Hoersch-Kessel Drive Inc.
Droid Control Ship
0.75, Backup: 10
4,000,000 metric tons
|[ Source ]|
The Godless Matron is a Lucrehulk-class battleship in the service of Dark Council, more specifically the Herald. It is a ship out of time, far beyond its former glory, serving as a base of operations for the Shroud Syndicate, and their crews of cutthroats and brigands.
To its enemies it is a visage of terror, emerging from the darkest parts of the galaxy. For its allies, it is, at best, an ill omen and a sign of trouble to come. The Matron constantly spreads her influence across Dark Brotherhood space, ready to engulf its next victim.
The Godless Matron is a dated design, more than fifty years old, which is very rarely used in the galaxy anymore, if ever. She has been in active service for a short time before being crippled during the Clone Wars. It was only returned to active service forty years later as a base for an illicit smuggling ring, lead by a human pirate named Jom Ferran. While its engines were still functional, as were most of her essential systems, her auxiliary generators, and weapons, including the droid assembly facilities were largely damaged, under-used and under-powered.
Today the Matron is fully refurbished and retrofitted with modern weapon systems and shields. Her old engines were upgraded to achieve higher speeds in hyperspace, and she was retrofitted with additional power generators in place of the droid assembly facilities to accommodate the higher power needs. Her port side hangar arm was refurbished into a large marketplace — Chute Town — where many smaller ships, such as freighters and shuttles, may freely trade in illicit goods. The starboard wing is used for larger vessels, such as larger classes of transport ships and corvettes, to offload their cargo for trade. Still larger ships, such as frigates and destroyers, are anchored to the primary or secondary docking arms.
While much of the ship is very much operable, a lot of it is in severe disrepair, only ever maintained to keep the ship running. There are several areas on the ship that remain very much derelict ever since the Clone Wars. Some of these areas haven't even been explored, their life support and other systems bypassed or otherwise rendered useless through disrepair. The ship itself is full of dangling wires, additional transformers, consoles, automated repair droids and other implements to keep it running by any means necessary. Some areas, like the dreaded Gauntlet, remain very much dangerous to humanoids, what with many traps laying around, or malfunctioning machinery too dangerous to operate.
The ship is one of the largest in the Dark Council fleet, dwarfed only by the massive former flagship, the Executor-class Star Dreadnoughts Suffering. The Herald uses its massive bulk to instil fear in smaller ships, usually forcing them to surrender without resistance. When it does come to a battle, the ship uses its fighter and gunboat complement to engage the enemy at close range while its ion cannon batteries engage the enemy from a distance. Her weapons may not be the best in the fleet, but she can easily fend off multiple enemy capital ships before evading and escaping.
When she was laid down, the Godless Matron was one of the many Lucrehulk droid control ships developed for the Confederacy of Independent Systems by the Hoersch-Kessel Drive, Inc. Christened under the name Perilous, during her first engagement in the war in 21 BBY, she and her battlegroup were deployed against the Grand Army of the Republic in the Dustig sector in the Mid Rim. Her first deployment proved to be her last when three full Republic battlegroups attacked and pursued the Perilous’ battlegroup across the sector. Having fought and lost several battles, she lost her entire escort to swift hit and run attacks and was left alone and severely damaged.
During a battle in a dense particle cloud in the Nuvar system, one of its main generators was damaged beyond repair, creating energy oscillations that destabilized the secondary power core. The ship was abandoned to its fate by the crew and left to drift in the particle cloud where Republic ships lost track of it shortly after the battle. Marking the ship as destroyed, while also capturing its crew, the Republic vessels left the system. Meanwhile, the Perilous drifted through the particle cloud, its energy core depleted by the massive power sink created in her still operating systems. It powered down and drifted through the nebula for the next forty-six years.
In 26 ABY the ship was found by a pirate, Jom Ferran, who refurbished and towed her into orbit around a moon in the Seswenna system, creating a small but stable smuggling ring. The smuggling ring lasted until 34 ABY, when Morgan B. Sorenn broke apart their operation and included it into the Shroud Syndicate’s business.
The Matron is the main operating base of the Shroud Syndicate, a criminal organization that rose from the Dark Council and their machinations. In the year 34 ABY, Grand Master Pravus commanded Herald Morgan B. Sorenn to organize the many disparate smuggling rings, pirate enclaves and slaver gangs in Brotherhood space into one coherent entity to serve the Dark Council. for this purpose, the Herald had taken possession and retrofitted a Lucrehulk-class battleship. Its berth is the Shroud nebula surrounding the Antei system, a place the pirates and criminals have taken to calling home after the last war left the system barren of life. The Matron does not remain stationary, however, keeping on the move most of the time to avoid authorities and keep her enemies on their toes.
