Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Factions: The Royal Interplanetary Company and the Order of the Lion

This post rounds out two more factions that were previously introduced as part of the Crossroads asteroid colony.


Royal Interplanetary Company
While many of Homeworld's inhabitants remain blissfully unaware of life beyond their own planet, some few not only know about those possibilities but actively work to exploit them. A good example of this is the Royal Interplanetary Company, a group founded with funding from investors and approval from the local sovereign. Its members stand to turn a considerable profit, or lose all of their money, depending on the intrepid captains and crews who conduct their business.

Goal: Colonization, Trade and Profit
This group's goals focus on creating new settlements throughout Known Space, providing them with the goods they need to survive and thrive, and exploiting the inherent wealth of those worlds—eventually passing on a considerable profit to the investors as well as the sovereign.

Alignment: LN
Since law and order makes for an easier distribution of profits, members of this organization generally support the powers that be. There are occasional exceptions, however; such individuals exploit the existing legal system for their own gain. Sometimes that means bending the law, and sometimes it means blatantly breaking it.

The Company, as it is known to its members, is ostensibly controlled by King Edmund III, insofar as he can overrule any decisions made by the merchant captains. Even so, in practice those captains have tremendous autonomy, and the fact that they serve on far-flung planets and moons means that it can take a long time for the king to learn of their activities.

King Edmund III oversees operations, of course, from his royal palace on Homeworld. Individual captains have their own homes, ranging from small but comfortable affairs in remote colonies to grand and opulent mansions in more civilized and cosmopolitan locations. Refer to the description of Reda Manor in the Crossroads Asteroid Colony for an example of one Company base of operations. 

Using the Royal Interplanetary Company in an Aetherial Adventures Campaign
This organization can provide plenty of plot elements for a space fantasy RPG campaign; presented here are a few of the possibilities.
  • At the start of a campaign, the PCs could easily be part of a crew on a ship operated by the R.I.C.; as such, they would take orders from a Company captain and help protect the vessel against pirates and other hazards.
  • Those who amass some wealth and are interested in such activities could pursue their own captaincy, thereby becoming involved in the Company's politics.
  • Members and/or employees could be involved in exploring strange new worlds and meeting new cultures—all in the hope of discovering valuable resources and fostering trade with new markets, of course.
  • Business could require interaction with numerous rivals, including the Royal Elven Navy, the Dwarven Mining Guild, the Church of Ptah, etc.
  • Scandal erupts when it is revealed that some of the Company's captains have been involved in smuggling and, even worse, slave-trading. The PCs could be recruited to help discover the culprits and bring them to justice, or could partake in these illegal but lucrative activities.

Order of the Lion
Although this organization began as an order of knights based strictly on Homeworld, they have been charged by the King with protecting members of the Royal Interplanetary Company and their business interests. To that end, they are now commonplace aboard R.I.C. vessels as well as in settlements where they have warehouses.

Goal: Protection
Given their mandate, the sole focus for knights of this order is to protecting the personnel and material holdings of the Royal Interplanetary Company. By serving aboard R.I.C. vessels, they sometimes become involved in exploration and diplomacy as well.

Alignment: LN
These knights take promotion of law and order to an extreme, following the commands of their King as if they are gospel.

Archduke Sigmund is the chief knight of the Order; he resides at the palace of King Edmund III on Homeworld.

Rather than having their own bases of operations, these knights are stationed in R.I.C facilities. Refer to the description of the R.I.C. warehouse on Crossroads to find stats for knights of this Order and their commander. 

Using the Order of the Lion in an Aetherial Adventures Campaign
This organization can provide plenty of plot elements for a space fantasy RPG campaign; presented here are a few of the possibilities.
  • One or more of the PCs could, of course, be members of this organization and thus receive their marching orders from a higher-up in it; as such, they could become involved in any of the plots suggested previously for the R.I.C.
  • The Order is fond of holding parades, along with jousts and other tournaments—ostensibly, to help members hone their prowess, but in fact because some members enjoy the pageantry and spectacle of it all.
  • When scandal erupts in the R.I.C., the PC(s) could have to decide between being loyal and doing what is right.
  • This organization also provides the muscle for the R.I.C., acting as enforcers for those who run afoul of the Company.

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