This feline species maintain a reputation for cruel domination of “lesser” aliens, an active slave trade, a caste system revering nobles, warriors, and spies.
Agility 4D: brawling 4D+2, firearms 5D
Mechanical 2D+1: piloting 2D+2, sensors 2D+2
Knowledge 3D: astrography 3D+1, bureaucracy 3D+1, intimidation 3D+ 1
Perception 4D: search 4D+ 1, sneak 4D+ 1
Strength Damage: 1D
Fate Points: 0
Body Points: 18
Character Points: 2
Wound levels: 3
Disadvantages: Hindrance: Arrogance (R2), +3 to con and persuasion difficulties; Hindrance: Reduced Hardiness (R2), -2 to damage resistance totals; Quirk (R1), loves to inflict pain with Moderate willpower roll to overcome urge; Quirk (R2), make a Difficult willpower roll to be wet or will do nothing until dry.
Special Abilities: Enhanced Sense: Sight (R1), +1 to sight-based skill totals; Enhanced Sense: Hearing (R1), +2 to hearing-based skill totals; Extra Body Part: Tail (R1); Skill Bonus: Agility (R1). +1 to acrobatics, climb/jump, and dodge totals; Natural Hand-to-Hand Weapon: Claws (R1), +1D damage.
Total creation point cost: 3
Total defined limit cost: 3 skill dice
Disadvantages: Hindrance: Arrogance (R2), +3 to con and persuasion difficulties; Hindrance: Reduced Hardiness (R2), -2 to damage resistance totals; Quirk (R2), make a Difficult willpower roll to be wet or will do nothing until dry.
Special Abilities: Enhanced Sense: Sight (R1, cost 3), +1 to sight-based skill totals; Enhanced Sense: Hearing (R1, cost 3), +1 to hearing-based skill totals; Extra Body Part: Tail (R1, cost 0); Skill Bonus: Agility (R1, cost 1), +1 to acrobatics, climb /jump, and dodge rolls; Natural Hand-to-Hand Weapon: Claws (R1, cost 2), +1D damage
Barathax retain many qualities inherited from the great cats from which they evolved: a feline facial structure with eyes ears, and nose particularly suited for sensing prey; retractable and sharp claws; a tail that often betrays their mood; and skin covered in soft fur of varying coloration and length they possess strong upper-leg muscles and elongated, raised feet, giving them a supple agility. Instead of forepaws, they have articulated fingers and a thumb, though they retain the furry texture on every digit except the underside of the last one, which has a dark, leathery toe-pad.
With a mouth filled primarily with canines and incisors, they survive on a diet of meat supplemented by processed starches. They have no appetite for sweets, vegetables, or fruit; Barathax custom actually proscribes such foods as inhibiting the natural will to dominate others.
Members of the noble and spy castes maintain slim, lithe bodies achieved through moderate exercise and carnivorous diet. Those of the warrior and slaver castes consume more starches and build more bulky muscles while preserving an appealing appearance. Most Barathax take part in personal combat training, which keeps their reflexes sharp and their bodies well toned. Occasionally privileged Barathax allow themselves to grow paunchy bellies not as a sign of disinterest in their personal upkeep but as a badge of authority that their power does not require them to undertake physical exertion.
Bararhax females give birth to broods as large as nine kitts, although some do not survive the often competitive upbringing. Parents of kitts born with obvious defects quickly and discreetly eliminate them and any traces of their existence.
Both male and female Barathax groom themselves meticulously, most often by combing their fur to remove shedding hair and bulky undercoats. They do not trim their hair; it grows to a naturally pleasing length and falls out as new fur grows in.
Although bipedal and warm-blooded, they prefer to lounge languidly on any comfortable surface whenever they have the chance, preferably in the warm sunlight or some other source of illumination.
The Barathax evolved on Lenocia, a world with diverse terrain and several other homo-sapient species. With their ruthless cunning, fierce combat ability, and will to dominate, they quickly conquered the planet and enslaved their enemies. They built their civilization on the backs of subjugated peoples, breeding more servants, offering limited vocational training, brutally crushing revolts, and keeping their slaves in a pitiful state of near poverty.
The disparity between masters and slaves emerges everywhere. While isolating their servants in industrial quarters and slums, the Barathax cultivated most land on Lenocia into lush estates complete with lavish palaces, hunting preserves, recreational facilities, and meticulously maintained gardens. Defensive structures such as barracks, gunnery emplacements, hangars, launch pads, and training facilities near or within slave territory employ looming, bleak architecture reminiscent of oppressive prisons. The military buildings on Barathax estates conceal their true, brutal nature behind tasteful architecture engineered to blend into the natural terrain and complement the design of nearby palaces.
