The Hazat

Description:

The Hazat
The Hazat (not House Hazat— the Hazat long ago adopted this once-pejorative styling, and now prefer it) are deeply passionate and compelled. They pursue dangerous sports and seek testing duels. Hot-blooded and intense, the martial Hazat know how to field an army but are also no strangers to intruige. When they can calm the vicious infighting from family to family, they can present a formidable front against rivals from other houses.
The Hazat’s largest concern is that of territory, caught between Byzantium Secundus, Holy Terra and Leagueheim, the Hazat find there is no room for expansion. A sore point considering they lost planets during the time of Vladimir. The Hazat are now in contention over the planet Hira with the Kurgan Caliphate. Left with less land after the wars than they began with, they now pursue a campaign against the barbarian Kurga Caliphate, seeking new lands outside of the Empire.

The Hazat lead the finest militias of the known universe. Trained from the age of five to hold a sword and lead an army. An army that grows excessive their conquests. Originally the Hazat were the military of House Chauki whom they overthrew in a military coup proclaiming their House’s hidden noble heritage. Hazat vassals are loyal, for they know that sacrifices for their lords are often rewarded.

Bio:

1 House Hazat
2 Hazat Fiefs
3 Aragon
4 Sutek
5 Vera Cruz
6 Kurga
7 Hazat Royal Offices and Orders
8 Special Tactical Intelligence Group
9 The Archons of the Hazat Claw
10 The Royal Legion of the Arcane Dervishes of al-Zegai (The Royal Dervish Legion)
11 The Cohort of the Jaguar
12 The Iron Phalanx
13 The Chevaliers of the Griffon’s Claw
14 The Rolandine Society
15 The Company of the Obsidian Claw
16 The Company of the Iron Claw
17 The Company of the Golden Claw
18 Selected Hazat Families

House Hazat
Although currently weaker than House Hawkwood, House Hazat has been a close peer of its rival since its existence and before. House Chauki modeled itself on a culture that the Hazat who overthrew them largely rejected, but their ancient devotion to the ideals of martial prowess and glory, and their ancient military supremacy and rivalry with House Hawkwood, survived intact in their Hazat descendants. Since the overthrow of House Chauki in 4102, House Hazat has seen a remarkable number of families vie for power and witnessed a number of changes of regime. The Primitivo line that forged the coup against the Chaukis was overthrown in the aftermath of the First Emperor Wars, and has since dwindled into nothingness. The Lafayette, Bursandra, and Mariana families all held the crown during House Hazat’s earlier years, though more recently the family has been dominated by the Justus, Castenda, and Leon lines. The Justus line established domination of the house since 4840, but on the eve of the Second Emperor Wars, when Hazat power seemed decidedly stronger than that of the Hawkwoods, the Eduardo line split off from the Justus family and has reigned over the house since. Now the Eduardo line, backed closely by the Castenda and Rolas families and more tentatively by the Lafayette, Escovedo, and Mariana families, is trying to maintain its power against the growing strength of the emergent Justus-Bursandra-Moncada axis. So far royal supremacy is secure.
Apart from power politics, there is a cultural struggle within the house as well. The Latinate culture of the house is most firmly upheld by the Mariana, Dulcinea, Justus and Serra lines. These ideals of glory, honor, and romance (often in that order) are seen as embodied by the tales of St. Maria (a woman who, after her lover was assassinated by a jealous rival, dressed in his armor and took up his sword so that his family would still be able to complete the levy it promised to the king) and the old heroes of Aragon and Vera Cruz. This culture is complemented by the Franconic families led by the Lafayettes, who support the same ideals but with a different artistic and stylistic emphasis. However, this traditional Hazat culture is somewhat at odds with the more religious and hierarchical Chauki culture which, spearheaded by the Azatlan line, is experiencing a minor resurgence since the confrontation with the Ankhrathet Pharaonate. An additional cultural divide actually predates the house, as Sutekan culture, with its endless scheming and love of masquerades and the baroque, seems to infect whomever rules on this planet. The Castendas in particular embrace it, and have been blending it with aspects of the Decados culture of their close allies.

