Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Den of the Lion

Another chapter I wrote for the House of the Lion faction book. It is still an unedited work in progress.

DELPHI: Den of the Lion

Bathed in the glow of its yellow-orange sun, from space Delphi appears broken into three horizontal bands. The center is a wide zone of green and ocean blue, capped by great domes of white ice at its two growing polar regions. Concentrated stretches of maxicrete gray and, at night, star cluster patterns of electric light give evidence of the planet’s large and vibrant human population. Spiral cyclone cloud formations corkscrew their way through the planet’s atmosphere, betraying its tempestuous climate. The cradle of House Hawkwood from its earliest days, Delphi has long stood as a powerful nexus of military, mercantile and political power.

Planetary Traits

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

History

Delphi has long been at the heart of Interstellar politics, discovered Delphi in 2395 the survey team were quick to realize the potential of the newly discovered world. Rich in much needed resources; Delphi swiftly became the focal point for competing corporate and political claims.
Similar in temperature and biome to Urth, Delphi had a natural draw to those with a colonial spirit and many chose to begin a new life when the frontier word was opened for colonization. As with all new worlds the colonists faced their share of perils, the world had its own indigenous life forms that need to be tamed and virgin wilderness awaiting the footprints of those first pioneers. In time many settlements were established, and a vibrant social and political scene emerged based on values of self-reliance and personal honor, hallmarks of House Hawkwood to this day.

The First Republic

Amongst the second wave of arrivals on Delphi were the Zaibatsu sponsored colonists and mineral extraction teams. Delphi’s capital, at the time little more than a spaceport and a few permanent buildings, used for what little administration the pioneers required, received an influx of new residents, and the frontier town became a burgeoning city in a matter of months. Company towns began sprung up across the face of the planet and the inevitable conflict between the Delphi pioneers and the Zaibatsu incomers began.
The ruling elite of the First Republic sought to bring Delphi and its wealth under corporate control and established a puppet government to rule and through which to extend the laws that would protect their commercial interests, and the interests of their stakeholders on Urth. The bloody revolt that followed took the First Republic by surprise as the pioneer elements of Delphi’s society resisted the harsh and oppressive laws that placed vast swaths of the planet under corporate control. These pioneer elements saw Delphi as a place of freedom unavailable on more developed worlds. Bloodshed severed the planet’s ties with the First Republic when one of the revolutionary leaders, Hans Nodol (2418-2479), stormed the capital city and executed the First Republican Governor (c.2447). The revolutionaries of Delphi understood that the Zaibatsu would not simply let them go free, and civil war erupted between the pioneers and the corporate interests on the planet.
Instead of bringing military force to bear the First Republic sold the world to the Cynostar Corporation expecting it to do the Zaibatsu’s dirty work for them. The CEO of Cynostar was the magnate Gervaise Windsor-Hapsburg, and he had the foresight to see an opportunity where others saw only a protected and expensive war. Gervaise relocated to Delphi, and over the course of a decade much of Cynostar’s assets and personal followed.
Through his clever diplomacy, the revolutionaries and the remaining republican elements became dependent on him as he built his political base. He was soon the planet’s defacto ruler, and pulled the plug on the two warring factions by arresting their leaders. He then made both sides a tempting offer they could not refuse: he allowed both factions a role in the new government while he launched badly needed reforms. Keeping the lion’s share of power among his family and closest confidants, he built a royal legacy. His heirs perpetuated his philosophy of pragmatic idealism long after his death.

The Diaspora

In 2525 Gervaise’s grandson, Robert Hawkwood, formally founded House Hawkwood, solidifying the family’s territorial claims. The house sought alliances with foreign powers and another embryonic royal family, House Justinian. The Justinian House ruled their own planet, Paradise, just a single jump beyond Delphi and formed close links with the early House Hawkwood. Such ties were encouraged, and intermarriage between the two noble lineages was a common enough occurrence.
Delphi itself grew steadily more powerful throughout the Diaspora as House Hawkwood expanded bring first Ravenna under its auspice and later also the worlds of Gwynneth, and Leminkainen. At the time House Hawkwood represented once of the most prominent interstellar dynasties, and Delphi was at the very heart of that rule.
When the Prophet Zebulon first spread his teachings, his philosophies found welcome adherents on Delphi. The world gained even greater status with the Universal Church when many of its sons and daughters valiantly fought and died during the Ukari War. Delphi extended its protection to Velisamil, the Obun homeworld, during this time protecting it from the wave of anti-alien sentiment that was pervasive after the war against the Ukari.
Although the nobility entered a period of decline prior to the foundation of the Second Republic, Delphi remained important to the politics of the Known Worlds and continued to rise in commercial strength by attracting guild investment and collaboration.

The Second Republic

Delphi rose to the pinnacle of Second Republic power as a regional, if not truly galactic, power. Still considered nearly perfect in terms of weather and natural surroundings, Delphi required little of the dubious benefits of the terraforming craze. Its people spurned weather control technology, although many modern Delphians have since come to regret this decision. As a regional power Delphi was a wealthy world, enriched by off-world trade and its citizens enjoyed ever-higher standards of living, the population boomed as many were attracted to the world for its climate or economic opportunities.
The Second Republic invested heavily in the planets infrastructure, and it was during this time that the massive metropolitan city regions were constructed as the urban sprawl of one great city merged with those of its neighbors. The greater part of Delphi’s population was restricted to the city regions, while much of the planet was preserved from over development by its noble Hawkwood owners.
As the Republic crumbled, Delphi was one of the first planets to observe the fading suns phenomenon. The planet’s Urth-like yellow sun turned orange within two generations; instead of growing hotter, however, the planet cooled precipitously as the sun faded. Increased sunspot activity added to the planet’s troubles as violent new weather patterns swept across the world’s surface. Many indigenous life forms perished, and only the artificial removal of species to better climes averted their total extinction.

