cw: war, ideological violence, childhood trauma
Somewhere in Uyrupe, after the War. Not one of the places people won or lost the War - one of the places it was fought. Guns proliferate like the pox. Partisan bands refuse to stand down - outside of the capital the government was always more nominal.
Some of these bands fight for a King, deposed less than a generation ago.
Some of these bands fight for The Idea, a paradise for workers. They’re building it in North. The old people invite them to go there. The old people who are left anyway.
Some were always bandits, and grew fat - or maybe just survived for once - thanks to the chaos.
Some are small sad men with nothing to claim except a falsified history.
Everyone has cousins, uncles, nephews, aunts, nieces in the towns and villages.
The thing about a fire is it burns after being extinguished. Embers glow beneath the ash. The powers beat out the fire, but don’t worry about the glow they can’t see.
Who are You?
Roll a d100 for your age. Results below 16 count as 16. Roll a d66 to determine your background. Unused results are NPCs which exist, and may be members of Bands.
|11||Child of a carpenter. Your parents were annihilated by mortar fire in the war. You were trapped beneath the logs for days.|
|12||You broke the recruitment laws and volunteered during the War - as part of the actual army, not as a partisan.|
|13||Your parents collaborated with both sides during the War, depending on who was strongest. You grew up widely unaffected.|
|14||Raised in an outcast camp in the woods - the War barely existed for you.|
|15||Your home in the capital was razed in the fighting - so you moved back out to the country. You never adapted.|
|16||You helped scavenge with your parents during the War - picking through fields of the dead and dying.|
|21||You were separated from your parents and forced to help on a farm. You’ve not found them yet.|
|22||You escaped execution by occupying soldiers due to your age. You were an Officers Boy until they left.|
|23||You fought with stray dogs for food, left behind as the village fled the cars and guns.|
|24||You were the bait the partisans used to ambush patrols.|
|25||Your family had to move after the war - they were known collaborators with the wrong side.|
|26||Your mother told you to never mention the foreign men with coats and money who took envelopes from the garden.|
|31||You led a band of fresh orphans and terrorized the countryside with looted guns, comically large in your hands.|
|32||Your family went abroad - barely a dip in finances. The razing of their holdings has left them destitute.|
|33||You were apprenticed to a painter. The War broke something inside one of you.|
|34||Your uncles welcomed the War, believing the country needed rejuvenation. They are all dead.|
|35||A butchers apprentice - your master grew rich on the rationing until the village turned on him, and left him for dead.|
|36||Press-ganged to be a stable-boy for someone - you can’t remember which side.|
|41||You and a cousin sold faulty, looted guns to people to give them the illusion of safety.|
|42||You stole an armoured car and lived in it until the war was finished.|
|43||You were a supply runner for partisans. You don’t know what happened to them.|
|44||You were a supply runner for partisans. You know exactly what happened to them.|
|45||The occupiers left the churches, monasteries and convents alone - and you were their newest member.|
|46||You were away at a continental school during the war.|
|51||You were inducted into a criminal fraternity during the War.|
|52||You came across a downed pilot and shot him with his own pistol.|
|53||You saw horses charge machine guns. You can still hear them screaming.|
|54||You barely survived a gas-attack.|
|55||You escaped on the last ship carrying children away from the war.|
|56||You were an informant for the occupiers.|
|61+||You died in the War.|
|11||You were a cavalryman. You lost more friends than horses.|
|12||You were entrusted to carry ammunition for your band. You failed.|
|13||A grenade killed the rest of your band, and left you recuperating for the War.|
|14||You took potshots at anyone wearing a uniform from a bell-tower.|
|15||You were conscripted and then promoted multiple times as superiors were obliterated or fled.|
|16||You escaped conscription. No-one believes you weren’t avoiding it.|
|21||Your family store was destroyed by fire. You have nothing left.|
|22||You used to be a shepherd - now a mechanic. Your sheep are all dead.|
|23||You found a fortune in a dead politicians car and buried it. The shells have changed the landscape.|
|24||Your racing dogs survived the war, somehow.|
|25||You convinced many to take up arms in a band. Few came back.|
|26||You helped run an illegal newspaper in the capital. You are remembered for this.|
|31||You fell in love with an occupier. They retreated as their army did, and took your heart with them.|
|32||You grew rich on war profiteering and dubious speculation. All of it was seized by the Government.|
|33||You blew up an armoured car - and the band feted you for days.|
|34||Your band forced out an entire village ahead of the occupiers and razed it. The enemy never turned up.|
