To be a member of the Confederation is to live a life of dualities - criminals who fight alongside lawmen, pirates who entreat with shipbuilders, and freemen under an empire. At its core, the Confederation is still made of much the same ilk, a motley band of rogues, scoundrels, wanderers, and corsairs. Now blessed with Imperial legitimacy, their goals are still much the same - to claim what is theirs and make off with as much as they can.
"We're just here for what we're owed. You've had it easy your entire life, and probably never had to think about those who haven't. But we're here now. And that leaves you, my new friend, with need for a swift decision: do we do this the easy way, or the hard way?"
- Mirza Scylfing Svensson Mazin, RusiyyahThe Fleets of what was previously called "House" Vagrant, derive their power from an unofficial accord between multifarious wandering crews of wandering crews of corsairs, smugglers, thieves, murderers, and other outsider elements from across Acheron Rho.
Dismissed by the Empire as a minor threat, the growing piracy problem during the War Against the Artificials became a major concern after 3195 June 7. Known as The Hild Incident or The Dive, depending on which side of the conflict you ask, it is marked as the first known occurrence of "House" Vagrant.
Most people don't really know what caused this sudden cohesion. Some assume "House" Vagrant was nothing more than opportunistic scavengers naming themselves after an old legend, others that they're the inevitable and violent response to centuries of neglect heaped upon the Hild system. Every Captain has their own answer, but the one common thread is a deeply-held grudge against any and all who would seek to rob the Vagrant of their freedoms.
In 3200 June a Charter was signed between the forces of the Empire and the organization formerly known as "House" Vagrant. Pledging themselves directly to the Imperial Throne, they became the Confederation of the Upright Vagrant, Wolves of the Emperox.
Piracy in Acheron Rho Before "House" Vagrant
The Vagrant Legend
More legend than fact, The Vagrant was, or is, the bogeyman of trade lanes and merchant vessels; establishing such a piratical legacy that his name is known even to this day. No two tales of his exploits are told the same, with 'eyewitnesses' of his deeds never able to agree on what exactly he did to earn such infamy. Yet this much is true - The Vagrant is the figurehead of piracy across of sector, a 'hero' for the beleaguered to rally behind.
For main article see The Vagrant
Where there is trade, there is piracy - the Vagrant Fleet is not the first band of corsairs to ply the Sector using the Vagrant Legend to prop up their own accomplishments. Before them came a group colloquially referred to as the Star Raiders, a much smaller, primordial ancestor of the modern Fleet that operated among the asteroid belts above Teuthem. Though they met their end at the blades of the Blood Eagle, the surviving Star Raiders passed on their legends and the collected mythos of The Vagrant to their captors, and their tales of the ancient corsair passed into the Empire proper.
The humble origins of the Rusiyyah began with a raid against an A.C.R.E. bulk freighter Salum by the Clan Yngling. These desperate barbarians began a campaign of raids against nearby worlds, including Argiast, Hallger, and Pierus XXIII. While the Rusiyyah never shied from taking any loot that wasn't nailed down, they prioritized things that would be most useful to the Clans surviving on Shān - necessary equipments, personnel with expertise in using or creating that equipment, and always necessary foodstuffs - by any means necessary.
With the War against the Artificials draining much of the Empire’s resources, trade routes and civilian vessel were left virtually unguarded, while millions of outcasts, refugees, and deserters were displaced by the fighting. These factors created a perfect storm of desperation and opportunity, leading to a drastic increase in the numbers of armed pirate vessels in the Sector.
Targeted for several months by pirates of every variety, the D'Entrecasteaux troop carrier kept watch over the Sector south with her armed contingent of Cygnus Synthetic Soldiers and wealth of advanced weaponry. Yet the D'Entrecasteaux eluded any attempt at seizure by corsairs, her onboard weapons able to dash the lightly armed merchant ships of her enemies into wreckage.
After the failure of several crews to defeat her, and observing all the crews flee towards the Hild system, the D'Entrecasteaux gave chase, finding the various crews gathered in orbit of Velidorda, a moon of Shān, nursing their wounds. Cornered and vengeful, the crews cobbled together a desperate plan, now known among the Fleet as ‘The Dive.”
