Saturday, 1 June 2013

Twilight

The Twilight of FS3 is a considerable threat to the Phoenix Empire, though few can see it. At some point in the near future Twilight will have to expand and the Phoenix Empire is the only place they can realistically go. The idea was to provide a foil for support for a Kurgan Crusade by presenting a more immediate threat that must be addressed, this would give Kurgans time to sort out their own internal problems.



Twilight
Beyond the Revanna Jumpgate looms a new barbarian threat, the paranoid and highly militarized world of Twilight. Isolated since the Fall of the Second Republic, the people of Twilight, divided into several opposing nations, have brought their world to its knees through nuclear war and now survive in a world spanning atomic winter. Brutalized, desperate, highly motivated and more technologically sophisticated than the average world under the Phoenix Throne, Twilight could equate any Phoenix Empire Major House in firepower and determination. If allowed to roam free into the Empire Twilight would seriously shake the foundation of interstellar civilization, but who has the power to put Twilight in its place, denying them escape to livable territories? 

History of Twilight
Sathraist rebels who had resisted the governing corporations of Ravenna and neighboring worlds accidentally discovered twilight early in the 27th century. Having been defeated by corporate forces, the surviving rebel ships fled to the Ravenna Jumpgate to escape to the Gwynneth free zone, but something went wrong and the revolutionaries found themselves in a strange new system containing a hospitable Urth-like planet orbiting a young, white star. Having eluded their pursuers, the dissidents went about setting up a small colony, and Twilight soon became a magnet for dissidents from a dozen systems and the population grew fast. With a relative low population and plentiful resources, the anarchistic model of non-government flourished for over 150 years. 
But late in the 28th century the external pressure from noble houses proved too much, and the rebels negotiated their surrender. Eventually the nobles’ power waned and the Republic’s rose. Twilight, by now a center of commerce and learning, thrived as a liberal democracy and vigorously resisted the growing encroachment of the Church and nobility, and with the Fall Twilight fielded an advanced fleet to preserve its autonomy. Despite a strong Hawkwood presence on the world, the Twilight government resisted external threats from the ascendant Ten Houses and, rather than capitulate to what it saw as a prevailing feudalism and religious fanaticism, closed the Twilight system gate – seemingly forever. 
As the New Dark Age spread throughout the Known Worlds, Twilight fell prey to its own problems behind its sealed Jumpgate. Formerly a major export of military and domestic goods, without its customer base the planet slumped into a centuries-long depression. Even worse, the local star was among the earliest to be affected by the fading suns phenomenon, turning depression into desperation. Soon, conflict followed, and then a civil war lasting 7 centuries as the planet broke into a hundred warring factions. The situation worsened in the 48th century as the Northern Hemisphere stabilized along three axis of power: the remnants of the Second Republic government, which held power on the continent of Croven; the Sayshel Collective on Tsaerdik continent; and the White Tigers, a noble alliance of Hawkwood descendants on the continent of Delphia. The stakes were raised as competition for resources, fueled by ideological hatred, drove the planet into a centuries-long nuclear arms and shelter race. Vast underground complexes were built as the northern countries prepared for nuclear war, their war-machine industries taking complete control of most government functions. In 4785 a minor skirmish between the Croven Republic and the Tsaerdik Navy escalated into full-blown nuclear war. Taking advantage of this conflict, Delphia entered the war on the Tsaerdik side. The Northern Hemisphere erupted into a nuclear conflagration that lasted over a month. Tsaerdik and Delphia became wastelands, while the Croven Republic ceased to exist.
Reval, one of two nations in the Southern Hemisphere, blamed the northern countries for the planet’s ruin and has now become a brutal military dictatorship under the Abwehr Citadel. After attacking its fellow southerners in the Zigo continent, the Abwehr Citadel now eyes the weakened and divided north with fanatical race hatred. Feeding its population’s sense of xenophobia, paranoid and inherent superiority, the Abwehr Citadel has become the world’s preeminent military power, the war machine kept funded by resources captured and using war-prisoners as slaves. Desperate for outside aid the White Tigers fleet of Delphia managed to skirt the Citadel’s space blockade and reach the Jumpgate, sending envoys into both neighboring systems sometime in the final years of the Emperor Wars. In the Ravenna system the White Tigers made contact with their Hawkwood distant cousins, but little aid could be spared as the world was heavily mired in the Emperor Wars. Still, Ravenna sent what it could, enough to stave of Delphia’s annihilation for a few more years. With Alexius’ peace in the Phoenix Empire Ravenna was able to increase its support of Delphia while keeping the existence of Twilight secret, hoping to eventually adding a new planet to the Hawkwood fold. Around the turn of the millennium however, the secrecy failed and Twilight became known to the Phoenix Empire. 
Since then the military machine of the Abwehr Citadel has also become aware of the aid being funneled to Delphia and has secured the Twilight Jumpgate behind a massive mine field making access to the system extremely hazardous and cutting the Hawkwood supply lines.
The remains of the Delphia fleet is now scattered about the Twilight system engaging in hit and run tactics against their enemy. House Heidgard has all but lost the war, until recently it maintained the Caliburn Defense Station in Twilight orbit, but this structure succumbed to sabotage in late 5009 and was destroyed by the massed Abwehr Citadel Flee.

