“Planet Durgan” © 2015 Jack Iain Munro, used with permission

Pronunciation: DUR-gun
Name of the people: Durganite (sing.) / Durganites (pl.)

Durgan is a planet of small continents and archipelagos with a temperate climate and warm
oceans. It is here that men and women take up the ancient art of the sword in its various
forms and are often acclaimed as masters of melee combat. Along with their martial
prowess, they are a studious people rich in philosophy, and tend to study one of the eight
Virtues at the respective temple (loyalty, honour, valour, truth, justice, faith, charity and
mercy) and thereafter strive to apply its ethos to daily life. A type of sword is associated with
each of the Virtues – the rapier for honour, the double-handed sword for valour, etc. This is
not to say that in order to study a particular style of swordsmanship one must study the
associated virtue, though it’s seldom that one will go without the other.

Before colonisation, scientists studied the planet from afar to ensure its viability as a longterm
habitat. As soon as scans revealed a habitable climate, atmosphere and the presence
of water, it was a simple case of landing and exploring the surface, with the first landfall
taking place in 4889. The initial settlement was Swanpool, but this was quickly superseded
by the city of Harpthorne, which would become the planet’s capital. The tall, lean buildings
and lighthouses that guard Harpthorne’s harbour paint a picture of peace, despite the hustle
and bustle of the city below.

Heading the colonisation of Durgan was John Ivanhoe, a man known for his studies of
various ancient martial sword techniques. Naturally, many that followed him held similar
interests, and once the colony was fully established he set up the Temple of the Sword that,
in time, would become the Temple of Truth in Harpthone – now one of eight separate
Temples of the Sword, each dedicated to a Virtue. He would not live to see how influential
and widespread his Way of Virtue would become. Those wishing to study the Virtues enrol in
the Temples, and each year’s group of graduates are the focus of the annual Festival of the
Forging, a ceremony for those leaving a Temple after completing their studies. This festival
lasts for a week, and marks the point at which the student becomes a master of their chosen
art, forging their own sword and proving it in combat with one of their teachers. This proving
is more ceremonial than a true test of mettle, and is often just an exchange of a few blows
before the student is considered to be proven. This tradition was instituted by Ivanhoe, and
is sometimes referred to as the Founder’s Festival in his memory.

The many seas of Durgan are littered with ocean-going vessels of all types and the oceans
yield a bountiful supply of all manner of fish. Many Durganites find employment as
shipwrights, fishermen, farmers, and merchants who cross the oceans on trade runs. It is not
only the merchants and fishermen who spend so much time on the oceans. Those
undertaking a traditional Durganite pastime of sailing and rowing exercise their rights to
practice on open waters for future events. These sports that train the body and endorse
teamwork and unity are held in high regard and seen as important factors by the populace,
and by the Temples that sponsor them. As a result, boat racing on the coasts and in the
seas are celebrated events that have become frequent since the days of settlement.

The military of Durgan are easily identifiable as they often carry a sword as part of their basic
kit. To allow for effective use of melee weapons in the field, most regiments from Durgan
take the form of light infantry units, designed for quick movement and flexibility in battle, able
to switch between ranged and melee combat with ease.

Inspiration for characterisation: Cornwall, Yorkshire, Scottish islands, abbeys and ancient
places of learning, knights, chivalry, the age of Romance, sea-faring nations.

4889: Durgan is colonised by three landing parties. The first, aboard The Deliverance, lands on the sea and is destroyed by hostile sea creatures. The second, The Swanpool, and the third, The Harpthorne, manage to safely settle on the largest land mass and eventually establish the cities of the same names. John Ivanhoe, later considered the founding figure of Durgan, founds the first three Temples – Faith, Valour and Truth – as part of the colonisation effort in order to teach and assist the new Durganites.

4889–4950: Entrepreneurs flock to Durgan to settle as there is very little need for terraforming. Many of these groups land on the islands, away from the main colonies that are slowly forming themselves into a government based on the Temples.

4950–4960: Disagreements between the established cities and outlying islands leads to civil unrest. Inhabitants of the outlying islands wish to remain independent of the Durgan government and its Virtues. In 4960, they form a coalition against the government, breaking their swords as a symbolic gesture of their defiance and a denial of the Way of Virtue. They are dubbed the Broken Sword.

4960–4970: The First Civil War. Outright warfare erupts between the government and the Broken Sword. The government restricts all traffic between Durgan and the outside world for fear of the coalition rebels gaining resources and allies. This ban causes a shortage in firearms and modern munitions across the planet, causing production of more archaic weapons, such as swords and other melee weapons, to become commonplace on both sides. The Temples of Justice, Loyalty and Honour are founded in response to this war and to counter the rhetoric of the Broken Swords.

4975: The Durgan government wins the war and unifies the planet. Traffic restrictions between Durgan and the outside world are lifted. The Temples of Charity, Mercy and Diligence are founded to help soothe the tensions of the newly reunified society. However, the Broken Swords go underground and, for the next hundred years or so, irregularly commit small acts of terrorism.

4980–4995: A period of peace descends on Durgan, as infrastructure and exploration develops across the planet.

4997: The One Bakkar attack and blockade the Segovax cluster, preventing resources from reaching its planets from the rest of the Terran Sovereignty. Durgan is one of the planets that begins to muster to meet this threat.

5000–5010: High General T. Barker takes control of Durgan in the year 5000 to combat this invasion from the One Bakkar and acts as a dictator with the quiet assent of the Temples. Over the next ten years, his regime gives funding to the Durgan military and expands it extensively. New laws reform Durgan’s academic facilities, including the Temples, to become more militaristic in order to prepare for a One Bakkar attack. Conscription is extended to all Durganites aged between 21 and 35. Temple attendance is made compulsory for younger citizens to train them for the military.

5012: Several worlds in the Segovax Cluster unite to form the Green Cloaks taskforce. 100 new fighting units are formed on Durgan to support the war effort, including the 109th Light Infantry, which joins the taskforce.

5000–5041: Durgan continues to supply the war effort with arms and steel for all manner of higher-grade weapons, especially swords. All the combat takes place off-world, however, and support for Barker’s dictatorship begins to wane.

5041: General Barker dies and his son attempts to claim the right to rule Durgan as his natural successor. This ends when he is overturned by the nine Temples, who reassert themselves and begin to form their own government.

5041–5115: Durgan is overseen by these old governments, with each Temple overseeing the region around it. Whilst they act independently, all the Temples vow to work together to keep Durgan strong as a whole.

5138–5160: The Insurgency. Sporadic uprisings and terrorist attacks occur across Durgan. The cause of these attacks is never known, but the Broken Swords are suspected to be the source. This leads the nine Temple governments to become more authoritarian, which only worsens the unrest and adds to the fear of the enemy within.

5160: The Dreadfall. An armed insurgency against the Temple of Diligence from the Broken Sword destroys the Temple and its home settlement in a horrific attack, which is known today as the Dreadfall. The area is abandoned and becomes known as the Ridgewell Depression.

5161: In retaliation, the Temples of Valour, Honour and Justice redouble their campaign against the Broken Sword and seemingly wipe them out. The Greenblades are founded by the Temple of Loyalty as wardens who will remain vigilant for further Broken Sword attacks. At the same time, the Justicars are established by the Temple of Justice to actively hunt down the remnants of the Broken Sword.

5161–5165: In the wake of this insurgency, many Durganies begin to question the rule of the nine governments. This leads to a referendum in 5165, the resulting decision being to form a single unified government. The Temples become academic institutions once again and relinquish the rule of their regions.

5166: The first Prime Delegate of Durgan, Rodry Thomas, is elected democratically by the people of Durgan. The Temples contribute to the new administration with advisors and provide assistance in other ways.

5170: After lengthy debate between the Prime Delegate and the Temples, it is decided that both the Greenblades and the Justicars are to separate from their Temples. They forswear their former allegiances and become direct servants of the state.

5170–5220: The Temples gradually reduce their emphasis on military doctrines as the One Bakkar pressure eases up on Durgan. The Temples begin to resemble their original forms once again, but martial teaching is still a fundamental part of their philosophy and practice.

5170–5300: Collaboration between the newly united states leads to a technological revolution. Technology that harnesses Durgan’s environmental resources is developed, for energy production and for other purposes, and these technologies are brought into wider circulation.

5202: Swanpool is nearly destroyed by a tsunami following a series of volcanic eruptions near its coastline. This spurs on the technological revolution as the city is entirely rebuilt.

5256: The One Bakkar manage to reach Terra, but a vrede fleet ambushes and destroys their vanguard. Communications between Durgan and Terra fail for the next century, so news of this does not reach the Segovax Cluster for many years. Durgan finds itself only able to contact other planets in the Segovax Cluster.

5300: Contact Lost. After several decades of no contact, Durgan assumes that it and the other Segovax planets have been abandoned by Terra. The planet aims to become self reliant and, whilst the Temples themselves have become relatively demilitarised, the
government still maintains its militaristic policy.

5325–5600: Unknown to the inhabitants of the Segovax Cluster, Terran forces begin to fight back against the One Bakkar and return to the Segovax Cluster. Durgan itself, for a time, is focused upon by the One Bakkar threat.

5325: Mascen begin to flock to Durgan, as to the other planets, and are met with a mixed reception. With the new pressure put on Durgan by the focus of the One Bakkar, the newly arriving mascen are forced into conscription to aid in the defence of the planet. Those who are unable to fight are forced to live in refugee camps established by the Durgan Temples.

5326: With the influx of mascen into the refugee camps and the Durgan forces, there is great unrest as their various tribes are forced to mix with one another. Territorial disputes break out, and the Durgan government responds by quelling each in a heavy-handed manner, believing the mascen to simply be ill-disciplined. As such, it is declared that all Mascen children must receive a Durgan education in the hope of teaching them discipline and dispelling their perceived feral ways. They are made to attend boarding schools, removing them from their families.

5327–5340: Disputes continue to break out amongst the mascen, with a clear resentment building towards Durganites. In the Durgan Defence Force, mascen soldiers prove to be formidable shock troopers, but become increasingly unresponsive to commands, instead charging headlong into battle. Riots break out in the refugee camps, their inhabitants demanding the return of their children. Believing that mascen only respond to shows of power, the Durgan Forces establish permanent policing units to quell any disturbances.

