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"When you're a mercenary, war becomes your business. And let me tell ya, in Verpletter, business is good."

- Anonymous G.H.S. trooper

The Golden Hand Syndicate (G.H.S.), often referred to simply as “The Syndicate”, is perhaps the most infamous mercenary group in the Verpletter region of Via Aylathiya.

History

The Scattered Colonists

TBA

Konrad's Unification Campaign

TBA

The Birth of the Syndicate

TBA

Operations Outside Verpletter

TBA

Organization

The Syndicate is often described by outsiders as little more than a collection of loosely-bounded scoundrels with little cohesion. However, there exists a rigid structure in the Syndicate's various ranks.

Syndicate Army

While they are a mercenary group, the Syndicate operates with a level of organization and professionalism on par with that of any nation's armed forces. This is theorized to be done in mockery of the many nations of Verpletter.

Standard Troops

  • Troopers - Troopers are the rank-and-file of the Syndicate army. It is they who are responsible for carrying out the Syndicate's ground based operations. They are described by outsiders as being extremely opportunistic, and are not above looting the fallen to complete their mission. Despite this, they are a very capable fighting force and have been deployed to almost every type of environment.
  • Rangers - Rangers are the Syndicate army's eyes and ears. They travel with light equipment in order to maximize mobility, however, this tends to leave them vulnerable when stuck in a firefight. They are regarded as being expert marksmen, and can pick off targets from many meters away. They are also trained to use the environment to their advantage, setting up deadly traps and able to hide in plain sight.
  • Grenadiers - Syndicate grenadiers are easily identified by their numerous burn marks and the faint smell of powder that follows them. Particualrly unhinged, they charge into battle with reckless abandon, blasting away at any foe with their grenade launchers. Most Syndicate members give them a wide berth, as they would rather not be blown to pieces.
  • Tank Hunters - Tank hunters are the bane of enemy armor. They pack powerful, armor-piercing weaponry in order to destroy or severely damage any armored vehicle. Many tank hunters often have a particular fondness for their weapons, often giving them names and modifying them to suit their needs. However, their weapons usually have a low fire rate, making them vulnerable to infantry.
  • Heavy Weapons Teams - The Syndicate's heavy weapons teams are the masters of fire support. Armed with a wide variety of weapons, ranging from autocannons for mowing down infantry to pulse launchers for dealing with vehicles, heavy weapons teams can deal with a wide variety of threats. Despite their immense firepower, they are among the least mobile Syndicate troops, and as such are vulnerable to flanking manuevers.

Specialist Troops

  • Juggernauts - Clad in heavy armor and towering over their foes, Juggernauts are more akin to walking tanks than foot soldiers. These troops are siege specialists, armed with breaching weaponry designed to punch through the thickest of walls with relative ease. Once the enemy's walls are breached, juggernauts then turn their weapons on the terrified defenders, tearing them apart while advancing relentlessly.
  • Drop Troopers - Falling from orbit in armored pods, drop troopers are shock infantry of the highest caliber. They are often dropped behind enemy lines in order to sow chaos within their ranks, such as raiding bases and outposts, capturing strategic locations, and eliminating high-value targets. Due to the dangerous nature of their missions, drop troopers have a high casualty rate. However, this does little to hinder their gung-ho attitudes.
  • Engineers - On the battlefield, weapons jam and vehicles break down all the time. As such, it falls on engineers repair and restore friendly equipment in order to send them back out to fight. They also make for excellent sappers, using their mechanical skills to breach fortifications, clear landmines, and sabotage communications networks.
  • Medics - Grievous injuries are a fact of war, and it's the medics' job to heal them. Equipped with omni-tools modified for medical use, they can heal their comrades from most injuries with ease. However, they do have a sadistic streak. This comes from the fact that they are also employed as interrogators, using their skills to inflict enormous amounts of pain on captured foes.
  • Assassins - Stalking their prey silently for days on end, Syndicate assassins are some of the most patient individuals in the entire galaxy. When the time finally comes for them to strike, they leap from the shadows bearing their poisoned blades, taking their targets out and escaping before anyone figures out they were even there.
  • Taxmen - When the Syndicate makes a deal with a client, they sometimes get swindled out of what they were supposed to be paid. When this happens, the Taxmen are called in to collect the debt. These elite troops are armed with some of the best gear the Syndicate has to offer and travel around in ships suited to their needs. Very few debtors have ever survived an attack by a squad of Taxmen, and those who have often come out scarred for life.

