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Sample Fiefs Thread?
Posted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 8:39 am
If you possess the FSR Game Master's Guide (GMG), you'll find therein one of my contributions to the game that I'm rather fond of, the Sample Fiefs. The idea behind these was to give the GMs some quick and easily integrated locations to play around with, and although only two such fiefs found their way into the FSR GMG more will appear in the future. So, what I was thinking was that perhaps I might be fun for us to do an ongoing thread with fan made sample fiefs up for grabs? What do you think about that? Everyone could contribute their ideas, more or less in accordance with the system set up in the GMG? Let me know what you think.
Re: Sample Fiefs Thread?
Posted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 9:58 am
I'm up for that
Re: Sample Fiefs Thread?
Posted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 5:36 am
Alright, let’s get this show on the road! :p
You can find the Sample Fiefs section on p.74-81 in the FSR Game Master’s Guide, but let me repeat it in short form here for convenience. In the GMG you’ll also find two actual sample fiefs I did for the GMG, the Hacienda Loja fief (a Hazat horse breeding ranch) and the Prosperity Valley fief (a Decados rubber plantation), which might work as inspiration.
The idea is to present GMs with a bunch of ready-to-use fiefs to be picked up and implemented in the game on the spot. We don’t want very long and drawn-out articles, but rather short and inspiring pieces that cover the basics for places where the cadre might end up on their adventures. (My own sample fiefs tend to grow overly long and complex, so look out for that. Short and precise will do!) Furthermore, although the temptation is to design very unique and strange locations, it is probably better to stick with straight forward ones as they will be the most useful ‘emergency locations’. If you design a fief that the GM will have to build a story around to use it, you’ll have sort of missed the point. In essence, these articles should cover the ‘boring’ dirty work of designing fiefs, so that the GM does not have to do it on the spot. That said, keep it interesting :p
The format we use goes like this (each section should be one paragraph long, unless otherwise stated): Overview
(general summary/introduction), Relations
(short text on the neighbors and relations to those), Description
(geography, climate, interesting features), History
(brief summary of the past), Assets (suggested annual income if used as an Assets Benefice), Men-at-Arms
(type, character, and general armament of the local militia and/or guard force), Personas
(a short list of one-paragraph write-ups on each of the principle characters within the fief + one paragraph each on using the local lord as either a patron or adversary in a game).
Re: Sample Fiefs Thread?
Posted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 5:43 am
Right, on it!
BTW should this be in the GM section of the forum rather than "For Players"?
Re: Sample Fiefs Thread?
Posted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 6:50 am
Well, that's a good point. My thought was that everyone could join in to build a library of sample fiefs, but it does make more sense to have this in the Game Master section... We'll see if we can move it at some point (Todd?).
Re: Sample Fiefs Thread?
Posted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 6:53 am
So, here is my first contribution. This is a sample fief I wrote for the truncated FS3, redone for FSR. As always, the GM is encouraged to tweak and change things to better match his/her need. Enjoy!
Overview: About four days travel from the nearest city, along the shore of the sea, lies the Halite Barony, one of the few noble residences of the region. There are few resources of interest to nobles in this arid land, with the desert salt mines being the only major exception. The local lord, Baron Ramish Halite Keddah is a rural noble with little political influence, although wealthy enough to afford several technological conveniences. Salt is harvested from salt fields on dried out lakebeds on his land, as well as mined from the hills throughout the barony. Most of his salt is sold to merchants in the city, but Baron Ramish also regularly sends dromart caravans across the Hamada du Aswad (Blackstone Desert). (Dromarts are a species of six-legged camels native to Grail). These journeys are dangerous and strenuous, but the revenue is higher than selling to the merchants of the nearby city. Baron Halite is vassal to the Markiz (Marquis) of the continent, who oversees the continent in absentia from his estates in Sangreal. Baron Halite is mostly left alone as long as he pays his taxes. Neighboring realms are either Sanctuary Aeon-owned wilderness or House Keddah estates often overseen by stewards.
