Big Sky County
Empires come and go, dictators rise and fall, but Big Sky never changes. It was one of those immutable laws that had existed ever since the arrival of the first League colonists in those ancient days, lead by their legendary figures of Red Tom, Black Eyed Cassander, Jenny Six-Guns, Styax and the Bronco Gang, and all the historical figures turned in to tall tales told from one Big Skyer to the other across time and space form campfires to shining metropolitan cities, the story was told over and over again with various actors and time frames but the lesson was clear, Empires come and go, but Big Sky was free and far from any conquerors, distance and relative poverty ensured that nobody paid Big Sky County any real heed.
Big Sky was free and faced no real threats and Big Sky was going nowhere just as they wanted it. Til the discovery of the wormhole in orbit of Gallop in the Dead Horse system. Now a direct line connects Big Sky to the Empire on the opposite side of the the League of Free Stars, connecting the equally distant and ignored Gramhau March to Big Sky. With the rise of new Imperial trade flowing back and forth across the Gallop Gate, wealth heard of only in the Core regions of the League has called out its siren sound, and now the sleepy skies of Big Sky are filled with prospectors, traders, corporations, police, pirates,mercenaries, adventures and the lost seeking their fortune in the forgotten corner of the galaxy.
5392 AE: The Long Peace
Fifty year after the departure of the Great Crusade Fleet lead by great leaders of League, Empire and Republic, the Peace of Yvnes continues to hold as old nations fall back on old habits. A new cold war brews between the Republic and the Empire whose new Emperor struggles to keep a rein of the Empire his mother had given him, while the Republic still suffers from internal feuds between the Reform and Revenge parties. In the League due to the absence of its leaders such as Guilter and Gadsen, the dynamic forces that kept ad-hoc central government have begun to wain again as regional government begin to claw back their jealous powers causing a powerful central navy to watch in impotence as the League's far flung regions begin to crumble again.
The League of Free Stars
Big Sky County is isolated cluster of stars, only one star way connects it, via long difficult road of brown dwarf stars to the “mainland” League. It was one of the original settlement sites though as it was settled via use of the Ark. The cluster is organized officially as a Stellar County of the League, its planets all elected Commissioners who meet at the Stellar Seat at Diamond's Dream in the Hellfire system. Due to bylaws a super majority of the Commissioners are required to pass any legislation, which due to outright vote buying and ideological differences means little is done. The central executive is the Sheriff who also the commander of the local League guard forces, and depending on time serves as mini-dictator or non-entity or a puppet of somebody more powerful.
Currently the office is empty, the last Sheriff died halfway during his term and the Commissioners of the County were suppose to organize and election to replace him. The fact they haven't done so yet is either a testament to their incompetence or they were bought off or threaten no to. This comes in light as increasing pirate and bandit problem, exasperated by the fact that for many of these bandits or pirates half the time are flying the flags of smaller planets as their guard forces or bought cheaply at new and old ports of call that cater to such people.
The Phoenix Empire
Gramhau March is old and distinguish march of the Empire, and long past its heydey. In 2035 AE, the March was organized against the nomadic Comet Riders of Gramhau, whose raids on imperial colonies past the Viridian Void had created much scandal in the courts back at Luxor. With forces pressed against other threats such as the nascent Rifter barbarian invasion that overshadowed the local nuisance of Gramhau, the Empire put a call to arms proclaiming and lands and titles if adventures put down the threat themselves. One such adventure was Julien ost-Tcti, who lead his own mercenary fleet and crushed the aggressive Gramhau tribes and settled the others into his demesne and even intermarrying with them as he took on his title as Margrave of Gramhau. The March's fallow systems were settled with survivors of his fleet, and to this day Gramhau has a higher then average percentage of traveling knights and adventurers and oversize navy, often used by Grand Dukes of Armstrong as elite shock troopers during own ducal conflicts. Due to choke-point of Viridian system, the Margraves over time was able to fortify the only exit into their cluster and thus was spared during the Great Rifter Invasions and Civil Wars. Though by the 5th Millennia the March's economy was on downturn, the technological and economic base to support the knights and the mercenaries were falling behind compared to rivals in Armstrong and beyond, forcing them to search farther and farther away, with the end result of cases where knights were hired to fight in the Rifter March and as well in the Great Jardin Wars.
Now the March is seeing a revitalization of its economy as the the new link to the League has been discovered, While both sides of the gate are relatively distant from the main starways of the respective nations, they are close enough to mains that economic sense to penetrate into new markets of both the Empire and the League is enough to prompt a major trade rush. The current Margrave Wilhelm ost-Tcit is content to merely collect associated taxes with the new trade, while his barons are pushing for outright conquest behind close doors.
Piracy was relatively unknown in Gramhau space due to nature of the demense, but in Big Sky banditry “the term Big Sky uses to refer to raids and attacks on planet surfaces” has long history, ranging from range wars gone bad, to revenge against unjust Corporate (often Lavi) exploration of their resources, to just plain greed. Big Sky is huge compared to Gramhau, and if it had been properly integrated province of the Empire would have been considered a major duchy. Its vastness plus limited resources has meant that line between outlaw and law on the fringe tends to blur a great deal., but there was pure outlaws that always took advantage of Big Sky to hide and plan for raids outside of the County.
Some of the notable bands
- Red Meteors: While officially pirates they prefer to practice banditry, striking settlements as they are easier prey. They're lead by Contrallo Duchense.
- Vardi Vipers: Pirates who ply the Taos Main. Based out of the abandoned League superfort built during Ur-Real scare of Vardi.
- Bear Dudely's Gang: Roving marauders who strikes both planet and space. His flagship is an reconfigured Lavi Dreadnought Thorn of Roses.
- Freya's Army: Less an outlaw and more of insane cult that worships its leader Freya as a goddess, been around for two hundred years and has hidden base somewhere.
- Farhome Boyz: Lead by the Contrallo Inger Reins, they're based out of the ruins of Farhome, a abandoned colony connected by unstable starways. Notable for using rare stutterwarp mothership to move its ship back and forth from the system.
- Swords of Heaven: Lead by the Contrallo Shao Mei Fuyan, its a group based out of the planet Elysium.
Many corporations are arriving in Big Sky, but the biggest is the General Integrated Systems (a forced spin-off of Lavi) based in Luxor. While theoretically free of their manipulative and secretive corporate overlords, this iteration of Lavi hasn't lost its high handedness or its penchant for complicated plots.
The authorities of planet Kendal have put out a notice to all those who are interested in making money or a name for themselves. The isolated planet has just recently been raided by the Red Meteors and had enough of this nonsense. Setting up real taxes for the first time they're recruiting a force to train their locals in new ships being built by GIS and in the meantime defend the system against other pirate attacks. By fate, desire, or just random chance you are one of those who in way or another are responding to this call.
- Hedge Knight
- Noble Knight
- Partisan (political party activist)
Link to prototype ship creator. I want to run a test Wednesday the 31st in the evening. Players have 50,0000 +-10,000 to work with ship creation.
- 5% of your ship's total a year,
- Missile Costs
- For every ten points of AM power your ship has, fuel costs 2000 a point that needs to refueled twice a year under normal operations (light combat), or 1/4 to 1/2 of that total after heavy combat
New ship builds
- Frigates-Destroyers: 6 Months to build
- Cruisers-Battleships: 1 Year to build
- Heavy Cruisers and above need a license from the Sheriff's Office, or authorized Planet Government or GSI to be allowed to be built in their yards.