Van Diemen's World Devils

The Van Diemen's World Devils are expert light infantry, highly experienced in dense rain-forest and other difficult terrain.

Van Diemen's World Devils

Far to the south east of the Victorian Domains, deep in the empty void separating the Orion-Cygnus and the Outer spiral arms, lies a cluster of systems long claimed by the Princesses-Stellar of the Victorian Domains but in practise all but independent and self-sufficient. While many of these worlds are barren or dominated by rolling savannah, Van Diemen’s World is a planet of lush, if dark and foreboding forests nestling between table mountains formed by relentless and violent volcanic activity. Much of the world’s landmass is divided between numerous, densely forested islands, many formed from the tops of sub-oceanic volcanoes that are notorious for erupting at any time. Thus, Van Diemen’s World is a land of contradictions – primordial forests crossed by rivers of searing lava and seas boiling with sub-oceanic volcanism.

The people of Van Diemen’s World are tough and resourceful and very much a product of their world’s climate. Knowing the plantations from which they make their living could be consumed in a wave of molten rock with little warning, the populace rarely settles in one place overlong, generally moving on every generation or so. They have a reputation as surly and occasionally ill disciplined, especially it seems when dealing face to face with the nobility of the Victorian Domains.

It is known that the very first settlers of Van Diemen’s World were in fact convicts shipped their by the notoriously brutal justices of the Victorian Domains. Several centuries later there was an uprising and the convicts established themselves as masters of their own world. When news eventually reached the Victorian Domains and a force was sent to restore order it found the colony running far more productively than it ever had before. The deposed governor was shipped back to the Victorian Domains and tried for his incompetence as well blamed for the uprising and his subsequent failure to put it down. Receiving a sentence for his crime, that governor was the last convict to be sent to Van Diemen’s World, where he lived out the rest of his life as its sole remaining inmate.

ART BY ROBIN CAREY

The defence forces raised by Van Diemen’s World are expert light infantry. They are trained and equipped to fight in dense rain forests as well as other arduous terrain and are famed for their ability to penetrate areas other units have given up trying to cross. The so-called ‘Devils’ – the elite of the Van Diemen’s World defence forces, are known for their tenacity and their ability to face any foe, regardless of the odds of defeating it. The planet has been saved from alien enslavement on three occasions in the last century alone, almost entirely by the will and determination of the Devils and their fierce kin.

Though ruled by its own people and not subject to the direct sovereignty of the Victorian Domains, Van Diemen’s World nonetheless maintains close ties with the worlds of the Princesses-Stellar. Many of the world’s peoples are descended from the original convict population, though plenty of other peoples have also settled there since. Because of these ancient ties, Van Diemen’s World commonly dispatches its elite units, in particular the regiments that make up the Devils, to serve alongside regiments from the Victorian Domains. It has been observed that, while the soldiers of the Princesses-Stellar are stoic to the point of immovability in the defence, the troops of Van Diemen’s World excel in the attack, making the two units a perfect compliment for one another and a fearsome prospect indeed when serving in the same campaign. Despite a close bond and mutual respect, there are often clashes between the two factions at ground level. Victorian officers find the Devils uncouth and roudy, while the Devils find the Victorians arrogant and openly display their lack of respect. Experienced senior NCOs on both sides know to keep the officers of the Victorian Domains well away from the troopers of Van Diemen’s World.

The Solomon Campaign

One of the Devil’s most arduous campaigns of recent years came when three entire divisions of Van Diemen’s World troops were committed to the defence of the outlying world of Solomon. An entire planet of dark, carnivorous rain forest where even the sap of the most innocuous looking plant is flesh-searing acid, Solomon had been invaded by a previously unknown crustacean-like species attacking from the deep space between spiral arms. An independent world not claimed by any of the stellar empires, Solomon was nonetheless considered strategically valuable. Its main export was a range of chemicals highly prized by the ruling classes of the greatest stellar empires, many for their medicinal qualities, others for less salubrious characteristics. Thus, when the aliens invaded, a coalition of stellar empires, including the Victorians and the Orleans, committed troops to retake Solomon, as did many smaller states, including Van Diemen’s World.

Though they represented but a small part of the coalition dispatched to recapture Solomon, the Devils were by far the most successful. Where the troops of other stellar empires were unused to fighting in the dense and highly aggressive forests, the Van Diemen’s Worlders were very much at home. They soon learned to utilise the jungle itself as a weapon, luring the aliens, who they dubbed ‘krill’, into countless ambushes in which the world’s numerous carnivorous flora bore the brunt of the fighting. As the counter-attack begun, the Devils were tasked with teaching their formidable skills to the best of the other stellar empires present, and the very best of these were gathered into multi-empire strike forces so skilled they were able to infiltrate deep into enemy held territory and perform the most daring of assassination, sabotage and espionage missions.

The Solomon Campaign ground on for a further decade before the krill were defeated and the Devils are hailed as the main reason for that victory. To this day however, remnants of the invaders’ army lurk deep in the jungles and while they remain there the world’s industry cannot fully recover. To counter this ever-present threat the Devils maintain a number of bases deep in the carnivorous forests, from which they launch regular sweeps to clear out any alien nests they may encounter. While some might say the necessity to maintain these bases is a drain on resources, the Devils regard it as a means of honing their skills, for none are more fearsome forest fighters than those who have survived a tour of duty in the death glades and acid swamps of Solomon.


