Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Hazat Fiefs

A look at the Hazat of FS3. The House of the Talon stands on the brink, their war with the Kurga has draged on for decades, and steadily drained the house's coffers. The house is now heavily indebted to the point where it is having to sell of its hard won territorial gains on Hira to keep going. The recent capitulation of the Chaulki to become a vassel house has brought some reprieve but the Hazat are already mortgaging the future against Chauki assets.

The Universal Church continues to debate the necessity of  a crusade against the Kurga, all the while the Hazat warmachine is being slowly ground down by attrition.

The Hazat warmachine was one of the big problems of the setting. Consider just how powerful the Hazat must have been at the end of the Emperor Wars. At that point they had the military force to hold back the Kurga, and fight Alexius (and all the capitulated Royal Houses sworn to the Emperor) to a standstill, so that Alexius had no option but to bring them to the negotiating table to broker a political settlement.

That is a lot of military force! And that is expensive. Having that much military capability presented a big problem for the setting and believability. Given the disposition of the Kurgan military, the question kept coming back... why, when the Hazat were able to direct their full military assets at Hira, had it not fallen? Frankly there was no good reason that it hadn't. But had it fallen it would compromise the setting in a couple of distinct ways, so we needed to come up with a reason why the war was still on going. Attrition and over stretched funding seemed the only way to explain why the Hazat had not invaded and taken several Kurgan worlds... so here we are.



Hazat Fiefs
At one point the Hazat commanded sufficient military might to hold its ground against the combined forces of the four other Royal Houses and the Emperor, while simultaneously waging a border-war against the Kurga Caliphate! Hazat space used to rank smallest among the Royal House domains, but after the Emperor Wars they acquired both Hira and Iver. But the decades of war have emptied the Hazat coffers, and the house now owes considerable debt to the Reeves Guild.

Aragon
Star: Sonro (red star)
System: Hermes (0.37AU), Aragon (0.99AU; Castile), Teruel (1.37AU), Jalapa (3.41AU; Smither, Lost Sign, Ebola), Alvarado (6.85AU, Crane, Everlost), Jumpgate (57.0AU)
Jumps: Byzantium Secundus, Leagueheim, Vera Cruz
Capital: Castle Furias
Resources: minerals, fossil fuels
Exports: industrial tech, weapons tech, consumer tech, vehicles, politics

Important People
Prince Juan Jacobi Nelson Eduardo de Aragon (born 4927): Prince Juan is the very symbol of Hazat unity, for with him the house’s greatest and most fiercely rivaling families, the Eduardo and Justus branches, are united in blood. Although a fierce socialite, politician and a master war leader, many believe the only way Prince Juan can hope to maintain the unity of his house is to keep it in a state of perpetual war with an outside force. If there was ever to be a lasting peace the House would surly splinter and create a civil war.
Archbishop Jordano – Metropolitan of the Aragon Metropilae (born 4951): Archbishop Jordano was ordained as Bishop (4983) and then Archbishop (4990) in quick succession as priests of standing became a short supply during the Emperor Wars. In 4998, he was surprisingly appointed the position as Metropolitan of the Aragon Metropolae, the youngest in over five centuries, although he has so far offered no favoritism towards the Hazat. The Aragon Metropilae encompass Aragon, Hira (claimed), Sutek, Vera Cruz, and Madoc (contested by the Kish Metropilae). He is strictly Orthodox, although his stark conservatism garnets him supporters among the Temple Avesti sect, and even conservative Eskatonics, yet his candidature for the Patriarchal Throne is thought to be weak. Metropolitan Jordano is one of Emperor Alexius I’s fiercest opponents, accusing him of perpetuating an image as a divine ruler.

