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ManDanin Security Intelligence Bureau (SIB) sector headquarters in the Accra subsector was located on Tsavo (1125). Almost all acts of intelligence gathering and coordination of the ‘cold’ and proxy wars along the border with the Crucis Union were overseen there. The planets of Daboya (1321), Narok (1122) and Tamale (1323) continued to be zones where both sides tested each other in providing ‘advisers’ to the local forces in endless bushfire wars and revolutions all of which were orchestrated to try to bring the planets on to one side or the other.
Away from the neutral worlds, the heavily policed border worlds of Sba (1523), Adrar (1624), Aoulef (1728) and particularly Guerzim (1626) were of continuing interest to the ManDanin Co-Dominion. They were the planets from which the aggressive Nar launched their invasion attempts a century ago. All indications were that the Nar leadership and people, even though currently held in check by their membership of the Crucis Union federation, still harboured expansionist dreams and chaffed at the defeat Co-Dominion forces had inflicted on them.
Airspace over the Nar border worlds was aggressively policed; unauthorised shipping was impounded, but there had not been any exchange of fire between Nar vessels and Co-Dominion traders for decades. System Defence boats and Customs vessels always searched the ManDanin ships thoroughly: smuggling equipment in and data out was exceedingly difficult. Because the airspace over the former starport on Guerzim was electronically shielded, only limited information could be gathered in the conventional way. Spies on the ground and even public broadcasts provided a lot of information, but questions still remained. For example, had the Nar rebuilt the Class A starport that had been glassed during the last war?
Out here, beyond the borders of the Third Imperium, actual Imperial law counted for very little. The reality was however that Humaniti sensibilities were still very strong, especially since nearly every polity out here had some cultural memory of their migrations during the Long Night. Therefore, even though the prohibitions against psychics were not enshrined in law, most civilisations shunned research along these lines. In such an environment, research was limited to shadowy Psionics Institutes funded and operating in secret.
One such facility was located on Lodwar (0926). The outwardly modest facility was set up to mimic an engineering research outpost but was equipped with the best technology available to explore psychic potential in both humans and danin of all castes. The program had mixed success, producing many disappointments and charlatans. But an extreme minority of results were encouraging. Miss Mole (codename) was one of these success stories. Born almost blind, she displayed from an early age an ability to ‘see’ at great distances, often with astonishing accuracy. Her clairvoyance brought her to the attentions of the facility on Lodwar, where she was trained for intelligence gathering work.
It was with these considerations in mind that the Sector Chief of the SIB on Tsavo, known in offical communications as Master Hedgehog, authorised a daring mission.
A ship was prepared, outwardly resembling a trader but with many stealth features. The majority of interior space was filled with gigantic engines and fuel tanks. What was left of cargo space was filled with a KuV-401 (Crucis Union identification: Rabbit) atmosphere reconnaissance plane. Minimal space was allowed for the two man ship’s crew, and the pilot of the spy plane. And finally a platoon of marines was included, though not expected to be awakened, in the worst case scenario of needing to fight their way out.
The ship, temporarily named the Anxious Sandstorm, was to make a circuitous approach to Guerzim refuelling in open space from waiting tankers. It would arrive in the target system from a non standard entrance window and immediately go dark. IFF transponders were to be shut down; energy emissions of all kinds to be damped; the crew in cold sleep, and the Anxious Sandstorm would tumble as if it were no more than a common asteroid on a gentle six month curve towards the planet Guerzim. With its external configuration and minimal energy signature it would appear no larger than a small ground car.
Once in an inconspicuous orbit the robotic systems would wake the crew. Miss Mole would be helped into the gel tank of the KuV-401 where she would be protected from the G-forces coming, and the plane would be launched. After screaming in at a steep angle the KiV would level out and streak over the target zone at a leisurely Mach 5+, where the clairvoyant Miss Mole, now narcotised with Slo-Mo to stretch her time perspective, would reach through the electronic shielding of the Nar facilities and narrate her experiences.
After a single pass that would take in most of the continent the KuV-401 would accelerate up and out of the atmosphere to dock with the waiting Anxious Sandstorm. By the time planetary defences had registered that an unauthorised hypersonic flight was occurring the plane would already be over the horizon and climbing away. And in the time taken to rout pursuit ships toward the raider, the Anxious Sandstorm would already be powering out system under a constant 6-G’s. The use of a psychic in an active spy mission was a first for the SIB. Not only was it hoped it would yield great results, it was also a potentially explosive diplomatic disaster if ever revealed due to the general prohibition against exactly that kind of thing.