Hazat power is maintained, when it is maintained, by a few factors. The most important of these is military might. The strength of the Hazat military rests on three main pillars: the skill and discipline of its freemen men-at-arms, which is unrivaled throughout the Known Worlds; the extraordinary prowess, both physical and tactical, of its great lords and champions, which is rivaled only by those of House Hawkwood and a few Adepts of Mantius; and the extent of its Dervish program. House Hazat certainly does not have occult superiority with respect to houses like the Li Halan or al-Malik, but it does field the most warriors who are trained to blend occult techniques with physical combat prowess, and this is a substantial military advantage. Apart from military might, House Hazat also possesses two characteristics which are both blessing and curse. Its strategic location between Leagueheim, Holy Terra, and Byzantium Secundus puts it in an excellent position to influence interstellar politics while retaining a good technological base and fairly good relations with the Church, even though its proximity to the Ankhrathet Pharaonate was a major drawback. Secondly, its warrior ethos, which instills pride and courage in so many of its lords, has been a major motivating force in uniting its forces and in maintaining morale. This same set of ideals, however, leads to fractiousness and one-upsmanship that can degenerate into the internal struggles that have immobilized the house in the past.

Hazat Fiefs

Aragon

The crown jewel of House Hazat, Aragon is a powerful and highly developed planet which has all the advantages of a major metropolitan center and all of the disadvantages as well. Aragon was traditionally contested between House Chauki, House Alecto, and House Li Halan, but the seizure of much of the planet by the newly-emergent Hazat in the fall of the Second Republic caused House Alecto to refuse Li Halan claims to land on the rest of the planet, and Aragon was a world divided between two great houses for a long time. Conflict simmered over the planet for many years, and never fully abated until the fall of the Alectos after Vladimir’s death. When Aragon was finally unified under the leadership of the remarkable King Ramon Esteban Vega Mariana Hazat, the planet saw a remarkable period of peace and prosperity. Although the peace would be shattered numerous times by coups d’etat, the prosperity of the planet’s greatest cities, which were constantly improved by subsequent monarchs in repeated attempts to outdo their predecessors, never stopped.
Aragon is a beautiful planet of gentle bluffs, rolling fields, and striking mesas. Once warm and balmy, now the planet tends to be cool and gusty except in summertime, though it never gets too cold except in the extreme north and south poles. The planet has a number of cities, which are often built fairly low to the ground with numerous concentric walls and fortifications integral to them. The slums of these cities, often clustered around factory-fortresses similar to those on Byzantium Secundus’ Harmony, are quite miserable and full of bitter and violent folk. Aragon’s citizens are a vibrant and prideful people, and even those in the slums pay attention to their appearances and reputations. Aragon prides itself on being the cultural center of the Known Worlds, which almost consoles its citizenry for their repeated failures to make it the political center of the Known Worlds. Consciousness of honor, glory, romance and reputation all come as naturally to its citizenry as breathing, even if they do sometimes neglect the first for the latter three. Aragonese tend to be generous and companionable when they are in a position of power or respect, and grimly determined to gain power or respect when they are not.

While the Eduardo family holds the crown and commands the planet’s allegiance, Aragon’s seven fractious dukedoms are more evenly split. The Eduardo line holds two and the Justus line holds one, as do the Bursandra, Castenda, Lafayette, and Rolas families. The Dulcineas, Marianas and Serras all have significant holdings on the planet, and the Escovedos, Moncadas and Leons each have lesser presences on the world.