The New Dark Ages

Despite suffering rampant unemployment and political turmoil, Delphi successfully resisted the mass dissolution of its urban centers that occurred on other planets. Bending to Universal Church mandates just enough to avoid charges of heresy, the Delphian Hawkwood’s nevertheless fell from favor with much of the Orthodox hierarchy. This controversy lasted for centuries before Delphi once again proved its worth by shielding the faithful from the Barbarian Invasions of the 46th century. Delphi, buffered by Leminkainen and Ravenna, remained largely untouched during the early period of the invasions, but the aid it provided to the Hawkwoods of other worlds eventually made it a target of the barbarian. In the end Barbarian forces flooded through the jumpgate, besieged the world and ultimately took control of the system, until it could later be liberated in the crusades that fallowed.
During this time when Delphi, Ravenna, Leminkainen were under the heel of Barbarian occupation, Hawkwood rule temporarily moved to Gwynneth, though the Hawkwood throne was later restored to Delphi in the aftermath of liberation.
As the pieces began to settle after the Barbarian crusades, chaos again struck the Known Worlds as the Emperor Vladimir I was assassinated during his correntation, a succession war immediately broke out between the Ten Royal Houses and during this time the jumpgate to Paradise, the homeworld of House Justinian was closed. That royal line had spent much of its strength in defense of House Alecto and now sheltered under the protection of House Hawkwood. A Hawkwood decree placed much of the Courai continent under the control of the minor house. Though this was perhaps a prudent political maneuver, to secure the greater House Justinian’s loyalty when the Paradise jumpgate eventually reopens, rather than a purely magnanimous gesture. Either way it has placed the depleted Justinian House firmly in the Hawkwood’s camp.

The Emperor Wars

By the 50th century, Delphi was the leading military and diplomatic force behind the Hawkwood bid for the throne during the Emperor Wars. Delphi’s position in the jumpweb ensured its relative safety from the attacks of its rivals. At the time much of the Hawkwood space power was based at Delphi, many considering it safe harbor, where warships could be refitted, repaired, and prepared to make strikes against the House’s enemies. This attitude changed in 4977 when a Li Halan fleet made a lightning raid against the assembled Hawkwood Fleet lying in anchorage in Delphi’s orbit. This battle took the House unprepared and resulted in destruction of the fleets command ship and the deaths of both Prince Darius and Duke Utar.
It is a credit to the resolve of the Delphian people that although the Hawkwood House has suffered a decapitation, they rallied swiftly to the call and military excellence of Alverax Hawkwood, without the solid backing of Delphi’s military resources the House’s Imperial ambitions would have ended there.
Delphi has only benefited from Alexius I’s rise to power, and it remains the Ravenna-born Emperor’s most solid base of support. Many of the Delphi Hawkwoods are stanch supporters of the Emperor, and the rising number of anti-Alexius sentiments come largely from those branches of the family on the other Hawkwood homeworlds. Since Alexius I’s ascendancy, Delphi has gained greater influence on Tethys and Byzantium Secundus than ever before.

Solar System

Helios:
Chalora: Chalora is a medium-sized, rocky planet with a slow axial spin (rotational cycle is three Urth months). Before Helios began to suffer the fading suns phenomena the dayside of Chalora was molten, while the night side was frozen, giving the world its characteristic melted wax appearance. In modern times the dayside temperature no longer rises to that of blast kiln, though the surface is still blisteringly hot. The temperature at the terminator between the day and night sides is survivable, but without other life support this fact is of little consequence.
A recent mineral assay conducted by the Prospectors Guild as discovered traces of several valuable elements in Chalora’s mantle but not in sufficient quantities to make the expense of an extraction operation viable at this time. Small time prospectors can still make a reasonable living by working small mineral claims on the planets equator where the long rotation gives them sufficient to work a claim for a few months before returning to Delphi with a hold full of ores.
Kosa: Kosa is a small rocky planet, formerly rich in precious metals though most of these claims were strip mined during the early Second Republic era, leaving on those minerals deeper in the crust or at trace levels that were not economically viable to exploit. The only remaining operational claim is Cetus-12 a joint House Justinian / Charioteer mining concern which ekes out a tenuous existence under an archaic environmental dome.
A recent discover that may prove to be far more valuable than the mining claim is that of the wreckage of ancient warship (assumed to be Second Republican), that House Justinian have just laid claim too. A full salvage operation would be expensive and likely fruitless but Baron Constantine Justinian (the owner of Cetus-12) are said to have engaged the Scravers Guild to pick over the bones of the wreck for a share of whatever can be discovered.
Delphi: Delphi is the system’s third major satellite and the only planet with a life-sustaining atmosphere. Delphi’s moon, Miercoles, is roughly 1/5th Delphi’s mass and houses a significant number of Hawkwood military installations, including a deep space listening station and a number of dry docks used of the repair of military vessels. Miercoles is off-limits to unofficial personnel.
Cylor: Cylor is a large rocky world with strong volcanically activity, driven by the gravitational pull of its two large moons (Iska and Asema). The volcanic activity casts the planet in a thick atmosphere of chocking dust and toxic chemicals. The surface is rarely visible from orbit but the molten glow of the largest volcanoes illuminates the dust clouds from the underside and can be quite beautiful to behold.
The Charioteers consider the planet to be a navigational hazard, with strong gravitational forces, but the Hawkwood Fleet frequently use it as an obstacle during fleet war games. If some rumors are to be given credence, certain Special Forces units also receive training on Cylors surface, though there is no record of their being any permanent military facility on the world.
Camden: Camden is an enormous gas giant world of swirling blue and purple gases. It has a train of 27 natural satellites, the largest of which are Mira, a world almost twice the size of Delphi. Though all the satellites are barren rock. Ancient records exist from the early Diaspora showing that many of these moons were populated by small numbers of colonists, though what became of them is now lost to history. There is no evidence of anyone living on them during the present era.
Rochala: Rochala is a small frozen rock in space; the surface is coated with various common gases, which are super chilled into sold formations. A rise of a few degrees in temperature is enough to cause these gases to explosively ablate. The planetoid served as a Hawkwood listening post for many centuries before it was abandoned during the Emperor Wars amid claims of madness and murder (c.4977). Suspicion has since fallen on House Li Halan, who shortly after the outpost was abandoned launched the devastating attack that crippled much of the Hawkwood Fleet and claimed the life of Duke Darius Hawkwood. The installation has now been brought back into service, though crews are frequently rotated to prevent any repeat of past problems.

People and Places

Despite the world’s tempest-tossed nature, many on Delphi remain bold, industrious and strangely optimistic lot. Tested by the elements, there is little the planet’s citizenry—from the highest lord to the lowest serf—feel that they have not seen or cannot handle. Largely urban and sophisticated, Delphi’s populace is highly educated; even the remotest villages receive the latest news through the planet’s excellent network of town criers.
Delphi’s main landmass is the Virigo super-continent, divided along two political boundaries: Virigo Major and Virigo Minor. Together with Courai (separated from Virigo by a thin expanse of water), this continental grouping constitutes 80% of Delphi’s landmass. The remainder is in its two polar continents, Frisia and Davros.
The head of House Hawkwood, Princess Victoria Hawkwood, holds court from the Anschok City Region, and rules Delphi with an iron will. Beneath her sit five Dukedoms, three on the Virigo Major, Duke Richard Hawkwood, Duchess Lidia Windsor Hawkwood, Duchess Miranda Hawkwood, and Duke Montgomery Hawkwood who rules Virigo Minor. The fifth is the continental dukedom of Frisia ruled by Duchess Leda Hawkwood. There are also two major counties, that of Courai, ruled by Countess Chirona Hawkwood, and that of Davros ruled by Count Rogan Tiberius Hawkwood.