|35||You did not fight, and lost no-one. War missed you entirely, for no discernable reason.|
|36||You dug trenches for all sides at some point - your village occupied and liberated several times.|
|41||You robbed a bank in the early days - the fortune became worthless once the war started.|
|42||You shot and permanently injured a friend accidentally.|
|43||You refused to serve the occupiers their food and drink - and paid dearly for it.|
|44||You enlisted with the occupiers.|
|45||You deserted. You joined a band, and left them for dead. You never fired your weapon.|
|46||Your clan of bandits enlisted as irregulars, and harassed the occupiers for months.|
|51||You sold everything to get your family out of the country.|
|52||You sold everything to get your family out of the country, and it wasn’t enough.|
|53||You acted as a source for an Observer during the War.|
|54||You fed intelligence to the occupiers.|
|55||You fed intelligence to a partisan band.|
|56||You fed false intelligence to everyone.|
|61+||You died in the War.|
|11||You were injured in the Revolution, and injured again during the War.|
|12||You were the first of your line to grow up in poverty. You refused to fight for a country that betrayed you.|
|13||In your family homestead, above the fireplace is the cavalry sabre you took as a trophy in the Revolution.|
|14||You were mauled by wolves as a child. You’re certain they’ve harried you ever since.|
|15||Your beloved married someone on the other side of the Revolution.|
|16||You travelled the world as a sailor, and returned just before the War.|
|21||You were still jailed from crimes during the Revolution when the War started. You were amongst the first drafted.|
|22||Your bandit heritage is near legendary and nearly entirely imaginary.|
|23||After the Revolution, you became vegetarian. After the War, you ate meat again.|
|24||Criminal tattoos march across your body. Anyone with the corresponding marks is already dead.|
|25||You and eight friends fought in Revolution. Four friends fought in the War.|
|26||You children ran the gamut of ideologies and persuasions. Many have disowned one another.|
|31||You wrote a song which became a common partisan anthem.|
|32||You deserted both times you were called up and regret nothing.|
|33||You ran a church during the War. You could only host so many refugees.|
|34||Your horse was expropriated during the War - and returned in one piece.|
|35||You scavenged photographs and art during the War. Your collection is huge.|
|36||You killed a relative during the Revolution. You promised not to do it again in the War.|
|41||You were a veterinary doctor. They said that was good enough, and drafted you.|
|42||You had been trying to warn others of the impending peril. Few had listened.|
|43||You had to choose between your parents and your children.|
|44||You were imprisoned for being a Conscientious Objector.|
|45||You led a band in the War, despite protestations from your family.|
|46||You executed an officer when they tried to give orders when drunk.|
|51-53||Roll on Age 25-45|
|54-56||You died in the Revolution.|
|61+||You died in the War.|
|11||You lodged with someone you nearly killed in the Revolution. The War finished them off.|
|12||Amongst your tattered rags, you transported food and guns to the Partisans.|
|13||The War was not your first guerilla campaign.|
|14||Despite your attempts at resistance, the occupiers largely ignored you.|
|15||You were inducted into a half-functioning state intelligence apparatus. You only met an official once.|
|16||You never took off your uniform from the Revolution. In your mind, it never ended.|
|21||You sat aside and simply watched everything that has happened, paralysed by the thought of backing the wrong side.|
|22||You have had to bury four different generations.|
|23||Despite the revolution your family retained their land and fortune. The War was less kind.|
|24||Technically, you are in the running for the deposed throne.|
|25||You had authority over a settlement, before it was razed. The survivors have since scattered.|
|26||The Revolution broke something inside you.|
|31||You haven’t been able to settle in one, or work one job. Things felt muted after the Revolution.|
|32||You ignored wars, ideologies and justice. You have worked in the same place your entire life.|
|33||You have never spoken to anyone about what you did during the Revolution.|
|34||The War awoke you from a stupor you did not know you had entered.|
|35||You have given up most of yourself trying to help others.|
|36||After the War, you thumbed through your address book - filled with foreign names.|
|41||You have retreated entirely into yourself. Your grandchildren know this is not the first time.|
|42||A burning desire for revenge has sustained you since the Revolution.|
|43-46||Roll on Age 46-70|
|51-56||You died in the Revolution.|
|61-66||You died in the War.|
For any given local village, you probably have a cousin and maybe an uncle or aunt.
In any given town, you definitely have a cousin, and probably other relatives.
You might be a member of any of the following - except a Fascist. If you want to play a fascist, I suggest you play in traffic instead.
