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Old 11-25-2022, 12:27 PM   #741
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Default Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)

Target Vessels:

The sophistication of modern simulators has reached the point where they dominate naval training. That said, most navies have not discarded live-fire training. It can be a valuable propaganda tool to demonstrate naval efficiency and it can test weapons and ship construction in a way no simulator can. It can even provide a useful secondary check on crew.

Target vessels are disposable vessels made for this purpose. They are fitted with auto or remote pilot and less than lethal weapons (it is desirable that the crew feels like it is hit, not that they die). They are often old vessels but some are purpose built. But in any case less expense is invested in them because they are meant to be destroyed. Indeed some navies consider this a more honorable end than a scrapyard.

It is a common tradition, especially with purpose-built target vessels to name them after historical or mythical villains. The IMS Adolf Hitler has been blown up more times than can be counted. The Royal Caledonian Navy has commissioned several times the Duke of Cumberland, and traditionally saves the RCN Guy Fawkes for the Fifth of November and reserves the right to destroy it for distinguished officers. Sword Worlders top the list with the SWC Sauron. But they are also fond of the SWC Josef Stalin as a memory of their sentimental regard for the Finnish armed forces of Ancient Terra. Sometimes indeed a target vessel can be a subject of affection. There are however occasions where a living person will get such an infamy as a shaming right. On one occasion after Captain The Earl of Darkwood was convicted of cowardice his dress sword was publicly broken and it was decreed by Imperial Authority that an IMS Darkwood would be destroyed in the next maneuvers.
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Old 11-28-2022, 07:17 PM   #742
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Default Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)

Rumnhamnupp Gungnir:

Otherwise known as "Visby" after the Hanseatic City this is Gungnir's Highport. It is an international city with extraterritorial quarters under control of several governments including the biggest planetary governments, most of the Sword Worlds and the Imperial Quarter. The last is a diplomatically delicate concession with complex agreements regarding extradition, hot pursuit rights, and the city's status in wartime. The International Quarter is ruled by the SWC itself, an exception to the "hands off rule" necessitated by the nature of the city.

The city is semi-demilitarized. Interested parties are allowed to keep military police on hand for constabulary work and the Confederation Patrol has regular overflights. There is however no line forces based directly on it and naval forces that call are unconnected to Visby. Police and Emergency Services aside from those provided by interested nations include the Watch, recruited from Gungnir and trained by the Confederation Patrol.

The neutrality of the city is guaranteed. The one time it was under occupation during the Fifth Frontier War is the exception that proves the rule. Imperial forces their made no attempt to do more than administer the city under local law despite the fact that it was suggested that it be used as headquarters for further operations in the system. At the peace it was returned under the same status as before.

Government is by the Council of Alders and the Council of Ombudsmen. Each interested party can appoint an Alderman and the Ministry of Trade a Chief Alderman. Despite the name the city articles specify that female Aldermen are permitted and several have been appointed over the years usually from the Imperial and Tizonian Quarters. The Ombudsmen are chosen by general election and all present at the time of elections including visiting spacers are allowed a vote.

Visby is known for it's entertainment from elegant hotels and restaurants to disreputable haunts of vice. It is also known for organized crime and international espionage, which as always overlap one another. It has been the site of intense diplomatic deal making. It's chief business however is-business, and factories from numerous shipping lines are based there as well as the infrastructure to deal with them.

This port can be treated like a variation of Deep Space Nine or Babylon Five. Any number of themes can be used for a plot from politics and espionage, to crimefighting, to simple trading. Or it can be an Inn You All Meet At. There are numerous possibilities.
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Old 12-14-2022, 07:00 PM   #743
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Faeries and Ancient Aliens

Among certain fringe groups the ancient Terran folkloric beings the Europeans called faeries (other cultures had similar beings with different names) are an obsession. Many groups of folkloric beings on non Solimani worlds are claimed as faeries. The Faeries are claimed as an ancient precursor species that caused thousands of anomalous phenomena across the known galaxy.

In mainline Traveller "Grandfather " is often the real explanation. However, pulling in true believers in the faeries could cloud the issue nicely. And maybe Titania and Oberon are to blame in your game. ;-)
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Old 12-14-2022, 09:44 PM   #744
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Astromancer View Post
Faeries and Ancient Aliens

Among certain fringe groups the ancient Terran folkloric beings the Europeans called faeries (other cultures had similar beings with different names) are an obsession. Many groups of folkloric beings on non Solimani worlds are claimed as faeries. The Faeries are claimed as an ancient precursor species that caused thousands of anomalous phenomena across the known galaxy.

In mainline Traveller "Grandfather " is often the real explanation. However, pulling in true believers in the faeries could cloud the issue nicely. And maybe Titania and Oberon are to blame in your game. ;-)
Actually I usually just used Ancients as "Yet another thing some folks believe and others think are fun." I use Fair Folk too with a few updates.

