If we were to survive the catastrophes that laid the civilisations of the past to ruin then we must learn from their mistakes. The Elders had kept many secrets from us, perhaps seeing us as unworthy of their hoarded knowledge. With the formation of a Union between the Clans we demonstrated that we had transcended our nomadic origins. We were a people crying out for the fruits of civilisation…

-Cyrus the Bard 'Why we Stand Together'

The Union, or the Union of Clans, which is its full title, is an organisation which seeks to bring clans together, so that they can leave behind their nomadic origins, where all you can do is try to survive, and build a better civilisation, and bring about a new age of learning and understanding.

Although the founding of the union was anything but smooth, the union managed to drive off the challenge from the seperatists.

Since the war the Union has consolidated its position. The Union has created for itself a lot of bureaucracy, and there are more than a few union officers that skim of a little for themselves and hide it in the paperwork. The guildhalls which in the early days acted as a meeting house have developed into fully developed news network and postal system, complete with clacks towers and pony express. With such a firm grasp of the information network a censorship has arisen, any news which is harmful to the image of the union rarely makes it off the fragment, except by rumour.

The Union Lands

The lands of the union are the Archipelago. The Archipelago is a network of fragment which orbited the temple, until the temple was lost when the mists boiled. Acting quickly the geomancers of the Union found another geomantic centre, one of the old relay stations for the temple's power, and modified it to act as a core. This has, however, left the Archipelago a lot less stable than back in its heyday, and only its new orbit around the recovered Temple is keeping it together. The fragments of the archipelago are connected by a series of bridges which allow transport between fragment even when there is no physical connection between fragments.


The Legion of Unity

The members of the Legion of Unity are expected to always have the people of the Legion's best interests at heart. While for some this may entail entering a life of service in the Monastic Orders of the Legion, preaching the teachings of the God-Emperor Justinian and trying to bring about Justice and Peace in the world through helping others, for most it simply means being prepared to stand ready in the Legion's ranks when the Union is under threat, and protect their clans and their society from invaders.

The Legion is proud and very traditional, more likely to consult history books than scout reports when determining a battle plan. Even so their skill with cavalry and armoured combat makes them a force to be reckoned with.

The College of Horizons

The faculty of the College of Horizons are driven by a great desire to learn more about the world, whether it be through engineering, selective breeding, or manipulation of the energies of the Storm. As the Union's base of scientific advancement they are also the creators and maintainers of the Union's fleet of flying contraptions, and play a vital role both in transport and in defence, although the faculty tries not to get involved in the politics of the Union. The faculty study pretty much everything there is to study in the world, although more outlandish experiments are stamped down on before the mob with torches and pitchforks arrive.

The Guild

The Guild of Free Houses and Traders essentially have a monopoly on the trade and entertainment sector of Union life. Their members must be as adept at closing a deal as they are pulling a pint, as they journey to new territories and set up their own drinking establishments / trade outposts there. They must have an eye for a good deal, a good head for figures, and a ear for interesting gossip and information, all of which gets relayed back to the Guild leadership. Additionally, the Guild is responsible for keeping the cogs of the Union turning; its responsibilities cover everything from processing the paperwork to enforcing labour laws.



The Councils

The governing of the Union is done by the Councils, representative of every clan in the Union. The Council Chambers are an impressive fortress with their own standing army on a fragment very close to the centre of the Archipelago.

The Open Council

Every clan that is a member of the Union has the right to send a representative to the Open Council's yearly meetings. Here the many facets of the Union meet and discuss trade, politics and current affairs. Anyone who wishes to can submit a bill, whether that be on taxation, foreign policy or civil disputes. The bills which get majority approval (by vote) are passed on to the Closed Council for their consideration.

Every Union player character may submit a bill on odd-numbered turnsheets, to be voted on by all in the even-numbered turnsheets.

The Closed Council

The Closed Council is the closest the Union gets to leaders. They are the representatives of the great organisations within the Union, and through representing those interests try to guide the Union with wisdom and insight. As of game start, the Closed Council consists of:

Guildmaster Franklin Meade

As the CEO of the Guild, Franklin Meade is responsible for the Union's economic status, as well as the civil service that ensures that clans are in accordance with the wishes of the Councils. He is both a visionary who dreams of expanding the Guild across the known world, and a pragmatist with a very good eye for numbers, and is one of the most energetic leaders the Guild has had for some time.

Grand Marshal Gustav Kroy

At the very top of the Legion's chain of command, you will find Gustav Kroy, although you'd better have a good reason for doing so. Impassive and calculating, Grand Marshal Kroy has been a veteran of more martial campaigns than you've seen Storms, and has never lost. Over the years he has drifted away from the Church of the Founders, and has made it known that he wishes to remove the religious aspect of the Legion. He respects any man or woman with a good head for strategy and the will to defend the Union with their strength, and such people are likely to go far in his Legion.

High Cleric Arabella Crimson

Which of the High Cleric and the Grand Marshal hold the most sway within the Legion is a source of much debate. While Kroy may command people's respect and pay their wages, as the leader of the Church of the Founders Arabella commands their heart and their sense of tradition. Though she makes it no secret that she leans more to the Deific side of the Justinian debate, she has made great strides in uniting the Church and getting it to perform great deeds of charity throughout the Union. A stout and hearty woman with as great a sense of justice as a sense of compassion, she gives the troops of the Legion reason to fight and the people of the Union reason to work their hardest.

