Thursday, October 8, 2015

Factions in SPAAAACE!

    As I stated at the end of my post on The Orphic Protectorate, I've got plenty more factions to put in space, but I didn't want to go into that same level of detail. So today I give you a collection of factions for a Numenera space campaign, presented in short form.
    Rival Groups: My own personal touch, this section will list names of possible other groups who provide a similar function. Why? Space is large, that's why. Does it make any sense for there to be one group of pirates, or one group of ambiguously evil nano-sorcerers? Certainly not. These names can provide a jumping off point for other GMs to flesh out their own galaxy.

The 18th Fleet

    Roughly 200 years ago, the Orphic Protectorate declared war on the silax, a species of tall, black-furred mammals known for their greed and violence. The silax would conquer and enslave less advanced planets and strip them of resources, thus earning the ire of the galactic community. The fleets of the OP challenged them, and after a brief war the silax fleets were destroyed and they were confined to their home planet, forbidden from building FTL drives until further notice.
    Though the Silax War ended uneventfully, not all of their fleets were destroyed. In the chaos of battle, the commander of the 18th Fleet ordered a retreat, and thus they became the only survivors. Angry at the loss of their peoples' freedom, yet without the means for recourse, they turned to piracy to survive. To this day, a few of the remaining 18th Fleet battleships, plus many more acquired since, continue to rob and terrorize remote worlds and trading routes.
    The 18th Fleet does not discriminate on the basis of species. Though originally all silax, the 18th Fleet is now composed of thousands of individuals from dozens of species. Outside of the fleet itself, they have no base of operations and prefer to stay mobile. In keeping with their naval traditions, their leader is Admiral Kism (level 6, military tactics level 8), a hulking male silax who prefers to lead by example, and fights up close with a plasma sword and projector.    
    Member Benefits: The most important skill for a pirate to learn is to not bite off more than you can chew. In place of a skill, a member of the 18th Fleet can gain the ability to tell the level of a ship, as well as a rough idea of its value and offensive capability, as soon as it becomes visible or in range of sensors.
    Rival Groups: The Starbirds, The Kuad Kingdoms' Revolutionary Army, The Void Wreckers

Bandar Labs

    Masquerading as a legitimate scientific research laboratory, Bandar Labs is devoted to circumventing the Orphic Protectorate's bans on technology. Many scientists throughout the galaxy have had their research shut down or impeded thanks to OP legislation, and Bandar Labs's many lawyers work on finding loopholes, sanctuaries, and exploits of OP law to allow scientists to perform their research unfettered.
    Bandar Labs does perform some legitimate research, mostly pertaining to physics and engineering, such as weapons development, electronics, FTL drive optimization and manufacturing, etc. However, time travel, interdimensional travel, reality restructuring, sentient experimentation, and other forbidden areas of research go on behind the scenes. If Bandar Labs can't legally perform this research on an OP controlled world, they will find a remote, hidden world and found a laboratory there.
    As a modern galactically-traded corporation, Bandar Labs has a president and board of directors like any other. However, unbeknownst to the public, these officials answer to Ddoron Bandar (level 4, engineering, knowledge of math and physics level 6), the outlaw scientist and founder of the company, who lives on as a preserved brain connected to the company datasphere network.
    Member Benefits: Being hired by Bandar Labs requires a lengthy background check to weed out moles, not to mention requiring some kind of technical or scientific acumen. A member of Bandar Labs can, in place of a skill, acquire privileges to use a state of the art laboratory in a legally protected zone, along with a housing stipend.
    Rival Groups: The Ohtam-Ka Research Institute, The Enclave, Metatemporal Technologies

The Galactic Army of Vigilance

    Feared and reviled by criminals all over the galaxy, the Galactic Army of Vigilance is the long arm of interplanetary law. Though technically a private military contractor, the GAV was envisioned as a paramilitary force to coordinate disparate planetary law enforcement groups. Governments pay the GAV to enforce their laws, capture and extradite criminals, and work as an intermediary between their local law enforcement and that of other governments. Nevertheless, most view the GAV as the enforcers of the OP, as the OP hold the GAV's largest outstanding contract that comprises nearly half of their funding.
    The GAV has an unorthodox system of leadership. Rather than a president or director, the GAV is run by Shalobo (level 10), a machine intelligence designed to be the perfect judge and enforcer. GAV officers all wear suits of intelligent nanites that appear as a skin-tight black film. When activated, these suits increase the wearer's physical abilities, and also allow Shalobo a modicum of control over the wearer's nervous system. Officers are expected to use their personal judgment, but when they are in over their head or making bad descisions, Shalobo can influence them or briefly take control.
    Typical GAV Officer: Level 4 (12), 20 hp, Armor 2. Attacks, detects lies, as level 6.
    Member Benefits: Joining the GAV requires a lengthy background check, rigorous physical and psychological evaluation, and months of intensive training. Those who graduate, however, are issued a black suit and given a full-time schedule of duties. Further, in lieu of a skill, a GAV officer can gain the ability to observe a person for a full minute and make an Intellect check. If successful, using a combination of profiling and instinct, the officer can determine if the individual is guilty of a major crime.
    Rival Groups: The Citizens' Agency, The League of Discriminators, The Outer Bureau

