When writing FS3, we had to make a few decisions about what was really going on between Alexius and his House, his brother (Alverax), and factions within the House. I cannot reveal everything, but the truth is that Alverax is much more than he seems, and he is absolutely loyal to his brother. Though it appears that the Emperor shuns his brother this is a deliberate strategy designed by the pair to prepare House Hawkwood for what is coming.
The near future holds a violent internal struggle, Alverax is the blade poised to strike at the heart of Alexius's true enemy and rival within the House, the true power behind the Hawkwood, the power that pushed Darius to make his bid for the Phoenix Throne, and gifted Alexius the power to finish what his uncle had begun. But this can only occur if all believe that Alverax would rise against his brother.
Essentially Alexius is bait, and by stepping away from his House he hopes to draw the 'enemy within' into making a mistake and revealing itself. There are hints in the House of the Lion material I already published about the truth behind House Hawkwood and recent events within the House.
Princess Victoria, head of House Hawkwood, controls the worlds of Delphi, Gwynneth, Leminkainen and Ravenna, as well as Velisamil, which is a Hawkwood protectorate. Bordering on barbarian space these worlds have suffered from raids and invasion from the merciless Vuldrok. The threat remains ever present though the Emperor’s diplomacy has been instrumental in forging new relations with the barbarians and lessening tensions between the two powers.
Star: Helios (yellow-orange star)
System: Chalora (0.28AU), Kosa (0.49AU), Delphi (1.34AU; Miercoles), Cylor (8.54AU; 2 moons), Camden (19.06AU; 27 moons), Rochala (28.07AU), Jumpgate (46.09AU)
Jumps: Tethys, Pentateuch, Ravenna
Capital: Anschok City Region
Resources: stone, precious metals, deuterium
Exports: granite, precious metals, deuterium, politics
Princess Victoria Hawkwood (born 4956): Princess Victoria rules her realm and subjects with admirable wisdom, strength, and immense self-control in the face of enormous pressure both from within and outside House Hawkwood. An intensely private person, she keeps her own counsel and has never been known to lose her temper in public. She accepts that Alexius has distanced himself from the house, and wasted no time contemplating what might have been had the Emperor remained a Hawkwood.
Lady Regnus-Octavia Hawkwood (born 4924): The Emperor’s mother, Lady Octavia, is a stern taskmaster with a razor sharp intellect and a will of hardened ceramsteel. She is at odds with her eldest son over his rejection of her scheme to marry him to Lady Penelope Hawkwood of Ravenna. Such a wedge has been driven between them that Lady Octavia has been denied audience with her son for the past three years, although she is still a formidable power within the Hawkwood echelon.
Duke Montgomery Hawkwood (born 4976): Duke Montgomery took the ducal throne of Delphi when his father died (5001) and much of his effort has gone into purging his court of corruption. His father had once vied with Alexius for command of the House and the ducal court of Delphi had long harbored many with anti-Alexius sentiments. As a result of purging traitors from his court, Duke Montgomery has had to diminish his attention to the planetary politics, allowing other Delphi nobles much freedom in their dealings with the Universal Church and the Merchant League.
Duchess Leda Hawkwood (born 4942): Duchess Leda is a no-nonsense ruler of the Arctic continent of Frisia, and a staunch proponent of Hawkwood virtues. A respected war leader and early supporter of Regent Darius, the duchess has partially fallen from Imperial favor over her frequent criticism of Alexius I. Honorable and straightforward she has little patience for the politics that envelope the planet, and she has no use for subtly or idle gossip.
Archbishop Lyander – Metropolitan of the Delphian Metropilae (born 4930): As the Metropolitan of the Delphian Metropilae, Archbishop Lyander is the Church authority of all of Delphi, Gwynneth, Leminkainen, Ravenna, Tethys and Hargard (claimed), and he is obviously eyeing the Patriarchal dais. It was the Archbishop who helped broker the deal between the Patriarch and the then Prince Alexius Hawkwood that bound the Universal Church to support Alexius’ bid for the throne. He is a traditional middle-path Hinayana with some reform leanings, but his competition with other candidates to replace Patriarch Hezekiah has forced Lyander to embrace conservative rhetoric.
Delphi is a cold, windy planet with temperate conditions near the equator and in mid-latitudes during the summer months; summer snow along the equator is common. Delphi is dominated by the super-continent Virigo and covered by more than 60% water (much of it is frozen over). Deciduous forests blanket the equator with boreal evergreens, steppe and arctic tundra, spreading north and south.
