The Syndicate

Posted by on Aug 13, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

The Syndicate

Written by Spartan Franco | Tags:

As the amassed Star-fleets and Armadas of the great powers of the Galaxy do battle over the Storm Zone, another war beckons in the illicit depths of an out-of-the-way Star System in Sorylian space.

For decades, the Rift has been the home and dominion of the ruthless Vylia’sal Syndicate. From the great ‘Serendipity Heights’ they have come to rule over a vast criminal empire, keeping a relative peace between the thousands of cutthroat Marauders, Traders and Corsairs that inhabit this dark corner of the Galaxy.

But this is about to change: as a new power enters the region it soon becomes apparent that the Rift isn’t big enough for the both of them.

The Rift stands at the dawn of war as the commercial fleets of Omni-Dynamics Systems attempt to carve out a new economic empire against the wishes of The Syndicate, shattering the fragile balance of power.

New alliances will be forged, bonds and promises broken, blood will run and planets will burn as The Marauders of the Rift choose their sides and prepare for war….

The ruthless Vylia’sal Syndicate has dominated the volatile and wild region of space known as the Rift for more than fifty years. Once it was simply another player in the turbulent underworld of the lawless area. But through guile, patience and merciless violence, it grew in size and power to such an extent that it is now the closest thing the Rift has to an actual government.

The Syndicate was founded by the devious Aquan former diplomat Tauris Vylia’sal and a handful of compatriots from the Sebrutan. Over time it has come to count a great many other races, most notably humans, amongst its membership. The Syndicate’s members are less concerned with species loyalty than they are with turning in a healthy profit by the easiest means.

The Syndicate either controls or at least has interests in almost every aspect of the Rift’s legal and illegal business. It runs protection rackets, smuggling operations, counterfeiting rings, gun-running agencies and illegal narcotics factories. It even holds the Rift Traders League in thrall, giving it effective control of most merchant traffic in the region.

Although it counts many corsair groups among its employees, the Syndicate also has powerful armed strength of its own. To protect the many profitable enterprises that sustain it, the Syndicate maintains a potent space fleet. Such is its size and wealth that many of the vessels it uses are purpose-built for the organisation’s needs.

Half a century of ruling the Rift virtually as their fiefdom has made the Syndicate somewhat complacent. However that is soon to change. Neither Tauris Vylia’sal nor his inner circle of trusted subordinates are willing to surrender any of their power or influence to upstart invaders, no matter who they are. And so the Syndicate mobilises its mighty fleet for war, eager to demonstrate exactly how and why they have dominated the Rift for so long.

The Syndicate – Modular Way Station

The Syndicate’s nerve centre in the Rift is the huge Way Station known as ‘Serendipity Heights’. It is from here that Tauris Vylia’sal governs his underworld empire. The station itself is a centre for legal and illegal trade from across the Rift. It is also renowned as a ‘free port’ for marauders and corsairs of all stripes – as long as they do not cross the Syndicate, of course.

The Syndicate - Modular Way Station

The Syndicate - Modular Way Station

Serendipty Heights is typical of the many Way Stations scattered across nearly every part of known space. Huge in size, it is heavily defended with all manner of weapons systems, from huge turret-mounted massdrivers to scores of lesser energy and projectile weapons mounted in cupolas, casemates and embrasures all over its vast surface.

The Syndicate - Modular Way Station

The Syndicate - Modular Way Station

As well as its emplaced weaponry, the station also has enough hangar capacity to house large numbers of fighter craft to provide protection against attack by enemy strike craft. Large numbers of militia and heavily-armed guard details, together with numerous smaller point defence systems protect the station from direct assault by enemy boarding parties.

Even when totally isolated, a Way Station such as Serendipity Heights is a formidable opponent capable of holding off a fair-sized corsair flotilla. However, such installations are always extremely valuable to their owners and are never left unguarded.

The Syndicate - Modular Way Station

The Syndicate - Modular Way Station

This is certainly the case with the Syndicate’s headquarters, which always has a potent sentinel-fleet in attendance. When necessary the Way Station, like others of its kind, can function as an anvil against which the enemy can be smashed by the powerful hammer-blows of its attendant guardian ships.

The Way Station model we have created is highly modular and will continually evolve as a model as new pieces are released. As you can see from the renders provided in this article, you can represent Serendipity Heights as a small or gigantic entity. Watch out for new blog entries that specifically focus on the Way Station model, how all the different parts will be packaged and sold. For now enjoy the renders which show you how the various parts can be assembled to create a simple space platform or how hundreds of parts can assemble an entire city in space.

The Syndicate – Phantom Class Battleship

The most powerful warships in the Syndicate’s arsenal are Phantom Class Battleships. These potent giants of the void form the solid core of the cartel’s spaceborne military strength. They frequently serve as flagships for Syndicate fleet leaders and other notables. Tauris Vylia’sal himself favours a Phantom named the Chancemaker as his personal vessel when conducting business away from Serendipity Heights.

The Syndicate – Phantom Class Battleship

The Syndicate – Phantom Class Battleship

The Phantom is a product of Dindrenzi and Directorate shipbuilding expertise. It is built for longer-ranged engagements, employing heavy firepower to overwhelm the opposition.

Its strong, streamlined hull is studded with railguns and massdrivers, mounted in gun racks and turrets for heavy firepower in all directions. Its weaponry is completed by a potent forward plasma projector capable of ripping apart a cruiser.

Phantoms are status symbols as well as fighting ships, especially for cartels such as the Syndicate. As a result they are surprisingly ornate for warships, internally and externally.

Phantoms are built to order by several smaller corporations within the Directorate. True to form, the builders ask no questions of their clients and these mighty ships have turned up in the service of all kinds of organisations across known space.

The Syndicate – Spur Class Heavy Cruiser

Like the Phantom Class Battleship, the Spur is also designed first and foremost as a heavily armed gunship. Effectively a scaled-down Phantom, the Spur is also armed with large numbers of rapid-firing railguns in gun rack and turrets, and a powerful forward plasma launcher.

The Syndicate – Spur Class Heavy Cruiser

The Syndicate – Spur Class Heavy Cruiser

The Syndicate uses its Spurs as enforcement ships when a Phantom is unavailable or the assignment is not deemed important enough to warrant a battleship. A squadron of Spurs with their powerful weaponry and sleek, sinister profiles are usually more than enough to intimidate a rebellious asteroid colony or stubborn corsair commander.

Spurs also make very effective spy ships, another use to which the Syndicate has been quick to put them. Spurs can hack into enemy command and control networks, filtering valuable information back to their fleet’s commander.

Like Phantoms, Spurs are constructed mainly within the Directorate for all kinds of buyers. They have seen use in many areas of space, especially poorly-policed regions such as the Rift. The information provided by the Spur can often make the vital difference between victory and destruction.

The Syndicate are one of the factions that will be appearing in the upcoming Marauders of the Rift Campaign Guide.