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There are millions of independent human worlds belonging to small, self-governing empires or federations. Some of these societies are relatively primitive whilst others are as technologically advanced as those of the Concord and Isorians. The Algoryn Prosperate is the largest and amongst the most advanced of these independent federations. It is unfortunate to lie upon the Antarean borders of three great rivals: the Panhuman Concord, Isorian Shard and Ghar Empire. Whilst the Concord and Isorians ultimately pose the greatest long-term threat, their operations are sporadic, whilst all three civilisations benefit from peaceful trading contact. The Ghar, however, are implacable foes: evolved from genetically engineered slave-soldiers in ages past, the Ghar believe themselves to be the sole agents of divine will in the material universe. The Algoryns and Ghar have been engaged in constant warfare for hundreds of years.
Algoryn troopers are less lavishly equipped than the Concord’s shock troops or Isorian Shard phase troopers, but their weaponry is practical and effective, honed by years of war just like the Algoryns themselves. Troopers are generally armed with mag guns, with only a few carrying heavier plasma based support weapons. Algoryn troops are protected by reflex shields mounted upon metallic plates: a useful general-purpose armour that is both sturdy and reliable.
The Boromites are an extreme morph amongst panhumans. At some time in the past their ancestors were bio-adapted to live and work upon asteroids with thin atmospheres, low gravity and extreme temperatures. They are able to endure hostile environments more easily than any other human, and are probably the toughest and most unusual looking of all the countless human morphs. They have thick, gnarly hides covered in horny nodules. They originated in the mining colonies of Borom where a rocky asteroid belt extends around the system’s star in lieu of other planets. Today the Boromites have spread through Antarean space and live upon many worlds within the Panhuman Concord, the Isorian Shard, and beyond. They have no permanent settled worlds of their own, but form an itinerant work force with a strong cultural identity and secretive customs based upon their Guilds. They avoid becoming absorbed into the societies they live amongst because they are almost invisible to the nanosphere of IMTel societies such as the Concord and Isorians. They remain almost entirely apart from regular society, a reclusive, insular and self-governing sub-culture wherever they happen to be.
Their hardiness and determination make them highly valued mercenary fighters. Boromite gangers can be armed in almost any fashion, but they uniquely make use of weapons developed from mining tools including mass compactors and frag borers. Reflex shielding is common and the metallic nodes that support the reflex armour field are often fixed directly into the wearer’s thick hide.
In ages past the world of Isori stood at the forefront of human civilisation, renowned throughout all of Antarean space for its pioneering dimensional research, its vast fleets and its unrivalled prosperity. According to Isorian legend, the planet was amongst the first of Earth’s settlements, the first to be fully terraformed, and the first to establish its own colonies independently of Earth itself. Today the worlds of the Isorian Shard are second only in number to those of the Concord. Both civilisations emerged from the ashes of the Sixth Age. Both are integrated machine societies ruled by cerebral NuHu elites. Yet the two cultures are irreconcilably opposed due to a strange quirk of fate that created a root incompatibility in their respective machine based IMTel.
The Shard’s most important NuHu rulers comprise what is called the Isorian Senatex, and its NuHu officials are the Senatexis. The Isorians share a great deal of the technology of the Concord, but some of their Tsan Kiri derived weaponry is unique to them. Like Concord Strike Units, Isorian Phase Troopers are armed with plasma weapons, but instead of hyper-light shields they employ space warping phase armour. Their ability to merge biological with technical equipment gives Isorian troops a distinct and immediately recognisable appearance.
The Ghar Outcast Rebel Army, lead by Fartok has to rely on what they can capture, repair or fabricate using the modest resources available to them. This has resulted in a force with a wide variety of troops and equipment, at least compared to the relatively homogenous armies of the Ghar Empire. Most significantly, it means that a rebel army is fundamentally an army of ordinary outcast infantry supported by a lesser number of machines including refurbished battle armour and captured crawler vehicles.
The rebel army is itself growing so large that Fartok has divided his forces into several smaller commands, each under the eye of a trusted rebel leader. It is not yet certain whether Fartok has established permanent planetary bases, although this seems likely. Most rebel action takes place in space, in the form of attacks upon Ghar and other convoys, and raids upon Ghar outposts, often with the express purpose of freeing slaves. The rebel fleets pose a threat not only to the ships of the Ghar Empire but to all those traversing the western Determinate.
*Please note that the Ghar Outcast Rebels army list is found in the Battle for Xilos supplement book, so you’ll also need a copy of this book in order to play this faction*
The Freeborn are great merchants and traders whose fleets maintain a free-flow of commodities and technology across the whole of Antarean space. Freeborn ships travel easily between antagonistic societies such as the Isorian Shard and Panhuman Concord, the Ghar and Algoryn, and so forth. Although the Freeborn maintain a few hidden worlds as bases and warehouses, they stand aside and apart from other human societies, recognising no masters but the lord of their own household – or Vardo. The Vardo is a vast fleet that plies its trade between a relatively small group of worlds. The ownership of these trade routes is largely hereditary and the source of every Vardo’s wealth.
The Freeborn don’t just deal in commodities and knowledge, they also deal in human services – and most specifically they hire armed troops to anyone willing to pay for them. These mercenary soldiers can be Freeborn retainers, but often they are troops purposefully recruited, trained and equipped by the Freeborn from amongst the more primitive worlds of the Determinate and the Spill. Freeborn have access to all the weapons and armour of Antarean space, but, with an eye to cost and practicality, tend to favour mag guns and reflex shielding as basic equipment. Of course, amongst the ruling family and their close relatives anything goes, from expensively re-sharded Isorian phase armour to compression carbines and all manner of alien exotica.
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