Queen Anathraxa

Anathraxa signaled her arrival with unprovoked attacks on every major fragment. Population centers, food production, factories, and mines were pounded to dust. Within years, the fragments fell under Anathraxa’s heel. Pirates were allowed to prosper, slavery was introduced, and heavy tributes were placed upon the fragments. The time of peace was over and a dark age had begun.

Anathraxa is the de facto ruler of Slipstream. She doesn’t get involved in the day to day running of fragments, but she keeps a careful eye on events. She doesn’t act as adjudicator in disputes, though she imposes harsh laws. She doesn’t defend her subjects from pirates or other raiders, but she crushes groups that threaten her power base. Her tyrannical rule has gone unchallenged for many lifetimes.

Few people have seen Anathraxa and lived. Aside from her most loyal troops, no one has regular access to her, and only the Handmaidens (and soon to be dead prisoners) attend her when she is outside her power armor. Rumors abound as to her identity—she doesn’t exist, she’s a beautiful Earthling female, psionic, immortal, hideously ugly, and so on.

All fragments are supposed to pay Anathraxa some sort of tribute. She demands food, natural resources, technology, or males, though not every fragment pays the same tribute. Depending on her mood, she may demand resources a fragment lacks, thus keeping the economy down as the locals must import goods. Or she may demand goods a fragment produces in abundance, taking the lion’s share to stop their economy growing. There is no set date for tribute—on any given day her massive battleship could appear in orbit and her Handmaidens demand tribute. Failure to pay is dealt with harshly, though not always swiftly (Anathraxa likes to plan her revenge).

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