Having just invested in a small (12 Gear) force for Heavy Gear, it behoves me to create a back-story for my force, so here it is:
THE RISEN FALCON EMIRATE:
Located twenty miles south-east of the Badlands city of Elayu, Medina Saqr (Falcon City), capital of the Risen Falcon Emirate is the newest (and most distant) territory of the Eastern Sun Emirates. Indeed, geographically it is far closer to the territories of the Humanist Alliance and even the Peace River Defence Force Security Zone than it is to either the Eastern Sun Emirates or the Mekong Dominion (with whom the Risen Falcon Emirate has close political, military and economic ties).
|A view of the domed city of Medina Saqr.|
The Risen Falcon Emirate arose eighty years ago, when the death of Emir Ibn Ben Falat Ibn Qaboos of the Silver Falcon Emirate led to brutal civil war among his sons. Emir Mahmut Ibn Qaboos, one of the youngest sons, removed himself and his followers from the Emirates altogether, beginning a long procession west-ward, at the urging of his Yoki, his Mekong Dominion wife, and his father-in-law Fuzuki Yoritomo, a powerful Tai-pan of the Dominion.
Claiming the ruined fort of Al-Saqr for themselves, the new Emir and his followers immediately began to exploit the local areas natural resources, despite interference from the desert tribes, who appeared to consider the site sacred. Importing new workers and new ideas from (primarily) the Mekong Dominion, the Emir and his followers defended the new Emirates borders while imported merchants and bankers created it's economy. Wisely hording all income from the Emirates hydrocarbon and metal exports for a period of ten years, the Emir established a fund for the governance of his country.
|Prince Fuzuki, heir-apparant.|
Now, eighty years later, the Emir's health is weak. Though he has sired over a dozen sons and taken six wives over the course of his life-time, most of his progeny have proved disappointing by the standards of their father, one of the most widely respected ruler in the Eastern Sun Emirates. Only his youngest son, Fuzuki Ibn Mahmout Ibn Qaboos, shows promise. As the head of the Emirates small Civil Defence Force, he has instituted numerous reforms, including merging the police and military into one force and installing elements of the ancient Bushido code into military doctrine. Perhaps eager to avoid the infighting and assassinations of his own childhood and young adulthood, the Emir has yet to officially name an heir. However, it is commonly accepted by most citizens of the Emirate that Prince Fuzuki will succeed upon his father's death.
The Emir has (understandably) excellent relations with the Mekong Dominion, where his great-nephew and godson Fuzuki Akira, is a powerful Tai-pan.While the Emir himself is respected in the Eastern Sun's Emirates, his social policies are not. Dissident Emirs regularly point to his social reforms as an example of how the Eastern Sun's society could (and should) be. The Emir is too canny a politician to offer vocal support for the wider reform movement, but graciously acknowledges their recognition of his efforts to build a fairer society for his subjects.
|The Mekong Dominion has been the Emir\s closest ally for decades.|
Relations with the rest of the South, including the Humanist Alliance, the Emirate's nearest neighbour, are more tense. The Risen Falcon Emirate occupies a landscape previous claimed by the Humanists. Yet despite some early border clashes, no major attempt at conquest has ever been made by Alliance forces
Relations are most tense with the Peace River Defence Force. Peace River claims that certain new mines and derricks built in the last decade encroach upon Peace River territory. By long-standing treaty, the Risen Falcon Emirate is allowed to mine these lands but NOT patrol them. Recent bandit raids on these facilities have led to Civ-Def Gears and Infantry crossing the border to defend Emirate citizens and property, in accordance with the tenets of giri, to which they adhere. The Emir has yet to issue a formal response to official Peace River protests.
To this day, the Emirate uses the interest from this Resource Fund to run the entire country and government, providing free health care, education and housing to all it's citizens, regardless of social class. Profits from trade are either funnelled into the small military, re-invested into the fund or else used to invest in other corporations throughout the South (particularly in the Mekong Dominion).
Unsurprisingly, given the Emirs forward-looking and liberal social policies and his close relations with the Mekong Dominion, local culture varies considerably from that of the Emirates as a whole. Citizens have the right to free assembly, free speech, free health care, free education and free housing. Although social castes have gradually been broken down, "wasta" -a mixture of social status, prestige and personal authority- remains important. Simply being a citizen entitles any person to the best health care available. But wasta will ensure that the finest doctors and nurses are assigned to your care and that meals are delivered to you first.
|Although the Emirate's culture is decidely Arabic in flavour, it's subjects hail from many old Terran nations.|
Even so, the citizens of the Emirate are keen to ensure that their cultural heritage is not drowned by the rising "new wave" of cultural and social development. Citizens continue to wear cultural clothing. Every male citizens wears a khanjar (ceremonial knife) at his belt and carries an assa (cane) in his hand. Frequently, short, informal duels are fought with these weapons to resolve arguments, either to submission (with the assa) or first blood (with the khanjar). Duels to the death are illegal, but remain somewhat frequent. Often, in the case of avenging major crimes such as rape or murder, the Civil Defence force is willing to look the other way.
|A khanjar with traditional sheath and belt.|
Mekong Dominion influences are most prevalent in the military. In addition to the khanjar, most officers and non-commissioned officers (and all Gear pilots) wear a tulwar, in imitation of the dai-sho of the ancient Terran Samurai. Civil Defence troopers (they emphatically refuse to be considered soldiers) on Police rather than Military duty also carry a "sai", or sword-breaker, when on duty. This fascination extends to combat: Gear pilots often carry locally manufactured Vibro-Talwar into battle.
The Civil-Defence force in enthused with the samurai ethos. Or rather, a variation there-off. Civil Defence troopers see the wisdom in living to fight another day. After all, a dead trooper cannot serve his Emir or his people.
|Civ-Def Trooper in Desert camo|
The entire Civ-Def force numbers less than one thousand personnel. However, all are front-line fighters. Support functions -such as transport, repair and maintenance- are carried out by civilian employees. The Civ-Def force has just over 100 Gear Pilots. The remaining 900 personnel are mostly infantrymen with a few light tanks. The cream of the army is the Honour Guard, the five-Gear bodyguard of the Emir himself. Not merely a ceremonial unit, the Honour Guard, under the command of Prince Fuzuki, is the elite fighting unit of the Civil Defence Force. The Prince and his Gear section consistently chose to personally lead any Civ-Def operations in the field.
However, such is the importance of the Emirate's commercial activities, that any major assault on the Emirate would result in an immediate and strong military reaction from a number of commercial partners, not the least of whom being the force of the Mekong Dominion and allied members of the Eastern Sun's Emirates.