Frontiersmen

Table of contents


When the Blight struck, one branch of the old world's military survived, almost entirely, thanks to the nature of their work. The Frontiersmen were a new force whose main role was to protect the skies above the atmosphere, and to supervise and provide security for the Turritella during its construction. They were stationed out of a temporary headquarters aboard the space station.

In the chaos that followed, they emerged as a monolith of disciplined calm, which stopped the world from plunging into total chaos, and the framework of their own forces provided the prototype for the modern police.

Generations passed, and the Frontiersmen dwindled. The population simply wasn't large enough to support a large army, in a time when human manpower was the resource in greatest demand, so the Frontiersmen had to reduce the scale of their operation from a military to a militia, and then again from a full-scale militia to a mere police. In modern days, policemen are few and far between, and the Frontiersmen completely lack the strength of numbers they would need to truly enforce the laws of the land. The lawmen stick to the largest cities and towns, and only make occasional forays to the surface, only for the most egregious of offenses or for extradition of a fugitive.

Motivations

Judging the motivations of a modern-day lawman can be an impossible endeavor. Some join the police out of a sense of justice, or simple civic pride. Others join out of desperation or ennui, finding themselves useless for other kinds of work or viewing the post as one where you can just sit with your feet on your desk all day, without having to lift a finger. A few join for the thrill of a gunfight or the rare chance to ride a Frontiersmen's boat to the surface. Others still may become a lawman as an excuse to assume authority they never earned, and use their badge as to throw their weight around. The Frontiersmen don't have the manpower to maintain disciplined rank and file, and many sheriffs find themselves able to act on their own and do as they please, with little oversight.

General Theo Garrett has little tolerance for the more petty sheriffs, and has appointed a Marshal, whose identity is secret, to quietly act on his behalf. Occasionally a bad cop will get yanked, though the standards must be set rather low in order to keep the departments staffed.

Appearance

Frontiersmen have no set 'uniform' for their work, no jacket, no hat that marks them as what they are. In general, they look just like anyone else, in chambray and denim or cotton, hats and boots, worn and comfortable. The higher ranks might be wealthier, and thus in nicer clothing, and in general the men are supposed to keep themselves relatively clean and approachable, but it's still the same as what the people around them wear, with nothing to mark them at a distance for what they are except for the badge they keep pinned over their chests, on the left side, over their hearts.

Badges

A Frontiersman's badge is his most precious possession — not just because it's the sign of his rank and office, but also because of the inherent expense of construction. All badges are a shimmery, pure, smooth blue-violet-green-black chitin, formed perfectly into neat shapes, and many of them have Ommatidia crystals embedded in them. For many common folks, these are the only crystals they will ever lay eyes on. If not for this very special, very expensive addition, it would be possible [if not easy] to fake a man's badge. Some people still can manage, but it is an arduous, difficult process.

Deputy's Badge

A deputy's badge is the simplest, and also the easiest to fake, because there is no crystal adorning its Chitin surface. It is a simple, smooth circle with a deeply-etched spiral in the center of its surface.

Sheriff's Badge

A sheriff's badge is similar, a circle with a spiral cut into it with a single, small crystal set into the middle. This crystal can only contain enough energy to fuel, at best, one simple act of magic, and is primarily there for adornment.

TS's Badge

A TS's badge is distinctive and different. Its shape is a spiral, carved or grown out of a piece of chitin. At the very end is a crystal, fleshy, of the same size and quality of the Sheriff's.

Marshal's Badge

A Marshal's badge is more elaborate, and easy to distinguish from a sheriff's at a glance for two reasons: it is shaped like a star, instead of a circle, with the spiral still carved into its surface, and it has small crystals on two of its arms.

Colonel's Badge

The Colonel's badge resembles a Marshall's in every way but one: there are three crystals, arranged in a simple triangle shape, each of them larger than those of a Marshal.

General's Badge

The General's badge is the most elaborate. A star contained within a circle of a slightly lighter kind of Chitin, the spiral in its center deep with many turns, there are five larger crystals between its arms. This badge can be used to do larger pieces of magic, and is a show of great wealth.


This image sucks. Someone needs to make a better one.

Common Knowledge

There are seven known and used ranks among the Frontiersmen. Most every policeman a normal person will meet is either a deputy or sheriff, the former being an enlisted rank, and the latter an appointed one. The next rank up is marshal, and there are six marshals total. Two our stationed permanently in Kaipalu, one at the Lift and the shantytown that surrounds it, and the other two oversee general affairs at headquarters, including allocating funding and managing crises in the Countryside. The sixth marshal oversees the holding cells, executions, exiles, and those sentenced to hard labor. There is also one anonymous Marshal, who acts on behalf of the General. It's well known that this character exists, but his identity and manner of reporting are kept secret. Aside from the General himself is one colonel, who shares duties with and answers to General Garrett himself.

There are also a number of technical sergeants, who are more often called detectives. They exist outside of a normal chain of command, but virtually always have authority over local Sheriffs, so long as it is a matter related to one of their cases. Many of the TS's are former bounty hunters turned professional, while others were promoted form local work to detective work after a demonstration of their dedication and skills. On the authority of a marshal, a detective may from a posse to bring in a particularly dangerous fugitive or crime ring, though such events are rare. Otherwise, the right of forming a posse requires direct supervision of a marshal or a formal declaration of emergency by a sheriff.

The only full-time officer who works on the surface is Chuck Avery, who some people call "The Seventh Marshal," though he is only a Technical Sergeant according to his officer's commendation (numerically, he's actually the eigth marshal, but Garrett's shadow marshal is not counted in the ordering). He has a small squad of deputies, and a de facto posse of locals who are loyal to him. In Cessnock and on the surface, Chuck Avery is the law. He's known for brutal efficiency when it comes to heinous crimes, and is the only thing stopping an outright riot from taking permanent control over The Lift, the Ommatidia trade, and thus the Turritella. General Garrett respects the man like a brother, though he seldom condones the harsh punishments and brute force Avery uses to maintain what order he can.

Headquarters

Frontiersmen Command is an old, bland-looking building on the outskirts of Kaipalu, arranged in a rough triangle around a central lawn that includes a small garden, a running track, and a shooting range. It has windows, but no ornamentation. Over the front door is simple lettering which reads "FCHQ," standing for Frontier Command and Headquarters. It houses the General, his colonel, two marshals, and a few miscellaneous staff members and servants. These people virtually all reside in the main wing, where the formal entrance is. Of the remaining two wings, one houses the dormatories and holding cells for convicts, along with the marshal in charge of them, and the other is used by the servants and staff of the building, including the kitchen, laundry, and all the necessary living quarters for full-time employees of FCHQ.

Important Frontiersmen

General Theo Garrett
Technical Sergeant Chuck Avery
Sheriff Jacob Delaney (certain parts of the Countryside)