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(For eventual inclusion in the Gazetteer thread.)
Know Your Factions, Part III
Lesser Factions, continued:
Heralds: A group of Mercedes Lackey fen who have set themselves up as a diplomat-cum-police force on a par with the Fiver Rangers for both their ability to locate and interfere in other people's conflicts and their skills at defusing such situations. Their pure-white tunic/trouser uniforms make an interesting contrast to the Ranger black when representatives from both factions find themselves attempting to "mediate" the same event.
When not playing at politics or diplomacy, the Heralds tend to party heavily and indulge in various pleasurable pursuits. They rival the Heinleinian Long subfaction in their acceptance (and embrace) of unconventional sexualities, and are reputed to be the single most gay/lesbian/bi/transgendered-friendly faction in fenspace.
Heralds are strongly aligned with the Filkers, the SCAdians, the Technomages and the Wizards, and are at least theoretically friendly to the Rangers. They are at odds with Lackey herself and her legal representatives, who despite their utter unenforceability in Fenspace persist in sending monotonously repetitive "Cease and Desist" orders to any Heralds they can identify.
The Heralds are rumored to be the single largest importers of bleach in all of Fenspace.
SCAdians: Officially the Kingdom of Supercaelia, this faction is in fact a formally-recognized regional branch of the Society for Creative Anachronism, a historical recreationist group based in California. The membership of Supercaelia is almost entirely settled in a Space Rock in high Earth orbit, and outside of its links to the SCA proper the group considers itself a sovereign nation separate from both the Danelaw and Fenspace in general. It certainly gives that feeling to visitors, who have reported a home-grown culture that apparently is trying to live as authentic Medieval space colonists full-time. This apparently has led to an institutionalized schizophrenic approach to mixing the Middle Ages with the 'wavetech era, where the appearance of authenticity is more important at times than actual authenticity.
Supercaelia retains many of the oddities and traditions of the earth-bound SCA, including the annual election of their chief executive officer ("king") by combat. This king is mostly a figurehead; the majority of ruling power is held by the Parliament, which is made of representatives elected by each of the kingdom's "baronies". The College of Heralds (not to be confused with the white-clad Mercedes Lackey fans), makes up the third branch of branch of goverment, such as it is, providing rudimentary judicial services in addition to their traditional functions.
Supercaelia maintains friendly relations with all the major factions in Fenspace, but are on especially good terms with the Heralds, the Wizards, the Filkers, the Senshi, the Barsoomians and the Hidden Village. They also maintain close diplomatic ties with all the ground-based SCAdian kingdoms as well as the SCA's BOD, and invariably send a small force to the Pennsic war every August.
Hitchhikers: Douglas Adams fen, who show their devotion to the author and his works by living an itinerant lifestyle, moving from ship to ship throughout Fenspace and only settling down long enough to build up the capital to fund a new series of jaunts. Immediately identifiable by their standardized uniform of dressing gown, towel and knapsack, they often have odd and unusual combinations of skills that turn out to be improbably handy in a pinch.
Hitchhikers are friendly with everybody, even people they don't like -- you never know who you might need a ride from.
Companions: One of the newest and smallest organizations in Fenspace, the Companions are not yet a true faction but appear to be working on turning into one; until then, they are more a vocation than anything else. Technically, they are a subfaction of the Whedonites, but neither side seems in a hurry to embrace the relationship.
Composed mostly of elegant and educated women, the Companions have taken inspiration from Inara on Firefly and set themselves up as Fenspace's equivalent of geisha -- not so much sex workers (although there is certainly an element of that involved) as a blend of entertainer, spiritual advisor, and literal companion, available for hire. Because Fenspace does not yet have the accumulated social code that surrounds the Companions in Firefly, Fenspace's counterparts are frequently martial artists; those that aren't usually travel with discreet bodyguards.
At the moment their numbers are small -- estimates range anywhere from a dozen to fifty -- but a few "apprentices" have already been spotted, and it's possible that the Companions may be able to sustain and actually increase their numbers over time. Individuals close the the Companion leaders indicate that the group is looking for a Space Rock or other suitable base in which to establish a school at which new Companions can be trained, but at the moment most of the group is itinerant, travelling from settlement to settlement. Most seem to be followers of Buddhism or some other Eastern belief, which may contribute to the air of serenity and unfazeability that seems to surround them wherever they go.
Most factions have so far proven to be friendly to the Companions, and the Companions are friendly right back to anyone who is friendly to them. They are known to enjoy the company of the Heralds and the Filkers (in fact, one Companion is also a well-known Filker). It is not known what relations there are between the Companions and Candy Apple Red's. No Companion is known to have visited the establishment, but Candy herself is reported to have said that she'd welcome any who would care to drop by.