The First Republic explorers who discovered Delphi in 2395 found a pleasant world with a temperature and biome similar to Urth. Autonomous settlements grew up quickly and soon struggling for independence from the zaibatsu. In 2504, following a bloody rebellion against Urth, a local corporate leader, named Gervaise Windsor-Hapsburg, maneuvered what remained of the planet’s corporate interests to seize control of the world. He made himself politically invaluable and soon became its de facto ruler. It was his grandson, Sir Robert Hawkwood, who in 2525 formally founded the House Hawkwood. During the Second Republic, Delphi rose to the pinnacle of power in this region of space, but its sun was greatly affected by the fading sun phenomenon. Delphi was one of the first planets where the phenomenon was observed as its Urth-like sun became swollen and cooler over the course of a few generations, sending Delphi into an ice age. Still, Delphi suffered less from the socio-political turmoil of the New Dark Ages, and it has remained at the fore of Phoenix Empire politics ever since.
Delphi is at the center of Hawkwood power, and it was the leading military and diplomatic force behind the Hawkwood bid for the Phoenix Throne in the late 50th century. Today, Delphi is the Emperor’s primary base of support outside the Imperial fiefs, as well as being the capitol world of Hawkwood Space. The Hawkwoods share a few corners of this world with the Minor House Justinian, a once a powerful Delphian faction that lost much of its power with the assassination of Emperor Vladimir (4550) and the collapse of their allies, House Alecto. When the Jumproute to their homeworld of Paradise (4554) was closed shortly thereafter (presumably through sabotage), House Justinian’s position as a Minor House was sealed. Today, House Justinian survives primarily through a long-standing agreement with House Hawkwood allowing them to oversee mining interests on Delphi.
Industrious, bold and strangely optimistic, the citizens of Delphi are a hardy bunch who thrives against the cold. Largely urban and sophisticated, Delphi’s populous is highly educated and even the remotest villages receive the latest news through the world’s well-established Town Criers’ Guild presence. Tying the continent of Virgo Major together is one of the best-maintained road systems in the Phoenix Empire and motorized vehicles remain surprisingly common. Still, the Delphian food production is unable to support its the large population (over 2 billion humans), forcing the world to increasingly relay on imports.
Star: Red Sun (binary system, red giant star orbiting a massive blue star, called Blue Sun, the Paracelsus Belt links the two stars with an ephemeral flame that runs 243AU below the plane of ecliptic and ships entering the flame suffer severe navigational problems and passengers routinely spontaneously combust!)
System: [Red Sun System] Alpha (0.02AU), Vanth (0.91AU), Gwynneth (2.69AU; Norian, Cheux), Somme (4.25AU), Manx-1 (10.54AU), Saturnus (19.54AU; 17 moons), Chantaclier (28.75AU, 7 moons), Spacestation: Chandrasekhar Station (61.65AU), Jumpgate (61.66AU), Manx-2 (70.59AU),
[Blue Sun System] Spacestation: Bounty (7.4AU), Scorpius-1 (13.2AU, 6 moons), Scorpius-2 (27.4AU), Scorpius-3 (30.0AU)
Jumps: Criticorum, Ravenna, Bannockburn
Exports: lumber, textiles, woodcraft products
Duke Erasmus Hawkwood (born c. 4920-40, estimated): Erasmus became Duke of Gwynneth when the former Duke William Rochfort Hawkwood fell to an assassin at the New Year’s Ball of 5008/9. Erasmus had led the planetary effort to censure the atrocious Rochfort and was the only clear candidate to replace him. A fierce warrior and skilled orator, Duke Erasmus is both a vocal supporter of Emperor Alexius I, and a champion of Hawkwood causes. His exact age is uncertain as many documents concerning his early life perished in fires during the Emperor Wars, and Duke Erasmus has seized the opportunity to cultivate a certain personal mystique.
Gwynneth floats in a binary solar system with the blue super-giant, Blue Sun, at the center. Blue Sun has its own closed system of three planets, and around this closed system orbits Gwynneth’s sun, Red Sun, with its planets and the Jumpgate. The twin suns envelope Gwynneth in strange plays of light, resulting in the planet having four distinct light cycles: daylight (only Red Sun visible), true daylight (both stars visible), half-night (only Blue Sun visible), and true night (no sun visible). 49% of the surface is land, its terrain range from tropical jungles to arctic poles, with a desert region on the continent of Fordan and mountain ranges scattered throughout the world.