The Barathax drove Lenocia’s indigenous enslaved species almost into extinction during the push to develop space flight and combat technologies and throughout their initial campaign against neighboring worlds. This fueled a culture centered on conquest to provide slaves and resources to serve industry. Today only a few slaves of Lenocia’s original inhabitants still exist, serving the most powerful Barathax families as trophies of a long and distinct heritage of domination. Having exhausted the native slaves and natural resources on their homeworld, the Barathax have transformed all the former industrial territories into vase, lush estates from which the nobility rules the conquered worlds forming the Barathax League.
The ruling Regal Conclave strictly forbids off-worlders from setting foot on Lenocia. A Conclave Defense Fleet orbits the planet to challenge unauthorized starships and fend off attacks. The regime prefers to conduct diplomatic relations through numerous embassies on other governments’ capital worlds.
The Barathax League consists of a string of conquered Chain Worlds governed by the Regal Conclave on Lenocia. The governing family on each planet maintains an orbital fleet and ground-based garrisons capable of suppressing slave uprisings, maintaining order on the surface, and contributing to future military campaigns supporting the Barathax conquest armada. The administrating house divides land on Chain Worlds into Throne Estates, Military Sectors, and Slave Lands.
The Barathax transform Throne Estates into verdant reminders of their lush homeworld. This often requires some degree of terraforming and slave labor to construct palaces, gardens, and other pleasure facilities. These lands also include discreetly concealed defensive measures and military posts. Most Throne Estates consist of territory equivalent to a small continent. Although only one Throne Estate exists to welcome guests and serve as central administration for the Chain World, many smaller estates accommodate: personnel serving in administrative, defensive, and industrial capacities running Military Sectors and Slave Lands. Throne Estates stand far from Slave Lands, with natural barriers separating them from other portions of the planet.
Military Sectors accommodate the immense armies, fortresses, and flight units necessary co maintain order and keep the native slaves in line. Since individual noble houses govern each Chain World, the associated Military Sectors serve as bastions for that family’s armed might. Facilities include training academies, communications and sensors arrays, and bases for ground assault units, artillery corps, flight squadrons, and orbital fleet support. Most sectors maintain some defensive perimeter, though those within Slave Lands loom from behind high, reinforced walls topped with electrified wire, spikes, and force fields.
Slave Lands cover all territory devoted co resource harvesting, manufacturing, and worker accommodation. Natural boundaries – oceans, mountain ranges, and wastelands (courtesy of Military Sector live-fire training exercises) separate this territory from other regions of Chain Worlds, and defense units actively patrol co ensure captives do not try escaping or building unauthorized settlements. Slaves labor in underground or strip mines, vast agricultural fields, and herd breeding farms. Many work in huge industrial concerns: refineries, ore-processing mills, power generation stations, and factories manufacturing items ranging from household goods and electronics to vehicles and military equipment. Barathax armed forces closely guard slaves working on any products that ambitious captives could try turning against their masters. Squalid settlements provide basic living arrangements for workers, who must fend for themselves to find sustenance.
Only a handful of lucky slaves work in Throne Estates as servants. They know better than to abuse their position by plotting insurrection, believing themselves fortunate to have far better lives, even in servitude, than their oppressed peers.
Visiting A Throne Estate
Visitors to Chain Worlds – merchants, tourists, diplomats, itinerant travelers – must first receive an invitation (or at least authorization) from the governing noble house. No formal star pore exists to receive general commercial traffic. All guests must land at docking facilities provided within the host’s Throne Estate, and muse limit themselves to approved areas of the enormous grounds. No off-worlders may traverse Slave Lands or visit Military Sectors. Even starship traffic receives strictly enforced flight plans avoiding proscribed areas. Most visitors gain some degree of access to an estate’s main complex, of which there are numerous sectors.
Landing Facilities: Docking pads, repair bays, and storage hangars offer services to visitors’ ships within walking distance of the Guest Quarter. Barathax control traffic and grant approach or departure clearances from a central control station overlooking the landing area.
Guest Quarter: A small city offers accommodations and recreation to off-world visitors, including lavish apartment suites, restaurants, nightclubs, and a sampling of diversions from around the galaxy. Barathax guards maintain order and surreptitiously monitor guest activities.