5330–5528: The War for Durgan. The One Bakkar’s siege of Durgan begins in earnest with the battle that would become known as Thirty Minutes at Pirren’s Head, during which the One Bakkar lead a lightning spearhead assault against the Durgan military headquarters, with the intention of crippling Durgan’s command structure. However, Durgan’s strategic command had expected and prepared for such a manoeuvre: the One Bakkar forces are taken by surprise as they are met by fierce resistance and seemingly impenetrable defences, causing them to suffer significant casualties. In response, the One Bakkar adapt their tactics, deciding for the majority of the campaign to focus instead on the less well defended settlements of the planet with the hope of grinding down both Durgan’s supply chain and the morale of the defenders.

5350–5400: With educated mascen increasingly integrating back into their home culture, tensions in the refugee camps begin to decline. As such, Pilgrims of the Way are given permission to enter the Mascen camps under invitation of these younger mascen. The Pilgrims slowly begin to form an understanding of mascen culture, and in turn the mascen learn more about that of Durgan. On the front lines, mascen and Durganite soldiers begin to form bonds of respect for each other and cooperation improves.

5360–5372: The Siege of Kettlewell. The One Bakkar flood the Dales of Kettlewell with waves of troops, driving the garrison of the region – the 30th “Cast Iron 30” Armoured – into retreat. In retaliation, half of Durgan’s military is mobilised to reinforce them. This eventually pushes the enemy back to remote footholds, but the Durgan Defence Force suffers extremely high casualties. This leads to a return to the policies of High General Barker, with compulsory conscription for all able-bodied Durganites up to the age of 40.

5403–5408: The next major One Bakkar assault on Durgan’s surface is countered with much more success thanks to increased conscription rates. Over the next five years, the One Bakkar are driven back out and into New Rhineland. In this deeply forested province, the One Bakkar ground forces are cut off and systematically destroyed by the 109th and 184th Light Infantry Regiments, cementing the close bond of these two units.

5430–5530: With the gradual success of the Pilgrims of the Way forming a bond of understanding between mascen and Durganite cultures, it is agreed that the mascen tribes will be permitted to establish homes outside of the confines of their refugee camps. Whilst Durgan society as a whole still treats the mascen with suspicion, the relationship between the two cultures slowly begins to heal as they become more cooperative.

5528: The last great attack of the One Bakkar on Durgan is defeated and the War for Durgan is considered over. After rearming and replacing their losses, Durgan’s military is mobilised elsewhere across the Segovax Cluster. The 109th Light Infantry achieve significant victories alongside the rest of the Green Cloaks taskforce. Further attacks on Durgan occur, but the planet begins to enjoy some peace thanks to its experienced and battle hardened defence force, as well as an emphasis on both aerial and orbital superiority.

5535: With the relations and respect between the mascen and Durganites continuing to build, and tensions on Durgan beginning to abate, the Mascen Pact is signed by the Durgan government. The Mascen Pact formally accepts all mascen on Durgan as Durgan citizens, to be treated in every way as equals. Following this, many of the Temples welcome mascen scholars and teachers, and mascen culture becomes an accepted part of the Durgan curriculum.

5577: Contact Regained. Terra re-establishes contact with the Segovax Cluster. The Durgan government at last loosens its military policies, reducing the requirement of conscription to only affect those aged between 21 and 25 and only requiring a service of two years with the Durgan Defence Force.

5700–5750: The tae’go openly reveal themselves to the Terran Sovereignty. Following the lessons learnt from mascen integration, the Durgan government is careful to ensure that the tae’go feel welcome, and efforts are made to establish an understanding between the two cultures. They begin to join Durgan society properly and find themselves settling on the outlying islands. These groups are isolated, but they form strong bonds with the existing island cultures.

5600–6000: Durgan’s modern era begins. Whilst it continues to pour people and steel into the war effort, Durgan truly begins to develop and becomes a significant contributor in the Segovax Cluster, improving its trade and support with the other planets.

5731: Battle of Tressider’s Point. The One Bakkar send a carrier group of void ships to attack Durgan and put pressure on the home front. Intel suggests that the One Bakkar plan to destroy one of the planet’s founding cities and a vital spaceport in order to stem its lines of supply to the main war effort and shock the populace into indecision. The short aerial confrontation is bloody, but a decisive victory for Durgan. One of the attack waves is thwarted when Durgan pilots manage to shepherd the One Bakkar bombers into a gulley riddled with Pilot’s Panic, causing their engines to clog and fail. After this last-ditch attempt, no more attacks on Durgan by One Bakkar occur.

5861: The Myr’na Embassy to Durgan is founded in Little Haven. The ambassadorship is given to the Kaneko clan.

6012: The Invasion of Zennor. The One Bakkar return to the Segovax Cluster, invading the planet of Zennor en masse. The Terran Sovereignty retaliates in force and calls the Green Cloaks taskforce, including the 109th Light Infantry, to the forefront of the fighting. Durgan sees Zennor as something of a sister planet given their similar geography, idyllic nature, and emphasis on education and culture. As a result, the planet rallies its forces to Zennor’s side quickly and efficiently.

6015: The latest Durgan democratic election results in the instatement of Prime Delegate Brown as the new political leader. Brown’s new government places emphasis on the military, in the fashion of the Barkerite party, and replaces the former Prime Delegate McAlly, who had favoured the more Temple-focused policies of the Virtue Councillors.

6017: The Liberation of Zennor. The One Bakkar hold upon Zennor is finally broken, partially through the agency of the Green Cloaks taskforce. The 109th Light Infantry joins the Green Cloaks assault on the One Bakkar leader, General Fayr, and she is slain along with the last of her command.

Identity and Personality

The people of Durgan owe much of who they are to the teachings of Ivanhoe, leader of the colonists of Durgan, and these teachings are made manifest by the Virtues. The Virtues offer structure, purpose and clarity; they are household words and the source of many proverbs. However, they are not what defines Durgan itself. The planet has been shaped by its history as much as by the lessons of the Virtues. It is home to a genuine, thoughtful people given to reflection and commemoration of what has gone before, though this reflection is not necessarily quiet.

Years of siege by the One Bakkar and lack of interplanetary communication forced Durganites to the seas in order to travel and trade. In the more coastal regions, these skills are still retained for practical reasons, though they have become less commonplace elsewhere, especially with the lifting of the One Bakkar blockade. However, this influence is still felt: many Durganites now explore the great void of space, trading, fighting, or otherwise, in the spirit of their ancestors. Closer to home, antique naval paraphernalia is kept in many Durgan homes and sea shanties are commonplace.

Nevertheless, Durganites are a severe people. Whilst Durgan is one of the most idyllic planets in the Segovax Cluster, free from choking cities and punishing pollution, its people have endured the horrors of warfare on an industrial scale, contributing as many fighting folk and steel to Terra’s war as all of the more populous planets. As a result, everybody knows somebody who has died in war, and Durganites are not unprepared for the prospect of death. It is in the nature of Durganites of all nations to stomach adversity and persevere. They trust in one another and the guidance of the Virtues, and try to focus on the future when faced by tragedy or defeat. Likewise, humour on Durgan is generally sardonic and ironic, finding refuge in dark comedy.

Equality and Individualism on Durgan

“People are not born equal, but they may live as equals” – traditional Durgan proverb

Durgan has a social hierarchy like many other planets, with each individual providing their own resources and wealth, while at the same time holding to a utopian ideal that everyone is socially equal, a philosophy that is ingrained into Durgan culture for a number of reasons.

The early introduction of the Way of Virtue into the planet’s society has led to over a thousand years of social influence from the Temples and their teachings. The Virtues teach a basic respect for fellow sentient creatures and engender a desire to understand others and strive alongside others towards a common goal. Durgan’s difficult history has also forged its people together with a common spirit. In the face of hardship and death, all beings are equal. Likewise, it is recognised that a person’s birth – a matter of pure luck -
does not dictate their worth.

There is a common misconception among those of other planets that the Way of Virtue is a religion. In truth, of all the Terran cultures of the Segovax Cluster, Durganite culture is arguably the most secular. For the most part, no gods are worshipped and no commandments or religious strictures must be followed. However, a few Durganites do regard the Virtues as a religion, seeing John Ivanhoe as a sort of messiah, but they are a minority and such ideas are often met with hostility when encountered in public. Otherwise, those who do follow religions, such as immigrants from Ardheim, are treated with the same respect as those who do not.

In this way, Durgan society intends to achieve the good intentions of Terra’s old faiths and remove the fanaticism that caused strife between those of different faiths. They have maintained the teachings whilst casting off a divine figure or authority that could cause conflict. They recognise that Terrans, be they human, mascen, or otherwise, have done much when united. No distinction is made between race, culture, sex, or gender by the Durganite people. All of the Virtues, and the Temples that teach them, reinforce this, placing emphasis on respect for the individual, the betterment of oneself, and the betterment of one’s surroundings.

Spirituality

“All life originates in the ocean; so shall it return” – traditional Durgan proverb

Even though Durgan is a secular culture, some ritualistic habits remain. These elements come not only from the guidance the Virtues provide, but also from the ocean, given that most of Durgan’s food, drinking water, travel, and commerce comes from or is based on water. As such, Durganites are known to show special care for their planet’s environment and its wildlife, seeking to protect it from the harms of industrialisation and pollution.

A common belief on Durgan is that all life originates from the ocean, so it shall return to the ocean in the end. This has led to many funeral rites being carried out by the ocean or in water, with the central belief that the essence of the deceased will eventually return to the ocean that gave it life. The concept of an afterlife is seen as strange and foreign but, to most Durganites who contemplate such things, the most common assertion on the matter is that if there is an afterlife it had better be just as beautiful as Durgan.

Other forms of practice exist on Durgan, carried on in tradition or born from a mixing of cultures in the huge, diverse expanse of space. Meditation is not unheard of, as is chanting, but these are personal practices for the individual’s self-reflection and peace of mind rather than extensions of religious praxis.

Rites of Passage and Festivals

Marriage

Weddings on Durgan are a relatively simple affair. It is common to have a temple-based wedding, but these are short and purely ceremonial. Such ceremonies usually consist of one or more ribbons, each representing a Virtue, being tied around the hands of the betrothed; each of these ribbons and their associated Virtues also represent a vow made by the couple for their marriage. The ribbons from this ceremony are usually displayed above the marriage bed, but Durganites have been known to carry them with them, especially if separated from their partner for a significant amount of time. To symbolise a dissolvement of a marriage, it is ceremonial practice to then cut these ribbons.