Overview:
Aragon is a temperate world with more than 85% of the surface is covered by water. The landmass divides into several minor island continent and three main continents, the largest and most important being Quechua. The polar regions are frozen over, but elsewhere the temperature is pleasant. From space it looks like a multihued ball, the lush clouds giving it a marble appearance.
Aragon was first visited by humans in 2413 and settled by the agribusiness conglomerate TDA. TDA sold off it considerable holdings on Urth to buy huge tacks of land on Aragon and Vera Cruz, where they established a vast plantations. TDA maximized its profits in any way it could and soon came to be hated by elements of its labor force. The Chauki family, who had spread to Aragon from Vera Cruz, was the most successful group to oppose the TDA. As the Sathra Revolt raged (2490-2500), the Chaukis seized the opportunity while TDA was preoccupied with the revolution and interstellar politics. Through bribery and cajoling they won the loyalty of the TDA security forces, led by one Emanuel Primitivo Hazat. This did not bring immediate victory of the Chaukis, for TDA could afford mercenaries, but TDA did lose much face and favor as it was unable to support the Byzantium Secundus and Sutek against the Sathraists. When the Chauki family announced its noble lineage in 2553, they became a romantic alternative to the oppressive TDA, and seized Aragon in 2589. House Chauki’s armed forces were named “the Hazat” in honor of Emanuel Primitivo Hazat, and this sub-branch spread Chauki rule to Sutek and Hira. During the Second Republic, friction festered between House Chauki and its Hazat military as the former wanted to consolidate its gains while the latter desired conquest. In 3977 House Chauki took steps to disarm its military, claiming that the Republic offered all the protection needed and any group bearing arms were agents of instability. The Hazat answered by announcing that House Chauki had conspired to hide the fact that Emanuel Primitivo Hazat had been a descendant of King Alfonso XIII of Spain (1883-1931). The new House Hazat quickly overthrew their masters, beginning a purge of Chauki influences that was nothing less than genocide. Almost overnight, Aragon went from being a staunch supporter of the Second Republic to one of its fiercest opponents and allied with the Universal Church. For the next several centuries, Aragon saw regular conflict as the Hazat battled upstart minor houses, corporations left over from the Second Republic, barbarian raids, and rival houses. Internal feuds were also frequent. Aragon suffered relatively little during the Emperor Wars, although it had to fight off invading forces from houses Hawkwood, al-Malik, and Li Halan at various times. 
Aragon, with its shining spires, ancient castles, and a history brimming with heroic warriors, is the crown jewel of the Hazat. Less known is the wretched slums of unemployed serf legionnaires, the violent desert nomads, and the constant feuds between branches of the Hazat. Being the main artery between Byzantium Secundus and Leagueheim, the coffers of Aragon regularly swell with trade tariffs only to be quickly emptied by palace constructions and the Kurgan conflict. Young Hazat compete for the right to study at the Aragon Military Academy and graduate to prestigious positions in the military. 
While nobles and merchants are rich with trade the serfs live in squalor. Those resorting to crime are routinely conscripted into military service to work off their sentence. During the Emperor Wars, countless serfs were called away to serve in the armed forces and those who returned often found their livelihoods taken over by others. Now huge slums of unemployed serf veterans surround many of Aragon’s factories. Recent attempts to bring the slums under control have largely failed as the nobles are unwilling to divert the necessary wealth away from the war effort or their own projects. Well over a billion people live on Aragon, and its moon Castile is home to the largest Xanthippe Moonhaven with a population of 500,000.

Vera Cruz
Star: Saul (pale yellow star)
System: Puebla (0.94AU), Vera Cruz (1.3AU), Albemarle (1.9AU), Pharis (15.3AU; Hanbar, Squire Bourbon), Sargasso Belt (17.25-21.36AU), Katara (36.1AU), Jumpgate (37.1AU)
Jumps: Sutek, Aragon, Hira
Capital: Los Aztecha
Resources: agriculture
Exports: foods, textiles, consumer tech

Important People
Duke Armando Palimino Bursandra de Vera Cruz (born 4951): Duke Armando is head of the Bursandra branch of House Hazat and planetary Duke of Vera Cruz. He is a paranoid man, worrying about Kurgan assassins, Decados spies, rebellious Dervish saboteurs, Pandoran infiltrators, Imperial agents, and more, all with good reason. He is also pious, finding solace in scripture, but not with the Universal Church, who’s political agendas worries him. A vocal opponent of Emperor Alexius I, Armando believes the Emperor Wars have not end, but rather transformed into a cold war, with Alexius I seeking to absorb the Hazat realm.

