The Human Sphere is a BattleTech universe set in 3100. The Jihad has come and gone, leaving in its wake dozens of small realms in a perpetual cycle of raids and small wars. Will you seek money or defend your nation? Or both? You decide.
"You SAY I did wrong, but it always felt so RIGHT at the time..." - Black Mage - 8 Bit Theatre
Formed in 3057 when Liao and Marik forces smashed into the Sarna March, the Styk Commonality was an alliance of Styk and Gan Singh. Minister Urnst Haller was removed from his position in 3058 when he tried to add his homeworld Pleione into the Commonality without his leaders’ approval.
Stung by that reaction, he returned to Pleione to lead the resistance there against the 15th Dracon. Other forces came and went, but the 15th Dracon remained there for a decade, trying to subdue the planet. When the Jihad started in late 3067, the Dracon began to doubt their leader and Haller saw a chance to strike. Requesting an audience with Sang-shao Rei Tsuba, he suggested an alliance between their forces and offered the Dracon a place in the Styk Commonality. Having fought against Haller for nearly a decade, Tsuba knew him better than his commanders and agreed to Haller’s idea. The Dracon jumped to Styk with Haller at their head.
At first the Styk government refused to accept him, but after the 15th Dracon finished “negotiations” Duke Urnst Haller sat on the throne of Styk in April of 3068 with no one to dispute his claim. Opening up the Styk Commonality to anyone wishing to be a part of it, and reaffirming positive relations with the new Tikonov Free Republic, the Zion Protectorate, and the Duchy of Andurien, nearby systems and units swarmed in, not wanting anything to do with Sun Tzu after his betrayal.
By the time the Jihad was over, the Styk Commonality contained twenty-five star systems from Lesalles to Aldebaran to Hunan. Corey’s BattleMech factories especially gave Styk a new lease on life, allowing them to build more BattleMechs in their space, but they ended up buying most of their BattleMechs from the Tikonov Free Republic or the new Zion Protectorate with aid given by those nations and the Duchy of Andurien. By 3079, the Styk Commonality under Duke Haller fielded a strong military.
When St. Ives found itself under assault by the Syrtis Federation, the calculating Haller saw a chance to strength his power and began preparing to grab the chance. The entrance of the Taurian Concordat and Capellan Confederation into the war showed his instincts to be correct and in 3080 the first steps of his plan came into motion. The 15th Dracon, the symbol of his personal power, crossed the border and hit New Aragon like a hammer, supported by a newly formed unit called the Chesterton Reserves.
Led by Aeron Hargreaves, last in a long line of Hargreaves officially accepted as the Duke of Chesterton for centuries, the new Chesterton Reserves extolled the people to return to their long-lost roots as proud members of the Chesterton Commonality. The entrance of the Tikonov Free Republic into the war in 3081 simply made the 15th Dracon and the Chesterton Reserves move faster. Neither Hargreaves nor Haller wanted the Ridzik brothers to take any of the former Chesterton Worlds, and they smashed through every defense the Syrtis Federation put up as fast as they could. The capture of Caselton and Sonnia in 3083 finished that phase of the war, containing the Ridzik brothers when they captured Tikonov.
Then the Dracon and the Chesterton Reserves moved through Tawas and Ulan Batar to join Ambermarle’s Highlanders in hitting Chesterton itself. The world fell easily and the Highlanders went on to take Farwell with elements of the Chesterton Reserves. Hargreaves and the rest of the Reserves, along with the 15th Dracon, moved to Valexa in 3085, expecting to use it as a simple jumping off point to Goshen and its War College. But General Sarah Delittle’s Valexa CMM proved to be a more resilient enemy than they expected. Holding out for several months before being battered into submission, Aeron Hargreaves himself accepted Delittle’s surrender and immediately offered her a position in his organization. She accepted the offer and the Valexa CMM became a part of the Chesterton Reserves.
Hargreaves tasked her with reforming the Chesterton Border Guards as he moved on to Goshen, but was repulsed by their fanatic defense. Falling back to Valexa, he found an organization already springing up under Delittle’s capable leadership, and he folded much of the surviving Chesterton Reserves into her command so she could spread them out as required. Now garrisoning every world captured during the St. Ives War, the Chesterton Border Guards under Delittle’s leadership are a strong force.