This practice is not required on Durgan, but it is commonplace. After – or in place of – such a ceremony, a wedding party takes place. Durganite wedding parties are famous for their drinking, feasting and friendly honour duels. High-profile weddings have been known to feature cakes with multiple layers, symbolising each of the Virtues and their respective vows. Traditional vows of a Durgan wedding include:

  • Truth – To vow to live honestly with each other and to always know of each other’s burdens, needs and desires.
  • Loyalty – To take each another’s burdens and treat them as your own, to always stand by your partner and support them.
  • Justice – To treat each other fairly, standing as equals, and to never waver from your oaths of bonding.
  • Honour – To always uphold the dignity of your partner; to never cheat, lie or act in any other way that may be seen to be unfaithful to the partnership.
  • Valour – To show courage in times of hardship; to step up to any challenge to ensure the wellbeing of the partnership, no matter how daunting.
  • Faith – To trust in the actions, honesty and integrity of your partner, and to take their advice and beliefs as seriously as you would take your own.
  • Charity – To share all that you own with each other as equals; to aspire to fulfil each other’s desires and to always remember those who brought together your union.
  • Mercy – To care for each other through sickness and health. To look to your partner’s needs as highly as your own and to be forgiving of each other’s mistakes.

Death Rites

When a Durganite dies the body is often cremated. Some of the ashes are then interred in a special urn (known as a Vessel) to be used as ink in symbolic remembrance tattoos for those that wish to carry them; it is not uncommon for the elders of a Durgan family to be covered in these tattoos, signifying both their age and how important their family has been to them. Following this, it is commonplace for the remaining ashes to be scattered at a place that was important to the individual during their life – usually atop a cliff or on the shores of the sea.

With the importance that Durganites place on personal weaponry, many weapons are placed in grand cemeteries and wilderness parks. The weapon itself serves as the deceased’s gravestone, having its base set in concrete, which the family may visit to remember their deceased loved ones. To loot these swords is seen as a despicable crime, equivalent to treason; an entire organisation known as the Greenblades serves to protect these cemeteries and parks from potential grave robbers and looters.

The Grand Tournament

Since the foundation of the first Temples of Virtue on Durgan, it has been part of the planet’s culture to train in the ways of the sword. The Temples have always striven to provide the best education to those who study within their walls, and as such a tradition was established in which all of the Temples would send their most accomplished warriors to compete in the annual festival of the Grand Tournament, held in mid-Autumn.

The Grand Tournament is a gruelling contest in which the competitors must prove themselves in combat. Each Temple submits eight teams to the tournament, each consisting of four combatants. One team from each of the Temples forms into a single group, making eight competing groups for qualifications. During the qualifications, every team competes against one another, with their success and defeats being tallied. Once all the teams have fought, the two teams at the top of each of the eight groups progress to the elimination stage of the tournament.

During the eliminations, the two teams are paired up against each other in stages. To progress to the next stage, each team must defeat their opponents, with the losers being eliminated and the victors progressing. However, at each progressive stage, each team must remove one of their members until, at the fourth stage, the last two teams compete against each other in single combat.

The Grand Tournament is the most prestigious competition on Durgan. Historically, the Tournament has been hosted on a rotational basis across Durgan, but the Proving Grounds at Pirren’s Head has been the venue in recent years. Both civilians and soldiers follow the tournament with great interest.

The Hunt

The origins of the Hunt can be found in the very first landings on Durgan, when The Deliverance was destroyed by a great sea creature. Due to Durgan’s varied ecosystems, animals often manage to grow to unusually large sizes. With the enthusiasm for the stories of legend in Durgan culture, it became a tradition for Durganites to go out in search of “monsters” from which they hope to take a trophy in order to create their own tales. However, with the rapid advancement and expansion of Durgan society, and concern for the conservation of the environment, it became impractical for these hunts to continue. The Durgan government placed a restriction on the hunting of most of the wildlife. However, in order to keep the populace appeased, they decreed that once each year a controlled hunt would be held, in which a selection of tagged beasts would be released for competitors to hunt. Participants in the Hunt are challenged to bring down the beasts and return with a trophy of their kill. The hunter with the most impressive trophy (or trophies, if they have been particularly successful in their hunt) is announced as the Champion of the Hunt.

The Hunt is varied in nature, depending on the creatures involved and the host region of any given event. Previous hunts have included games of cat-and-mouse through city streets and island-hopping across archipelagos.

The rules of the Hunt dictate that for everyone to be seen as an equal competitor, hunters must all follow the same restrictions on what they are permitted to carry with them into the Hunt. Usually, this will consist of one sword or axe of the hunter’s choice and one knife, one fire-starting kit, one length of rope and three days’ worth of supplies, all granted by the event organisers. Each hunter is also equipped with a tracking tag and a distress beacon, by which officials can track their progress and rescue or recover them if necessary.

The Sailing Gala and the Midsummer Festival

During the height of Durgan summer, the Midsummer Festival is held along with the annual Sailing Gala. This festival’s traditions celebrate the early days of colonisation, when swarms of independent traders would ride the waves in brightly coloured and sponsored boats in search of land and resources, with the first to land making their claim. During the festival, Durganites enjoy the pleasant weather and spend a week celebrating, telling stories and sailing racing boats across Durgan’s waves. The Durgan populace adorn themselves with bright and colourful clothing, much like the sails of the racing boats (and often to indicate the racing teams they support).

A common drinking game known as Rowing is played by revellers, in which the players make up opposing teams of five. Each member – or rower – of the team may only start drinking once the previous rower has finished their drink, and the team who finishes all their drinks first wins. These games are often undertaken in sets, leading to large amounts of people becoming intoxicated in a very short space of time.

Traditionally, the Gala is held in and around the region of Cremona due to its bright, colourful streets and even more colourful people. With alcohol brought in from Harpthorne and food products from Scargil, the festival quickly becomes a global event, with racers and revellers coming from every city to enjoy the festivities.

Honour Duelling

Honour duelling is often referred to as using the Swords of Settlement. During the early years of Durgan’s colonisation, times were hard and disputes were frequent between the citizens of the planet. As a result, John Ivanhoe introduced a method of resolving conflict that was consistent with his view of Durgan and the Virtues, introducing it first to the city of Cremona. If no debate between those in disagreement or other logical method yielded results, the parties in dispute could take up specially crafted wooden swords and engage in non-lethal combat to determine their case. In current times, Durganites may use blunted steel instead.

The rules and manner of an honour duel depend on the exact circumstances of the dispute. For example, a more serious issue might warrant a longer bout. Some cases might even demand the use of live steel weapons, with potentially lethal consequences, though this is rare as is only permitted if it is performed under the authority of the law. It has always been traditional for there to be only two contestants in an honour duel and for each to have a second, who tends to the blades used in the fight and provides moral support to the combatants.

This practice has become less commonplace in recent years but remains culturally significant. It has given rise to the saying that somebody or something is “not worth the iron” – they are not considered worth fighting seriously over. On the frontlines of war, disputes between soldiers cannot be allowed to continue for very long, so Durgan officers may
permit, if not promote, the use of the Swords of Settlement between their troops to resolve poor discipline and feuds as quickly and cleanly as possible.

It is not considered illegal for individuals to duel in order to settle minor disputes, provided that both parties are willing, that the outcome is non-lethal and that the duel does not disturb the peace. It is customary to notify local authorities before such a duel takes place, and many settlements have a public space dedicated to these disputes.

Language, Writing and Naming

Common Durgan names share their origins with those from Terra’s Brythonic isles, many being names of great antiquity. However, due to the cultural and social diversity of Durgan, other names are also found. For instance, Germanic names are frequent in the settlement of New Rhineland, owing to the origins of its first settlers. With the popularity of mythology and storytelling on Durgan, names of historical or legendary figures are particularly popular. A widely held belief is that giving a child a great name will inspire them to great accomplishments.

In spite of the diversity of names on the planet, Durgan hosts only two national languages: Terran Standard (the common tongue of the Terran Sovereignty) and Archaic Terran (Latin), due to its ease of use as a trading language and its usage in medical and law terminology.

Dress and Appearance

Given Durgan’s generally sunny and temperate climate, many Durganites wear loose, breathable clothing in order to stay fresh in the summer as well as wide-brimmed hats to shade the wearer from the sun. This has given rise to the popular image and stereotype of a Durgan pilgrim wearing a wide-brimmed hat adorned with a feather. Despite this stereotype, clothing styles on Durgan are as varied as its people, and different greatly depending on where they are from. A Durganite may also sport a wetsuit under their casual clothing due to the need to traverse water in everyday life. Many careers on the planet are water-based, such as in the fishing industry, diving, underwater mining and military service. Most Durganites, even civilians, will wear a dress weapon after they enter adulthood. Such a weapon might be gifted by the family, an heirloom from a beloved relative, commissioned specially for the individual or, sometimes, crafted by themselves.

Military Uniform and Dress

The emphasis of Durgan’s military dress is on practicality. Most Durgan regiments adopt an olive green or woodland camo pattern for use in woodland environments, which is applied to well-fitting BDUs with a tactical vest and a sheath for their sidearm. Ceremonial green berets are commonplace.

Durgan’s history of isolation from Terra and the rest of the Segovax Cluster ensured that it supplies its own arms, armour and war machines. Rhodes Armament and Guyer & Co are two of the planet’s most successful companies, and have a near-monopoly on Durgan military hardware. In recent years, companies from other planets, such as Antonov Industries, have entered the market, but are yet to make an impact.

In addition, many manufacturers based on the planet developed their own style of craftsmanship, often recalling styles from Terran history. Durgan soldiers sometimes wear armour styled in medieval fashion, yet made from highly composite materials and ablative plating. The equipment of a few other units has been noted as resembling that of the hoplites of the ancient nations of Hellas, including electro-ceramic roundshields and shock spears. Naturally, the standard TSA carapace armour is just as common on Durgan as it is elsewhere in the Segovax Cluster.

Many Durganite soldiers choose to record their deeds by inscribing them on their armour. These records vary from a simple tally of kills to a roster of campaigns completed. It is also common to observe the traditional practice of ash tattoos in the field, using the ashes of their fallen colleagues – and sometimes even respected rivals. Others chose to make dedications or oaths before battle; these oaths are often written on paper and, if not left in camp for safe keeping, sealed to their armour as an open declaration of their vow.

The Temples

The Temples do not represent a definitive way to study each of the Virtues, but instead provide guidance and facilitate a path towards Virtue for their students. The Way of Virtue, as the philosophy of the Virtues is formally called, is ingrained into Durgan society, so all citizens of the planet may benefit from the Temples.