The crown has recently granted some Shelit lords significant fiefs in the great cities of Aragon (2% of the planet), and there are also many Decados (5%) and Hawkwood (5%) holdings upon the world. Somewhat surprisingly, there are a number of al-Malik upon the planet (2%), especially in the urban areas, and they are deeply involved in the planet’s social scene, even if sneered upon by their kinsmen on Istakhr. House Trusnikron trains destriers, griffons, and great kestrels for the house from their estates near the planet’s south pole (2%). There are also significant Torenson (1%) and Van Gelder (1%) holdings upon this planet. Several Imperial bases have been set up on the planet for security reasons as a condition of House Hazat’s surrender (1%). Aragon’s cathedral is Orthodox, and the Cathedral of St. Maria, amidst the church land of Alhambra (1%), is the seat of the Aragon Metropolitan See, ruled by Cardinal Jordano Markon Gesar. The planet has a significant Amalthean presence, and the Hazat lords and Orthodox priests are united in attempting to oppose too much encroachment by this sect. A number of fanatical Temple Avesti cults have sprung up in some of the more destitute slums on the planet.

Aragon is marginally agriculturally dependent, but is an industrial, technological, and cultural center. Its position between Byzantium Secundus and Leagueheim makes it home to many skilled artisans and professionals, and it exports refined metals, fuel and power cells, and fine craftsmanship throughout the Known Worlds. One of its primary exports is clothing, as Aragonese fashions are renowned and admired throughout the Known Worlds, and the Aragonese Couturers’ guild is actually a surprising economic powerhouse. The planet is dominated by Charioteers, however, with a significant presence of both Engineers and, strikingly, Scravers, who serve the oft-overlooked secondary economy of Aragon’s many urban poor.

Aragon is one of the most militarily powerful planets in the Empire. Its cities and castles are tremendously well-fortified and virtually every last peasant on the planet is willing to give a good account of himself or herself in battle. The militant and expansionistic Aragon Metropolitan See has a number of Adepti Templi fortress-monasteries, and the lords of the planet, when they stop feuding with each other, constitute an extremely skilled and well-equipped force of elite warriors the peer of any in the Known Worlds. House Hazat’s extensive use of military cybernetics is based in the fortress-laboratories of the cities of Aragon, and Aragonese heavy cavalry, though they are often deployed off-planet, are renowned for the devastating power of their high-speed attacks.

Aragon is ruled by King Juan Jacobi Nelson Eduardo Hazat (Eduardo The 14th of Aragon), an accomplished military leader and diplomat who has succeeded fairly well in the unenviable task of keeping the lords of his house in line after their hard-fought and humiliating defeat in the Emperor Wars.

Sutek

A world rich in ancient relics but riven with intrigue and infighting, Sutek has seen war since the first death throes of the ancient First Republic. After defeating and, to a degree, subsuming, the armies of the zaibatsus, the Chaukis fought bitterly over the planet with the Gesar, Alectos, and Hawkwoods. As soon as the Republic collapsed, the ancient feuding resumed, but with a different emphasis. When the Hazat took over from the Chauki, they moved the throne to Aragon, where their power was more secure. Sutek fell almost entirely to the Gesar and the Alectos, who together kept most Hawkwood and Hazat forces off of the planet as they feuded with each other. This all changed in the First Emperor Wars, when a series of bold strikes by the Bursandras, Moncadas and Castendas, backed by the Universal Church, rid the planet of Alectos. The Church was less pleased when the Castendas continued the war against the Gesar encampments on the planet. The ruling Bursandras withdrew from the fighting, but the Castendas’ success in claiming the entire world for House Hazat won them the planetary crown. In the years preceding the ascension of Halvor the Theocrat, the Moncadas used their Church backing to good effect, forcing the Castenda family from the planet’s throne, but the Castenda line regrouped, allied with House Decados, gained the Crown for a time, and secured their position on Sutek against the Moncadas.
Sutek is a humid world of steamy jungles, ancient ruins, and secrets. Though quite cool much of the time, Sutek still hosts much jungle and rainforest terrain. The land is dotted with ruins from the Second Republic, House Chauki, the Sathraists, the First Republic, and the Annunaki. Chauki culture is strongest here on this planet, and though its focus on glory at arms, pride, and loyalty was adopted by the Hazat, the Chauki paranoia and emphasis on the ruler as being the one who knows the most has survived for the most part only on Sutek. Some of the planet’s inhabitants also still practice the particular pageantry and absolute loyalty to the monarch that the Chaukis tried, with varying degrees of success, to instill in its populace. It is considered a great weakness on Sutek to be stupid or ignorant, and everyone likes to play at predicting the future and the behavior of others. Those who have secret knowledge are respected, and those who are seen as gullible or naïve- usually foreigners- are alternately pitied and preyed upon.

