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The Confederate Vanguard Union, an authoritarian and militaristic state situated within the Core, commands a vast territory that hosts a population of around 14.8 billion residents. Its dominant presence extends across its worlds, with Starhold serving as the heavily fortified capital. It fields the largest military in the Core, a force of almost 350,000 mechs.

Territory and Capital[]

The Confederate Vanguard Union's dominion in the Core Worlds boasts a unique blend of planets, each serving a vital role in the Union's military and political machinery. At its heart lies Starhold, a heavily fortified world pivotal to the Union's military operations. Starhold is a world of stark contrasts, like the Union itself. The landscape is characterized by extreme dualities, with icy tundras in the north and expansive arid deserts in the south. Among the distinctive planets within this powerful state, Fortuna gleams as a beacon of prosperity. This world is adorned with gleaming metropolises, towering skyscrapers, and a population enjoying a high standard of living, largely fueled by extensive mining and manufacturing industries.

The Confederate Vanguard Union's dominion is also marked by starkly contrasting worlds, each playing a unique role. Notably, Freedom serves as a grim testament to the Union's authority, functioning as a harsh prison planet where dangerous criminals and political dissidents are exiled. Life on Freedom is relentless, with inmates battling each other and the planet's deadly fauna for survival. Daxton's Dominion, once an independent world under the rule of a charismatic leader, now stands as a military base and production center, churning out weapons and warships for the Union after being absorbed into the Union's fold. These diverse planets encapsulate the multifaceted nature of the Confederate Vanguard Union, displaying the significant impact they have within the Core Worlds.

Ruler and Leadership[]

The Union is governed by High Minister Victor Hawkins, a distinguished leader hailing from House Hawkins. With a lineage deeply intertwined with the Union's military, House Hawkins has steered the nation through its martial history. Known throughout the Core Worlds as the "Grey Wolf", Victor’s storied moniker originates from his remarkable prowess on the battlefield, where he has time and again demonstrated his effectiveness as a tactician and a fierce fighter. Early in his life, Victor Hawkins played a pivotal role in quelling an uprising that arose across several unified Union planets, an endeavor that ultimately earned him his legendary title. As a military strategist, he leads with exceptional acumen, guiding the Union through the complex web of Core World politics.

Victor Hawkins's lineage is inextricably intertwined with the Union's military history, with House Hawkins being a name synonymous with martial prowess. Standing by his side in the Union's leadership are his tenacious children, each eager to uphold the family's time-honored military tradition. Lieutenant Ryder Hawkins, as spirited as she is skilled, fervently aspires to take the reins of command, yet remains confined to the role of a squad leader, her father withholding larger responsibilities. This restriction breeds frustration in her, leading her to frequently overstep her boundaries in a zealous bid to showcase her capabilities. Ryder's audacity extends beyond her professional life into her social endeavors, where she's widely known for her casual liaisons with lower-ranking soldiers. To her, these dalliances are purely physical, as she finds attachment tiresome. On the other hand, Maximus Hawkins, her brother, embodies patience and a groomed disposition. Serving alongside his sister in her squad, Maximus exudes unwavering loyalty and competency. Like Ryder, he remains untrusted with higher commands, but his consistent dedication and competence in his role are widely acknowledged. Both siblings harbor profound respect for their father, laboring diligently to prove their worth. Ryder's personal shortcomings notwithstanding, her ability is indisputable—she is a beacon of confidence, fearlessness, and capability, with Maximus dutifully serving as her loyal right hand, sharing her remarkable competence and dedication to the Union's cause.

Politics and Diplomacy[]

The Union was once the royal vanguard, during the time of the Golden Empire. It was gifted its independence and the planet of Starhold (along with several others) after it helped House Caledon defeat of the Ophidian Supremacy, an empire which had invaded and occupied the Core in the distant past. The Union's words--"Forged from Victory"--are meant to remind its people of this origin and of its determined spirit. Despite its loyalty to the House Caledon, the Union is difficult to control and has an independent streak. It is quick-tempered and its civilian population is largely armed, which can sometimes lead to volatile situations. While the Union does not have any large open conflict with other states, it does not tolerate any state that gets in its way. It solves problems with guns and battles, and has a reputation for being arrogant and hot-headed.

Military and Technology[]

At the heart of the Union's might is its professional and highly disciplined military force, widely recognized as one of the most effective within the Core Worlds. On the battlefield, the Union relies on versatile mechs equipped with traditional weaponry, including lasers, autoguns, cannons, rockets, and missiles. Unlike their Core Worlds counterparts, the Union's mechs are designed for all-around combat readiness, avoiding specialization in close or long-range warfare. Notably, Union mechs boast efficient cooling systems, ensuring their ability to engage in prolonged battles effectively.

The Union is renowned as the de facto generals of the Core Worlds, credited for their outstanding strategic thinking and coordination capabilities. Their contribution to planning large-scale operations, such as the Great Expedition, exemplifies their pivotal role within the Core.

Mercenary Relations[]

Despite the Union's competitive military culture, it welcomes mercenaries and forges effective alliances with them. Specializing in logistical battlefield support, the Union's contracts grant mercenaries the advantage of fielding numerically superior forces compared to their adversaries. However, it is essential to note that while serving the Union offers battlefield advantages, the pay and salvage rates are somewhat below average. In essence, mercenaries may not amass wealth working for the Union, but they consistently secure numerical superiority on the battlefield.