It was an audacious plan with many moving pieces, each of which had dozens of failure possibilities. The catastrophe, when it befell, took participants on both sides of the conflict by surprise.
Having discovered Dungeon World (DW) I dug a little deeper to find what else had been created based on the Powered by the Apocalypse (PbtA) engine. There are several, of course, and a real bloat of playbooks for characters. This is to be expected for anything that is any good: people get excited.
Uncharted Worlds (UW) is the science fiction implementation that caught my eye. Similarly funded through Kickstarter, it seems to me to be complete, rational, and entirely usable. The play style encourages sandbox style development and a story-oriented event resolution system. Both DW and UW are story games, not tactical wargames, and so will not appeal to everyone. But they appeal to me.
The Typhoon Maiden (TyMa) story is one I’ve been developing for years and concerns the travels of a city in space. A trading ship of enormous size, with a population in the thousands. This ship travels a long path between worlds, probably on a regular route that may well take decades or even a century to complete. On these journeys the inhabitants of the city go about their normal business of cooking and building and falling in love and having run-ins with the law. When around a host planet they descend, trade, explore and cause mischief. By UW classification the ship is a Type 5 in terms of size, but my technology level is clearly different. My ship, though several kilometres long, has a listed population of around 18,000 and is steered/run/guided by an integrated AI, or Mind. People aboard the Typhoon Maiden occupy a place somewhere between passengers, parasites, and pets. They are not ‘in control’ of the ship. It just so happens the Mind has chosen this migratory life and invited an ecosystem of short-lived humans and other animals to come for the journey.
The inspiration for Typhoon Maiden comes from Metamorphosis Alpha and all the great lost world ship stories of the 50’s and 60’s, and also from Rogue Trader in a more general sense, and Iain Banks Culture novels in a very specific sense. With the tools available in UW, and the growing enthusiasm for the PbtA engine around me, I hope to get a video-conference game going set on the Maiden.
A great and clever tool in UW is the Factions. In the rules these are presented as large galactic structures and here I suspect the typical interpretation will be the ‘Federation,’ or ‘Empire,’ or ‘Blue Sun Corporation.’ Which is all fair and good, however when I read the section I was put more in mind of the Secret Societies of Paranoia, and how these factions could place pulls on a character leading him or her into difficult moral territory. What follows now are the factions aboard the Typhoon Maiden. These are not formal organisations with badges and oaths as much as they are political power blocks that can act openly, but more often in the shadows. They provide some of the dynamic tension aboard the ship.
There are five main factions that exist in a dynamic tension aboard the Typhoon Maiden. They are the Merchants, the Conventionals, Command, the Landlords and the Adaptives.
The Merchants are concerned solely with trade and act to increase their access to markets, protection of their goods and profits, and to influence ship policy towards those goals. Their base of power are the vast numbers of transport ships that service the TyMa and ferry goods to and from planetary surfaces. They provide the prosperity that is at the core of why the TyMa is in space at all (as far as people are concerned – who knows what motivates the Mind that is at the core of the ship?). Merchants employ private guards to protect their persons, vessels and property. The Merchants as a faction are not ideologically opposed to any other faction, but strongly oppose any action that might impact their ability to make deals both aboard ship and dirtside.
Might: Paid security
Reach: Primarily the docks and warehouse districts. Merchants are strongly associated with the Seneschal department
Structure: A formal Merchant’s Council meets, but anyone that engages in trade is by default affected
The Conventionals place their concern in ‘public health’ and stability. They represent the efforts to prevent destabilising foreign or radical trends. The Conventionals have the most ‘soft’ power and the least ‘hard’. They appeal to the shared culture and destiny of the city and seek to keep things as they are. Their influence is most keenly felt and most obvious in their control of public events in the city: festivals, ceremonies, sporting events, speaking events, fairs and exhibitions. Their specific enemies are the Adaptives.
Might: Social shaming hand in hand with gossip. Strong interaction with the Religious Police (RePo), who are concerned with criminal insanities
Reach: Public events and any other social activity
Structure: Loose structure of concerned citizens groups, clubs and associations
Ideology: Social stability
Command is typically associated with the Voidboss department but this is not necessarily so. Command is concerned with the technical and mechanical fitness of the city. It includes in its membership command staff but also technicians and support personnel such as plumbers and electricians. The Command faction finds itself in sometime alliance with any or all of the other factions, as long as those groups don’t threaten to break anything in the city. They violently oppose actions that do affect the city’s functioning.