Overview:
Vera Cruz, terraformed by Doramos the Worldshaper, is one of the most beautiful planets known. One massive continent dominates the western hemisphere while two smaller ones occupy the eastern. The temperature is similar to Urth (they were higher before the sun began to fade) and just under 49% of the surface is water. The equatorial regions sports dark impenetrable jungles, with thick forests spreading both north and south, and mountains are found throughout. 
Vera Cruz was discovered by Sathraist explorers shortly after Sathra’s Boon (Sutek). The first major settler efforts came around 2310, by political refugees, downtrodden zaibatsu employees, and South American exiles fleeing a failed revolution. Around the same time, the agribusiness conglomerate TDA moved in as well, leading to conflicts over land rights. Unlike on Aragon, the Vera Cruz TDA subverted the population through negotiations and reform rather than violence. Political opposition to TDA was commonplace, however, and one opposition group was the family that became House Chauki. Vera Cruz was a haven for Sathraists, and the Sathra Revolt (2490-2500) left the world in political and economic chaos. The Chaukis rebelled against TDA at this time, attacking the conglomerate both from outside and within as some Chaukis had risen to positions of power within TDA. They quickly seized all TDA land and assets, before declaring themselves a noble house (2553). Vera Cruz remained stable throughout the Diaspora and most of the Second Republic, until the Hazat rebelled against House Chauki (3977). Vera Cruz was again afflicted with war in 4353, when the young League of Merchants, formed on Leagueheim the year before, attacked Hazat worlds in a show of strength. The terrible war was eventually defused by Patriarch Jacob I’s (patriarch between 4355-4377) Doctrine of the Privilege of Martyrs (4357). In the aftermath of this Vera Cruz Merchant War (4353-4357), the Bursandra branch of the Hazat took advantage of a planet in disarray and seized most of the land. In-house conflict raged with the League growing rich by catering to all sides, until the three leading Hazat branches made peace in 4364. Sutek was awarded to the Castenda branch, Aragon to the Justus branch, and the Brusandra branch kept Vera Cruz. The next major conflict came to Vera Cruz from outside with the Kurgan’s First Jihad in 4506. The Kurgan Jihad consolidated the Hazat and when Vladimir Alecto united the Known Worlds in the 4540s, the tide of battle turned. In 4547, Vera Cruz forces destroyed half of the Kurgan fleet in the Battle of the Sargasso Belt. From then on the First Jihad was winding down and in 4559 the Kurgans withdrew and closed the Hira Jumpgate. The Kurgans returned to Vera Cruz with the Second Jihad (4801-4899), eventually withdrawing again after almost a century of war. Vera Cruz played a critical role in the Emperor Wars by supplying the Hazat war effort with soldiers and foodstuffs, as well as the top-secret Dervish psychic legionaries (first fielded in 4979). But in 4987, the Kurgans returned with the Third Jihad, forcing House Hazat to divide its resources and attention against its Emperor Wars enemies and the Caliphate. This time around the Hazat forces proved more than a match for the Kurgans and the conflict moved from Vera Cruz to Hira, where the Third Jihad still rage.
Vera Cruz is an agricultural world exporting foodstuffs throughout Hazat space. While it has its share of industry, the planet is largely undeveloped. The Bursandra branch, with strong ties to the Universal Church rules the planet. Several groups of disbanded dervishes are believed to operate here, training recruits and bidding their time. Vera Cruz is a staging area for attacks against the Caliphate and has suffered a growing number of raids in return. With the Kurgan space superiority in the Hira system, many now fear a massive offensive into the Known Worlds, and Vera Cruz is the doorway through which they must pass. Rumors claim Kurgan raiders have established forward bases in the Sargasso asteroid belt.
The Bursandra branch customs and culture is less militaristic than the rest of the Hazat. Still, the family and their world has been somewhat brutalized by the Kurgan wars. A recent census placed the Vera Cruz population at 750 million humans.

Hira
Star: Yasi
System: Falai (0.68AU), Hira (0.96AU; Ulalumn), Korbuchuk (14.0AU; 25 moons), Eslemiel (31.01AU; ice crystal rings), Mirzabah (37.03AU), Jumpgate (38.0AU)
Jumps: Khayyam (warning: Kurga Caliphate world), Vera Cruz
Capital: Fort Omala (Hazat), Dal Jimbalif (Kurgan)
Resources: Contraband, relics
Exports: Kurgan cultural objects, high tech (cybernetics)

Important People
Duke Bellosyte Armane Korlat Spetara Rolas de Hira (born 4954): Duke Bellosyte is one of the most decorated soldiers of the Hazat. Although initially trained as an infantry leader, Bellosyte has served on almost every type of battlefield imagined; yet his specialty is aerial and orbital warfare, traits he put to good use during the Siege of Omala (4987) and the decisive Siege of Jericho (4994). Bellosyte was awarded the Duchy of Hira for his valor and success in the Emperor Wars and against the Kurgans. His appointment nearly lead to a civil war with the local Justus rulers of Andalus, but Duke Bellosyte has managed to maintained order through his force of character, his veteran troops and fightercraft force turned planetary police force.

