I noticed in our previous write-up there was some confusion about the geography of our world here concerning the Federative Republic of Salbhaça’s placement and their jungle climate. The world of Créad is not only different geographically than our own, it’s also significantly warmer, featuring a much larger band of desert in the center and smaller ice-caps. It’s also much more Pangeic in arrangement, featuring larger, more contiguous land masses. We hope to get a world map of Créad ready with another update in order to provide some better context for this.
For now though, we’re going to take a turn deep into the Resource Belt and cover our last nation of note: The People’s Blessed Utopia of Ghantatar.
Over 2,000 years ago the Clannsept Empire flourished in an equatorial empire that spanned most of the known world. At the top of this social order were the Clannsept people, organized into vast families that vied internally for economic, religious and political power. To keep themselves defended from outside threats and to shield themselves from the hot sun; wealthy Clannsepts commissioned Fushar, massive underground fortress estates. Even after the Empire’s fall, much of the world is dotted with remnants of these underground mansion fortresses to this day. Over the years these structures have been upgraded and retrofitted to cater to the needs of whatever people controlled them at the time.
While the Clannsepts fielded their own soldiers, the backbone of their martial power was the people of the Bhukham ethnicity. The Bhukham, armed with their signature maces and long knives, dispensed the justice of the Clannsept families and were lauded for it. A rare few were even given the opportunity to marry into these illustrious houses. Despite these rare cases however, power in the Clannsept Empire was divided along strict racial lines. The Clannsepts were at the top, the masses were at the bottom and the Bhukham suppressed or eliminated anyone who questioned this.
Nothing lasts forever though. After hundreds of years of stability and prosperity, the climate of Créad began to shift, becoming warmer. Water became scarcer and crops shrivelled. Great cities that were in once strategic, habitable locations became irrelevant. Particularly wealthy Clannsept families were able to flee their cities to relocate to better climes but many families failed to transition properly with their power intact or simply refused to leave their storied homes. At best, these stubborn legacies were bankrupted by the changing world; the others starved or thirsted to death.
All at once, the Clannsept Empire started to crumble. Absolute authority is powerful but brittle. Leadership became fragmented, made all the worse by upstart families trying to fill the power vacuum left behind by families that had fallen from favor or perished. When the dust had settled there was no Empire and the great families had been reduced to subsistence farmers, nomadic herders or travelling merchants; with only old stories and art to show for it.
That was bad for the Clannsepts, but it was worse for the Bhukham. Without their Clannsept patrons and the logistical tools of an empire to support them, they were surrounded on all sides by all the other peoples of the Empire. These are the same people the Bhukham suppressed and punished so harshly in order to maintain an order that no longer existed. Even though they fought like demons, the Bhukham were driven from their homes by angry mobs, fleeing into the worst parts of the desert in order to avoid being killed by their former victims.
The Bhukham wandered the deserts of the former Empire for many years. It is said that their forlorn trains of humanity shed people in such number that you could see their approach from miles away. All you had to do was watch for the buzzards. To this day the buzzard is a symbol of great shame to the Bhukham and is branded into the face of criminals who are exiled from Ghantatar.
Slowly but surely the Bhukham eked out a living, digging wells and raising meager crops in the desert. They were always a disciplined people and perhaps the only ones with the willpower necessary to survive in these harsh conditions. As their communities strengthened, the buzzards were driven away. Eventually they had enough surplus food that their coastal villages began to attract gulls searching for unattended snacks. In this way, the white gulls became a symbol of hope and prosperity to the Bhukham. If there were gulls it meant that you had enough food to be considered successful.
While this was going on the other peoples of the Clannsept Empires had formed their own countries. Occasionally, when nearby rulers were doing poorly, they chose to scapegoat the Bhukham for their own misdeeds. The Bhukham banded together for mutual protection, keeping their martial traditions alive out of necessity. The Bhukham use a style of fighting characterized by both its brutality and it’s efficiency. Long knives, maces, batons, even their hands and feet are capable weapons. For a long time the expression ‘as dangerous as a naked Bhukham’ meant that someone or something was not be trifled with.