Gwynneth was discovered entirely by accident in the 25th century as a corporate science ship ended up in this binary system when it attempted to return to Delphi from Ravenna. Early colonists found a rich and fertile world, teeming with life, and with Anunnaki ruins scattered throughout. Settlers and fortune hunters flooded in, most notably from Hawkwood realms. Many early settlers set up isolated self-sustained communities deep in the wilderness, developing strange and sometimes frightening local cultures (including paganism). House Hawkwood acquired Gwynneth through strategic marriage and conquest in 2849, but their rule was challenged in 2855 when the Ur-Ukar attacked human space, concentrating much of their forces on Gwynneth. During the Second Republic, the system’s twin suns made Gwynneth a major tourist (and pilgrim) attraction that brought numerous artists, philosophers, mystics, free thinkers. With the end of the Second Republic, Gwynneth suffered a slow twilight decline rather than a dramatic fall into the New Dark Ages and the world was strong enough to resist Universal Church’s Doctrine of the Cleansing Flame (4079). Gwynneth, together with Leminkainen then faced attacks by a noble fleet loyal to the Church, but unlike Leminkainen, Gwynneth managed to quickly repel the attackers, leading the Church to excommunicate the planet’s leaders and put the world under quarantine for almost 300 years. Further bombarding followed throughout the 43rd century but the Church never managed to break Gwynneth. The blockade proved ineffective and the Church eventually negotiated a settlement where Gwynneth surrendered much of its everyday technology but kept the major pieces critical to its infrastructure and way of life. Gwynneth also developed strained relations with Criticorum, and in 4810 al-Malik forces launched a full-scale invasion. They held Gwynneth for two years before the full might of House Hawkwood crushed the al-Malik presence and invaded Criticorum in return. During the Emperor Wars, Gwynneth again fought, and then allied itself with Criticorum (against House Decados), and also saw increased barbarian raids as well as Inquisitorial sweeps against its pagan population.
Gwynneth is a world of many natural resources, which is efficiently exploited and harvested with sophisticated tech. Off-world exports are largely based upon lumber and carpentry skills. Much of the planet remains unexplored, and future explorer expeditions are sure to uncover more Anunnaki ruins. Religious tolerance, if not freedom, has always been a part of life on Gwennyth and it is host to a bewildering array of heretical sects and strange religions, including the Children of Zuran, Preceptors, Eurygnostics (a form of Incarnism), and Giarti. Conflict between the pagans and less tolerant Hawkwood lords resulted in a pogrom that left more than 5 million dead and lasted for over a decade. The leader of these ‘religious reforms’, Duke William Rochfort Hawkwood, suffered censure from other lords before his rule was cut short by an assassin’s blade.
Gwynneth has a recorded human population of 840 million. Another estimated 100 million humans, barbarian settlers and “Forest People”, are believed to inhabit the world as well. Hawkwood Gwynnethans are generally proud and industrious, and quite open to outsiders and foreign philosophies.
Star: Suryan (giant red star)
System: Nax (0.75AU), Leminkainen (1.99AU; Staltos, Cox, Momerath), Shylkor (3.3AU), Tantalus (21.65AU), Ivald (31.44AU), Asteroid Belt (45.01-51.23AU), Mord (48.31AU), Bilgo (95.12AU), Jumpgate (101.58AU)
Jumps: Byzantium Secundus, Ravenna, Aylon, Pentateuch
Resources: minerals, agriculture, prisons
Exports: pygmallium, giant vegetables, medical technology
Duchess Cathrine Hawkwood (born 4935): Catherine is the ruler of the Jyväskylä continent, the largest and most developed on Leminkainen, and with that post follows the planetary throne although many regions are more or less autonomous. She has ruled since her parents perished in a Vuldrok offensive when she was a child. She grew to become a bulwark against the anarchy of the barbarian hordes, and has over the last four decades made the region a formidable military power. Unquestionably loyal to her house and the Emperor, she keeps peace with the Vuldrok settlers of Valdalla as long as they abide by the Teldor Treaty. During the Emperor Wars, Catherine was a skilled commander of a Hawkwood battle fleet, striking deep into Hazat space.
Shallow blue oceans cover 70% of Leminkainen, with mighty green forests carpeting much of the land, interrupted by large red deserts on two of its five continents. Leminkainen should have been a desert world, but despite baking temperatures and dry climate it retains a lush covering of genetically engineered flora. The planet’s three moons cause massive tidal swells in the shallow oceans and areas flooded at high tide can be 50 miles or more from the shore at low tide. The costal regions are often hit by titanic storms that rumble out of the storm belt to wreak havoc.
