Thursday, October 8, 2015


In the UMF, success is everything. And no place displays that ethic more than the capital,

Founded as a support station for logging operations in and around Lake Tristan, Lyonnesse was a little more than a provincial town when the Earth withdrew in the mid-15th century.

With the formation of the Lyonnesse league in TN 1528, the Lakeside city became the administrative hub of the new alliance. The UMF chose to retain the city as the capital. The old, decrepit, prefabricated buildings were torn down and replaced with massive edifices in the neo-gothic style. From the ground up, the new Lyonnesse was built to impress. At its heart, is Building A, known by locals as the Cathedral. It was intended to become the center of mercantile government, it was badly damaged by orbital artillery during the war of the alliance. It's Reconstruction, just finished in 1928, marks the buildings 300th anniversary.

Building A

With many of the tasks usually associated with government -- such as social welfare, pensions, and healthcare -- part of the private sector, the central tenant of the UMF government is to ensure a favorable financial climate for corporations to thrive. In theory the government is a political, looking out for the Federation as a whole rather than a collection of interest groups. But in practice, the government is constantly at odds with itself. Building A is a totem to this inner conflict between liberty and poverty, between corporate interests and civil efficiency. It houses both the seat of government and the publicly available knowledge of the UMF.

On the whole, the city looks austere but elegant with tree-lined boulevards, grandiose skyscrapers and broad canals servicing it's 3 million inhabitants. The city is the capital of the UMF financial services industry, home to many banks and finance houses as well as the UMF's principal stock market located on commercial Street. Information brokering forms another major strand of local economy along with entertainment.

Lyonnesse is the heart of the UMF’s high society of rich and famous. People from across the arctic maintain houses and apartments in the city, partaking of its famous nightlife. Most companies also keep offices in the city, using them as a base of operations for swarms of lobbyists. The efforts of these lobbyists, socialites and wealthy business people Insure a near endless circuit of balls, dinners and related functions.

The drive to succeed appears to be the only constant in the UMF. Mercantile customs are diverse, a product of a cosmopolitan society and a willingness to borrow the facets of other societies that proved financially successful. It is the most diverse society in the CNCS, displaying an openness to new ideas and new cultures complemented by a free and vigorous media.

Yet everything in society has to be earned and few mercantilists will willingly help others. The giving of gifts, however, pervades both corporate and private life in the Federation. To outsiders it looks like corruption but for business deals it is considered customary for substantial gifts to change hands.

Shops of all kinds provide the city with anything they can afford. The fashion in Lyonnesse is a mixture of class uniforms and luxurious opulence. technology is melded into accessories to form functional jewelry. Most anything you can think of can be found in the Agora.

Indeed, the openness of the society is complemented by a willingness to push the accepted social and legal boundaries, resulting in a very flexible system of morality. Blackmail, known as Kompromat, is an accepted part of the UMF culture.

Life in the non-corporate circles (where nearly 25% of the population live) however, is a life without government safety nets. This forms a veritable under class which is the target of organized crime, notably represented by the Forzi. In Lyonnesse, these underprivileged live in the western districts. The only general prejudice in mercantile society is against the poor.

Heavy Gear Roleplaying Game


Hermes 72 - Heavy Gear RPG - Most artwork Copyright 2002 Dream Pod 9, Inc.