Relations: Relations between the people of the Halite Barony and the Khoesaan bushmen of the desert are mostly good. The dromart caravans often employ Khoesaan guides to safely navigate the Hamada du Aswad. The desert dwellers also sometimes travel to the barony to trade skins, craft wares, and the occasional precious or semi-precious stone found in the desert, for dromarts, fish oils and dried fish, and metal tools. It is usual for the baron to sponsor celebrations in the hamlets on these occasions, encouraging his subjects and the desert neighbors to mingle and socialize. Legends are shared and gifts exchanged, strengthening the ties between the two groups, although both sides distance themselves from the other to preserve their cultural uniqueness. These long nights of celebration and merriment occasionally result in inter-ethnical pregnancies, and these offspring are always raised in the barony since both groups agree that the arid lands north of the Halite Barony are too harsh for a half breed. Consequently, there are many people of mixed ethnic background among the baron’s serfs, easily distinguished by their smaller stature and darker skin. Despite the good relations between the barony and the Khoesaan people, it is rumored that some tribes are opposed to the Halite Barony, especially the Dust Lizard tribe who claim ownership of certain waterholes within the barony. Also, the Khoesaan legends often speak of the dreaded Water Thieves tribe who dwell underground like Zhuil’hishtu, ambushing lone bushmen and raid communities and waterholes for the precious liquid.
Description: The Halite estate sits on a hilltop where the midday breeze is channeled through the manor. Built in a style reminiscent of pre-reflective Urth aesthetics of the Near East zone, the manor and annexes are of a monumental yet delicate design, with tall arched ceilings and meticulous decorative details, and terraces, pavilions, and domes. Colors range from red through terracotta to brown, complimenting the surrounding yellowish-red sunbaked hills, and a small but impressive garden sits in the center of the main courtyard, complete with chilled water fountains and imported flora. The surrounding hillsides are a maze of aqueducts, cisterns, and irrigation systems, some of which carrying water up-hill. Three small hamlets sit in nearby valleys, mirroring the architecture and decoration of the manor. One hamlet lies close by the shore of the sea and operates a small lighthouse. All the valleys are connected to the Halite estate by sturdy dirt tracks, as well as a closed system of telephone lines run by an operator servant in the manor. Every hamlet can call its neighboring hamlets as well as the estate, and there are also isolated end-of-the-line telephones on the borders of the realm (one by a well, one by a bridge, one in a mountain pass, and one in the lighthouse), but there is no connection to the outside world. The barony has a decent stock of dromarts that are bred in the nearby hamlets. The manor also employs a stable of four hoverbikes, each over a millennia old. The “Sky Destriers”, as the hoverbikes are called, are used for personal transportation and escorting caravans. There is no mechanic on staff to maintain these vehicles, but every year the Baron sends for an Engineer to come maintain them.
History: The barony has passed through history without attracting much attention. The land was originally owned by the Sanctuary Aeon, but Baron Ramish’ ancestors acquired it in 4720. During the Emperor Wars, the Halite Barony did its part for the House Keddah war effort, straining itself to deliver the war industry’s demand for valuable salt. The barony’s troops partook in the planetary defense reserves, although some also saw battle on Criticorum and Istakhr. In 4984, an al-Malik saboteur operating in the nearby city was found out and fled into the wilderness of the Halite Barony, where he was promptly captured by the baron’s men – a major feather in the baron’s cap! In 5000, Halite Barony troops distinguished themselves again in joining the city in fighting off a pirate attack later discovered to have been sponsored by House al-Malik.
Assets: On average, the Halite Barony generates an annual 3,000 firebirds surplus on the salt trade after expenses.
Men-at-arms (6 +100 draftees): The Halite Barony can call upon a good 100 peasant militia in times of need. In addition, Baron Ramish enlists six professional warriors; three of whom make up the Halite Manor guard, while the remaining three each serve as bailiff in one of the hamlets (these positions rotate on a yearly basis). These professional warriors are: Samir and Arash Halitey (cousins) are local middle-aged yeomen farmers who distinguished themselves as squires in the Emperor Wars; Sulili Kantony and Goran of Sharazor are young men originally trained as law enforcement officers in the city; Sandor Nagy is an aging soldier of fortune (former Muster guilder) who befriended the old baron while fighting for House Keddah in the 4970s, and who retire to the Halite Barony after the Emperor Wars; and then there is Segen (lieutenant) Akiva ben Kosiba Keddah, a Keddah bastard in his 30s with extensive fencing schooling and a distinguished career as a professional duelist-second and stand-in. Segen Akiva also serve as Baron Ramish’s second in command in all martial matters. All the men-at-arms are accomplished hoverbike riders (Segen Akiva is the undisputed hoverbike champion of the realm), equipped with common Manfeed Hunting Rifles, Drexler Firehunter medium revolvers, Rapiers, Plastic Scale Mail armor, Binoculars, Squawkers, and MedPacks. The draftee militia are equipped with spears, crossbows, and simple studded leather armor.
