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Outlaw Star RPG fluff for /tg/

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Oct 1st, 2011
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  1. Outlaw star rpg
  2. Suggestions for Human Faction Fluff
  4. Tenpa Empire
  5. Composed of a diverse number of human cultures and races it is the largest stellar empire in both population and territorial extent and has achieved a rough Tri-party parity in military might with the Peter Empire and the USSA. The majority of the Population is of Asian descent, Chinese being the most prominent ethnicity followed by Indian, Tia, Vietnamese and Japanese. It also includes a large of number of humans descended from Africans but these are mostly concentrated on individual colonies that were later incorporated in to the Tenpa Empire. The large territorial volume of the Tenpa Empire is due in part to the fortuitous discovery of a dragonite bearing asteroid in the strata of China. This allowed the Chinese faster than light space program to be the first to achieve extrasolar colonization and claim colonization rights to a number of inhabitable planets in the Galactic East. Later emigration off-world through this agency created the predominantly East Asian culture and population of the Tenpa Empire. The Tenpa Empire controls China and most of Southeast Asia, though the nations are technically independent polities within the Empire. The population density of the Tenpa Empire is quite low compared to that of the other human spheres due to the constant incorporation of new under-populated worlds and the initial rush of colonization that saw the claiming of vast numbers of planets by relatively few people. At the present time the Tenpa Empire is experiencing the most growth in total territorial holdings of the 4 major interstellar empires.
  7. The Empire is nominally ruled by the Tenpa Emperor, but he is mostly a figurehead who allows the Empire to be governed by various bureaucrats selected from pools of candidates by standardized tests and politically indoctrinated to ensure their loyalties ultimately lie with the Emperor. At the local level political power is delegated to various trading guilds, democratically elected system or planetary governments, and in rare instances the Kei Pirate Guild.
  9. The relationship between the Tenpa Emperor and the current Tendo King who controls the dominant 108 Stars faction of the Kei Pirates appears to be warm. This relationship minimizes conflict in the Empire’s vast territory, which it would not be able to effectively police if less organized and accommodating pirates were in control of the wilderness space between the incorporated systems. This mutually beneficial relationship allows the pirates to act as a local paramilitary force for their own ends so long as they use “unarmed vessels” and do not cause undo damage to the populous. This in turn allows the Tenpa Imperial Navy to patrol its territory and commit forces to other vital military functions without needed to keep a large military presence in every region of its space. The family of the Tenpa Emperor is said to have developed this “special relationship” with the Kei Guild though their mutual mastery of Taoist Magic.
  11. The Tenpa Imperial Navy is one of the largest standing military forces in known space and enforces laws against spacecraft armed with offensive weapons and orbit to surface bombardment, which is considered too dangerous to the populous to allow even the dropping of metal shot in excess of 10kg of mass by any non-military entity. Kei pirates who overstep their bounds are hunted by the navy and may be cast out of their guild if their actions were unjustified or detrimental to the guild’s interests. Policing renegades and outlaws also is the concern of the navy. Approximately 5% of the commissioned ships of the Imperial Navy are designated as the Emperor’s Guard. These superior units and ships are stationed throughout the Empire to respond to threats quickly rather than being concentrated in a single unit for power projection purposes against other Star Nations.
  13. Overall Tenpa space is more peaceful than that controlled by the USSA, though conflict in space and planetside is more common than in the Einhorn or Peter Empires.
  20. United Stellar Systems of America
  21. Containing approximately 2/3 of the Tenpa Empire’s population in about 4/9 its volume, the systems of under control of the USSA border Tenpa to the Galactic West.
  22. Dragonite bearing asteroids found within the Western Hemisphere of Earth were claimed by the USA shortly after the discovery of the Chinese deposits; this allowed the National Faster than Light Space Administration to begin expansion directly from Earth just as the Chinese program had. This is why the Tenpa Empire and USSA are the only Star Nations which share a distinct border, situated on Earth. However since the total amount of dragonite available was small by comparison, the United States based colonization effort instead focused on claiming mining worlds, often ones without any biosphere capable of sustaining human life. Likewise the emigration to the stars by nationalities outside the United States was encouraged to facilitate rapid colonization. For this reason the main ethnicities are Anglo-European, Hispanic, North African, Korean, and Japanese, as these where areas where nominal allies of the USA existed on Earth. The resulting colonization created a more closely bunched collection of colonies. Most of the citizens of the USSA live in vast underground structures and their economic activities focus on resource extraction to this day.