When discovered in the 25th century, Leminkainen was a primordial planet rich in flora but virtually devoid of fauna beyond insect level. From the beginning, Leminkainen was a scientific laboratory for the First Republic’s wealthiest conglomerates, and it was an axiom that Leminkainen did not have citizens, only employees. It was seeded with experimental plants and fertilizers, turning it into one of the largest food exporters of the day. This situation lasted throughout the First Republic, the Diaspora era and through much of the Second Republic, and the only conflict Leminkainen saw for over a millennia was internal corporate wars. As the planet continued to transform under corporate control, Leminkainen’s neighbors – notably New Istanbul (Byzantium Secundus), Ravenna and Aylon – began eyeing it with greed. Leminkainen was among the first worlds conquered by the nobles, in this case House Hawkwood, at the dusk of the Second Republic. The planet’s nobles adamantly refused the Universal Church’s Doctrine of the Cleansing Flame issued in 4079, and following over a decade of negotiation and bickering the Church finally excommunicated Leminkainen’s leaders and persuaded loyal nobles to attack the world. Leminkainen was eventually bombed into submission in the early 43rd century, followed by years of Inquisitorial sweeps. In the mid 46th century, Leminkainen’s sun started swelling and gradually turning blood red, eventually doubling in size. Causing the mass extinction of many plant and animal species. New strains of hardy fauna were introduced to the planet’s hothouse conditions and today the world is known for its artificial plants. In 4525 barbarian invaders swept into the Known Worlds and Leminkainen took the brunt of those attacks. The barbarians stuck Leminkainen with biological weapons that killed over 1/3 of its population and poisoned the environment. But Leminkainen held out against overwhelming odds and absorbed much of the barbarian assault. During the Emperor Wars, Leminkainen briefly fell to the Vuldrok, but was liberated by a combined Hawkwood and al-Malik fleet. In return for a cease-fire, the Teldor Treaty of 4965 gave the Vuldrok most of the Valdalla continent as an autonomous fiefdom.
Leminkainen shares its boarder with the Vuldrok Star Nation and much of the House Hawkwood fleet is stationed in the system to repel invaders. The Emperor’s overtures of peace towards the barbarians have reduced tensions between off-world Vuldrok and the Leminkainen population, without dissolving it completely. Leminkainen is also host to two important minor houses, House Dextrite (Decados vassals who run the Kriel island penal colony) and House Vasalyana (who recently suffered a war against their Hawkwood patron). The markets of Hakkonen see the trade of many barbarian artifacts brought from the Vuldrok nations and their trading ships are a common sight.
The people of Leminkainen are a diverse lot, and many are suspicious of strangers while some are surprisingly open. Due to the many problems and acts of devastation over the last few centuries, the population of Leminkainen is estimated to less than 1 million humans (c. 200,000 of which are barbarian settlers). Aggressive settlement schemes have been planned but remain underfunded and impotent as of yet.
Star: Storn (pale yellow star)
System: Mosari (0.57AU), Ravenna (1.02AU; Triangulus), Jualwa (6.58AU), Dro (18.54AU; 23 moons), Madro (19.72AU; 17 moons), Nylus (32.99AU), Jumpgate (68.09AU), Ploo (72.58AU)
Jumps: Velisamil, Leminkainen, Gwynneth, Delphi
Resources: stone, gem stones, precious metals, deuterium
Exports: marble, jewelry, fine arts, foods
Duke Alverax Hawkwood (born 4950): The Emperor’s younger brother and frequently his greatest critic, Duke Alverax is believed to oppose his brother’s rule. He has long lobbied for command of the Imperial Navy, a post that was recently awarded to Lord Admiral Kalid Rashtan al-Malik, and has been a strong voice for the rearmament of House Hawkwood. Though Alverax’ demands have so far been stymied, by the Emperor and Princess Victoria both, he has gathered significant personal military might. There is a growing divide between Aleverax and Princess Victoria and some whisper it is only a matter of time before he launches a coup for the control of the house.
Duchess Penelope Hawkwood (born 4977): Groomed from years as the Emperor’s spouse, to bridge the growing divide between the Lion and Phoenix, it came as a shock when Alexius rejected Penelope. She then settled for the Emperor’s brother Alverax and their union has produced a son, Utar-Alverax (born 5009), a strong candidate to inherit the Phoenix Throne should Alexius not marry and produce a legitimate heir of his own.