-- Bob
The Internet Is For Norns.
Cowboys/ Beboppers:
A loose collection of bounty hunters and/or freelance recovery specialists. Beboppers can and usualy do belong to other factions. There is a home office group that collect deposits for bounties, and maintain a Database on bounty heads. They also produce, and broadcast a series of "Commercial length" (three to seven minutes) Shorts called "Cowboy Bob", to announce new bounties, as well as list the highest bounty of the moment. Bounties are listed on the acessible database and can be sorted in the categories of; Bounty Head (or target), Preferred Status upon delivery, Crime/Reason for bounty, And Origin/Client.
World Welfare Workers Agency:
A group of fen that managed to get initial funding from the United nations to provide "Trouble Consultants". A Consulting team usually consists of three consultants, A Brain (investigator), a Brawn (combat spec), and an Intern (Trainee/Flunky). Contracts for a Consultation require waver of liability for collateral damage.

Murmur the Fallen

You know, I really thought that Companions would be Doctor Who fans.
The UN already has an Office on Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and a Committe on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS). and as the UN aren't known for their fan-friendly atmosphere, kind of doubt they'd name it wwwa.
quite like the beboppers, though they'd nearly all have to be western as japan never quite got into bebop as much as the west did, did it?


The UNCOPUOS operatives, when encountered by unfriendly Fen (which is most Fen), are disparagingly referred to as "Uncle Pus", or, in the short form 'Uncles'. Wire Geek - Burning the weak and trampling the dead since 1979Wire Geek - Burning the weak and trampling the dead since 1979
You know, I really thought that Companions would be Doctor Who fans.
Well, "companion" is used in a lot of places. I had been considering some kind of cross-link to the Heralds, because for a while I was thinking of having them trying to biomod horses into the super-intelligent Companions of the Valdemar books.

-- Bob
The Internet Is For Norns.
The UN already has an Office on Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and a Committe on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS). and as the UN aren't known for their fan-friendly atmosphere, kind of doubt they'd name it wwwa.
They got their seed funding through InterPol. The Fens call them WWWA as an injoke.
The UNCOPUOS operatives, when encountered by unfriendly Fen (which is most Fen), are disparagingly referred to as "Uncle Pus", or, in the short form 'Uncles'.
Causing older fen to know whether Agents Solo and Kuryokis are still on active duty.Ebony the Black Dragon
Senior Editor, Living Room Games
Ebony the Black Dragon

"Good night, and may the Good Lord take a Viking to you."
The UNCOPUOS operatives, when encountered by unfriendly Fen (which is most Fen), are disparagingly referred to as "Uncle Pus", or, in the short form 'Uncles'.
Ahem The Fans From U.N.C.L.E would ask you kindly to reconsider that statement.

It's really amazing where you can find Fen these days.
Wow. Talk about old and forgotten material. Anyone have any objections to adding this to canon (and the wiki)?
-- Bob
Then the horns kicked in...
...and my shoes began to squeak.
I don't mind - we could use some new content on the FenWiki.

We probably want to fix this first, though:
Quote:Individuals close the the Companion leaders
Rob Kelk
"Governments have no right to question the loyalty of those who oppose
them. Adversaries remain citizens of the same state, common subjects of
the same sovereign, servants of the same law."

- Michael Ignatieff, addressing Stanford University in 2012
When did Lackey change agents (and thus position towards fandom)? It might be worth noting if that didn't happen in Fenspace's timeline, or if it failed to affect the status of the Herald faction for some reason.

Also, "Supercaelia" roughly means "above the sky", and I instantly thought of a good name for a second Fenspace SCAdian Kingdom: "Transcaelia", "beyond the sky".
Uplanders: One of the obscurest of 'scure fandoms, inspired by a book hardly anyone has ever heard of*. A few individuals have decided to embrace most of the Belter lifestyle while still keeping the 'Danelaw within easy reach for the occasional beer run, and built themselves micro-space stations in low-Earth orbit, ranging in size from comparable to a two-berth caravan to something like a modest suburban house. Most of them refuse to acknowledge the authority of the Convention, the UNOOSA or in fact anyone other than themselves; a few have gone so far as to declare themselves independent sovereign states, which is taken seriously by absolutely nobody. Most of them are harmless eccentrics who just want to be left alone, but a few of the more hardline types have a tendency to consider any rules an unlawful infringement on their freedoms, even mutually beneficial ones like fitting radar reflectors and being careful where they jettison their trash.

* With good reason, because despite the cool-sounding premise it was pretty terrible.

Jamesons: Because calling themselves the Elite fen would sound really daft out of context. More of a lifestyle than a true fandom, named for the default player name in the classic Elite space-trader sims. Jamesons are freelance, itinerant traders who live aboard their ships and rarely stay in one place for longer than it takes to load and unload cargo, refuel and resupply their ships and maybe have a few beers. They rarely go full Boskone, but have an unfortunate and not-undeserved reputation for taking a "don't ask don't tell" attitude to what they're being paid to deliver. However, Jamesons also make up a surprising percentage of Fenspace's homegrown writers and artists, as without reliable high-speed Interwave access or the various time-compression technologies from the games there isn't a whole lot else to do on a long run.
Bumping this to remind myself to actually move stuff into the Wiki.