Campaign of the Month: December 2013
Fate: Warhammer 40,000
ENV: Green (1)
DEV: Urbanized (2)
INT: Peerless Loyalty (2)
Special Facility: Sector Communications Array allowing communications with other systems in the subsector without the need for astropaths
“Name Your Bandwidth; Name Your Price”
Someone is always watching
Vallis Augustana is the seat of the government for Subsector Augustana. As the result of an unusual arrangement laid down with trade houses many millenia ago, Vallis Augustana does not have a planetary governor lineage as many Imperial worlds. Instead, the equivalent position is conveyed upon a senate that comprises of members of the rich merchant nobility on the planet, parceling the planet into plutocratic fiefdoms. Paternis Familias Augustus have historically been the dominate candidate for the laurels of this position, but the power invested in the Senate is such that Familias Augustus must make concessions with the other families in order to secure the title.
It is said, however, that the real power behind Vallis Augustana resides in the control of the extensive communications and surveillance arrays throughout the subsector. Information is power. And someone is always watching.
The Senate recognizes members from 63 patrician families on Vallis Augustana. Many of these are minor houses, either strongly allied with a larger familias, or openly willing to court favors from the major houses in return for political support. Four major houses have risen to stand apart in the political arena, and the political climate revolves around their interactions.
Patron Paternis Familias Augustus
In Deus-Imperatorem dicta. By the God-Emperor’s words.
Familias Augustus is one of the oldest recognized familias on Vallis Augustana, tracing their lineage all the way back to the establishment of the Senate thousands of years ago. This venerated house has stood the test of time, prospering where their other contemporaries languish in obscurity. Indeed, the title of planetary consul almost always lands within the Familias Augustus. With it comes both power and duty that the house manages well.
They own a diverse array of assets on the planet and offworld, leasing them to other factions in exchange for gelts, favors or support. Many in the house have what others may consider an antiquated sense of honor, and values of tradition run strong within the familias. Despite their strong historical standing, however, the shadows speak of the family’s slow slide into oblivion, as rival houses rise in power and begin to challenge the Paternis Familias’ authority and control in increasingly aggressive ways.
Scapli Basilius Familias
Fides vincere tenebras. Faith conquers darkness.
Familias Basilius is one of the rising rival houses that are sweeping the Senate, with an eye on the title of Paternis Familias. In recent years, the house has made a reputation of opposing many of Familias Augustus’ affairs, and have rallied support of the discontent families behind them. Established only in the last thousand years, Familias Basilius is a relatively young house, but already boasts over 3000 relays scattered throughout the sector. Perhaps fueling this unparalleled advance is the houses’ frequent employment and induction of psykers into their line, a tactic that is angers the more traditional minded citizens of Vallis Augustus, and a major concern for even their own allies. The Inquisition has conducted investigations into Basilius’ affairs, but had failed to turn up any signs of recidivism.
We stride amongst the stars.
House Lorasia is a relatively new presence in the subsector, having expanded their operations from nearby subsectors. It is unclear how the house was able to lease or procure so many orbital and ground facilities from the patrician families, though it is likely that financial backing form the Lorasian noble line had much to say about the affairs. Despite their newcomer status, House Lorasia’s sudden rise puts them in a unique position to tip the balance of power in the Senate. The house preaches devotion and loyalty, and have purchased and financed the lunar station orbiting Malus Terra. However, rumors abound that the house has no qualms about dealing under the table. Few know what the ultimate goal of these foreigners are.
Fiducia ferocem. A ferocious trust.
Familias Scipio is an anomaly amongst the patrician families of Vallis Augustana. Despite being a large and prosperous familias, they stand relatively aloof in the political climate of the Senate. This is primarily because Familias Scipio’s strong tradition of service with the Imperial Navy, which bars them from maintaining any significant military presence on the ground. Many of Familias Scipio’s assets are off-world, and indeed some are out of sector entirely. Much of their navy forces are on tours in sectors far away, with only a portion of their merchant fleet and merchant marines kept in the subsector. Nonetheless, the trade and naval power of the familias is a force to be reckoned with. Scpii assets frequently serve as neutral grounds for contention between other families.
Vallis Augustana maintains several regiments of well disciplined guardsmen with a military tradition modeled after the Roman legions of ancient Holy Terra. Regiments are organized on the “cohort” level (roughly a company), with each sponsored by, and draws its officers from, a single merchant family. These professional forces see deployment within the subsector and in nearby regions, with tours of duty lasting only one to two decades. Most cohorts are discharged after a single tour, and are often inducted wholesale into the household militias of the familias.
Most cohorts are trained and equipped as mechanized infantry with light armor support, or light infantry (“auxillia”) for reconnaissance and operation in rough terrain.
The manufactorums of Vallis Augustana also boast two variants of standard Imperial Guard vehicles: the Chariot-pattern half-track variant of the standard Centaur armored utility vehicle, breeding rugged offroad handling with a powerful boost in acceleration and top speed; and the Augustana-pattern Chimera, specializing in close quarter support of infantry operations.
The mascot of the Legionaries is the Amarok, a giant wolf native to the planet. A common training procedure is to release and then defend against the beasts in remote locations.