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No al-Malik would ever deny this planet’s value, nor would they deny the extreme problems it has caused the House. Once considered for the capital of the Second Republic, it has jump routes to seven other worlds, and travelers from Byzantium Secundus, the Church worlds, the al-Malik planets, the Decados Hegemony, the Li-Halan worlds and Kordeth regularly stop there. The League has also established a sizeable presence here, and the guilds maintain a number of vehicle and weapons plants. As a result, the world hosts legions of ambitious schemers and spies from around the Known Worlds. Intrigues here may lack the subtlety of those of Byzantium Secundus, but they are at least as common.

A vibrant planet with a rich economy, Criticorum’s main city of Acheon is a den of plotting factions. The province of Ost holds the main ports and population centers. Refugees fleeing the Symbiot Wars have fled to the cities of Acheon, Larrane and Ostgard, overburdening the social services. Civil services have their hands full with relocation and policing. Holding Criticorum, with all its intrigues and problems, is no small task. Once a proposed site for the Second Republic capital, Criticorum has fallen out of al-Malik hands on many occasions. Unfortunately, the Criticorum al-Malik tend to be the most decadent of the House. Pleasure seeking and remote, they enrich themselves with bribes and periodic shake downs of the transient population. Mainly centered in the southern city of Tabrast, they resent the authority of the court-appointed governor. They also claim to be the ‘true’ al-Malik. The al-Malik governor must rely on his own spy networks and soldiery, increasing the tension between the court and local al-Malik. The southern provinces hold the great House estates and scenic areas of wondrous beauty.

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The Hawkwood Imperium

Istakhr

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