THE HISTORY OF MY BEYOND CAMPAIGN
The history of my Beyond campaign goes back to the 80's where the adventurers were
gathered around a 'gentleman thief' rogue, a droyne sport investigating the undersides
of human culture, & various ex-navy, marines, & scouts (unfortunately I let players
keep their sheets so I no longer have their names & stats).   The first campaign involved
the FASA 'Sky Raiders' trilogy & started in the Spinward Marches & slowly worked its
way spinward to the Beyond.  That campaign ended when most of the players got
transferred to other duty stations.  This first campaign was set just before the 5th
Frontier War.  It also introduced Uric Phalan, a favorite villain of mine.  This also
starting my infamous gimmick of having the Jetsons popup as recurring NPC's

The second campaign involved a group of Imperial agents, the core group being Gelt
(an IBIS agent run by my wife), Miranda, an ex-Imperial diplomat & noble (daddy's a
count) officially exiled to beyond Imperial space, & an ex-navy Doctor  They travelled
around in a upgraded medical scout.  This was originally set in the  century before the
5th Frontier War ( circa-1012-1018).  The main adversary was Reyno Beaumonde, head
of  Beaumonde Industries, who created several clandestine projects (such as a
biological warfare lab).   The party crossed with his minions several times.  The climax
came when the party were hired by Reyno's own BOD to kill him, which Gelt did in a
duel.
I moved much of the action a century foward mostly to overlap the 5th Frontier War  &
its aftermath.

Along this time I created Manax Darkhstarr (Jame Retief with a darker mien & less
savory family) played him only once & used him extensively as a NPC, often as patron,
once as kidnap victim. Also at this time I rolled up the Traveller stats for doing Keith
Laumer's  Bolos (as a favor to my Bolo-mad wife).  We also created as characters for
ourselves Juliette de Sade & her 'Bolo' Wolfie, the strangest lovers you'll ever meet.  
Unfortunately we only got to play the characters once, but they became recurring
NPC's.   I did run a couple of convention games with 'Bolo' ( I called them Cybertanks)
characters.

The third campaign got played mostly at cons, since our gaming group grew apart or
moved.  This was the infamous House of Lords:  Bette Noire the firebrand pirate
captain,  Falkon Khrest, her sedate, common sense first officer,   Khea her Aslan second
officer, & several players who wandered in and out.  Originally set during just after the
4th Frontier War, I later moved it up to post-5th Frontier War once planet Tortuga was
conceived. Also the 5th Frontier War was a better setting for the many decorations
some of the naval/marine/army characters rolled up than the 4th FW.  Game sessions
covered what would have been the latter part of Bette's career (1118-1124 in the later
setting). The game ended due to major characters burning out or relocating to other
places.
The Tortuga Campaign did end with the discovery of Planet Tortuga & Bette & Co.
settling in possession.  The campaign does live on as the basis of the games I play at
local cons.  Much of the stuff on this website come from games played. I missed the last
two cons due to illness & money problems.  I haven't decided whether I'm going to run
a game this year since it has been 3 years since I've run any sort of game.  But as long
as I maintain this site ( & players hopefully find something useful on it)   the High
Tortuga campaign lives.  The infamous LOFWIA bombships came into being during
the initial planning of this campaign.  The idea cam from a game run by Jack Elliot in
which our group were hired to investigate the mysterious destruction of several close
escorts.  Turned out a whacked countess with ambitions was using captured 200 tonne
traders as bombships.  I reasoned that just maybe one of her officers might have escaped
& offering his expertise to LOFWIA, therefore Deschord, a play on discord.