Twilight
Star: Mercy (white star) 
System: Morning (0.152AU), Axion (0.655), Twilight (1.244AU; Cyx, Negril, Anvil; Heydrich Defense Space Station, Caliburn Defense Space Station – House Heidgard), Dolorius (21 AU; over 40 moons), Night (38AU; 12 moons), Jumpgate (51.65AU)
Jumps: Antioch (warning: Barbarian World), Ravenna
Capital: Northblock Central (Sayshel Collective), Kozhikode (Abwehr Citadel), New Andyra (Delphian Alliance)
Resources: industry, ores, minerals (deuterium, neuronium), slaves
Exports: None

Important People:
Domitor Kerima Vajra: The current domitor of the Abwehr Citadel is a powerful woman of Urth Indian decent. Vajra started her life in poverty but gained popular support as a warrior, and then as an occupation sub-leader on Zigo. Climbing the military and party ladder, she eventually became party leader and for the past 35 years Vajra has secured her position and greatly increased her popularity by victory after victory. A gifted and fiery orator Domitor Vajra glorifies her people’s accomplishments and reinforces their prejudices. She has garnered more goodwill and fanatical loyalty from her people than any domitor in well over a century. 
Duke Theodore Heidgard: The Heidgard Clan upheld many of their Hawkwood cousins’ ideals and maintains the lion as part of their family crest. An accomplished warrior and diplomat, never the less the duke finds himself on the loosing side of a bitter war with the Abwehr Citadel, his lands now occupied, his space fleet scattered and his orbital defense station destroyed. Yet he continues to fight despite the desperate odds stacked against him 
Duke Leander Kiergard: The Kiergard clan of Delphia nobles have a lineage dating back to the barbarian invasions of the 46th century. Warlike but generally honorable in their dealings, they were originally persistent enemies of Heidgards but came to an arrangement with them in light of greater threats. The Duke of Kiergard was a brash firebrand young man who seeks to rebuild his family’s holdings. The occupation of this lands and resounding military defeat he has suffered at the hands of the Abwehr Citadel have done much to temper his enthusiasm for war. It is said that he often succumbs to dark moods from which takes out his anger on his few remaining servants.