Chancellor Octavius Fox

The Chancellor is the head of the College of Horisons, and is mostly on the Council to serve as a scientific advisor and ensure that the council does not make decisions that will put the Archipelago in danger from the forces of Mist, Storm, Spirits and the fragments themselves. Octavius is a modest and insular elderly gentleman, preferring to conduct his own research into the Spirits rather than get his hands dirty in politics.

The Arch Lector

This position is traditionally kept anonymous, for the Arch Lector is the head of the Union's secretive activities. Though you will not get any statement on the Closed Council on even his existence, it is rumoured that he (or she) maintains a vast network of spies, assassins, and paranormal agents. With these the Union is defended from the insidious operatives of anarchists and the other colonies.


The union aims to assimilate clans into the Union, so that their influence can grow. Although it will never use martial force to make a clan join the union, it has encouraged clans to join through trade embargoes to make the clan position as an individual entity unmaintainable.

Corruption in the Union

From the initial concept of the union a large unmanageable beast has arisen. It generates huge amounts of paperwork, which needs processing. The Union needs to be made streamlined and more efficient. At the moment unscrupulous Union Officers are using the large amounts of paperwork to hide their own crimes. Embezzlement, Nepotism and similar crimes are all common forms of corruption in the union. However there is a movement to eradicate this corruption, making a more efficient and Productive union.

The Regulation of Storm and Mist

Even in its infancy, the Union was very aware of the Stormtouched. Legendary figures such as Raijin Lightningsword and Artemis of the Stormforge stood on their front lines, devastating the enemy troops with their lightning, fire, and enchanted weapons.

Even so, the Union was made all too aware of the danger posed from those linked with the Storm when the mad monk, Brother Simon, caused a cataclysmic explosion encompass an entire fragment. From then on, the Union has kept a tight watch on the Stormtouched within it. From birth, the development of those likely to manifest the magic is carefully monitored.

When their magic reveals itself (usually explosively), they are carried away from their families and placed in a special training facility on a remote fragment, where they receive tuition on how to control their powers. Upon reaching adulthood, they are offered a choice; work for the Union and its military, and so stay in the Union with their families, or leave the Union and forever be an outsider.

Once they have entered adult life, the Stormtouched of the Union are mostly free to spend their time however they wish. Whenever the Union is in danger, however, they must heed the commands of those in charge, laying their lives on the line in its defence.

A similar program is in its infancy for Mist Mages.


The union aims to homogenise clan. Although it doesn’t actively condemn clan practices, it certainly pushes for a single uniform culture across the Union. The department of Ceremonies is responsible for recording all Births marriages and deaths in the union.

Faith and Ancestry

“It was men who built the Union. Not Gods. It is better to revere the achievements and aspects of mortal man than put faith in intangible being that neither care for us, nor understand us.” - Father Hugo, High Priest of the Church of Founders

Like other ceremonies, traditional faiths of the clans in the Union, although not actively condemned are repressed. The Union is of the belief a cohesive society can not be built while there are bedrock difference between the clans.

The 'official' faith of the Union is the Church of Founders, devoted to the memory of the founding fathers of the Union. They tell stories and proverbs of the founders, stressing that they were men like any other, and that faith in the supernatural is foolish considering what they achieved.

Some take a different line, worshipping the Founders more as gods themselves. Within the Legion, worship is split into two co-existing factions; the Deific faction worship him as a God and try to seek his blessings through their deeds, whereas the Apex faction view him as the greatest hero the Legion has produced and seek his wisdom in history.

Flying Machines

The Union is the faction that has got furthest in powered air flight, basic airships and flying machines provide transportation from one fragment to another, heating balloons of air to sail through the skies or using powered mechanical wings to tear from place to place. However, these machines currently lack the long-range capabilities required to reach other factions, and so for now at least the ferrymen must be relied upon for such.

Internal Communication

Communication within the union tends to be done through the use of towers placed on each fragment. Specially trained Union staff man these towers and can use machinery built into the them to make messages visible to other towers nearby via special symbols. These are then quickly read and inputted into the machinery in those towers, and if necessary the message can be relayed further until it reaches its destination fragment. Information sent in this manner is encrypted such that generally only the target fragment can get any messages sent, although the techniques used for this are not especially advanced. A variety of mechanical devices have been created to carry out relatively mundane everyday tasks such as preparing certain types of food, cleaning clothes and so on, which are slowly become more commonplace. Better-off clans might even have use of variants powered by Storm energy.

The Beer Standard!

As with everything, the Union trade system is complex and bloated. Technically, it is a very detailed system of bartering, with no official currency. Unofficially, the currency is beer.

The Union trade system was originally founded around taverns, making the ale houses a place to go for business as well as business. Worth was compared in terms of bottles and barrels, and they could never quite left the system behind. Being able to so readily drink your money has always been a problem, leaving the trade system bloated in more than one way.

game2/the_union.txt · Last modified: 2008/10/21 08:49 by gm_james