By demand of a casual, offhanded, probably not serious comment made in the chat, because once I heard it the idea would not let me go, and because I needed a break from more serious pursuits, I present to you now Hezediah Harlequin’s House of Havok, colloquially known as the 4H Fair. I’m only a little sorry for what I’m about to inflict on you.Originally hailing from the infamous Doom Moon of Dis, 4H was once one of the largest and most influential prison gangs in the whole of the Nine Systems. For a long time, they had great fun exercising their masterful manipulations over the rest of the populace, deciding who would live or die on a whim or game of chance. They were a nightmarish group, bent on power and domination, and they cared very little for the pleasure of others so long as they were having fun. However, for all their widespread influence, there was one thing that 4H could not obtain. One Warden after another denied them entry into the Tower of Justice, and their ticket to spreading their grotesquery into the universe. Each Warden claimed the same reason, again and again. Nobody was interested in them. No one really cared about pie gags, ta-tinkers, gar-dinkers, elephant acrobats, or cotton candy flavored popcorn anymore. Well, they said, maybe that last. And they put it on the menu but they never featured the 4H Fair in their games. The current Warden, in fact, when he was still a lowly guard himself, made the remark, “No one gives a rat’s ass about your circus act anymore! It’s old hat! I don’t even need to guard you, you’re so boring and fat!” There is some debate about whether or not he actually said this thing, in rhyme no less. Probably the narrator is just making it up. So the leader of the Fair, who at that time was Hephraim Harlequin, got fed up and took the guard at his words. He gathered his crew (then an abnormal amount of sad clowns and his pet turtle, Metatron) and simply walked out. Out in the wilderness, the gang constructed a jury-rigged, barely stable starship and proudly named it ‘The Big Top.’ Then, they set out into the stars, to spread their menace. As for the guard, he managed to deflect blame onto a compatriot who was punished severely and now roams the Systems as an undead Headhunter.Hephraim’s Fair wandered the known universe for many years, spreading manipulation and malice wherever they went. They became hated and feared as their ranks swelled with press-ganged performers. But somewhere along the way, something happened way out there in the dark. The 4H Fair dropped off the face of the map and were not heard from again for several years. The next sign of them came when a group of space pirates responded to a weak distress signal deep in the fringe. The pirates had hoped to find easy pickings. Instead, they found a totally insane Hephraim, mutated beyond reason, his deadly serious, hard-hearted brother Hezediah, and a turtle. The pirates that survived still have nightmares about that turtle. The brothers absconded with the pirate ship, following its course back to a larger hideaway, and there recruited the start of their new army. The Big Top was rebuilt in spades and Hezediah took over as leader for his brother, who took to taming and caring for a wild assortment of beasties. Hezediah had come back from the black a changed man also. Not insane, but rather with a purpose. He reformed the 4H Fair and renamed it after himself. Now, it represents what you might expect from a spacefaring circus. It travels the universe looking for good fights to pick and join, bringing entertainment and joy wherever it goes. No one knows what put the fear of god into Hezediah and caused the change and the ringleader himself isn’t talking.Aboard the Big Top…
General Goode Griefous: “CLOWNS!”Meet General Goode Griefous, Hezediah’s right hand man. Once a famed rodeo clown, his job now is to wrangle all the idiot clowns in service of 4H. He’s a hard working, no nonsense (aside from that shirt, yeesh) type of man and he does a solid job of keeping his charges in line.
Clowns: “YEAH, RIGHT!”
Griefous: “Well, all rahyt! Now, where in the dickens are my LTAs?”The Clown Rabble isn’t very smart, but there are just a whole lot of them. Seriously. If you see a single clown hanging around, you should probably run. It’s likely an ambush. Clowns generally come twenty to a squad and all twenty can somehow fit inside a single hover capable Clown Car. Point in fact, twenty clowns can usually find a way to fit inside any space that would normally hold a single minifig. The Clown Rabble is armed with a variety of basic melee weapons, a throwback to their prison gang days. Molotov Cocktails and shivs are a favorite. Clowns are creepy and scary in the extreme and have been known to intimidate foes right off the battlefield. There are deep rumors that that the word ‘clown’ is actually a derivative of the word ‘clone.’ How does that not scare you? An army of men and women that are all actually just one guy with a predilection for face makeup and kiddie parties.