Might: Control of the official city security force, the Excubitors, and the Security Police (SePo)
Reach: Utilities and infrastructure, engineering
Structure: At its core there is a formal command and rank structure
Ideology: Don’t break the city!
The Landlords are property owners, renting out living space, commercial and manufacturing facilities, storage and transportation services. Landlords typically belong to established family structures with long lineages of accumulation of money and hence power. They are concerned only with maintaining their positions of stability and privilege, seeing themselves as aristocratic cornerstones of the City’s civilisation. The natural allies of the Landlords are the Conventionals.
Might: Land ownership and therefore power through rent. Criminal Police (KriPo), concerned with investigating and punishing everyday crime
Reach: Landlords’ powers reach to every part of the Typhoon Maiden. These ‘districts’ are guided, exploited and competed for amongst the landlord families
Structure: Family hierarchies
Ideology: The natural social order is a pyramid, with the landlords at the top
Adaptives embrace the new and exciting possibilities opened up by exposure to foreign cultures. As the city pulls into contact with the a new world, Adaptives go to work exploring, cataloguing and investigating with the intention of finding all that is good that could be imported and applied at home. They are usually in violent opposition to the Conventionals who hold all such importations as destructive and undesirable. Officially, Adaptives are just radicals and trouble makers. To the members of this faction they are the true patriots attempting to improve life for everyone and stave off stagnation and extinction.
Might: The corrosive power of memes and incremental change among the common people
Reach: Strongest in casual meeting situations where people can share ideas: bars, restaurants, public events
Structure: The few formal mouthpieces of change and adaptation are merely a front for the real work which is unstructured and largely word of mouth
Ideology: Change is good
Again, let me repeat, this is not a story based on canon law for Fading Suns, Dune, WH40k, Traveller or any other published setting. It is my development that pinches ideas from these sources.
Way out past the edge of solar systems can be found star gates. These are massive rings, some thousands of kilometres in circumference that humans have now discovered and are using, built by an ancient and extinct alien species. These gates connect to one another, giving near instantaneous travel between these places. To use this means of transportation a ship must be equipped with a ‘warp’ drive, and have advanced think-machines that can process the massive amounts of data necessary and be able to interpret the so-called gate-keys that code for the transit. Gate-keys are jealously guarded by the Charioteers’ Guild, a professional engineering and piloting organisation that has the monopoly on reproduction and possession of the keys. Reproduction is all that humans have managed so far – coding new keys has not yet been reverse engineered from the ancient alien examples.
Near each gate the Charioteers’ Guild maintains a permanently crewed station. This is port control. When a ship arrives at the gate it calls port control and asks for transit permission. Control will have had plenty of lead time as the ship would have been seen coming and communications would have been long ago established. The exiting ship will be fitted into the schedule and then will wait the hours or days until it is time to go. When ready, a Pilot from the guild comes aboard carrying the relevant key and any other special equipment or private messages. The ship is then pushed towards the gate by the port authority tugs, and then passes through, out of the universe for a short period of time and then, if all has gone well, back into the universe many light years away.
When the ship arrives in the new system, the new port control makes contact, flash-sends any important data, and one of the escorting tugs that has recorded the flight data is ejected to snap back through the gate to report successful transfer. This usually takes about 10 to 15 minutes. If no confirmation arrives back at the exit system after half an hour, emergency procedures begin, locking down the gate and sending investigative drones, then crewed emergency vessels.
Assuming that everything has gone well, and gate accidents are rare but not impossible, the Pilot exits the ship to the port control station, and the ship is free to head in-system. Using local tug boats and thrusters, the ship is manoeuvred away from the gate. This can take hours to days to ensure that when the big engines come on they do not cause any damage. When ready, and courses have been plotted, the ship starts up its fusion-torches and accelerates away. At the half way point to the target planet the torches are extinguished, the ship turns around, and then reignites the engines to decelerate. This accelerate, rotate, decelerate routine can take anything up to six months. The plumes of the deceleration are visible to the target system for this period, filling the skies like comets. There is little to no chance of ‘sneaking up’ on a planet.
For big ships like the Typhoon Maiden (TyMa), a floating trading city, throughout this period communications have been going on with the inhabited places in the new solar system. Merchants will be researching and then reaching out to potential markets in order to buy and sell goods. By the time the ship comes to rest over a planet the wheels of commerce are already spinning and the process of logistics takes over: getting the shuttles to the surface with goods to sell and getting the bought goods back to the ship and stored – all as quickly as possible and certainly ahead of competitors. Anyone still wondering what they are going to do by the time they get into orbit have already missed all the lucrative deals.