The pirate vessels, though not suited for such intense atmospheric usage, plunged into the moon’s atmosphere, flames licking their hulls as they dodged past the firing arcs of the D'Entrecasteaux. Though a fair few of the vessels were unable to recover from the plunge and crashed into the moon’s surface, the majority of the small craft pulled up out of the atmosphere of Velidorda, directly below the D'Entrecasteaux. The vessel was diced to pieces, her soldiers scattered into space, and the weaponry stores held within laid bare for the assorted crews to plunder.
As word of the destruction of the dreaded D'Entrecasteaux spread, crews and small fleets of corsairs from every corner of the Sector began to flock to the Hild system, attracted by the lodestone of the vessel’s vast weapon stores and technological salvage. This assembly of pirates would come to be known as the Vagrant Fleet.
The First Seven of Six
The most affluent six captains of the assembled pirates, whose political finagling and bargaining would impress even the diplomats of the nobility, were chosen by their piratical peers to establish a semblance of order to the gathered host. Thus, the council known as the Seven of Six was born, their first act being to establish what is known today as the Vagrant Code.
Sadly, none of the original members of the Seven of Six still live in the year 3200, yet the Code they established and the traditions they made still remain.
Vagrant in 3200
The Southern Fleet
The southern reaches of Acheron Rho hold many terrors - corsair vessels armed to to the teeth with weaponry, emblazoned with dread flags and sigils, hang dormant in asteroid belts and hidden shipyards, like tigers in the long grass. The Southern Fleet boasts many Rusiyyah in her number, the maritime raiders having little interest in piratical pursuits beyond the blade and gun.With so much more freedom to maintain great fleets than further north, the Vagrants of the South have a keening for trophies and prize ships to expand their retinues. It is not often the big guns of Vagrant cruisers crack out shells across space, as raiders prefer to take their prey intact, with magnetic pistols in hand and monoblades clenched in teeth.
The Northern Fleet
In contrast to her southern sister, the Northern Fleet attracts men of more intellectual crime: smugglers, conmen, hawkers of illicit goods, and even the odd wildcat ‘banker’ can be found plying the north in retrofitted merchant craft. This is not to say the Northern Fleet is not able to fight - the hidden lasers and plasma guns of smuggler craft can bring a swift end to the unsuspecting target. Rather, what need have they for fighting when there is profit to be made?
With her proximity to the Core, the Northern Fleet attracted a new kind of rogue - the infamous Bloodhounds. Their crimes targeted specifically at the Imperial nobility and their holdings, these seekers of fortune and fame were outlaw barons and robber kings, ruling microcosms of dregs and scrap metal, dreaming one day of walking Imperial halls unabated.
Avant GRFounded under the guise of a mining company on Teuthem, Avant Geological Resources, or Avant GR, was a front company for Vagrant dealings, operations, and salvaging. Under the direction of the magnate Yaian Cernog, an ally to the Fleet and a ruthless businessman, Avant GR quickly expanded as an industrial powerhouse on Teuthem through alley dealings, extortion of independent miners, and well-timed assassinations. More and more of the rich natural resources of Teuthem were harnessed and exploited, from the valuable minerals of the planet's crust to the fungus of her atmosphere and soil, distilled into powerful pharmaceuticals. The company would even come to host the Blackout Ring, the primary mech combat sporting event of Teuthem.
As tensions rose in the Sector, the Northern Vagrant Fleet - as of then engaged in operations of converting pirates in the Alvero System - found itself in dire need of an ally. Luckily, their fortune was handed to them on a silver platter when a band of ex-Fornax pilots in the Fleet managed to uncover a set of call-and-response codes - generally going unnoticed - on various ships of Fornax make among the Vagrant ranks.
Known as the Cerberus Protocols, these codes allowed the Fleet to throw up an ad-hoc line of communication with House Fornax, and arrange a secret meeting between the Senate and ambassadors from Vagrant's most decorated - the Seven of Six itself. Finally, after a great many hours of tense negotiations, a mutually beneficial agreement was reached - the beginnings of a secret Alliance.
