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BattleTech Kickstarter Update #28: Campaign Setting Details

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BattleTech Kickstarter Update #28: Campaign Setting Details

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Wed 29 June 2016, 01:17:38

Tags: BattleTech; Harebrained Schemes; Kiva Maginn; Mike McCain

We haven't heard much about BattleTech over the last few months, possibly because Harebrained Schemes are focused on their other game, Necropolis, which is due for release next month. Today, a new sign of life - a Kickstarter update introducing Design Lead Kevin Maginn, who holds the Sawyer-esque dual role of systems designer and lead worldbuilder. The update is about the latter aspect in particular. It introduces the Aurigan Reach, a region of the Periphery region of the BattleTech universe that Harebrained have invented to serve as the game's setting. Here's a snippet from its history:

The rimward area of the Periphery (what looks like ‘south’ on a map) includes a lightly-settled region that’s known as the Aurigan Reach. While once divided between the Magistracy of Canopus, the Taurian Concordat, and the Capellan Confederation, all three withdrew from the region during the wars, preferring to hold more secure borders and less marginal systems. The distant, poorly-developed worlds of the Reach weren’t worth the danger of overextending one’s power, given the sudden brutality of the Succession Wars.

The Capellans, hard-pressed by their rivals in the Inner Sphere, were first to abandon the Aurigan Reach, and by 2798 they’d withdrawn to a new, more defensible line, from Repulse to Rollis, leaving over a dozen systems to their own devices. The Taurians, in the wake of the disastrous and humiliating Taurian-Canopian War in 2813, turned away from expansionism, and likewise abandoned their Reach holdings. The Magistracy was the last to hold on to any Reach systems, but their claim was always more of a line drawn in the sand against the Taurians than any real colonial ambition; by 2840, their military forces were withdrawn to their own borders, leaving a vast and lawless region behind.

Power cannot tolerate a vacuum, though, and many of the abandoned systems had significant populations, industry, and commerce. Four of those systems were particularly well-suited to continue on as though still part of an interstellar civilization: Coromodir, Itrom, Tyrlon and Guldra. Trade between them continued, and the network of JumpShips continued to serve them, and through them some of the nearby, more marginal systems.

Of the four, Coromodir was the wealthiest and retained the most infrastructure and technology from the Taurian colonization. Two major mercantile houses, the Arano family and the Espinosa family, dominated the remains of the Taurian-led economy, and were natural leaders for the newly independent world. In 2820, the Arano family displaced the figurehead governor the Taurians had left behind, and with the support of the Espinosa family, Wiremu Arano ascended to the governorship.

This independence and leadership was needed as the Taurians withdrew from the remainder of the Reach over the next 20 years. By the time the withdrawal was complete, the Aurigan Reach was a haven for pirates and renegades, warlords setting up their own petty kingdoms, and worse.

In 2860, the Arano and Espinosa families approached their counterparts on Itrom, Guldra and Tyrlon with a proposal: a mutual protection and trade agreement that would allow coordinated and unified responses to the plague of piracy. As the primary financier of the agreement, the Arano representative was given executive authority over the newly formed Aurigan Trade Partnership.

By 2910, there had been a half-century for the ties between the four systems to deepen into alliances. Uniting the eight most powerful noble families of the Aurigan Reach, Keona Arano formalized the Partnership into a government, with herself positioned as High Lady. The other Founding Lords and Ladies sat at her side as members of her advisory council. This new state declared itself the Aurigan Coalition.

Over the next fifty years, the Coalition grew and incorporated many other nearby systems, most of them former Capellan holdings. This included the industrial world of Mechdur, which was already successful and self-sufficient; when Mechdur joined, the Coalition gained access to a powerful industrial and manufacturing engine that allowed for a much higher standard of living than other systems of the Reach could sustain.

The Coalition’s inexorable growth was not simply ignored by its neighbors, though. The Taurian Concordat wasn’t threatened by a simple trade partnership, but now the Coalition was beginning to look like an expansionist state, and a possible rival. It didn’t help matters than some of the systems the Coalition was annexing were former Taurian holdings, many with industrial and technological resources left behind in the withdrawal.

By the second decade of the new millennium, tensions had risen to the point where the Taurians sent a dedicated envoy to their new neighbor state to discuss the legal status of several border worlds, most particularly Qalzi, which the Taurians insisted was still a viable colony and thus under their control. The matter was quickly tangled in treaty negotiations and diplomatic red tape, and the conflict continued to simmer right up to the present day.

Now the powerful and indomitable scion of the Arano family, High Lord Tamati Arano II, has been lost in a tragic space travel accident. His daughter and heir, Lady Kamea Arano, must prepare herself to navigate her state through the dangerous pathways of the Succession Wars. Conflict with the Taurians threatens on one border, and on the other looms the vast power of the Capellan state and its devious ruling family, House Liao; meanwhile internal dissension threatens the prosperity her family has nurtured for over two centuries.
The update also contains a detailed description of how Kevin and the rest of the team "found" and developed this new region. What do you think, BattleTech lore experts?

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