With the Styk military stretched and battered, Haller pulled back the Dracon for repairs on Styk, and while the war officially lasted for another few months Styk was effectively out of it. The last fifteen years have seen Haller and Hargreaves meeting often and working together well, but they’ve also seen massive amounts of money pouring into the Chesterton Worlds from nearly a dozen foreign governments. The Ridzik brothers want the Chesterton Worlds, as they were once a part of the Tikonov Grand Union, but don’t want to throw away their alliance with Styk. So they use money to hopefully bring Hargreaves to their side. Other governments, wishing to hold the Ridziks back, send in their own money to keep Hargreaves from going over to them. So far, Duke Hargreaves seems willing to sit back and let the money flow in to enrich his worlds.
Styk on the other hand, is feeling the pinch of trying to bribe Hargreaves into staying loyal. Unable to fully protect their borders, Haller lost Yunnah and Raballa in the Corey District to a Sarna assault in 3095. The Supremacy wants the entire Corey District, claiming it as a former possession of the original Sarna Supremacy, and has continued to raid all those worlds, and the rich Zion worlds, since then. They’ve been unable to do anything more though, as Hargreaves made his position clear on Supremacy expansion and took Menkar in a retaliatory strike with the Chesterton Border Guards. Heavily raiding all nearby Supremacy worlds since then, he’s kept the Sarna military off balance enough that it cannot force the issue in the Corey District.
The Corey District is currently the most chaotic of the three districts in the Styk Commonality, with near constant raids from both Sarna and Capella hitting it at near constant intervals. Reinforced as much as Styk can afford with resources from Tikonov, Zion, and Andurien, the Corey District is still a rough area to live. The Styk District on the other hand is very secure against attack with only a short border that is generally quieter with Sarna. However, many worlds in the Styk district were once in the Tikonov Grand Union, making secession to Tikonov a real concern. The Chesterton District is the most powerful of the three districts at the moment, though full of secessionist tendencies. Many want to go to Tikonov, others want to return to Davion or Hasek rule, while others want to go independent. So far, Hargreaves seems to be controlling the secessionists, though to what end no one knows.
Receiving aid from Andurien, Zion, Tikonov, and the Ozawa-Addicks Mercantile Alliance, the Styk Commonality also has many allies, even if their trustworthiness is not completely assured. Sharing an unfriendly border with Syrtis, Sarna, and the Capellan Confederation though, the Styk military is spread out badly in an attempt to hold off all its enemies.
Dukes Urnst Haller and Aeron Hargreaves are the most powerful men in the Styk Commonality, but many wonder which one is more powerful than the other. They appear to trust each other though, at least as much as sometime rivals can. Generals Rei Tsuba and Sarah Delittle command the militaries of Styk and Chesterton, keeping them strong enough to hold off most attackers, and the two have worked together well for many years. If the four of them can keep the Styk Commonality from fracturing under secessionist tendencies, Styk will have a very bright future. If they can’t, it could very well disappear before the decade is over.
The command ship of the Styk Naval Command is the, Bernard Shaw, a Lightning destroyer purchased from Tikonov and named after one of the original explorers that found Styk. Numerous Riga escort frigates support it while Krivak patrol frigates jump from system to system to protect against pirates. Cheetah, Thrush, and Lightning AeroSpace Fighters built on Algol dominate the fighter wings that support the frigates. Victors dominate the Styk Ground Command assault companies, while Catapults, Huron Warriors, and Crusaders from Zion fill out most heavy companies. Valkyries and Phoenix Hawks from Demeter and some still rare Chimera OmniMechs from the Tikonov Republic dominate medium companies, while lighter designs are primarily purchased from other realms.
Algol – SolarHigh AeroTech – Cheetah, Thrush, and Lightning AeroSpace Fighters
Campertown – Sacrado Industries – Various comm. and targeting and tracking systems
Corey – Hollis Incorporated – Huron Warrior and Catapult BattleMechs.
Demeter – Vicore Industries – Valkyrie and Phoenix Hawk BattleMechs.
St. Andre – Seluk Electronics Ltd. – Various electronics systems
Styk – Klein Manufacturing – Industrial vehicles and IndustrialMechs.