The Kaemor-Threx Group

    The Kaemor-Threx Group are a galaxy-renowned guild of assassins. They were founded on planet Leriek, home of the kudiv, a race of humanoid black-shelled insects. The kudiv are organized into houses, which are powerful extended families that control all aspects of society and are ruled by Queens. Internecine warfare is commonplace between Houses, but House Kaemor and House Threx decided to pool their resources and sell their best assassins' services to the galaxy.
    The Kaemor-Threx Group has grown since then, and trains assassins of all species. Kaemor-Threx likes to have readily available assassins in a wide variety of places, so their assassins typically live double lives, working normal jobs until called upon with a mission. This policy is especially useful on planets where their services are illegal.
    Queen Aarab Nul Kaemor (level 2, Intellect tasks as level 7) is the current leader of the Kaemor-Threx group. She is an old, bloated kudiv queen who rarely leaves her computer-filled royal chambers.
    Member Benefits: A Kaemor-Threx assassin can, in place of a skill, take the Surprise Attack ability (Numenera corebook, page 70), the tier 1 ability for the Murders focus. If they already have this ability, they can choose to have their Surprise Attack deal 2 extra damage or reduce the difficulty by an additional level.
    Rival Groups: The School of Imyo, The Tenebrous Oath, The Galactic Murder Company

The Sorcerers of Drune

    The Sorcerers of Drune are a mystical sect of nano-sorcerers and long time enemies of the Vin Karu Order (see below). The drune, according to the Sorcerers, were a race of aliens who achieved the highest levels of technological and societal evolution, capable of traveling between planes of existence with ease, and even engineered new realities to their specifications. They call this technology the Primal Flame, and they seek to recreate it through a combination of technology and mysticism, thus becoming more like the quasi-mythical drune who they revere.
    An extremely old organization, the Sorcerers of Drune are alleged to have been founded by the vishtaal, a race of psychically-endowed reptiles, following contact with the drune themselves. Either way, the Sorcerers have been around in some form or another for millennia, despite attempts to stomp them out. The Sorcerers are widely regarded as terrorists and criminals, for their philosophy puts an extreme emphasis on the individual, to the point where they do not respect non-Sorcerers' rights or laws when they become inconvenient to their goals.
    The Sorcerers of Drune have secret enclaves all throughout the galaxy, usually composed of local intellectuals and scientists. They frequently have dealings with the criminal underworld, and may be contacted through those channels. Prospective members must all have some profound technological or psychic ability.
    Member Benefits: All Sorcerers of Drune are taught the Azure Flame technique, which is essentially the Onslaught esotery (Numenera corebook page 35), except that it explicitly deals fire damage, in the form of a blue flame that needs no air to burn. If the character already knows the Onslaught esotery, they learn the Azure Flame technique and are also trained in attacks with it, specifically.
    Rival Groups: The Evening Cabal, The Rohane, The Fraternity of Ruthlessness

The Starry Eye

    An organization ancient beyond reckoning, it is rumored that The Starry Eye was founded by the first species to achieve TL 9, and indeed, its upper echelons are populated solely by such species. The Starry Eye is devoted to information, both collecting and cataloging. The amount of data they have collected far exceeds the storage capacity of the physical universe, and they have engineered several realities solely for the purpose of data storage.
    Any and all information is collected. The life story of every living thing, the history of every atom, every word ever spoken, etc. What purpose this information serves is known only to the upper echelons. The lesser species who serve as agents for The Starry Eye are ordered to visit various worlds and record information, often with no discernible pattern. They are only ordered to intervene when they are prevented from gathering their assigned information. Such agents are rewarded with access to this valuable information, and most persist in a bid to become more like their god-like masters.
    The Starry Eye can operate covertly or overtly. Most governments tolerate their presence, however, because of the immense value of their information, which can sometimes be persuaded to sell. They never sell to those who have obstructed their mission, however.
    Member Benefits: Agents of The Starry Eye are rewarded with information. In place of a skill, an agent can learn the following esotery.
    Dossier Search (2 Intellect points). You mentally access The Starry Eye's exhaustive personnel database. Using this power, you can learn all the basic facts (species, age, occupation, history, etc.) about one creature you can see in short range.
    Rival Groups: The Scribes Eternal, The Savant Legion, The Yenth Information Group