Part of the backdrop is the instability in the Mapepire, Liberty Hall, Metchi' Alagwa
subsectors from a combination of factors.  The major is a lack of major instellar powers
in those subsector to offset the resurgent naval power of Die Weltbund & the activities
of the LOFWIA (League of Free Worlds Insurgent Army).    The two major powers of
Liberty Hall, the anti-Imperium Duchy of St. Foy & the pro-Imperium United Razates
of Guildheim are currently  opposed to each other.  This is  due to the policies of Duke
Nicholai  II, the violently anti-Imperial current duke who scuttled the the Imperium
sponsored talks to establish a new Liberty Hall Confederation as an Imperial client
state.  His clandestine support to LOFWIA has also alienated many of his neighbors in
the subsector.
Recent events have also deprived the nonaligned systems of Liberty Hall many of the
corsair & merc groups that normally hired out to the various powers.  First, was the
withdrawal of Aani Ryoko Aes, the Lilithian corsair admiral from the LH subsector
after a dispute with Duke Nicholai II of St. Foy, depriving the corsairs of one of their
most brillant leaders & several major warships.  Secondly, after a brillant, if brief
career, the House of Lords corsair group's collapse. This occurred, as a result of their
commander, Bette Noire, being  arrested & imprisoned by the Trelyn Domain navy.  By
the time she escaped from confinement, most of her ships & followers had dispersed.  
The third reason is the Gorian conflict against the Aslan in the Trojan Reaches where
brillant, if insane Imperial renegade Malesi hault-Fhormal recruited much of the
merc/corsair groups  in the Liberty Hall, Mapepire, & Metchi' Alagwa subsectors.  The
only major group left was 'Black Dog' McKimmon's group due to Malesi's dislike of
Vargyr.     The lost of so many light naval units has encouraged attacks by LOFWIA,
Die Weltbund,  & non-aligned pirates.  After the confederation talks folded, the
Imperium initiated Operation Starhammer, bringing in various pro-Imperium states,
pro-Imperium dissidents  of Die Weltbund(of whom their Grand Admiral Horst von
Wessel is one of the leaders), various pirate & merc groups, & Imperial volunteers to
form an unofficial military prescence in the region.  The Imperium is only partly
benign in this operation, as creating a stable Beyond next to their major trade routes to
the Mapepire Cluster & the Trelyn Domain is essential.  Also, the Imperium wants to
open up the closed worlds of  Die Weltbund to non-DW shipping, which would be
beneficial to both  DW & the Imperium.  Part of the incentive the Imperium has used is
giving the free traders & corsair first right to establish trade routes into DW space.  As
many of the free traders & corsairs already have smuggling routes on many DW worlds,
inhabited or not, this would legalize what was already happening.  By protecting these
rights, it also keep unfair competition from big transport outfits, who would then
become the targets of the local corsairs & disgruntled free traders.


Like many of my games, the High Tortuga campaign is filled with references & puns off
piracy, real or fictional & from every historical period.  And of course, Bette's penchant
for pseudonyms & naming things & locals after pirate lore.  Many have been translated
into to Vilani or simply slightly altered, or just left as they are.

STREPHON LIVES!

Your servant, Manax Darkhstarr.
THE SETTING
The setting for this campaign is Paranoid Press's The Beyond & Vanguard
Reaches campaign as well as some areas I created in the Touchstone, Foreven &
Far Frontiers sectors. A little bit of Touchstone & the Aslan clans was added
from other sites  to flesh out the background.  I renamed some of the planets in
the Beyond sectors.   In Paranoid Press UPP data they switched around the Law
Level & Government stats & the library for those systems on this site reflect it.

The Beyond & to some extent the Vanguard Reaches reflect those sectors as the
refuse dump of empire.  The Beyond was settled by disenchanted Vilani in the 1st
Imperium.  After the fall of the 1st Imperium & the onset of The Rule of Man
defeated Vilani  also colonized the sector.   Zydar, Lilith  & the Eshenili are
examples of these early settlers whose colonies proved viable.  After the Rule of
Man collapsed, many Solomani groups fled or immigrated from the Vilani core
worlds spinward.  Die Weltbund, several of the Mapepire Cluster worlds,  the
Jacobin Empire of the Vanguard Reaches & the Japanese element of Lilith's
population are representatives of this wave.   Among the next wave were the
Hsien, dinosauian predators from Hsi in the Vanguard Reaches who awoken &
enslaved the Asderonti to steal TL16+ technology to create a pirate empire.  The
Hsien fell when their slaves revolted, leading to the destruction of Hsi & inability
to maintain their high tech ships.  A small group of the Hsien, renaming
themselves the Toishani, fled into the Beyond to rebuild their civilization.  About
this same time came the Poicxh, fleeing conquest of their homeworld by the
Aslan.  At the begininng of the Third Imperium, waves of new pioneers of mised
Solomani/Vilani heritage from the worlds of the Spinward Marches established
trade & colonies in the Beyond & Vanguard Reaches.  The Trelyn Domain,  
Mapepire Cluster, & Kilogren are examples of this new wave.  During the time of
the flag Emperors, several Vargyr groups of their families were transported to the
Beyond as a response to their raiding Imperial space in the Marches & Deneb.  
About the same time the first Aslan expansion happened, resulting the
displacement of the Poicxh from their new homeworld & setting them on a path
of nomadism among the stars of the Beyond.   Establishment of close relations in
the 700's resulted in expansion of Imperial traders both corporate  & free traders;
as well the establishment  of refugee psi setttlements.

Increased trade came at a cost.  Piracy (by individuals, groups or states such Die
Weltbund) increased, causing the Imperium to maintain a naval presence to
supplement the IISS presence.   Increased instability caused by the ongoing war
between Die Weltbund & secessionist planets  also caused the Imperium  to
increase its poilitical presence.  However by the 900's it was increasingly more
expensive for the Imperium to keep regular forces in the area.   By the 4th
Frontier War, the Imperium started to remove most of its naval forces & closing
some of its scout bases in the Beyond.

A new, more indirect methods were chosen to protect the Imperium's political &
economic interests in the region.   Some were more visible, the creation of the
private paramiltary IDES, & the funding & technical support of states along the
trade routes such as the Ros Confederation & Guildheim.  Others were more
clandestine & questionable, such as incentives to pirate groups to hunt prey other
than Imperial or Imperial clients  This paid dividends in the 5th Frontier War
when corsairs completely neutralize Die Weltbund's naval harassment of trade
routes.