The Confederation of the Upright Vagrant
The Confederation of the Upright Vagrant is the new appellation for the former "House" Vagrant, once a Charter was signed by the forces of the Empire and the pirate Fleet. Under this Charter the world of Shān became an Imperial Fiefdom in the sole possession of the Confederation, clemency for past crimes committed by the Vagrant Fleet was given, and Fleet Captains suddenly found themselves being legally recognized
as "personages of Character," occupying an unique place on the Chain of Being above the common serf or Freeman. The Charter also saw fit to give the Confederation a job - Imperial Salvage Rights in the Sector - which would soon be put to good use against the vessels of the Sector Trade Organization, whether or not they were destroyed. In return, Vagrant would join the Empire rather than oppose it - giving up their pirating ways against the Noble Houses, and swear fealty to the Emperox.
The Confederation are known as the Wolves of the Emperox, and this is not without good reason - though the uneducated may attribute this to their supposed savagery, it is, rather, representative of a force that hungers for personal gain and of one that is ultimately only answerable to the Emperox themselves. As the Throne remains vacant, the strength of their oath has yet to be tested. For now the only thing one can feel safe in assuming - Vagrant's appetite will push their boundaries, and they will do whatever they feel necessary to secure their newfound position.
WORK IN PROGRESS
Sub-factions of the Fleet are not formal constructs - rather, they are large groups of like-minded individuals haphazardly drawn together who perform in similar lines of work. There are a lot of reasons a group might expand into a Sub-faction, or fail and die out, but the common thread among them is a clear and unified purpose - either through the will of some daring and charismatic pirate Lord, or development of some specialty that carves out a niche for the group.
The UnaffiliatedThe majority of captains in the Confederation are those who hold no allegiance to any specific factions or groups of interest, choosing instead to sail the stars on their lonesome. These are the survivalists, the wanderers, the rank and file of the Fleet - Vagrants for whom little has changed under the new flags they fly, besides gaining a host of new enemies and unexpected friends.
Loud, brash, and quick to solve a problem with explosives, the Vandals are perhaps the faction closest in line with the sector’s general view of "House" Vagrant. Initially a radical splinter faction of the UPC, the Vandals have long since grown into their own distinct entity. Less concerned with The Empire than their own personal freedom, a Vandal captain could be anywhere from a violent anarchist to an expert in sabotage and disinformation. Most of the slogans found on Vagrant graffiti across the sector were spread by the Vandals, and no faction is more eager to swell the fleet with new recruits.
Often seen as arrogant or deluded by other captains, the Bloodhounds represent a odd mix of exiled nobles and lowborn captains that specialize in ransom, blackmail and other pursuits aimed squarely at the Noble Houses. While their targets are well protected, a successful Bloodhound lives as a sort of outlaw baron, outfitted with quality ships and equipment stolen or otherwise extorted from their prey. A growing number of them have begun taking the idea of “House” Vagrant more literally than some captains would like, and see the legend of The Vagrant as a way to gain legitimacy in the eyes of The Empire. To hear them say it, there’s no point in trying to change the system when you can just cheat it instead.
Created from desperation on the planet Shān, the modern day Rusiyyah are comprised of crews of Shānite Surfacer Clan members that have had enough of waiting for handouts. To improve their own and their Clans lots in life, they have been tasked to leave the hearthfires of Shān's barren surface and go among the stars. There they ply their trade as raiders and pirates against the more fortunate of Acheron Rho before returning with the goods vital for the continued survival of the Clans - equipments, personnel with expertise in using or creating that equipment, foodstuffs - by any means necessary.
Never forgetting where they come from, the main goal of the Rusiyyah is always to send food and supplies back to Shān in order to bolster their homeworld’s infrastructure. As the first to benefit from the Rusiyyah’s spoils the Surfacer Clans generally enjoy a better standard of living than the masses.
The Rusiyyah generally operate in independent warbands under the leadership of a Mirza, though in times where they need to unite they come together in a moot of sorts and together pick a Zharl to lead them.
Beginning in 3197, Synths that had already fled to the embrace of the Vagrant Fleet, under the guise of refugees, began to join together secretly under a singular leader, whose identity shifted frequently. Whilst not a true "Sub-faction," seeing as how they were more secret society than anything else, their ranks did swell in numbers briefly. Though their true agenda remained unknown, the Vagrant Fleet at large has begun to uncover some specifics about this group.