Baron Ramish Halite Keddah (born 4965): Baron Ramish is a down-to-earth ruler with few of the eccentricities commonly associated with the nobility. He inherited the land in 4997 when his father (Baron Hashem – “the old baron”) was thrown from a bucking Sky Destrier and plunged to his death. Although never proven, Baron Ramish is convinced his father was assassinated, either by agents of House al-Malik or one of its lackey minor houses. Three years later, Baron Ramish lost his young wife Ruya and fist born in childbirth, and he has not yet remarried. The only other highborn currently in his household are his mother, Lady Ischa (née Masseri), and his 7 years old sister, Lady Aylin.
Seneschal Tjaty Jr. Wazir (born 4967): Tjaty Jr. comes from a long line of Halite servants and was raised as Baron Ramish’ playmate. He gradually inherited his father’s job as seneschal in the 4990s when Tjaty, Sr. began sliding into dementia. Tjaty Jr. has never married, and his only close living relative is his cousin Vahid Wazir (born 4989), a bookish boy with a penchant for languages and desert ecology, but able enough around the estate.
Using Baron Ramish as a patron: Times are busy at the barony, for not only is a salt caravan due to leave across the desert, but Baron Ramish is about to embark for Istakhr with his mother and sister to attend the wedding of some distant relative. Against the advice of seneschal Tjaty Jr., Baron Ramish wishes to hire the cadre to escort the dromart caravan. Seneschal Tjaty suggested giving the job to his cousin Vahid, but the baron felt the man too young for such a responsibility (the cadre won’t be told this). Tjaty Jr., who is starting to demonstrate signs of his father’s dementia, has decided to orchestrate the cadre’s failure so as to strengthen his argument that such work should to be assigned to the trusted Vahid. In addition to the dangers of the Hamad du Aswad, the cadre must overcome attacks by Khoesaan tribes whom Seneschal Tjaty has enlisted through threats and bribery in equal measures. Tjary Jr. will spread the rumor that a group of well-armed dark-robed men, speaking with Shaprut accents, have been spotted are lurking about in Blackstone Desert. With this rouse, the seneschal hope to discourage any suspicion directed towards him, although the fact that no one else have heard of these dark-robed robbers might become a problem for him down the road.
Using Baron Ramish as an adversary: Baron Ramish is competent and clever, a merchant noble to the core and he is not above displacing a Khoesaan tribe to gain access to their salt-rich lands. Khoesaan elders have asked the Sanctuary Aeon for help, who in turn sends the cadre to investigate and defuse the situation (“without resorting to violence, please!”). Baron Ramish possess documents indicating that the Khoesaan tribe’s land is in fact his, while the Khoesaan claims their totem spirit received the land as a blessing from St. Amalthea, and that it was charged to bring the adoration of the Pancreator to this arid region where no people then lived. But why does the tribal chieftain wear the war-helmet of the old Baron Hashem (a Battle Energy Shield hidden in its construction), and how come the tribe’s crude idol of the Dust Lizard Spirit bear the House Decados emblem on its breast?
Re: Sample Fiefs Thread?
Posted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 5:36 pm
This is a great idea - I'll go about playing around with one myself!
Re: Sample Fiefs Thread?
Posted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 5:22 am
Here's another one I did for Grail back in the day (never mind the funky English... this was done some years ago).
Overview: The Haramathaim Earldom is an urban fief in Sangreal, the capital city of Grail. It is run by the Countess Jozefina Haramathaim Keddah. (No official title for a female Earl exists and ‘Countess’ is used instead, although the constructed ‘Earlina’ is also sometimes found). The fief encompass four city blocks in a down town lower middleclass district. It consists of factories and shops for heavy industry production (machinery and parts mostly) and some residential areas for serfs and staff. The Earl of Haramathaim, Countess Jozefina, is the largest mass-producer of mid-tech (TL3-5) machinery, engines, tools, and parts on Grail. Her fief is therefore quite wealthy. She has encourages a small community of Engineers’ Guild designers and mechanics to work within her realm, overseeing productions and developing new designs. The locals both revere the guilders as tech-oracles and fear them as technosophists. A closely guarded secret is that Countess Jozefina is running a very profitable, and quite illegal, underground munitions factory behind a font of legitimate businesses. She supplies ammunition and slug guns to black market entrepreneurs and others in need of discrete arms purchases.