  24. The military of the USSA keeps a much tighter rein on its member planets and nations than the Tenpa Empire. The Military itself is larger(by 10-35%) than that of the Tenpa Empire. 80% is composed of vessels that are equal to the Tenpa standard and 20% of the commissioned vessels are kept ahead of the standard of any other human power so they may be rapidly deployed as a form of force projection.
  26. This said, the USSA Navy is more strained and requires more regular retrofitting and repair than the forces of the Tenpa Empire, due to their hostile relationship with the Space Pirate Guilds, all of which claim space that overlaps with the territory of the USSA. For this reason the actual number of forces they could hypothetically deploy to a major conflict is roughly equal to that of the Tenpa Imperial Navy. Ultimately it is the heavy industrial nature of the USSA which maintains this large fleet, and the fleet’s demands help reinforce the desire for mining worlds over worlds with livable biospheres or the maintenance of existing biospheres. Though the volume of territory it claims is increasing more slowly than that of the Tenpa Empire the total number of new planets it is claiming equals new Tenpa acquisitions. This is due in part to pirate interference preventing the conquest of inhabited planets within the pirates’ spheres of control.
  28. USSA space is defined by constant strife and piracy. Armed ships(as defined by Tenpa law) are allowed with a Privateer license to provide defense against pirates, but such licenses are expensive. Social Strife is also common planetside with more vast paramilitary criminal organizations than Tenpa worlds generally have. This owes to the high population density and vast manufacturing base of many worlds. Pirate Guilds are far less tolerated and none of them have an alliance with the ruling government. Biologic and mechanical alteration of the human body is much more common here among the general populous than in other regions of human space. Prosthetics or replacement organs are often needed to survive hostile conditions within the subsurface cities if one plans to live there permanently. Dubois sponge reservoir lungs are the most common augmentation as they make air pollution nearly a non-factor to those who have them.
  35. Peter Empire
  36. Founded by the faster than light colonization program of the Russian federation; this star Nation was named after Tsar Peter the Great. It contains roughly 1/4 the population of the Tenpa Empire and rules about 1/5 of its territorial extent. Much like the USSA, early shortages in dragonite forced the colonization of worlds for mining purposes, however many worlds were later taken in a matter like that of the Tenpa Empire and independent worlds were incorporated into the Empire. The primary ethnicities of the Peter Empire include Eastern Europeans, Mongolians, Indians, Caucasians from Asia Minor, and a few Hispanics.
  38. Its navy is approximately 90% the size of the Tenpa Imperial Navy. Their ships vary greatly in quality, but they can be divided into the Fleet for Defense of the Motherland which is at or just below the Tenpa standard, and the expeditionary fleets which can make up 5-10% of the Peter Imperial Navy depending on the current political climate. These are often slightly superior to the Tenpa standard. The Peter Empire also has a number of privateers in its pay who act mostly against non-Krauss pirates.
  40. The Peter Empire has a relationship of mutual respect with the Krauss Pirate Guild much in the say way Tenpa has with the Kei Guild. This allows continuous expansion of the Peter Empire at a rather lower than that of the USSA or Tenpa Empires, but without very much expenditure of military resources. If anything the Krauss Pirate Guild acts more openly in this section of space behaves more like a shady trade union or privateers when dealing with ships owned by citizens of the Peter Empire.
  46. Einhorn Empire
  47. Smallest of the Empires with a population 1/5 that of Tenpa and a volume of space under its control 1/7 the size. Most citizens of are descendents of colonists from Europe, Asia Minor, and North Africa. The Einhorn Empire is more focused on trading than territorial expansion and employs and Navy approximately 40% the size of the Tenpa Imperial Navy. The ships are all at or slightly above the Tenpa standard.
  49. Fully half the Empire’s territory is outside the reach of the major Space Pirate Guilds, and relations with the Krauss Guild are cool but cordial. As such the Navy is primarily employed against smugglers and illegally armed space vessels. The Einhorn Empire focuses more of its military resources on espionage than the other empire.
  64. Kei Guild
  65. “If you ever think of crossing me remember only this: no slight is too small to be met with our anger and no one is beyond the reach of our blades.”