Government figures indicate that around 20–25% of Durgan citizens choose not to study at a Temple, demonstrating that, although the Way of Virtue is a fundamental philosophical concept on Durgan, there are many who do not feel the need to study it further in a formal way. Largely, these individuals are not regarded as lesser for their choice, but it has been known for small numbers of Temple graduates to express notions of superiority over those who have not undertaken Temple education.

There are eight current Temples, one for each Virtue. A ninth – that of Diligence – existed in
Durgan’s history but was destroyed by the Broken Sword.

Charity

“Strength in unity – United we stand.” – motto of the Temple of Charity
“Even the small are mighty.” – proverb of the Temple of Charity

Abbot/Abbess: Judith and Michael Fealoke
Location: Mawes & Fal
Weapon: Sword and dagger

Charity is the only Virtue on Durgan to have two Temples and two Abbots/Abbesses, though the two Temples are seen as part of the same whole. The Temples face each other from cliffs either side of a crescent moon lagoon that opens into a sheltered bay. This is the safest haven in these waters, and a lighthouse stands in the grounds of both in order to guide seafarers safely home.

The Temple of Charity is famous throughout the Segovax cluster for its aid in running hospices in collaboration with the Temple of Mercy. As such, many look to the followers of Charity for help in times of need, and the Temple offers training in social sciences, nursing and medicine. Those who study within the halls of Charity are taught about compassion and consideration, being encouraged to think how others do, for good or for ill.

The symbol of Charity is a sword crossed by a dagger, reflecting that two together stand stronger than one alone. As such, the Temple of Charity usually favours dual wielding in its martial discipline.

Diligence

The Temple of Diligence was founded by the brave few who worked the pits on an otherwise green and pleasant planet. A strong relationship between the Temples of Faith and Diligence grew over the years due to the connections that existed between the spaceport of the former and the refineries around the latter.

The Temple of Diligence preached dedication to one’s talents and the task at hand. It had strong adherence amongst the miners who found themselves working in poor conditions yet taking pride in their tightly-knit community and the hardships they endured. The economic relationship between the hometowns of Faith and Diligence was matched by a philosophical one – perseverance and self-assurance being intertwined in the pursuit of both Virtues.

Today, the teachings of Diligence have been absorbed by the other Temples, and the name often goes unspoken in memory of those who died during the Dreadfall. The Virtue of Diligence is no longer followed, being allowed to rest in the past.

Faith

“Do well, doubt not.” – motto of the Temple of Faith
“Dream for tomorrow; live for today.” – proverb of the Temple of Faith
“Do you want to live forever?” –a battlecry and adage about not letting fear hold one back

Abbot/Abbess: Robert Heligan
Location: Tressider’s Rest, atop Tressider’s Point
Weapon: Bastard sword

Of all the Temples of Durgan, perhaps the most zealous and ferocious is Faith, for it teaches faith in the self as well as in others. The Temple is renowned for teaching various languages – both human and non-human – as well as economics and avionics. Those who study at the Temple have a strong sense of self-discipline and independence instilled within them through gruelling exercises and lessons, both practical and theoretical. Examples include mock street-fights, climbing with limited protection and extreme survival conditions. It is not uncommon for an individual to attend both the Temple of Faith and the Most Honourable School of Avionics, and successful graduates of both are held in high esteem in their fields.

Many students of Faith become cocky over the course of their three years in the Temple, leading to a disturbingly calm outlook on death and dangerous situations, often poking fun at such things. Faith graduates may find themselves in all walks of life – for Tressider’s Rest is an odd place where anything can happen – yet they, alongside graduates from Valour, represent the largest body of Temple graduates in Durgan’s Void and Atmospheric commands.

The Temple of Faith promotes a balanced fighting style with a heavy focus on both hitting hard and staying alive. This manifests in a style in which the fighter must focus on his opponent and look for the best avenue to approach and strike from. The style also emphasises tricking one’s opponent or weakening them in some way – perhaps with strikes seeking to disarm or cripple the opponent first. Poison and similar tricks are not as frowned upon in the Temple of Faith as they are in other temples.

Honour

“Death before dishonour.” – motto of the Temple of Honour
“Honour to the vanquished.” – proverb of the Temple of Honour

Abbot/Abbess: Marcola Cadorna
Location: Cremona
Weapon: Rapier

The Temple of Honour is represented by the rapier due to the weapon’s association with single combat and honour duels. The teachings of this Temple may appear out of place in a society that has been at war for centuries, but it states that Honour is the most important Virtue to examine – being honourable in battle can be seen as an extension of being a true warrior. The Temple of Honour teaches its students never to strike an opponent from behind and never to underestimate an opponent.

The philosophical foundation of this Temple leads students of Honour to be swift to deal with dishonour. An opponent who lacks honour has no place on the battlefield and should be dispatched immediately. There may be some leniency, but many who graduate believe no insult should go unaddressed. However, students of Honour believe that genuine criticism should be received where it is due.

For the Temple of Honour, death is seen as a sad consequence of honourable combat. Even if death is certain, a student of Honour might prefer it to retreat. In a military context, this is typically seen as detrimental to tactical protocol, especially when facing a stronger foe. As a consequence, even when the Temple’s teachings typically prescribe that one cannot retreat from battle, it is seen as acceptable to withdraw from a fight that is not fair in the first place. Finally, it is not simply enough for a student of Honour to be a swordsman – honour must be defended on all fronts. This leads rhetoric, poetry and diplomacy to also be taught in the Temple.

The martial techniques a student of honour will learn mostly cover single combat, with many traditional lessons taken from athletic fencing. Emphasis is placed on strikes that are accurate and swift, with a focus on ending the combat quickly and cleanly.

Justice

“Justice rests on a blade’s edge.” – motto of the Temple of Justice
“Perfect only from practice, patience and persistence.” – proverb of the Temple of Justice
“In the name of Justice!” – battlecry of the Temple of Justice

Abbot/Abbess: Leopold Thieron
Location: Little Haven
Weapon: Katana

The Temple of Justice teaches its students that in everything there must be balance. Every choice or action has consequence and, as such, its teachings explore the philosophy of what is perceived to be “right” and “wrong”, and whether the ends can justify the means. Within these teachings, the Temple conveys a firm rule of discipline, inspiring those who study there achieve greater mastery of their skills and show respect to their colleagues and opponents. It is a firm belief of the Temple of Justice that one who does not respect their adversaries shall quickly be beaten for underestimating them.

In addition, the Temple of Justice offers the opportunity for students to learn about law and politics, a natural extension of its philosophy, in order to ensure good leadership in Durgan’s future. The symbol of Justice is the katana, representing the ways of the Bushido tradition of ancient Terra and the dedication and discipline that the weaponsmiths of that time displayed with the lengthy process of forging their swords.

Loyalty

“Fealty and fortitude.” – motto of the Temple of Loyalty
“Together, as one.” – proverb of the Temple of Loyalty
“We stand as one!” – battlecry of the Temple of Loyalty

Abbot/Abbess: Claudia Barrett-Browning
Location: Roseland
Weapon: Sabre

The Temple of Loyalty believes that the best way to fight is with speed and precision, preferably whilst on the move. Be it on foot or mounted on horseback, machine or ship, taking the fight to the enemy keeps them on the back foot. Attackers can often be caught offguard by a follower of Loyalty who will be unwavering in the face of their foe. This policy is also applied to the academic teaching of the Temple: it trains its students to be quick and decisive thinkers, and to trust their intuition and act without hesitation.

Above all else, the Temple of Loyalty teaches its followers the importance of comradeship, teamwork and coordination. Students of this Temple often have utmost confidence in the abilities of those they fight alongside. There is a sense of deep trust between followers of Loyalty, who are prepared to put their lives in each other’s hands. It is, undoubtedly, because of this that Roseland is home to some of the most successful sporting teams on the planet.

The Temple of Loyalty also offers training in history and related subjects, including archaeotechnology. The Temple seeks to preserve the past for its own sake, which makes its students naturally good academics in these fields and helps maintain the ageing estate within which the Temple is contained. The symbol of Loyalty is a sabre, which represents Loyalty’s preference for quick and decisive action.

Mercy

“In protecting, Mercy we grant.” – motto of the Temple of Mercy
“We are the shield!” – battlecry of the Temple of Mercy

Abbot/Abbess: Vanessa Penarth
Location: Scargil
Weapon: Shield

Mercy’s philosophy holds that to protect the innocent and to bring comfort to those who lack it is the most noble of acts. Adherents of the Temple of Mercy are often conscientious and caring, but quiet, perhaps even aloof. The Temple’s training focuses on the healing arts and sciences as well as veterinary science and medical research. The Temple has a reputation for producing the most rational and steady individuals, given to calm perseverance and introspective thinking when faced with difficult tasks.

Whilst their duties and philosophy foster a nurturing attitude, the Temple also teaches readiness to administer the ultimate Mercy – that is, to perform euthanasia, be it with injected chemicals or with Durgan steel. This is considered a grave but necessary duty in certain situations. Those who find themselves required to carry this out do not do so lightly.

No weapon is associated with the Temple of Mercy; instead, the shield holds forth as its symbol. However, this does not mean that those who study at Scargil are strangers to warfare. More than one One Bakkar horde has broken itself on a line of stalwart warriors who once studied at this Temple. The graduates of the Temple often find themselves serving in both the emergency services and in military medical roles.

Truth

“Look, learn, and remain silent.” – motto of the Temple of Truth
“Know your enemy.” – proverb of the Temple of Truth

Abbot/Abbess: Pasco McKenna
Location: Harpthorne
Weapon: Cruciform sword

The Temple of Truth is one of the few Temples in which the majority of classes are not focused on martial prowess, but rather on knowledge and intellectual pursuits. Mathematics, politics and social sciences are studied at many universities across the planet that are funded and operated by the Temple of Truth, with the aid of a local board of governors or teachers.

The Temple of Truth has a number of schools of thought within it. Some prefer a simple attitude of tell no lies, believing that secrets and lies destroy the world. Other students see Truth as a desired ideal but one that cannot be attained. This line of thinking leads some students of Truth to understand that, sometimes, lies may be more beneficial than absolute truth and honesty.

The Temple of Truth believes that understanding your enemy is just as important – if not more so – than any other aspect of warfare, with many of its techniques focusing on studying weaknesses and analysing opponents rather than on specific techniques of swordplay. The Temple of Truth is represented by the cruciform sword.