Now Sutek exists in a constant state of intrigue and mystery, though it is politically stable enough. The Castendas hold the crown and two of the five dukedoms. The Moncadas hold the third, the Eduardos the fourth, and the Justus line holds the fifth. The Bursandras and Marianas hold a number of counties on the planet, and the Tejeras are a rapidly growing force as well. The Fernando, Brigante and Azatlan lines are more minor players in the world’s politics.

28% of the planet Sutek is out of the hands of House Hazat. There is a considerable Decados (7%, especially the Gurov and Sfilli lines) and Van Gelder (4%) presence, and there are significant Shelit (5%) and Cameton (5%) fiefdoms on the planet as well. Several ancient Hawkwood land claims on Sutek have been honored, and some members primarily of the Rochfort and Hapsburg lines brood in their small fiefdoms (4%). A surprising portion of the planet’s land is under Inquisitorial control for unspecified reasons (1%), while the Empire maintains a presence in certain strategic sites (1%).

Sutek’s planetary see is Orthodox and is based out of the ancient Church lands of Livonia, once part of Palamedes Alecto’s personal fiefdoms (1%). The Eskatonic Order and the Temple Avesti are both very strong on the planet as well, however, and are encroaching upon Orthodox control of the planetary see. Sutek was the birthplace of Zuranism and Sathraism, and while the large Zuranist population on the world is well-known and usually tolerated, the extent of the surviving Sathraist menace can only be guessed, leading to a number of extremely militant Avestite pilgrims who often come into conflict with the lords of the planet. As a Hazat world, Sutek is militarily powerful, but the preferred fighting style of Sutekan Hazat is more adapted to the canopied jungles they tend to fight in and the questionable allies they tend to employ. Sutekan Hazat lords are known for their covert and unconventional warfare, their reliance on ambushes, flanking maneuvers and night attacks, and their extensive Dervish program. Sutekan Hazat love to test their mettle against Gwynneth Hawkwoods,a nd vice versa, and the Sutekan ranger brigades are famed throughout the Known Worlds.

The ruler of Sutek is Princess Elena Cindias Victoriana Castenda Hazat, famed as a diplomat and a duelist but not a warrior. She came to power at the end of the Emperor Wars, and has so far succeeded at maintaining her position amongst the fractious lords of Sutek.

