Vargr Corsair Bases

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kevinknight
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Vargr Corsair Bases

Postby kevinknight » Fri Aug 25, 2017 5:47 pm

My campaign is expanding into Gvurrdon and I was shocked to see 5 corsair bases, each in an independent system, just coreward of the Imperial border from the Regina subsector. After looking up what I could in the Vargr book, their presence there still baffled me.
How would any trading get done in this area?
Why hasn't the Imperial navy stepped in and wiped these bases out?
And this of course ignores the obvious question of why is there a pirate base clearly marked on a map...

What are your thoughts on this, please and thank you...
paltrysum
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Re: Vargr Corsair Bases

Postby paltrysum » Fri Aug 25, 2017 6:08 pm

Corsair bases are part of Vargr culture and, as I understand it, might serve a larger purpose in the Extents (and over the border in this case). I would stop short of saying Vargr corsairs serve as a naval force, but they do provide some defensive glue in some regions.

Plus there's the fact that the Imperium can't be everywhere and based on OTU history (e.g., the Fifth Frontier War) they haven't even invested that heavily in defending the Domain of Deneb. If the Corsairs serve a useful commercial purpose (e.g., moving product by hook or by crook), the Imperium could be convinced to look the other way.

Imperial Navy frigate commander: "The Vargr have a corsair base there and they sometimes raid Imperial shipping. We should do something about that...sir!"
Imperial Navy captain or commodore: "Admiralty says no. We have other more pertinent issues to deal with deeper inside our borders and actually, the corsairs help induce the flow of trade between the Extents and the Imperium. The almighty credit wins every time."
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Varulv
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Re: Vargr Corsair Bases

Postby Varulv » Fri Aug 25, 2017 7:24 pm

When it comes to Vargr I guess that the line between corsair/pirates and legitimate powers might be somewhat fuzzy. Some of the corsairs might also be backed by other powers, e.g. Zhodani in order to create a buffer zone towards the Imperial border. I believe the Secret of the Ancients campaign have some background information on this topic.
Jeraa
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Re: Vargr Corsair Bases

Postby Jeraa » Fri Aug 25, 2017 7:29 pm

Why hasn't the Imperial navy stepped in and wiped these bases out?
Because they can't. Those are independent systems. While not anywhere close to the scale of the Imperium, each is still its own (small) government. The Imperium can't send a military force in to any of those worlds, just like a modern day major country can't just send a military force into Vatican City, Monoco, or San Marino. They are sovereign states, and must be treated as such.
And this of course ignores the obvious question of why is there a pirate base clearly marked on a map...
Maybe they don't. Think of the maps in the products as being for the GM, not necessarily what is available to the characters in-game. The pirate bases maybe entirely unmarked, no one but the pirates themselves knowing their location. Maybe them do exist in Imperial military charts (who can't do anything about them as they are outside Imperium jurisdiction), but not on other charts.
kevinknight
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Re: Vargr Corsair Bases

Postby kevinknight » Fri Aug 25, 2017 8:41 pm

Jeraa wrote:
Fri Aug 25, 2017 7:29 pm
Why hasn't the Imperial navy stepped in and wiped these bases out?
Because they can't. Those are independent systems. While not anywhere close to the scale of the Imperium, each is still its own (small) government. The Imperium can't send a military force in to any of those worlds, just like a modern day major country can't just send a military force into Vatican City, Monoco, or San Marino. They are sovereign states, and must be treated as such.
Just curious to know your logic behind this statement...
Jeraa
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Re: Vargr Corsair Bases

Postby Jeraa » Fri Aug 25, 2017 9:45 pm

kevinknight wrote:
Fri Aug 25, 2017 8:41 pm
Jeraa wrote:
Fri Aug 25, 2017 7:29 pm
Why hasn't the Imperial navy stepped in and wiped these bases out?
Because they can't. Those are independent systems. While not anywhere close to the scale of the Imperium, each is still its own (small) government. The Imperium can't send a military force in to any of those worlds, just like a modern day major country can't just send a military force into Vatican City, Monoco, or San Marino. They are sovereign states, and must be treated as such.
Just curious to know your logic behind this statement...
Unless they have a balkinized government, they fit every criteria of the definition of a sovereign state. To borrow from wikipedia (it is the easiest to get):
A sovereign state is, in international law, a nonphysical juridical entity that is represented by one centralized government that has sovereignty over a geographic area. International law defines sovereign states as having a permanent population, defined territory, one government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood that a sovereign state is neither dependent on nor subjected to any other power or state.
Those systems are all permanently populated. If they don't have balkinized governments, they have one government. They have defined territory. Nothing is stopping one government from dealing with another. None of them seem to be subject to any other group. By modern definitions, they would be legally countries of their own (thinking of the Imperium as a single country, with individual systems being the individual cities.) In essence, they are the settings equivalents of the real world Vatican City, Monoco, or San Marino. With the Zhodani, Imperium, Aslan, etc being countries such as China, Russia, the US, etc. (*)

Independent worlds can petition to join the Imperium. That implies that the Imperium respects the sovereignty of independent systems. (According to the Spinward Marches Campaign, Ruie was presented with the opportunity but declined.)