The Third Horizon Group

    In the vastness of space, no commodity is quite as valuable as an uninhabited world ripe for settling. Exploring the galaxy, finding and surveying new worlds is the job of a locator. The Third Horizon Group is one of the largest and most prestigious locator companies. They maintain a fleet of thousands of locator vessels, and have staked their claim on hundreds of thousands of worlds. These worlds are bought and sold by the ultra-wealthy and government organizations at special auctions.
    Third Horizon is always hiring new locators. Teams of locators should be tough, capable, and willing to spend months if not years on end alone in the void. Special preference is given to those who already have their own ship. However, Third Horizon cannot abide by pirates or claim jumpers, and aside from locators they also hire plenty of mercenaries to chase off unlicensed settlers.
    Member Benefits: All locators are automatically trained in galactic lore (the history, location, and significance of known worlds), as well as determining the habitability and value of a planet.
    Rival Groups: Planetary Stock and Trade, Dezorom World Holdings, Cosmographics

The Veiled Circle

    One of the largest and most powerful criminal organizations in the galaxy, The Veiled Circle has operations on countless worlds. The bulk of their funds come from the usual illegal gambling, narcotics, and slave trading, but they also specialize in smuggling proscribed technology and art theft.
    The Veiled Circle is known for its skill at integrating disparate groups of criminals and its frustrating ability to avoid law enforcement. The Veiled Circle uses a cell-type structure, with officers knowing only the members directly below them and a single contact above. Further, members wishing to achieve a rank of officer must spend a month in one of the Veiled Circle's infamous Lodges, built in the middle of the wilderness on a backwater planet where prospective officers must rely on each other to survive. At the very top of the organization is the Circle itself, a council of a dozen or so gang leaders, all of whom answer to a single leader: a mysterious entity known only as the Engineer (level 10).
    The Engineer understands the importance of public relations, as well. Whenever the Veiled Circle sets up operations on a new planet, they start off by introducing much-desired proscribed technology on the cheap, before ramping up prices. Getting the population hooked on advanced technology makes them less likely to cooperate with law enforcement. They also use cloaking technology extensively, to hide their grislier crimes from the public eye.
    Member Benefits: All members of the Veiled Syndicate get an asset on intimidation tasks with those who know they are members. Those who have survived the Lodge get an asset on all social interaction tasks with other criminals, and a level 5 artifact that can hide the user or every creature in a short radius from all sensory detection. Depletion 1 in 100, roll every minute of use.
    Rival Groups: The Needle Syndicate, The Disciples, The Kihoshichi Family

The Vin Karu Order

    The Vin Karu Order are another mystical sect of nano-sorcerers. They were also originally created by the vishtaal, but much later than the Sorcerers of Drune. After a prominent Sorcerer detonated an experimental super weapon and wiped out the population of the world Sathay, the Vin Karu Order was founded first to exterminate the Sorcerers, and second to be their utter antithesis.
    While the Sorcerers of Drune focus on individuality and knowledge, the Vin Karu Order focuses on community and simplicity. Every member of their order, called Karulists, must choose a "karu," which is a sort of higher purpose to which they will devote their lives. Karulists are usually selected at birth and raised in isolation, being taught only that which is necessary to fulfill their karu, so as to ensure purity of purpose.
    Though not formally recognized as a law enforcement organization, the Vin Karu Order is sworn to serve the Orphic Protectorate. As such, Karulists can be seen throughout the galaxy mediating disputes, hunting down rebels and terrorists, and confiscating proscribed technology.
    Member Benefits: It is extremely unusual that the Vin Karu Order will accept an adult into their ranks, as they prefer to raise Karulists from birth. All Karulists possess a ceramic short-sword which is their iconic weapon. This sword is a level 8 artifact with no depletion roll. It counts as a medium weapon, deals 5 damage, and the wielder can use their Intellect pool for applying effort.
    Rival Groups: The Victims of Darkness, The World Tower Fellowship, The Ziu-Moh-Oro

Vyre and Associates

    Given the sheer vastness of the Orphic Protectorate's territory, economic unity is impossible. Experts agree that there is no good way to unify all the galaxy's disparate economies under a single currency. Enter Vyre and Associates. A financial consultation and banking conglomerate, Vyre and Associates is based on Octis, the homeworld of the lexeguar, though they have successfully established branches on almost every world in the Orphic Protectorate.
    They invented and maintain the Orphic Protectorate Trading Chip, or just "T-chip," which allows users to instantly and digitally convert funds in their account to the local currency to effortlessly conduct transactions. T-chips are free to acquire and use and are accepted practically everywhere.
    The true purpose for Vyre and Associates, however, is more sinister. The lexeguar are known for their sadistic invention, "the lifebottle," which is a device that stores a living creature in an extradimensional space where time flows more quickly, allowing years to pass from the perspective of the creature within, but only moments in the rest of the universe. These devices somehow "siphon off" years of a person's life, which provide the lexeguar with nourishment and pleasure in a manner not well understood. Though it is illegal for lexeguar to purchase the life of others, they can offer it as an alternative to paying off debt.
    Member Benefits: The organization you represent is wealth incarnate. On any world with a V&A branch, you need never pay for middle-grade food or lodgings. You also get an asset to intimidation, assuming the subject cares about money.
    Rival Groups: OP Financial, Qalah-Shemaz Intergalactic, Meroda Capital

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