House al-Yazata

al-Yazata.gifThe exotic and inscrutable al-Yazata are often accused of being mere merchants, for their ties to the Guilds are well known. With close ties to the Shoqëri Guilds and a deviate love of technology, House al-Yazata is certainly the wealthiest of all the noble houses. Although they carry an egalitarian attitude towards their serfs, they are often far removed from the troubles of them, surrounding themselves with opulence of wealth and technology.

al-Yazata_Marine.jpgHowever, they have proven their noble legerdemain many times, through the acquisition of land and a unique understanding of human nature and politics. Highly academic and exceedingly well-educated, it is hard to pull one over an al-Yazata, but it is likewise hard for them to resist the lure of a good adventure or challenge.

The al-Yazata’s modern attitudes make them suspect of harbouring Republican leanings. Such as evidenced by their almost democratic attitude towards their serfs. This combination of republican leanings and technological devices has brought the attentions of the Sectus Inquisition more than a few times. Vassals of this family are well-treated and return the respect with solid service.

Their culture is one of the most sophisticated of all houses. al-Yazata nobles speak to each other in coded metaphor, known as the Graceful Tongue and nearly all al-Yazata nobles dedicated themselves to arts, culture or scholastic interests.

One of the weakest of the Major Houses, House al-Yazata nonetheless has a number of significant and practically unique strengths. It enjoys far more political stability than its anarchic organization would lead one to believe, and it enjoys significant prosperity despite the inhospitability of some of its worlds. Despite– or perhaps because of– poor relations with the Sectus, its nobles are quite well educated and cultured, and its intellectual, artistic and cultural tradition is respected not only by its own nobles, but those throughout the Known Worlds.

al-Yazata_Engineer.jpgSince the house consolidated its territory in the First Primacy Wars, seizing Criticus from the dying Van Gelder and Justinians, it has had rather stable leadership. The Raschid family has ruled for most of this period, with occasional interruptions of al-Jabr, ibn-Rahiman and, briefly, Clinius rule. The most recent was the ibn-Rahiman-Clinius coup in GD 4894, which was put down shortly after the outbreak of the Descicrati wars, which allowed the Raschid line to sway the Abbasah family and use the al-Jabr family, now an ally, to keep their primary worlds under tighter rule (and, incidentally, to keep the al-Jabr family focused on the Clinius line as enemies rather than the Raschids).

While the stability of the house has been due in part to the enlightened leadership of the Raschid line, it is in at least equally large part due to the fact that the al-Yazata are far less concerned about rulership of land than other houses. Indeed, when one considers economic struggles or struggles over pieces of technology or information, the house has hardly been at peace. These struggles are more often fought at court or through thievery and spycraft, and so are not as noticeable as the constant skirmishes amongst Dodekatheons and Atzlánti, but they belie the picture of al-Yazata unity that the Raschid line’s rule gives.

There are a number of potential conflicts in the house as it stands. The Abbasah line, along with the other main Ajalon families have put away most of their differences and are reaching out to the Hejallah and Hallaschid lines to forge a powerful alliance to try and militarize the house. Meanwhile, the Raschids, Ahhads and al-Jabrs are trying to keep the ibn-Rahimans and Ghanjids allied by defending a less militaristic way of life, and the Comnenus lines constantly agitate for home rule of their planet.

Another tension, far less often discussed but no less important, is between the egalitarians and the oligarchists. The al-Yazata tolerance for hypocrisy and doubletalk is quite high, and so the fact that emancipationists such as the Sinnas, Ghanjids, al-Jabrs and certain ibn-Rahimans coexist right next to slave traders such as the Clinius and Comnenus lines, and oligarchs such as the Abbasah, Ahhad and al-Gaib lines, causes less strife than it would where people spoke their minds more directly, but there is an underlying tension that is often reflected in some of the struggles for technology, guild contracts, and position at court. House al-Yazata has a powerful technological base and significant trade infrastructure, which gives its lords wealth out of proportion to their political and military status. The house’s historical relations with the Guilds help it maintain its wealth, and give it significant bargaining power with other houses and information about their doings. Its predisposition to psychic talent is useful politically, and although Sectus regulations make its intellectual tradition less useful than it otherwise might be, it is an important cultural source of pride for the house.