The LTAs move into position behind the Rabble.
Griefous: “Glad y’all could make it. Hope it wasn’t too much trouble tah GIT YER BEHINDS IN GEAR, YA LAZY, GOOD FER NUTHIN’, BUFOONS! Ok, lessee, we got the Rabble…”
Rabble: “YEAH, RIGHT!”
Griefous: “…SHUT UP! An’ we got the LTAs…”The Lighter Than Air Brigade, or LTAs, are a smaller squad of ranged clowns. Some say they get their name from being up in the air on stilts or sailing through the air after being fired from a canon but the name may just as likely be a reference to their delicious whipped cream pies. They typically come grouped in tens, with five on stilts (the better to give them height bonuses) armed with Pie Launchers and five to operate the Minifig Canon. The Canon is mounted on a rickety ass hover platform with no means of self propulsion so the remaining clowns in the squad just sort of push it around. The equipment all collapses, of course, but the extra space reduces the squad size so that they’ll all still fit in a Car if need be.
Griefous: “Now, how about the Tinkers?”
The Tinkers take their place inside the ring.The Tinker’s Guild is an exclusive group of mechanical savants. Something within the warped clown psyche gives any given clown a peculiar understanding of spatial reality. Sometimes that manifests as genius instead of ridiculousness. Tinkers understand how things fit together in a way that few others ever can. The Guild is notorious for using this understanding to strip things apart with unbelievable speed just to see how they work. Unfortunately, they are still clowns and so they rarely get around to putting anything back together. Worse, they seem entertained by tearing the same things apart again and again. So it’s generally better to give them a target than to let them wander the starship. Tinkers come in squads of ten, each equipped with Mechanik tools. Each squad usually also carries at least two oil canisters. Like the LTAs, they maintain reduced squad size to fit into Clown Cars with their equipment. They pair wonderfully with fire type units, when they haven’t expended all their oil on their excellent jerry curls. The Tinkers shown here are led by Master Artificer Bamboozle, whose prowess with his twin oversized wrenches, in combat and in engineering, is legendary. Don’t ask him about the leg, though.
Griefous: “And the Fire Brigade. Welp, that’s everyone. Now! What is our purpose?!”
Everyone: “To be ridiculous in the face of our enemies, to see them laughing helplessly before us, and to hear the giggles of their women!”The Fire Brigade is another specialized squad of Clowns, numbering only five thanks to their cumbersome and dangerous equipment. Four fireclowns are armed with twin flamethrowers while the leader is armed with a missile launcher. The Fire Brigade does what any good fire department in the BrikVerse would do. The commit mass arson and ensure that the fires keep on blazing. The Brigade shown here is led by Fire Chief Hornswoggle. It really is a miracle that this guy is still breathing.
Sister Twisted: “Not everyone, Griefous. We’ll be joining you on this foray. I think it might be a little much for your little sideshow.”Meet Sister Twisted, leader of the Basic Troupers, Hezediah’s left hand woman, and all around royal bitch. Not much is known about her except that she’s wicked fast with those twin blades and more agile than any minifig has a right to be. There are whispers that her Bozon Count is even higher than Master Froyo’s and that she, too, is a master of the Farce.
Griefous: “TARNATION, WOMAN! I done asked you not to sneak up on me like that! Anyway, I think we’ll do just fine, thank you, but you’re welcome to tag along if you honestly think you’ll be any help. Where is your crew anyways?”
