Saturday, 9 March 2013

Keddah Fiefs

By request of Livingstone, I have looked out all the information I have on Rimpoche. I have published it below combined with the Grail information that intended to form the Keddah Fiefs section of the FS3 Game Masters Guide, Worlds of the Empire chapter.

If anyone has specific requests for information I'll be happy to look out my notes.

Keddah is the only independent minor House in the Empire, and their newfound freedom has brought many political possibilities. Their recent recognition by the Emperor has brought with it considerable scrutiny from the other noble houses, but has also awarded them a brand new world. 

(For additional information, beyond this summary, Grail Chapter)
Star: Taliessin (yellow star)
System: Ember (0.2AU), Solem (0.7AU, 2 moons), Grail (1.1AU, 2 moons), Merwin (5.7AU, 5 moons), Mabs (6.4AU, 2 moons), Kleam (17.42AU, 17 moons), Jumpgate (77.54AU)
Jumps: Pyre, Rampart, Rimpoche
Capital: Sangreal
Resources: forestry, stone, minerals
Exports: baryana hardwood, keddite, marble, minerals

Important People
Duke “Sheikh” Haroun Keddah (born 4930): The head of House Keddah is both an underdog and a scales-tipper in interstellar politics, a mighty man planning on the field of giants. Sheikh Haroun is a conservative man, concerned with honor, pride, and house reputation, and the underhand politics that granted him peace with the al-Malik was quite uncharacteristic. Still, he is a formidable politician and even his closest allies marveled when he got Emperor Alexius I to return the possession of Rimpoche to the care of House Keddah.
Master Doctor Asa Kelson (born 4951): Master Doctor (deacon) Kelson is the head of the St. Amalthea monastery at the foot of Mount Siddik, the heart of the Sanctuary Aeon on Grail. In addition to running the pilgrim tourism business, operating several clinics, and training physicks both clerical and secular, Kelson is heavily involved in the politics of Grail. Not only is he married to Lady Kalila, the daughter of Sheikh Haroun Keddah, he is also courting houses Li Halan and al-Malik for support, and was instrumental in brokering the peace between Keddah and al-Malik in 5008.
Don Diego de Huelva (born 4968): Don Diego is a Hira veteran who established the veterans’ relief community founded in 5004, in a poorly disguised attempt to gain control with the Sanctuary Aeon on Grail. The Amaltheans want nothing to do with this, and have barred Don Diego’s troops from their lands unless in dire medical need. House Keddah has so far not involved themselves much, possibly in fear of Hazat reprisals. 
Ketcharcha “Little Ketcharch” Sarai (born 4962): As spiritual leader of the Grail Amaltheans, Ketcharcha Sarai is responsible for theology, teaching, and ceremony while the administration is handed by Master Doctor Kelson. The “Little Ketcharch” of Grail is appointed by the Artemis Ketcharch, but is commonly allowed to work independently. Sarai is no different, and although she maintains good relations with Ketcharch Tzu Tzan of Artemis, she conducts her business with little interference.