al-Yazata Royal Offices and Orders

The Mutasih
Originally the market police on Estakhr when the Raschid line was centered in Samarkand, the Mutasih has expanded to become one of the most powerful, far-reaching, and expert intelligence agencies in the Galactic Imperium. Mutasih field agents spin webs of intrigue with an almost artistic panache, Mutasih intelligence analysts study the data they are given with all of the scholarship of the house, and Mutasih technicians are second to none in the fields of surveillance and cryptography. If the Mutasih has a weak spot, it is lack of discipline. Agents are not fragile by any means, but they are more likely to crack under pressure than those of their two rivals, House Bogovi’s Janusian Agency and the Oculus Imperium, the eyes of the Emperor.

The Circle of the Ceramite Mantle
The al-Yazata royal bodyguard. Knights of the Ceramite Mantle are all loyal to the Raschids, and tend to protect the Caliph’s security in as unobtrusive a fashion as possible. They only appear in the presence of the Caliph.

The Crystal Lantern Dancers
The Caliph’s household service of swashbuckling champions. The Crystal Lantern Dancers are all skilled spies, scouts, and warriors, and they are known for their trademark blur suits and their penchant for striking from the shadows. They are seen in some ways as the hands of fate, striking down the powerful, occasionally ennobling the weak, and vanishing as quickly as they appeared. They serve the Caliph in an organized fashion, but they each have a fair amount of leeway to use their judgement in most situations, which adds to their reputation for caprice.

The Circle of the Shattered Sword
This is the Caliph’s royal think tank, made up of the most sage thinkers throughout al-Yazata space. It is a knightly order (knowledge is a noble virtue on al-Yazata conceptions), but many of its members are knighted specifically to be inducted into the order. Moneychangers, Ingenium, and Celerics make up the bulk of those knighted for the purpose, though there are quite a few Orthodox scholars in it as well. The Circle has an entire estate on Estakhr devoted to its use, though some members of it travel abroad.

The Society for the Promotion of Public Virtue
In many ways the royal propaganda department, the Society is a semi-secret group that monitors goings-on at court and supports artists, writers, and courtiers who expound on the al-Yazata values and who ensure a certain degree of discretion and decorum when Sectus officials are near. Many joke that the society’s emphasis is on the “public” and not on the “virtue,” but in al-Yazata space the two are considered somewhat synonymous in any case. Membership in the Society was originally strictly secret, but it is considered a great honor and so has been boasted about, somewhat compromising the secrecy of the organization.

The Farmers of Autumn
The highest honor an al-Yazata can receive is to be designated a Farmer of Autumn, and membership is reserved for a very few. It is a society open only to nobles, though some are knighted for the purpose of membership. The Farmers of Autumn are responsible for awarding most other al-Yazata honors, and they hand out a variety of gifts to honor those who have served the house.