I suppose yeah, faeries could easily form things like UFO clubs. They did in the nineteenth century (and not just for Irish Peasants). And of course Ancients are also appropriate for the same thing.

And what if they really exist...

We are not alone. Well yes we have Aslan, Vargr, Hivers, Centaurs, but I mean we are really, really not alone? What, that was a jump anomaly. Yeah, that's what they want you to think. I know the Imperium is hiding something.
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Old 12-15-2022, 08:46 PM   #745
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Isle of the Slayers:

Bullfighting is a popular sport on Stephenshold. Those tourists who make objections are told that it is (like pigsticking) for promoting an ideal of ethical carnivorousness as the prey is allowed a more dignified end than the knacker and the predator must look upon killing. The matador is armed with the traditional cape. A local variation is that rather than a traditional sword often a Dewclaw or Ayloi (depending on whether the matador is Human or Aslan). Every part of the slain bull is exploited as that is locally considered part of ethical hunting. Tradititionally the Matador eats the "oysters" himself or herself as symbolic act of conquest though this might be forgone for worthy bulls. He also has a right to dispose of the cuts of meat as he will and to keep the horns as a trophy. Leatherwork is made into decoration displayed in the Bullfighting Museum of Stephenshold, or into sheaths for fine swords.

In Stephenshold as on most pastoral planets sophantslaying beasts are normally slaughtered. This is not the case for successful bulls as giving a fair chance of escape is also part of the ideal. They are usually put to pasture on the Isle of the Slayers. There they are regularly fed and at times bred with choice cows in the hope to produce a good bloodline. In practice, though most matadors are well trained enough that dying in the arena is a low probability there are several Isles of the Slayers each small enough to isolate the bulls and prevent it being a danger to sophants and large enough to allow plenty of room. The bull is usually left to roam free but occasionally a stunt matador will duel a slayer.

Bullfighting is just one of the many animal related sports popular on Stephenshold. Pigsticking, horse racing, falconry, and other traditional sports are known, as well as hunting with hounds, or Persian Cheetahs. Also known is Polo and there are numerous Polo teams on the planet.

Hint: this is inspired because I am reading Hemingway's Death in the Afternoon. I made up the Isles because I rather thought it unfair though of course quite sensible to learn that winning bulls are slaughtered.
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Old 01-06-2023, 01:56 PM   #746
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Linage Dynasties:

These are civilizations considered to have sufficient distinction to be adopted as ancestors to the Emperor. The term "dynasty" is a misnomer, though many were traditionally monarchic those that had a republican or oligarchical tradition are considered corporate monarchies. In any case they come in three tiers:

The first is simply the First and Second Imperium.

The second is more complex. On Terra there are the Restored Roman, Persian, and Chinese Empires. None of these have a pariochial Emperor as these states are considered of such dignity that the claim is equiv to claiming the Irridium Throne. The rightful Emperor of all these is simply the Emperor. However his authority is represented by a Viceroy-and-Baron who in effect holds these realms in fief. There are similar realms on other worlds, the best known of which is Restored Sarn.

The Third is where there is the most contention as historical enthusiasts compete. If it is represented by a contemporary state, nationalist sentiment is added to academic. A disproportionate number of these states are on Terra because of the wide spread of the traditions of the Solimani Diaspora.
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Old 01-06-2023, 02:07 PM   #747
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Intersteller Journal of Trade:

Sponsored by the Hortelez et Cie, this is a clearing house of economic information. It provides market analysis all through charted space.

One of it's more obscure services is tracking the paths of containers to their end user. Subscribers can pay a fee for the location of containers that have been shipped. In turn handlers are paid fees for reporting them to the IJT office. This service is often contracted by someone who wishes to locate middlemen for the purpose of cutting out as many as possible. Obviously with the immense trade volume finding them is a lottery. But finding just a portion is useful intelligence. Similarly and if known, the history of transiting shipments will be reported on request unless those shipments are confidential.
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Old 01-11-2023, 07:37 AM   #748
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Tracer program:

This is a program commonly used to trace traffic. It has various versions. A common one used by merchants projects shipping traffic into the future. Minor adjustment can tell the expected location of ships at a given time. They such simulations are a normal part of the equipment of a ship or shore factory. They also have naval applications and can be programed to trace different locations of assets. They come with several settings including a default real time setting and various means of zooming, and increasing or decreasing the programing. A major head office will have a more sophisticated version. Most however are mass produced.

All sorts of uses can be used for that. They can be used to gain intelligence on a rival line by the simple means of buying a schedule and "plugging it in". They are also used by skip tracers, and even by cadets training at a merchant academy. One of the more surprising uses is as a hobby, for they are regular equipment of shipping enthusiasts.
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