To talk about civilized life on the alien planet of Skellium, one has to mention the houses of Macedon. The home of humanity has been carved up and dominated by separate organizations, each with their own mindset, agenda and methodology. What are these houses, and how do they each play a role in shaping the colony?
House of Wren
The house of Wren was originally the backbone of Macedon, serving as the primary construction and labor efforts of the colony, Wren has many ideological aspects to it as well. “The Way of the Wren” is a concept that belies a great deal of belief:
Respect physical, emotional and mental strength.
Family is important, but a promise is never broken.
Everyone has a right to challenge and be challenged.
The only honor to come from a victory is from an open challenge.
Attacking from behind is for the weak, and an exile-worthy offense.
Some of these beliefs are often-unmet ideals, but honor is always key in Wren life. The unspoken law of Wren is that “Honor comes without the costs of a corpse.” Which means, battles are not to the death, the defeated party should submit and pay honor to the victor. The display of a red bandanna shows people’s dedication to this belief and support for Wren in the politics and power struggles of Macedon. The bandanna is normally worn on the head or tied around the left bicep.
The head of their house, Roman Jackson, is a powerful and poignant individual. His chiseled physique serves as an inspiration to all the people of Wren and a symbol of their power, all accentuated by his always-stylish business attire. Jackson’s, “kick ass and look good doing it” attitude has trickled down to many of the higher-level Wren gangsters. A mix of tattoos and business suits means you are dealing with a well-respected and equally dangerous individual, known through the House as Caporegimes.
An unfortunate side-effect of Wren beliefs has created a few lopsided arenas: the average citizen of Claypigeon is very poor compared to other districts, while the people in power generally enjoy great wealth. A need to defend oneself in combat leaves people spending their earnings on weapons, armor, medical treatment and information networks, which leaves little money for possessions, food, housing, etc. The “might makes right” attitude of Wren leaves its people wallowing, and often dead, when they find hardship or show weakness.
Clarity, formerly House Parakeet, was originally formed on Earth with the purpose of studying and utilizing the plant life on the colonized planet. The organization has evolved into a business, incorporating both medicine and engineering and focusing on education of the masses. The betterment of the human experience on Macedon!
It wasn’t until Lain Cochrane, a man who claims to have more doctorates than wall space to hang them, made a bold move to monetize his scientific endeavors and incorporate his house. While Cochrane remains the primary shareholder of Clarity Inc., having a board of directors promises that Clarity will not live and die with him. The directors also serve as Clarity’s chief surgeon, their head xenobiologist, and lead botanist. The body of Clarity Inc. ranges from savvy business people, brilliant engineers all the way to borderline mad scientist types. The house utilizes the creativity of a child with the cunning of a business shark, all focused toward the goal of making a profit.
The monolithic Sunreach Tower, with its bustling plaza below, stands as a symbol for higher thinking and lofty goals in the colony, and serves as the core of the Clarity compound. The green, blue and red scrubs make for a colorful environment, and the weird stories of crazy plant-based experiments leave people wondering if Clarity Inc. is just a cover for a group of modern-day Frankensteins.
Macedon Central Council
Formerly known as House Finch, the purpose of the Central Council was to guide and govern the citizens. They were also to create laws for everyone in the colony to follow. Further, they adopted the role of a central bank, which gave them means to enforce the law and produce a military force. Lastly, they took control the city’s food production, giving them quite an edge for getting their way in the interdependent society. The Council consists of five seats, including one delegate for each of the areas of Macedon: Greenspire, Claypigeon, Westbastion, High Court and Docksdown. From there, a justice system, keepers of the peace, and city-workers make up the body of the house.
Dealing in money and law has naturally given the Council a wealthy position in Macedon. The success of Clarity Inc. and Jackson’s Construction have created a strong economy, which benefits the government greatly. While it is odd to consider the government one entity in a city, the existence and quasi-independent nature of the houses rivals the power of the Council.
So far, the city has only known one president: Joseph Tromburg. Appointed on Earth, and continuously re-elected, President Tromburg has enough political and public support to be one of the most successful and popular politicians in Macedon. While many feel he is too old or out of touch, his legacy has carried him forward, and the citizens can’t imagine another president taking his place. His ailing health may force them to choose a new representative, however.