Cerilyn is non-Federated planet infamous for its harsh, unforgiving climate and landscape as well as being the home planet of the legendary mercenary tribes that thrived in the last few hundred years of its existence.
Climate and Geography
Cerilyn is close to its sun and has no moon. The one habitable continent is mostly comprised of dense, tropical jungle, although about one quarter of the continent is dry desert. The air is characterized as hot and humid in the habitable zones.
Thousands of birds, mammals, reptiles and flora species survive and flourish on Cerilyn. Most are hidden deep in the jungles and rarely come into contact with humans. The jungles away from civilization are so thick that there are probably more species unaccounted for.
There is no central government on Cerilyn. Instead, three “tribes” have established civilization in their respective colonies. Each tribe has its own fortress that is sculpted to the local landscape, and connected to each fortress is a township made of non-tribespeople that provide services and trade goods to those coming and going from the fortress.
The three tribes of Cerilyn have a standing truce with one another, and sometimes the political relationships are stronger than other times. Each tribe specializes in different mercenary services to the greater intergalactic public.
The tribes (and their specialties) are as follows:
The bulk of Cerilyn’s population is made up of the mercenary class, although their non-fighting servants and the townships of civilians also make up a sizable portion of the people.
Each tribe is headed by a chief who is either selected by the previous chief or comes into power via Right of Regicide. The chief oversees the day-to-day function of the fortress, but their main jobs are to broker contracts with clients, pay working mercenaries accordingly, and to enact the rules and regulations of their specific tribe. Chiefs are also required to carry out executions and to protect the township civilians if necessary. Each tribe has a Second in Command who is personally selected by the chief. The Second, as they are called, is the one who really oversees the day-to-day minutiae that keeps the fortress functioning. Other notable positions are the people who directly oversee fortress staff (including cooking and maintenance), payment and money handlers, infirmary nurses and healers, and the new recruit trainers.
Who becomes a mercenary can be determined by multiple factors. One of the easiest ways is to simply be born on Cerilyn, either to a mercenary or civilian, and to survive to maturity with enough strength and wit to enlist. People from other planets are also encouraged to sign up and enlist, although this is a more recent tactic. Traditionally, mercenaries are created via “Right of Conquest,” an agreement with the Federation that allows hired mercenaries to invade townships for the sole purpose of not only taking supplies, but to abduct adolescents to fill their ranks. At the time of its demise, most Cerilynian mercenaries were former abductees.
Those who do not have the mental or physical ability to become useful mercenaries may be reassigned to the servant class or apprenticed out to township civilians on a case-by-case basis. Few are taken back or allowed to return to their planet of origin. Older mercenaries may be allowed to retire and finally leave the planet without reprisal.
This culture of inherent violence via Right of Conquest (and potential Regicide) has painted Cerilynian mercenaries as barbaric by the greater intergalactic population. Many mercenaries wear it as a badge of honor, and some chiefs have successfully spun it in their marketing. Those who do manage to escape or retire often keep their pasts a secret as to not attract unwanted attention in their new homes. The broad brushing of all mercenaries as subhuman and barbaric has also compounded the issue. For example, until recently, crimes aside from tribal theft and murder were largely allowed to go unpunished, as Cerilynian culture places an emphasis on self-defense and sufficiency. Interpersonal violence is considered a personal problem for the parties involved to sort out.
In the years leading up to its destruction, social progress was steadily being made via tribal reforms. When the Federation’s “civil disputes” came to an end, so did the allowance of Right of Conquest. Cerilyn remained non-Federated, but was expected to fall in line with all Federation laws and regulations when in their zones.
Today, the remnants of Cerilyn are romanticized and even celebrated via Federation entertainment. As no other formally took their place after the planet’s destruction, most humans living today don’t even have inter-generational memories of what it was like to fear Right of Conquest. Cerilyn remains in the public pop culture consciousness via the figures of Danielle Cromwell and Devon Anderson, who are the reincarnations of the last two great Cerilynian mercenaries and are associated with its destruction.