The TyMa typically stays in orbit around the main inhabited planet for one to two years, allowing trade not only between the man planet but with any other inhabited bodies. It is rare that a big ship like the TyMa would shuttle around a solar system from planet to planet – instead it makes the small ships come to it. This allows for a lot of trade to be conducted, and for a ship that would probably have a regular circuit of worlds (though possibly taking decades to complete) this allows a certain amount of future planning to occur. “That was a great batch of whisky. When I’m back in ten years I’ll have some of the batch you’re putting down now,” for example.
Also while in orbit there will be movement of people. Some people will want to move off the ship and settle down on a planet. Others will decide they want a taste of travel and will come aboard. Along with the legal and documented transfers there will be the normal deserters from the ship, and stowaways to the ship. Given the size of the TyMa, with its official capacity of 18,000, keeping track of even the legal citizens is hard. This movement of people, especially since the ship is civilian and therefore people are technically free to do anything they want, means that knowledge of occupation is only approximate.
Once all transfers are complete, the ship is manoeuvred out of orbit and transits to the gate. It takes almost the exact same time to get back to the gate as it took to come from the gate, allowing for the differences in orbits that will have occurred in between. But importantly, there are no shortcuts.
When I started this story I randomly generated a name. That was, ‘The Mascot’. This still makes no sense, but it is worth keeping in mind as the final episode of the campaign should specifically tie up that loose end.
These are the other loose ends and thoughts about this episode:
1) Jump/Gate tech. The Typhoon Maiden (TyMa) arrived in Imperial Space using it’s own warp engines. These are now useless because the mutant Navigator is dead. However, they have been modified to work with the JumpWeb gates using the Keys supplied by the Charioteer’s Guild. Given that few of the remaining mutant Astrogators understood the working principles of the warp drive, and the Engineering staff are concerned with keeping things running rather than understanding, it seems likely that the TyMa is completely at the mercy of the Charioteer’s Guild. Their monopoly is not challenged by the TyMa. Therefore, port authorities in each system will deal with the TyMa in exactly the same way as they would any other ship arriving and leaving by exactly the same mechanism: the gates.
2) The Astrogators have turned their complete attention to listening to the warp to reestablish contact with their immortal god/demon in the Imperium. This will have interesting consequences as they traverse the gates and suffer/enjoy the Sathraic Mysteries. What are the implications for the activities of the Religious Police (RePo)?
3) The TyMa stayed in Cadiz space for over a year, repairing itself, reconfiguring its engines and trading. It then powered out system for a couple of months to the gate. There will be a lot of new (alien) technology and goods aboard. It is likely that there are many new people on board, and many may have stayed on Cadiz.
4) Of the characters, Lantedo would not be missed; Locum was registered but such a small fish it would be assumed he came to a bad end somewhere; Pårole was at a loose end and had not been incorporated into any new military or civil structure, and it would be assumed he probably went AWOL on Cadiz; Gnosticos was a robot and so no one would care. Phesigns would be missed by his father, who would make enquiries. It would be known that he was detained by SePo but then released. It might be known or guessed that he went down to Cadiz, but that would be all that could be determined. Phesigns’ father might agitate amongst the other families (need to explore the families in more detail sometime) because he suspects foul play. The shuttle is unlikely to be missed in any case as it was only one of thousands of vehicles that come and go from the vast hangers every day. Ultimately, the disappearance of the party remains either a mystery or unnoticed as the TyMa powers out.
5) With Phesigns’ father making enquiries, SePo may open a case (as might Criminal Police KriPo). Missing citizens is nothing in itself, but all of the recently detained people simultaneously disappearing does seem more than a coincidence. We can assume that surveillance combing might uncover the initial negotiations on the park deck. These people will be subject to closer scrutiny.
6) All we know for sure is that the people that hired the party did not get any information back from the party. We know they were confronted by security forces – but whose? We do not know for sure. Whoever they were, they are now in possession of the damaging intelligence that the Vau conference and treaty was somehow sabotaged. House Decados is known for its superior intelligence network – does this mean that they somehow missed something vital and were digging it up, or were they always in possession of the information and were trying to bury it? Or was it someone else altogether, perhaps the Vau themselves? Massive open thread…
7) Finally, it will now be known that an alien ship, the TyMa, is in Imperial Space. Genetically and culturally the new comers are very similar to the indigenes. All of the Houses will be trying to work out how to use these visitors to their own advantage in dynastic struggles.