They were behind an attempted assassination against Deathless officers on Teuthem during the tumult and general chaos following the Blackout Ring tournament there - and in fact, may have played a part in mistakenly pinning blame on the Deathless.
These rogues toiled to garner power and favors in the fleet, their web of intrigue spanning between stars and allowing them to influence the captains of the Fleet to achieve their own mysterious ends. Yet in the spring of 3200, their group seemingly abandoned the piratical lifestyle, the bulk of them leaving the Fleet for presumably safer horizons. The few remaining, after having been discovered without the protection of their mother organization, were gathered up and summarily executed, in a play to garner goodwill with House Crux in their bid for Confederation.
Knights Vagrant / The Bloodhounds
With an actual chance at Imperial legitimacy close at hand, the Bloodhounds of the Fleet saw their ranks bolstered from every walk of life among Vagrant. Many of these pirates grew fond of luxurious lifestyles of the Bloodhounds, pantomiming the mannerisms and actions of the nobility. These “Knights” quickly grew in size and popularity as Vagrant captains, now empowered by their place on the Chain of Being, saw a chance to live the lives many of them felt they were owed. The old guard of the Bloodhounds look down on these new "converts" as unproven upstarts, reaping the benefits of the life without having spent years building their own personal networks of contacts, failsafes and fences.The new blood of the Knights tend to be a more charismatic breed, their diplomats and negotiators acting as faces for those in the fleet who never developed the skill set themselves. The veterans of the Bloodhounds, on the other hand, found a new outlet for their skills in espionage and wet work in silencing troublesome adversaries of the Fleet and “censoring” critics of their legitimacy.
The Faris Riddari
The Faris Riddari, commonly called ‘Far Riders’ by their peers, are an emerging faction in the Confederation of the Upright Vagrant. They consist of former raiders, scavengers, and scouts who are attempting to adapt their roles in the fleet during the process of legitimization. Less interested in the societal structure of the empire as their Knights Vagrant brethren, they tend to emphasize the independence that led them into becoming Vagrants in the first place, though some still will wear the hats of both Knights and Faris Riddari.
Far Riders are defined primarily by their activities in the fleet as the adventurers and outriders of the Confederation. These Vagrants subsist by seeking out treasure and plunder in the far flung reaches of Acheron Rho. Their primary sources of income come from identifying and chasing down ancient artifacts, derelicts, recovering salvage and scouting remote corners of the sector for raw resources and valuable mineralogical information. They tend to live much as they did before becoming part of the Empire while toeing the line that still allows them the protection of the fleet.
The Rusiyyah in the Post-Confederation of the Vagrant Fleet are in an odd position. Their centuries old goal - a self-sustaining and free Shān for the Clans - is all but in their grasp at this point. With Shān free, a new wave of prosperity is on the horizon for the Clans, leaving the proud raiders without purpose. For now they fight the STO alongside the rest of Vagrant, but their future is a mystery to all but perhaps the Zharl who leads them. The only safe assumption is that their fate is entwined with that of Shān's, as has ever been the case.
The Maelstrom Fleet
The Maelstrom Fleet consists of those Vagrants who see legitimacy as a mere step along the path of history for the Fleet. To them, legitimacy fulfills the same purpose as the Fleet has - a cover for their own piratical activities. These sailors have lived and died as corsairs, and would happily raid and loot as they have always done until the stars go dark in the sky. While Vagrant as a whole remains unified, a number of internal feuds can invariably trace their roots back to a Maelstrom captain's independent ventures.
Vagrant Organization, Hierarchy, and Governance
Coalitions of pirate captains aren’t a particularly rare event - there will always be those willing to plunder the wealth of others, after all. These coalitions burned bright yet fast, their members culled or their charismatic leaders slain in the heat of battle. The Vagrant Fleet hoped to prolong its lifespan beyond a mere flash in the historical pan. Thusly, it was decided to temper the hot steel of the Fleet with a singular Code, a tenuous contract of blood and steel between marauders.
The Vagrant Code
- Respect The Flag - No member of the Vagrants shall seek gain at the expense of another Vagrant. The penalty of which is a seizure of assets and reassignment to another crew.