The Van Diemen's World Devils are expert light infantry, highly experienced in dense rain-forest and other difficult terrain.

Van Diemen's World Devils

Far to the south east of the Victorian Domains, deep in the empty void separating the Orion-Cygnus and the Outer spiral arms, lies a cluster of systems long claimed by the Princesses-Stellar of the Victorian Domains but in practise all but independent and self-sufficient. While many of these worlds are barren or dominated by rolling savannah, Van Diemen’s World is a planet of lush, if dark and foreboding forests nestling between table mountains formed by relentless and violent volcanic activity. Much of the world’s landmass is divided between numerous, densely forested islands, many formed from the tops of sub-oceanic volcanoes that are notorious for erupting at any time. Thus, Van Diemen’s World is a land of contradictions – primordial forests crossed by rivers of searing lava and seas boiling with sub-oceanic volcanism.

The people of Van Diemen’s World are tough and resourceful and very much a product of their world’s climate. Knowing the plantations from which they make their living could be consumed in a wave of molten rock with little warning, the populace rarely settles in one place overlong, generally moving on every generation or so. They have a reputation as surly and occasionally ill disciplined, especially it seems when dealing face to face with the nobility of the Victorian Domains.

It is known that the very first settlers of Van Diemen’s World were in fact convicts shipped their by the notoriously brutal justices of the Victorian Domains. Several centuries later there was an uprising and the convicts established themselves as masters of their own world. When news eventually reached the Victorian Domains and a force was sent to restore order it found the colony running far more productively than it ever had before. The deposed governor was shipped back to the Victorian Domains and tried for his incompetence as well blamed for the uprising and his subsequent failure to put it down. Receiving a sentence for his crime, that governor was the last convict to be sent to Van Diemen’s World, where he lived out the rest of his life as its sole remaining inmate.

ART BY ROBIN CAREY

The defence forces raised by Van Diemen’s World are expert light infantry. They are trained and equipped to fight in dense rain forests as well as other arduous terrain and are famed for their ability to penetrate areas other units have given up trying to cross. The so-called ‘Devils’ – the elite of the Van Diemen’s World defence forces, are known for their tenacity and their ability to face any foe, regardless of the odds of defeating it. The planet has been saved from alien enslavement on three occasions in the last century alone, almost entirely by the will and determination of the Devils and their fierce kin.

Though ruled by its own people and not subject to the direct sovereignty of the Victorian Domains, Van Diemen’s World nonetheless maintains close ties with the worlds of the Princesses-Stellar. Many of the world’s peoples are descended from the original convict population, though plenty of other peoples have also settled there since. Because of these ancient ties, Van Diemen’s World commonly dispatches its elite units, in particular the regiments that make up the Devils, to serve alongside regiments from the Victorian Domains. It has been observed that, while the soldiers of the Princesses-Stellar are stoic to the point of immovability in the defence, the troops of Van Diemen’s World excel in the attack, making the two units a perfect compliment for one another and a fearsome prospect indeed when serving in the same campaign. Despite a close bond and mutual respect, there are often clashes between the two factions at ground level. Victorian officers find the Devils uncouth and roudy, while the Devils find the Victorians arrogant and openly display their lack of respect. Experienced senior NCOs on both sides know to keep the officers of the Victorian Domains well away from the troopers of Van Diemen’s World.

The Solomon Campaign

One of the Devil’s most arduous campaigns of recent years came when three entire divisions of Van Diemen’s World troops were committed to the defence of the outlying world of Solomon. An entire planet of dark, carnivorous rain forest where even the sap of the most innocuous looking plant is flesh-searing acid, Solomon had been invaded by a previously unknown crustacean-like species attacking from the deep space between spiral arms. An independent world not claimed by any of the stellar empires, Solomon was nonetheless considered strategically valuable. Its main export was a range of chemicals highly prized by the ruling classes of the greatest stellar empires, many for their medicinal qualities, others for less salubrious characteristics. Thus, when the aliens invaded, a coalition of stellar empires, including the Victorians and the Orleans, committed troops to retake Solomon, as did many smaller states, including Van Diemen’s World.

Though they represented but a small part of the coalition dispatched to recapture Solomon, the Devils were by far the most successful. Where the troops of other stellar empires were unused to fighting in the dense and highly aggressive forests, the Van Diemen’s Worlders were very much at home. They soon learned to utilise the jungle itself as a weapon, luring the aliens, who they dubbed ‘krill’, into countless ambushes in which the world’s numerous carnivorous flora bore the brunt of the fighting. As the counter-attack begun, the Devils were tasked with teaching their formidable skills to the best of the other stellar empires present, and the very best of these were gathered into multi-empire strike forces so skilled they were able to infiltrate deep into enemy held territory and perform the most daring of assassination, sabotage and espionage missions.

The Solomon Campaign ground on for a further decade before the krill were defeated and the Devils are hailed as the main reason for that victory. To this day however, remnants of the invaders’ army lurk deep in the jungles and while they remain there the world’s industry cannot fully recover. To counter this ever-present threat the Devils maintain a number of bases deep in the carnivorous forests, from which they launch regular sweeps to clear out any alien nests they may encounter. While some might say the necessity to maintain these bases is a drain on resources, the Devils regard it as a means of honing their skills, for none are more fearsome forest fighters than those who have survived a tour of duty in the death glades and acid swamps of Solomon.