Virigo Major

From space Virigo Major appears as a great expanse of green, crisscrossed with maxicrete gray and segmented into geometric patterns of farmland. The continent’s biome ranges from deciduous forests and tall prairie grasses at the equator to evergreen forests, alpine tundra and boreal forests. Strong winds blow across the continent. Although noble properties and free farms evenly populate Virigo Major, the majority of the continent’s population resides in its three major urban regions. Tying the continent together is one of the best-maintained road systems in the Phoenix Empire; with the planet’s burgeoning economy, motorized vehicles are again as common as horses and brute carts, though such vehicles are the privilege of the wealthy.
Princess Victoria rules over a system of lesser nobles, Universal Church leaders and Merchant League interests form a tightly organized governing system that oversees the continent’s domestic affairs. This system has been in place since the Fall and has served the kingdom well, making Virigo Major one of the wealthiest and most stable regions in the Phoenix Empire.
Virigo Major has three major urban areas that sprawl in parallel bands across the continent’s northern, equatorial and southern expanses. These super cities consist of either uninterrupted urban areas that stretch on for literally hundreds of miles, or of large individual cities linked by smaller cities, towns and hamlets. Virigo Major’s urban regions exhibit the highest degree of technology among the common citizenry on any Hawkwood world (even some serfs enjoy running water and electric lighting).
The Kago City Region: The Kago region hugs the continent’s mountainous northern coast along the Bering Sea. Largely consisting of older individual cities, Kago is a confusing tangle of twisting highways, architectural styles, massive shantytowns and heavy industry. “Stacks,” similar to those found on Byzantium Secundus cover much of the region. These structures are multi-tiered lattices of steel and maxicrete, supporting systems of roads and buildings. They have an anthill quality and allow several layers of teeming humanity to live above each other in mountainous regions where land is at a premium. The Kago shipyards build most of the planet’s seagoing merchant vessels, despite the fact that its ports are often frozen three-quarters of the year. Massive ice-cutting ships are capable of clearing channels for oceanic traffic, but icebergs are a constant threat that every captain must be vigilant of.
The city also hosts a number of other industries, including: refineries, mining in the southern hard-rock regions, and a small automobile industry. Following the Doctrine of Universal Inheritance, Kago began a slow transition to fossil fuels to show its willingness to convert to more primitive forms of technology. Now mostly dependent on the dwindling hydrocarbon resource, Kago suffers from energy shortages and is the most polluted city in Hawkwood space. Scravers, Muster and numerous minor industrial guilds are powerful in this region, employing millions of citizens. Thousands of homeless children wander the slums. Some are pitiful beggars while others form gangs, attacking strangers with clubs, knives and even firearms. Even the house militia cannot put a stop to the murder and mayhem that sometimes ensues here.
Kago was the first Delphian settlement and is rich in colorful urban legend. It is said that when the Disciple Hombor the Beggar visited the region (already a large city during the Diaspora), he heard about two demonesses who disguised themselves as priests, waylaying and eating passing pilgrims. The demonesses invited the disciple to their lair and, after feeding him a meal of goat and millirice, devoured him. Filled with the spirit of the Pancreator, however, the Disciple reformed in their stomachs. Bursting forth from his fleshy cage, he freed the region from their curse. While this story is not codified in the Omega Gospels, it remains a powerful legend in the Kago region. One of the greatest temples to Hombor exists in Kago and is staffed by Amalthean clergy who attend the poor.
The Anschok City Region: The planet’s showcase city, Anschok is also the continent’s capital and houses such sites as the Domaldo Cathedral and Princess Victoria’s palace. Built as two nearly contiguous urban regions during the Diaspora and Second Republic, Anschok spans almost the entire continent. Architecturally, the city remains a fine example of both Hawkwood and Second Republican architecture. Ancient and delicate looking terracite structures have survived a millennium since the Fall, mingling with modern glasteel guild towers, marble palaces and more modest maxicrete and brick structures. Taking advantage of its title as the “windy city,” Anschok has harnessed wind power to supply its energy needs; vast fields of steel turbines dot the cityscape, imbuing the city with a thrumming heartbeat.
Anschok is a center of learning and commerce. Great Universal Church universities, sprawling urban agorae, metropolitan museums and theaters educate and entertain the populace, giving the region one of the best educated populations in the Phoenix Empire. The city is also a popular backdrop for novels and has a vibrant magic lantern industry. The Muster and Reeves maintain power as the city’s lords of finance.
Situated along the planet’s equator, Anschok is also the warmest region on the planet. Summer temperatures here sometimes reach 80° F (27° C), luring pilgrims from around the globe to bask in its equatorial warmth. Especially popular are the Mediro beach resorts, which have garnered a reputation as retreats for the super-rich and havens for sin. There is a strong Charioteer contingent around the city’s busy spaceport and many of the lesser guilds, such as the Courtesans, also ply their trade here.
Famous citizens include the like of Dean Ebinezer Mek of the Reeves. Quite possibly the richest man in Hawkwood space, Dean Mek has been the chief accountant of the planet’s agora for the past 105 years. He is widely credited with much of the planet’s financial prosperity. On the other hand, his critics accuse him of deliberately stifling economic growth in some regions to benefit others.
The Shiro City Region: Shiro is a thriving southern coastal city. Nestled along steep mountains and narrow fjords, the city region has developed a reputation for producing precision technology, including telecommunications, medical tech and components for the Tethys space industry; the region hosts numerous Engineers and lesser technological guilds. Despite this penchant for science, superstition runs rampant in the region’s mist-shrouded valleys—often with good reason. Ice Wyrms and packs of wild Davros wolf-cats pick off citizens from outlying rural areas.
Rumors of psychic covens operating in the area not withstanding, the isolation in valleys and wild places has been known to affect people’s minds in strange ways, sometimes driving serfs inexplicably mad during the long winter season. These victims may stew for months, becoming more and more psychotic, before finally snapping and going on a mad killing spree. Often known by their red, blood-limned eyes, these victims quickly die of internal hemorrhaging—if they are not killed first. Of course, in this land of cold and snow, there are other reasons a person’s eyes may become red. Orthodox Penitents and even the Imperial Eye have investigated the so-called “Scarlet Sclera” killings with little luck.