Relations: Countess Jozefina is on very good terms with Sheikh Haroun Keddah, although she vehemently opposes any dealings with House al-Malik. In addition, she is often critical of the Sheikhs economic politics, which she finds unprogressive and stagnant. Countess Jozefina is a strong supporter of Emperor Alexius, and has in the past produced goods for Questing Knights at considerable discounts to try to establish herself in the Imperial economy. She is rather indifferent to the Universal Church although she admires their many social programs and charities. She is also a vocal supporter for organizing a grand crusade against the Kurga Caliphate, which would constitute another business opportunity for her legit and illegitimate businesses. The Haramathaim Earldom is on mixed terms with the Merchant League, having strictly professional relations with the Engineers’ Guild, while being at odds with the Sangreal Scravers’ chapterhouse for refusing to pay their “social charity taxes” (i.e. protection money). The earldom is however, on excellent terms with the Charioteers’ Guild and many lesser guilds, counting them among her best costumers.
Description: The Earldom composes of four roughly square city blocks, with wide stone paved streets for vehicular transportation and functional maxicrete and brick building that house factories and human resources. Many side streets and roads are bricked up at the border of the realm, making the Haramathaim fief akin to a walled-off ghetto-town within the city. The population is divided according to ethnic group, standing, and faction affiliation, each group dwelling with their peers on assigned streets or buildings. There are no churches or temples within the fief, although several chapels and churches are available within a few minutes’ walk from the earldom boundary. Likewise, there are few stores or cultural features within the fief, with the exception of a coffeehouse tavern called The Steel Claw functioning as a town hall of sorts. Countess Jozefina’s manor is a converted early Second Republic museum building, built in a monumental classicist style, although its dimensions are quite modest (three floors with adjacent wings, and a central four story round tower). Much of the building and furniture still bears the Musæum Universitas Sangrealensis logo, depicting a woman carrying a scroll and sword. High technology is limited within the fief to nobles and parts of the manorial staff, as well as the resident guilders who possess their own pieces of tech. The earldom’s only landcraft street cars belong either to the Countess’ manor or the various factories. For the rest of the population, bicycles are the primary modes of personal transportation. Other mid-tech gadgets (TL3-4), including squawkers, basic household appliances, and tools are reasonably common. There is little in the form of tech infrastructure though, and the fief lacks phone lines, a proper power grid outside of the factories and the manor, and at night the streets are lit by gaslight.
History: The Haramathaim Earldom part of Sangreal was built in the 3560s, an expansion to supply the city with a cheap new educational district. This district was aimed at educating the lower middleclass population and was built for function and efficiency rather than aesthetical concerns. With the Fall, education of the masses became obsolete, and much of the district was re-developed for cheap residential areas and low tech industries. The Haramathaim family came into possession of the district around the time of Vladimir I’s death, and the fief was re-developed again and converted for mid-tech mass production center. The fief was instrumental in supplying Sheikh Yacob Keddah with the tech needed to rebuild the Jumpkey manufacturing facility in the late 4580s. With the outbreak of the Emperor Wars, the Haramathaim Earldom soon adapted to the wartime economy, producing specialist parts for the Grail armed forces. In 4989, Earl Lorentz of Haramathaim accompanied a squad of battle engineers into combat against House al-Malik troops who invaded Grail’s two moons, and he has been missing in action since. His young wife, Jozefina, inherited the Earldom and continued in her husband’s footsteps.
Assets: On average, the Haramathaim Earldom generates about 15,000 firebirds annually after expenses.
Men-at-arms (40): There is no militia in the Haramathaim Earldom, for the workers and specialists who make up the Countess’ serfs have no time to waste on training for war. Instead, the realm employs a family of freemen warriors, the Medjas Clan heralding from the East African zone on Urth, as guards and enforcers of law and order. The Medjas count around 60 individuals, a good 40 of whom hold positions as men-and-women-at-arms and fief guards in the Earldom (the remaining are non-fighting clan members). They have access to an armory with Martech Cobra vz. 81 submachine guns and wear ancient Second Republic Stiffsynth armors still bearing the Musæum Universitas Sangrealensis name and logo. They also carry Low-light goggles, Flash Bang grenades, Squawkers, and MedPacks.