The ship operates as a self-sustaining base where many different smugglers, pirates, slavers or merchants can dock, unload and sell their wares without prosecution and for a cut off the top for the Herald and their crew. Many of its hangars function as areas to drop off merchandise, while many of the areas once holding Trade Federation personnel, droids, and equipment, now function as massive storage areas to stockpile and safeguard that same merchandise.
The Majordomo is not just a position of prestige and wealth within the Syndicate, indeed it is crucial for the Syndicate's survival and daily operation.
The Majordomo's task is to always follow, assist and protect the Captain whenever possible. If the First Mate is the Captain's right arm, the Majordomo is the left, often handling very sensitive tasks such as trade negotiations in the Captain's stead. The current majordomo is Iden Sult, a Duros smuggler, and entrepreneur who found his way into the Herald's employ through mysterious circumstances. What is not a mystery, however, is that he is completely devoted to the Syndicate, and by extension the Captain as well.
The Majordomo has multiple other responsibilities aboard the ship, as well. He precedes the Gathering in the absence of the Captain, skillfully navigating the diplomatic streams that constantly swirl in among the many different crews. He knows the gangs, the crews and the people living on the ship intimately, and often mingles with them to gather new information. The Majordomo thereby holds the role of spymaster for the Captain, as well as an adviser. He is a highly respected individual, but one who knows his place in the world and how easy it is to lose it.
The Leviathans are the crew of the Godless Matron, named as such for their logo: a leviathan skull with crossed swords. Their current leader is Selika Roh.
The Leviathans can be recognized by their proudly displayed tattoos and gang markings, chief among these their prominent and well-known logo. They number in the thousands aboard the ship, outnumbering any other gang, though there are unknown numbers of them scattered throughout the Syndicate's area of operation. These pirate raiders hold a singular loyalty towards Selika Roh as their leader and captain, and will go to any lengths to achieve their goal, and bring even more fortune upon themselves. However, even among the Leviathans, there are divisions and many smaller groups band together to vie for the favor of their captain. It is a dog-eat-dog world in the Shroud Syndicate and many of these men and women know no other life but the one they have. Well known for their brutality and loyalty, the Leviathans are a hard-to-brek bunch, and many have found them to be a challenge, even those among the ranks for the Force-gifted.
While the Leviathans do splinter into smaller groups, each with their own minor chiefs and leaders, they do listen to orders and follow more powerful individuals. Among these, apart from the captain and first mate of the Matron, is the prominent Quartermaster — the Zabrak, Zahlia Vryn. She is ruthless and cunning, but loyal to a fault. She is a pirate, through and through, and truly believes in the Syndicate and fancies herself and her crew as the ones who deserve a prominent place in the galactic criminal scene. When the captain and first mate are away, the Leviathans listen and follow the Quartermaster, as well as the Majordomo.
The Gathering is the name given to a group of major players operating in and around the Matron. Lead by the Herald as its head, the Gathering controls the inner workings of the Shroud Syndicate and leads all its crews and gangs. It may consist of as many as ten individuals but usually consists of less than that, mostly due to constant in-fighting among the crew captains and gang leaders vying for power. The Herald uses the Gathering as a tool to control illicit trade in the many systems under the Brotherhood's reign but also to control the masses that the Matron's crew cannot contain aboard its own ship.
In the absence of the Herald, the Gathering is preceded over by the First Mate of the Matron, or the Majordomo. They usually meet at the top of the control spire in the Matron's Core ship in an observation lounge designated for this purpose. Here they deliberate on the economy, security and future investments of the organization and its many assets.
The hierarchy of the Gathering is simple with the Herald also known as Captain, representing the Dark Council — and the Grand Master as the true power behind the Syndicate — as the primary benefactor, with all other members swearing one sort of allegiance or another to them and the Syndicate.
The Strygae is a moniker given to a peculiar and particular group of religious fanatics living aboard the Matron.
Also called a coven, these individuals of different species worship what they perceive as god — the Force. They call it Ecudar and they worship its darker side. Their practices are seen as universally depraved and abnormal among all the gangs and crews on the ship. most people avoid their small area in Chute Town. Their practices involve worship of the Force, obscene rituals and exploration of the Force magicks associated with that kind of worship. Many a time people have disappeared from the ship only to be found strung up in another part of the ship, with various glyphs painted around them.