(*) Though that analogy isn't really correct. The Imperium isn't one country of 11,000 cities. It is 11,000 mostly independent countries united under a single alliance. Each system in the galaxy is essentially its own, separate county. Some have chosen to band together into the Imperium, or the Consulate. Some have chosen to remain independent (like the systems in question).
kevinknight
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Re: Vargr Corsair Bases

Postby kevinknight » Fri Aug 25, 2017 10:50 pm

So... you think the Imperium would respect the sovereign rights of a state that actively engaged in piracy, sending ships to invade the Imperial worlds along the coreward border, attack their shipping, and providing those ships with a safe haven?
Jeraa
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Re: Vargr Corsair Bases

Postby Jeraa » Fri Aug 25, 2017 11:28 pm

kevinknight wrote:
Fri Aug 25, 2017 10:50 pm
So... you think the Imperium would respect the sovereign rights of a state that actively engaged in piracy, sending ships to invade the Imperial worlds along the coreward border, attack their shipping, and providing those ships with a safe haven?
Who said the states in those systems are actively engaging in piracy? Just because a pirate base exists does not mean the locals want it there or that the local government is supporting them. Not all vargr condone piracy.

And who said they are travelling into Imperial space? Those are A and B class ports there - more than enough traffic to support piracy. Any Imperial vessel that leaves Imperial space does so at its own risk. Those corsairs may ignore Imperial vessels entirely (the smart thing to do). They may be too proccupied fighting amongst themselves. look deeper into vargr territory - you'll find many more bases. Too far from the border to be raiding there. They raid themselves too. They may be perfectly legal privateers who only prey on ships from a specific company/region/whatever.

In fact, those corsairs probably don't venture into Imperial territory very often. The Imperium is far less for giving of pirates. The 1e MgT Vargr book says:
Outside of Vargr space corsair bands have a much tougher situation as most other races have dedicated law enforcement and military patrols to prevent such acts of piracy. Imperial law ensures that such criminals cannot escape justice by simply crossing the border into other territories. These difficulties mean that only the largest and most experienced bands prey on ships beyond the Extents.
The Imperium won't sent forces to smash the bases because it isn't their problem. The Imperium doesn't care. It is too big to care. The local subsector noble may have an issue, but is just as likely to reinforce his border systems and warn Imperial citizen about the dangers outside his jurisdiction. If any danger exists on a large scale - several of those pirate systems don't even rate an Amber Zone coding.
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Re: Vargr Corsair Bases

Postby Linwood » Sat Aug 26, 2017 1:44 am

If an important trade route crosses independent space it's possible the Imperium - or a megacorp - might take an interest. It's also possible that an independent system might enter into a defense treaty w/ the Imperium in exchange for trading privileges or basing rights.

If the Imperial Navy engaged in occasional patrols beyond their own borders they might intervene w/ a Imperium-registered vessel under pirate attack. Would they go out of their way to launch an all-out attack on a corsair base in independent territory? Maybe. But it might take specific provocation - a massive (or audacious) raid in Imperium space, public demands for action, or maybe security concerns of some sort. For example - word of a plot by the corsair band to sell WMDs to a terrorist organization operating in Imperial space.
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Re: Vargr Corsair Bases

Postby steve98052 » Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:28 pm

Maybe it's cheaper in blood and treasure for the corsairs' neighbors to just pay tribute, and more profitable for the corsairs to just take the tribute, so that the pirates only mess with targets that aren't under the protection of a tribute agreement.
InexorableTash
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Re: Vargr Corsair Bases

Postby InexorableTash » Wed Aug 30, 2017 12:40 am

Jeraa wrote:
Fri Aug 25, 2017 7:29 pm
Maybe they don't. Think of the maps in the products as being for the GM, not necessarily what is available to the characters in-game. The pirate bases maybe entirely unmarked, no one but the pirates themselves knowing their location. Maybe them do exist in Imperial military charts (who can't do anything about them as they are outside Imperium jurisdiction), but not on other charts.
Yep. Or the opposite - they are marked on the characters' maps (as a service of the TAS...), based on rumors and outdated reports. But what the map-maker calls a "corsair base" the locals call a free port; they don't appreciate the biased Imperial... imperialism casting them as pirates.
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Re: Vargr Corsair Bases

Postby SSWarlock » Wed Aug 30, 2017 1:26 pm

When it comes to the Vargr, the definition of piracy "...is more what you’d call ‘guidelines’ than actual rules."
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