Estate Palace: Also called the manor house, this opulent palace serves as the main dwelling for the Chain World’s governor, the head of the ruling house. While many private areas (personal quarters, offices, living areas, kitchens) remain off limits, public areas like ballrooms, audience chambers, reception rooms, and banquet halls serve to entertain high-ranking guests invited to the palace to interact with the house nobility.
Administrative Campus: Few guests receive clearance to enter this sprawling complex of buildings where the ruling house oversees daily operations of the Chain World. A great audience hall stands at its centerpiece, where the leaders of different manors, industries, and bases can gather to discuss administrative issues. Other facilities include offices, meeting rooms, computer records banks, and communications centers. A secure, planetside transport center offers passage for authorized Barathax to various destinations around the world, including other manors within Throne Lands, military bases, and key control points within Slave Lands.
Gardens: Formal gardens surround the palace, guest quarter, and most other sites. These carefully landscaped areas include many elements designed to evoke a peaceful, pastoral setting: neat rows of flowers and trees, vine-covered arbors, reflecting pools, fountains, and even “overgrown” vales. Benches, flagstone-paved plazas, statuary, and columned shelters offer meeting places where visitors and family officials can discreetly meet to discuss business, dally with suitors, form alliances, and plan schemes.
Hunting Grounds: Vast natural areas on the edge of an estate complex serve as hunting grounds for nobles and their invited guests. Barathax pride themselves on their martial prowess and stock these preserves with beasts they can hunt and bring down in hand-to-hand combat. Visitors may choose to hunt with melee or ranged weapons, though Barathax view use of the latter as cowardly and disdainful. High fences and force fields keep prey within the preserve boundaries and unauthorized trespassers outside.
Festival Plaza: Several entertainment facilities stand around a central plaza: theaters, casinos, arenas, basking platforms, public lounges, and physical training facilities. On event nights, the square plays host to ornate celebrations with feasting, music, and merriment for off-world guests and Barathax alike.
Market Arcade: A multi-tiered arcade offers space where off-world merchants and Barathax artisans display and sell their wares. Commodities include goods from around the galaxy and specialty items unique to the Chain World. These shops serve as a diversion and courtesy to visitors and Barathax from other manors throughout the Throne Estate. Off-worlders seeking to import and export bulk commodities deal with the head of the ruling house or his designated ministers in negotiations at the palace or administrative campus.
The amenities offered at Barathax enclaves outside League territory conducting business with outsiders – primarily embassies and commercial hubs – typically mirror those of the Throne Estates.
Barathax culture stems from the political and economic need to dominate other species militarily. Noble family houses govern individual Chain Worlds and slave dreadnaughts, each sending representatives to the Regal Conclave on Lenocia to determine policy for the entire League. Factions of families formed along territorial and political lines vie for control of the Conclave. A prime minister selected from the majority faction acts as supreme leader who steers discussion, mediates disputes, and interacts with foreign dignitaries. Several ancient families serve the government bureaucracy on Lenocia, administering the overall military regime, handling government affairs, regulating the economy, and supervising the vast espionage network.
Members of each house belong to one of four primary castes within Barathax society. Although individuals remain loyal to others within their caste, and often band together to make changes within their house, their primary loyalty remains steadfast with their house. Most Barathax assume the caste into which they’re born, though some distinguish themselves and rise through the ranks or are recruited into other castes.
Nobles: The administrators and benefactors of the many slave-driven industries comprise the highest regarded caste in Barathax society. They supervise overall manufacturing operations, run the government, and set policy. They reap the benefits of a highly productive economy and live in splendor and relative safety. Nobles stand at the head of every house and in key positions of government and industry.
Warriors: The backbone of the military forms the most populous caste. Warriors serve in both family military units and the Barathax conquest armada. Soldiers maintain Military Sectors on Chain Worlds, work with slavers as boarding parties and armed guards, serve as honor guards to prominent nobles, and patrol factories, mines, and other industrial faculties staffed by slaves to prevent rebellion and maintain productivity.
Spies: The smallest Barathax caste consists of members of every house and every other class who serve the Regal Conclave as spies, monitoring and reporting intelligence on both internal security and external diplomatic developments. Even the noble house that runs the espionage network from Lenocia masquerades as a noble house administering government affairs. They fully serve their other capacities, but keep their eyes open for interesting or suspicious activities, developments, or information. They often receive directives from the espionage administration on Lenocia to watch for particular intelligence or carry out actions that can affect the course of various noble houses.
Slavers: The lowest caste engages in the risky operation of slave dreadnaughts, preying on weak and insignificant starliners teeming with potential captives. They form a motley assortment of spacers, handlers, and processors, all of whom have no true holdings other than their starship. Other Barathax regard them contemptuously for their transient lifestyle and their mercantile tendencies.
