On a planet recently liberated from the fifty year rule of a maniacal dictator, a group of professional mech pilots, or Lancers as they're known, will soon arrive. As varying factions vie for dominance in the wake of the change, while the loyalist remnants launch a spree of terror across the planet, these pilots will provide instrumental in the shaping of what comes next.
The setting for this game is located in the Field Guide to Suldan
Suldan is a settled planet off of Mahendragiri Station on the Vindhya line which is in the process of transitioning from Colony to Core World status. An arid planet orbiting a G-type main sequence star, Suldan required only modest terraforming to be comfortably habitable. Settlement is focused primarily around the "oasis zone" of the northern hemisphere which contains the majority of the planet's surface bodies of liquid water (comprising around 12% of the planet's total surface area) while the southern hemisphere is largely wasteland ranging from the equatorial deserts down to the landlocked ice caps at the southern pole. The planet has two moons in orbit, Akaya and Neru, as well as an asteroid field which was presumably a third lunar body that suffered a cataclysmic event at some point in the distant past. A Suldani day is roughly 27 Cradle Standard hours long.
The current planetary population is approximately 20 million natives, centered primarily around the colonial capital city of Hadiqa, along with various minor settlements further out. Suldan was originally flagged as being a rich source of mineral wealth and its foremost industry is mining the planet's substantial deposits of osmium, titanium, platinum, tantalum, uranium, and various lanthanides. Other exports include valuable native crops such as incense grass and Suldani peppercorns along with entertainment media, primarily sports and gladiatorial competitions. In addition, the galactic-tier corporation Chandrasekhar & Herschel Ltd. has its headquarters on Suldan.
Suldan is, depending on one's perspective, either recovering from or still embroiled in civil war. For the last 50 years of the planet's 250 year settlement history it was ruled by self-appointed Emir Julian Ambrose Khan, who seized power in a bloody coup that deposed the incorporate administrative council that had previously governed the planet. The Emir's tyrannical rule was characterized by a massive widening in the already significant gap between Suldan's socioeconomic classes, a substantial increase in military allocations far beyond what was necessary for the world's population numbers and strategic value, oppressive and exploitative civic policies, as well as endemic corruption, decadence, and brutality. The Emir's court was a never-ending bacchanal catering to the jaded whims of those that had supported his rise to power while the rest of the populace was forced to meet increasingly demanding production quotas to fuel this opulent lifestyle as well as participate in ever more bloody gladiatorial spectacles for the Emir's entertainment. The Union Administrator for Suldan at the time, Miranda Cortez, was complicit in this, preferring to support and subtly manipulate the Emir's reign over the world while exploiting the situation for Union's gain as well as her own.
The situation eventually came to a head when a gladiator named Jun Chandreskhar won the quinquennial Grand Games, rising above every other challenge and competitor the arena had to offer and awarding her the prize of any boon she wished to be granted by the Emir. To his surprise and amusement, rather than ask for wealth as so many champions often did she instead demanded a license of incorporation, granting her the right to create, distribute, and profit from printer licenses both on-world as well as off. This unusual request tickled the Emir's fancy and it was granted. Under the guise of establishing a corporation for custom designed mech frames and weaponry for specialized purposes, Chandrasekhar began covertly supplying beleaguered rebels opposing the Emir with arms and equipment. In time Chandrasekhar would become a unifying figure of the rebel movement, bringing the scattered cells and cadres together under a common banner.
However the tipping point came when the Emir died from a narcotics overdose during his birthday celebration, his 17th death in fact. Unknown to all but a select few, the Emir had been perpetuating his reign indefinitely by cloning himself. Repeated deaths and resurrections had done little for his already tenuous mental stability, but it ensured the primacy of his rule not only due to his indifference to death but due to the fact that he had encrypted much of Suldan's civil and planetary defense systems using his own genetic sequence as the key. Without his biometric authorization Suldan would be crippled and vulnerable, and thus it was in the best interests of those who enjoyed the decadent life his rule afforded them to allow him to retain the throne.
Unfortunately for the Emir's supporters this wasn't to last, as it was discovered only too late into the process of reviving him that someone had managed to sabotage his personal genebank with a mutagenic viral agent. The Emir's clonal stock was tainted beyond repair, and the body that decanted was twisted and deformed, but the greater problem was that his geneprint had been irrevocably altered beyond established parameters, locking him out of the security system that he himself had established. It was at this time that the rebellion began launching a full-scale uprising, targeting key installations across the city in a series of coordinated attacks. In a panic, several of the Emir's retainers attempted to bypass the security protocols to bring the idle defense systems online in order to save themselves.
