The HighBreed Conspiracy
The plot behind the Highbreed and where they came from has grown complex and sorted. Below is a summary of what the party has been able to find out thus far.
The Master and the Highbreed
The Master, also known as the Magnus, is an entity that the Highbreed apparently serve. He communicates via crystals that are either around the neck of the Highbreed or imbedded in the chest. The Highbreed call themselves disciples and apparently worship The Master as a god.
The crystals are psychic in nature and can be used as communication devices or weapons. He has also used crystalline “satellites” in orbit over worlds as communication devices as well as weapons. It has been used by the Highbreed to repair old Second Republic technology and it also produces nanotech crystals that “infect” anyone that serves the Master, repairing any medical problems or anomalies the being might have.
After obtaining a specimen of the Highbreed, namely Wrathspawn from the Byzantium Secundus incident, allies within the Imperial Eye have been able to extract the genetic signature of the method used to create the creature. Because genetic engineering became more of an art than a science towards the end of the Second Republic, the techniques behind it became standardized and it was easy to at least determine the techniques used to create the Changed. In the case of Wrathspawn, the techniques pointed to GenTech, a Decados Cartel or House Dextrite on Leminkainen. In truth, it looked like a merging of methods, mixing with some new methods not seen before.
The mention of Dextrite brought up intelligence the Imperial had about population shortages within the Dextrite penal colony on Leminkainen. Apparently, secretly, the administration overseeing the penal colony population has been misreporting populations of the residents, and in fact there are many missing. Despite the yearly increase in population they get from allies of Hawkwood, they have rarely asked for a proportional increase in supplies. This has not been directly linked to the Highbreed or those that seem to want to cover it up, but the Imperial Eye deems it as more than coincidental.
On Byzantium Secundus, Braduk of the Engineers was framed for a murder of a friend he was meeting with in a public place. Many witnesses turned up in the crowd later claiming that the Ur-Ukari murdered the person he was meeting with in the Agora of Byzantium Secundus. The friend was meeting Braduk to inform him about elements within the Engineers that Braduk has drawn the attention from while investigating the murder on Byzantium Secundus. His friend was silenced because of what she knew, Braduk felt. It was the parties’ conclusion that there are elements of the engineers involved with this.
Further investigation by the Imperial Eye into these facts produced residence and drew attention from various other factions. These included the following:
- Khitan Syndicate – A subfaction with Decados that Decados considers rogues. They have a significant holding in GenTech and commonly deal with House Dextrite secretly. They are strongly pro-Third Republic and also want the Decados Cartels to join the Guilds and separate from Decados.
- The Grisham Union – a pro-Third Republic group within the Engineers. They would theoretically have the influence and the power to frame Braduk.
Prior to the trip to Rimpoche, intelligence surfaced that not only indicated the above factions, but also that they were taking overt action. A transmission was decided coming from a known Khitan Syndicate enclave saying “The Byzantium Secundus incident was not isolated. Situation must be sanitized. Send in the Hunter.”
On Rimpoche, the party encountered what could only be a Hunter. It was a cybernetically enhanced warrior accompanied by an equally cybernetically enhanced rading beast. Once rendered inactive by the party, the Hunter’s parts revealed that its origins were far beyond normal technology found in the Known Worlds. In fact, it combined proscribed cybertechnology, biotechnolgy, genetic engineering and arcane lore beyond anything they had ever seen.
On Leminkainen: Investigating the Dextrite Penal Colony shortages has found the following facts:
- Two projects seem to pop up when investigating these shortages –
- Project Corrinius – A much older project, the last reference seems to appear about 30 years ago. Dextrite and the Grisham Union appear to be connected to this one.
- Project Harakonis – Only the name appears in the intelligence. Nothing more.
- The Governor of Grikkor, Duke
Hawkwood, father to Justinius, was linked to these shortages. As it turned out, he knew of them and had a hand in them. By the Emperor’s order, he gave certain prisoners a choice – stay within the walls of House Dextrite or serve on the Symbiot front. Those that chose the latter were conscripted off to Stigmata. The Emperor ordered this operation to be done in secret. Redoran assigned Baron
Hawkwood to broker the deal with Dextrite, using his allied group of Chariotteers, the Ravenwoods.
- Valdan, however, had other ideas and has secretly been shorting the shipments of conscripts and sending some off to destinations unknown.
- People within other factions have finally begun to notice some of the prisoners missing and are now holding Redoran to the fire.
Also on Leminkainen, the group encountered an agent of the Cyber-Evolutionaries (CE), a radical group of cybernetically enhanced fanatics. This man, Aaron Von Skylov, is hunting a rogue agent of the Cyber-Evolutionaries. This rogue is, a man named Avatar, is part of a sub-faction of the CEs called the Techno-Mages. They are dealing in technology and cybernetics that not even the CEs approve of. This too has not been directly linked but the technology sounds remotely similar to the tech found on the Hunter.
The Death of a Bishop and the Church
The Church appeared to be tangled up in the Highbreed somehow on Byzantium Secundus, however, the further the group got away from Byzantium Secundus they got, the less resistance the party received from the Church. This lead most to believe that whatever the Church wanted silenced, it was something related to Bishop Lothirak Tardokin, the murdered Bishop on Byzantium Secundus.
Evidence from his blood tests by the Imperial Eye supports this theory. These tests showed that there were trace enzymes in his blood that have the same genetic engineering signature as the Highbreed. These enzyme appear to have the effect of extracting brain chemicals related to memory. His died giving up all his secrets. One of these secrets involves a mysterious place called St. Lauticus Monestary.
The conclusion is that the Highbreed was interested in his secrets and sent in a memory-extracting Changed, called a Medusa, to get them.