Wednesday, June 24, 2015

City of Curses: Janissaries of the Spice Khan (Fate Core)

Alright, more #Crux setting thoughts down on paper.  I keep mentioning the Janissaries of the Spice Khan in stories, so here I try to give them a thousand words or so of my attention.

The Janissaries
Part of Maliph's strength is in how each khanate draws its own individual strengths and military
methods, unique to it.  The Janissaries are such, something that the Spice Khan's alone has used throughout her family's history.  Each Khan has their own unique Janissaries, loyal to them above others.  They form the basis of a Maliphi Khanates nobility, only rivaled by old aristocracies within clans.  Unlike other Khans, the Spice Khan does not dwell within the Khanates, instead spending most of her time in Crux's docks on her pleasure barge.

It should be no surprise that her servants share the Maliphi traits of accepting diverse peoples and strong endurance.  The Spice Khan's janissaries exemplify both, while upholding her reputation for wealth.

Janissaries first were drawn from non-Maliphi, especially monsters or slave populations from Ainesia, the Jade Lands, Othebea, Ith and as far as Ocrid.  They were slave soldiers, raised as children among Maliphi families loyal to their Khan.  Well-disciplined soldiers, many Khans solidified their dynasties through the use of Janissaries.  Their initial advantage was a lack of loyalty to anyone outside their own Khan, being outside the system of merchants, priests and others found throughout Maliph.  Coming from outside the Khanate they served, Janissaries proved an important tool for the Khans to keep power and to resist local rebellions.

Eventually, various Khans allowed their Janissaries to have heritable positions.  These Khans tend not to add too many new slaves to their corps.  A few others maintain the practice of a child tax, wherein slave children from human and monstrous subjects are conscripted.

The Spice Khan's own janissaries are a continuation of this practice.  She often selects them with a bias toward the more monstrous, but often has conscripted many children of various kinds, including Tieflings, Ursyklon and Tengu.  They are taken to the Spice Khan's plantations in northern Maliph.  After being raised to learn Malic and converted into being devoted to the Spice Khan's service, they must pass a test proving their loyalty to her.

The plantations of the Spice Khan are also the traditional homeland of her people, the Sand Giants.  Children slaves are given over to one of the Sand Giant families, raised as one of their own.  Opulent, these lands instill a pastoral code of honor into all of the Janissaries that serve the Spice Khan.

For these Janissaries, coming to Crux to serve her directly is the highest honor.  Janissaries of the Spice Khan often go on to serve her throughout the Spice Khan's mercantile empire.  Loyal, they come into positions of various power throughout the Maru Sea.  She repays their loyal many times over.

But those who dare betray her?  Those Janissaries can't run far enough.  Losing the Spice Khan's faith often drives them to daring actions, some growing more and more desperate to prove themselves.  Within Crux itself, these Janissaries appeal to other icons for aid, but even then, they don't last that long.

The other Janissaries in Crux hunt them down, behead them, and let the tale spread.

Their position as instruments of an ambassador do not give them blanket immunity from Crux's laws.  But the corrupt nature of various members of the city watch does give them latitude to act in ways others wouldn't.  Outside of Old Crux, many different monsters or adventurers work for janissaries as hired muscle, laborers or otherwise.  Most Janissaries are always eager to prove themselves, and aren't afraid to create violence if they believe it will win the Spice Khan's favor.

The Spice Khan's Janissaries wear fine blue robes.  Often they also wear yellow turbans.  Most carry their weapons openly.  They all tend to practice the same ritual scarring that most Ramelin conduct, gaining a new scar upon celebrating each year of service to the Spice Khan- since their "rebirth" as her servant.

Janissaries also uphold a particular code.  They act as the Spice Khan's proxy in many matters.  For those conducting business in the Port of Crux or the Grand Bazaar, the Janissaries are more reliable for guarantees of protection.  They even are notable as representing the Spice Khan's own trade interests.  Perhaps some of the most notable traders to be found in Crux are the Janissaries, whose oath to the Spice Khan motivate their honest dealing.

Aspects: Janissary of the Spice Khan; Spice Khan's Proxy; Monstrous Maliphi Servitors
Fearless.  You don't succumb to fear.  Opponents can still use Provoke to get negative emotions out of you, but they aren't fear.  You don't take on aspects like scared or frightened, but perhaps get angry or experience moments of fugue.
Honesty.  Others trust you as a trader and merchant- they know you will be honest with them, and in turn, tend to be more open with you.  When engaged in conversation, you can spend a fate point to gain the aspect Honest Dealer for the remainder of the scene.