Grail is a large blue-green world of high mountain ranges and vast forested plains, and water covers some 50% of the globe. A single continent (Habari) dominates the northern hemisphere while three smaller continents (Harak, Ko’Aka, Kaval) are spread across the southern. Great archipelagoes of thousands of islands span the shallow seas in the equatorial region. The planet’s slight axial tilt makes seasonal variations mild, with temperatures only slightly cooler than on Holy Terra.
The history of the native Etyri is not awarded much interest in the 51st century, and for all intents and purposes the history of Grail begins with human colonization. Still, the pre-human history is rich with stories of fighting, heroism, and tragedy, as Etyri battled the six-legged Zhuil’hishtu sentient carnivore reptiles. When Human colonists first came to Byblos (Grail) in 2519, the Zhuil’hishtu dominated the planet, slowly driving the Etyri to extinction. By 2600 the allied Keddah setters and Etryi had exterminated the Zhuil’hishtu. A flock of Etyri served as sentries and bodyguards to St. Amalthea when she arrived on Grail in 2837 and healed the Prophet Zebulon, an incident that gave the planet its current name. Human-Etyri relations remained mostly peaceful, although when Second Republic logging industries threatened Etyri nesting regions, a period of terrorist rebellion followed (3660s-3689). Eventually, House Juandaastas diplomats and Sanctuary Aeon clergy brokered a peace, persuading the Etyri to stop their guerrilla fight and Keddah lords to respect Etyri needs and replanting exhausted lumbering fields. Grail was only mildly affected by the Fall due to close Humans and ‘bird-men’ cooperation. House Keddah maintained enough power and wealth to acquire two planets from House Torenson, Aylon (4119) and Shaprut (4299), in return for pledging to a defense alliance with House Torenson. This was not to last, and in 4434, Rahimat al-Malik conquered Shaprut. Keddah forces were moved to protect Grail and in 4438 the house was divided in civil war as the Grail Keddah rebelled against Sheikh Sahar Keddah of Aylon (4402-4465). Sheikh Sahar allied with Rahimat al-Malik, his former enemy, and his power on Aylon was restored while Grail was taken over by his cousin, Sheikh Habiru Keddah (4408-4489). A coalition of minor houses Torenson, Masseri, and (Grail) Keddah declared war on House al-Malik and Sheikh Sahar in 4487, conquering Istakhr. But victory was short lived, as Duke Asim al-Malik – the Sword of Istakhr – retaliated the following year by conquered both Istakhr and Aylon, isolating the once Major House Keddah on Grail. In the late 4580s Sheikh Yacob Keddah (4553-4603) got his hands on Jumpkey production technology and set up a manufacturing facility, challenging the Charioteer monopoly. With House Decados backing, production began in 4591, but Charioteers’ Guild Killroy agents destroyed the factory within a week. With the investments gone and huge debts owed to the Mantis, House Keddah slid into near-vassalage to House Decados. In 4889, the heretical prophetess Zegai and her mystic warriors waged war upon the planetary government. Following a three-year reign of destruction, an Avestite, Brother Battle, and Keddah coalition finally managed defeat the martial mystics in the Battle of Madness Mountain (4891). A group of 23 former Penitent psychics loyal to Zegai, fled to Hazat space and became the nucleus of the Hazat Dervish legions. During the Emperor Wars, Grail was bound by defense alliance and House Decados manipulated to war with House al-Malik, and hostilities continued even after Alexius’ peace. With the House Masseri peace treaty of 5007, the centuries of war came to an end, and Grail is now experiencing an economic and social renaissance.
Grail currently occupies the center stage in Imperial politics. House Keddah, free of the ties to House Decados and bestowed with the Emperor’s blessing, is a rising power threatening to disrupt the Empire’s delicate political balance, and is quickly becoming a cosmopolitan center. The largest non-Keddah landowner on Grail is the Sanctuary Aeon, who controls the majority the sub-continent of Tapal where the St. Amalthea Monastery sits at the foot of Mount Siddik. The Sect claim lands throughout Grail, but relations between House Keddah and the Amaltheans are very close.
The culture of Grail remains rustic and serene, its people hospitable and tolerant, and Grail ranks amongst the most liberal planets in the Phoenix Empire. Aliens and outsiders, and even serfs, are free to move and do businesses as they please, as long as they observe local laws and pay taxes, and most Etyri hold the status of freemen while on Grail. Slavery is strictly forbidden in Grail space, and local law immediately recognizes any slave who enters the star system as a freeman. The Human population of Grail counts 2 billion, the Etyri around 2 million. 