Combat Vehicles

  • Raider - The Raider is a small, fast-moving hovercraft used by rangers for scouting and patrol. They are lightly-armored, fast attack vehicles armed with a pair of laser blasters and side-mounted saw blades. These blades are greatly feared by the Syndicate's enemies due to their ability to mow down infantry at an alarming rate.
  • Prospector - The Prospector is designed to burrow under enemy formations and emerge in the middle of them, unleashing a hail of gunfire as they do so. These were originally mining vehicles used since before the Syndicate was founded, but have been redesigned for combat purposes.
  • Buccaneer - The Buccaneer is an armored personel carrier capable of operating both on land and in water. It owes this ability due to the fact that it's treads can be swapped out for propellers. The Buccaneer's versatile chassis has also been adapted into a number of other vehicles.
  • Marauder - The Marauder is a bipedal walker designed to deal with a variety of threats. It comes equipped with four weapon hardpoints, two for the arms and two mounted on the shoulders. The arm hardpoints are designed for anti-vehicle weapons, while the top-mounted hardpoints are mounted with anti-air weaponry.
  • Ravager - The Ravager is a self-propelled artillery gun built on the chassis of a Buccaneer. It has exceptionally long range and great mobility, making it difficult to hit with a counter-barrage. However, Ravager can't be used for aquatic missions like the Buccaneer, as the sheer weight of the gun means that the vehicle would instantly sink if it tries to cross water.
  • Headhunter - Like its cousin the Ravager, the Headhunter is also built on the chassis of a Buccaneer. However, the Headhunter's role in battle is that of an anti-air tank, shooting down enemy fliers with its autocannons. If the enemy doesn't have any flying units, the Headhunter can still be used with great effectiveness against infantry and light vehicles.
  • Despoiler - The largest Syndicate ground vehicle, the Despoiler heavy tank certainly lives up to its name. Its signature weapon, the Annihilator Plasma Cannon, is powerful enough to melt anything it hits into a pile of molten slag. Due to this, the Despoiler has earned itself many nicknames such as the "Hot Box" or the "Volcano on Treads".

Syndicate Astronavy

The Syndicate's overall combat doctrine primarily focuses on swift hit-and-run attacks before the enemy has a chance to react, so they don't have a lot of heavily-armored warships. However, they do make use of such ships should the need arise.

Shuttles

  • Clinker-class Shuttle - The Clinker-class shuttle is a small, multi-purpose ship used by the Syndicate for a wide variety of roles. Its primary function is that of a transport, carrying cargo and soldiers to various locations across Syndicate space. However, in desperate times the Clinker can be pressed into combat roles, such as boarding craft or as fighters should no other ships be available. Due to the Clinker's rectangular shape and hardiness when compared to most other ships of its class, it has earned itself the nickname of "The Flying Brick".

Starfighters

  • Drachma-class Fighter - The Drachma is the primary starfighter used by the Syndicate. It is a reliable, all-around ship that can perform equally well in both a planet's atmosphere and the vacuum of space. Unlike it's heavier coutnerparts, the Drachma is capable of vertical-takeoff-and-landing (VTOL), meaning that it can be deployed much faster. They primarily fly in squadrons to maximize effectiveness, although they can undertake lone missions as well.
  • Grzywna-class Strike Fighter - The Grzywna is a two-seated fighter-bomber designed to perform quick-strike manuevers on enemy ground targets, although it can hold its own in a dogfight. It carries powerful warheads in order to destroy armored targets, although it lacks the modular system seen on the later Prutah bombers. However, it does have a modular hardpoint on the top for the ball-turret gunner, which can be fitted with different types of weapons for different scenarios.
  • Prutah-class Heavy Bomber - When the Syndicate first fought against the Kriegsleute's astronavy, they found that their Grzywna fighters lacked powerful enough armaments to punch through the thick armor of their foe's ships. They had the warheads to do it, they just couldn't figure out how to fit them on the Grzywna. To fix this issue, they created the Prutah, a heavily-armed bomber capable of fitting nearly any type of ordinance. It also comes equipped with a rear-mounted A.I. assisted flak cannon for shooting down any pursuers.
  • Sigloi-class Astro Superiority Interceptor - The Sigloi-class was designed to be the ultimate space-superiority fighter, and it very well may be. Faster and more maneuverable than nearly any other starfighter, the Sigloi is able to chase down and destroy any target in pleases. However, the Sigloi is extremely difficult to fly, and is only flown by the most elite Syndicate pilots. It also has a smaller fuel tank than most other ships its size, meaning that it can't be sent out on long missions.