Overview:
Twilight is completely shrouded by a blanket of thick rolling clouds, here or there, gaps in the clouds reveal patches of snowy white or frosted black maxicrete. From space, it does not appear like a candidate for habitation, but Twilight teems with a vast and restless subterranean population, making it a dangerous sleeping giant. It is a bitterly cold arctic planet, virutally devoid of vegetation or natural atmosphere, although giant atmosphere processors create breathable regions underground and in some surface urban areas. The planet’s wintry condition is the result of nuclear winter, and permanent damage is evident in most major landforms, cracks showing in the planet’s crust. 
The people of Twilight, estimated to number about 2.9 billion, were divided into polarized states looking at their neighbors with paranoia, race hatred, self-righteousness, and jealousy. Through war, poor environmental practices and sheer bad luck, Twilight’s citizens face a planet that is breaking down on almost every level. As the planet spins farther away from the sun and volcanic clouds fill the sky, the world suffocates in an eternal soot-laden winter. In this toxic, frozen atmosphere, plant life has become virtually extinct on land. Ocean life survives only in those few pockets where volcanic vents produce enough heat without too much radiation. Vast subterranean hydroponics farms and atmosphere processors provide the breathable air, although those who wish to leave the civilized areas must carry their own oxygen supply as dangerous gasses and “grit” pollutes the atmosphere. Furthermore, the cataclysm has shaken the planet from its orbit so that it travels a little farther away from the sun with each passing year, the average planet temperature dropping by about one degree Fahrenheit every year. 
Twilight has seven major landmasses: Tsaerdik, Torga, Reval, Zigo, Nir, Croven and Delphia, surrounded by largely frozen oceans. Though the entire planet shares the scars of nuclear war and winter, the Northern Hemisphere is far more damaged than the South. 
Tsaerdik is ruled by the Sayshel Collective, a highly organized despotic plutocracy (the wealthiest), a corrupt government ruling through brute force, propaganda promoting the collective’s political objectives (including that religion is a lie), and generally keeping the public down trodden, too weary and demoralized to rebel while accepting whatever work offered as a means to earn the day’s meal. The land was heavily bombed during the war, and vast portions of the continent are totally uninhabitable due to radiation poisoning. Few citizens have private access to running water or electricity, and large portions of the cities are clogged with human waste and are breeding grounds for disease. Mining, heavy industry and underground collectivized factory farming forms the basis of Tsaerdik economy, while the plutocrats accumulating almost all profits. In the last decade one third of the continent once belonging to Tsaerdik has been conquered by Reval Abwehr Citadel).
Togra has been controlled by the Syshel Collective for centuries, and is a frozen hell at the planet’s northern pole. There is little activity beyond a small enclave of gulag prisons and mining facilities harvesting the rich mineral resources in the area (including neuronium, a natural, room-temperature superconductor). 
The nation of Reval, the nexus of the Abwehr Citadel, is the undisputed superior power on Twilight. The nation avoided the worst effects of the nuclear war 22 decades ago, and is today mostly clean and orderly, with a certain degree of technology permeating the general society. Indeed, in terms of technological sophistication, Reval exceeds most places in the Phoenix Empire. Despite this, a sense of paranoia prevails among the citizenry. Assured of its holy destiny by its priesthood, Reval sees its complete domination of Twilight as the only way to save the dying world. All aspects of daily life – education, family, work, sexuality, science and religion – are subordinated the service of the state. Reval is militarily superior to any other power on Twilight, with a spacefleet technologically comparable to most house armadas, though smaller in size, yet growing with every season. The state religion is a “blood and soil” faith, seemingly blending pagan reverence for their land – blessed by the blood of its martyrs – and bastardized Universal Faith elements (with its own patriarch and inquisition). The continent of Zigo, once a peaceful and agrarian society who allied with Reval in defense against the northern powers, has in the last years been completely conquered by Reval. It is now ruled by a puppet regime answerable only to Reval, although several impotent rebel cells are trying to regain control.
Nir, Twilight’s southern polar region is not really a continent at all, but a massive ice sheet. It has no notable resources, although the Abwehr Citadel has long since claimed it for themselves and Nir now host a strange luxury hotel (the Panglossia) where generals, officials and VIP families retreat to rest and party. Panglossia also sometimes serves as a diplomatic meeting place, and is designed to demonstrate Citadel esthetics, ethics, and superiority. 
Croven was the former seat of the surviving Second Republic governorate, but now it is a twisted necropolis of fetid radioactive lakes, sunken ruins and blasted stone. Background radiation still paints the region an eerie blue at night, and only certain Misfits or those shielded by protective clothing can survive here. Volcanic instability and numerous gas vents adds to the radiation dangers here, and the “Well of the Infernal”, a gigantic whirlpool that is slowly draining the surrounding sea into the bowls of the world through a great fiery fissure, threatens to slowly destroy the very planet. All three of the planet’s major powers have used Croven’s coastal regions as dumping grounds for their waste, both industrial and human. 
Delphia is the sole seat of noble rule on Twilight, and perhaps the most familiar place for Phoenix Empire visitors. Once the domains of House Heidgard, House Kiergard Clan, and the House of Gualdi, these powers have now been completely occupied by Reval soldiers and it is believed that the surviving population is forced to choose between taking their chances in the radioactive hell above ground or face Reval re-education camps. Many have chosen to take their own lives instead.