  67. Kei are Taoist sorcerers who use gestures, symbols, and chants to focus the energy they call ki to perform their magic. The most powerful of their number can focus without such aids, requiring only simplified gestures of the hand to conjure. They also employ large numbers of cybernetic assassins and soldiers who have little or no magical power. The Kei favor rapid casting of spells by incantation while the practitioner remains safe behind a barrier and underlings provide a distraction. Of all the guilds the Kei have put the most effort into increasing their ability to resist magical attack. The average Kei is more adept at creating barriers and dispelling enemy magic than sorcerers of other guilds. High ranking Kei are all but immune to standard caster rounds and magical attacks by less capable sorcerers. The Kei also display finer control of their offensive magic than practitioners belonging to other guilds.
  69. Though there are many practitioners of Kei sorcery that utilize magic as their primary means of offense and defense, others use Taoist chants to invigorate themselves or allies with sorcerous power while relying on their physical abilities or equipment as their primary means of offense. Though their equipment is not alchemically enhanced it often bears symbols that assist the wearer in their invocations. Lower ranking pirates often us mundane firearms and armor while their physical attribute are temporarily enhanced by a sorcerer. More powerful members are often practitioners themselves. These individuals tend to use melee weapons that make the most of their enhanced strength, while relying on repetitious chants create a personnel barrier capable of defecting enemy attacks. This allows them to get close enough to use their melee weapon to great effect. Many still carry an ordinary firearm or other projectile launcher, often as hold out weapon to surprise their opponents or provide a way to cover their retreat if they are outmatched.
  71. The Kei are suspected to be the largest Pirate Guild in terms of their raw number of affiliates, and are certainly the guild which is most capable of bringing huge amounts of military resources to bear on issues that interest them. They have a very close relationship with the Tenpa Empire and sometimes act in collusion with its Navy when the Tenpa Emperor and Tendo King can agree that a specific action will benefit both equally. In certain backwater regions the Tenpa Empire they are the law, and act more as paramilitary enforcers of order than pirates, not that anyone who crosses them will not find their entire trading fleet hijacked or destroyed as a result of their poor judgment. They do however commit piracy and extortion when they are presented with a target of opportunity that the local government will never miss. Unregistered traders and outlaws are their favorite prey. Smugglers are their prime targets as the ship, cargo, and the smuggler himself can often be exchanged for cash, though obviously from different sources. And the revenues gained by piracy help them maintain their political and military position. Likewise they get a cut from almost all planetside crime worth mentioning.
  73. Though there are many rival factions within the Kei Guild the 108 Stars is currently in nominal control of all guild resources. By extension the leader of the 108 Stars, the Tendo King, is the leader of the Kei Pirates. However several factions, even some within the 108 Stars itself, disagree with his cooperation with the Tenpa Emperor. Instead they would prefer to take control of the Tenpa Empire directly and install themselves as its commanding bureaucracy.
  75. The Kei Pirates value organization and the ability to bring their resources to bear on their enemies. They often act openly, though not callously. They believe that if people fear them they will not interfere with their business. And as a result they will not have to act against the populous at large, preventing them from angering the Tenpa Empire or harming trade which would reduce the number of targets for their piratical raids.
  77. The Kei also hold vast swaths of territory outside the Tenpa Empire. Most of these planets within the Kei sphere of influence are merely extorted for “protection fees”. If a planet or trading guild is very cooperative they may even find their shipping exempt from all Kei predations with the exclusion of occasional cases of mistaken identity. The Kei fully expect to have to abandon these operations as the Tenpa Empire expands and incorporates these new worlds. They are content with this as their influence over these planets will be well entrenched even if they can no longer openly demand tithes, and such influence over planetary governments will give them more leverage when dealing with the Tenpa Emperor. And if a little profit is lost, well what of it? There are always new colonists leaving for pristine worlds were they believe they can be free of governmental and piratical interference, only to find the Kei waiting above their new skies like sharks in a sea.
  83. Krauss Guild
  84. “The Blood is the Life, let none deny this.”
  86. The Krauss Guild utilize Hermetic and Blood Magic, and refer to the force within them as vitae rather than ki. Chanting and gesturing are used to cast spells, with the difference being they often use other people as sources of magic energy by siphoning off their blood. Their spells are more powerful but kill the donor of the vitae and take a little more time to cast. Blood Magic can also be used to influence others more easily than Taoist magic. This makes mind control, emotional manipulation, and mind reading easier. Magic they caste from their own vitae is weaker than the Kei Pirate magic of the same level, as they are not as adept at casting from their own vitae and cannot afford over draw from themselves. Since the Krauss lack interest in studying lines of force and fung sui their tracking and scrying spells are weaker than those cast by Kei or Ban Pirates, though they are competent diviners.