Selected al-Yazata Families

  • Raschid: The royal family, highly sophisticated and arcane. High incidence of theurgy and psi. (Crown on Estakhr, big on Milhamot, Criticus, Capital Secundus)
  • al-Jabr: Court-appointed rulers of Criticus. Loyal to the Raschid family. Egalitarian tendencies. (Crown on Criticus, big on Estakhr, Milhamot)
  • Abbasah: Traditionalist and rugged, the most warlike of the great families- gained great renown during the Primacy Wars. (Crown on Ajalon, big on Milhamot, Criticus, presence on Kargonde)
  • ibn-Rahiman: Really artistic, mystical, arcane. Quite wealthy- patrons of Troubadors, Hornblowers. (Crown on Milhamot, big on Kargonde, Ajalon)
  • Hallaschid: Undaunted explorers and colonists- ties to the Hornblowers and the Sinna. (Crown on Kargonde, big on Ajalon, Milhamot, Odium)
  • Ahhad: Hardcore Raschid loyalists. Highly oligarchical. (big on Estakhr, Criticus, Milhamot)
  • Clinius: Criticus natives, Romanesque and decadent. (big on Criticus, Capital Secundus)
  • Ghanjid: Rival ibn-Rahiman for Milhamot, attempting to curry favor at court, but even more arcane and strange than ibn-Rahiman, and much poorer. Ties to Celarics. High incidence of psi and theurgy. (big on Milhamot, Criticus, presence on Pentateuch)
  • al-Gaib: A line renowned for its high-technology warriors and war machines, the al-Gaib have often fought with the Abbasah but have recently reached an alliance with them. (Big on Ajalon, Milhamot, presence on Estakhr, Kargonde)
  • Ma’haifa: High-technology, love Ingenium, constantly being investigated by Inquisition. Ties to Hallaschid, Ingenium, Mōnstrum. (Big on Estakhr, Kargonde, presence on Criticus)
  • Sinna: Heavy ties to Hornblowers and rumors of Republican sympathies. Now split on question of Empire. (Big on Estakhr, Criticus, Capital Secundus)
  • Liet: Canny desert politicians, given to waffling and double-crosses, but vicious guerilla fighters and raiders. (Big on Ajalon, Milhamot, presence on Criticus, Kargonde)
  • Hejallah: Single-minded, rose to power in Primacy Wars and against Desecrated. Now allied with Raschid, Empire. (Big on Milhamot)
  • Al-Dona: Allied with the Abbasah family, the al-Dona family is more orthodox than many al-Yazata families. (Big on Ajalon, presence on Criticus, Estakhr)
  • Comnenus: Also Romanesque, more Byzantine, though. Criticus natives, fairly decadent, opposed to Raschid, allied with Clinius. (big on Criticus, Capital Secundus)
  • Mahdin: Warriors fanatically loyal to the Empire. (Big on Ajalon)
  • Daianaid: Small and way too subtle for their own good. Rather profligate and considered crass by other al-Yazata but talented at impressing members of other houses with their erudition. (big on Criticus, presence on Estakhr, Capital Secundus)
  • Had’n: Bold entrepreneurs and collectors of curios. Tied to Mōnstrum. (big on Milhamot, presence on Ajalon, Capital Secundus)

The al Yazata Emerald Djinn Fleet

Light al Yazata Vessels

Ship Class Awkward Size Vitality Passengers Crew Jumps Range in AU Supplies Cargo Manuver
Zubayr-class Light Fighter 1 25% 1 1 0 1-100 50 kgs per wk 500 kgs +2
Odyssey-class Explorer 2 50% 5 2 2 400 100 kgs per wk 1 ton +1
Mumit-class Torpedo Bomber 3 50% 10 4 4 800 500 kgs per wk 5 tons +1

Medium al Yazata Vessels

Ship Class Awkward Size Vitality Passengers Crew Jumps Range in AU Supplies Cargo Manuver
Rahimat-class Galliot 5 50% 100 15 10 2,000 5 tons per wk 100 tons -1
Spider-class Frigate 5 50% 100 15 10 2,000 5 tons per wk 100 tons -1
Asim-class Light Carrier 6 50% 500 30 15 3,000 10 tons per wk 1000 tons -2

Capital al Yazata Ships

Ship Class Awkward Size Vitality Passengers Crew Jumps Range in AU Supplies Cargo Manuver
Rashid Escort Carrier 7 75% 1000 60 20 4,000 100 tons per wk 10K tons -3
Wraith Stealth Destroyer 7 75% 1000 60 20 4,000 100 tons per wk 10K tons -3
Efreet-class Destroyer 7 75% 1000 60 20 4,000 100 tons per wk 10K tons -3

House al-Yazata

Silver Age Beyond brightwyrm