Virigo Minor

Virigo Minor constitutes the southeastern third of the Virigo super-continent. Poorer and less technologically advanced than Virigo Major, long simmering social tensions are boiling to the surface in the form of bloody riots in some areas, while other regions have the peace and serenity most often attributed to Hawkwood lands. The area’s ruler, Duke Montgomery Hawkwood, took the ducal throne upon the death of his father just over a decade ago (4999) and has since spent much of his time purging the corruption in his own court.  The rampant corruption and self-interest that plagued his fathers court has been largely removed, but at a cost. A decade spent dealing with the immediate problems at home has allowed the problems of his fief to get out of control.
The Duke faces daily unrest in the Nacado Holy-State: food riots, rising crime and ongoing conflict between the Universal Church and Merchant League. The guilds want to modernize while the Orthodox dominated Universal Church wants to maintain the region’s pastoral traditions. Both Church and the League have come to open blows, with zealots and muster troops clashing over control of various city blocks. The Universal Church lead fanatics have burned warehouses and sabotaged factories; in retaliation the guild has stirred up a fury of hate by raiding treasuries of various bishoprics to “arrest compensation for damages”. Some areas of the city region now resemble a warzone.
Local lords have been slow to act dependant as they are on guild technology and beholden to the Orthodoxy for spiritual guidance, they find themselves faced with demands for assistance from both sides. Duke Montgomery has recently sought a ceasefire arrangement to allow formal talks between the factions to meet. So far such meetings have degenerated to insults and accusations.
Virigo Minor has two major urban areas: the Doloria region on the Northwestern Mediro coast and the explosive Nacado Holy-State to the south. Possessing a lower level of technology than Virigo Major, Virigo Minor’s urban regions are more traditional in their definition of Technosophy (the sin of technology adulation).
The Doloria Region: Doloria is a tranquil and relaxed urban setting, and serves as a welcome respite for those trying to escape Anschok’s technological glitter and fast pace of life. Largely devoid of Second Republic architecture, Doloria exhibits a large collection of post-Fall Universal Church and Hawkwood architecture, mostly constructed of local granite and wood. The city’s ruler, Countess Colette Hawkwood, is a devoted supporter of the Universal Church, and the Orthodox Sect specifically. The city’s hundreds of chapels, cathedrals and parish churches bare testimony to centuries of such ardent patronage. Largely serene, the city nevertheless serves as the planet’s true center of theological debate, even though the main cathedral is in Anschok. When bishopric councils become stuck in their debates, little focuses their minds more than the natural serenity of Doloria’s churches and hundreds of scenic lakes. The region also supports several House Justinian run mines, extracting gold and other precious metals.
Doloria is home to Archbishop Lyander. The archbishop is the Delphian Metropolitan, and is thus responsible for the spiritual welfare of all four Hawkwood planets. A traditional middle-path Hinayana theologian with some reform leanings, the archbishop hopes to succeed Hezekiah the Elder to the patriarchal dais on Holy Terra when the ancient patriarch dies. Competing for the Syneculla’s favor against other candidates such as Marcion Li Halan of Kish and Jordano of the Aragon Metropilae, Lyander’s theological position has become increasingly conservative in recent years. This has greatly impacted recent clerical appointments throughout the Hawkwood worlds.
The Nacado Holy-State: House Hawkwood gave the Nacado region to the Orthodoxy in 4120 as a sign of its faith. The Orthodoxy governed the region as an autonomous city-state, while the house took responsibility for its external security. Nacado swiftly threw off the remnants of Second Republic technology and many in its urban regions returned to an agrarian existence. This arrangement worked well for centuries but, as the fading suns phenomenon intensified and the planet grew colder, food shortages became a major problem. Now dependent on food shipments from elsewhere, Nacado faces increasing urban dissent. Openly demonstrating for both food and a softening of the restrictive Technosophy laws, urban dwellers find themselves at odds with the Universal Church and rural citizens who largely wish to retain more traditional values. The region’s presiding theological authority, Bishop Vereen, is a man of good conscience and works to balance these competing desires, but has recently had to call on House Hawkwood to assist with restoring order.

Courai

Courai was once part of the Virigo continent, but slow tectonic drift and sudden earthquakes have recently (geologically speaking) separated the two landmasses. Earthquakes and volcanism are still intense in both south and east Courai; a dark smoky pall often hangs over the river between the two continents. Underwater volcanoes are also common, making the narrow Courai straits almost impossible to navigate by sea. By ancient treaty, Courai is the partial domain of House Justinian. House Hawkwood awarded these fiefdoms to House Justinian when the jumpgate to Paradise was lost (c.4515), and the region has been semi-autonomous ever since. Countess Chirona Hawkwood presides over the continent as a whole, but House Justinian nobility rules all the fiefs within her domain. Until recently a ruling triumvirate consisting of Count Udoro Justinian, Bishop Megnasi and Dean Mozak of the Muster administered all internal affairs, leaving Countess Chirona to mediate between the interests of the triumvirate and deal with foreign interest.
This arrangement has recently crumbled due to the growing personal animosity between the triumvirate’s members, specifically between Count Udoro and Dean Mozak who became increasingly competitive over control of local mineral extraction rights. The appointment of conservative Bishop Megnasi in 5003 only exacerbated the issue when Count Udoro converted to the Urth Orthodoxy from Eurygnostic tradition. The Count has further been an enthusiastic patron of the Universal Church ever since his conversion in 5004. Effectively isolating the radical Dean Mozak. In 5007 the Bishop Magnasi convinced a planetary synod to issue Inquisitorial Seals to examine the accusations of Technosophy by Dean Mozak and his affiliates. The situation has only degenerated further with the complete collapse of the quasi-Republican triumvirate council and many of the guilds interests being fortified, having been attacked by mobs.
In 5009 the planetary synod convened to hear evidence brought before it by Inquisitor Ras Eddman concerning questionable guild practices. Dean Mozak, an open supporter of Third Republican ideals is in hiding and has refused to attend a summons to answer charges before an Ecclesiastical Court. The Muster’s fall from grace has not gone unnoticed or unanswered by the Merchant League and the Reeves Guild has served writs calling in the debts of many Justinian lords in addition to claims for compensation for lost earnings by the Muster against the bishopric and against the Delphi See for failing to intervene.
Veet: Veet is the planet’s largest mining and refinery center, exporting quarried granite, deuterium and precious metals to almost a dozen worlds. Or at least it was, the troubles between the Merchant League, Universal Church and House Justinian has effectively closed down production as Justinian militias and Muster forces have clashed openly in streets and many of the great factory complexes have sustained damage during the last few years. Though the Universal Church openly supports House Justinian’s claims they have not been able to dislodge entrenched guild support. There are rumors that the Merchant League is running an extensive smuggling operation exporting precious ores through an underground railway while bringing in shipments of millrice and other foods with which to bolster popular support amongst the city regions poor.
The League has gone so far as to accuse the Universal Church of political motivation in their recent support of House Justinian and have called for both Bishop Magnasi and Archbishop Lyander to step down from their posts. Inquisitorial Seals issued by the planetary synod have focused on accusations of Technosphy and a number of prominent guildsmen most notably from the Supreme Order of Engineers have recently been cleansed by flame after accusations of soul-death were made against them. Other League guilds are becoming increasingly involved in what was initially a mineral rights dispute between House Justinian and the Muster.

