Imperial Corporation Clans – Mutant Chronicles
Imperial Corporation Clans
No discussion of Imperial would be complete without a consideration of the Clans. Over the centuries of Imperial’s existence, many companies and families have attained or lost the formal status of Clan through murders and acquisitions.
Though still legally possible, no new ‘Charters of Clanship’ have been issued in many years. Joining a Clan now is through marriage, adoption, or inheritance.
What started as business practices, habits, or administrative requirements have morphed over time into more formal strictures of nobility, honour, and duty. In the common parlance of the typical Imperial citizen, this is simply known as ‘chivalry’.
The truth of the matter is that breeding and a familial relationship to one of the Clans equates to a position of power and high office within the various Imperial divisions, but it also means a life of functions and social events unlike any expected of the citizens who work for them. Those of the elite who seek to buck their duties quickly find themselves blacklisted and side-lined.
In the unofficial – yet vitally important – ranking of the Clans the three most dominant are Bartholomew, Murdoch and MacGuire. These three Clans alone hold almost half of all the top positions in the executive, and publically their leaders are still as closely allied as their ancestors who founded Imperial were. Privately, however, the differences are marked, and all three are obsessed by internal politics and feuds.
The Great Resentment
Several generations back, at the beginning of the First Dark Legion War, the Bartholomew Clan managed to pull off an impressive coup, and seized control of the position of Serenity, which had been held continuously by Clan Murdoch and its allies since the Founding.
The resentment still burns brightly for the Murdoch and MacGuire Clans, and perceived insults by the Bartholomews, no matter how small, were seized upon to create a full-blooded feud that has spilled into acts of blackmail, kidnap, and even assassination. These attacks upon Clan Bartholomew required a response, and so the cycle of attack and counter-attack continued. However, through shared unspoken agreement, the feud was kept hidden behind closed doors.
The Kingsfield Clan sensed an opportunity to gain power, but its scheme backfired disastrously and succeeded only in almost
destroying the Clan. Ironically, the downfall of the Kingsfields was a wake-up call to the other Clans and since then the fires of feud have been dampened considerably.
Now this feud is known simply as ‘The Great Resentment’ and is mostly restricted to political and business manoeuvring against their opponents to further their own agendas. The MacGuires and Murdochs dominate the most profitable colonies and heavy industry, while Bartholomew has an iron grip on the Imperial military and the Imperial Security Command (ISC).
One simple truth is that no matter how great the internal friction of the Great Resentment is, it is put on hold when the Clans face a challenge from a rival great corporation. The Clans might be angry, but they are not stupid.
Imperial has stayed true to its roots. The core of its business strategy is growth and acquisition as despite how big it has become, with the exception of Cybertronic, Imperial is still the smallest of the Corporations. This singular fact is still used to justify Imperial’s most controversial business strategy: conquest. It has been a long-held tenet in Imperial circles that conquest is a legitimate form of growth, and Imperial has an exceptional record in justifying its conquests.
Against smaller freelance corporations – especially those in the wilds of Mercury, Venus, or Mars – the refrain has typically been that Imperial has taken control to prevent collapse, or in retaliation for a ‘terrorist attack’ against Imperial property. In more recent years, with the rise of Cybertronic, Imperial has become fond of citing ‘liberation’ as its casus belli.
What Imperial cannot acquire through military might, it can usually obtain through acquisition, insider dealing, or hostile takeover. This is often mockingly referred to in the Bauhaus media as the ‘Imperial Burden’, in reference to ancient colonial arrogance, but Imperial has turned this around and embraced the term completely without irony.
The downside to conquest and acquisition is that Imperial is a sprawling, multi-faceted corporate empire without a strong definition of what an ‘Imperial product’ is. The area that is most arguably ‘Imperial’ is that of high-end arms and armour. If it is of exquisite craftsmanship and very, very expensive, then chances are it is an Imperial product.
The Imperial Spirit
How does Imperial, the second smallest of the Corporations, avoid conquest or takeover from its larger rivals like Capitol of Bauhaus? Simply put, it is the ‘Imperial spirit’. Imperial citizens, and especially those of the noble Clans, are raised from birth to believe in the ‘rightness’ of their cause, the strength of their values, devotion to the Clans and family, and above all, to fight for their colours to the last. Imperial citizens view themselves as underdogs in the corporate world, and the message of “every citizen, worker, officer, or noble will do their duty” is hammered home from a young age. Of course this mentality varies amongst the different sections of society and is strongest amongst the workers and less powerful, for the nobility have their own motivations.
This culture of sacrifice is a great source of strength for the Imperial military, who will happily fight to the last man against overwhelming odds. ‘Satisfaction’ is a reviled concept, one considered particularly ‘Bauhausian’ as Imperial cannot afford to stagnate and must continually grow to survive.
Another pillar of Imperial is that all contracts are respected as binding at all levels of society, and to be considered a contract breaker is a form of ostracisation.