Friday, 5 April 2013

E is for Eagle's Nest


Back in the early 22nd century warp drive vessels became cheap enough for all kinds of small companies and political fringe groups to go of into space and found colonies. Some very nasty racist and sectarian groups took the chance to set up their own warped ideas of utopia, including some neo-Nazis. Most people on Earth at the time thought 'good riddance', and most of the colonies didn't do well, collapsing into faction fighting and pissing off their neighbours and getting invaded and broken up. But there are persistent rumours of the existence of 'Eagle's Nest', a Nazi planet that has remained stable and prospered in isolation for 200 years and now allegedly constitutes a major threat to Known World security.

No one knows where it is. Sightings of alleged Nazi starships come from all over the rimward end of Known Space, conspiracy theorists are sure that they ply well known space lanes in disguise.

One well known world with a neo-Nazi presence is Orpheus, their colony here is small, but it does provide some insight as to how the fabled Eagle's Nest might work.

Orpheus


463 Aquila E 757 64A 7 Agricultural, Garden


Orpheus has a population of 7 million in four colonies. The oldest is Asgard, founded early in the expansion period by American white supremacists. The planet has a thin oxygen/nitrogen atmosphere, a well developed ecosystem with a full range of native animals and plants with plenty of Terran imports doing well, but it is a bit on the cold side.

The Asgardians have only 750,000 people and a small subcontinent left. They successfully captured and enslaved the occupants of a number of colony ships from a diverse range of nations in their early decades, but eventually a large contingent from Vietnam landed far enough away from them and were sufficiently well armed and warned about their presence to fight them off. The Asgardians had not managed to maintain a very high tech level – crucial minerals on Asgard are not as accessible as they are on Earth and they had a habit of ideologically purging educated personnel – and their outdated weaponry failed to make an impact

The Vietnamese were soon joined by Khazaks, Egyptians and French Canadians. Thirty years ago the Asgardians attempted to take over the planet and made great inroads thanks to an unexpected nuclear strike, but an alliance of all three colonies, plus forces from neighbouring planets, the European Union – the Asgardians had captured a ship load of Italian colonists early in their history – and a foreign legion of anti-fascist activists and adventurers from across Known Space counter invaded. The war eventually bogged down into a stalemate, and an armistice signed.

The current major power, with 4 million inhabitants, is the Orphean League, a rather grim but multi-racial police state which controls the bulk of the former Asgardian territories. They are subject to frequent uprisings and rebellions from ex-Asgardian citizens, 'forcing' the government to impose serious limits on local freedoms. They have resorted to forced internal migration and outright off-planet deportation to control them, and re-education camps allegedly exist in the boondocks of the world. A fair proportion of the younger ex Asgardians have become normal enough, but the population was subjected to a century and a half of vehemently racist propaganda and the erosion of this mindset has been slow.

The Asgardians live behind a massively fortified frontier, and can only maintain a tech level of 5 due to massive destruction of industrial capacity and trade restrictions. They can manage TL 7 genetics though, and a corps of certified 'Purifiers' have everyone's DNA on record. Those who carry what they define as 'impure genes' are given the choice of sterilisation or deportation, and encourage those the regime deems fittest to have numerous children. There are known to be barracks like boarding schools where hundreds of children are 'educated'. The many small farming communities are given a lot of independence, but sadly they just compete to be more hard line than the next lot, with councils of wilfully ignorant and brutal farmworkers monitoring each other's every utterance for deviation from the ideological norm. The one remaining town is, on the surface, quite pleasant. The Asgardians are desperate for foreign currency, technology and trade and go out of their way to give a good impression to outsiders. The model town is of course inhabited by an army of informers and secret police, and has many foreign infiltrators equipped with cybernetic implants from a variety of secret police forces on the look out for evidence of links with Eagle's Nest.

Adventure Hooks

  • PCs offered a mission to be dropped in a deserted area inside Asgardian territory to spy on a military testing range where they appear to have a suspiciously high tech artillery system.
  • An Asgardian exile met on a different world claims that his DNA changed between the mandatory test at birth and a later update. He claims the Orpheans are releasing a retro virus into Asgardian airspace infecting people with mutant genes, a blatant crime against humanity. The Asgardians are bastards but do they deserve this? Or is the guy a raving paranoiac?
  • The Orphean police have a standing list of wanted Nazis whose location is unknown. Fancy some bounty hunting? Maybe some have fled to Eagle's Nest if you follow the trail long and hard enough...
  • A shipload of diehard rebels have been deported from Orpheus and taken in by the Adelbert Corporation on Epsilon. What the hell do they want with these racist lunatics? Load the fools with cybernetic implants and use them as 'special security' when the war against the New Canaanites comes?
  • What really happens in those Asgardian schools? The rumours are lurid to say the least, but hard data would be nice – might even enable the Orpheans to get enough military aid to restart the war.
  • Reformed Odinism has become popular among the New Age set on a rich and heavily populated world. The usual moral panic and rumours of a cult are going about, but a local reporter thinks the leader is in fact an exiled Asgardian, which puts a different complexion on things.