Overview:
Hira’s main geographical feature, spanning three of the planet’s five continents, is its equatorial rainforest. It is a naturally Urthlike planet, of higher average temperatures and humidity and with water covering close to 90% of the surface. The lack of heavy industry means its atmosphere is cleaner than most. The Hira Jumpgate has closed and reopened more than any other in recorded history, and every Kurgan Jihad into the Known Worlds has come through this Jumpgate. The Simurgh Nebula (named after a mythical bird), visible from both Hira and Irem (a Caliphate world), is central to the Kurga pilgrimage tradition.
Hira was discovered in the final days of the First Republic and settled by an alliance of technophiles in the early Diaspora. A techno-utopia had been established when the comet Mirzabah, heralding from the system’s dirty-snowball planet of the same name, slammed into the Jumpgate in 2650, and shut it down. Several small empires rose and fell over the centuries, and when the Jumpgate reopened in the early days of the Second Republic, Hira had slid into primitivism. House Chauki, made efforts to rebuild Hira, and bit by bit brought the world into its fold. After the Hazat uprising of 3977, but before the Hazat could consolidate the former Chauki worlds, Hira fell to an unknown power (the Kurgans) who blasted through the system defense and, in 3997, closed the Hira Jumpgate. In 4327 the Jumpgate reopened, and the Justus branch of the Hazat mounted an expedition but was trapped on the Caliphate world when the Jumpgate closed again within a year. The Justus nobles managed to consolidate the fractured Hazat interests on Hira, creating the Hazat realm of Andalus, and allied with minor House Shelit, the remnants of the technophiles who once ruled. During the Emperor Wars, the Caliphate again tried to seize Hira, but the Andalus-Shelit alliance kept them at bay. Their finest hour was the Siege of Omala (4987) when Baronet Teikorc de Andalusa de Justus wrestled the Omala spaceport-fortress from the Kurgans. When the Emperor Wars ended in 4995, legions of Hazat veterans embarked for Hira, dying in scores but managing to force the Caliphate back. By the end of 5009, the Hazat forces had reduced the Kurgans lands to roughly the northern half of Daanyu, and the Hwllayt Archipelago to its east. But at the dawn of 5010, the Kurgans returned with a massive armada to secure space superiority, effectively cutting off the Hazat supply lines. The Kurgan armada has so far managed to maintain its blockade, and the demand for a crusade against the Caliphate is once more ringing out across Hazat space and beyond.
Hira is still a world at war, as Kurgan fanatics fighting to reclaim the planet that is the starting point of their interstellar pilgrimage route. On Hira the pilgrims travel to the Mongke Yildiz Observatory in the Hwllayt Archipelago to watch the faint Simurgh nebula through an ancient observatory. Then the pilgrims travel to several other Kurgan worlds, before arriving through the Irem Jumpgate where the Simurgh Nebula is visible in full.
Hira culture is a patchwork of fragments of the original Diasporan colonies, Justus and Shelit society, and Kurgan culture. The Kurgan heretical religion, El-Diin, is worshiped in many corners of the world, although Urth Orthodoxy is often observed alongside it. A rough estimate places the population at about 400 million people, divided into near equal portions of Kurgans, Hazat colonists and forces, Hazat loyal natives (House Shelit etc.), and other independent communities.

Iver
Star: Lest (blue-white star)
System: Felix (0.35AU), Iver (1.1AU; Dale), Falstaff (4.3AU; Orson), Dastard (7.7AU), Barsoma (22.0AU, 43 moons), Gallup (38.0AU; 22 moons), Zestil (42.2AU; Glam), Jumpgate (63.5AU)
Jumps: Pandemonium
Capital: Chaido
Resources: Minerals, gemstones, Second Republic tech caches, aquaculture
Exports: Wine, crafts, jewelry

