Amano Harran first featured in The Battle for Xilos narrative campaign supplement as a captain of a company of Oszoni Freeborn.
Amano Harran is the long estranged nephew of Vard Bero Harran of Freeborn House Oszon. He is pre-eminent among the mercenary captains of the Oszoni whose relationship with their Vard might be fairly described as somewhat ambivalent. It is true that a fair number of Oszoni leaders have good reasons to fear and even to hate their ruler. In many instances the Vard’s antipathy is entirely justified, considering that the House has bred some of the most savage rogues and pirates in Antarean space. In Amano’s case, however, his coolness towards his uncle is scarcely surprising considering his family’s convoluted and bloody past.
Amano’s father, Tiros, was the youngest of Bero’s many siblings, the last of a brood in whose veins it was said ran red treachery rather than mere blood. Spoiled and over-indulged by his doting parents, the youthful Tiros grew to be something of a hell-raiser with a taste for dangerous intoxicants among other and even more perilous pleasures. Haunting the seediest of underground dens and rubbing shoulders with some of the House’s worst criminal elements, he soon found himself recruited by enemies of his brother Bero. Lured by promises that he would become Vard in his brother’s place, Tiros was drawn into a sinister conspiracy against Bero.
The conspirators were betrayed just as they were about to strike: Tiros was captured and subsequently executed along with the plot’s other chief instigators; or at least those of them who were discovered by Bero’s agents. Amano’s mother was exiled and soon disappeared entirely. Her sympathisers suspected that she had been secretly disposed of by the Vard’s assassins.
The infant Amano was barely a babe in arms at the time when his father was executed and his mother driven into exile. The child was subsequently raised in the Vard’s household without any knowledge of his parentage or the shocking events surrounding his circumstances. As a close member of the Harran family, a blood-relative of the Vard such as Amano could not be allowed to stray too far from the eyes of government. Amano was not to learn of his father’s treachery and his parent’s fate until years later, by which time many among the younger ranks of Oszoni had begun to see the dashing and popular Amano as a potential successor to his uncle.
In common with the sons of other aristocratic families Amano was keen to make a name for himself beyond the confines of the Vardos. With his warband of hand-picked Freeborn fighters, he became one of the most spectacularly successful and best known mercenary leaders in the whole Determinate. The Oszoni celebrated enthusiastically when they heard of Amano’s daring raids and courageous deeds. Amano naturally took great pains to ensure that they did!
Back home Amano’s supporters spread tales of his generosity and success, spending freely of the riches that the young mercenary captain ensured found their way into the hands of his closest allies. To the ordinary Oszoni he was soon hailed as a hero! Handsome, courageous, generous and almost universally popular, his deeds quickly became the stuff of legend and his adventures the meat of gossip throughout the Vardos.
All of this was guaranteed to annoy his uncle Vard Bero very much indeed. As it was surely calculated to do! Yet such was Amano’s popularity, and so industrious his many supporters, that even the Vard was obliged to be seen heaping praise upon his nephew, even if he did so through gritted teeth. In private the Vard raged against the impertinence of his nephew. He directed his security forces to spy upon Amano’s cadre of supporters and to infiltrate their organisation. These efforts were met with mixed success. Secretly, the Vard resolved to dispose of his troublesome nephew as soon as he got a chance, a task he would entrust to his most sinister of councillors, the cold-hearted Renegade NuHu Karad Vek.
Amano Harran has certainly made a name for himself among the worlds of the Determinate, and his ship – the Nebula – has become almost as famous as its captain. Utilising some of the most advanced technologies of Antarean space, it is often assumed that the Nebula is equipped with alien derived space drives as yet unknown to the human civilisations of Antarean space. That may indeed be so, for Amano’s travels have certainly taken him to worlds beyond the ordinary congress of human space.
The simple reality is that the Nebula is sheathed in a self-repairing, nano-particulate, stealth coating and energy envelope: a combination that may have been
stolen obtained from Ess Ma Rahq’s Algoryn SD shipyards. The combination has proven impervious to even Vard Bero’s most sophisticated espionage, so its secrets – whatever they are – remain secret. Although not a vast ship, a large frigate being less than 100 yan in length, the Nebula is home to Amano’s mercenary band of about a hundred, its holds can carry a substantial cargo or facilitate the transport of passengers, making it a self-contained fighting force of unusual power.
Amano’s mercenaries are properly known as Amano’s Company of Freeborn, but are often referred to as the Nebulans after their ship.
The battle between Amano and Vard Bero has raged in the world of assassination, the cultivation of powerful Oszoni interests, and the manipulation of popular feeling. In public the Vard praises his nephew who in turn always presents a mask of fealty and loyalty to his uncle. Behind these superficial displays of family unity each is secretly waging a campaign for power and survival as bitter as any open warfare.