They are lead by a woman named Ebeda Vuull, a human of average height and build, and red, greasy hair. Her right eye had been ripped out prior to her life on the Matron and she never bothers to cover it up. Both she and many members of the coven wear leather garments, such as lighter armor. Some of them are Force users, but many are just non-Force users who just worship and follow the religion devoutly. Ebeda Vuull and her coven had made an agreement with Captain Morgan B. Sorenn who allowed them to stay as long as they worked and fought with and for the Matron's crew. Otherwise, they are left alone and rarely ever questioned about their history and motives.
The Silent Hand
Operating in the galaxy's shadows, the Silent Hand is an assassins' guild specializing in subtle and silent killings and the odd act of corporate espionage. Loyal only to their contracts and the guiding hand of their Elite Circle, its recruits give up everything upon truly joining the organization, from familial connections to their very names. Some do so to outrun some sin of their past, others for personal vengeance, and a few merely to escape the backwater world of their birth. Such recruits are often erased from galactic records within a matter of months, never to be seen nor heard from again beyond the guild's hidden enclaves. Discretion and silence are valued in their members above all else, and those who succeed in their training are taught to leave no trace of their actions.
The few murders which can be truly linked to the Silent Hand are often intentionally left rife with misinformation to disguise their methods. To mimic the ways of a bounty hunter and enter open combat, or draw undue attention to the Silent Hand is considered an almost unforgivable crime and only the most skilled assassins escape death at the hands of their comrades. Despite their seemingly lawless nature, however, the Silent Hand is extremely hierarchical and retains a twisted sense of honor to others. Should they be left in the debt of another organization, they will do anything to uphold their obligation.
The guild's very presence on the Godless Matron is due to such a debt, after Captain Sorenn assisted in resolving a disastrous operation on Nar Shaddaa that would have lead to the Hand's downfall. In repayment for this and using the Matron as a safe-house, a number of assassins were placed on the colossal ship, and now serve as wetworks operatives for the Leviathans, and anyone able to pay for their services.
Places of interest
Chute Town is the nickname for the largest gathering of illegal traders, merchants, pirates, and slavers in Brotherhood space. It is a hive of scum and villainy not unlike any other in the galaxy. Many ships and crews arrive into Chute Town to sell their "well-earned" commodities, weapons, or artifacts. It is commonplace to find the best and the worst gear the galaxy has to offer, it is only a matter of how big your pocket book is. Chute Town is run by the Matron's crew, who patrol and maintain peace in it's gritty, dirty, smell-ridden streets.
It is built mostly out of spare durasteel panels from derelict ships, dismantled machinery or any other source or material the pirates could scavenge. It spans the length of the massive portside hangar of the Matron, reaching from it's heavily protected reactor — hidden behind triple-enforced blast doors and a guard retinue — all the way to the hangar entrance where the many incoming ships unload their cargo. It is more than a mile long, over five hundred feet wide and up to three stories tall, covering most of the floor. Chute Town's streets are a miniature maze, weaving in between buildings on several levels. Verticality is key for the masses of shops and bars to operate without interfering with one another. The main street is nicknamed Murder alley, mostly because all the weapon shops are prominently opened there.
While the crew of the Matron generally maintains order and keep the many criminals from breaking out into full-blown war, the gangs of Chute Town — some of them prominently positioned within the Gathering itself — have divided their territory and mostly do what they want within it. Chute Town is often described as a "thermal detonator ready to blow", but the Herald maintains order through brute force or cunning, pitting the gangs against each other so that none may take advantage and own the whole hangar. Should that ever happen, the Matron might be lost.
Hangar Zerek is a nickname given to one of the crews' favorite locations on the ship. The hangar is located in the bridge connecting the Core ship to the massive hangar arms. Its function is simple: it is a gladiatorial arena where any and all internal fights between hangar and crews on the ship are handled. Two men enter, one man leaves.
Once a dedicated repair bay, Hangar Zerek is still equipped with fabricator arms and an assortment of Trade Federation droid parts that have fallen into disrepair. A squared off section, including illumination banks at each corner, designates the intended 'arena'. The section is denoted by active shock fences, run by nearby generators. It is here that the crew lets off steam, with the hangar bay sealed.
The hangar itself still has a fully functioning force field that comes into play when matches are meant to become more interesting, or when it comes time to jettison troublesome captives. The hangar bay doors peel open, leaving only the active field to separate the arena from the vacuum of space. The control mechanisms for the hangar doors can be operated manually from the control booth or on a set timer, including the force field's toggle switch.
