Wednesday 25 November 2015

Gearheads, Scrappers & Canners

Often with machines there will be those who are passionate about them in some form or another, they may be those who tinker with machines as a hobby for those who put serious investment of both time and money into said machines. In Darmonica they are known by many names, Gearheads, Scrappers and Canners.

This week is their moment in the spotlight.


The term 'Gearhead' is often used as a nickname for those who like to tinker with machines, almost all Gearheads are mechanics but not all mechanics are Gearheads. A normal mechanic simply repairs and keeps a machine running, a Gearhead goes the extra mile to improve said machine by trying to increase its performance. Unsurprisingly given the current popularity of air travel that alot of Gearheads are aircraft mechanics, especially those involved in the air racing circuits. Very few Gearheads can be found in military service and when they are found in the Service they're often posted to remote bases where they can do the least amount of damage. Gearheads are more likely to be found in independent outfits or places like Broken Spires, ones of looser morals can find easy employment amongst air pirate gangs.

Less common are Gearheads who specialize in car, trucks and other land vehicles as their work is more limited to keeping the vehicles running rather than boosting the engine power particularly out in remote regions. Virtually unheard of is Gearheads onboard ships, though they do exist in limited numbers.


The demand for spare parts is often greater than the supply, this is where Scrappers come in.

Scrappers are basically salvage-men, with wreckage of war machines still littering the old battlefields they are doing good if sometimes illegal work. They keep a sort of grey market for spare parts well supplied with pieces they've managed to scavenge from a wrecked tank or crashed aircraft, some work may be required to bring said parts up to standard but you get what you paid for.

There are rumours that some of the scrappers' wares might be stolen...


Lastly there are the men women dubbed 'Canners', similar to aviators except the craft they pilot are land based contraptions such as Walkers which are effectively walking tanks and Mechsuits which are primitive suits of power armour. The nickname Canners comes from both Walkers and Mechsuits being called 'Tin Cans' (often not in a good way), though the Canners wear the name as a sort of badge of pride.

Canners are often found in independent outfits, though they are also found in military service but are often loners and outcasts in their units and are usually considered to skirt the borderline of insolence by officers. The most famous Canners are the pilots of the Artian Mechjager Divisions, the bane of many armoured units throughout the War.

Thursday 19 November 2015

Thats Entertainment

Apologies for being a day late again, been bit of a busy week.

This week's post it seemed natural to build upon the last couple of posts and cover recreation in Alyeska.

Cinemas and air racing have been mentioned, as well as various festivals. Though there are other ways that Alyeskans have of keeping themselves entertained such as sports and other activities.

Public Houses - Pubs (as they're more commonly known) are the predominant hostelry in the Commonwealth and they vary quite a lot. Generally the drinking age is 18. The Commonwealth does maintain a drinking hours policy which means that pubs have to close before midnight local time and there is no legal twenty four hour drinking in the Commonwealth except in a few private clubs and military messes. The ability of the mess to stay open for extended hours makes them an unusual recreational establishment and emphasises the perks of Militia membership. Broken Spires is the exception to the rule as the town doesn't recognize the Commonwealth's authority and opening hours are determined by the pub owners themselves.

Gambling - Gambling is legal in the Commonwealth but restricted, heavily regulated and taxed. Most gambling can only happen in licensed Betting Shops and a fairly rigorous watch is kept on these, so although they are profitable they are generally “clean”.


Auto Racing - Automobile racing is a newly introduced sport to Alyeska, though it hasn't gained widespread popularity as of yet. Presently only dirt tracks exist and motorcycle racing is more popular since its easier to get into.

Bandy - Bandy is a sport very similar to ice hockey but is played in halves if 45 minutes each, there are 11 players on each team and is played on a bigger pitch (typically the size of a football/soccer pitch). It is played on ice with the players using bowed sticks and a small ball.

Ice Skating - Ice skating is a popular local sport, typically in towns with access to nearby frozen rivers or lakes. Men (or sometimes women or children) compete for prizes of money, clothing or food. Prior to the Great Darmonican War there was grand or championship matches in which skaters from across Alyeska would compete for cash prizes in front of crowds of thousands.

Thursday 12 November 2015

Festivals & Holidays

Day later than planned due to a bout of illness but here is this week's post.

Recently we've had various holidays, celebrations and days of observances which got me thinking about similar days and events in Darmonica. I've long kicked about ideas for events linked to the deities of Darmonica, like for example an April's Fools style day linked to a trickster god, but I've still have a great deal of work to do on both the calender and the deities themselves.

Regardless, heres a few examples you may find useful for your games.

Armistice Day - A relatively new event that has risen in the decade or so since the end of the Great Darmonican War, both to celebrate the War's end and to honour those who lost their lives during the conflict. It typical involves a parade of veterans and current serving soldiers with a memorial service.

Commonwealth Day - Originally a celebration of the Commonwealth that involved an organised and ritualistic veneration of the Commonwealth flag. In addition schoolchildren were given the afternoon off to attend further events that were usually held in their local community. However with many Alyeskans feeling a sense of betrayal and abandonment by the Commonwealth the day is now marked by a toast in pro-Commonwealth taverns and private clubs.

Death's Chase - Actually an air race but it has grown into an annual event year in the pirate haven of Broken Spires and draws many people as the Spires takes on a carnival-like atmosphere. The race itself involves three laps through the twisting canyons and caves that surround Broken Spires, it requires a great deal of piloting skill to ensure that you don't crash into a rockface. A few number of racers drop out during the first or so-called 'Sounding Lap', though its the second and third laps where things get interesting. The other two laps are 'weapons free', the racers are allowed to shoot one another down but only if they're BEHIND their opponent (they're not allowed to swing round for an attack, though some racers learn the route to know where they can get the drop on somebody).

In short, its race where it pays to NOT be in first place.

Founding Day - Different in every settlement of Alyeska, each city and town has its own unique way of celebrating its Founding Day. These festivals often include carnivals, parades and competitions such as bareknuckle boxing and air racing.

Shrouded Days - Occurring the winter months in the more northern regions of Alyeska is a period where the sun never rises, which can range from a few days to a month effectively being a polar night. The beginning is marked by the Exodus where a large number of people leave the north to spend the period with relatives, though a number of people stay behind. A celebration called Dwanfest happens when the first sunrise happens, typically involves partying and drinking to celebrate 'surviving through the night'.

Summerfaire - A week long festival representing the middle of summer, frequently involves carnivals and communal events. In northern region it co-insides with the 'White Nights' or polar day that is centered round the summer solstice.

Tarfest - As the year rolls round into winter during the month of Tarblawan high winds beset Alyeska, rising to a point halfway through the month where it becomes too windy for flying before the weather settles down again. Aviators typically spend this period grounded and drunk whilst the more devout offer up prayers to Taran, the Goddess of the Sky.

Winterfest - A festival occurring during Midwinter, a time for gatherings of family and friends to celebrate the end of the year and herald the new one. Feasts are quite popular, so is gift giving.