Valour

“By wisdom and courage.” – motto of the Temple of Valour
“Not one step back!”
“Show no fear!” – battlecries of the Temple of Valour

Abbott/Abbess: Alfred Mynn, the “Lion of Pirren”
Location: Pirren’s Head
Weapon: Two-handed sword

The Temple of Valour teaches advanced fighting techniques, but its most fundamental teachings concern the meaning of valour. This temple teaches its students to revel in the joy of battle and triumph in the face of adversity. To fight is to be alive, and the Temple of Valour considers that you do not truly know someone until you have fought them. Students of this Temple have a desire for exciting and fair fights, but they are also taught when not to engage with their enemy – after all, discretion is the better part of valour. If a fight would lead to loss without gain, then it may prove more courageous not to fight, but to wait for a better time to fight.

In addition to martial pursuits, the Temple of Valour teaches history. The bold deeds and great actions of the past are to be emulated – and perhaps exceeded – by the students of the Temple. There are also many engineers who hail from this Temple and its surroundings, unafraid to push the boundaries of knowledge and to test the products of such study.

The Temple has an aggressive fighting doctrine, many elements being designed to take on multiple opponents with broad swings – woe be to any opponent who decides to face a student of Valour. For them there is glory in battle and to die in this way would be truly worthy. To be a student of Valour, there is only one way to die – standing. Valour is represented by the two-handed sword which is considered symbolic of its ferocious nature and willingness to fight.

Progression within the Temples

In order to reflect progress within the Temples, titles that reflect the standing of the learner in that Temple’s teachings are sometimes used.

The terms “pilgrim” and “student” are used interchangeably to refer to somebody who is currently studying at a Temple and looking to complete their training. A graduate of a Temple will have completed its philosophical courses at least, and perhaps some of its practical courses. Graduates are known by a variety of titles, including Templar and Master, but all will answer to the title of graduate.

Having completed their courses, students looking to graduate from their Temple must undergo their Festival of Forging at the hands of those who have already graduated. While this rite of passage can vary from person to person, a common theme is mock scenarios in which the Virtues and fighting skills are tested, and philosophical debates. For those in the military who study at a Temple whilst serving, Forgings may be conducted in the field by a graduate of the Temple.

The Abbots and Abbesses of the Temples are those who have made a lifelong commitment to their chosen Virtue in all its forms and lead the communities of each Temple. The internal structure of each Temple and how their Abbots/Abbesses are chosen varies.

The Pilgrims of the Way

Somebody who wishes to study the ways of all eight of the Virtues is called a Pilgrim of the Way. It is not essential for a Pilgrim of the Way to complete all the studies available at each of the Temples, but there are those who push themselves to graduate from all eight. If an individual succeeds in this feat, they are known as a Master of the Way. A person with such a title is accorded a lot of respect in society, reflecting their accomplishment.

Pilgrims of the Way usually have a keen intellectual mind and are fully dedicated to studying all aspects of the Virtues. They can be found travelling across Durgan and the wider Segovax Cluster, seeking new adventures and experiences by which they can expand their knowledge of the Virtues. Due to this, many find their way into the Durgan military. Here they often fulfil the role, be it official or otherwise, of helping to maintain the morale of their unit. The Pilgrims of the Way might also assist those who are interested in developing their knowledge of the Virtues.

The Broken Sword

Given how idyllic and progressive Durgan seems, it can be difficult to understand who the Broken Sword are and why they continue to resist the Way of Virtue. No single belief unites them and no trait is common to all of them, save a hatred of the Way of Virtue. Just as the Virtues are open to interpretation, so too is the ideology of the Broken Sword, and it has many manifestations across the planet. The name has become a rallying cry that has been taken up again and again throughout history.

The original Broken Sword coalition were dissidents and rebels who did not want to be controlled by others. They had fled countless horrors in the darkness of space, economic failure, and other problems, only to find their newly-gained, hard-won freedom infringed upon by others like them – others who should understand their struggles. Perhaps some saw the Temples as representing an attempt at tyranny, commanding others how to think and act.

Although the Temples have stepped back from government, the government is still seen by many as inaccessible to those who do not follow the Virtues in the way that the Temples have decreed. For all the talk of equality, justice and fairness, some Durganites cannot reconcile the system’s government, and it is this resentment that the Broken Sword plays upon. Others might feel a call to join the Broken Sword’s cause through resentment towards what they consider harsh laws made by Durgan’s government, such as the conscription laws that almost wiped out entire generations during the War for Durgan.

The methods of the Broken Sword have been many and diverse. The original rebels were states and cities in their own right; during the Insurgency, cells worked together in the shadows of the cities and worked from within the Temples themselves to attack the world order.

Leadership and Politics

The leader of Durgan is the Prime Delegate. Their role is to be the commander-in-chief of the planet’s military and the head of state of Durgan. They are backed by a party of Secondary Delegates – who act as ministers and heads of key civil departments – and act as chairman of the assembly of Tertiary Delegates, who make decisions about the running of the planet. These individuals represent the different constituencies of the planet and are democratically voted in via instant runoff voting (IRV). All registered individuals of age on the planet have an obligation to vote, enforced by a fifty-credit fine for any individuals not voting.

There are three major political groups on the planet that are not enshrined in the constitution, but that nevertheless run for office, as well as several other minor independents who often make up a very small number of Tertiary Delegates.

The first of these major groups is commonly known as the Barkerites. This term is used to describe the more militaristic and pro-Terran parties seen in Durgan politics. The name comes from the period of history during the early years of the sixth millennium in which High General Barker ruled Durgan with an iron fist. Barkerite policies tend to involve a higher budget for military spending and an emphasis on recruitment and public service. They have become quite popular in recent years due to the conflict with the Evolved and One Bakkar. The current Barkerite frontrunners are the Browns, who currently form the government.

The second of these groups is the Virtue Councillors, so called because these parties place a strong emphasis on support for the Temples as part of the state. They draw their origins from the revolutionaries who overthrew High General Barker’s son. The Virtue Councillors focus on policies that improve education, social living and support for Durgans technological industries. A recent Councillor policy proposed the building of a defence satellite in Durgan’s orbit and focusing spending elsewhere. Recently, they have been represented by Robert McAlly, who was Prime Delegate before Emmett Brown, but was commonly seen as blind to the threat of the One Bakkar.

The third major group in the political landscape of Durgan, the Red Banners League, represents several large business conglomerates from across the planet, and only emerged in the last decade or so. Their proposals focus on emphasising interplanetary trade whilst becoming more isolationist towards the wider Terran Sovereignty. A recent Red Banners manifesto proposed converting Durgan’s army into a privately funded and equipped force called the Red Banners, which gave the alliance its name. They are currently represented by the Frost family campaign.

Crime and Punishment

“The blades of the Justicars may be sharp, but their eyes are sharper.”– Durgan proverb.

Crime levels on Durgan are low compared to other densely-populated planets, as the majority of the population respects the principles of the Virtues even if they don’t necessarily follow the Temples. Durgan society instils a strong sense of pride in the state and respect for the law. Despite this, Durgan maintains a large police service, which is active across the planet and trained to cope with the diverse geography of the planet. They also have extensive training in disarming and subduing armed adversaries, to counteract the fact that most Durganites have some martial training and weapons. When not handling crime, the police fulfil additional roles, such as community support or search and rescue.

For those who are caught committing crimes on Durgan, punishment can be severe. Durgan maintains a death penalty for treason – be it against the Sovereignty of Terra or Durgan itself. Membership of the Broken Sword, for example, is an act of treason against Durgan. The death penalty is usually enacted with Durgan steel, although other methods may be used depending on the circumstances.

Crimes such as theft, assault and inciting unrest are usually dealt with by providing options to the accused. If found guilty, they may often choose to either enter into military penal service, perform community service, or face incarceration. The scale of each of these options, and their availability, depends on the nature and severity of the crime. During their time fulfilling their sentence, offenders are offered re-education and are evaluated against their likelihood of reoffending in the future.

Depending on the severity of the crime, the victim may be permitted to subject the accused to the Swords of Settlement, where the victim (or a chosen representative) faces the accused in single combat. In this circumstance, the victim is legally permitted to kill the offender. Should they show mercy to the offender, or should the offender prove victorious in the bout, then the offender is still made to serve out a sentence of punishment suitable for their crime.

Education

On Durgan, education has three tiers – primary, secondary and tertiary – with most Durganites usually undertaking all three throughout their life.

Both primary and secondary education are generally handled by boarding schools, which are overseen by the state and have some links with a Temple in terms of sponsorship. This allows for an efficient and centralised education system with a universal standard of quality that instils a strong sense of independence and discipline in its students. Primary education is begins at the age of six and feeds directly into secondary education, which ends at the age of eighteen. However, some parents in more isolated areas cannot send their children to any of the institutions provided by the government, so homeschooling and community-driven schooling are commonplace in such areas.

Tertiary education can begin at any point after the age of eighteen and takes many forms. Between them, the eight Temples offer the largest range of courses on all manner of subjects. These courses also integrate the teaching of the Virtues in one way or another. Outside of this, there are extensive universities and polytechnic schools, which are often independent. The Tighnabruaich Academy of Medical Advancement, based in the Dales of Kettlewell, is one of these institutions, as is the University of New Rhineland, which has a comprehensive curriculum but offers arguably the best science and engineering education on the planet.

Unlike the previous two stages, tertiary education is optional rather than compulsory. There is no stigma attached to not pursuing it, and those who only attain secondary education are more than capable of fulfilling a wide variety of professions. Durgan citizens are very well educated, almost to the same standards as those from Cantiacorum, and the credentials of Durgan’s educational institutions are well respected across Terran space.

Organisations

The Doctors and Surgeons of Tighnabruaich

The Tighnabruaich Academy of Medical Advancement (TAMA) was founded in 5862 on the small island of Tighnabruaich. The Academy has steadily expanded since its founding, from a small renovated school to a building that is the focus of the town that grew up around it. Its renown has become so great that imitating a Doctor or Surgeon of Tighnabruaich is considered an offence, both legally and morally. Here young men and women study with the hope of earning their red bandana, the symbol of a graduated Surgeon.

Such is the high standard of their work that few students under the TAMA pass the first three years in attendance, let alone the full twelve years. Those who pass nine years of study receive graduation as a Doctor of Tighnabruaich, and are respected and sought after in all medical facilities. However, any student who successfully completes all twelve years will graduate as a Surgeon of Tighnabruaich. Surgeons are constantly chased with offers of tenure from both Durganite and off-world establishments. Due to the nature of the training and the offers thereafter, seeing a Doctor or Surgeon of Tighnabruaich in a non-medical profession is exceptionally rare.