Vera Cruz

Vera Cruz was discovered during the Second Republic, and in the days of the Fall it seceded under the Vera Cruz Protection Cooperative (VCPC), a corporation formed with the collusion of most of the Republican planetary administrators. However, the planet, always a pleasure paradise, was home to a number of prominent businessmen with ties to the newly emergent House Chauki. When House Hazat seized power from House Chauki, it used these businessmen as an excuse to invade the world of Vera Cruz, in supposed self-defense from their retaliatory strikes. The Protection Cooperative maintained a number of high-technology defenses, and the ruling Bursandra Hazat at first met stiff resistance. They took the opportunity to forge closer ties to the Church, however, gaining Patriarchal approval for the suppression of the Republican enclaves on Vera Cruz. With aid from the Church and House Alecto in particular, the Bursandra Hazat took control over the planet and wiped out the VCPC completely. The proud Hazat, in control of most of the planet, immediately turned and drove off the Alecto forces that wished to claim the world for themselves. When the Ankhrathet Pharaonate attacked from Hira’s jumpgate, some say that Vladimir’s initial willingness to help was in order to win the land he had always felt was due his house on Vera Cruz. Indeed, House Alecto briefly took control of most of the planet in pushing the Pharonate back, but this state of affairs only lasted a year or two after his coronation. Hazat forces swiftly looted the Alecto holdings and reestablished strong Bursandra control over the planet. In the years since then, the Bursandras have occasionally been pushed back, but they have always reasserted themselves on Vera Cruz. During the reign of the Leon line in the late 4700s, the Bursandras were deprived of the planet’s throne, and the resulting violent overthrow of the Leons permanently shattered that family’s hopes for future kingship and ushering in the first Justus dynasty. Since then, monarchs have known better than to try and frustrate the Bursandras on Vera Cruz. The defection of the Kurgan House Shelit to the Hazat, however, led the newly-empowered Escovedo line to stage a coup which succeeded in unseating the Bursandras until the middle of the Emperor Wars. Now the Bursandras rule once more, but the vast shifts in House demographics following the seizure of Kurga leave their stability uncertain.
Vera Cruz is a beautiful world with vast oceans, numerous archipelagos, crystalline beaches, lush meadows, and dense rainforests. Its intact terraforming engines- a legacy of the VCPC- have allowed it to maintain its warmth even in the face of the Fading Suns phenomenon, which in any case has failed to affect its sun as strongly as many others. Although it still hosts a few Second Republican resort cities, Vera Cruz is a highly decentralized world and was for a time quite untouched by the militarism of the rest of the house. Its proximity to Hira and the Pharaonate, however, sparked a number of fortifications and military developments. Residents of Vera Cruz tend to be extremely concerned with romance, and with their appearances as well. Their piety does not prevent them from sinning often and with many partners, but it does make them profoundly sorry about it afterwards. Vera Cruz natives tend to view those who are circumspect about their emotions with some distrust, and they love to make big scenes.

Currently Vera Cruz is in the hands of the Bursandra family, which controls the archducal throne and one of the three duchies on the planet. The Escovedo family controls the second, and the Shelit control the third. The Eduardos also have a powerful presence on the world. There are a number of smaller Lafayette, Serra and Rolas holdings,as well as several Justus and Tejera fiefdoms. Some members of the Bursandra family feel threatened by the possibility of an Eduardo-supported Escovedo takeover of the planet. It is certainly true that the Eduardo fiefdoms include many strategic facilities used in the war against the Pharaonate.

House Hazat controls about 70% of the planet itself. Vera Cruz was the throne-in-exile for House Shelit for a number of years before it won back many possessions upon Kurga, and there are still many members of that strange house to be found on Vera Cruz (10%). They are looked on with extreme suspicion and some scorn by the more emotional natives. There are a number of Decados (8%) and al-Malik (7%) on Vera Cruz, who for the most part put their politics behind their love of petty gossip and romantic escapades. Some Li Halan came to aid the Hazat in the struggle against the Pharaonate, and though most have moved on to Kurga and Beliah, many remain in isolation on island fiefdoms here, trying to retain their accustomed moral gravity (4%). A number of them have failed and fallen into degenerate lifestyles. Van Gelder lords rule some of the island chains of the planet as well (1%).

Vera Cruz is a strongly Orthodox planet, although it has hosted a number of Amaltheans even since its earliest days. Many members of Temple Avesti have come to Vera Cruz to aid against the Pharaonate, but they were told in no uncertain terms to leave, and those that remain operate mostly on their own. The Orthodoxy carved the great Adepti Templi fortress-monastery St. Mantius’ Rock out of the bowels of an inactive volcanic island, and for a time it was host to some of the greatest warriors of that sect. There are several pockets of Gjartin tribes on the planet.

Vera Cruz is agriculturally self-sufficient and indeed exports foodstuffs to Aragon regularly. Several of its rarer fruits are quite valued trade goods. It is also known for the remarkable quality of the various types of glass that can be blown from its incredibly fine sand, and it has always managed to prosper by selling glass and fine crafted glassware. It used to be dependent on Aragonese fuel for energy, but several ambitious and dirty drilling rigs have given it a measure of energy independence. The Charioteers are the dominant guild on the planet, as they are deeply tied to both the food and the glass markets.