Sister Twisted: “Oh, they’re around.”Basic Troupers make up the special ops squads of 4H. They come in trios, as they are not clowns and are indeed highly specialized units. Famous for their explosive juggling act, Troupers are aggressive and deadly assassins.
Hezediah Harlequin: “Are my fucking Rings ready to drop yet, goddammit!?”Meet Hezediah Harlequin, Ringmaster of the House of Havok, gritty ass kicker, and one severely foul mouthed sonuvabitch. Often seen yelling orders through his bull horn, Hez is an angry, busy man. Despite his gruff disposition, his people are steadfastly loyal to him. He wields a golden scepter into the hilt of which are carved strange runes. Most folks agree that it’s magikal but few know how.
Griefous: “Jus’ about, Sir. Roundin’ up the stragglers now. We should be ready to deploy momentarily.”
Hez: “Finally, some good fucking news! Well, hurry the fuck up then. I want to get this shitfest started. Those goddamn researcher fucks down there have been stuck here for ages, doing geological surveys or some shit. They haven’t had a good fucking fight in a long ass time. They’ll be glad to see the circus in town. Oh, and make sure these dipshits keep their limbs inside the Ring when it drops. The raining body parts bit was only funny the first fucking thirty-two times.”
Hez: “Alright, listen up, you fuckwits! I expect—Oh, Goddammit! Where the hell is my brother?”
Griefous: “Uhh, well, he’s in Hangar Bay Red, Hez. Said there was more room over yonder fer the Menagerie. I figgered you knew.”
Hez: “Course I fucking didn’t. Fine. Goddamn. I’ll go prep that motherfucking Ring too. Just wait til I send the damn go signal, yeah?”
Griefous: “Yer the boss, hoss.”My mistake here, the Rabble’s backs aren’t decorated right. This has been fixed in the file.
Hez: “Oh, and before I forget. You two spangled, creepy fucks in the back! Yeah, I saw you sneak in, you goddamn weirdos. You ever burn those packs before we hit atmo again, and I’ll see to it that the Fire Brigade here puts you out, got it? I’ve still got idiot fucking clowns trying to put out fires all over the damn ship.”
Hez: “Goddamn Divas.”The Acrobats used to be relatively large in number. Meet the *alleged* reason they aren’t anymore. J’onn and J’aan Fister, brother and sister acrobats extraordinaire. Or, as they call themselves, the Glam Fisters. Each is equipped with a specialized rocket pack and two steel whips (which they use as often to perform insane aerial maneuvers as they do to perform deadly aerial attacks). The other ex-acrobats were fitted with jetpacks too but their all underwent mysterious malfunctions at extremely inopportune times. The siblings want to share the spot light with each other…and only each other. If you know what I mean. And I think you do. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, VOMIT.
In Red Hanger…
Hez: “Oh, for Chrissakes, Hephraim! What in the name of the Great AFOL do you think you’re doing here?”The Menagerie is both a term for Hephraim’s beastly collection and for whatever space he has claimed for his sanctum, as he rarely moves about without his animal friends.
Hephraim: “Brother! How good to see you! I thought you died.”
Heph: “I want to formally inform you that Hangar Bay Red is my Sanctum now. Look! See? I even had them drag my throne in here. Looooots of room, yes? I’m very excited.”Hephraim Harlequin is the former Ringmaster of 4H. Unfortunately, whatever occurred out in deep space those many years ago, apart from murdering his entire crew, drove him quite insane. Heph is still sometimes prone to unbelievably violent rages but now displays a much lighter hearted, caring side as well. He considers himself the ultimate caretaker for the universe’s beasties and shepherd to lost and disenfranchised souls. He also considers himself a benevolent God-King and is now quite above the station of Ringmaster, which he has graciously passed on to his brother, Hezediah. It doesn’t help his delusions any that Hephraim is a Wild Farce user.
Hez: “Like fucking hell! AFOL’s Fucking Neckbeard, Heph, I didn’t sign off on any of this. And your damned pets are making a riotous mess. You are aware that these rings are drop platforms, right? No fucking way the animals survive the trip down. That’s why I wanted them bundled up at the ramp and you in Hangar Yellow to go over the goddamn fucking plan.”