Some graduates feel better suited to join the ranks of the Terran Sovereignty Army as battlefield medics. Although a noble calling, it is rare to find graduates in this position due to the dangers of the front line.

The Greenblades

With the rise of the Broken Sword came an increase in grave robbing across Durgan, and with Roseland’s tradition of tending to graveyards this was seen as a severe insult. As such, in 5161 the Greenblades were founded by the Temple of Loyalty to act as wardens and carers for the graveyards of Durgan and to be a visible deterrent for any Broken Sword attacks. Such was their success that they were soon recruited for other protection duties, such as security teams and bodyguards.

In 5170, the new Durgan government decreed that the Greenblades had to break their direct ties with the Temple of Loyalty, instead devoting their allegiance to the Durgan government in order to ensure that their efforts would always protect Durgan as a whole, with no conflict of interest. Whilst most Greenblades still study at the Temple of Loyalty, it is no longer a necessity for joining their ranks.

It is common for an aspiring Greenblade to serve within the Durgan military, through which they learn the skills required to master their trade. Additionally, many Greenblades commit their blades to the graveyard of Roseland when they die, with their names inscribed upon their blade.

Influential individuals and military officials often employ the services of the Greenblades as bodyguards within their entourages. The unwavering fealty of these individuals is highly prized by those employing their service, for they can fully trust that the Greenblades will do everything in their power to keep them safe.

The Justicars

The Justicars were founded by the Temple of Justice in 5161 to be expert infiltration specialists to combat the Broken Sword. The operatives would usually take a false identity and be inserted into society in order to covertly seek out any evidence of corruption or support for the Broken Sword. If discovering any evidence of such a crime, they would report back to the Temple, from which either a strike force would be dispatched or they would be instructed to take direct action, acting as assassins and saboteurs to undermine their targets until the threat could be quelled.

In 5170, it was decided by the new Durgan government that the Justicars were too dangerous an organisation to be reporting to a single Temple. As such, they became a dedicated service to the Durgan government and severed their direct ties with the Temple of Justice, although many still study at the Temple as part of their training. Since their founding, Hightree has often sought to employ members of the Justicars in the military – their skills in guerrilla warfare and intelligence gathering are a useful, if unorthodox, weapon to wield in the war to defend the Segovax Cluster.

The Knights of Presidium

The Knights of Presidium were a paramilitary agency that was formally part of the Durgan military but operated under orders from the Bureau of Military Intelligence and Development. They were disbanded in 6016 due to an executive order of the Brown government. Because of this, there is no record of the Knights’ origins, but it has been observed that they formed after the Night Meadow Incident – a little-known episode of Durgan’s history that is thought to have occurred in a secluded part of the Dales of Kettlewell.

The Knights of Presidium were a relatively obscure organisation, operating from a humble barracks in the Temple of Mercy, but were known to investigate strange happenings on Durgan that remain unsolved and to secure the locations of these incidents. With the reports of bizarre entities and phenomena occurring on Zennor in particular, experienced members of the Knights of the Presidium were deployed within the regular front line Durgan forces to assist them. Despite their disbanding, this organisation’s former members are still scattered throughout the military and have yet to receive further orders.

Landscape, Geography and Natural Resources

Durgan is a mostly oceanic planet, with 80% of its surface covered by water and 8% of its mass comprised of water. Its land masses are made up of many archipelagos and a few large land masses. The largest of these, known as the Mynn Fields, is located in the northern hemisphere and houses the capital city of Harpthorne, as well as several other important cities. Throughout the ocean are dormant and active volcanoes, which cause the occasional formation of new islands. Many archipelagos are connected by large bridges.

The planet is fairly warm or temperate due to a slightly higher atmospheric pressure, with more tropical regions along the equatorial belt and colder regions lying inland where the ocean air is cooled by the higher mountain tops.

Compared to other significant planets of the Segovax Cluster, Durgan is not very rich in natural resources. This has led to extensive trade with Marazion V; Durgan contributes its trademark iron, tin, and coal to be processed into electrical components, weapons and other goods in the vast forges and factories beneath Marazion V’s surface, which then find their way back to their planet. Salt is exported in great quantities, principally to Ardheim and Rossi, where it is used to remove ice on an industrial scale and preserve game in rural settlements. Durgan also exports its famous steel, which equips Terran Sovereign troops across the cluster, and fish, gathered from its vast rolling seas.

Outside of material exports, Durgan produces excellent soldiers and scholars prepared for the wider perils of the galaxy by the planet’s martial culture and through years of studying the Virtues. Finally, due to the near-unique climate of Durgan in the Cluster, it also boasts advanced environmental and energy technology, which it has mostly shared with its neighbours. More than a few hydroelectric plants off-world owe their construction to the know-how of Durgan scientists.

Durgan’s main imports from other planets in the Segovax Cluster, such as Rossi, Tetrarch and Delmont, include pre-processed industrial materials, such as copper, silicon and other precious metals. Durgan lacks these precious resources and its environmental protection laws prevent the construction and operation of industrial plants and facilities that could damage Durgan’s ecosystem.

Fauna and Flora

The fauna of Durgan is varied and unusual, with many of its most well-known species being marine or amphibious creatures. The Durganite dragon is a large leviathan-like creature native to the seas of the planet. This creature got its name from the famous tale of The Deliverance – the early colonial vessel that met its grim fate on the Durgan seas at the hands of one of these creatures. Reputed to have teeth of rusted iron and scales of a crimson red, it is widely believed that the creature has absorbed much of the iron found on Durgan and taken on several of its properties. Only a handful have been seen and even fewer still have been caught or slain, though the imposing skull of one specimen is mounted on display in the Harpthorne Administrative headquarters.

Durgan’s shield turtle is slightly smaller than its analogue, the Terran Giant tortoise, though still of remarkable size. The structure of its shell has adapted to the conditions of Durgan, so it is composed of a highly durable, yet buoyant, material. Schools of these turtles can often be found swimming on the surface of the planet’s seas, their shells providing safety and security from predatory birds above. These turtles do not stray far from the coast, so they are a common sight.

Although Durgan is well-known for its seafood, not all of its creatures are good for eating. The small, pale-green frog called the salt frog can subsist on salt gained through water consumption when proper food is scarce. As a result, it is low in nutrient content, making them undesirable as food; however, some Durganite chefs have made dishes using these frogs by pairing them with Tressider tomatoes. In coastal areas it is commonly regarded as vermin, and its name is often invoked as an insult – “salty as a frog” or “you bloody salt frog!”. Another creature that isn’t found on a Durgan seafood platter is the Falian blood crab, a tiny, highly venomous crustacean, that gets its name from its crimson red camouflage. These creatures are found on Durgan’s many red beaches, preferring to hide in small, enclosed, dark spaces, such as under rocks, in crevices, and unfortunately for the unwary – shoes, pouches, and other items of clothing. A few Durganites die every year in remote areas when they are unable to receive medical treatment for the crab’s venom fast enough.

Feeding on many of the smaller inhabitants of Durgan’s seas, the Cremonisi pelican is a brightly coloured bird closely resembling a Terran pelican, with colourful feathers and a long hook-like tail. The Cremonisi pelican is usually found in rocky areas, where they build their nests. They are excellent fishers, using their scoop-like beaks to catch fish from the surface of the ocean. They use their hook-like tails to help them cling to the rock face to feed their young.

Many non-marine mammals on Durgan have adapted – or been bred – to be able to swim. The flailing boar, for instance, has a structure of webbing around its hooves that allows it to paddle quickly across water. It can be found across most of the planet, its size varying significantly in each habitat. It has earned its name due to the rage it enters when threatened – any ill-equipped hunters seeking to make a meal of the flailing boar might quickly find themselves impaled on its long tusks. The interplanetary Durgan Thunderball team “The Battle Boars” was named for this fierce creature. Similarly, Tressider’s anklesnapper was bred over generations from Anthony Tressider II’s specimens as a companion canine suited to all of Durgan’s habitats. It is short legged but strong bodied, with webbed feet and short, thick hair. It quickly became a symbol of the planet and is considered a fitting companion for those in more restless occupations. Well adapted for swimming, the Terrier also works well in mountainous climates and is often used as a guard dog because of its tenacious temperament.

Durganies engaged in animal husbandry and domestication early in their colonisation of the planet. The Terran pygmy pig was introduced to Durgan by colonists who had travelled from Terra, and it was originally found in many households as a pet, favoured because of its gentle noises and soft fur; however, there are regions of Durgan where these pets have escaped from their households and managed to survive in the wild. Due to their small size and placid nature, they are harmless to humans. The lesser Pirren’s ram and the greater Pirren’s ram are two similar breeds of mutton, with thick wool and regional variations in their horns. However, they are not to be mistaken – whereas the lesser Pirren’s ram is generally gentle, the greater Pirren’s ram is territorial and can be arrive in mating season. The lesser Pirren’s ram typically lives in trees in large family groups; they are social creatures, with shrew senses and quick feet. They are commonly domesticated by Durganites for farming purposes and meat. The greater Pirren’s ram is slower and stronger, with longer horns and a more belligerent temperament.

One of the most iconic non-domestic creature of Durgan is the warbear, a large, extremely violent tetrapod mammal similar to a bear. It gained its name almost immediately; however, upon further observation, the creature proved to be more similar to the Terran wolverine and was properly named the striped wolverine due to the light-brown stripe down its back. Similar specimens discovered on Ardheim aided this conclusion. An adult warbear grows to around eight metres in length, with the largest specimens are thought to be as large as twelve metres. It has a large ridge of muscle along its back, which makes its strikes vicious and powerful. It is an apex predator and devours whatever it kills down to its intestines. The warbear lends its name to the famous New-Rhiner Thunderball team, “The Warbears”.

The flora of Durgan provides the planet’s inhabitants with a rich diet and an array of beautiful vegetation, as well as a number of useful resources. The palm-like sail tree, for example, with its massive leaves, bears the sand nut, which is inedible but often used as a makeshift ball for bowling and other traditional sports. Algae is often farmed and used as a grain to make breads and other carbohydrate-based products. Mawes and Fal, Tressider’s Rest and Little Haven are the main centres of the algae cultivation industry, with many variations per region. Algae is often eaten as a food in its own right, commonly used as a stuffing or side dish complemented with spices. Saltwater succulents are also commonly eaten. These coastal plants retain saltwater which is then processed into freshwater within their thick leaves or hollow shells. Plants like green gourds and the lighthouse cacti fall into this category. They make for convenient and practical plants for Durganites in more remote areas, where freshwater would otherwise be hard to source.