Countess Jozefina Haramathaim – Earl (“Earlina”) of Haramathaim (born 4968): Countess Jozefina has developed into a powerful industry magnate, sometimes derogatorily referred to as ‘zaibatsu’ by her rivals and enemies. She was a struggling businesswoman for most of the Emperor Wars, being forced to produce wares and parts with little gain, sometimes even at a loss. After adapting to a post-war economy in the mid-4990s however, Countess Jozefina has steadily amassed a staggering wealth. Most wouldn’t realize this though, for she has not spent her money on demonstrating her wealth to the world, preferring rather to reinvest in her business. Her only splurge is the Vagabond Class Trader starship, Starsteed, which she acquired last year, a tired old vessel that has been in space dock since it was purchased, undergoing refitting and repairs. (It also lacks a crew at the moment). Countess Jozefina inherited the Haramathaim fief from her husband in 4989, but she is convinced that Earl Lorentz is still alive, being kept a prisoner of war by the hated al-Malik. One of these days, she plans to put her wealth and Starsteed to use in locating and rescuing her husband, although she currently has no leads as to his whereabouts. Two years ago, Countess Jozefina adopted the newly born twin girls Hawwá and Mahshid while on a pilgrimage off world. Common court gossip speculates, however, that the twins may in fact be Jozefina’s illegitimate children as she was conveniently away for almost 7 months before she returned to Grail with the newborns.
Novh’jen (born 4942): This aging but elegant Ur-Obun woman is paraded at court as a trophy courtier. Her excellent conduct and exotic singing talent is a great boost to the Haramathaim estate’s prestige. In reality however, she serves the Countess as an accountant, a personal physician, and a mind-guard. She is a master of the psychic path of Turning and is also adapt at FarHand. Novh’jen has served with the Haramathaim family since before the birth of (the former) Earl Lorentz. In 4982, Novh’jen defended Earl Lorentz life from an Ur-Ukar brainwasher and would-be assassin, presumably a House al-Malik agent, an encounter that shook Novh’jen to the core. Since then, she has developed an acute, bordering on irrational fear of the Ur-Ukari kind.
Alexandros Black (born 4964): Black is a freeman who has served as guard and lieutenant for the Haramathaim estate since 4983. He has no close relatives, and the Haramathaim household is the closest he has to a family. He is both the Countess’ bodyguard and troubleshooter, and it is he who manages the fief’s underworld contacts. Although he isn’t a leader of troops, he oftentimes coordinates security details and expeditions with the Medjas. Black has a passion for street cars and much of his spare time is spent working on his beloved vehicle, a home-built car that he assembles from various spare parts as well as original parts manufactured locally.
Using Countess Jozefina as a patron: Strange things have occurred in the Haramathaim Earldom lately, and Countess Jozefina suspects she is the victim of industrial espionage, or worse. Noble spies, both domestic and foreign, are suspected, as are Scravers gangsters, Imperial Eye agents, and rival industrial magnates. Even worse, Lady Jozefina suspects there might be an inside collaborator in her household, which is why she has decided to hire outside help to take care of the situation (i.e. the cadre). People have been seeing strangers about at night, and a fortnight ago someone broke into a factory office. Several commoners have been attacked on the streets at night, and now a steel foundry is a week behind in delivering its quota, while space-dock authorities report an attempted burglary on the Starsteed. Or perhaps the old Avestite zealot, Orbos of the Flame, is right when he claims it is all a ploy by the Countess to divert attention away from her own vile technosophy?
Using Countess Jozefina as an adversary: The local Scravers’ Guild has had enough. They want to know what is going on in the Haramathaim Earldom and why the Countess grows unexpectedly richer while refusing to hiring their underground connections and specialists. They fear, quite rightly, that the countess is operating her own underground market. The Scravers’ cannot send their usual enforcers, as they are all well known within the fief, so outsiders will have to be contracted to investigate the situation (i.e. the cadre). Several reports of disturbing occurrences have been coming out of the Earldom lately, and Charioteers agents have been bringing in secret shipments that bypass the planetary customs authorities (again without Scravers’ involvement). And lastly, who or what, is attacking people in the streets at night? Dragging screeming victims down into the ancient sewage and drainage tunnels, and leaving strange footprints and tail tracks behind?
Re: Sample Fiefs Thread?