Their mistake would prove to be a short-lived one. Upon detecting the intrusion the defense system locked itself down before launching a retributive strike against the source of the unauthorized access attempt. Within minutes the royal palace was obliterated by an orbital kinetic payload, decapitating Suldan's government and military in one fell swoop. The system then launched punitive strikes against randomly selected targets within Hadiqa and its outskirts as a "warning" against further intrusion attempts resulting in widespread destruction and loss of life. By the time the dust settled and the system entered into a standby state over 100,000 people had been killed, but the rebellion had at last successfully overthrown the Emir and seized what remained of the palace. For the moment victory was theirs.
But the Emir continues to haunt the people of Suldan. Managing to escape the palace before its destruction accompanied by Miranda Cortez and a sizable contingent of his personal guard and retainers, they fled Hadiqa to an undisclosed location, an emergency command bunker far from the capital, unfinished and consequently unaffected by the security lockdown. From there the deposed Emir in exile has gathered those forces still loyal to him and begun a campaign of terror attacks against the nascent transitional government, hijacking shipments of raw materials to fuel their efforts. Due to this ongoing instability as well as the planet's Administrator having gone off the grid, a Union Naval Expeditionary Force has recently been dispatched to Suldan under the command of Captain Yusef Oshana to assess the situation and determine the appropriate level of intervention necessary to restore order to the region.
The matter of restoring stability is further complicated by the addition of a secondary conflict playing out across the planet between PMC forces under the employ of Arclight TransColonial, one of the original participating corporations in the Suldan Colonial Venture, and the Suldani Independence Front, the newly formed militia assembled by the clans of settlers and miners who fled into the badlands to escape the Emir's reach. Arclight is determined to begin aggressively making up for the financial losses they incurred when the Emir's coup resulted in illegal export sanctions against the other members of the Colonial Venture before anyone else can, and their reclamation teams have been drawn into an increasingly bloody asymmetrical war with SIF forces defending their homes.
The current cast and their currently printed mechs
Important factions that the PCs have interacted with
- The Provisional Government of Suldan: The current rulers of Suldan, a former revolutionary group that was making significant strides against the Emir until his most recent death. Following the chaos that resulted from the corruption of his cloning system, Jun Chandreskhar and her rebellion were able to seize power. The government presently consists of a council of delegates, former revolutionaries, who are overseeing the various administrative functions and civil services they've inherited. They are presently in the process of transitioning from a revolutionary movement to a full government, though that has come with its own difficulties.
- Loyalists to the Emir: Marching under the symbol of a pair of crossed, golden sword; the force of his His Most Royal Highness, Julian Ambrose Khan, Emir of Suldan (In Exile) represent a motley crew of insurgents ranging from fanatical rebels, hired guns, former members of the Royal Army and the elite personal guard of Julian Amrose Khan. Their goal is to return the Emir to the throne they believe (or have been paid to believe) is rightfully his. Due to the nature of Suldan's military build up under the Emir and the nature of his deposal, the insurgents have access to rather more military gear than most rebellions typically have; and the Emir is capable of putting powerful forces in the field. At present, his forces are using this gear to commit waves of terrorist attacks across the inhabited portion of the planet, aimed at collapsing the provisional government.
- Arclight Transcolonial:
- The Union:
- The Red Circle: A criminal outfit in Hadiqa City that runs a high tech black market. They predate the revolution, and they predate the Emir. Secrecy and paranoia have long been their watch words, clients very rarely directly contact them. Cut outs and anonymous messages are their preferred means of contact. Their prices are high, but they offer rare technology stolen from the Emir's research labs and weapons stolen from military stockpiles. They're also willing to trade favors for clients with certain skillsets.
Key figures that the PCs have met
- Colonel Joumari: A high ranking member of the provisional government's military, Colonel Joumari is the primary contact point between the hired freelancers and the mercenaries being employed by the government. A rebel soldier from the days under the Emir, Joumari nonetheless seems to have an excellent understanding of the exigencies and twists of mercenary work; this likely being the reason why he was given this job in the first place.
- Captain Mason
- Lieuteant Said:
- The Lancer in Red Armor and a Horus Insignia: ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????