A minor Freeborn house with some dark secrets used and designed by Christopher Wailes.
The Vardos Ipsimus
Founded by a renegade NuHu from Concord space, Ipsimus works primarily in secret, operating in rarely visited, low-tech areas of Antarean space in order to maintain freedom of research and experimentation. It rarely ventures into the Determinate except to sell its services as mercenaries or to retrieve technologies or samples desired by their NuHu master.
A triangular field of dark blue with the device of a rising yellow sun, bars of orange radiating from it to the edge of the field.
Yellow, with blue accents and predominantly orange banners and cloaks. No non-military institutions exist.
Ipsimus is a small house, barely worthy of the designation. Operating a series of small recruiting installations (known as embassies to host species) on poorly developed worlds, from which they harvest a nearly endless supply of what the Master has titled ‘Meat Puppets’. These ‘puppets’ are soma grafted soldiers whose services are sold to the highest bidder in order to fund his endless experimentation and maintain his operational secrecy.
Having fled from Concord space after the IMTel declared his research to be a detriment to society, the Master’s existence is known to the C3 IMTel and any sign of his influence is immediately deemed hostile and tagged for eradication. Despite this, the Company of the Ardent Dawn (as his mercenary forces are known) are infamous, known for their brutal tactics, zeal for battle and overall willingness to work for literally any side willing to pay their operating fees.
Establishing ’embassies’ on human worlds deemed to be at a receptive level of social and military development, the Company of the Ardent Dawn wages campaigns of propaganda, selling itself as a benevolent guardian against an unseen and unknown menace from beyond the stars. Voluntary recruits are gathered and ride transmat beams into orbit where they are soma grafted and fed a steady stream of fantastical images. This indoctrination allows them to believe themselves noble liberators and protectors of the weak, the fantasies tailored to each individual ‘puppet’ by a complex simulation network centralized in each Ipsimus deployment vessel.
The Ipsimus’ only permanent facility is known as the Horizon, and its location is a closely guarded secret. Even the most trusted captains of the Masters vessels have their memories wiped each time they arrive and leave, only able to approach after receiving a coded ‘invitation’ from the NuHu who operates it.
In addition to their legions of ‘meat puppet’ soldiers, Ipsimus has a free population of loyal house soldiers, indoctrinated from a young age to serve the will of the Master. These loyalists are given reminders of the price of failure on a regular basis as they go to battle alongside the twisted misgenic rejects that fail to meet the specifications of the Master’s inscrutable experimentation.
The Ipsimus fleet consists of only a handful of lightly armed frigates and a single cruiser, all gathered over a long period of time from a variety of sources. The structures of their ships are a mismatched and motley grouping of different architectures from different sytems and factions.
This small fleet is rarely in one place. The cargo holds of their ships are modified to be primarily ‘meat puppet’ storage consisting of sleeping pods with minimal comfort, waste disposal, baseline nutrient feeds and training facilities. All such ships ships are on constant rotation to the worlds they’ve initiated contact with, gathering fresh recruits to feed the endless demand for both mercenary soldiers and experimental subjects.
Advanced energy sciences and engineering being only a tertiary interest of their Master, the primary interest of the ipsimusi is biotechnology. Their soma grafting processes, technology and their genetic engineering programs are unmatched as the vardos has the freedom to explore new areas of research without any form of oversight or interference.
Ipsimus only has a few families rather than multiple clans, though each operates as miniature domas. The Doma of each family/domas is a NuHu who joined Ipsimus out of either desperation (Renegade) or political alignment (believing the NuHu are destined to inherit the Universe). Retaining such a small power structure allows greater control for the Master who rarely, if ever, leaves the Horizon. As he rules his people through a combination of greed and fear, expanding the Varda too far risks him losing that control.
Each of the families/domas within the vardos ipsimusi is, like other domas, an independent functioning unit, either set to make contact with fresh worlds and establish their recruitment ’embassies’ or rotating through contacted worlds to harvest ‘meat puppet’ mercenaries and engage in military operations for coin. This wealth is then split, the lion’s share diverted to the Horizon whilst the NuHu Doma retains a portion to enhance their personal holdings and fleet.
At present, a single Ipsimus family/domas is active in the Battle for Xilos. This is ruled over by an avaricious Melded NuHu pairing of brother and sister who seek Builder technology to bring back to the Horizon.