  88. Human flesh and blood are the building blocks of Krauss sorcery. Just as vitae residing in the blood powers their magic, so the magic itself is most effective on flesh and not just that of their enemies. Because of this the Krauss are more adept at healing magic than the other guilds. This severs them well as their barrier are not particularly strong, they have fewer henchmen to support them, and their offensive spells take some time to properly incant. While Krauss practitioners can twist their foes into abominations they can more subtly alter their own bodies and those of their followers. Often these alterations take the form of bone blades edged with organically grown diamond hidden just under the skin of the forearm, boney plates grown under the skin that can stop unpleasant low-caliber surprises or shrapnel from penetrating vital organs, fists as hard as granite, self sharpening talons, fingers with sheathed razor-sharp ridges of bone, fangs, freakishly overdeveloped musculatures, sealed chitinous skin, horns, extra limbs, and even vast bat-like wings attached to the back as completely new appendages.
  90. It is however the older members of the Krauss Guild about whom the most sensational claims are made. Abilities consistent with no living complex organism are attributed to them. The most ridiculous claim being that they are deathless, or perhaps dead men who by diabolic sorcery still walk among the living. Some say they leave dusty prints wherever they tread or lay hand upon. Others say they bathe in the distilled blood of hundreds of victims in order to consume their concentrated vitae. There are fairly reputable reports by Peter traders that some of their Krauss escorts stand on the exterior of their spacecraft while casting without any apparent protection from the vacuum. Others claim to have seen high ranking members remain standing after suffering what should be fatal wounds, such as gunshots to the head and chest. Similar claims of unnatural resilience are made about special red robed assassins they employ, though these killers are more well known for never casting magic or speaking.
  92. The Krauss are the most politically unified guild, without any break-away factions and are organized almost like a church. They are currently ruled by a council of between 30 and 300 members, though there may be a hierarchy within this ruling council. Their relationship with the common people is much better than the other pirate guilds and they have some influence in the government of the Peter Empire through mystics and religious advisors. They seem to prefer to prey upon USSA and Tenpa shipping while only going after illicit Einhorn shipping and often ignoring ships registered with merchant guilds based in Peter altogether. Indeed may Peter merchants find them far cheaper to hire as escorts than legitimate security forces and they are often considered better since it ensures that other Krauss certainly will not be attacking. But if they are crossed they are even more eager for revenge than the Kei. Though far smaller in total disposition of forces then the Kei, they can bring about the same force to bear on a specific target on short notice due to their superior logistics and organizational skills.
  94. It is believed that they wish to become a major paramilitary faction of the Peter Empire, though by slow political maneuvering rather than coup.
  100. Ban Guild
  101. “Some wizards are great because they combine their magic with their religion. We are great because we’ve made it into our business.”
  103. Sorcerers of the Ban still call their internal magical energy energy ki, but are more Shamanistic when compared to those of the Kei Guild. Their culture and symbology are a mixture of Indian, Thai, and Vietnamese influences. Because of their shamanic ways they often have familiars which they can use as guards or ki batteries, relying less on human underlings when in combat than Kei practitioners. They often carry fetishes and talismans to focus their energy rather than chanting. So casting takes less time but if the sigil or aid they are using to focus their will is taken or destroyed it is hard for them to cast spells. They are more vulnerable if an enemy breeches their defenses and damages their gear. They tend to be less adept at physical and close range combat than Kei guildsmen. Their disdain for close quarters combat has caused them to develop much longer ranged offensive spells. While the average range for a spell cast by other sorcerers may have a range of a few kilometers within the caster’s line of sight, Ban Guildsmen can accurately guide spells with a destructive power comparable to a 200mm howitzer over ranges in excess of 15km. Flying familiars and scrying are often used for the purpose of target acquisition at these long ranges. Other offensive spells often come in the form of conjured manifestations of magical force. These are slightly more powerful than similar energy constructs created by Kei sorcerers but are less controllable. Often these constructs take the form of a tiger or a dragon, though due to Catholic Vietnamese and Philippine influences these often appear as more “western” dragons compared to the Kei dragon constructs which have a Chinese or Japanese aesthetic.
  105. Though less adept at healing and barrier creation than Kei pirates their scrying, tracking, and divination are widely considered the best among the guilds. These talents are particularly useful during their business ventures as their aptitude for cursing in which they rival the Acid-B Guild. Ban sorcerers are considered superlative spies and covert assassins, able to combine scrying and their masterful control of familiars. With the ability to locate a target and guide specially designed organisms loaded with ki toward their prey with unerring certainty. At the proper moment the ki can be unleashed in the form of a desired spell incanted by the sorcerer in control of the familiar. Similarly even a sickening but nonlethal curse can take a rival businessman or politician out of the equation at a crucial juncture, and buy time to eliminate them with more conventional means once their power base has been eroded.