Frisia

As rugged and individualistic as its ruler, Duchess Leda Hawkwood, this northern polar continent has the highest percentage of yeomen and guilders in Hawkwood space. These settlers hew a rough living from the region’s remaining mines and the icy tundra. Frisia also attracts a wide array of fringe religious sects, accepting groups that might be tried for heresy in more conservative climes. Large numbers of hesychasts, Eurygnostic Incarnates from Gwynneth and even occasional wandering Children of Zuran find their way here. Rumors of Second Republic technological caches attract the occasional fortune hunter, although such finds are few and far between. The majority of the region’s citizens toil a subsistence living through fishing or trapping. The region’s most valuable (and dangerous) big game is the Frisian Ice Wyrm.
Simultaneously the most powerful hunters and the most hunted creatures on Delphi, Frisian Ice Wyrms are large reptilian wyrms that live in the polar wastes of Frisia and Davros. Large, graceful and utterly deadly, the Frisian Ice Wyrm is a slender reptilian creature perfectly adapted to the planet’s polar wastes. Wyrms as large as 45 feet long are not unknown. Their crocodilian heads are tapered into snouts filled with long black teeth and their eyes hint at a frightening animal cunning. Colors vary, but most of the Frisian varieties have glistening steely-blue scales that heat up red due to a poorly understood biological process. They use this strange ability to melt their way through the arctic ice and sometimes for self-defense. During the Second Republic, massive sonic projectors and maxicrete walls limited the creatures to preserves where they became a major tourist attraction and a potent planetary symbol. As the Second Republic crumbled, however, so too did these technological defenses. Now, though the creatures’ numbers have never reached their pre-colonial highs, their population is on the rise. Local religious traditions hold that they are holy, and forbid non-nobles from hunting them. Nevertheless, hunters have come from a many planets to test their skills against this awesome predator.

Davros

Davros is the planet’s southern polar continent; one may either walk or sail there from Virigo, depending on the season. During the winter, the surrounding Sildera Sea is frozen; even during the short summer months the pack ice hinders all but the hardiest vessels. Many make the trip between the two continents in sail-powered ice skimmers. Davros itself is a stark, beautiful land of ice-covered peaks and glacial valleys. During the Second Republic, a wealthy tourism consortium installed great solar lenses on steel and maxicrete pylons, importing foreign flora and fauna to create areas of tropical splendor in the wasteland. In the ensuing centuries many of these have crumbled, but some have been maintained by local entertainment guilds. Even with the fading sun, these lenses are still capable of creating areas of greenery (albeit no longer tropical). The region also boasts hot springs with reputed healing capabilities that have never failed to attract important personages from all political affiliations. The region is a long-standing winter resort with excellent skiing, skating, hunting and other activities.
While the people are mostly at peace, the region’s great wealth and penchant for attracting the rich and powerful have also attracted various criminals. Over the centuries, the region has played host to high-profile assassinations, skilled jewel thieves, and more common crimes such as muggings and pick pocketing. Other dangers include a golden variation of the Frisian Ice Wyrm, landslides, freak blizzards and other natural hazards.
The region’s ruler, Count Rogan Tiberius Hawkwood, is a colorful, populist leader. With a penchant for mechanical marvels that exceeds even the most non-traditional definition of Technosophy.