Twilight Sinners & Saints
Commissar Agent Omar Sarif
Selected for this unswerving loyalty to the Abwer Citadel and the Domitor Kerima Vajra, Omar is considered to be highly resistant to foreign ideologies. It is for this reason that he was selected and trained for a covert mission into the Phoenix Empire. His mission was to assess the power of the enemy and establish training camps for the recruitment of insurgents and forward agents to prepare for the advance of Reval forces.
Quote: “See how they treat you! No better than dogs, and you let them. As long as you continue to lie down and take it those highborn whelps will oppress you. Rise up and stand on your own two feet, I can show you how.”
Description: A tall gaunt man of Indian extraction. He dresses to blend into local peoples with whom he is trying to recruit.
Dex: 6 Vig: 5 Vitality -10/-8/-6/-4/-2/0/0/0/0/0
Wit: 7 Wil: 8 Fatigue -10/-8/-6/-4/-2/0/0/0/0/0/0/0/0
Int: 4 Pre: 6 Reputation -10/-8/-6/-4/-2/0/0/0/0/0/0
Faith: 2
Skills: Athletics 3, Culture (Twilight) 7, Culture (Ravenna) 5, Culture (Phoenix Empire) 1, Deception 6, Dodge 4, Fight 4, Influence 7, Observe 6, Shoot 5, Sneak 3, Survival 4, Streetwise 3, Tech Redemption 3, Throw 2
Benefits & Afflictions: Lost Worlder (Twilight), Wealth (Poor)
Gear: Local Clothing, Heavy Auto Pistol 

Twilight Soldat Stormtroopers (generic)
Dex: 6 Vig: 5 Vitality -10/-8/-6/-4/-2/0/0/0/0/0
Wit: 3 Wil: 5 Fatigue -10/-8/-6/-4/-2/0/0/0/0/0
Int: 4 Pre: 3 Reputation -10/-8/-6/-4/-2/0/0/0
Faith: 2
Skills: Athletics 5, Command 2, Culture (Twilight) 4, Discipline 4, Dodge 5, Fight 4, Influence 3, Observe 3, Sneak 3, Shoot 5, Throw 2
Benefits & Afflictions: Lost Worlder (Twilight), Wealth (Average)
Gear: Reval uniform, auto rife

Ships of the Twilight Armada
There is little technical differentiation between the starships produced by the Abwer Citadel and those produced by the Phoenix Empire. The Reval place little emphasis on human life, preferring to produce ships that have poor defensive systems, but pack a very heavy punch. Spinal mounted weapons are central design theme of even their smaller ship designs.

Shiva Class Scout
The Shiva is an older design that has been returned to recent service, the need to hunt and engage the rogue Delphian League ships has necessitated a small fleet of vessels that can cover a wide area of space and report back to the central command when they locate enemy targets. The poorly shielded core however often exposes the ships hapless crew to lethal doses of radiation.
Hull Size: 1
Structure: 15
Armor: 0
Drives: Standard (3 months), Jump Drive (3 Jumps)
Crew: 1 command crew, 1 personnel
Sensors: 5AU
Weapons: Blaster (Fixed—Fore)
Shields: 1/1
Cargo: 10 tons
Passengers: 6 (1 bunkroom)
Power Signature Acceleration Shields Weapons
Standby –1 None 0/0 None
Port +1 Slow 0/0 None
Cruise +3 Standard 0/0 None
Attack +5 Standard 1/1 Powered
Maximum +7
Benefits & Afflictions: Lander [5], Maintenance (Decent) [5], Fire Control (Short) [5], Hot Core [+3]
Benefit Cost: 22pts

Kali Class Destroyer
The Kali is a mass production hunter killer design that forms the backbone of the Reval Fleet. Though a number of production variants exist, all are based around a centrally constructed spinal blaster that can cause devestating damage to other ships of a similar scale. The Reval have also used these weapons to provide planetary bombardment though they are much less effective and accurate when used through an atmosphere.
Hull Configuration: 8
Structure: 85
Armor: 0
Drives: Fast (2 months), Jump Drive (3 jumps)
Crew: 4 command crew, 16 personnel
Sensors:  5AU
Weapons: Blaster (Spinal), 4 Torpedoes (Fixed--Fore)
Shields: 2/2
Cargo: 70 tons
Passengers: 60 (10 bunkrooms)
Other Systems: 4 Launcher Magazines
Power Signature Acceleration Shields Weapons
Standby +6 None 0/0 None
Port +8 Standard 0/0 None
Cruise +10 Fast 1/1 None
Attack +12 Fast 2/2 None
Maximum +14
Benefits & Afflictions: Atmospheric [2], Maintenance (Decent) [5], Fire Control (Medium) [10], Hot Core [+3]
Benefit Cost: 50pts