Vera Cruz has undergone a tremendous military buildup and is now scaling down from that. Its Hazat nobles are all known as skilled duelists, and many of them have won renown as crusaders. Now it is home to many veterans, including a number of Grimsons and lords addicted to combat drugs. Most of the high-level military equipment on the planet has been emplaced by the Eduardos, although the Shelit have made quite a business out of refitting captured Pharonate wargear to conform to Hazat norms. Vera Cruz has the most significant fleet support presence of any Hazat world, with many orbital drydocks and the renowned Escovedo shipyards.

Vera Cruz is ruled by Archduke Jorge Alejandro Bursandra Hazat, a crusader and paladin who has been habitually absent from his domains since the war moved to Kurga and then Beliah. His regent, Count Enrico Holuzia Bursandra, is deeply concerned about internal dissent, and administers the planet with an iron claw to prevent any possibility of a revolt.

Kurga

The planet of Kurga (Hira to its natives) was discovered during the Second Republic, and its jumpgate was lost to the Known Worlds during the Fall. The first that the Known Worlds learned of it was when its jumpgate poured open in 4412, disgorging a huge fleet of warships of the Ankhrathet Pharaonate to swarm over Vera Cruz. During Vladimir’s war against the barbarians, Known Worlds forces liberated Kurga and much of Beliah, but upon his death the Pharaonate quickly recaptured almost all of their lost terrain. In the interim, however, House Hazat made contact with the Shelit, apparently the planet’s traditional rulers, who had always resisted encroachment by the Pharaonate. The leadership of the Shelit accepted Hazat asylum and a fiefdom as House Shelit on Vera Cruz. Since then, war has intermittently raged back and forth between Kurga and Vera Cruz. House Hazat established a beachhead on the world at Fort Omala in 4930, and has held it, though just barely, ever since. Since the end of the Second Emperor Wars and, especially, the declaration of an Imperial Crusade, House Hazat has recaptured almost all of the planet. A remaining few Pharaonate holdouts have recently withdrawn in exchange for a Known Worlds withdrawal from Lazul, and now the planet is firmly in the hands of houses of the Known Worlds. The Hazat who have claimed most of the land on Kurga were, by and large, those who were disinherited of their lands on Tethys in the Emperor Wars. These landless lines, notably the Amontillado, Tejera, and Serra lines, along with the Bursandras of Vera Cruz, have become the major Hazat powers on the planet.
A humid planet of rich beauty, Kurga is a hilly patchwork of beautiful brown rock outcroppings, jungle and rainforest, and serious volcanic activity. Most of the planet is significantly elevated from sea level, and the atmosphere is very thin. The planet is covered with Pharaonate architecture, which attempts to render the chaotic landscape of the planet as orderly as possible with remarkable terraces, walls, and roads, and with its eerie cities and fortifications.

Hazat Royal Offices and Orders

Special Tactical Intelligence Group
(STING) The Hazat military intelligence service, STING is skilled at quick and paramilitary covert operations but lacks significant counterintelligence or long-term intelligence gathering capacities. These functions have been performed by STING in the past, but it has had a poor track record with this type of work. The rise of the Eduardo line to the crown has led STING to leave such operations to the Archons, though this has been resisted by some within STING.

The Archons of the Hazat Claw
Originally the internal security police of the Justus line (the Archons of the Justus Name), the Archons have become a significant intelligence agency within the house. The extent of the rumored Decados involvement in the Hazat Archons is highly speculated upon. The Archons are involved as much in ensuring internal harmony in the fractious house as in external intelligence-gathering operations.