Star: Psylat (dwarf red star)
System: Dust (0.1AU), Rest (0.5AU, Challen), Rimpoche (1.0AU), Asteroid Belt (5.10-7.82AU), Granhavel (14.2AU, 17 moons), Poten (27.1AU, 3 moons), Jumpgate (57.34AU)
Jumps: Grail
Capital: Base Camp
Resources: Ur artifacts, ancient ruins, minerals
Exports: none

Important People
Countess Jasmina Keddah (born 4978): Jasmina is unsure whether being Countess of Rimpoche is a boon or a punishment, for although she lives in a modest manor with a household staff and some guards, she has virtually no subjects and is cut off from her house by a rarely travelled jumproute. She is the daughter of a rural Grail Baron, but was elevated to Countess for the sole purpose of ruling this desolate planet. Her position is highly symbolic, at least until major settlement can begin, and Countess Jasmina spends her time grooming her manor and hosting dinners for the few scientists and the occasional Keddah or al-Malik noble who find their way to Rimpoche.

With its thin atmosphere, cold temperature, and lack of open water, Rimpoche is an inhospitable place. The planet is dead beyond a small terraformed bubble produced by Second Republic machinery, requiring rebreathers and survival suits to venturing outside that area. In the center of the bubble stands the ‘Rimpoche Sphinx’, an Ur Gargoyle to rival the Howler of Nowhere. The landscape comprises of low hills, boulders and debris, crevices and deep ravines, and dust is everywhere. Rimpoche has a heavy gravity (1.37 G), a short day (21 Urth hours), and a long year (equal to 2.7 Urth years), with seasonal storms and frozen poles. 
Discovered in 3994, Cueball, promised to yield much mineral resources, but the world itself was quite inhospitable. The first hardy settlers set up mining operations, but when they happened upon a huge Anunnaki Gargoyle towering over a barren rocky plain, they abandoned the work and each went on a soul-searching quest across the Known Worlds. When the mining conglomerate arrested and interrogated several miners, they all told similar stories of visions and ecstasy similar to the hated Sathra Effect. The Rimpoche Gargoyle was kept a secret to prevent a tsunami of religious fervor, and when the Fall unraveled the Second Republic the planet Cueball was forgotten. Almost on the millennial anniversary of its discovery, Charioteer explorers rediscovered Cueball (4994) and he found a strange pocket of life on an otherwise barren world. The planet was renamed Rimpoche, supposedly because the Gargoyle had instructed the first explorer (who is rumored to have gone mad) that this was the world’s name, and the Charioteers Guild began investigating the world in secret. Their agents, Third Republicans, soon brought in Engineer specialists and an al-Malik baron – all Republican sympathizers. For some years this small conspiracy explored Rimpoche and the Gargoyle in utmost secrecy, dreaming of establishing a Third Republic, but eventually House Keddah discovered the secret and wasted no time conquering Rimpoche from Grail (5007). The exact nature of how the conspiracy was discovered and the planet captured by House Keddah is classified, but in 5008 the existence of Rimpoche was revealed and surrendered to the Phoenix Throne. In a surprising move, the Emperor claimed only a small fief for himself, the area covered by the terraforming bubble, and formally awarded rulership of the planet to House Keddah. House al-Malik was also granted some land on the planet, possibly as reward for their role in uncovering the Republican conspiracy. 
Rimpoche is proving a major boon for House Keddah, although commercial exploitation has yet to begin. The Second Republic tech and Ur ruins have generated much interest from the Merchant League, but with the Emperor seizing these sites hopes of gaining access are waning. The Church has dispatched emissaries and church knights to search for the dark entity they believe exists on this world, the demon who gave the Prophet his soul wound in 2837, although some speculate this is only an excuse to establish a presence on Rimpoche.
The settling of Rimpoche has not yet begun in earnest as specialists and explorers are still busy mapping the world. Less then 100 people permanently resides here, although a small Keddah military base has been hastily constructed on the (mineral rich) outer planet of Poten. Only five Jumpkeys are known to exist for this world, one held by the Phoenix Throne, another by House Keddah, and the last three owned by the Charioteers’ Guild.