Other more political means were also successful, such as finally opening friendly
relations to the Mal'Gnar, trailing to Die Weltbund.  With mixed success the
Imperial tried to mediate between the two powerhouses of the Vanguard Reaches,
The Trelyn Domain & the Esylat Magistry, whose wars tended to disrupt the
harmony the Mapepire Cluster worlds, neighbors to both empires.

Die Weltbund, though very rich & powerful, is wracked by internal struggles
between the nobles & the government, between noble factions, & its inability to
maintain both a national transportation system & a large navy.  Much of the
piracy in its region can laid at its navy's feet as well as regular corsairs.  Many of
the shipping that's disappeared over the last 2 centuries has been rumored to
reappear as units of the Stern-Hansa merchant fleet.

LOFWIA (League of Free Worlds Insurgent Army) is a menance spawned by
exploitive Die Weltbund policies.  Originally created to defend the rebellious
worlds that broke away from DW; the LOFWIA has become redundant as freed
built up their forces or gained powerful allies.  The LOFWIA has become a
terrorist & criminal organization preying on the Die Weltbund primarily, but will
attack anyone deemed an enemy or for pay.   They've also become out & out
pirates, in competition with existing pirate groups.

Another player in the Comsentient Alliance, founded in 705 to combat not only
larger regional political groupings, but what they see as the chauvinistic
Major/Minor thesis.  A loose alliance, its politics tend to be anti-Imperial.   And
having the Esylat & the Zydar, two of the regional troublemakers in its undercuts
its ability to maintain peace  Also most of the small alliance fleet is deployed to
counter Aslan & Sred*Ni incursions.

The Sred*Ni is another minor race that has built an empire off of imported
technology. Highly aggresive, they are kept busy in border disputes with the
encroaching Aslan.

The last major player in the Beyond are the Aslan.  Slowly expanding into the
Beyond, they have since dispossesing the Poicxh blocked by the Sred Ni  in the
Beyond.  They have also been blocked by the Huin Hierarchy (protecting the
gateway to the spinward section of the Beyond), a human star kingdom allied
with two Aslan clans.  The Aslan clans, stalemated, have shifted their attention
trailing to the Trojan Reaches sector.

All these disruptions have allowed a great many planets or systems unexplored
except  by free traders & corsairs, even those claimed by major powers.  This
includes systems whose colonized worlds maintain a fairly high tech & strong
government   Slavery is rampant in this region with planets raided for labor for
labor-short mining or agricultural companies; technical knowledge for low-tech
planets for civilian or military use;   and slaves go to the tourist planets of the
Mapepire Cluster. Some organizations also trade in sentients for experimentation,
such as Tuablin, the corporate entity that rules Phyllis' Surrender.

As for the major races, they are a mixed bag.  The most important are of course,
the Aslan.  Though blunted in their expansion into the Beyond, they are almost
everywhere.  Beside the official economic & military activites of the clans, there is
much clandestine activity as well as privateering & outright piracy.  The Beyond
is also host to Aslan mercs, merchants & renegades & outcasts.  Many of the
human worlds next to Aslan space are highly influenced by Aslan culture &
fashion (the Huin Hierarchy, for example).  The Zhodani have had influence over
the last 4 centuries mostly to influence anti-Imperial sentiments.  They have
agreements with the government of Die Weltbund, offering technical advice &
selling obsolete military vessels.  As Die Weltbund stands astride much of the
Imperial trade routes into the Far Frontiers & the Vanguard Reaches.  After the
Fifth Frontier War support has waned in the Zhodani government.  Military &
most intelligence forces have withdrawn from the Liberty Hall subsector.   Most
Zhodani now found are diplomatic personnel & the odd renegade (mostly Sorag
deserters).   The Vargyr have a prominent but scattered presence in the Beyond,
mostly haven been an Imperial policy of deporting troublesome and/or criminal
Vargyrs since the 600's .   At least 6 Vargyr corsair ships  serve under 'Black Dog'
Mckimmon, the largest Vargyr fleet currently in the Beyond.  Most Vargyr
corsairs are in the Beyond are either solitary or gather together for just one job &
split.   Many female Vargyr  corsairs have become members of Dark Goddesses.   
The Darrians had begun a process of colonization just before the Maghiz in the
Foreven & Beyond subsectors.  Most due to cut off from the home worlds
vanished, leaving a few viable colonies in the Foreven sector such Myriem, a
member of the Mapepire cluster & the Roz Confederation. Though keeping much
of the Darrian language, waves of immigrants from the Imperium have made
their culture more Vilani than Darrian.
THE CAMPAIGN
"When there is no justice & life has no value save on the black
market; the victim must become the hunter."  Sidri Jhankoor, Dark
Goddesses pirate (910-959)