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Vanguard Craftworks

Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 77
Exquisite Makers
Manufacturing Centers: New Thespera, Perdure
Specialties: Luxury long-range transport vessels
Famous Models: Comet, Exsanguinator, Sanctum

When it comes to opulence and extravagance, Vanguard Craftworks provides posh space travel that rivals even Opulos. However, the price of the company’s fully customizable and technologically loaded ships keeps many from buying them. The Azlanti Star Empire also requires permits for the purchase of the company’s largest, most iconic, or combat-capable vessels, occasionally distributing them to especially distinguished nobles and scions. This restriction has created a high demand in the black market for rare Craftworks models.

The cost of Vanguard vessels is largely due to the empire’s staunch protection of its unique technology, but also represents the high-quality materials used and the wide array of personalization options available. A purchase from Vanguard begins with a personal consultation with a company representative who is equally skilled at interpreting the client’s needs and selling expensive upgrades. Craftworks’ primary competition is the Imperial Foundry, against whom it has positioned itself as a higher-end alternative with the same technical capabilities.

Although Vanguard Craftworks began as a relatively unknown startup, the sudden backing of Arioch-Oyadae (a tech firm owned by an alliance of Azlanti nobles) exponentially amplified the company’s capabilities and vaulted it to a place among major starship manufacturers overnight. Its partnership with the Star Empire allows it to innovate using Azlanti technology and ensures a reliable market with many wealthy patrons. The sheer wealth put forward by Arioch-Oyadae to get the venture off the ground has made Vanguard Craftworks a very rich debtor. This sudden and apparently one-sided backing suggests Arioch-Oyadae may hope to receive more than mere money from its investment. Whispers among the starship manufacturing industry suggest Arioch-Oyadae pressured Craftworks to produce combat-oriented ships like the Vanguard Exsanguinator.

The original masterminds behind the artistry and mechanics of Vanguard Craftworks are a non-Azlanti mechanic and architect, information that current Vanguard executives hide to avoid judgment from their benefactors. While executives, sales staff, and other public facing positions keep up the facade of an extravagant and purely Azlanti brand, Craftworks actually benefits from highly-skilled workers of many species and backgrounds. Although these employees are belittled by their proud Azlanti bosses, they are not regarded as servants and work behind the veil of Vanguard Craftworks’ sleek branding. Vanguard executives would view the release of this information as a scandal.

Manufacturer Perk: Most Vanguard Craftworks vessels have customizable decor and exterior aesthetics. Luxurious crew quarters are considered standard on Vanguard ships and cost only 3 BP.