– Tao ’Mechworks – Victor BattleMech.
Aldebaran – One of the few Chaos March worlds to quickly accept Capellan rule in 3058, this world felt betrayed by Sun Tzu’s alliance with the Word of Blake and requested membership in the Styk Commonality. They have been loyal members of that government ever since.
Algol – Once a Tikonov Grand Union world, it was captured during the St. Ives War, and has oddly never given Styk any problems. In fact, it now builds the AeroSpace Fighters that Styk uses.
Algot – A largely unspoiled world of beautiful landscapes, Tikonov explorers colonized it. Conquered during the St. Ives War like the other Chesterton Worlds, money flows into the system from the Tikonov Free Republic and other governments, and street preachers cry out the virtues of returning to their true home rather than the false government of Styk.
Almach – A Chesterton World, it is the only world in the Human Sphere primarily settled by Argentineans.
Buchlau – Once a member world of the Tikonov Grand Union, it was captured during the St. Ives War and is a reluctant member of the Commonality. Money flows into it from other governments and street preachers extol the virtues of returning to its “real home”. Some of the fish grow to the size of Terran whales and are excellent foodstuffs.
Caselton – Originally a Chesterton World it was a young colony when the Davions took it from the Tikonov Grand Union. It was captured by the Capellans during the 1st Succession War, but recaptured by House Davion in the 2nd and remained Davion until Styk captured it during the St. Ives War. It is not a willing member of the Styk government and many find it to be an easy convert to secession. Many believe it may request admittance into the neighboring Ozawa-Addicks Mercantile Alliance if given a chance.
Chesterton – Founded by the last of the great Welsh Explorers, Tristam Chesterton, who had one of the largest trading fleets outside the Terran system. In 2193, Demeter and Chesterton formed the Chesterton Trade League. Became a province of “Imperial” Tikonov in the 2210s. Allied with the Capellans in 2306 to fight the Kluanian pirates. Conquered by Sarna between then and 3057. Signed over to House Davion in 2344. Captured during the St. Ives War.
Demeter – In 2193, Demeter and Chesterton formed the Chesterton Trade League. In 2760, the Davion BattleMech factories were nuked. Conquered during the St. Ives War by the newly reformed Chesterton Reserves, it is now a major center of BattleMech construction.
Farwell – A Chesterton World.
Gan Singh – The oldest member-world of the Styk Commonality and former Grand Tikonov Union world, this is a major source of food for the Styk government.
Halloran V – Trapped in an ice age, this world has long made money selling ice to other systems. It is also a common target of Sarna Ice Raiders, and is considered a Chesterton World.
Hunan – A volcanic world, it is home to “Fire Lizards” that can spit a caustic liquid with deadly accuracy at up to 10 meters. Only the massive deposits of ore keep people on the world, but Sarna raiders make life difficult for the locals.
Lesalle – Home to the huge mailsloth, a delicacy throughout the Human Sphere, hunting permits for this animal are carefully kept to a minimum.
Liao – The ancestral home of the Liao family, this world quickly supported Capellan rule in 3058 and became home of the Liao Conservatory of Military Arts. After Sun Tzu’s betrayal, they joined the Styk government and have continued to graduate the best, most loyal, and brightest recruits to the Styk military.
Menkar – A system that has never known war, plants are harvested there for research on New Aragon. Captured in 3095 by the Chesterton Border Guards in a lightning campaign that did no damage, Menkar has never been hit by any raiders, perhaps because no one wishes to limit the medical research. Or because no one finds it valuable for anything else.
Mesartim – A Chesterton World, it is known for the wonderful wines it grows.
Mira – A Chesterton World, it was colonized by Tikonov in the 22nd Century. With a surface gravity of 1.8 gees, and an atmospheric density of 2.20 atmospheres at sea level, Mira can only be charitably called habitable. In addition, local food does not give all the nutrients required by humans to live unless eaten in large amounts, so the poor who cannot afford vitamin supplements often tend to be fat and undernourished. Crime is a common problem, with every crime known to man infesting this world, especially the port towns at sea level. The more affluent cities on the tall plateaus above the cloud level where the atmosphere is closer to standard pressure, are much more lawful and the rich often have no understanding of the problems the poor must face. It is no surprise that foreign monies are lavished on the ports and the ideas of secession are strongest among the poor.