Oszoni assassins have twice failed to slay Amano, and while nothing can be proven the young Captain has no doubt that his uncle’s agents are behind such attempts. At the same time the Vard fears that his estranged nephew is building up a power base of popular support as well as the means to equip an army of rebellion with which to seize power. Both men play a subtle and deadly game for the future of House Oszon.
The Xilos Catastrophe
Amano was the trigger behind the Xilos Catastrophe, inadvertantly collapsing the time locks when taking a Gatebuilder stasis key from Arran Gestalin in the caverns beneath Xilos. He is now relatively unwelcome across the Determinate and it is rumoured their are several Hükk bounty hunters on his trail.
What happened in the Gatebuilder caverns beneath Xilos was that the Boromite Guildess Arran Gestalin had used a Gatebuilder relic – the Stasis Key – to gain access to the control centre. As she stood on the control dais, she was surrounded by a light, apparently in response the the presence of the Stasis Key and the machinery became alive around her.
By using a using a standard camo-field and sound suppressor, Amano Harran had been able to sneak up on the Boromites. His vardanari held her bodyguard at gunpoint whist he snatched the stasis key from the Guildess’ hand. Without a second thought, he plunged it into the recess in the alien machinery, in doing so triggering a process that was irreversible.
The story continues as follows:
The stasis fields cracked open and as the time-field gradually normalised, what was revealed was nothing less than the core constructional element of a new Antarean gateway: a dimensional vortex at the heart of Xilos. As the vortex shed its bonds of stasis the new-born gate began to pulse with life, sending ripples of spatial energy through the rocky cavern as it raged out of control. The swirling vortex expanded as if testing its strength and as it grew it absorbed the glassy Builder machines that surrounded it. Soon it breached the walls of the cavern itself, feeding upon all it touched and growing ever stronger as it did so. It was obvious that if it continued to grow apace, the vortex would engulf the Boromites, the Freeborn and the planet itself!
Unknown to the explorers on Xilos, the fracture of the Gatebuilder’s sequential time vaults had not gone altogether unnoticed. The sudden distortion of space-time sent shock waves of dimensional instability throughout the Antarean Nexus. Some gateways appeared to rise and fall within the photosphere of Antares, threatening to disappear altogether. Others thrashed wildly as if shaken by an unseen power, making any attempt to use them impossible.
The Isorians, the acknowledged masters of dimensional engineering in all of human space, were alert to these dangers because of their past experiences of dimensional-manipulation technologies that might trigger a collapse: the last time that such forces had been unleashed had led directly to the Trisapient Catastrophe followed by three thousand years of darkness and isolation. They were anxious to avoid a similar catastrophe so triggered their eperimental chronophasic ship to appear on Xilos at the exact moment the catastrophe was triggered.From BtGoA v1, The Battle for Xilos
In so doing, it is likely that the Isorians may have triggered a new collapse, though they categorically state it was Amano Harran’s actions that did so. Whatever the cause, Xilos is now cut off from the universe by a space-time vortex and a surrounding, impenetrable, multi-dimensional seal which may be protecting the creation of a new gate to a different Nexus or even a new Nexus. Whatever the cause, gates are unstable, shifting depth or even collapsing completely all around the Nexus.
The only saving grace is that the Concord Scientists NuHu Yu Hamnu is trapped within the great seal. She has begun communicating with the outside world but only with single words or co-ordinates of the next, collapsing gate. In many respects, she is the alst hope for the inhabitants of the Nexus…
…or so it seems.
Making up a Nebula Force
The Freeborn Nebulans are best represented by a combination of domari and vardanari troops, with thee occasional Feral Mhagris thrown into the mix.
Stats: Oszoni Captain Amano Harran
Amano can be used as a substituted for the Freeborn Captain in a Fleet Command Squad for +3pts in a Vardosi selector. In addition, his unit can take a camo-buddy for +1pt. Amano’s charisma is such that his Command and Hero ranges are increased above that of a normal captain and he comes with the Get Up! Army Option.
|Oszoni Captain Amano Harran with Zantu plasma duelling pistol, x-sling with boarder, plasma grenades; reflex armour, impact cloak||5||6||6||5||5(6)||10||9||Command 15″, Follow, Hero 15″, Tough 2, Wound, Unique, Mercenary, Army Option(Get Up!)|
Zantu Plasma Duelling Pistol
This is a finely crafted hand weapon created by the meticulous Zantu craftsmen, alien creatures of diminutive size but ferocious collective intelligence. Few humans have ever met the Zantu face-to-whatever passes for a face among the Zantu but it is typical of Amano Harran that he managed to charm his way into their trust, though whether deservedly so or not is another matter. All that Amano has ever revealed about the appearance of this mysterious race is that they are ‘mostly hair’.
Zantu duelling pistols are cognitively melded to their owner and it is impossible for anyone else to use them. They are identical to plasma pistols except that they grant an extra +1 bonus to hit on a Fire order (+2 instead of +1).