Friday, December 15, 2017

Setting the Story: Welcome to Garmil's Gate

Sir Ramsey's debut adventure occurs on the far-away rimward world of Garmil's Gate.

It's called that for two reasons. The first is that the discoverer was Saint Garmil, martyred during the very expedition to this world which now bears his name. The second is the gate itself, found in the possession of an evil cult sworn to a demonic master said to be on the far side of the gate, a master known to the cult as "Dess Lok". The cult held the gate in the hopes of opening it so their master could come forth, conquer the galaxy, and raise them up as the lords of this galactic satrapy. This was the first encounter with a nation of blue-skinned mutants, whose own lore claimed Dess Lok to be their liberator from a slavelord god that yoked them to his will, and encouraged hostility to all outside their own kind accordingly.

That cult long ago died by sword and blaster, in return for their own ambush of Saint Garmil's party and deliberate butchery thereof. The specific records are vague, but it seemed that the cult believed the gate to be powered by the souls of those sacrificed ritually before the power-generators. (It didn't work.) After a time of cleansing and exorcism, Garmil's Gate became a colony world; first a garrison arose in orbit, working out of an orbital colony known as "Gatewatch" and manned initially by the Knights of Saint George. (Now the garrison's compliment is the household militia of Sir Han Fang, the 10th Lord Garmil, held in fief ultimately to Duke Far as part of House Far's holdings.)

Aside from religious pilgrimage, Garmil's Gate is notable as being an industrial world- specifically, a mining world whose output of strategic minerals is matched by orbital facilities that process the raw ore and ship out the materials to other words for crafting into whatever is required. (A portion is retained for local use in that manner.) This means that a lot of shipping, much of it bulk shipping, comes to and leaves from Garmil's Gate. Accordingly, Lord Garmil oversees not only a vigil over the gate but also the colony population of workers on the mine concern on the planet's surface.

The Mining Guild, as per treaty at the Court of Stars generations before, runs the mining operation. They import their workforce from offworld, taking from the refuse of the galaxy to consume here as if wood into a stove, so the local clergy spend a lot of their time between Sunday services conducting funerals and administering treatment (while filing reports with their superiors on matters here). While Lord Garmil accepts the Guild's operations, he has warned the Guild's man here that these are conditions ripe to explode into violent unrest if management cannot maintain its power, and a disruption of operations is bad for all concerned.

The rest of the planet is open to settlement, but few dwell here. One island is a penal colony for criminals who, for whatever reason, merit execution but cannot be put to death; it is isolated from the rest of planet due to being deep in the middle of one ocean. Some noble families maintain holiday retreats here, catering to hunting lodges for expeditions against the savage fauna to be found outside pacified territories, and military testing of ordinance and vehicles goes on in the wastelands near the mining colony's operations.

Lord Garmil isn't here most of the time, preferring the more civilized environments of the Fang's holdings elsewhere, leaving the day-to-day administrations to a disfavored son: Sir Kei Fang, banished in all but name to Garmil's Gate for an embarrassing incident at his elder brother's wedding some years back, as he is forbidden by his father from leaving the world without his leave or that of his lord. Lord Garmil finds his visits to the world be bothersome intrusions upon his time. There are no other worlds in this system, so all attention is focused on this planet, and Lord Garmil finds it lacking despite the wealth it generates for him.

A savvy predator learns to read the scene before him, and pirates are no different. Red Eyes, and his master, see weakness here and with it an opportunity to break big into Galactic Christendom. That is why Red Eyes sent Dashing Jack to Garmil's Gate, first to scout, but there is more in play here than the ravenous reavers' seeking to slake their thirst for plunder- secrets revealed when Sir Ramsey comes in the Baden-Powell to deal with the Red Eyes pirates.