Corvettes

  • Florin-class Corvette - Often referred to as "The Flying Bug Zapper", the Florin-class corvette is the Syndicate's premier anti-starfighter warship. It earned its name due to its signature arc-pulse cannons, which fire out beams of electrical energy that overload and fry anything caught within their targeting radius. Their high accuracy and rate of fire has made them the bane of fighter squadrons across Verpletter, who have come to both equally loathe and fear the Florin-class.
  • Thaler-class Corvette - The Thaler-class is designed to infiltrate enemy fleets and wreak havoc with its EMP weaponry. To achieve this, it makes use of an advanced cloaking device powered by a crystal known as pallidite, which creates a light-bending field around the ship that renders it invisible to both sensor arrays as well as the naked eye. Once cloaked, the Thaler then flies into an enemy battlegroup, waits for the right moment to strike, and then decloaks, unleashing a swarm of EMP torpedoes before swiftly escaping.

Frigates

  • Cruzeiro-class Frigate - The Cruzeiro-class frigate is the primary workhorse of the Syndicate fleet, being the most common warship seen within their ranks. This is thanks to the ship's highly modular frame, which allows the Cruzeiro to be adapted to suit a number of roles. Fast attack, close-range brawling, flanking maneuvers, if there's a job to do, there's a Cruzeiro for it. This level of modification is so high that no two Cruzeiros are exactly alike, which helps when the enemy tries to adapt to the Syndicate's battle tactics.
  • Lira-class Frigate - The Lira-class is the Syndicate's answer to long-range heavy fire support. The Lira is able to engage multiple types of enemies with great efficiency thanks to its armament of missles, ranging from swarm rockets for dealing with attack craft to heavy warheads for punching holes in larger ships. In desperate times, the Syndicate is known to turn the Lira into what is essentially a frigate-sized grenade. After packing a Lira full of as many explosives as possible, it is then flown into an enemy fleet and detonated via remote. The Lira then explodes, destroying itself as well as anything unlucky enough to be caught in the blast radius.
  • Guilder-class Frigate - The Guilder-class is used by the Syndicate to perform quick repairs to damaged ships during the heat of battle. Onboard the Guilder is a large hangar bay filled with repair drones that can be launched out at high speeds. Once launched, the drones will then locate a friendly ship, latch onto it with its magnetic clamps, and then repair any damaged systems that the ship might have. However, this does not mean that the Guilder is strictly a passive ship. The drones can also be launched at enemy ships as well, using their multitude of tools and massive database on mechanical knowledge to tear enemy combatants apart.

Destroyers

  • Stater-class Destroyer - The Stater-class is essentially a gigantic sniper rifle in the form of a warship. Running along the superstructure of the ship is an enormous railgun, which fires projectiles at speeds almost impossible to track. The power of these weapons comes not from any propellant, but by the sheer kinetic force of the round, which is enough to punch clean through the armor of practically any ship. If the enemy ship happens to come with shields, the shot will cause them to overload, leaving them drained and vulnerable. However, such power comes at a price. The Stater needs time to charge up its railgun, and after it fires, it needs more time to cool off before the next shot.

Cruisers/Battlecruisers

  • Ducat-class Cruiser - The Ducat-class cruiser is the Syndicate's primary command ship, often being used as the flagship of a fleet. It is a well-balanced ship with good mobility, armor, and firepower. It is also among the oldest ships ever to be used by the Syndicate, with some vessels predating the Syndicate's formal establishment. Some captains still command the oldest Ducats, claiming that the ship's experience brings them good fortune.
  • Daric-class Battlecruiser - The Commune Federation has long been a thorn in the Syndicate's side, especially with their exceptionally swift torpedo destroyers. The Daric-class was created to hunt down the Federation's fast ships with their heavy guns and large afterburners, which produce an exceptionally large amount of thrust. This allows them to hunt down and destroy these ships with great efficiency, although their light armor means that they can't really hold their own in prolonged battles.

Carriers/Supercarriers

  • Vault-class Carrier - Seeing the need for a way to better transport large quantities of fighters, the Syndicate created the Vault-class. The Vault not only carries a large number of fighters, but it also comes with a special deployment system. By loading fighters into its magnitized hydraulic ramps, the Vault can launch them out at high speeds straight towards enemy ships, removing the need to have them launch themselves.

Battleships

  • Sovereign-class Battleship - The largest Syndicate warship ever built, the Sovereign-class battleship is a force to be reckoned with. Heavily armored and armed to the teeth, the Sovereign is more akin to a spaceborne fortress than an actual ship. There are few Sovereigns in the Syndicate astronavy, mostly due to the cost of maintaining them as well as the Syndicate favoring faster warships. Konrad Sicallion's personal flagship, the Gilded Fist, is a heavily modified Sovereign-class, which comes with heavier armor, stronger weapons, and its most iconic addition, a spinal-mounted weapon known as the Star Lance.

Notable Members

  • Konrad Sicallion - The founder and current leader of the Syndicate.
  • Shalax Ironhand - TBA
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