Heph: “HAHA! You’re so funny!” *Mimics Hezediah’s gruff tone* “Hurr, hurr, Big Dumb Hoo-Man gunna grow ‘hair’ and smash us to pieces. Hahaha!” *Returns to his own weird, offputting cadence* “In all seriousness, brother, you shouldn’t worry so much. Come over here and watch this. Pyotr! Gather the Vermin, will you?”
Pyotr Pyapr: “…”Meet Pyotr Pyapr, a very skilled musician in the employ of Hephraim. Pyotr was originally one of the many pirates the brothers discovered at the Hideaway upon their triumphant return to the universal scene all those years ago. At that time, he had a particular penchant for the flute but whenever he tried to play it, the other pirates would laugh at him and call him names. Under 4H’s new rule, musical and other performance abilities were not scorned but, rather, highly prized and Pyotr rose through the ranks rather quickly now that he was allowed to practice his true desire. Many of the pirates who bothered him before bother him no longer. Pyotr’s rage and repression gifted him with a singular musical ability. He learned to harness that ability, learning to mesmerize with his flute song, and sent those who had wronged him on a long walk out of a short airlock. Now, he works directly under Hephraim, who is the only person in the whole troupe who isn’t scared shitless of him.
Heph: “Pretty Cool, right?”
Heph: “Faceless! Stow my birdies and fishies safely away, please.”
Faceless: “Mmmph.”Faceless is a hulking brute the brothers discovered on an asteroid in the Styx Belt, near Dis. No one is really sure what the hell he is, exactly. Nor are they sure where he comes from or how he has managed to survive. What is known is that he is extremely, often violently, loyal to Hephraim and does whatever he can to please the former Ringmaster. Faceless unnerves the hell out of Hezediah, which is primarily how he came to be in Heph’s service in the first place. The Freaks in the Freakshow, he can handle but he tends to stick all the really weird ones with Heph. It’s probably for the best anyway.
Heph: “Trainers! Prepare for Drop!”The Animal Trainers and acrobats are almost exclusively all Ingots, an insectoid race whose carapace are largely composed of a kind of living metal. Ingots are naturally hive minded and are usually organized into castes based on the kind of metal found in their bodies, with warmer, red type metals predisposed toward aggressive tasks and cooler, bad metals predisposed toward utility or labor tasks. The Ingots shown here are all “sufferers” of a racial disease (for which there is no known cure) that damages the psionik hive mind connectors in the Ingot’s brain and generates individualism and independence. Most Ingots go crazy and die from the severance but a rare few flourish. Efforts to engineer a cure have failed time and again. Some think that the disease is invulnerable but many suspect sabotage on the part of the newly independent individuals. The two golds shown here are a highly energetic sort, with the deeper gold being somewhat more violent. The blue is actually of a rare derivative clan of cooler metals notorious for their adaptive abilities. Ingots as a whole are widely regarded for their adaptive natures but the blues are stereotypically leaders in this regard. The Hivemind regards the loss of one to the disease to be most distasteful. The two steels are handling the Wartusks thanks to their incredibly durable physiologies. Though it may seem an odd choice at first for animal trainers, the Ingots are uniquely suited to the task. They still have very limited psionic receptors which allow them to soothe and sometimes control the minds of simpler beasts. There really is no set squad size, with the cavalry units or with the Wartusks. Ingots come and go and the ones affected by the disease rarely work well together anyway.
Heph: “See? What did I tell you? Everything is fine. I’ll let you know when I’m ready to depart.”
Hez: “Fine. I guess I’ll go fucking tell the Freakshow to stay behind and watch the ship while the Yellow and
Red Rings drop. Fuck.”
Heph: “Birdie, Birdie, Tiger, Birdie, One Fish, Two Fish…”