Intergalactic Newsfeed > Ambassador Agraw Missing
INSIN, PARSOT IV
The Gilvahnian ambassador Uven Agravv was reported missing yesterday when a search patrol discovered his transport, the Wuhva Mist, abandoned and adrift near the Sahto Cluster. The vessel appeared to have come under attack, though signs indicated unknown hostiles boarded and looted the craft. Inspectors discovered remnants of only a few crew members, leading them to believe the passengers and remaining crew were captured by pirates or slavers.
The captain of the Doom Harvester, a Barathax slaving ship operating in the sector, denied any involvement in the incident when questioned by Gilvahnian Premier Tushank. Territorial disputes have brought the Gilvahn sector and the nearby Barathax League close to hostilities recently, and the arrack on a Gilvahnian ship only escalates tensions in the region.
Although Barathax surround themselves with opulent architecture, lavish furnishings, and sumptuous fashions, cruelty plays a central role in their entertainment. Combat sports remain the primary diversion for most Barathax. Gladiatorial games pit slaves against beasts, other captives, or the most renown Barathax warriors. Races using conveyances from simple riding beasts to hovercraft encourage fierce and deadly competition between participants. Nobles enjoy hunting a variety of beasts on their estates’ enormous preserves, and warriors sometimes toy with doomed slaves before delivering their ultimate demise. Even more sophisticated entertainments like lavish operas, formal balls, and orchestral events have elements of brutality woven into their themes.
For personal delight, Barathax engage in various one-on-one games. Some take the form of competitive sports, primarily wrestling and personal combat tests, but also vigorous court sports imported from other cultures. Others consist of elaborate board or card games offering participants numerous ways of deceiving, toying with, and ultimately defeating their opponent.
All Barathax enjoy basking in warm light, a tradition stemming from a primitive sun-worshipping religion. Although the theology was long ago forgotten in the face of a luxurious material culture, they still retain an affinity for languishing lazily on basking platforms, on cushioned beds in glass conservatories, and beneath luminos that simulate the sunlight from their homeworld.
Barathax technological developments center around a military culture bent on conquest, domination, and slavery, with an eye toward their own regal comfort.
As a starfaring and belligerent species, Barathax possess the tools to wage war across their sector of space: warships, fighters, bombers, transports, heavy guns, missiles, mines, orbital bombardment weaponry, shields, and ground assault ordnance (infantry weapons and armor, mobile artillery, infantry support armor, etc.). Such military might rivals that fielded by most independent intergalactic powers.
The ruling house for each Chain World maintains a small army and fleet in excess of that required to suppress the slave population. When the Regal Conclave prepares an assault on a neighbor threatening Barathax League territory or against a world with a potential slave population, each house musters a division of ground assault, air support, and fleet units to send to the assembly point. Each family’s forces strive to distinguish themselves in combat operations, and exceptional performance receives official accolades and other territorial or ceremonial benefits from the Regal Conclave at the campaign’s conclusion.
Infrequent military campaigns bolster the existing pool of slaves among Chain Worlds and conquers new planets to mine for resources and labor. These actions occur only when it politically suits the Regal Conclave and the Barathax League’s interests. Between wars, well-armed dreadnaughts run by the slaver caste ply the space lanes, serving to both collect and deal in captive labor.
Slavers target lone vessels with high passenger capacity – usually starliners – in regions of space known as hazardous, where a “mysterious” disappearance or starship crash would not seem surprising. Slave dreadnaughts pack heavy weaponry behind solid armor and shields to disable targets with maximum firepower and protect the existing captive cargo. Commandos trained in zero-gravity maneuvers and boarding operations quickly swarm aboard immobilized ships, eliminate any resistance, and begin rounding up prisoners. Processing facilities strip captives of their identities and personal belongings, fitting each with a registered submission collar, assessing each for their labor potential, and herding them into immense holding pens.
Some dreadnaughts make a circuit to Chain Worlds where harsh conditions contribute to high slave attrition. Noble houses contract to purchase captives to swell their labor pools. Slave ships also make regular stops on worlds known to deal in slaves. The noble house operating a particular dreadnaught keeps enough credits co maintain the ship, pay the crew, and pocket some profit, but it pays tribute to the Regal Conclave to uphold its slaving charter.