The Bhukham villages eventually began to merge into a cohesive nation, Ghantatar. Individual walled cities connected by regularly patrolled roads turned into glistening metropolises of the desert linked by superhighways. Their martial past, harsh climate and continuous threats from foreign powers pushed their state towards a totalitarian system ruled by a central Junta. Above all, Ghantatar is a clean nation. The buildings are clean, the streets are clean and even the people’s minds are clean. Order is absolute, even their sidewalks have separate lanes for movement and passing. Military service is mandatory for all of the Ghantatarian people, as they must fiercely protect the utopia that they have made for themselves.
Blessed be Ghantatar.
Now you know a little bit about the Ghantatarians, let’s talk about their Limbs, the Raptor and the Gull.
At age 17 every Ghantatarian is drafted into the ‘Gulls’. The Gulls, as the Ghantatarian Self-Defense Force, are like the national guard of Ghantatar. They patrol the highways that connect their great cities and assist the police in times of crisis. Most of the time the Gulls fight off the rare bands of Clannsept raiders, groups of nomadic herder Clannsepts that have fallen on hard times and prey on passing travellers to get by. However, the Gulls even stand ready for full on war should Ghantatar be truly invaded (which hasn’t happened in over 100 years). Even non-able bodied citizens enter the Gulls, to perform administrative, custodial or maintenance duties. While its possible to be so disabled or incapable that one doesn’t enter service in the Gulls, to do so is considered extremely shameful and those who do are barred from voting in any regional elections. A citizen unable to help defend Ghantatar is considered unworthy of determining its future.
The white ‘Gull Service Limb Type 4’ is a light, low cost production Limb that fits onto the bed of a large, armored truck. This truck carries the Limb as part of a convoy that patrols the highways. The truck also contains several members of the Gull Self Defense Infantry to help support it in combat. Several of these Limb transport trucks make up a convoy, though the exact number is randomized, as is their patrol schedule, to help throw off any would be attackers. The Gull Limb is armed with a drum fed battle rifle and a steel baton for close combat. To help maintain its balance it’s equipped with an auto-reactive tail. They also have broad, spade shaped feet to assist with any movement they might need to perform on sand. What these patrols may lack in hitting power they make up for in blind optimism and fierce tenacity.
Beyond the Gulls though, is the secretive organization known as the Raptors. The ‘Raptor Pre-Emptive Self Defense Force’ is the offensive arm of the Ghantatarian military machine; though the Junta of Ghantatar has claimed to have never launched an offensive in their entire history. Drawn from the tops of the Gull graduating classes and, more rarely, Gulls who act with extreme valor in the field, the Raptors are battle hardened fanatics who will do anything to protect Ghantatar from any potential threats. If the Junta feels threatened by a neighboring power then the Raptors will perform their training exercises on their borders. If a large group of Clannsept nomads begins to amass too close to Ghantatarian assets then the Raptors are sent in to exterminate them.
The black ‘Raptor Service Limb Type 7’ is based on the same Gull chassis but is produced to higher standards, with improved armor, sensors and engines. They also have a host of other features that prepare them more adequately for front line combat. Their left side has mounting points for a variety of missiles or a gattling cannon. In close combat they employ a pneumatic war-pick. When the tip of this spiked weapon senses contact with an enemy it fires out by around 12 inches, to help penetrate armor and destroy anything underneath. Vehicle cockpits are the target of choice for these weapons. These Limbs are fully NBC sealed and are studded in smoke canister launchers filled with a powerful nerve agent.
A traditional Raptor assault opens with ground attack aircraft saturating the area with fire before a group of VTOL aircraft drop a group of Raptor Limbs directly into the fight, seconds after the aerial suppression has ceased. These Limbs then pop their nerve agent cannisters in the middle of the enemy and proceed to destroy the most threatening targets available. Raptor Infantry in NBC gear then rappel from the VTOL craft and charge into the gas clouds to help the Limbs crush any further resistance and eliminate any survivors.
Due to their rapid transportation requirements, the Raptor and the Gull Service Limbs are some of the lightest production Limbs in service. Generally speaking, these are not Limbs ready for protracted engagements focused on holding territory and long term attrition. They are, however, exceedingly good at rapid assaults focused on brief, overwhelming force.
So there, I hope you folks have enjoyed this brief history of The People’s Blessed Utopia of Ghantatar. With the history provided, you may notice something interesting about the owner of Henri’s favorite Ghantatarian cafe.
Thanks for reading,
- Luther out