Important People
Duke Arturo Chauki (born 4948): As Duke of House Chauki, Arturo’s rule is difficult. He must juggle the many rivaling conclaves and groups of the Iver senate and collaborate with the hated Hazat to avoid extinction. A botched assassination attempt in 4995 is widely believed to have been a Hazat ploy to cripple House Chauki from the top. Today his authority is mostly limited to restricting Hazat and Church meddling in internal Iver affairs, and keeping out of Imperial politics as much as possible.
Princeps Leandro Chauki, Earl of Ivaner (born 4973): Princeps Leandro is the heir-apparent of the planetary Duchy and currently rules the continent of Ivaner as Earl (technically subordinated to “governor” Paulo). The rank of princeps is unique to Iver, denoting that Leandro is both Crown Prince of House Chauki and the informal leader and principal speaker of the senate. Princeps Leandro is an uncharacteristically hands-on crown prince, rarely delegating work to his advisors and staff. In 4999 he had secret talks with the Emperor and is whispered to be affiliated with the Imperial Eye. In 5006, he orchestrated a friendly get-together with his father’s religious and political adversaries and despite the discussions being fruitless, Leandro earned universal recognition for his efforts. 
Marquis Paulo Santiago Eduardo de Aragon (born 4965): When House Chauki surrendered Iver to the Hazat in 5007, it was Marquis Paulo de Aragon, cousin of Prince Juan, who was sent as Hazat representative to Iver. Although officially attached to Duke Arturo as an advisor, Marquis Paulo is clearly the unofficial the governor of Iver and behaves much like a planetary Duke. “Mr. Hazat” has gathered a following among ambitious and ‘progressively minded’ young senators and Chauki nobles who sees him as the door to the riches and power of the Phoenix Empire. Others fiercely oppose, and there have been attempts on his life.

Overview:
Iver has four temperate continents and a small island-continent, the biggest and most populous continent being Ivaner. Oceans, rich in sea-life, cover 79% of the surface.
As with many worlds the history of Iver’s discovery has been lost. It has always been a backwater world, resourceful enough to be self-sustaining but not so rich it draws much attention. It was a world of independent and isolated cultural conclaves some religious or political fringe groups and others alien cultures (predominantly Etyri, Hironem, and Shantor). Iver intentionally closed its Jumpgate (4005), escaping the chaos of the Fall. The Jumpgate spontaneously reopened in 4110, and Iver attracted the attention of nobles, the League and the Universal Church alike. Iver became a hotbed for Incarnatism, and the Patriarch desperately sought to bring them to heel. Iveritins saw the writing on the wall and in 4201 a joint Incarnate-Chauki effort managed to re-sealed the Iver Jumpgate, two years before Incarnate-Universal Church relations came to a head. During the New Dark Ages, the various political and religious enclaves grew even more isolated, often warring against one another, until House Chauki, backed by the Incarnate organization, gradually seized control as peacekeepers of Iver. In 4994, Merchant League explorers reached Iver from Pandemonium, and found a thriving world with features that were guaranteed to cause concern in the Phoenix Empire: a thriving Chauki lineage; an elected world senate; an Incarnate-dominated religious institution; and aliens living free. Iver was claimed by major factions, including: Emperor Alexius who by Imperial law owns all re-discovered worlds; Merchant League who discovered the world; House Decados, from who’s corner of space Iver was rediscovered; the Universal Church, who felt a responsibility to Ivaritian souls; and House Hazat, the cousins of the Chaukis. House Chauki petitioned to be recognized by the Emperor, but this was denied when the Universal Church produced evidence for the native church’s heresy. Facing financial ruin, House Chauki entered negotiations with the Hazat (5007), relinquishing their claims to all ancestral lands on Hazat worlds in return for patronage and protection. 
Iver has been quarantined by a Universal Church Fleet for over a decade, although the fleet has steadily dwindled as vessels were required else-where. Today Iver belongs to House Hazat and through Hazat and Universal Church pressure the native Iver church has officially converted to the Urth Orthodoxy. This caused many domestic problems on Iver, but secured protection from other noble houses (predominantly House Decados). Also, houses Li Halan and Hawkwood, happy to see Iver out of House Decados’ reach, also supports the new order, while the League support the Hazat in return for exclusive out-of-house trading rights on Iver. And Emperor Alexius escaped criticism by allowing another faction to have the world, and drove a wedge between the Decados and their former allies the Hazat in the process.
While the entire Iver population, counting some 220 million humans and 2 million aliens, are now ostensibly serfs of House Hazat, independence runs strong in the Iverites’ blood. Most of the world composes of independent city-states, remnants of older cultural enclaves, and Ivarites behave like freemen. While officially converted to Urth Orthodoxy, the vast majority continue to worship as before, local priests doning new garbs and starting sermons with a praise of the Patriarch and the Universal Church, before preaching the Incarnate faith whose tenets can be summarized as, belief in: reincarnation; personal responsibility for one’s salvation; sins can be worked off through hard toil; aliens partake equally in the Pancreator’s grace; mysticism and theurgy is distrusted (although some practical theurgy is employed).