Barony of Koluse

Located in the southern foothills of the Kago Mountains, Koluse is fortunate to benefit from temperate mid-latitudes of Delphi’s weather systems. Effectively isolated from the Kago City Region by the high Kago Mountain range that straddles much of northern Virigo Major. Koluse is a rural estate typical of many others in the region, though a regent, Sir Horatio Hinterman, who holds the fief in trust until his ward Isobella Windsor Hawkwood comes of age, currently rules it.
The fief incorporates a small body of land, with three serf villages, a small market town, and a large estate; it also has a small mining concern, though of late a spate of accidents and poor yield has brought its ore extraction operations to a close. The peasantry are generally well disposed toward Sir Horatio and his administration, he is seen a tough, but fair master. A stark contrast the former Baron and Baroness who were seen as little more than tyrants. Relations with neighboring fiefs have degenerated recently, as many of the other Barons look down on the “groundskeeper”, as Sir Horatio is known.
Koluse is a pastoral existence, with good farmland for growing both millrice and other staples. The fiefs serfs also raise livestock and animal husbandry is a prized skill for which a serf may receive recognition at one of the number of summer fĂȘtes or harvest fairs. The now abandoned mine workings still play host to a small shanty town above ground and Sir Horatio has attempted to move the serfs from mining, to subsistence hill farming and quarrying. There is only a single Orthodox chapel located in the market town of Eastlow, though it was destroyed by fire only five years ago. Services are now conducted in makeshift accommodations but are attended by high and low folk alike. A new chapel is under construction, funded by the Barony and making use of the locally quarried stone. The grand ideas of the master architect have led to others dubbing the construction as the Cathedral of Eastlow.
The recent line of Hawkwood Barons to own the fief has not been sympathetic to the needs of the people. Conditions were poor and during the Emperor Wars conscription stripped the land of many able bodied men. Those who returned often did so either physically or mentally scared by their experiences. Baron James Windsor Hawkwood and his bride, both served during the Emperor Wars and many remarked them as heroes, though their return home was little cause for celebration, they had seen so much suffering that they cared little for the suffering of common people, and continued to demand the high war taxes long after the conflict has ended. The pair both died under mysterious circumstances during the fire that destroyed the Eastlow Chapel in 5005. Their seneschal Sir Horatio Hinterman immediately stepped up to take over the fief in the name of their only daughter Isobella.
Sir Horatio Hinterman (born 4961): Sir Horatio began his life as a freeman within the Koluse Barony. In his youth he dreamed of life as a hero, and stole away to join the call to arms in the aftermath of the Prince Darius’s death. He distinguished himself in service to the Hawkwood House and later became a military advisor to Duke Alverax. He was knighted 4993 for his service to the Emperor, but chose to return home to Eastlow in 5004. He was disgusted by what he discovered when he arrived and within months confronted the Baron about conditions within the fief. On a fateful night in 5005, he was present at a meeting on the neutral ground of the Eastlow Chapel, when a disagreement with the Baron sparked a fight, in the resulting chaos the chapel burned to the ground claiming the lives of both the Baron and his wife. No one knows that Horatio set the fire deliberately to cover his crime, and has since set out to make Koluse a better place, his way of atoning for what he did.
Isobella Windsor Hawkwood (born 5000): Isobella barely remembers her parents, and patron Sir Horatio has refused to speak about what happened on the night they died. Though he has sworn to tell her the full truth once she is reaches her majority. Little does she suspect that the man who murdered her parents is sheltering her. Sir Horatio has little experience of the raising children and so instead has entrusted much of this to the servants of the household, though he does indulge her, by allowing her to frequently accompany him on fief business to Eastlow.
Bishop Desmond Carbus (born 4921): An ancient an wizened old priest, who has served in the parish for as long as anyone can remember. The Chapel fire that destroyed his place of worship devastated him and he slipped into a dark malaise that rested upon him for several years. Since the arrival of the Master Architect, and Sir Horatio’s commitment to fund the rebuilding project he has started to see the light again, though he often has bad days, when his depression confines him to his bed. The people of Eastlow look kindly upon the old man, though many believe that his days must be numbered now.
Master Architect Sig Rossengren (born 4982): A guild educated master architect, Sig is a driven young man who sees an opportunity to make a name for himself having been given free reign to rebuild the Eastlow Chapel. With an essentially open coffer to draw from his plans are ambitious, but hampered by the lack of heavy construction equipment. Obtaining building supplies has proved to be more troublesome than he had anticipated, mostly caused by other lords in neighboring fiefs adding their own transport taxes to his already considerable bills, some shipments have disappeared altogether.
Men-at-arms: The fief had a standing militia of 23 men under arms. These men were poorly equipped but had varying degrees of experience, some having served during the Emperor Wars. They have access to a range of weapons from locally produced black powder weapons to a few hunting rifles. Critically they have access to the baron’s stables and up to six of them can be mounted to function as messengers or road wardens, protecting the shipments going to the Eastlow Chapel.
Using Sir Horatio Hinterman as a Patron: Sir Horatio is a man who has a stain of sin upon him, and one that he is trying to atone for. He could engage the services of the cadre for any number of reasons from protecting his ward, to escorting vital shipments for the Chapel rebuilding. He might also use the cadre to negotiate with or intimidate his local rivals who are making his position and projects difficult.
Using Sir Horatio Hinterman as an Adversary: A distant relative of former Baron might employ the cadre, and one who questions the actual circumstances of Sir Horatio’s assent as fief regent. His immediate neighbors also take a dim view of the up start knight, his status as an Imperial Knight has prevented a full scale hostility from the surrounding fiefs but many are suspicious of him and his motives.

March of Soundak

The March (sometimes Marquisate) of Soundak is a lonely place, a small island just off the coast of Frisia in the Bering Sea, and well within the domain of Delphi’s arctic circle. During the coldest months of the year the island is joined to the mainland by a frozen stretch of sea only a few miles wide. Ruled over by the ancient Marquis Harold de Walt Hawkwood a man who keeps his true lifespan a closely guarded secret.
Much like the rest of Frisia, the March is populated by strong independently minded peoples, during the short summer months their economy is one of fishing and hunting, building up stores for the long cold winter and the freezing ice storms that rage in from the Bering Sea. Relations within the outside world are sporadic, the Margrave himself has not left his fief in living memory and so long has he pays his dues to the Duchess Leda Hawkwood, no one asks questions about his self imposed isolation.
There is only a single major settlement on Soundak, though during the summer months the serfs and freeman leave the protection of Winterhold to move to a few scattered villages close to the coast from where they can await the breakup of the icepack to hunt and fish amongst the treacherous ice flows. Winterhold itself is a pre-Second Republican science station that was dug in deep to protect it from the harsh environment and much of it is underground. The surface does feature some storehouses and small dwellings but these are used only during the summer. Below ground the small city is heated by geothermal power, and many high tech conveniences can be found in use, including volt lighting, telecommunications, and even grid linked think machines.
The fief has been in the hands of the De Walt family since the mid-Diaspora, then a minor House, it intermarried with the powerful House Hawkwood, eventually being absorbed by its Royal supporter. Initially built as a geothermal research station the subsurface structure as been steadily expanded over the centuries to house a much larger population and during the harsh winters the bulk of the fiefs population shelters below ground. The fief does have strong links with the Supreme Order of Engineers, and the Academy Interatta on Leagueheim places a small number of apprentices here every year to study geothermal technologies.
Margrave (Marquis) Harold de Walt Hawkwood (born 4853): The elderly master of Soundak, is almost never seen in public, and hasn’t travelled beyond the confines of Winterhold in over a century. His business interest beyond his fief are entrusted to close family members of the de Walt line, and frequently make representation on the marquis’s behalf to both the court of Duchess Leda, Princess Victoria, and to the Merchant League. Over the years there has been speculation in various courts that Marquis de Walt may not even be a real person or may be a succession of people using the same identity.
Na-Margrave Simon de Walt Hawkwood (born 4983): The title of na-margrave is traditionally given to the heir apparent of the fief, in this case Simon de Walt who is believed to be the “old man of Winterholds” great great great great grandson and is the chief representative beyond the limits of the fief, he is frequently off-world on missions to Leagueheim and Byzantium Secundus.
Lord Peter de Walt Hawkwood (born 4978): Also the great great great great grandson of the ancient Margrave, and Simon’s cousin. Sir Peter’s aptitudes have always been more martial than diplomatic. He is the current commander of the fief men-at-arms, and is a skilled hunter and survivalist in arctic terrain. Believed lost in a hunting expedition in the late summer of 5006, he was able to survive the harsh winter alongside several of his men to make a triumphant return to Winterhold when the weather broke in the spring of 5007. Sir Peter often remarks that, “all one needs to survive is a sturdy blade, and a bit of luck.” He wears a suit of silvery blue scales reputed to be from a Frisian Ice Wyrm that he killed during his winter abroad.
Bishop Sigmund Gran (born 4967): The long standing Bishop of Soundak, Sigmund presents himself as a typical member of the Urth Orthodoxy, but he is not. In truth he belongs to the heretical Preceptors sect and has long hidden his true allegiance from his masters within the Universal Church. After many years of passing beneath the notice of his superiors, Bishop Gran has been issued with a novitiate in his parish, and Sigmund fears that when the young priest arrives (he is expected to arrive with the summer trade caravans) that his true allegiance might be exposed and endanger everything his sect as worked hard to build.
Entered Ishin Nagoma (born 4987): Originally from Kish, he appears to be a man with subtle Asian features. Unlike the archetypical engineer, Ishin has no visible cybernetic implants though he does wear a pristine lab coat and carry a think machine at all times. He is an expert in geothermal technology and arrived on Delphi 3 years ago as part of a placement from the Academy Interatta, but chose to take up a permanent post at Winterhold rather than return.
Men-at-arms: The Margrave has a surprising large number of men that can be called on in times of trouble, most however are not standing soldiers, but the skilled peasant hunters upon whom the survival of the fief depends. There are only 7 professional soldiers, and 14 militia that serve primarily as constabulary during the long winter months. The professional soldiers are well trained, and capable of conducting special operations in arctic terrain and across frozen or iceberg ridden watercourses. All are issued with modern Imperial rifles, but many also carry traditional hunting weapons as well.
Using Margrave Harold de Walt Hawkwood as a Patron: The Margrave is likely never to be seen in person, instead his business will be relayed through either Sir Peter if it concerns the defense of his realm or Na-Margrave Simon if it concerns matters of the larger world. Winterhold is not a place that encourages visitors. It does on occasion experience problems that can only dealt with by bringing in outside expertise. Winterhold was once capable of exporting its generated power through a satellite based transition uplink system. The Margrave is interested in restoring this capability, perhaps using a ground-based conduit system to export energy to Frisia and across the Bering Sea to the Kago City Region. This would be a major undertaking and one on which the Universal Church would likely frown. However he does need people to survey the territory and protect the pipeline workers from the various natural threats that Frisia has to offer.
Using Margrave Harold de Walt Hawkwood as an Adversary: The Margrave is much more likely to turn up as an adversary of circumstance. Perhaps the characters are forced to take refuge at Winterhold, because of a savage unseasonable ice storm; the conditions in Winterhold are very different from a typical fief, a high proportion of freemen, a good level of educations, and access to some technologies that would be considered questionable in the eyes of the Orthodoxy. Those who see too much will be encouraged to stay… permanently. Any attempt to escape will involve crossing treacherous terrain in severe weather, while being tracked by Sir Peter and his men. Soundak is a harsh mistress, even during the summer months, when the waterways are open to traffic, but also ice flows, and roving Ice Wyrms.

