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The prologue from yet another unfinished (barely begun) work...

The founder of the House of Baan was General Alexander of Baan, commander of the Vatican Fleet and Guardian of the Holy City. The last strong leader to arise from the fading authority of the Swiss Legions of the Holy Vatican Empire, Alexander consolidated the final remnants of the Vatican's power drawing on the intense loyalty of the soldiers, the stiffling beaurocracy of the Vatican Civil Administration, and the rapid breakdown of interstellar travel and communication.

The overthrow of the Vatican government was hardly an accomplishment, so close was it to crumbling. Still, Alexander's exploitation of every conceivable weakness in the Vatican government is impressive and supports his reputation as a master strategist. Alexander set the seat of his new government in the Holy City naming it, predictably, Alexandria. It is from Alexandria that the majority of power in colonized space has since emanated. Basing his operations in Alexandria, Alexander set about reunifying the colonized planets. When Alexander died at the age of 84, he had succeeded in unifying (one way or another) nearly 40% of the old Vatican Empire.

With the successful assumption of power by Alexander's oldest son, the seeds for a royal dynasty were planted. Over the next twenty centuries, the direct-line descendants of Alexander of Baan would continue the reunification and rule of colonized space. Throughout the centuries, the House of Baan would become stronger and stronger, with each new ruler taking the name of Alexander in honor and memory of the first ruler of the House of Baan.

In time, the Vatican Fleet was rebuilt as the Royal Navy, and became the chief tool in the enforcement of Royal will throughout colonized space. In the 13th century of Baan rule, Francis Alexander founded the Royal Order of Paladins. The Paladins are a small, elite military force. Their loyalty to the Royal Family borders on the fanatical. Over the next few centuries all personal protection of Royal Family members would be entrusted solely to the Paladins. The Paladins serve the ruling Alexander directly, answering to no one else. They have become, over the centuries, one of the most feared forces in all of colonized space mostly thanks to Kai Ho Alexander, one of the most brutal Alexanders ever to rule the House of Baan. In the sixteenth century A.B. (after Baan), Kai Ho employed the Paladins as a secret police/execution squad. During his nearly century-long reigh, the Paladins acquired a reputation and mystique of terror, brutality, and deadly competence.

The rule of the House of Baan over colonized space can be characterized most significantly by continuity. Descendants of Alexander have ruled for nearly two thousand years. Even the Vatican Empire, the greatest single governing body humanity had ever seen in both size and scope, existed for little more than six hundred years. Since the "completion" of reunification, the Alexanders of the House of Baan have enforced universal peace in colonized space. Even the Alchemist Guild, with all their magical science and power, have not sought to challenge the rule of the Royal Family.

It is the 20th century A.B. There is peace throughout colonized space. The authority of the Royal Family is challenged by none, save a small group of individuals known as "Dusters". Dusters have been around for the entire span of Baan history. They have never been of much consequence or concern to the Royal Family. Until now. Until the arrival of the Adept.


The following comments are for "Chasing Sunset"
by Daypod

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