The lad has been at home after having had all four wisdom teeth out. This has me on nurse duty but that is not a full time job. All I have to do is check him regularly and make sure he’s drugged up, eating (custard and yoghurt) and keeping warm and rested.
To fill in the rest of the time I decided to do a story telling game using the Typhoon Maiden background. The story bit can be found in the link. After a while I got to the part that I couldn’t be bothered narrating and so decided to go for a solo war-game.
This was an ad-hoc thing and nothing that I had been building scenery or collecting miniatures for. I used some Star Wars plastics and paper maps, supplemented with a few pieces of 3D terrain to lift it a bit. I’m using the FiveCore and Five Parsecs from Home rules, and I used some simple randomisers to control the antagonist force.
The heroes, if they can be called that, were Phesigns, a junior gangster trying to make a mark for himself; Pårole, a soldier without his regiment; Locum, a street kid just trying to get ahead; Lantedo, a hacker; and Gnosticos, an ex-military robot that just happened to be sitting on a shuttle that the team could use because things are so confused aboard the Typhoon Maiden that no one had asked her what she was doing.
The mission was to interrogate the security system of a seedy bar in a once prosperous city Phoenix Park on Cadiz. Read more about this in the story section. Suffice to say the table action started as the heroes arrived in the general location to find that a government security team were already there doing exactly the same thing.
And so ends the first story set on the Typhoon Maiden. The survivors, Phesigns, Locum and Pårole (should he survive in a third world hospital), are under arrest by Decados heavies and as aliens that have broken and entered, and then killed an official, it seems unlikely they’ll be seeing daylight again for a very long time.
From a story point of view we know that the conference that was to have occurred with the Vau so long ago was an embarrassment for House Decados and that there are secrets still hidden. Whatever was in that security system is now in the hands of House Decados and not the people that hired the team of amateurs from the Typhoon Maiden.
The Typhoon Maiden itself, that monstrous city, will move through a gate to a different planet for the next story, and a new team will be generated.
My thoughts have come around again to Ornithopter, my far future Dune inspired setting. Fading Suns has always been an inspiration as it was clearly based on the same kind of artistic vision, crossed with Warhammer 40k but without some of the really outlandish stuff. I plan to draw in the material already written for Typhoon Maiden and Ornithopter into this and run a few sessions.
So in the same way as I set up the Slipstream game, I have started to prepare the tools needed to play a story telling game in this setting. Here are a few preliminary explanatory notes.
Travel between star systems is via the gate mega structures created by the extinct Anuunaki. These ring structures are anything up to a 1,000km in diameter and can therefore accommodate any sized ship known or constructible by man. Actual transition time between the systems is nearly instantaneous, with the proviso that the entire body of the ship must enter the gate before any part of it exists. Technically, therefore, there is a moment when the ship has exited the known universe (or a portion of the ship has exited, at least), and not yet reappeared. During this transition time passengers have reported the moment of ecstasy known as the Sathra experience, something that is condemned as being some kind of addictive psychotic drug and is suppressed through legally required Sathra-Baffles fitted to all ships.
Gates are opened using Jump-Keys, technological items made of the same pseudostone as the gates, imbued with psychic as well as mundane intelligence, the possession of which is jealously guarded by the Charioteer (pilots & navigators) Guild. These keys are at the limit of current human understanding. Reproduction of existing keys has become more or less reliable, but the creation of new ones coding to new gate exits is still beyond human capability.
Travel to and from the gates that lie out beyond the outermost orbit of most star systems (and this is by far the most common place for them to be – the gate in the Sol system is beyond Pluto) is by ships that accelerate part of the way, rotate and then decelerate to destination. The travel time of this set of manoeuvres averages out to be a six week one way trip: two weeks acceleration, two weeks coasting, two weeks deceleration. Once at the gate staging area, a few days can elapse as traffic control prioritise and route the waiting ship through the gate. There may be Customs interventions here as well. On the far side a similar travel time will occur to get in-system. Total typical physical travel time between inhabited planets in differing star systems is around 12 to 13 weeks, or three months.
Travel within systems consumes time in a similar fashion, using the same propulsion and steering techniques. This is not Star Trek or Star Wars. It is a little more like the depiction in Aliens, overlaid with Dune sensibilities.
Energy/fuel is acquired by distillation of the cosmic background energy. This ‘cracking vacuum’ means that fuel is effectively unlimited. However the process does take time: the fuel is consumed at a faster rate than it can be produced.