New Aragon – Home of the New Aragon Institute of Epidermiology, a leading medical research facility in the Human Sphere, New Aragon has been a staunchly Davion-loyal world since “The Fox” restored order there in 3013. Conquered during the St. Ives War, they are a reluctant member of the Styk Commonality to this day but have nowhere else to go. A Chesterton World.
Ningpo – A major producer of agricultural products, Ningpo was the target of Laurel’s Legion as they attempted to bring it under Confederation rule when the Word of Blake Jihad kicked off. When Laurel’s Legion returned home to Tigress, Ningpo was without an occupier and they requested aid from Styk. They’ve been a loyal member of the Commonality since then.
Old Kentucky – Once a wilderness resort of the Capellan and Federated Commonwealth nobles, Styk nobles began to visit it for a time. But as Sarna raiders have more heavily besieged the Corey District those visits have dropped off.
Pleione – Once a member of the Tikonov Grand Union, and the site of a major Star League base, Pleione is a proud member of the Styk Commonality. Having resisted Capellan attempts, courtesy of the 15th Dracon, to take it over in the 3060s with Urnst Haller at their head, the 15th Dracon allied themselves with him after the Jihad began. Taking over the nearby Styk government, they quickly turned the Styk Commonality into a refuge for those who no longer wanted to follow Sun Tzu. As the star of Tikonov has grown, many have expressed a wish to return to their “true home”, but most still support Duke Urnst Haller.
Poznan – Once controlled by citizens of Spanish decent, when it became a part of the Capellan Confederation, the Spanish were pushed into the minority and treated as such. Gaining freedom under Davion rule the world refused to fall to Capellan rule after the joint Marik-Liao invasion. Still loyal to the Davion family, the world remains under Styk control only because there is nothing better at the moment.
Shensi – A forest world, it also supplies metals and radioactive ore to the Styk war machine, making it another target of frequent Sarna raids.
Sonnia – A Chesterton World, it was captured without a fight during the St. Ives War. A pragmatic system that agreed to swear loyalty to Liao when told to, and swore loyalty to Davion when told to, the citizens have taken to the monies flying into their system with a relish. Expanding their favorite game, "Counter-Spy: the Game of Switching Sides", into the new world, foreign spies have found themselves led around in circles by the obliging citizens who are having a ball. Contests run across the planet with people trying to get the largest number of “dupes” on their side, though in the last few years foreign governments have begun to realize that they are being had and have dropped the amount of money sent into the system. This has just made the locals work harder at the “game”, and many spies continue to be led around circles “sure” that they’ve finally cut a break.
St. Andre – A desert world, this was the planet where the Capellan Confederation was signed into being. It became a major Star League shipyard and BattleMech construction site, but repeated assaults by BattleMechs and nuclear warheads scarred the planet badly. The years since the Jihad, especially the last decade as Sarna raiders have become bolder, have not been kind to this world.
Styk – Home of Tao ’Mechworks and Klein Manufacturing, Styk also has a large fleet of ocean-going luxury liners that the nobles of the Commonality take their vacations on, especially after Old Kentucky became less safe. Once a member of the Tikonov Grand Union.
Tawas – A Chesterton World, it was conquered during the final campaign to take Chesterton by the 15th Dracon and the Chesterton Reserves.
Tsinghai – Once a part of the old Sarna Supremacy, Tsinghai is a reluctant member of the Styk Commonality. Known primarily for its excellent wines, Styk officials believe that the Buddhist majority sells many of those wines to Sarna traders. They have yet to prove this though as the planet is reluctant to sell out either Sarna or its own people.
Tsitsang – A major producer of food and other agricultural supplies, this system supplies several nearby Styk systems.
Ulan Batar – A Chesterton World, it was the final jump off point for the 15th Dracon and the Chesterton Reserves as they moved to capture Chesterton.
Valexa – General Sarah Delittle’s Valexa CMM fought the Chesterton Reserves and the 15th Dracon for several months before surrendering in January 3085. Impressed at their strong defiance, the Chesterton Reserves allowed them to stay in place after the invasion to defend their homes. Now a part of the Chesterton Border Guards, the aging veterans of the Valexa CMM continue to serve in the defense of their world.