Posted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 5:40 am
People should of course find inspiration and write these things however way they wish, but I thought I should share a tip on how I do Sample Fiefs. I typically start out brainstorming what resource a fief should have. I want my fiefs to be interesting in its mundane aspects, so instead of writhing up three wheat farms I try to come up with some more unusual resource bases. From there, it is only a matter of building up layers of story hooks, characters, and interesting descriptions and backstory. So, for the Sample Fiefs in the FSR GMG I started out with a rubber plantation and a horse ranch. With the two Grail fiefs posted above, my start off point was salt mining and urban industry as noble fiefs. Well, that’s what works for me. It could be totally different for you though
I can't wait to see what you guys come up with
Re: Sample Fiefs Thread?
Posted: Mon Jul 14, 2014 8:47 am
Here we go...
Deep Core 104 Sector 42
The Sector 42 is one of the most notable boroughs of Deep Core 104, a great urban complex set deep into the ground on the Southern Follari continent of the Hawkwood world of Ravenna. Nominally ruled by the Baron and Baroness Tochiro Justinian Sector 42 holds some of the most productive and varied mineral seams currently being mined in the city and it is very much a jewel in the Justinian crown. Many wonder then why it’s rulers seem to spend so much time away from home.
Deep Core 104 is one of the few Second Republic “deep core” mining facilities that has been reopened on the planet Ravenna (see FSR Game Master’s Guide pgs 104-105) and the only one currently under the control of House Justinian. The City is vast and not yet completely mapped, let alone fully reopened or populated, but the areas of the city currently sanctioned for use are divided into a variety of boroughs. Each is known by separate, often unique, names drawn from the unearthed signage, local lore or personal preference of the ruling noble. Sector 42 abuts “Quentin’s Retreat” and “The Barony of Abalone” but is separated from each of its neighbours by 2-3km of un reclaimed city scape. As with most Justinians the boroughs have cordial (if often formal) relations and exist in a constant state of friendly rivalry. However they will always draw ranks and stand together against any external faction, be it their “hosts” the Hawkwoods, envious Guilders or the local Orthodoxy (who are intent on curtailing further development of the Deep Cores.
The overall city is ruled by Earl Kiruda Quentin Justinian and the Baron administers his fief at the Earl’s sufferance. The earl is a hardened military man and a veteran of many campaigns who has taken enforced “retirement” as one of the landed gentry very badly. It is probably fair to say that he tolerates the barons below him as a necessary indulgence; if they run their fiefs without having to involve him directly that’s fine. He can get on with hunting, walking his hounds and what little martial practise his wife and physician will permit him.
Generally speaking the strongest ally of Baron and Baroness Tochiro Justinian has been the local Hawkwood nobility. The Baron is a strict traditionalist and has spoken vocally against the internal Justinian faction pushing for a more “progressive” stance (see FSR Player’s Guide pg 46-47). While this has made him significant enemies within his own House it has endeared him to the staid and traditional members of both the local Ravenna Hawkwoods and Urth Orthodoxy.
The Deep Core cities are vast urban complexes built around the edges of huge and ancient mining shafts, some of which that penetrate all the way to the planetary terraforming engines close to the world’s core. 104 is no exception and Sector 42 occupies a section of the complex about 1km across and the deepest workings currently extend some 4.3km down.
The original cities were wonders of Second Republic architecture and innovation but over time superstition, technical ignorance and neglect has led to degradation in the systems and infrastructure. Power is erratic, living quarters are often in states of disrepair with leaks and inadequate plumbing a constant issue, while some areas can even be prone to collapse, whole sections of floor suddenly cascading into the mines below.
Most serfs resident in Sector 42 toil in the mine faces, digging out precious ores, aggregates and Ravenna marble using the same simple tools that would have been familiar to an iron age craftsman. Life is simple and harsh but the Juststians encourage a large Urth Orthodox presence, with motivational shrines seemingly every few hundred metres, and most of the peasantry seem happy that this is their lot.
It is rumoured that the Sector has opened access to a much deeper levels than publically published or sanctioned. What they have found or could be looking for, and what they may unwittingly find remains to be seen, but a number of remarkable Second Republic artefacts have recently come into the possession of Baron Tochiro.