- Every Captain an Emperox - It’s your ship and crew, your rules. Whatever the crew does against you, your problem. You don’t interfere with other Captains’ crews.
- The Seven of Six - The council exists for the benefit of the whole Fleet. If a member of it can’t perform their assigned task, or is generally incompetent, they will be removed, one way or another.
- Pay Your Dues - Everyone pays their dues. A captain unable to support themselves and the fleet is a captain unfit for command.
- Make A Move - If you disagree with any of the code, do something about it. Rise to power, kill who you need, and change it yourself.
The Seven of Six
The story spread to outsiders is that the Seven of Six are advisors of The Vagrant Himself, those who would carry out the bidding of their leader. In truth, the Seven of Six is a Council of the Six greatest warlords among the Vagrant armada that gather together to guide its heading. Each take a title befitting some aspect of themselves and of the Vagrant of Legend. First among equals, they can be challenged for their titles and often are when another Captain thinks they’ve gained enough prestige and support for a seat at the table.
The Vagrant is the shadowy leader of the Vagrant Fleet. Almost nothing is known about The Vagrant, and when they make an appearance before the captains they wear a Vacc Suit that completely obscures their features. As far as the pirates are concerned, however, The Vagrant’s word is absolute law.
However, all of this is an elaborate masquerade to again deceive the enemies of Vagrant. Knowing how difficult finding consensus on the Council would be with six strong, self-serving warlords all clamoring for power, the Vagrant is in actuality a preventative measure of chaos and discord. A single captain of unquestionable loyalty selected by the Council, the Vagrant is gifted with full power of the Confederation should the Seven of Six ever be unable to come to an understanding.
Current Roster of the Council
- The Bloodhound
- The Fury
- The Lethal
- The Phantom
- The Shadow
- The Silence
Previous Titles, from “Retired” Council Members
Former Council Members (Players)
- The Golden: Split from "House" Vagrant
- The Vandal: MIA
- The Honorable: MIA
- The Metal: The only Council Member to ever successfully step down from their position and remain alive
Former Council Members (NPC)
- The Eternal: Died within days of achieving a Seat, shot to death in a Shānite Dive Bar
- The Bloodhound(former): Assassinated by The Bloodhound(current)
- The Faith: Killed via Shānite lynch mob for proselytizing
- The Claw: Jettisoned into space after failing to put down a mutiny
- The Vision: Rumored to be currently serving sentence on Gleipnir
- The Law: Died due to Spike Drive Mishap
- The Hero: Faked suicide to evade capture by the law enforcement officers of House Crux
- The Pyre: The Hero, committed suicide when cornered by House Aquila - by ramming into the Flagship
The Vagrant Lives
A Rallying Cry, latching onto the Legend of the Vagrant. A body was never found, nor wreckage of the Flagship. The intoxicating idea that the "truth" is he survived and was out there despite the Empire's best efforts. The pirate who took the worst the sector could throw at him, and still refused to die.
First coined by the Vandals that mocked the House Crux motto "Ours to Bear" by derisively changing it to "Our Two Bears", it was a way to take shots at the House that caused Vagrant the most problems, and try to weaken their public face. Bear is also interchangeable with Smokey. While the original link between the two words has been lost, most assume it is because House Crux were the ones to literally raze a planet (Gats) to the ground.
Walk the ‘lock in a slit suit
Originally a punishment created by the Rusiyyah to stop inter-Clan warring/rivalries, Vagrant as a whole adopted the practice. The expression graphically describes being put out an airlock - generally tethered to the ship - in a Vacc Suit that has been deliberately cut.
Someone that is an insignificant and backwards person from an insignificant and backwards world. Too stupid and too poor to give themselves proper care or build a proper shelter, not worth the tanked air they breathe. Probably an unclean Cannibal, too.
Notable Vagrant Products
Teuthan Harvester Bird Venom
The toxin of the Teuthan harvester bird serves as a powerful cure to infection from the fungal strain of Supra Cordyceps. Daring Vagrants willing to brave the razor talons of the harvester birds in the midnight swamps make a pretty penny selling the toxin extract to those who were stricken down with infection by lethal spores. However, if distilled incorrectly, the toxin is extremely lethal - a useful tool for assassins and pirates alike.