Barony of Clairborn

The Barony of Clairborn is a district of the besieged Veet City Region. Located in the far north of the region Clairborn is a cold damp environment close to Delphi’s arctic circle. Ruled by the Baron Uthar Justinian who has been caught up with the local unrest between the Muster, the Universal Church and his House. A family tragedy robbed him of his beloved wife and left him with a young daughter to care for, forcing him to reconsider his involvement with various schemes.
Clairborn was once one of the wealthiest districts of the Veet City Region, commanding excellent trade relations with its neighboring fiefs on whom it was mutually dependant for its prosperity. These relations have become strained in the last few years the as the strife between House Justinian and the Muster has reached new depths. The involvement of the Universal Church, even in support of Justinian claims, has only made the matter worse. Many of the ore mines and mineral extraction operations once run by the Muster have either been shutdown or are now under new (less effective) management and corruption has only filled the pockets of piety officials.
The Clairborn district is dependant on trade in refined ores to sustain its economic prosperity. Much of the district is given over to warehouses in which processed ores smelted in the neighboring fiefs can be stored and prepared for shipping at the districts wharfs. Though trade is the lifeblood of the fief it is by no means the only industry under the baron’s control. His family has generational contracts with many serf crafters and fine artisans who produce works of art from the precious metals that transit his domain. Silver and Goldsmithing are particular specialties, and much of the jewelry crafted here commands an exorbitant price from buyers in Anschok and off-world.
The Clairborn district would once have been a part of a small city during the Diaspora Era, but since the dawning of the Second Republican Era and the mass expansion of housing on Delphi the cities of the Veet Region have all merged together in to a vast metropolitan area. Since the Fall, Veet has been divided into hundreds of small fiefs ranging from those the size of a single city block to as large as a sprawling suburban area. The Veet City Region and much of the content of Courai was gifted to House Justinian by House Hawkwood when the jumpgate to Paradise closed, and the lesser House has sheltered under the protection of the Lion House. There has also been a great deal of intermarriage between the lesser House of Justinian and the Royal House Hawkwood through the generations and both houses are now closely bound together.
Baron Uthar Justinian (born 4978): The only legitimate descendant of Baron Elsworth Justinian, he inherited his father’s lands and titles shortly after his majority (4999). The old man had a slew of bastard children, but only in the later years of his life did he marry a young woman and produce a legitimate heir. Intent not to repeat his father’s mistakes Uthar sought out an eligible Hawkwood bride, a lady of lesser station, but a woman to whom he was both attracted and in adoration of. Unfortunately his wife was taken from him in childbirth leaving him to care for his infant daughter, since then the openly forthright baron who advocated the renegotiation of Muster contracts regarding mineral rights on Justinian soil has pulled back from his former position, now that he sees the potential economic ruin that may result from such a course of action.
Lady Estel Notman Justinian (born 4959): The wife of the late Baron Elsworth, and mother to Uthar. The Lady Estel is not of noble birth, something that caused rather a scandal at the time of her marriage, and the primary reason why the estate did not pass to her but to her son. She is however maintained in good style by Uthar, though she clashed frequently with her son’s wife with whom the issue of her low birth is a frequent point of contention. She spends a great deal of time with her granddaughter and is trying to prepare her for a life amongst the nobility, where love is secondary to a well placed marriage.
Clara Notman Justinian (born 5004): Clara is the apple of her father’s eye, though he dotes upon her he tries not to spoil her, instead teacher her the value of things that she has. Her father is often away on business, leaving Clara to be raised by her grandmother, whose maiden name she bears (at her grandmother’s instance).
Seneschal Kerson Macbeth (born 4957): An old soldier who served Baron Elsworth during the Emperor Wars, he was wounded in action and became his lords Seneschal a few years later. Though he was born a simple man to a peasant family he has taken responsibility for his own education (and in his eyes, betterment) and it was his self-taught ability to read and write that earned him his place as Seneschal. His leg have completely failed him in recent years, though his mind remains sharp, he continues his duties, but now has an attendant and apprentice to push his wheelchair and to learn his craft while he is still able to teach it.
Men-at-arms: Under normal circumstances Baron Uthar maintains a militia of ten capable veterans (who had served under his father during the Emperor Wars) to act as both guards of the district and constables. The ongoing troubles with the Muster has necessitated that his lord, Count Udoro Justinian has conscripted all available component soldiers for the protection of the Veet City Region, essentially leaving the Baron’s domain without any competent protection. Instead he has twelve serfs with only a few days’ military drilling and barely capable of holding a weapon. Worse yet these ‘soldiers’ have been using their newfound positions to throw their weight about and have caused much disgruntlement amongst the Uthar’s freeman population.
Using Baron Uthar Justinian as a Patron: The Baron is aware that although his fief is suffering under the current economic depression brought on by the strife between his House and the Muster, he is concerned for his fief and the safety of his daughter Clara. As much as he wishes it were otherwise he has decided that his family needs to be protected and that his normal garrison is under-strength because of his commitments to he liege. He makes arrangements through his seneschal to have his mother and daughter secretly transported to safety having made arrangements for them to make an extended visit to his wife’s relatives on Virigo Major. The journey could be risky and the Muster might stoop to hostage taking or slavery, so he needs good people of subtlety and skill to ensure their safe passage.
Using Baron Uthar Justinian as an Adversary: The Baron was once very vocal about the need for House Justinian to assert its rights as landholders to renegotiate extraction rights with the Muster and this stance has made him both friends and enemies. The loss of his wife and the guardianship of his daughter have made him consider the safety of his fief, and the economic situation that besets the entire region. Uthar and his immediate family would despite his relatively lowly status make a high profile target for the Muster. The kidnap and ransom of his daughter would make excellent leverage and his fief is now less that adequately protected.