Deep Core 104 was, like all the Ravenna Deep Core cities, placed under Church Interdict during the early New Dark Ages with House Justinian being granted permission to commence the reopening of it in 4803. Sector 42 was refounded and declared a borough of the city in 4862. The Sector was held and administered by the ruling Earls until 4895 when it was granted to the current Baron’s father, Baron Yuri Justinian (4872-4965) for valiant and loyal service in the Battle of Hollow Peak (4894). It has remained as the main family holding since that time.
Some twenty years ago tragedy struck the household when invaders breached the security of the Baron’s own home and tried to kill his two children. While the majority of the household staff were slain, along with the Baron’s youngest child, Tigerlilly (born 4978) was killed but a faithful retainer was able to escape with the young heir, Hemlock (born 4976) in his arms. Hemlock was kept away from the family estate from that point and was educated on the move for his own protection but the identity of the original assailants and the motivation for the attack has yet to be discovered.
The mining works within Sector 42 are moderately prosperous but many envious Guilders have remarked that they would be even more so if the Baron would engage more technologically advanced methods. Currently the workings generate 5000fb per annum in legal workings with potentially finds of Second Republic artefacts of significant value (if rumours are true).
The Baron maintains a large standing force of household guards since the attack on his home some years ago and they act as the executors of his will and laws within Sector 42. The men are well disciplined if a little prone to overly aggressive responses to any issue. They are usually armed with clubs, war swords, metal chain mail and one in five will have a Xien Short Barrelled shotgun.
Baron Tochiro Justinian (born 4935)
The Baron is a regal looking man, his fair hair now peppered with silver. He stands a good six feet tall and still maintains the athletic build of his youth. Personally he is traditional and very formal in outlook, some might describe him as both cold and aloof. Never a notable warrior he always saw himself more as a politician and ruler and as such spends most of his time away from the fief on “diplomatic missions” for Justinian interests. As such he leaves the running of things in the hands of his trusted retainer and bondsman, Master Alfredo Garcia.
Baroness Emeraldas Al Malik Justinian (born 4956)
Baroness Emeraldas is the baron’s second wife, his first having died during the delivery of his first (still born) son Eustace (4960-4960). The Baron remained in mourning for some years until he could be convinced to wed for the benefit of the house. That was not to say that he did not have “companions” during that time but he seemed averse to making a formal commitment again. For her part the current Baroness has always appeared the perfect wife for the Baron; demure, enchanting, witty and many believe that the ties to Al Malik have smoothed some previous issues that that faced Sector 42 when dealing with the Guilds.
Master Alfredo Garcia (born 4958)
Master Alfredo was present with the Baron on a diplomatic mission to Delphi when the tragedy struck the household that robbed the Baron of his daughter and most of his household staff. As the most senior surviving retainer at the time Alfredo stepped up and took control of the running of things and has remained so ever since. Trained by the Reeves Alfredo was born into service in the Baron’s household and has remained so ever since. Some believe though that he has taken advantage of his master’s frequent absence to secretly extend the mine workings and line his own pockets in the process.
Using Baron Tochiro as an ally
Due to his diplomatic efforts it is most likely that the Baron will be encountered somewhere other than his own fief and so it is quite possible that he hears rumour of events at home, such as rumours of unauthorised digs or artefact finds, and seeks help in investigating them.
It is also possible that evidence concerning the attack on his family might finally be unearthed and as the emotional wounds might still be very tender he may look for a third party to follow up on the information on his behalf.
Finally the Guilds are often looking upon Sector 42 (and the rest of the Deep Core city) with envious, greedy eyes. The Baron may seek out those who could be sympathetic to him but with good knowledge of the Guilds to act to dissuade them or negotiate mutual terms.
Using Baron Tochiro as an adversary
Earl Kiruda has long suspected something isn’t quite on the level with the Baron. Perhaps it’s because he’s not got the same martial background but he brings in some “independent eyes” to look into the Baron’s dealings and try to find out what the truth is concerning his first wife’s death, the attack on his home and these new Second Republic finds.
Socially minded characters may be horrified by the living conditions of the Baron’s serfs. His absence could easily be construed as neglect and while there are a good number of strong armed enforcers the serfs have numerical superiority. A rabble rousing guilder, cleric or open minded noble might look to stir up open dissent and even a full on peasant uprising.
The Guilds, particularly the Scravers, Muster and Reeves would like to place Deep Core 104 under their control and a borough with an absentee land lord such as Sector 42 is a prime target. Some mercenary operatives could form the spearhead of such a plan.