Sutek
Star: Luxor (yellow-orange star)
System: Mercury II (0.5AU), Dominey (0.77AU; Ghost, Parish), Cregstar (0.89AU), Sutek (1.13AU; Khonsu, Oculus), Yharit (5.07AU), Kastaga (11.59AU), Twenty-Something (34.3AU, Spacestation: Yeo’s Hold, 23 moons), Exelon (74.0AU), Jumpgate (74.12AU)
Jumps: Byzantium Secundus, Vera Cruz, Holy Terra, Pandora (warning: Barbarian world), Khayyam (warning: Barbarian world, no jumpkeys known to exist)
Capital: Djehut
Resources: agriculture, ancient ruins, tourism
Exports: wines, foods, industrial tech, consumer tech, laborers

Important People
Duchess Elena Cindias Victoriana Castenda de Sutek (born 4971): As Duchess of Sutek and leader of the Castenda branch of House Hazat, Elena has her work cut out for her. Elena used to spend almost as much time in Decados space as on Sutek, and she’s a close ally of Duchess Salandra. Since Alexius’ peace of 4995 however, she has courted the Church at the expense of House Decados, possibly to control Sutek’s priests. Although not a warrior (a disadvantage in many Hazat courts), Duchess Elena is a very successful diplomat and she might be able to unify the Castenda branch. Although Sutek was opposed to Alexius I’s peace, Duchess Elena is neutral to the Emperor, demanding continuous rewards in return for continued loyalty.

Overview:
The super-continent, Pleroma, its landscape ranging from heavy tundra in the north to jungle in the south, dominates Sutek and some 53% of the surface is covered in water. Large deserts cut through the central parts of Pleroma, and much of the remaining land is slowly turning to dust after generations of over farming. The planet has also grown considerably cooler since its sun began fading. 
The Urth Jumpgate was discovered in 2305 and before the year was out the scientists had activated it and sent a manned exploration team through. On the other side was a habitable world, which they called Sathra’s Boon, the first interstellar world colonized by mankind. Colonization began with high hopes but soon turned to fear and greed as local diseases swept through the colonies and ethics were abandoned for zaibatsu profits. When the Sathra Revolt (2490-2500) had been crushed, an effort to rebuild Sathra’s Boon followed and the planet was renamed Sutek. As the First Republic crumbled, more and more people left the zaibatsu-constructed cities for native dwelling to escape corporate abuse. Although a modest development in its time, the Gjarti religion was founded here in 2613 by the biologist and farmer Edgar Vollmak. In 3461, House Chauki claimed the world, gaining popular support by swearing to protect the planet from the sathraist threat, and sathraism was soon crippled, only to be replaced by Anunnaki worshiping paganism. During the Second Republic, Sutek prospered from its proximity to both Holy Terra and Byzantium Secundus, with commercial interests replacing the aristocracies. Sutek became a key world for deal making and stock market investment, and as corporation gobbled up corporation, lawyers and financiers flocked to the planet. The planet’s elite lived in unparalleled wealth while the average citizen found it difficult to hold the most basic of jobs. When the Second Republic welfare system collapsed, Sutek was left in turmoil and famine gripped the planet. The rich farms of the elite were protected against the mobs, and feudalism was quickly established. During the Emperor Wars, Sutek had a prominent role in the Hazat war-machine, providing a record one million levies in 4953 and functioning as the staging ground for both the 4979 Hazat sacking of Byzantium Secundus and the 4994 Hazat-Decados Siege of Jericho. In 4993, in an attempt to thwart the inevitable Hazat push for Byzantium Secundus, an immense Muster force, supported by Hawkwood and al-Malik troops, invaded Sutek in what was later termed the Sutek Contendings. This ended with a cease-fire shortly after the Siege of Jericho, and many Sutek nobles were displeased with the “cowardly” surrender by Aragon on their behalf, leading to a short-lived mutiny of the Castendas. 
Sutek is a problem world for Duke Juan for the Castenda branch is fiercely independent and has tried many times to break away from the Hazat.  The world is closely tied to House Decados and much of the Mantis’ politics are mirrored on Sutek. The Universal Church focus strongly on Sutek as the world has been a hotbed for heresy throughout human interstellar history. Finally, the Scravers and Charioteers guilds hold much sway in the larger cities. 
Sutek has some 1.3 billion humans. The majority of Sutek’s population is agrarian or industry serfs, scraping by on meager salaries while their masters invest the planet’s surplus in politics, war, and estates for themselves. The Universal Church commands many pious souls here, but heresies abound. The Castenda nobles emulate much of House Decados culture and moral.