhabited Planets of Tek-World
This universe is highly advanced in technology, including military technology. The government might be called an oligarchy, but no one really agrees on which families hold how much power. There are revenge customs, but no justice system; people who do not have the protection of a strong family are regularly victimized. Only vigilantes look out for the interests of these people. The families can be counted on to fight like cats in a sack, being a very ornery strain of human. (Physically, they are taller than Earthlings, with elongated skeletons; they are visibly distinguishable but not remarkably different.)
The ancestral homeland of the Tek people, and the largest planet in the system. Mostly desert, with scattered forests. At one time quite overpopulated, there are stone and metal ruins of past civilizations scattered across its surface. The Valirians are very proud that they have history predating space travel, unlike the barbarians from the “lesser planets”. It doesn’t make the resident families any friendlier to each other, or more cooperative. Valirians carry out their constant in-fighting with exaggerated style and six degrees of etiquette. Great emphasis is placed on correct action, adherence to ritual formalities, and the finer points of destroying each other. Slaves are rare and prized by the richer families as status symbols. A uniquely sadistic society, even for such a dog-eat-dog universe. Rue
The first moon of Valir, used as a social release valve for malcontents and free-thinkers. As such, it is a haven for criminals, sociopaths, and “bio-freaks.” Body modification is unrestricted, common, and creative (usually to gain some kind of edge, but sometimes purely decorative.) The markets of Rue reputedly sell everything imaginable at all hours. Due to ancient custom Valir does not interfere in the affairs of Rue, an agreement which is usually honored. This leaves the principal families of Rue relatively free to scheme against each other. Theoretically, if Valir ever did attack Rue, the Ruans would band together… but history suggests this would not be very successful.
The second largest planet in the system, and arguably the most influential. All of the banks in Tek-World are owned by Sekmet families, so their planet is rarely attacked; at the first hint of aggression, the Sekmets who own the banks will call all of their outstanding loans due. The Sekmets are renowned for being tough, nasty, and ambitious. On a planet where any kind of survival is a privilege, only the strongest hold any kind of power. Slavery is rampant, as formerly strong families who have been crushed survive only by serving their conquerors.
The most recently settled planet, terraformed into a lush paradise. Most of the landscape is an idealized jungle, boasting some of the most attractive flowers in the known multiverse; smaller areas are custom jobs by founding tycoons, so a self-contained region may have any climate desired. The “Shandies” are famous for being hedonistic and even-tempered (i.e., less homicidal than the norm.) They are artistic folk, which means when they do have to get revenge, they tend towards poetic justice. Their weakness is their fascination with beauty and luxury. A common saying there is “Survival should be easy”; they see no point in depriving themselves or enduring hardships. There is almost no private slave trade, but entertainment moguls regularly acquire orphans and refugees to serve in their brothels and other establishments.Selected Families of Tek-World
Every square foot of territory and any conceivable market is controlled by one of the major families. Multiverse lore says that in this universe you can always find someone who will deal with you, if only to spite the other families. That being said, these are the principal families who control the slave trade, or who would be the chief opposition to such a business. Clan Damochi (Valir)
A venerable lineage, masters of organic chemistry. Give a Damochi scientist an ordinarily harmless flower, and he’ll find a way to isolate two deadly poisons, an addictive drug, and something that explodes when you drop it. They are the masterminds behind the somatic drug Bliss, popular across the planet; whenever addicts sell family members for a fix, the Damochi flesh-merchants are there. They enjoy special status with the other families for being the steadiest supplier of slaves, and guard their position most venomously. The Damochi communicate status, mood, and more elusive concepts through an elaborate system of decorated porcelain masks. Any individual will own dozens of masks, which are painted as needed to convey finer shades of meaning. To be maskless is to be naked and contemptible. Clan Cavalier (Valir)
A highly sentimental group that take out their aggression by championing the weak and downtrodden. No matter how well you treat your stock, expect them to interfere with your operations as a matter of duty. The Cavaliers specialize in defensive tech, so you may have to dismantle several layers of protection before getting to the person at the core. Widely regarded as a nuisance.
Clan Ruslana (Rue)
A traveling family of slave-traders, given to petty theft and casual vice. They speak a complex family tongue which is almost impossible for outsiders to master. In business dealings they communicate through slaves trained as translators, though all of them understand the Common tongue. Attempting to speak the Ruslana language to them is punishable by death and considered very rude. They despise outsiders, and make no efforts to conceal their hatred. Codes of cleanliness prevent a Ruslana from touching an outsider, eating food they have prepared, or otherwise being contaminated by foreign things. Their technology mimics aggressive psionics; a single Ruslana with a neural headset can cause excruciating agony in dozens of subjects at once. They have a respectable range and are used to incapacitate small settlements before the residents are collected as stock. Clan Ravos (Rue)
A syndicate who control the markets of Rue, inasmuch as anything in this universe is under control. They are tolerated as a necessary evil, taking a cut of transactions to enforce a general amnesty in market districts. Their technology is an unpredictable blend of tributes from other families, but their own specialty is body modification. No self-respecting Ravos resembles a human, though none share exactly the same set of mods. Their weapons are among the most powerful in the frame, and are routinely embedded in the warrior’s flesh. The Ruslana, who will cheerfully murder anyone else who tries to restrict them, pay their market tax to the Ravos family. Clan Dobh (Sekmet)
The banking family that traditionally controls the slaving industry on Sekmet. Their leaders are near-immortal, as their tech can clone bodies, and easily transfer a consciousness to another form. This also means that any wildlife you may come across could be Dobh spies. One of the prominent Dobh has permanently transferred his consciousness into the body of a lion, and communicates through a sonic translator. No one considers this strange. Clan Milgrim (Sekmet)
The current reigning Prince, Raj ben Milgrim, is as devious a snake as you’ll ever come across. He is the subject of much legend, believed to have any number of incredible powers. His people are fanatically loyal and very protective of his person, making him the single hardest individual to eliminate, and the one most likely to prove a challenge. His interests are unpredictable; he usually opposes any major industry planet-side that he does not control. The Milgrims are the best liars and the canniest diplomats in the frame. Their tech is centered in their fortresses, which boast unparalleled security. Raj ben Milgrim has spy-tech all over Sekmet, and collects informants like others collect coins. Clan Shandelore (Shandy)
The namesake of the planet, a bloodline of financiers and entertainment tycoons. They encourage the worldwide pursuit of pleasure, and are there to sell it. Every prostitute, nightclub and drug dealer is owned (directly or indirectly) by the Shandelore. The Shandelore are protected by gen-engineered guardian monsters known as Gargoyles, which have psychic capabilities as well as very nasty claws. The Lady of Shandelore can be a prickly adversary, though an appeal to her vanity may win her over. The Shandelore genetically modify all of their children for perfection in mind and body; if not quite perfect, they are at least uniformly clever and attractive.