Fauna of the Commonwealth - The Great Moons of Pallissey and the Rotfang

Clint Staples

Last week I introduced you to the planet Samarkhan and one of its indigenous fauna - the Qizil. This week I want to expand on that theme of a locale teaser and a creature write up with the Great Moons of Pallissey and the monstrous Rotfang.

The reason I am writing these is at least in part because I am working on the gazetteer chapter for the campaign region, the area of space the Player Character Knights-Marshal will be responsible for. These are referred to as Edge Sectors - because the Edge is the zone patrolled by the KM, and it is broken into sectors, for administrative purposes such as the allocation of resources like KM patrols. As you might guess, Samarkhan is a planet within this sector - referred to as 'Edge Sector Draconis' - the 'Sandbox' in which the PCs get to play.

So too is Pallissey:

 

Pallissey is an orange gas giant that is so big that it could almost be termed a ‘cold star’. Dozens of times more massive than Jupiter, it is so distant from its own star – Durossa – that the star would appear as little more than a particularly bright planetoid to anyone standing on the surface of Pallissey.

Of course, few things could survive sightseeing from the surface of Pallissey itself. The crushing pressure and heat put it off-limits to all but the hardiest of synths.  Pallissey is not directly responsible for making this system the most heavily trafficked in all of Edge Sector Draconis. That honor goes to the dozen worlds orbiting the gas giant – The Great Moons of Pallissey.

Each moon is essentially a planet; some are a little small, like sulphury Ordura of the yellow sky and caustic clouds; others are much larger, such as huge, ice-covered Ymir, furthest from Pallissey. But they are all rocky worlds, with essentially breathable environments and tolerable atmospheric pressures. And all of them support life – whether indigenous, or the product of colonization after the Veet terraforming efforts of a century ago.

The Great Moons of Pallissey have nearly as many sentient beings as the entirety of the rest of Sector Draconis, but they are not united in outlook, technology, culture or range of species. The most advanced Moon, and certainly the most corrupt and lawless, is Blue Pariah. First colonized by the Sagati outlaw Jhyun-Zharn three hundred years ago, it has become a bustling trading and entertainment center attracting visitors from far and near.

Blue Pariah has a complex nearly paradisiacal eco-system that is rapidly being exploited and extinguished as parcels of land are being sold to, or simply being claimed by settlers, mercenaries, the rich, or anyone powerful enough to take and hold it. The Blue Pariah Security Force is generally either unwilling or unable to interfere, though when they do, they are brutally efficient – as a number of fresh craters in outlying areas attest. The BPSF has been known to express its displeasure at what it considers overly zealous acquisition by way or orbital mass-driver strikes. Overall, this highly inconsistent law enforcement has led to a political free-for-all that is at least tacitly encouraged by the reclusive, ancient and powerful, Jhyun-Zharn.

Much of the fauna of Blue Pariah is imported [you can find the Qizil there, for example, awaiting the attentions of Jhyun-Zharn or his guests], and concentrated in the Hunting Preserves that are the most consistently policed region of the planet. It is common knowledge that to be found on a Preserve without the express permission of Jhyun-Zharn himself is to be considered a creature of the Hunt. And, at least according to rumor and the paparazzi, the ruler of Blue Pariah loves the Hunt to exclusion of most other concerns.

One of the most dangerous, and therefore most meticulously managed, creatures native to Blue Pariah is the Rotfang. [See the link just below the image].

The three meter tall Rotfang is native to the cloudforests of the moon’s temperate belt, where it leaps from trunk to trunk of the massive hightower trees in search of prey. Since the coming of the outlaw Sagati Jyrun-Zharn, however, they have been intentionally introduced to many of the hunting preserves dotting the landmasses of Blue Pariah. Intentionally hunting a rotfang is an occupation only suited to an ancient Sagati huntmaster or a madman.   

A canny, vicious, and highly successful predator, the Rotfang is so named because its bite causes rapid putrifaction of tissue in most organisms. Any damaging bite inflicts a flesh-eating toxin that can rapidly dissolve the afflicted tissue.

NOTE: The write-up for Pallissey and Blue Pariah are not indicative of the level of detail that will be included in the Edge Sector Draconis gazetteer. This is just a teaser.