  106. The Ban Guild are more interested in profit than they are in political power and are more likely to be forgiving than the Kei Guild so long as it is in their interests to do so. But this also means they can be more treacherous if it suits them at the moment. Of all the guilds they are the most likely to sell their services to anyone who will pay. They also harbor little animosity toward mages, regarding them less as an ancient foe and more as a nuisance that can be threatened, bribed, and bought like anyone else.
  107. They prefer to create their own systems for profit rather than be allied to others. Operating on the edge of human space they often take up the appearance of legitimate traders or even assist isolated colonies only to slowly worm their way into their political and corporate structures until the entire planet is a pirate world in all but name. Generally they exploit the population for all it is worth in order to reap as much profit as they can from the world before an expanding empire happens upon it. However in some places far from the territories of the Empires they are the defacto government of entire star systems.
  115. Acid-B Guild
  116. “Strife is not the only method by which strength is cultivated, but it is the only way in which strength is truly tested.”
  118. The arts employed by the Acid-B are more varied than those used by the other piratical guilds. This owes to their origin as outcasts and conglomerations of smaller pirate bands each with their own history and sorcerous ways unique to them. Today any collection of Acid-B guildsmen may employ arts that include ritual and iconography derived from Taoist, Christian, Aztec, Kabbalistic, Voodoo, Celtic, Zoroastrian Astrological, Islamic, Shamanic, Shinto, and Demoniacal branches of the sorcerous arts. However there are some general practices common to most Acid-B practitioners. They tend to mix the sorcery with alchemical procedures specifically Taoist, Islamic, or Christian alchemy. To this end they rarely employ chants, hand gestures, or fetishes that must be acted upon while on the battlefield. It should be noted that off the field they utilize these often, particularly Voodoo fetishes while inflicting curses upon their foes from afar or ornate bones for use in scrying and divination.
  120. In the mind of average member of the Acid-B battle is not a place for ritual to be undertaken. Instead they seek to instill the essence of their ki/vitae into artifacts or create weapons that can perfectly channel their power without the need for incantation or even concentration during combat. This does have the advantage of making their weapons very powerful and practically eliminating any on-location effort in using their sorcery. Where a Kei may chant to excite molecules to combustion, a Ban might wring a gnarled staff to grind his foe’s bones to powder, or a Krauss cut the throat of a slave to boil the blood of a platoon of soldiers an Acid-B Guildsmen will simply stride into battle; his sword searing through steel, a bullets bouncing of the barrier emitted though his armor, his gauntleted hand stretching out to hurl his enemy into a wall with the force of a cannon shot.
  122. In this way it may appear that they are practicing magecraft, but this is not the case. The objects used do not contain specific spells fueled by enclosed mana the way a caster round would. They are merely optimized as conduits for the sorcerous powers of their owner. Firearms, armor, and melee weapons are all suitable for this purpose when inscribed with incantations, painted with hemetic symbols, oiled with libations, or chiseled with mystical runes. These meticulously prepared ornamentations are used in place of acted out rituals. In this way any number of rituals required to cast a variety of spells are already completed before the sorcerer ever sets foot on the battlefield; all that is required to cast a spell is an intimate understanding of the object and magical power to channel through the item.
  124. The disadvantage of this being if the imbued object is separated from them the practitioner will be nearly as helpless as a normal man would be without his gun since most are not learned in the art casting while in combat. Damaged weapons or armor will function less perfectly, and the sorcerer will be left vulnerable. And if the object is destroyed altogether while in use it may backfire and kill the user. This can be compared to a fetish which will function well if damaged so long as it remains recognizable to the sorcerer so that he can focus his will through it.
  126. They also distinguish them themselves from other Pirates by the personalized craftsmanship of their ships, homes, and equipment. Albeit most of this adornment is hidden as is necessitated by the nature of their existence. The Acid-B hold no political power, if they are caught by any Navy they will be executed without exception. Custom built circuit boards are added to computational systems with alchemical enhancements to their atomic structures. Armor plating is engraved and replaced upon the hull of a ship with its interior surface covered in intricate geometric patterns or archaic scriptures no one will ever see again. Cybernetic body parts and flesh are remolded in obscene rituals, but left appearing outwardly normal to the casual observer. All these are common practices within the guild.