The Royal Legion of the Arcane Dervishes of al-Zegai (The Royal Dervish Legion)
The Dervishes are one of the most feared units of Hazat, and with good reason. Founded by a disciple of al-Zegai, an al-Malik mystic of incredible psychic power who studied on Sutek, the Dervish Legion has grown into a knightly order which constitutes a huge training ground for psychic warriors. It only accepts nobles, but many Hazat knight freemen psychics for the purposes of rendering them eligible for the Dervish Legion. The Legion was formed by lords of the Justus family, and it was long considered to be one of the reasons for the Justus family’s firm grip on the throne. Since the Eduardos split from the Justus line, its leadership is composed of Justus and Eduardo lords alike, and the Legion as a whole, when it acts as a cohesive body (which is rare), is firmly on the side of the Crown.

The Cohort of the Jaguar
The ancient traditional bodyguards of the king of the Hazat, the Cohort of the Jaguar was formed in tribute to the Jaguar bodyguards of the Chauki monarch. An active and aggressive bodyguard, the Cohort of the Jaguar traditionally not only ensures the physical security of the King, Castle Furias, and the Crown treasures, but also works aggressively to punish actual or potential pretenders to the Crown. However, the frequent changes of regime mean that each line maintains its own bodyguard for actual security of the king, leaving the Cohort to defend Castle Furias, perform certain ceremonial functions, and issue formal challenges and arrests to certain internal enemies. The Cohort maintain ceremonial golden and obsidian-inlaid armor and disarming claws taken directly from the Chaukis, and thus have extremely fancifully-engraved wargear replete with sunbursts and feathered serpents.

The Iron Phalanx
The Eduardo family patriarchal bodyguard and royal bodyguard, the Iron Phalanx stays with the person of King Juan at all times, whether in the throne room or on the battlefield. The Golden Phalanx was the Justus royal guard.

The Chevaliers of the Griffon’s Claw
A highly prestigious royal knightly order, the Chevaliers of the Griffon’s Claw are close counterparts to the Knights of the Midnight Dove, undertaking dangerous and often secret missions on behalf of the Hazat Crown. Indeed, there is a serious rivalry between the two knightly orders, and the Knights of the Griffon’s Claw pride themselves on having been founded before their rivals despite House Hawkwood’s far longer history. The loyalty of the Chevaliers to each other and to the Crown is legendary, and the order maintains its role even between changes of dynasty.

The Rolandine Society
A knightly order of those devoted to the perfection of swordsmanship and the various noble military arts, the Rolandine Society has a number of members in the cream of Hazat society. Great Hazat masters of all military skills, especially swordfighting, are courted by this society, which hosts tournaments and fetes throughout Hazat space, runs several small academies of the sword, and acts to reward those who show exceptional promise as swordfighters.

The Company of the Obsidian Claw
The Company of the Iron Claw
The Company of the Golden Claw
These honorary knightly orders are quite similar to the Hawkwood honorary knighthoods which they copy, but they involve more pageantry and bravado and meet more often simply to counter the fact that they are less longstanding than the corresponding Hawkwood orders. Knights of the Obsidian, Iron, and Golden Claws tend to be more loud about their membership and more demonstrative of their great valor than their Hawkwood counterparts.

Selected Hazat Families

- Eduardo: Current leaders, split off from Justus. High incidence of psychics, close ties to the Dervish Legion. Tightly allied with Castenda. (Crown on Aragon, big on Sutek, Vera Cruz, Byzantium Secundus)

- Justus: Usually leaders, now pushing for crusade, allied with Bursandra. High incidence of psychics. (Nominal crown on Kurga, big on Aragon, Sutek, Byzantium Secundus, Gwynneth)

- Castenda: Decadent and allied to the Decados. Always a contender for crown. Deeply involved in Archons. (Crown on Sutek, big on Pentateuch, Artemis)

- Bursandra: Crusaders, very religious. High incidence of theurgy. (Crown on Vera Cruz, big on Kurga)

- Rolas: Ass-kickers, allied with Eduardo. (big on Aragon, Kurga, presence on Vera Cruz)

- Moncada: Rivals of Castenda family for control of Sutek. Involved with STING. Courted by Bursandra against Castenda/Eduardo alliance. (big on Sutek, Aragon)