Who are They?
All have access to Hunting Weapons in addition to listed armaments. Typical bands consist of 3d6 people.
Old folk and their loyal sons and daughters - loyal enough to listen when they speak of the King, removed just before they were born. They would have grown up beneath the portrait never removed, stern authority in oil above the dinner table. When soldiers came, they were implored to fight for King and Country, sneering about Republic and Liberty.
If only we can show how much we love them, the royal family will return from exile. How better to show our readiness than with our guns?
Bands consist of Old Loyalists with Antique Guns and Loyalist Daughters and Sons with Looted Guns. They usually have access to farmsteads, and are embedded in the community.
Most likely to be working with the Church, the Fascists and Observers.
By looking at a romanticised past, they hope to build a future. All of this is lies, and speaks to those with nothing to claim but lineage. A movement of the small minded, small hearted and scared. There is little to say about them - they are all too simple.
Bands consist of Young Desperate Men and Veterans with Military Guns and Looted Guns. They have little other material or supplies, but often have the sympathies and support of petty merchants, Government bureaucrats, Corporations and old aristocratic houses. They are embedded in the community.
Most likely to be working with the Church, the Royalists, the Republicans and Observers.
Those with The Idea burning in their heads, eyes and hands. Our Northerly neighbour has been consumed by it, and reaches into dreams to try and build this worker’s utopia.
Previously unarmed groups emerge from the border with freshly-machined guns, grenades nestled like eggs in new boxes, stamped with the iconography of their ideology. If you follow them to their camps, you might hear voices with unfamiliar accents. Perhaps even armoured cars, hidden beneath leaves. Waiting.
Bands consist of Young Desperate Men, Veterans and Foreign Officers with Foreign Military Guns, Looted Guns and Military Guns. They usually have good access to horses, and may have a mortar, grenades, machine-guns and an armoured car. They have relatives in the community, but are often shunned in the open.
Most likely to be working with Observers from Communist nations.
Who amongst us has not taken up the family rifle, slipped over the hills and through the mountains, and shot at those from the neighbouring Countries? Stolen their sheep, their cows, their grain? Bragged of our exploits over a bottle of something strong?
Some made it a living, and are not so exclusive about their targets. The Good Bandits give back to us - and so we shield them from the Government. No sir, we haven’t seen them. I’m no cousin of theirs. The ancient tradition of the robber-knight. The Bad Bandits are those who prey endlessly - like animals, striking at countrymen from the woods, hills, mountains.
Some even sing of freedom, tyranny, and something like The Idea. They call it Illegalism. What difference does an -ism make?
Many of those who came back from the War have fallen into such a state. Young men trained for one thing and nowhere to ply their trade but home.
Bands vary too wildly to generalise.
Few work with other bands - and most collaboration is with other bandits.
Loyal to the Government, the Republic and their vision of Liberty. During the War, the Army was folded up and neatly destroyed by the occupiers. These bands formed, and have never gone away. Sometimes, despite bribes and corruption, Government convoys make it out to the country, and deliver weapons and horses to the strongmen they remember. Each time there are less. Of all the bands, these are the ones who can openly carry their weapons and not worry about attracting the ire of the capital.
Bands consist of Veterans and Land-Owners with Military Weapons. They have good access to material and many houses. All will have access to horses. Most bands may have access to a machine-gun, a mortar and an armoured car.
Most likely to be working with the Government and Observers..
Once the glue of Uyrupe, but now another thing to die for. Many will pick up a gun for the Church, but few within it are fighters. They do have money - coffers and coffers to pour for those willing to take up the mantle and defend the faith - from godless anarchists and those in the local churches who severed ties so long ago.
Has no bands.
Most likely working with Royalists and Fascists.
Some within the halls of the Powers are not so foolish as to leave embers unattended. Amongst us are their agents - the Observers. They are quiet and careful. Any money they give is in non-sequential bills, unmarked - wrapped in a manilla envelope. Any supplies are mentioned off-hand, a little story about a crate of guns in a barn, in an apartment, in the basement of a church.
There are those who operate under no flag, but swear allegiance to boardrooms and directorships. The Corporate Observers.
Single Agents with High-End Military Equipment.
- Hunting Guns - shotguns, rifles at -2 to hit.
- Military Guns - rifles, pistols, machineguns.
- Looted Guns - rifles, pistols, machineguns at -4 to hit.
- Foreign Military Guns - rifles, pistols, machineguns.
For use with Violence