  128. Due to these enhancements vehicles and equipment remodeled by the Acid-B can also be empowered by their sorcerous might. This often does nothing except to marginally improve the performance of the object in question. However an exceptionally skilled alchemical engineer can use his arts to create nearly undetectable weapons which circumvent of laws regarding “armed” spaceships.
  130. Illusions are more important to the Acid-B than other guilds as they are generally hated by pirate, military, and outlaw alike. As with their other skills they prefer to use conduits for these spells in the form of cloaks or masks. However since the art is so important to their survival almost all of them can cast low level illusions through chanting or gestures.
  132. The Acid-B Guild is the least organized of the Pirate Guilds but also one of the most numerous. It is difficult to tell if it is much smaller than the Kei Guild or slightly larger since there is no one alive that could name more than 20 of its leading members. Certainly the guild has a higher percentage of sorcerers than the Kei and these sorcerers often arm themselves with conventional weapons to supplement their supernatural powers. However the guild has fewer ordinary men that could be considered allies or supplicants and is universally despised by both military forces and civilian governments.
  134. The guild is open to anyone that can prove their skill and has a bad reputation with the other guilds for being blunt and unscrupulous whenever it strikes their fancy. They accept renegades from other guilds, social dissidents, madmen obsessed with pushing the limits of their own sorcerous power, and those that simply revel in bloodshed. Despite their openly antagonistic behaviors toward the general population and indiscriminate practices while at war, their disorganization serves them well by preventing more than a few factions of the Guild from being rooted out at any one time.
  136. Rather than being controlled by a single ruling faction guiding other supplicant members, the guild is divided into over four hundred individual fleets that variously refer to themselves enclaves, covens, conclaves, parishes, cults, cabals and other grandiose titles. Many fleets unite and splinter constantly as different warlords seize power or fall out of favor. Longer lived fleets are organized like vast extended families connected by their inherited aptitude for sorcery. The members seek out strong individuals to bring into the fleet through marriage, indeed many Kei, Krauss, and Ban outcasts are brought into the Acid-B in this manner. The only requirement to join is that one is a capable sorcerer. Due to long careful interbreeding of family lines supplemented by new mystics who join, many of these older fleets have populations of which 50% or more are capable of considerable sorcery. However masters of any sorcerous art are still very rare.
  138. The two things that unite the Acid-B Guild are their collective hatred for the Empires and an utter obsession with increasing their personal and collective power. This sets them at odds with the other Pirate Guilds who all rely on the shipping and the political structures created by the Empires to survive. The Acid-B prey on shipping but their closer ties to planetside crime give them a unique view the other Pirates lack. To them any target is a legitimate target. Rather than flaunt themselves openly in an attempt to instill fear or respect in the population they prefer to disguise themselves as traders, smugglers, outlaws, or even privateers. It is only the ferocity of their attacks and the blatant use of magical powers during combat which provide any proof that a particular act of piracy or planetary raiding was perpetrated by the Acid-B Guild.
  140. One of the more distasteful aspects of the Acid-B is their hatred of the alien. To most members of the Guild aliens are little better than beasts, incapable of magecraft or sorcery they are fit only to be preyed upon by humanity. As they hold the sorcerer far above the common man, so they hold a man whose children may one day develop a talent for the sorcerous arts above the alien. The sole exception to this view is the Ctarl-Ctarl, whose obvious physical prowess and shapeshifting are considered by the guild to be an unknown form of witchcraft. Ctarl-Ctarl are held up by more “moderate” members of the guild as examples of aliens that truly understand humanity’s savage nature. Though in defense of the Ctarl-Ctarl, they are believed to enjoy the challenge of a fight and the glory of combat, rather than the sadistic pleasure of slaughtering the helpless and defeated which motivates a significant portion of the guild’s members. The attentions of members of the Acid-B Guild are not necessarily something the Ctarl-Ctarl want, as the more inquisitive of the guild have set their scientific and alchemical skills to investigating the process by which the aliens shapeshift. This is usually results in the vivisection of the specimen if the pirate in question is not killed first.
  142. Wandering fleets of the Acid-B sometimes range far beyond human space and attack alien shipping. This is evidenced by fleets owned by supposedly legitimate merchants or not terribly disreputable smugglers being caught with holds full of alien slaves and artifacts. More rarely Naval forces are mobilized to counter a possible alien incursion only to find humans at the helms a hogpog fleet of battle scarred alien ships taken as spoils.
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