If we imagine we could get far enough above the deck to see (which you cannot because it has a ceiling), and if we imagine that the city extends only to the far side of the river, then this is pretty much how the city at the core of the Typhoon Maiden appears.
Naturally, the exact details such as the extent of greenery and specific streets may differ, but if we imagine the inside of that river system to be a contained 75 hectare (185 acre) area then we get the idea. The deck aboard ship is far more weather beaten and abused, for a start, and the comparatively low ceiling (in comparison to the genuine sky) creates a hive city feeling (perhaps like a City of Ember). Lots of opportunities for exploration and adventure there.
The main living deck of the voidship known as the Typhoon Maiden generally resembles a lowrise city. The ceiling is some four stories from the floor, and living spaces are built just like free standing buildings within that space. This creates streets, alleys, crossroads, and courtyards, and gives the whole space an organic feeling.
Originally the roof was painted in pleasing shades of blue with some cloud and was lit from concealed lamps that simulated a normal terrestrial pattern. However, over the years the roof has become dirty with smoke from cooking fires, pock marked from gun fights and generally stained to a sepia colour through countless exhalations and no maintenance (much like the polluted atmosphere of Earth, I guess). Many of the lamps have expired and have never been replaced, leaving a variable lighting system of some electric light and predominantly local solutions such as burning torches.
Architecturally the orginal design of the city was based on psychosocial engineering principles to make the spaces pleasant for human life. This tended to resemble medieval alleyways and gothic buildings, with walled courtyards, centralised fountain squares, and numerous nooks and crannies, balconies, stairways and ‘hidden treasures’. It is a very ‘human’ environment, consciously mimicing the structures of the distant past that grew from organic action rather than cold calculation of efficiency. This irony: planning to look unplanned, produces many side effects. At the simplest level the designer’s goals were achieved. Humans live and move in the spaces provided, discovering and creating ‘homes’ and finding privacy in a very densely occupied area. On the other hand the same town planning principles produces havens for filth, dark corners where murders can occur, and an almost endless choice of warrens where the venal can congregate. It is a place where washing lines are strung accross the lane, where excrement is thrown in the street, where bodies are found in the gutter, where wild street parties end in druken orgies and riots, where you can get a great meal from a trattoria that you have to find by personal direction because it is not signposted, and where you can slip into a basement bar and arrange a robbery.
This is the home of the majority of the 18,000 crew of the Typhoon Maiden: a space 1.5km by 500m (75 hectares or 185 acres).
One’s accomodation is a reflection of your wealth and power. The trading barons, for example, have multi-story homes that have walled gardens attached, where they can retire under a comparatively high ceiling and hold their parties or just meditate. The poor, of course, can be found in limited comfort apartments in one of the crumbling, sweating brown-stones.
I’ll try to be more specific on some of the streets, shops and houses in the future. But that will do for a general impression now.
Along the sides of the city, closest to the outer hull, runs a pair of canals. These canals collect the ‘rain’ water that is periodically sprayed over the city to clean it, and also any other waste water of products that is ejected from the houses. The water flows from nose to tail of the ship, where it is returned to the engine spaces for sterilisation and recycling back into the general use water. Gigantic pumps force the ‘clean’ water to the nose of the ship, producing a constant flow down the lateral canals. It is a popular place, therefore, for little boys to sail boats, lovers to sit beside, and for use as a dumping spot for bodies.
On the far side of the canals, over decorative bridges, access can be gained to the galleries that offer panoramic external views. These galleries make excellent private meeting spots and are popular places as the ship moves in system to view the planets. When in the Warp the galleries are generally shunned for fear that looking out might attract the attention of something that might want to look in.
These fellows are technically not historically accurate as there is no record of such a thing as Aztec ‘Cayman’ warriors. But they are nice little models and fit my needs for a lost civilisation based on Aztec for the Bossa Nova steampunk setting.
Eureka have quite a few Aztec offerings and despite the somewhat two-dimensional posing are pretty cute. I have an 8 man squad of these planned, and two more in more mundane outfits. This should fulfil the requirements for a force to appear out of the jungle and cause havoc amongst the civilised forces.
Painting has been low on my priority list over the last few weeks. The +1 year check ups with the medical professionals have chewed up a fair amount of my mental space. And to celebrate my survival we went camping: sun and beer and cooking in the fire generally does not fit in with painting. But now I am back to work and back to routine. My painting task list has grown to the extent that I am now being tempted by Cold War forces – though probably incorporating alternate history. Now I need a 1:48 scale T72 and BTR70… at least…