Archbishop Sondra Nies (born 4942): Archbishop Sondra is the supreme Church authority on Ravenna and an extremely conservative follower of Hinayana orthodoxy. She staunchly opposes the concept of an Emperor and outspoken in her critique of Alexius, made worse in 4997 when the Emperor tried to have her dethroned. She rules from Castillo, a continent considered Terra Firma (or part of Holy Terra proper), gifted to the Church after the Fall.
Ravenna is a temperate and tranquil orb of blue and green. It has no discernible change of season as the planet has no set axis, instead spinning gently in ever shifting patterns around a great gravity engine at its core. Its biome primarily consists of deciduous forests with leaves that never change color, with cold needleleaf forests in the highlands. Ravenna also has wide stretches of prairies, arid (but temperate) deserts, towering mountain ranges and marshes.
Independent explorers discovered Ravenna in 2505 who found a stormy and hostile world with some of the greatest mineral finds to that date. A severe axial tilt created extremes of hot and cold, and earthquakes wracked the plant. It was clear that exploitation of the rich planet demanded great sacrifices of human life and money. Within 20 years of its discovery much of Ravenna had been acquired by House Hawkwood, and over the next hundred years the planet came fully under their control. During the Second Republic, Ravenna underwent a metamorphosis, as it was terraformed from a hostile world to a garden paradise. With great effort, hunters exterminated most native predators and safer wildlife was imported from a dozen worlds. Indispensable to this project, the beast-speakers of House Trusnikron settled on the world and have remained close allies to the Hawkwood since. Using colossal gravity engines and massive force field generators, scientist “corrected” the planet’s axial tilt. Ravenna was among the first worlds to heed the Church’s call and discarded republican rule for an agrarian civilization with no need or desire for higher technology. Only with the barbarian invasion of 4525 did the population fully embrace the Doctrine of the Privilege of Martyrs, and since Leminkainen and Gwynneth buffered it against the Vuldrok, Ravenna avoided the worst of the invasion. In 4684, Ravenna’s ruler, Lady Avyryl Hawkwood, married the Bishop Halvor Li Halan of Kish and threw her political weight behind his bid to become Patriarch and Emperor. Fearing she might bring Ravenna into Li Halan fold, the rest of her family blockaded the planet, and were soon challenged by Halvor’s forces. But the combined might of House Hawkwood destroyed the invading fleet and dethroned Lady Avyryl. During the Emperor Wars, Ravenna served a supporting roll to House Hawkwood and saw less direct fighting than its neighbor worlds. When Ravenna-born Alexius Hawkwood ascended the Phoenix Throne, he surprised many by ceding most of his Ravenna lands to his brother and distancing himself from the family.
Ravenna, mirroring its geological stability, prizes political stability above other considerations. Despite the considerable critique against Emperor Alexius I on his home soil, Ravenna as a whole remains surprisingly stable. Still very rich in mineral resources, Ravenna funnels most of its surplus wealth into agrarian investments and infrastructure. The considerable Ravenna military functions mostly as reserve force for other Hawkwood worlds, the standing army being used for civilian purposes in times of peace.
The human population of Ravenna numbers around 450 million humans, though there is also a number of Ur-Obun enclaves. Revanna has remained the most pious of Hawkwood worlds since the Prophet Zebulon’s visit in 2899. People here are often regarded as dreary and disapproving, and many have noted that Ravennans oppose all change and progress as a matter of principle.
Star: Vemhalon (white-yellow star)
System: Maan (0.23AU), Oaakaven (0.45AU), Olondiel (0.8AU), Velisamil (0.95AU; Spacestation: Farhallanen Station, Vena), Niiteh (4.7AU; 7 moons), Thoavoimil (7.8AU; Lhuqennen), Varzen (25.1AU; 3 moons), Jumpgate (47.23AU)
Jumps: Byzantium Secundus, Ravenna
Resources: ores, minerals, agriculture, ancient ruins
Exports: textiles, exotics (Ur tech), Obun cultural objects, fashion, politics
First Speaker Soleel HanSeer (born 4904): Soleel is an aging Obun and currently the longest serving member of the Umo’rin (ruling council). Even though confident in the hopes that the Obun shall rise to greatness, he greatly fears what the immediate future holds: “The night before the dawn may still hold many storms unseen.” In his later years, Soleel have grown melancholic over what he sees as the abandonment of tradition by younger Obun who increasingly embrace Human culture.