The control booth is the last segment of Hangar Zerek worth noting. Doubling as an observation deck, it is the only obvious entrance to the hangar. All maintenance hatches and accessways have been sealed in advance, though the catwalks crisscrossing along the upper layers of the hangar remain. The booth itself is sealed, providing a safe haven for when the force field comes down.
The Gauntlet is a derelict area of the Core ship destroyed during the Clone Wars and never really repaired since. It is maintained due to its importance in the power grid but other than that not a lot of effort is put into "reclaiming" the area.
The crew has come to refer to this section of the Matron as The Gauntlet, largely due to the danger it represents. Located in the lower regions of the command sphere, it is a crosshatched network of ruined and damaged hallways, repair bays, and even crew quarters. While most power — save for critical systems such as life support — has been shut off to this section, the systems and circuitry still require occasional maintenance in order to keep the entire framework operational. Such tech runs have become a matter of betting amongst the crew, earning it the nickname: running the gauntlet.
A heavy layer of dust sits mostly undisturbed along the debris of the halls, save for the footprints of the few crew that have tread the path before. These previously walked paths are a safety net for those who venture into The Gauntlet unknowingly. It is also thought that the remaining Separatist forces staged a last-ditch defense within this area of the ship, and did so by any means necessary. Many traps, ranging from explosives to spring-loaded mechanisms, are littered throughout the untravelled pathways — or even still undisturbed within the known sections. Further still, malfunctioning B1 droids and even semi-active Spy Drones remain, ready to ambush the unsuspecting observer and adding to the dangers of the dark, debris-filled tomb The Gauntlet has become.
The Sinning Den
The Sinning Den is, without a doubt, the most popular cantina on the Godless Matron. It was started by Sildrin Lyonsbane in her transitional period between Clans in 34 ABY. The aim of the cantina was to create a neutral environment for all members of all the crews present on the Matron at any given time. Therefore a tradition had been created where everyone who entered left their personality and personal effects behind, only being allowed to enjoy what the cantina had to offer. And enjoy it they did. The Sinning Den is located in a defunct storage room with over 5000 square feet of space on three floors. Each floor can have different arrangements any given time, due to extensive holo projectors used in its decoration. Holographic dancers — and sometimes real ones — entertain the patrons while beautifully dress waiters and waitresses shuffle in between guests to deliver drinks. It is a place of prestige, class, and plenty for anyone with a deep pocketbook to enjoy.
Despite humble beginnings, it was lavishly decorated with the help of the Captain, supposedly with a "small loan" give out to the silver-haired sorceress. However, that small investment has proven to be worthwhile, considering many of the Matron's own crew use the cantina for their enjoyment. The Captain's security keep the peace in the Sinning Den and maintain a strict dress code. Anyone with bad manners is usually tossed out and banned for a while before cooling off. The Sinning Den is also a good place for leaders of rival gangs to meet and arrange deals, and they are often given the opportunity to do so in the more private areas of the third floor.
The Ball is a nickname given to the Matron's Core ship. It can be detached when there is a need to land the whole ship on the surface, and indeed the nickname originates from the phrase "dropping the ball", which is often used by the crew as a warning just before the ship drops out of orbit into the atmosphere. The Ball itself is the main operating hub for the Matron and no one but the Matron's crew and esteemed guests have access to it. It is heavily fortified from within and without, with chokepoint and kill zones covering many of the entrances and exits.
The Ball is also the location of all the crew quarters and any and all important system functions apart from main engineering on the wing sections. The Ball also houses a smaller and less operative version of a gravity well generator in place of its droid control computer. The well is a makeshift build of parts scavenged off of several Immobilizer wrecks. It is used rarely due to a massive drain on the ship's systems. The main bridge tower rests atop the massive structure and holds most of the operation rooms and important system consoles. It is also the meeting place of the Gathering and the place of any important meetings between the Captain and other delegates.
Some of the interior of the Core ship is damaged beyond repair, a remnant of the massive battle during the Clone Wars. The most prominent area that suffered the most damage is the dreaded Gauntlet which stretches throughout and across the very lowest decks of The Ball. Other areas have been damaged just as much, with some abandoned due to hull breaches. Many of those systems and infrastructure have been diverted through other systems, making the interior look like a web of hanging wires, tubes, and consloes. Many an engineer or technician can be found in these parts, maintaining the deteriorating ship as best they can.
- The Silent Hand was created by KaTarvitz