Another common food on Durgan is the Tressider tomato – small, round tomatoes that are heavily salted due to the sea-bashed cliffsides of Tressider’s Rest in which they grow. This viney plant uses the walls of the cliffs as anchorage and acquires nutrients through the salty spray of the ocean. Hoarsenuts are also ubiquitous in Durganite diets, with their distinct flavour and texture similar to the chestnuts of Terra. It is most commonly used in the preparation of stuffing for the Winter Solstice feast, a typical Durganite holiday, but sentries from regiments raised on Durgan are often known to chew them, the sharp taste keeping them awake. Veterans are not unknown to burn them before drying them, giving them an almost acrid flavour.

The well-loved mynn hops is the collective name for a species of hops grown exclusively in Harpthorne. The high iron content of many of the beers brewed from this species is notable for giving the drinks a bitter, metallic taste, which is often sweetened with other crops of Durgan, such as tomatoes, kiwi and grapes.

Many of Durgan’s sturdiest seafaring vessels are constructed from the wood of the Monty high-tree, which grows similar to a Terran oak or redwood and bears the famous “Valour berries” – small, pearlescent white berries with a sharp, tangy taste. This tree was named after one of Durgan’s first great shipwrights, Charles Monty.

Some of the plant life on Durgan can be hazardous to the unwary. Aptly named, pilot’s panic is a spindly tree native to the area around Tressider’s Point. Due to the rarity of large tracts of land in the area, the tree has evolved to grow thick, barbed seeds that drift from landmass to landmass. These seeds often form large swarms that have a tendency to clog up the engines of vehicles of all kinds, granting it its name. Of even greater risk to life is the cynically named mercy’s bush, which produces a highly poisonous berry with effects similar to Terran nightshade. Due to the intensity of its toxins, it has been used for both assassinations and suicides. The berry itself is a distinctive bright purple in colour, but the juice, when filtered, becomes almost as clear as water, making it hard to notice. It has proved an effective weapon against many unsuspecting foes.

Arguably the planet’s most mysterious life form, the plant known as nightweed remains a puzzle to scientists. It is a short, thin weed with a blue–purple colouration and bioluminescent properties. There is extensive debate as to how it reproduces: in spite of the flower’s colouration, it does not seem to undergo pollination and has been known to appear where it has not previously been found. Rumours abound in military circles as to the unusual reactions that these flowers cause in certain specialists whilst on manoeuvres on the planet’s surface, but there has been a wall of silence on official channels about such reports.

Notable Provinces

Durgan is home to countless islands and archipelagos in addition to its continents. Oceanographers, to this day, scour the planet, searching out its four corners for tiny spits of land in the sea. The most important regions of the planet are:

  • Mynn Fields: The heartland of Durganite civilisation. It is the largest continent and is home to Harpthorne and Swanpool.
  • New Rhineland: A moderately sized province to the north of Pirren’s Head, it is connected to the Mynn Fields by archipelago. It is a heavily wooded region and where some of the wealthiest families on Durgan have built their estates. The landscape, whilst sparsely populated, features many fine manors that date back centuries.
  • Dales of Kettlewell: A large, land-locked province on the northern continent. It is relatively clear of large forests and instead is covered by large hills. A notable hiking location is Cnoc Mór, the largest hill in the region from which there is a spectacular view of the dales. Scargil is the region’s largest city.
  • The Ridgewell Depression: Once a thriving area and home to the Temple of Diligence, now a barren wasteland to the south of Tressider’s Point. It is habitable only by the flora and fauna able to deal with the hostile environment.

Major Settlements

Harpthorne

Harpthorne was the first city to be built on Durgan, and grew to become the planet’s capital. The city is divided into two parts – Old Town and New Town. Old Town is still home to the original landing vessel that gave the city its name, which supports many ad hoc structures from the planet’s early colonial history on its hull. Within this sprawling structure is the Temple of Truth, which contains a large library and information archive chronicling Durgan history. New Town is the home of the Prime Delegate, his council of delegates, and many of the city’s wealthier residents. Many of these buildings are very new, with the latest in housing technology and creature comforts.

Harpthorners have a reputation for being studious and solitary, but the city also plays host to the highly competitive political rat-race of Durgan’s political world. Harpthorners are typically focused, studious, quiet, opinionated and blunt.

Swanpool

Swanpool used to be a relatively minor settlement until 5190. A series of volcanic eruptions occurred off the coast of the city and caused a tsunami, which led to its destruction. Swanpool was then rebuilt with advanced technologies and its construction was meticulously planned, as the location was recognised as perfect for naval networks to other cities on Durgan. Swanpool quickly became the primary surface trading hub on the planet. Today, the city is a nexus for all sorts of people from different backgrounds. It is a significant culture centre, with a large musical tradition. Music from Swanpool is traditionally upbeat and similar in style to archaic rock and roll.

Swanpudlians are typically kind-hearted, open-minded, passionate and quick to act – sometimes in anger.

Tressider’s Rest

A densely packed city built around and within the towering cliffs of Tressider’s Point, the highest of the Mutterpeak mountains. Both the mountain and the city are named for the Tressider dynasty of noted void explorers and traders – it was the daredevil Douglas Tressider who carried out the first successful landing on the summit plateau. The area is considered infamously treacherous for even experienced pilots due to high winds, volatile weather conditions and the presence of pilot’s panic. Anthony Tressider II, Douglas’ son, pour the family’s wealth into the nascent colony at the base of the cliffs. The settlement begins there and extends to the top of the cliffs where the plateau lies.

In this sprawling city can be found homes, shops, hovels, outlets and bars where all manner of folk, both fair and foul, engage in any activity one can imagine. Next to the spaceport at the top of the mountain is the Temple of Faith and the Most Honourable School of Avionics. Graduation from the latter is often accompanied by a victory lap of all the Mutterpeaks, referring to both the mountain range and the ten most popular bars in the city. Surviving this rite of passage earns a graduate the dubious honour of having earned their “Wings”.

People from Tressider’s Rest are typically independent, headstrong, cunning, humorous and coarse.

Cremona

A city famous for its sprawling canals as well as for being the home of the Temple of Honour, Cremona is a city populated by the proud, wealthy and ambitious. It serves as a convenient port of call in the sea routes between Tressider’s Rest and Swanpool, making it the bearer of many luxury goods and priceless relics often “acquired” from starship captains and vessels passing through by sea. The Cremonisi are shrewd businesspeople and proud of it. They are typically proud and often elect to settle disputes with non-lethal duels. Most Cremonisi see duelling as a rite of passage, with a person’s first duel being seen as their coming of age. The Temple of Honour was built in the city after a particularly bloody feud during its founding in the hopes that the Temple would help control future disagreements and business disputes. This eventually led to the practice of honour duelling, which gradually became popular across the entire planet.

Cremonisi are typically boisterous, ambitious, loud and proud.

Mawes and Fal

Built after the First Civil War on Durgan, in the centre of the old coalition’s lands, Mawes and Fal are a pair of towns that each contain one half of the Temple of Charity. The towns, including the Temple, were originally basic in their construction and appearance, as they were built by the new Durgan government to act as centres to assist the victims of the conflict. The aim of the settlement was to heal the wounds and tension caused by the civil war, and it was designed to be as non-threatening as possible whilst remaining practical.

The surrounding islands are distinctive for the ramshackle appearance of the houses there, as the villagers have repaired their homes with whatever materials they have to hand. Beneath each of these settlements lie bunker houses that provide protection from the harsh weather conditions of the region. The locals have a very strong community spirit, always helping one another through the natural hardships of their environment, and visitors are always welcome in their homes.

Mawtians and Falians are typically friendly, resourceful and naive.

Little Haven

The small city of Little Haven is home to the Temple of Justice and the Myr’na Embassy. These are located on an isolated, incredibly steep rock just off the coast, which is only accessible from land by a small sandbar at low tide, making it a natural fortress. Atop this rock stands a small, exotic castle that incorporates parts of the Temple of Justice.

However, far more lies below the surface. The garrison at Little Haven was founded by the Durgan military during the First Civil War, and uses the catacomb-like tunnel system below the Temple. To this day, two regiments of the DDF use it as their base of operations.

On the mainland stands the main part of the city, with more buildings constructed upon stilts on the water’s edge. The city is surrounded by a mighty curtain wall on land and on the sea, creating a harbour of calm for ships to dock, giving the city its name. Great gateways form part of the wall, through which both people and ships pass into and out of the city. The wall also contains advanced hydro-generators, purposefully built to harness the natural power of the sea to generate energy.

Over time, the influence of myr’na culture has spread into the design and aesthetic of Little Haven. The inhabitants are usually richly dressed, and there is a strong sense of duty, morality and purpose within the city, jointly created by the strong military presence and that of the Temple of Justice. Havenites are typically regal, conservative, self righteous, and impartial.

Scargil

Home of the Temple of Mercy, this city is located within the Dales of Kettlewell and is surrounded by rolling hills and low mountain ranges. Renowned for its buildings of white stone, the plazas of the settlement are often battered by storms due to its exposed position atop the Redmount. Scargil is the centre of agriculture in the region, with the hills and plains being ideal ground for raising livestock.

The city features a highly sophisticated hospital, integrated into the Temple of Mercy itself, and the region is also home to the school of the Surgeons of Tighnabruaich – affectionately abbreviated to Tigh after the nearby hamlet. Inhabitants of Scargil tend to be pragmatic and level-headed individuals, but can seem gruff to outsiders. They are accustomed to their pace of life and have little time for those who are not, although they would never set out to be rude to other Durganites.

Pirren’s Head

Founded when Durgan was colonised, Pirren’s Head was to be a shining beacon of Durgan and its potential. To achieve this, the city was built in an enormous pentagon with bastions on each corner and thick stone walls. The surrounding area grew up around the city to supply it with resources.

The city houses three major structures – the Temple of Valour, the great stadium of the Proving Grounds, and the military command headquarters of Hightree. The Temple of Valour is in the western quarter of the city and has many open-air fighting pits where students learn the teachings of Valour. Hightree is located in the centre of the city, with the great Monty high-tree that dominates its courtyard representing the sturdy foundations of Durgan. The Proving Grounds is located in the eastern quarter of the city and was built as an entertainment venue for traditional fighting tournaments, including single combat and interregimental
exercises, as well as the well-loved game of thunderball.