- Escovedo: High-tech, non-traditional, partners with House Shelit, Muster, Engineers. Rival Bursandra for crown of Vera Cruz. (big on Vera Cruz, Kurga, Aragon, presence on Byzantium Secundus, Leagueheim)

- Lafayette: The biggest Franconic family, this line is highly conservative and slightly less martially-oriented than other large families. Important third party on Aragon. (Big on Aragon, Vera Cruz, presence on Sutek)

- Dulcinea: Very honorable, universally respected. Distancing itself from the House’s leadership. (big on Aragon, presence on Artemis, Holy Terra, Byzantium Secundus, and a little bit of Tethys)

- Mariana: One of the founding dynasties of House Hazat, the Mariana family (named after the house’s patron St. Maria) has lost political power but is still accorded high status and considered one of the most fashionable and cultured of lines. (Big on Aragon, Sutek, presence on Vera Cruz)

- Serra: Highly religious and highly romantic, this family is full of people who will do really foolish things for love or the Pancreator. (Big on Vera Cruz, Aragon, presence on Sutek, Kurga)

- Tejera: Status-seeking family which wholeheartedly embraces the Hazat ideals of glory, honor, and romance. Dates back to a remarkable freeman knighted during the wars against Halvor. Won a great deal of power in the Emperor Wars and is eager to prove that it’s not common any more. (Big on Sutek, Kurga, presence on Vera Cruz)

- Villegas: A cosmopolitan family, with little land but many renowned travelers, adventurers, and warriors. Some Villegas lords have settled down on Kurga. (Presence on Kurga, Beliah, Sutek, Aragon, Criticorum)

- Amontillado: Canny diplomats and aggressive warriors, this line lost extensive lands on Tethys but recently regained prominence by seizing significant land on Kurga and Beliah. (Big on Hira, Beliah, presence on Aragon)

- Marquez: Proud and quite fastidious about affairs of honor, this family has recently been drawn into a huge feud with the Charioteers’ guild and has lost a great deal of money from their embargo. (Big on Aragon, Vera Cruz)

- Fernando: Famed/reviled for covert operations, military intelligence work. Allied with Castenda in support of Decados, but now losing favor among House leadership. (big on Sutek, presence on Aragon, Leagueheim)

- Brigante: Somewhat South American-influenced, has a long tradition of noble (and not-so-noble) banditry. Has dishonored itself in Emperor Wars, attempting to prove itself once more. (Big on Sutek, Aragon)

- Azatlan: Defected from House Chauki at sword’s point, have kept a lot of their culture. (Big on Sutek, Kurga)

- Leon: Became a high court family in Vladimir’s time, fell from power in Emperor Wars but have not readjusted their lifestyles, and still act like royalty. (Big on Aragon, Byzantium Secundus, kicked off Tethys, presence on Madoc)

- Marcado: Sutek-based. Honorable and valorous if arrogant and hot-tempered. (Big on Sutek, presence on Aragon, Holy Terra, Byzantium Secundus, recently dislodged from Tethys)

- Gascon: Of French culture and descent. Vaguely foppish, but still serious and honorable. Quietly arrogant. (presence on Aragon, Byzantium Secundus)

- Colapinto: Prideful and known to cling to every inch of land that they have any type of claim to. Often found in Hawkwood territories. (presence on Sutek, Byzantium Secundus, Delphi, Leminkainen, Tethys)

- Montalbano: Possessive, vengeful, now weak after grievous losses on Tethys in Emperor Wars. (presence on Byzantium Secundus, Delphi, kicked off Tethys)

- Dominguez: Small, high incidence of psychics. (Presence on Sutek, Kurga)

- Contreras: A small family of rather grasping and insecure Hazat, the Contreras line often feuds more with other Hazat than with external enemies, and are considered somewhat of rogues by the house (presence on Kurga, Rampart, Gwynneth)

- DeBracy: Once militarily powerful, now more of a Church family. (presence on Aragon, Vera Cruz)

- Alençon: Also Franconic- defeated and all but wiped out by Lancasters in post-Vladimir years.

The Hazat

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