Velisamil, the homeworld of the Ur-Obun, has a landscape similar to Urth’, although the somewhat lower gravity (0.91 G) cause mountains and plants to be taller, scattered with the ruins of the ancient Obun civilization. Some regions are still scarred by a civil war (“the Great Desolation) that raged a thousand years ago, harsh desert terrains that hold little life. Most of Velisamil is beautifully sculpted with immaculately gardens, sweeping architectures, and long fluted spires. Wide tree-lined avenues characterize the Obun ideal of openness and union between civilization and nature.
Humanity first encountered the Obun people when explorers unlocked the Jumproute to Velisamil in 2797. Profound change in the Obun culture would soon follow, and the pre-humanity history is now considered largely mythical. The Obun, who had settled their native star system but not achieved Jump-technology, welcomed humanity as technological, and therefore spiritual superiors, similar to how they venerated the Anunnaki in prehistoric times. A mutual enamoring between the two species quickly developed, but humanity slowly rose to dominance in the partnership. Obun ventured into human space as well, and in 2803 the Bintaru priestess Ven Lohji chanced upon the Prophet, a meeting that would forever change Obun thinking and Velisamil culture. Ven Lohji saw the Prophet as the fulfillment of Bintaru, and when she returned to Velisamil after the Prophet’s death in 2849, she brought with her a new faith, an amalgam of Bintaru and the Prophet’s message, which spread like wildfire among the spiritually inclusive population. During the Diaspora humanity began to settle on Velisamil and soon competed with Obun for the planet’s land and resources, but the Umo’rin chose to wage peace on the humans and avoided military actions. A number of Obun families also took to the stars to settle on human worlds. When the Ukar attacked Criticorum in 2855 the Obun instantly recognized their distant cousins of legend bent on aggression. Velisamil threw its full military weight in support of humanity; dispelling any tension between the two species, for in the face of Ukari violence Humans and Obun were one. During the Second Republic, the Obun culture became a novelty among humans and Velisamil became a tourist trap of Obunmania. Being a self-governed and self-sufficient world, Velisamil suffered little from the Fall, but when people sought scapegoats for the mounting troubles of the New Dark Age, fingers often pointed to the Obun. When an Obun terrorist cell was discovered on Velisamil in 4122, House Hawkwood stepped in and made the world a Hawkwood protectorate. Human-Obun tension reached an all-time high in 4203 when a Ven Lohji priest, Eokésmen ma Dohlenni, began preaching a hateful message of Obun supremacy, urging Obun not follow the whims of lesser species. His words incited several acts of Obun rebellion, provoking the Universal Church. Church troops harassed Obun communities in their search for Eokésmen and the normally placid Obun fought back. Soon, a war raged on Velisamil between Church and Obun forces, but the outcome was certain – three months after he started preaching Eokésmen was killed in battle, together with over half a million supporters. Velisamil became isolated even by New Dark Age standards as House Hawkwood limited the access to and from the Obun world. Only with the advent of the Emperor Wars was Velisamil re-opened as it joined House Hawkwood in the fight to shape the future of humans and Obun alike.
The Umo’rin, a council of representatives elected from Velisamil’s provinces and colonies, governs Velisamil and the solar system. Although mostly self-governed, the Umo’rin is answerable to House Hawkwood whose governors keep watch from the consulate in Loaajen, a large sprawling complex housing the Hawkwood administration, military barracks, and an Orthodox church. The Velisamil military is small and reserved for planetary defense, yet has sometimes been called upon to fight on behalf of their Hawkwood overlords. The Vehm-saahen, an ancient Obun order of philosopher-knights, are both praised for their prowess and feared on suspicion of be radical militant separatists by humans.
Velisamil is home to some 2 billion Obun and 100,000 humans (all in Loaajen). The planet has its share of non-conformist groups, most notably the Xho-velisamilun “barbarians” who maintain a tribal society and practice Anunnaki paganism, venerating the “Lightbearers”. Another heresy is the Bintaru faith, the native animistic philosophical mysticism, followed by nearly 1/5 of the Velisamil population, practicing meditative contemplation to achieve enlightenment. Still, the Ven Lohji faith (“Voavenlohjun”), veneration of the Prophet Zebulon’s Obun apostle Ven Lohji, is by far the most widespread religion practiced on Velisamil. The seat of Voavenlohjun is the Dyan Monastery in the Voor mountain range, where hundreds of Obun mystics come each year to contemplate the sacred patterns of Creation.