Pirrenites are very militaristic, practical and direct. Many families have a long lineage of military service and everyone from the city knows someone in the military. Many Pirrenites feel the need to seize the day and have a can-do attitude, occasionally to the point of ignorance. They are typically courageous, athletic, dutiful and reckless.

Roseland

The city of Roseland was not always as it is today. It grew up around a grand house in the form of an ancient Terran castle with a private estate that was established by the eccentric Tressider family and built using the profits from the founding of the spaceport at Tressider’s Point. The last of the Tressider family line bequeathed the estate in their will to the government of Durgan and, following the First Civil War, Roseland was selected as the site for the new Temple of Loyalty due to its isolated position and beautiful surroundings. Roseland would be the ideal ground for the propaganda statement that the new Temple represented.

In the hundreds of years since, the population in and around the Temple grew too large to be contained by the Temple alone, which was based in the keep and estate. A large farming community also manifested here, feeding Roseland and its environs. Rustic customs and pastimes have found a place here, being far removed from the hectic life of the spaceports, and the Temple of Loyalty helps maintain this.

Roselanders are typically competitive, traditional, polite and overly formal.

Structure

The Durgan military is composed of the following arms, with the head of these branches detailed as well as any significant sub-branches. The heads of these branches form the Chiefs of Staff and the position of liaison with the civilian government is rotated between these individuals:

  • Office of the General of Ground Forces – High General.
  • Office Atmospheric Command – Marshal of Atmospheric Defence.
  • Void Fleet Control – First Admiral of the Void.
  • Bureau of Military Intelligence and Development (BMID) – Director.
    • Section 43: Military Research & Development – Fabricator-in-Chief.
  • Military Administration Department – General.
    • Section 514: Office of Military Grievances.

The central hub of the military on Durgan is Hightree, based in Pirren’s Head. Here, all military administration takes place securely within the great walls of the city. Although there is still a training camp present in the Hightree complex, the majority of those stationed there serve an administrative function. Almost every branch of the military has its main offices in this complex, from which all major orders are issued and oversight is maintained over all operations. The Void Fleet maintains its headquarters in a separate location from its terrestrial allies for strategic purposes, so it operates from the largest of Durgan’s moons, Mawnan. Housed in large semi-circular structures, members of the Void Fleet can spend years on this moonbase, as the large complex of buildings is self-sufficient. The Prime Delegate is Commander-in-Chief of Durgan, but they are advised by the Chiefs of Staff who also enact their orders. The High General is the head of the ground forces when deployed beyond Durgan soil. The Marshal of Atmospheric Defence has control over all regiments on Durgan soil, all defensive facilities, the three moons of the planet (which act as redoubts and supply bases) and all sea and air operations on the planet’s surface. The First Admiral of the Void is the officer responsible for all naval components of the military.

The incumbents in these roles are:

  • Prime Delegate Emmett Brown
  • High General Gregory
  • Marshall Cradock
  • Admiral Charrington.

It is worth noting that the Durgan Armed Forces comprise the regular professional elementsof Durgan’s military, with the Durgan Defence Force (DDF) serving as militia.

Standard Durgan Military Equipment

Durgan is home to many craftsmen, arms manufacturers and aeronautic industries, partly due to the fact that it has an abundance of iron and steel and a well-educated martial populace, and partly due to its period of isolation under High General T. Barker, who led Durgan during the One Bakkar’s first invasion. During this period, Durgan became self-sufficient and militant in practice, producing its own war machines, weapons and armour, albeit in limited supply due to Durgan’s paucity of natural resources. Many of these arms companies still exist today, such as Rhodes Armament and Guyer & Co., the main suppliers of Durgan military hardware.

Pirren’s Steel, Sidearms and Standard-issue Blades

One piece of equipment stands above the rest for a Durgan trooper – their characteristic sidearm. This will be a sabre, a briquet, or some other shorter sword. Whilst all graduates of a temple will have forged their own blades in a Festival of Forging, Hightree ensures that all members of Durgan’s armed forces are equipped with a blade of Pirren’s steel on the grounds that not every soldier is a temple graduate.

Whilst the quality of craftsmanship of these blades may not be as high as that of the personal blades of graduates, the standard-issue blades are made from the steel of the same name. They are forged from metals mined from mountains that surround Pirren’s Head. Even when they are not personal blades, Durganite soldiers may become very attached to their sidearms, as they are not only symbols of their service but also handy and life-saving tools.

Amphibious Warfare

Amphibious training is a common feature in Durgan’s military. It varies from beach assaults to boarding actions. Members of the Durgan Defence Force, amongst selected other elements of the Durgan Armed Forces, experience this aspect the most, but the training is made available to any unit in the military. As a result, many DDF units are equipped with wetsuits or rashguards under their armour, and may carry diving gear as part of their standard equipment. Diving knives and underwater rebreathers may find uses beyond their original capacity.

Likewise, every vehicle in the Durgan arsenal – even atmospheric fighters – is designed to survive in an aquatic environment. Some are specifically designed for such these conditions, such as the Mk. 55 amphibious battle tank. This vehicle is a smooth-edged grev-skimmer that has a number of variants so it can fill a variety of battlefield roles. Drop pods are also used by some units to deploy from low-flying aircraft at sea.

Durgan Atmospheric Combat

The Durgan Atmospheric Command is a highly trained arm of the Durgan military that provides some of the highest quality – and most expensive – aircraft and voidcraft known to the Segovax Cluster. Due to the cost of their equipment, its pilots are extremely well trained. This makes Durgan pilots highly sought after by private companies and interstellar trading convoys.

The most famous Durganite atmospheric vehicle is the RAM-585 Shrike or “Ramshrike”, a single-seat fighter-bomber capable of both atmospheric flight and void-flight. It is known for its supersonic speed thanks to its sharp aerodynamic frame. Its speed is what creates the vehicle’s famous deafening sonic boom as it passes overhead, followed by the sharp crack produced by its kinetic driver payload.

Another famous craft is the No. 7 Rapier, a small carrier-borne VTOL capable of pinpoint bombardments on strategic targets. It is a small thin-tipped craft with two seats and a fanned out rear. This last component carries the craft’s armament: two miniguns that fire uranium tipped rounds, which can be delivered at terrifying speeds with shocking accuracy.

Adepts in the Durgan Military

The Omega implants installed in adepts provide significant destructive and supportive power; the implantation of the Adept Program has instigated a heated debate on whether adepts should be treated as military equipment too dangerous to be let loose in public or personnel still contributing to the manpower of the Durgan military. According to the Durgan military, they are both, meaning that most adepts – if not all of them – sign away their rights to do anything else with their lives while at the same time being allowed to excel in their positions and live somewhat functional lives as human beings.

It is not uncommon for adepts from Durgan to undergo the mandatory training and augmentation on Cantiacorum like every other adept in the TSA and then return to Durgan to complete their training in enclaves. These enclaves are somewhat secretive facilities where Durganite adepts may train in similar fashion to the rest of the Durgan military whilst also protecting more high-profile military facilities such as Hightree from any Omega-related incidents that come with potentially unstable and highly experimental technology. Many of these enclaves have developed their own ethos and methods of training. For example, the adepts of Calliocht’s Cairn place great emphasis on discipline and assault tactics, those from Aughrim Castle focus on the potential medical applications of the Omega and the seers of the Malahide Tower enclave are interested in extra dimensional research and entities claiming to be from the Omega itself.

The Durgan Salute

During the exploration of the planet, soldiers and colonists frequently needed to repair the engines powering their crafts due to the saltwater clogging up engines not adapted for the environment. This would lead to the palms of the soldiers’ hands becoming injured and calloused. If their ships were wind-powered, the rigging and oil would also lead palms to be damaged. Soldiers didn’t want to show their dirty, injured palms to officers when saluting, as it would be a mark of disrespect. They therefore saluted with their palms facing towards the face, much like the marines of old Terra. Any damage would be hidden and the proper respect for an officer would be shown. The tradition continues to this day.

Notable Forces

1st Grenadier Highguard

The 1st Grenadiers were the first regiment created by the newly founded Durgan government, and is the only regiment to remain on planet at all times. They are the personal guard of the Prime Delegate. Their current commanding officer, Colonel Benzaiah “Mad Ben” Gradden, is one of the longest serving members of the Durgan military.

109th Light Infantry

A skirmish regiment assigned to the Green Cloaks taskforce specialising in frontal assaults and surgical strikes in close quarters, the 109th Light Infantry is also famous for two of its soldiers being awarded the Segovax Cross for their actions during the Zennor Campaign. The Green Cloaks taskforce in which this regiment serves has won several high-profile victories, including the Liberation of Zennor.

41st Fleet and 76th Void Marines

The 41st “Echoing Thunder” Fleet is the pride of Durgan’s void forces and exclusively patrols the Durgan system. Amongst their armaments are the largest space-to-ground projectiles produced on Durgan in the form of the Kali Missile. However, their most powerful armaments are their railgun batteries. The 41st commonly operate alongside the 76th Void Marines. They are famous for their combined heroic raid of the One Bakkar battleship The Rending, in which a heavy cruiser from the 41st ploughed into the starboard side of the enemy craft. This allowed the 76th to board the ship and swiftly capture it.

30th Armoured “The Cast Iron 30”

The 30th are the longest-serving amphibious tank regiment in the Durgan military forces. Their tanks are smoothly curved, giving the impression they are similar to armadillos. The 30th are known for serving in almost every armed conflict in Durgan history, from the first Broken Sword rebellions to the first incursions of the Evolved on Zennor. Across this great history, they have continued to serve with valour and distinction.

56th Drop Recon

Until recently, the 56th were a significant force to be reckoned with. They would be deployed behind enemy lines using HALO (high-altitude, low-opening) methods, with the intent of causing disruption and elimination of as many enemy assets as possible. Recently, however, the 56th sustained such heavy casualties in operations against the Evolved during the Zennor Campaign that they are reported to have been wiped out.

184th Light Infantry

The 184th is the sister regiment of the 109th. They are similar in structure, make-up and fighting style, and the two regiments have a history of being deployed together when in the same theatre. Their most famous engagement was the Battle of New Rhineland, during the War of Durgan.

The following people contributed to the creation of this Green Cloaks expanded planetary lore:

  • Jennifer Heron
  • Dominic Hill
  • Graham Morell
  • Daniel Smith
  • Brandon Welch

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