Long time players of Traveller and no doubt familiar with the Fifth Frontier War – an epic clash between two massive empires – the Third Imperium and the Zhodani Consulate. What is often overlooked are the ‘minor allies’ of the Zhodani – the Swords Worlds and the Vargr. This supplement details the actions of the Vargr forces in the Fifth Frontier War, with special focus on one of the major planetary campaigns the Vargr forces participated in – the battle for Feri.
The Vargr are an alien race descended from Terran canine stock (i.e. wolves). While the Vargr occupy an impressive volume of space to coreward of the Third Imperium and the Zhodani Consulate, this size is not reflected in effectiveness. Vargr society is best know for two polar traits – first a fierce loyalty to the clan, tribe, nation and race. Second an equally fierce belief in the loyalty to the chieftain (derisively referred to by humans as the ‘pack leader’.
Vargr culture tends to inhibit larger governmental organizations, resulting in many competing ‘pocket empires’ that are nominally aligned into a greater whole. If you are trying to wrap you head around how the Vargr work as a socio-political force, two historical analogies would be similar to the princely states of the mid-13th Century Holy Roman Empire or the Barbary states of mid- 17th Century North Africa. Moderately powerful political units that cannot quite fully integrate at a larger scale, but still capable of acting on the larger stage.
The Vargr are best known throughout the Imperium as a constant threat of piracy and raiding (the infamous “Vargr Corsairs” of Little Black Book fame) mostly aimed at the Imperium. Anti-piracy patrol has long been a standard task for coreward frontier elements of the Imperial Navy.
In the Fifth Frontier War, this infamy operated on a broader scale. A small fleet embarked on the “pack mother of all raids” against the Imperium. Striking in conjunction with the Zhodani, these Vargr would set out to help bring down a mighty prize – the Third Imperium’s Spinward Marches sector.