Wildlife of Delphi

Delphi hosts a mixture of both native and imported species, many of which were brought from Urth during the Diaspora. The cooling climate brought on by the fading suns phenomena has caused the extinction of many species, though some limited success has been made in assisting the migration of various species to new environmental niches. In general plant life has faired batter than animal species in the changing weather systems, but many species now survive only in the tended gardens of the Hawkwood nobility.

Davros Wolf-Cats

The Davros Wolf-Cat are a native species that has shown a talent for survival and adaptation. These felines are roughly comparable to an Urth Lynx, but can grow as large as a cougar. Unlike Urth cats, which are primarily solitary hunters, the Davros Wolf-Cat is a pack hunter and highly social creature with a defined pack hierarchy. It is this pack hierarchy that makes the Wolf-Cat simultaneously very dangerous and adaptable to human socialization and training. These creatures are becoming increasingly popular as pets in the noble courts, and some depictions of Hawkwood heraldry have replaced the stylized Lion with that of the Wolf-Cat.
As the name implies the Davros Wolf-Cats are native to the frozen southern continent of Davros, but these creatures have increased their natural range in the last few centuries as the cool weather systems of Delphi allow parts of the Sildera Sea to freeze to create a land bridge during the harsh winters. As such these animals can now be found roaming the sub-arctic regions of Delphi’s southern hemisphere. The pack is territorial and will defend their hunting range from other packs, they can also be aggressive to during lean times and during the mating season. Although carnivores, the Wolf-Cats have a survival instinct that sees them engage in scavenging behavior. Packs have been known to attack lone travelers, or take children from outlying villages during the winter. Some have even adapted to urban scavenging, mostly around the fringes of the Shiro City Region and the Nacado Holy-State.
Description: Very similar to an Urth Lynx in basic form, though often slightly larger. Although size is not an indication of hierarchy within a Wolf-Cat pack, larger members of the species tend to dominate prominent positions within the pack structure. Fur is white and often prized by hunters and trappers, though during the warmer months this coat will molt becoming patchy with brown markings along the back. Wolf-Cats have large paws with retractable claws, though these are seldom used as a weapon, instead for climbing or maintaining traction when running on ice.
Dex: 9 Vig: 8 Vitality 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 -2 -4 -6 -8 -10
Wit: 4 Wil: 3 Resolve 0 0 0 0 0 0 -2 -4 -6 -8 -10
Int: 7 Pre: 4
Skills: Athletics 9, Dodge 6, Fight 6, Observe 5, Sneak 8
Movement: 14 m
Type Goal DMG Note
Bite 15 3 (I) -
Savage 14 5 (I) Must be used from an Aggressive stance. This requires a coordinated pack, and there for should receive a sizable gang-up bonus.

Frisian Ice Wyrms

Few creatures can be considered as emblematic of Delphi as the Ice Wyrm. First discovered on the Friasian continent, they are in fact native to both Frisia and Davros, though there are differences between the Frisian and Davros species. These majestic creatures have been observed with long scales bodies measuring up to 14 meters in length, and if trappers tales are to be believes than there considerably larger specimens in the deep arctic wilderness.
The Ice Wyrms are usually solitary, but display a frightening degree natural cunning. Though their numbers dipped low during the early Second Republic these creatures are now protected, only nobles are permitted to hunt them, and even then the hunt must be conducted in accordance with specific regulations that prohibits the use of any advanced technology to track or kill such beasts. Instead the noble must pit his own guile against that of the creature and make a clean kill with low-tech weapons (usually a harpoon). Ice Wyrms are sensitive sonic vibrations and Frisian settlements often make use of such technology to prevent the beasts from approaching to close.
Description: The typical Frisian Ice Wyrm is usually about 10 meters in length, covered in glistening sliver-blue scales, from the tip of their tail to the end of their crocodilian-like snout. They possess the strange ability to melt their way through the ice, by using a poorly understood biological mechanism by which their scale flush red and generate tremendous exothermic heat.  These melted wyrm holes freeze over very quickly in the arctic temperature, leaving the creature to essentially swim through the watery tunnels they burrow.
Dex: 4 Vig: 15 Vitality 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 -2 -4 -6 -8 -10
Wit: 7 Wil: 4 Resolve 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 -2 -4 -6 -8 -10
Int: 3 Pre: 6
Skills: Athletics 7, Dodge 2, Fight 12, Observe 3, Sneak 7
Movement: 20 m
Benefits / Afflictions:
Type Goal DMG Note
Bite 27 8 (I) a critical result can be used to swallow the target whole, this results in automatic damage every turn from digestive bile.
Thermal Scales 16 5 (I) -