Crew: 400 (pilot, navigation, gunners, sensors, communication, repair, administration and processing staff)
Passengers: 5,000 slaves, 200 commandos
Cargo: 15,000 cubic meters, including equipment, storage, supplies, and slave pens
Life-Support Supplies: 1 year
30 blaster cannons (5 forward arc, 10 fore, 10 starboard, 5 aft, gunnery bonus +2D, range 7 /20/31, damage 6D), 7 tractor beams (1 forward arc, 3 fore, 3 starboard, gunnery bonus +2D, range 5/15/30, damage 6D)
Move: 6 (space), 300 (atmosphere, 850 kph)
Maneuverability: + 1D
Interstellar Drive Rating: 1
Backup Drive Rating: 0.3
Hull Toughness: 5D
Atmosphere Capability: streamlining, landing gear
Length (approximate): 1,050 meters
Total Cost (new): Not for sale
Barathax slave handlers employ a variety of traditional devices – whips, stun batons, electric prods – to control and continually demean their charges. The submission collar remains the one universal item used to keep individuals enslaved.
The metal and cloth-mesh cuff fits snugly around the neck of most species. Slavers auto-weave the collar’s single seam shut when processing slaves. All necessary circuitry, capacitors, sensors, and transmitters arc miniaturized and embedded in the mesh. A conductive underside draws power from the slave’s own bioelectric field. Sensors not only read the subject’s life signs, but also monitor his position relative to various tracking stations embedded in areas where slaves labor (a useful tool in hunting escapees). Each collar has its own embedded registry code downloaded into owners’ or supervisors’ controllers, which enable them to coordinate group discipline actions or punish individuals.
A handler uses the controller to administer shocks to slaves as punishment or motivation. Tiny capacitors store energy drawn from the subject over time, though burst batteries supplement this power. Usually the shock administers from 1D to 4D stun damage, enough to significantly weaken an oppressed slave. For extreme circumstances the controller has a lethal setting that delivers 5D regular damage. Using this option drains the collar’s power and requires a replacement collar if the subject survives.
Handlers do not activate collars without reason, or at least without telling the individual or group why they’re receiving punishment. Barathax do not use their lethal capacities without just cause, and even then, they prefer to rely on ever-present sentries and sheer firepower to quell slave insurrection.
Barathax never free their slaves, even the privileged and most loyal ones. Tampering with or removing the collar is near-impossible without proper tools (which captives rarely possess without close supervision), a partner, and some magnifying apparatus. Even under ideal conditions, these operations require a Heroic security roll. Any failure sets off the collar’s lethal charge (inflicting 8D damage) and alerts the nearest controller or tracking station within range.
The Barathax bask in a life of comfort. Luminos ensure that anyone in a position of power has the light of their homeworld warming their fur. Luminos consist of concave shields that focus and reflect a plasma light source burning at their center. They provide localized illumination and gentle heat to form a relaxing field for one Barathax. The photonic wavelengths from the plasma source exactly replicate sunlight on Lenocia. Luminos hang above resting alcoves, thrones, private medication chambers, and beds. In some cases, a noble has servants holding a rod that suspends a lumino above him wherever he goes.
For Barathax lounging beneath, a lumino provides a +2 bonus to all bargain, con, and persuasion attempts. Injured Barathax spending their entire rest period beneath a lumino gain a +2 bonus to their Strength roll to heal naturally. Luminos do not confer these bonuses on other species, though some find their effects soothing or collect them as oddities. As signs of luxury, luminos have high prices even within the Barathax League (cost: Very Difficult or 10, 700 credits); those offering them for sale to non-Barathax charge more for their trouble (cost: Heroic or 56,000 credits).
Not all Barathax wandering the galaxy believe in the cruel conquests and slaving practices. These lone travelers leave their culture behind, fleeing League territory, shunning their noble houses, and searching for something else in the greater galaxy.
Vigilante Barathax travel the space lanes, seeking to right wrongs, free the oppressed, fight for moral causes, and generally atone for their own species’ brutality. They make their passage serving aboard military, merchant, and survey vessels in whatever capacity best suits their skills. Some defect to militias on worlds in the path of future Barathax conquests, hoping to train units and upgrade defensive measures to better withstand the impending onslaught.
After wandering the galaxy for many years – sometimes fighting for just causes or exposing themselves to different cultures and species – some Barathax sequester themselves in remote locations and become philosopher-scholars. They surround themselves with works of art, music, and literature and seek insight on the controversies in the universe through study and quiet contemplation.
Those who leave the noble houses of the Barathax League never receive a warm welcome upon return. The Regal Conclave views those who leave the fold as traitors, defectors, and insurgents who deserve treatment as lesser beings and slaves.