A hallucinogenic derived from the fungus of Teuthem, Muse is commonly used as an artistic aid when one is lacking in creativity. Though the pure version of Muse has remarkably few negative side effects, Vagrant chemists have a tendency to add more addictive elements to their mixtures so as to encourage repeat customers.
Made from a special strain of dried seaweed from the hydroponics of Shān, Heat is a street drug commonly employed by the poor of New Montgomery. The compound contains a mixture of nicotine and neurochemicals that cause the body temperature of users to drastically increase. Heat has been found to be highly popular among Shānites with insufficient heating against the cold, resorting instead to dirty highs and eventual overdose as they burn from the inside out.
Taking prisoners from captured ships is a long used practice by the Vagrant Fleet. While those of Noble Blood are traditionally ransomed back to their families, the rest of the crews are another matter. Not ones to waste a potential profit, these serfs are separated into groups of varying degrees of usefulness.
Those without any use at all are summarily executed - usually by being tossed out an airlock without a Vacc Suit. The rest of the lucky - or unlucky - crews are either taken in by the capturing crew themselves - if they possess a skill in vital need of by the Fleet, sold on Shān to work the farms or mines or in the factories, or sold to anyone in the Empire that is hurting for extra hands in the labor crisis.
Beyond the taking of prisoners when capturing ships, some Vagrant captains have taken on slaving as their primary focus. Raiding low tech worlds such as the nearby Hallger and Pierus XXIII, they scoop up as many of the workers from these heavily industrialized worlds that cannot defend themselves, and sell them at profit elsewhere in the Sector.
The Hild System, specifically Shān and the nearby Souris Belt, hold an abundance of mineral, and all metals, both heavy and light. The Shānites - most of whom are either miners themselves, or come from a mining background, are experts at retrieving these resources.
A relatively new offering from Vagrant, the Confederation's deal with the Empire gave them legal salvage rights throughout Acheron Rho. Long used to selling "hot" items, they now have the option of resale legally. Beyond this, Vagrant crews can be hired to retrieve cargoes and salvage important ships/items/lost personnel, all for varying prices.
Finding themselves in need of safe houses and places of respite wherever they may roam, enterprising Vagrants have established a variety of bars, clubs, and speakeasies throughout the civilized worlds of the sector. These establishments serve as both a haven for criminals who need to lie low after a score, and prime venues for soliciting sensitive information from their drunk patrons.
WORK IN PROGRESS
|Djebashi, Orpheus||The Black Lily|
|Xinjing, Aomori||The Wolves Den|
|Aeternus' Chain, Maja||The Beast Unchained|
From an A.C.R.E.-held Mining Outpost, to a backwater planet to take refuge on during the War with the Artificials, to a den of pirates and thieves of all-sorts, to finally becoming an Imperial Fiefdom under the control of the Confederation of the Upright Vagrant. Shān is the backbone of the Confederation's power and wealth. A planet that offers little at face value - it is nonetheless well placed to act as a springboard for Vagrant.
As exhibited by the Star Raiders long past, Teuthem is a prime venue for piracy and raiding, seeing as how it is the most convenient path to the populous sector north. While they are by no means an ingrained part of the local culture, it is a common occurrence to see Vagrant ships in orbit of this lonely planet.
To many, spaceships are a commodity, a tool. To the Vagrant, a spaceship is as vital as air to breathe or the blood in their veins. These vessels supply their entire livelihood, their freedom from those who would oppress them. Every Vagrant vessel is a microcosm and a society unto itself, with no two crews being the same. With this wild individuality between them, some Vagrant vessels and their captains gain great great infamy and notoriety as they raid the stars.
WORK IN PROGRESS
WORK IN PROGRESS
Turn Order Lore
WORK IN PROGRESS
Making a Vagrant Character
Work In Progress
Notable Characters (Canon)
Abd al-Kadr Strand
"Strand? Strand? No, doesn't sound familiar. Oh, the Vermin Perilous. Yeah, heard about that. Let's get one thing straight. That guy was an idiot. The whole crew. He gets himself killed and they let someone fly off with their ship. Serves 'em all right, the flarking milksops. Good riddance."Work In Progress
Notable Characters (Expanded Universe)
Work In Progress
<ref>tags exist, but no
<references/>tag was found